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“Quaint, slightly shambolic”
Review of Balenbouche Estate

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Balenbouche Estate
Ranked #1 of 2 Laborie B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 January 2015

La Balenbouche stands apart from the other resorts we stayed at or visited on St Lucia. It is a genuinely family-run guest house which provides a characterful place to stay, friendly dogs, the occasional dinner, peace and seclusion. Our room had a faded charm albeit no hot water in the sink. The grounds are delightful but the two beaches are not really swimmable (and quite difficult to access). Having breakfast on the veranda of the plantation house is a treat, but if Uta does not cook there are limited local options on a Sunday or Monday evening.

  • Stayed: January 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Edward P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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37 - 41 of 100 reviews

Reviewed 1 January 2015

We just returned from a 3 day stay at the Almond cottage at Balenbouche and the trip was too short! We had stayed for a week in a house in Soufriere and happened to find this place as we were looking for something close to nature and unlike the sterile environments that much of the resorts offer. We were so blown away by everything. The property is a tropical paradise - palms, banana trees, kalabash, bamboos. We we traveling with 2 boys ages 3 and 9 and while we went to the beach a couple of times there was plenty on the property to keep them busy. Our boys chased lizards, climbed trees and plucked star fruit, pet the turtles, watches the cows and the horses, caught fire flies - and just had a wonderful time. The house we stayed in was spacious, airy and designed with open air showers, an open sitting area and kitchen etc - that we felt like we were outdoors even when at home. Everything was so artistically decorated. All of us looked forward to the breakfasts with fresh fruit and warm home made bread. Uta and Verena were so thoughtful about our needs and interests - whether it was a particular jam that our kids liked or involving our boys when feeding the turtles.The sounds of the insects sounded like a beautiful symphony that we looked forward to every night. If you love nature and are looking for a relaxing place to rejuvenate then this is the place for you.

  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Divya_N_1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2014

I went to Balenbouche last July to celebrate the birthday of my local friend, but we had mixed feelings about Balenbouche.
Although the first welcome was okey, they showed us the place and cottage, the cottage itself was not clean (forgotten). We wanted to take a look at the beach, but there was a bunch of dogs which came up to us aggressive barking, taking away the taste of going to the beach itself. When we climbed up, a piece of wood of the stairs which I stepped on, broke off....
When I asked about the dogs and showed my concern about maybe barking at night and that we came here for our rest, one of the first things the lady said was that we also could go find another place to stay. We decided to stay and it was quiet, but next day when we met, again they made a few strange remarks about dogs not used to local guests (although there were local people working over there). It seemed more that they themselves were not used to local guests and we felt indirectly quite discriminated. Later on they did their best to make it up to us, but we stayed we an uneasy feeling.
It's not a bad place to stay, but the cottage itself wasn't that nice as it looked on the pictures. And $110,- for only the night stay is quiet a lot of money for what you get.
I will not go there anymore.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank GerdaF61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EcoParadise, Owner at Balenbouche Estate, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2014

When the couple arrived, the lady immediately said that she "hated dogs." Because we have several dogs and we didn't want them to feel uncomfortable, we asked them if they wanted to find another place to stay. Our dogs are not aggressive and actually very friendly, they are just alert and sense if someone is apprehensive or scared. Most of our guests feel protected and fall in love with our pets (they even get sent fan mail and treats) but if you don't like animals, Balenbouche is not the right place for you.

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Reviewed 7 April 2014

We stayed here at the end of our trip in April 2014. Uta and her family were so warm and hospitable and combined with the rustic charm of our accommodation made it such a relaxing place to stay. The cottages are scattered around the old plantation ( a torch came in very handy !) which makes them very private .We ate dinner at the main house on the wide verandah which was shrouded in vines which added to the charm. The food was excellent and most of it sourced from their own land.Two private beaches are a few minutes walk away and you can explore the old workings of the sugar plantaion.
A great place to re charge your batteries !

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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2  Thank 602eve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2014

Balenbouche offers travellers a unique and dream-like experience.
We spent 5 nights in the Banyan cottage, which has 3 double bedrooms and a great patio. The place boasts with character. The dark wood panels, combined with the shade of the jungle make the cottage a bit dark, but very enjoyable on a hot day.
The cottage has been decorated with care and is very functional too. The kitchen has all you need to cook simple meals.

Everyday we enjoyed walking around the plantation, from the old sugar mill (a surreal apparition in the jungle), through the fields and gardens, to the majestic seaside and cliffs.

Uta was a wonderful host, and having dinner on the terrace of her house on our first night will remain a highlight of our trip.

On several occasions, we arranged massages and yoga lessons with Sherin, who is fantastic teacher and therapist. The old cotton barn was the perfect setting for such activities.

Laborie, a fishing village 5-min drive from Balenbouche has a beautiful beach, some shops and places to eat and/or have a drink. Do try the African diner for fried fish and dals!

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank celine m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Balenbouche Estate

Address: Balembouche, Laborie, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Laborie Quarter > Laborie
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Laborie
Price Range: €89 - €146 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Balenbouche Estate 3.5*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Balenbouche Estate is a Historic Plantation Guesthouse offering several tropical vacation cottages. The 80 acre property includes an expansive park with colonial plantation house, 18th century sugar mill, yoga barn, fruit orchards, lily ponds, nature trails and two secluded beaches just a 5 minute walk away. Balenbouche is not a resort and remains a working organic farm, heritage site, and family residence with a focus on wellness, sustainability and conservation. Our eco-chic accommodations are created from historic structures and sleep between 2 and 6 people, some include kitchens. We prepare breakfast daily, and dinner 2 - 3 times a week by reservation. There is a restaurant within walking distance. Several other St Lucia restaurants as well as a supermarket are a short drive away. We are located 20 minutes from the International airport and 30 minutes from the town of Soufriere, near many of the islands best attractions. Balenbouche is a magical place, a world in itself, popular with artists, photographers, green travelers, wedding couples, honeymooners and families. Our family has owned and managed the estate for three generations. Gradually, the property was transformed into a well known St Lucia attraction, guesthouse and retreat venue. Many of our guests feel very much at home at Balenbouche Estate, and keep returning! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Balenbouche Estate Hotel Laborie

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