Cocoa is one of Saint Lucia’s most important crops and is a major part of its history, dating back to the 1700s when the industry was flourishing. Visitors to the island can experience this delicious piece of Saint Lucian heritage through plantation tours, chocolate-inspired menus, ambrosial workshops, sweet spa treatments and more. To ensure a decadent time in Saint Lucia, try some of these immersive chocolate experiences around the island.
Tree-To-Bar Experience At Boucan by Hotel Chocolat
Boucan Restaurant by Hotel Chocolat has been spearheading a campaign to revitalize the island’s cocoa industry. In fact, they’re part of the Engaged Ethics Cocoa Program and have also hired over 140 farmers on Saint Lucia to help stimulate the industry. At the aptly named Hotel Chocolat, guests can enjoy chocolate-infused cuisine, indulge in sweet spa treatments and take part in their “Tree-To-Bar” Experience. During the tour, which is $65, guests will explore the estate groves, picking the perfect cocoa pod to create their own chocolate bars and truffles. Roast your own beans to perfection while learning the art of chocolate making.
Specialized Cacao Tours
Saint Lucia is littered with cocoa plantations, allowing visitors to tour the grounds, see the process of chocolate-making and learn about its history. Some of these estates include the Marquis Estate, Anse Mamin Plantation, Emerald Estate, Morne Coubaril Estate and La Dauphine Estate.
Take Part In A Chocolate-Making Workshop
The Chocolate Decadence Tour provided by Island Routes Tours every Wednesday sails guests on a luxury catamaran from Castries port to the Rabot Estate to take part in an all-day tour, creating delicious chocolate from scratch. A gourmet lunch with touches of cocoa is included followed by a leisurely afternoon at the Sulphur Springs’ mud bath. The tour is priced at $145 per adult.
Take Part In The “Cocoa-Rina Dance”
At Fond Doux Estate visitors can take part in a tour and lunch package, which includes the ability to assist estate workers in the “cocoa-rina dance,” a technique used to polish the cocoa beans before roasting. The lunch and tour package is priced at $30 per person and is available from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM daily.
Indulge In A Chocolate-Inspired Spa Treatment
In the past few years, cocoa has become a popular ingredient in spa treatments. Praised for its natural properties that help to stimulate endorphins, absorb anti-oxidants and add minerals to the body, you’ll not only be indulging by getting a chocolate spa treatment, you’ll be doing something good for your health.
At Ti Kaye Village Resort & Spa they offer a Chocolate Package. This includes a Chocolate Body Scrub, Chocolate Wrap and Chocolate Massage that will leave you with silky smooth skin and a feeling of delicious bliss. This package sells for $120.
At Kai En Ciel Boutique Spa at Jade Mountain Resort those seeking sweet relaxation can opt for the Chocolate Delight, which uses a combination of warm and cooled layers of chocolate to bring new life to the skin. This packages sells for $150.
Additionally, Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort offers a Chocolate Body Scrub, which uses Dead Sea salts, essential oils and 100% organic cacao to replenish the skin for $100.
And at CocoaJuvenate Spa at Boucan Hotel & Restaurant they use “NanoCacao”, a finely ground cocoa from the Rabot Estate in the Cacao Facial, the Cacao Massage and the Cacao Body Exfoliate.
Add Some Cacao To Your Meal
Chocolate is not just for dessert anymore. Chefs around the island are finding innovative ways to add the sweet treat to savory dishes, as well. Not only does this add a unique flavor to the dishes, it also adds health benefits to the meal like heart-healthy antioxidants and increased serotonin. For example, Boucan Restaurant by Hotel Chocolat folds cocoa into the entire dining experience, from putting cocoa grinders next to salt and pepper shakers to creating menu items like Cacao Gazpacho and Tomato, cacao-infused chilli and Cacao Ravioli. Additionally, Calabash Cove Spa & Resort offers a pan roast pork tenderloin on chick peas rubbed with chocolate powder, while Coconut Bay Resort and Spa features a “Chocolate Extravaganza Buffet” on Sunday nights from 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM. And for a truly indulgent dessert, the luxurious Cap Maison offers a “A Study on Chocolate,” a special dessert of mixed chocolate recipes engineered by Executive Chef Craig Jones of the Cliff at Cap Restaurant.
Enjoy A Hot Cocoa Tea
A popular hot beverage on Saint Lucia, particularly on Sunday mornings, is cocoa tea made from freshly grated cocoa sticks. Food vendors at Castries Market steep bay leaves, cinnamon, nutmeg and grated cocoa sticks together in huge pots all day to serve to customers. The market is open Monday through Saturday from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Even if you can’t make it to the market, almost any restaurant on the island will offer this quintessential beverage.
Follow The Chocolate Heritage Trail
Launched in November 2012 by the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, visitors can now make use of an interactive Chocolate Heritage Trail map on Facebook. The map highlights chocolate sites, experiences and history through pop-up technology, allowing for a sweet experience on Saint Lucia.