St. Lucia’s Fond Doux Resort is an exceptional estate tucked into the forested hills above the historic town of Soufriere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The property is a working plantation as well as an award-winning boutique resort. Fifteen eco-friendly cottages, two restaurants, and an organic wellness spa are set among fruit trees and spice gardens on a 135-acre estate granted to French settlers by King Louis XV in 1745.
Since Fond Doux is still a working plantation, registered guests are invited to observe or participate in the daily routine of getting fresh produce from plant to plate. If you’re not staying at the resort, you can sign up for the popular Heritage Tour that includes strolling along trails through lavishly landscaped grounds that include thriving cocoa, banana, and coconut trees. A friendly guide points out indigenous birds, explains the healing benefits of medicinal plants, and encourages you to sample the organic produce. In the work area, you see cocoa beans drying and being processed into chocolate.
The concept of Fond Doux Resort is for guests to relax into the island’s culture. Rustically chic and historically charming cottages are surrounded by lush plants and individually decorated. All units have 4-poster beds, kitchenettes, and sitting areas, as well as a balcony or patio. Upgraded cottages have outdoor kitchens and rainfall showers, and some units have private plunge pools. There’s no air conditioning, but ceiling fans and cool mountain breezes keep the units comfortable. There are no televisions, but every cottage has free Wi-Fi. There’s no beach within easy walking distance, but an on-site three-level swimming pool is surrounded by comfortable lounge chairs, and a free shuttle takes guests down the hillside to Sugar Beach.