Thursday, October 8, 2015


 A view of the Pitons (Gros Piton and Petit Piton), from Anse Chastanet

All smiles (and a few appetizers and sparkling wine) aboard the catamaran Lucky T on the Anse Chastanet Jazzy Champagne Sunset Cruise.  Though we didn't spot any dolphins that day, we did see plenty of flying fish, bats (later that evening), and a spectacular pink and amber sunset while saxophone notes lingered in the air.

Chocolatier Peter at Anse Chastanet's sister property, Jade Mountain's Chocolate lab. Using cocoa from their own estate, Emerald Farm, the Chocolate lab creates bon bons, chocolate bars, chocolate coated nuts and other delicacies. To see the process from the beginning, another day, CSL spent the morning touring Emerald Farms with consulting chef Allen Susser spotting everything from mangoes (brought to the island by Indian labourers in the 19th century) to peppers, aubergines, orchids and of course, cacao.

Fond Doux Plantation and Resort  Owners Eroline and Lynton are warm and gracious, and the resort offers  luxurious plantation style cottages - an ideal wedding location!  The lavish grounds are plentiful with fruit trees and winding pathways that feel like a tropical hideaway. This colonial house once stood in the capital of Castries before being moved piece by piece to its current location. His Royal Highness Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker-Bowles visit to the property was instrumental in putting the property on the map. 

Modern interpretation of breezy gingerbread style cottages and a tranquil water feature at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat.
Near the nursery a flourishing lake (in the wet season) is verdant with brush and grass no water evident at this time of year, the "ridge" overlooking the ocean and piton is a great spot for a wedding, while the infinity pool with its ebony details makes for a perfect dip on a hot day. 

 A worker at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat's nursery shows off a fresh cocoa pod. Situated on Rabot estate, the hotel supplies beans to its parent company British chocolatier Hotel Chocolat. CSL was fortunate enough to have a bean to bar experience - literally. After a walk through the grounds to view the array of cacao trees, seeing how the cocoa is fermented and dried, CSL planted their very own cacao that may one day be used in the chocolate made here.  From there, we hand ground our very own chocolate- makes you really appreciate the dark and rich treat!

Lunch at  Boucan restaurant, cacao is creatively infused in every element at the restaurant - including a grinder filled with cacao nibs on the table, next to the ubiquitous salt and pepper! The stunning view of the Piton every morning was a delight!

A golden cast at Royal St. Lucia by Rex Resorts in Rodney Bay in northern Saint Lucia. Set on Reduit Beach, near bars, restaurants, and shopping, the hotel has a generous, friendly atmosphere.


CSL's modern and spacious room at Royal St. Lucia by Rex Resorts, which was newly renovated featured a separate living area and balcony, luxury bathroom and a king bed (beautifully decorated with fresh flowers no less).

An uber creative and delicious dish at La Chic at Royal St. Lucia by Rex Resorts from Executive Chef Eike Lauff's Chic supper club menu-  Mahi Mahi gently steamed in a saffron peppercorn creme with mango ash pasta, sautois of zucchini and leek and watermelon caviar paired with a refreshing Jordan Estate sauvignon blanc. 

Executive Chef Eike Lauff of Royal St. Lucia by Rex Resorts. At breakfast look out for the clay pot filled with local cocoa tea - the best we tasted on the island.

Little wonder the French and English fought over St. Lucia 14 times, dubbing this Caribbean island, the "Helen of the West Indies," (a reference to ancient Greek beauty Helen of Troy).  In the south of the island the Piton Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lush tropical rainforest, one of the world's few drive-in volcanoes, sulphur springs (take a dip to keep up on your beauty regime) and recreational diving and snorkeling make it an active getaway.

In the north Reduit beach considered locally as the best on the island, shopping, restaurants, the local Castries market and several marinas make it a relaxing choice. Local patois is still alive, and the island is undergoing a cacao resurgence not only producing chocolate locally, but infusing cacao into its cuisine.

To maximize on the range of accommodation on the island, CSL chose three very different properties - Royal St. Lucia by Rex Resorts, Boucan by Hotel Chocolat and Anse Chastanet.  Located, respectively from North to South of the island, each hotel was unique- from bean to bar cocoa experiences, to up close and personal views of the Pitons and relaxing days on the beach watching the sun set, there was plenty of things to do and many ways to experience la belle Helene. - Photography and Words by Kailash Maharaj and Shivana Maharaj

Read more in an upcoming issue of City Style and Living Magazine.
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Jaisy Bonie said...

Finding this place was the best thing that happened to us after the owner of our previously booked venue refused to answer any of our calls or emails after giving us completely stupid excuses. The coordinator at these wedding venues los angeles did a wonderful job.

Slow Marks said...

Absolutely beautiful arrangement (they sent me a picture before it was delivered which was so exciting!) The Floral Delivery arrangement they built for me contained mint. Everything is considered, even the smell of the overall bouquet.

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