Photo Credit: Andres Ayrton
Why St. Lucia Is The Ultimate Caribbean Destination For Chocolate Lovers
St. Lucia has gained a reputation as a romantic haven in the Caribbean Sea. But the island is also a hotspot for chocoholics. Chocolate has been part of St. Lucia’s history for centuries, dating back to the 1700s. The warm climate, nutrient-dense soil, and lush tropical forest combine to create the ideal conditions for cacao beans to thrive. In the past, St. Lucian cacao beans were exported to Europe and Hershey, Pennsylvania to produce premium chocolate that is richer in flavor and considered to be among the finest in the world. But recently, the island started retaining some bounty, resulting in a booming chocolate tourism industry. Now visitors can not only indulge in decadent chocolate bars and the local staple ‘cocoa tea’ but also chocolate spa treatments, tours, classes, and a myriad of other chocolate-related activities. Travel Noire rounded up a few of the sinfully sweet activities that makes St. Lucia a dream destination for chocolate lovers.
Stay in a ‘chocolate’ hotel
You probably won’t get a more immersive experience than Rabot Hotel, part of the British Hotel Chocolat family. It’s set on a 250-year-old cocoa farm, which is the oldest on the island. The 14 rooms come with cocoa-inspired touches like artsy cocoa bean prints and cacao toiletries.
The restaurant’s menu features some of the most innovative cuisine on the island. Meals — sweet or savory — are cocoa-infused with tangy cacao pulp, roasted cacao nibs, or dark St. Lucian chocolate. Egg Florentine with White Chocolate Hollandaise, Cacao Beer Pork Tenderloin, Pan-seared cacao nib marinated scallops, and cacao bellinis are just a few of the culinary highlights. Naturally, the desserts — including Mousse au Chocolat and Rum Baba & Cacao Whipped Cream — are deliciously decadent.
Depending on the location of your room, you may also be privy to an unfettered view of the iconic Pitons. The equally as impressive Sulphur Springs are only a half an hour walk away.
Take a tour
Hotel Chocolat takes both guests and visitors through the chocolate-making process with a Tree-to-Bean and Bean-to-Bar Experience that lasts up to three hours combined. The itinerary includes a visit to the cacao seedling nursery, fermenting room, and sun-drying station before getting into the interactive bar creation.
Fond Doux Eco Resort’s Heritage Tour will have participants immersed in all things chocolate, from the smell wafting around them to the traditional cocoa-rina dance that is used to polish the beans.
Taste a ripe cocoa bean and witness a live chocolate-making demonstration on Morne Coubaril’s Historical Estate Tour.
With more than 2000 cocoa trees on the resort estates and organic farm in the Soufriére hills, Jade Mountain is ideal for a Chocolate Laboratory equipped with a Chocolate Alchemist. The concept was developed by James Beard Award-winning chef Allen Susser, who consulted on the project.
Select from multiple tours including The Emerald Estate Tree to Bar Tour, Discover Chocolate, Chocolate, Wine and Paradise, and Chocolate Sensory Tasting. The hotel also offers Chocolate Alchemy stays that include several chocolate-related extras as part of the package.
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, which is very popular with celebs, offers a hands-on Chocolate 101 tour. It also houses a chocolate-sculpting room where guests can learn how to prepare chocolate truffles and St. Lucian cocoa tea.
Enjoy a spa treatment for chocolate lovers
Chocolate doesn’t only taste good. It’s also great for the skin, as the cacao beans contain antioxidants and vital minerals. Several properties in St. Lucia have incorporated it into spa treatments.
Visit the Cacao Spa at Hotel Chocolat for cacao massages, cacao facials, a cacao body exfoliate and moisturize, and cacao detox body wraps.
Teens are pampered at Sugar Beach Viceroy’s Rainforest Spa with chocolate scrubs and a chocolate delight massage.
Jade Mountain’s revitalizing Chocolate Delight treatment involves layers of warm then cooling chocolate on the skin.
The Sweet Surrender Chocolate Wrap at The Kai Koko Spa will have your skin caressed with head-to-toe chocolate.
When is the best time to experience all this chocolatey goodness? Year-round but August is Chocolate Heritage Month on the island which might make your visit even sweeter.
There’s no better destination for chocolate lovers.