With no shortage of picturesque spots to discover, Soufrière stands out among St Lucia’s gorgeous towns. One reason: Fond Doux Plantation & Resort, an award-winning ecotourism darling set amidst a traditional 250-year old working plantation.
Sustainability is more than a buzzword at Fond Doux. Perhaps, that’s what prompted a visit from Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. The importance of environmental conservation is reflected everywhere, and the lush grounds support sustainable tourism. A lot of what you’ll find on your breakfast plate is sourced from the historic plantation, including the cacao in your morning beverage and the fruits on your plate.
The accommodations are delightful, artfully combining touches of luxury with uninhibited nature. Modern amenities ensure a safe & comfortable experience. The estate is dotted with 15 unique one-bedroom and two-bedroom cottages nestled among a profusion of fat banana leaves, mango trees laden with fragrant fruit, and tall flowering bushes. Each cottage is positioned at a carefully calibrated distance from the next, that way guests can enjoy the maximum amount of privacy and communion with nature, without feeling isolated.
All cottages feature private porches. Intriguingly, the hilltop ones make you feel a bit like you’re in the Serengeti in Kenya. While the vegetation in this case is very different – lush, tropical and colorful – you get the same bird’s eye view of a superb natural habitat that appears to stretch on for miles, and a reverberation in your bones that proclaims you are in, and of nature. If you’ve seen Netflix’s The Crown series about the British royal family, you may recall a scene in Kenya (Season 1 / Episode 1) during which the princess Elizabeth (shortly before finding out she had become queen) and Prince Philip spent a romantic night in a treetop cottage. This felt very much the same.
While the days at Fond Doux are mostly hot and tropical, the nights are breezy enough that you will sleep very comfortably in those cottages without air conditioning.
Unlike most of the resorts in St Lucia, Fond Doux is 100% owned, managed and staffed by Saint Lucians. Owners Eroline and Lyton Lamontagne were born and raised in the area. They’re the real deal and extremely gracious.
As is the staff. One standout is Lecia Vigier, a young waitress who is as whip-smart as she is warm, confident and generous in spirit. In her, you see a bright and hopeful future for St Lucia. The bar is expertly manned by mixologist, Alec, who has a knack for immediately putting visitors at ease. He can take the conversation anywhere – from light banter to intriguing philosophical reflections such as how acts related to the practice of voodoo are just manifestations of raw energy, both positive and negative.
Fond Doux is indeed a haven for travelers looking to enjoy some peace and quiet in a secluded setting, far away from the hordes of tourists visiting St. Lucia. It is appropriate for couples, families, and solo jet-setters. The resort offers a shuttle to the beach, so guests can still enjoy the feel of crystalline water and soft sand between their toes whenever they want a short break from the rainforest vibe. Moreover, the town of Soufrière boasts many attractions to keep visitors entertained, including a UNESCO World Heritage site.