Tucked amidst a 250-year-old working cocoa plantation, Fond Doux is a simple, family-run hotel close to Saint Lucia’s twin Pitons. Surrounded by thick rainforest it’s worlds away from Saint Lucia’s beach resorts, offering a peaceful, secluded escape.
The 15 cottages here are a great base from which to explore the rugged south of the island which is defined by dramatic volcanic scenery, an array of birdlife and deep-green forest. Nature trails run right through the estate and there’s a real effort to support the environment; guests are encouraged to plant a tree to commemorate their stay.
Fond Doux Plantation has a rustic, traditional charm with local staff and a focus on Saint Lucian culture — many of the furnishings are locally made. A great way to experience Saint Lucia’s heritage and natural beauty, they offer a selection of experiences to encourage you to explore the local surroundings, and find out more about traditional chocolate making techniques.
A unique opportunity to stay at a working plantation, this charming hotel has a dramatic location set among tropical rainforest. We find it works well in conjunction with a more traditional beach stay, to give you the chance to experience a different side of the Caribbean.
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Photos of Fond Doux Plantation & Resort
The simple cottages nestle in their own well-tended patch of garden and are scattered across the hillside. Each of the 15 cottages is unique so furnishings and decor will vary, but all have a simple, plantation style, featuring four-poster beds, wooden floors and furniture and large balconies. Much of the furniture has been reclaimed and restored on-site and you’ll find locally-sourced relics decorating the walls.
The cottages are not air-conditioned but have a ceiling fan and also include tea/coffee making facilities and a fridge. In keeping with the peaceful, secluded nature of the resort there are no televisions in the cottages, however complimentary Wi-Fi is available.
Fond Doux is tucked among the rainforest on the southwest of the island. The location is ideal for those who would like to explore the Pitons and the best diving sites on the island, all within a prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site. The surrounding forest shelters many of Saint Lucia’s endemic bird species.
Although the resort is in a very secluded location, the local shops of Soufrière are just 10 minutes' drive away.
Food and drink
The Cocoa Pod Restaurant serves buffet breakfast and buffet lunch while the Jardin Cacao Restaurant & Bar serves à la carte lunch and dinner.
The Bamboo Restaurant has a unique location, spanning a small stream in the heart of the plantation. Constructed from local bamboo and tropical rainforest hardwoods, it blends with the surrounding flowers and vegetation. Focusing predominantly on Creole fare, the ingredients are sourced from local organic farms.
During the day, the tropical gardens give shade and color to the bamboo-timbered restaurant and in the evening the candlelight provides a warm romantic rainforest ambience. The restaurant often has live music in the evening.
Children of all ages are welcome although a lack of specific children’s facilities and the hillside setting means we recommend it for older children.
Facilities and activities
Guests can take a complimentary tour of the plantation, learning about its history and the process of cocoa production — it’s also possible to buy the final product from the small gift shop. You can explore the resort trails, passing a huge variety of tropical flowers, almond and nutmeg trees and hopefully spotting some of the hummingbirds that make this area their home.
There are three nature trails around the estate to explore at your leisure and there are also a couple of small pools at the resort, however these are similar in size to a large plunge pool so more suitable for a quick dip to cool off rather than a swim. Cooking classes can also be arranged.
Please note the hillside setting and number of steps around the resort makes it unsuitable for less mobile guests.
There’s a variety of things to see and do in the area and the resort is well placed for Piton hikes, exploring Soufrière and the Diamond Botanical Gardens or visiting the nearby sulfur springs.
The start of Tet Paul Nature Trail is only a five-minute drive from the resort and this hike is well worth doing for the views of the Pitons as well as the island of Martinique looming on the horizon.
The resort also offers a complimentary shuttle to nearby Sugar Beach for a spot of sunbathing and snorkeling.
There are some excellent dive sites in the surrounding Soufrière area and the resort will be happy to arrange diving for you with a local dive operator. One of the popular dive spots is located at the base of Petit Piton. This dramatic wall drops from the surface hundreds of feet down. It’s covered with sea whips, gorgonians, delicate soft corals and lots of feather duster worms.
Mama La Terre Spa has a little treatment room where you can enjoy organic massages and scrubs made from locally-sourced oils and fruits.
Location & places nearby
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Alternative places to stay nearby
Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favorite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.