The Balenbouche in St Lucia
There are many beautiful hotels and resorts in St Lucia. Some offer you the chance to sip cocktails on the beach. Some give you the opportunity to eat lobster whilst overlooking the beautiful blue bays that can be found all over the island. Only one, though, gives you the feel of being truly one with the local environment, the Balenbouche Estate.
The Balenbouche Estate was founded as a sugar plantation in 1740 by European settlers. It’s roots date back to an age of slavery, with some of the very first people to work the plantation fields being slaves. In 1964 the Balenbouche Estate was purchased by Erik and Jennie Lawaetz, they reformed the estate into an organic farm and guest house that remains in the family name to the present day.
Where will you stay?
The accommodation in the estate is probably the most natural and environmentally friendly in the region, a long way from the tourism of the main resorts. It’s perfect for those who genuinely want to get away from all the modern amenities and enjoy the peace of the Caribbean. The estate projects a ‘simple’ and ‘clean’ living environment, with no iPads, laptops and TVs. Phones and internet are available at the main house, but there’s only one computer, so you may have to wait your turn in order to use it!
Amenities are accessible, but again they are of a natural persuasion rather than the kind you’d find in a five-star resort. Electricity and running water are supplied, but the estate requests that you make minimal use of the former simply because it is diesel generated and therefore very expensive. Bottled water is available from the main Balenbouche house, although the tap water on supply in the area is safe to drink. Most of the cottages use solar heating (In keeping with the estates focus on the environment), so it can take a bit of time for the hot water to reach the showers. However, once it does, it’s very hot indeed!
Staying at the estate is a simply charming experience: friendly, welcoming and truly serene.