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Reviewed 15 February 2017

There are so many extraordinary things I can say about our stay at Balenbouche, and of course, St Lucia, itself. My husband and I were looking for a more authentic island experience outside of the "resort" style vacation. Driving down the driveway into Balenbouche, we knew we had picked a place that was just what we were looking for. The beauty of the estate, the rich history, and the family made it feel like a home away from home.

Our week long trip we stayed in the Frangipani cottage. The cottage was very quaint, comfortable, and had all the basic necessities for travelers. It is one of the more secluded cottages, so I highly recommend it for couples! Be sure to spend some time in the evening stargazing outside of the Frangipani cottage, because the view from the field next to the cotton barn is spectacular!

Breakfast is served at the main house every morning, and a couple nights a week dinner is offered. We absolutely really enjoyed the meals on the Estate as they do try to use fresh fruits and other ingredients grown right on the grounds. Plus, they do spoil you and accommodate all dietary restrictions. Additionally, the meals, while in USD are much more economical than eating at some of the more popular destinations like the resorts. Obviously, heading out to some of the local eateries is a good option, too. Our favorites are: L'Escape for dinner, a five minute walk from the Estate toward Soufriere, as well as Debbie's Place and Lushe for lunch, a five to ten minute drive back towards Vieux Fort!

We felt that we really didn't even need to leave the Estate to be entertained as you have the Middle Beach to sunbath and swim as long as the current isn't too rough. It was usually calm while we were there, and you can always walk around the grounds checking out all of the Estate's beauty as well as the old Sugarmill. You'll definitely meet friends at breakfast and dinner, so you may have people to hang out with on the Estate, too, much like we did! There really is so much to behold on Balenbouche!

Internet is accessible on the veranda at the main house at anytime. The phone may be used for local calls also, but be sure to ask before doing so.

We rented a car for about $450 for the week, which came in handy as we traveled all over the island, including taking a trip up to Castries for a Sunset cruise. You can definitely take the buses each way from Balenbouche for about 10 EC. We drove so much and really explored the island, so we felt a car was a better fit for us! For a more economical experience, you can definitely take the buses everywhere you need to go and won't have to wait but 10-20 minutes outside Balenbouche! Taxis charge more, so be sure to emphasize you want to catch a bus, not a taxi!

Overall, we had a grand experience. Uta, Verena, Anita, and the pups were all super helpful in making our stay the best possible on the Island. There is too much to say to truly be able to experience in one short review, so you would need to go there yourself!

Room Tip: Frangipani Cottage is one of the more secluded cottages, highly recommend for couples!
  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank joannewetzel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2017

This was our first trip to St Lucia. Would I stay at Balenbouche again? Absolutely! If you want a resort holiday, experience and facilities then Balenbouche is not for you - but this is the point. It offers something very different. This is a little bit of St Lucia being protected from the sanitized resort by the energy and vision of a wonderful family who respect the history and natural environment of this old sugar plantation. The cottages are simple, clean and comfortable. They may not be the best equipped but you have everything you need to prepare meals and enjoy your stay. If you need anything then Verena and family are discretely on hand. If you don't want to cook, I can really recommend the evening meals (and breakfast) on the terrace of the main house. Fantastic fresh food lovingly prepared. There is good wifi, but only at the main house, and the veranda is always open when you want to connect. Hot water is provided by solar, but we always had enough to shower. We were there with a group of friends occupying all the cottages and everyone was happy and comfortable. The central barn was great for getting together for music (the reason for our trip) and perfect for morning yoga or meditation. The extensive gardens are beautiful with lovely, short walks to two lovely beaches. I swam most days but the sea is much rougher than the west coast and you have to take care with powerful tides. Kids and youngsters would need very careful supervision. The local minibuses are great for trips round to Soufriere (5EC dollars) or the other way to the wonderful beach/cafe at Laborie (3EC dollars) and Vieux Fort (5 EC dollars). Just stand at the road end (we never waited longer than 20 mins). View Fort is great for supplies at the street market (fruit, veg and fish) and supermarket. Verena can organize taxis and car hire (by the day 60US dollars) if you want, although we managed just fine on local buses for the week. We will be back!

Stayed: January 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank pisaac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2017

We love this place, an old plantation away from the modern resorts It's simple--fans and cross-breezes instead of air conditioning, no wifi in the rooms, for example, but very beautiful in all the small details inside and out. We had a full kitchen so could have stayed for days. The family that owns it are welcoming and charming.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank signmaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2017 via mobile

The owners could not be more welcoming. They provide evening meals on request (minimum 4 people required) which were delicious buffet style, taking people's dietary needs into account. The chalets vary in design, age and facilities, but all are comfortable. Balenbouche has beautiful grounds with access to the sea, although on some days, swimming was not possible due to rough conditions. Overall the owners have a very green ethos and are trying to protect a small part of St Lucia from commercialisation which is to be admired.

Stayed: February 2017, travelled with friends
Thank cjk59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2017

Our plan for our first visit to St. Lucia, was to spend time at two different parts of the island, so we stayed 3 nights here and 6 nights on the west side. Accommodations at Balenbouche leave much to be desired. Very dimly lit rooms. No lighting near any of the mirrors. Some rooms did not have working lights. Advertised outdoor shower did not function. No hot water for the shower that did work. They do not have 110 electrical outlets for recharging your devices. Ladies - bring your own blow-dryer. Did not feel secure despite its remote setting (open-air and open door cottages whereby you lock yourself into your bedroom at night and hope for the best). Fans inadequate. On-line photos are quaint and alluring but be ready for a rustic cottage. Their beach, though very secluded, was located down a steep hill, not for anyone over 60 and the bottom was very rocky. Did enjoy the walking paths on the property.

Location was good for exploring the south and east side of island. We loved the nearby fishing village of Laborie. Best nearby and beautiful beach was Sandy Beach back near the airport (but only 15-20 minutes away).

In summary, the price was fair, food terrific, location convenient, quite and private; but prepare yourself for the drawbacks above. Ok place for a night or two.

  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Kim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Balenbouche, Owner at Balenbouche Estate, responded to this reviewResponded 30 January 2017

Most of the things mentioned below could have been resolved if the guests had read the website more thoroughly and asked for help:

Both showers (indoor and outdoor) work and are heated by solar, but sometimes you have to let the water run for a while, and on overcast days it doesn't get very hot. The outdoor shower has two valves; perhaps the guests did not see the second one.

If a light bulb or anything else needs to be replaced, please let us know!

The cottage has two or three standing fans, if you like, you can set up more than one in your bedroom. However, the average temperatures in January is 22 to 28°C, 72 to 84°F

Transformers and blow-dryers are readily available by request, as stated on our website.

Locking your room at night is optional. However, for peace of mind, we do recommend that when leaving the house, guests lock their valuables. Several people, including our family, one staff and 6 guard dogs live on property. We do caution all our guests to be watchful when visiting any beaches and other parts of the island outside the property.

The "Middle" beach adjoining our property is accessible for most able bodied people, but the steps are indeed steep and do not have a railing. It is a natural beach which is largely sandy but also has a few rocks (please see pictures on website). The closest other good swimming beach is in Laborie (5 minute drive).

The guests went to a resort after they stayed with us, which was probably more suitable to their needs.

We encourage everyone to read the Tripadvisor reviews and our FAQ section / Visitor Guide on our website to help decide if Balenbouche Estate is for you! Thank you!

Verena Lawaetz

Owner and Manager,
Balenbouche Estate

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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