Photo Credit: Fond Doux Eco Resort
Fond Doux: Saint Lucia's Black-Owned Eco Resort
If you’re planning to visit Saint Lucia, you definitely want to consider booking a stay at Fond Doux Eco Resort. A 100% St. Lucian owned, managed, and staffed business, owners Lyton and Eroline Lamontagne opened the resort in 1999.
This was a time when many naysayers believed it beyond the capabilities of native St. Lucians to succeed in the field of tourism management. These doubters believed the field was reserved for expatriates only, but the Lamontagnes were determined to prove them wrong.
Lyton Lamontagne started his career in banking and then moved on to manage the Jalousie Plantation. After this plantation was sold, he and his wife Eroline, an accountant at the Anse Chastanet Resort, opened a wholesale and retail frozen food outlet called Eroline Foods.
In 1999, Eroline Foods expanded into a supermarket, which today is the largest in the town of Soufriere, currently employing over 75 individuals from Soufriere and neighboring Choiseul. It was in that same year that they opened the Fond Doux Plantation.
With a passion for the national heritage of their native country, the Lamontagnes soon left their jobs to give their all to their businesses, ventures through which they could adequately display the love they felt for their St. Lucian heritage, roots, and culture.
Fond Doux started as an agricultural plantation and remains one today, growing a wide range of crops, such as cocoa plants, bananas, coconuts, guavas, grapefruits, tangerines, apricots, mangoes, and many more. During the year of its opening, it also became a heritage tourism site offering daytime tours and lunches to cruise ship passengers and tour operators.
In 2006, a friend of the Lamontagnes showed them a house on Water Works road in Castries which was due for demolition. The Lamontagnes fell in love with the two-story colonial house and purchased it for £800.
The house was dismantled, trucked to Fond Doux and reassembled in the gardens by artisans specializing in old building techniques. They added two more buildings, but soon realized that they were unable to meet the demand for guest stays, so they proceeded to construct additional cottages.
Today, Fond Doux Eco Resort features sixteen private cottages, two restaurants, a spa, a gym, hiking trails, wedding gazebo, and a triple cascading pool and bar, to name a few of its amenities. Its colonial boutique style accommodations are surrounded by a lush rainforest landscape and tropical gardens.
Cottages feature attractive fretwork, wooden floors, and local hardwood furniture and artwork. Some cottages also include their own kitchen, rainforest outdoor shower, or private plunge pool.
In addition to its heritage tours, Fond Doux offers cooking classes, chocolate making, cocktail making, tree planting, bird watching, and amazing spa treatments, including the Sulphur Getaway. The resort manufactures a variety of chocolate products, including desserts, beverages, and scrubs, which are sold in its Plas Cacao Chocolate Shop.
A Green Globe certified eco resort, Fond Doux is committed to the island, its guests, its employees and the community in which it operates by maintaining sustainable practices and preserving St. Lucia’s rich culture and legendary hospitality.
Fond Doux regularly engages in initiatives to honor and give back to the people of the island. This includes offering internship programs for secondary and tertiary students, allowing local farmers to use their land to farm and host community festivities and events, and collaborating with indigenous islanders for guest services like tours, transportation, and entertainment.
The Lamontagnes have both been recognized for their outstanding achievement and service to the community over the years. Eroline Lamontagne was awarded with an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) and Lyton Lamontagne was awarded a BEM (British Empire Medal) by the Queen of England.
The resort itself has received many international awards in various categories from tourism companies like TripAdvisor, Travel Weekly, Booking.com, Hotels.com, etc. Fond Doux currently has several promotions available, which can be viewed at www.fonddouxresort.com/offers.