Travel

For our final St. Lucia adventure and my favorite by far, we headed over to Hotel Chocolate, a Boucan Estate. They offer a Tree to Bar experience where we learned how the different cocoa beans grow, got to plant our own cocoa bean tree, then make our own bar of chocolate. This was such a unique experience! Today I am sharing Part 1: Tree to Bean Experience.

Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com That’s my kind of Christmas tree!

Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com We picked our own cocoa bean being careful to twist the bean off in order to preserve the stem so that it would sprout again. You preserve it by carefully twisting it. This allows the fruit to come off without ripping the stem. You know that its ready when it is large & bright yellow.

Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com Many different fruits & vegetables are grown onsite in addition to the cocoa beans. They provide cover for the cocoas and supply the restaurant with fruits and vegetables which allow each dish to be fresh & locally prepared. The soursop tree fruit from the tippy top of those trees was the best! It looks prickly & scary, but it was delicious! I wish that I could find them here in California!

Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com Cocoa beans are split open to get the fruit out. We got to taste the fruit. It was gooey on the outside and hard and bitter on the inside.

Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com They are then wrapped in banana leaves and left to sit for days to generate heat.

Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com The beans are then spread out to dry in the sun. The quality is checked by hand to ensure that only the best beans make it through. They huge trays of beans have tarps so that in case of sudden Caribbean shower, they can be quickly covered!

Hotel Chocolate Bean to Bar Experience | www.sweetteasweetie.com

Have you ever seen a chocolate bean in it’s natural habitat or do you stick with Hershey’s?

One of the most gorgeous places to visit on St. Lucia is the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens. St. Lucia is a mountainous island with rich volcanic soil. Although most people think of the great beaches on St. Lucia, the center of the island is a rich jungle. The Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens are the oldest […]

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Although our hotel in Soufriere had stunning, dramatic mountain jungle views & a private plunge pool, it didn’t have beach access. When in the Caribbean, you need beach access! Tucked in between the two Pitons is a stunning, white sand beach called Sugar Beach & a resort with the same name. Our hotel ran a […]

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For dinner on our first night in Soufriere we went to the Treehouse restaurant at Anse Chastnet followed by drinks at the famous Jade Mountain. You may recognize Jade Mountain from its appearance on the Bachelor, but let me tell you…it is so much better! We were staying at the nearby Stonefield Estate Resort and […]

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The first half of our trip to St. Lucia was spent at the Northern end of the island, relaxing in the sun, but that’s not all St. Lucia has to offer. Once we were fully relaxed, it was time for some adventure.  So we packed up & headed down to the Southern part of the […]

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After taking the rum distillery tour we stopped to spend some time at the beautiful, lush Marigot Bay. The little harbor is known for being the location where the original Dr. Doolittle was filmed! There are hotels and cute little shops along one side with plenty of mega yachts moored up in front of them. […]

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Our first excursion out from the resorts was to go on a Distillery tour.  This was the tour that I was most excited about. It was so much fun getting to see it rum being made at historic distilleries. The St. Lucia Distillery was quite isolated out in the middle of banana plantations. These bananas […]

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A budget friendly resort option on St. Lucia is Rex St. Lucia. It is just down the way from Sandals Grande, so much so that you can often hear the music & the partying going on at Sandals Grande. The beach is the same gorgeous beach. The resort is all inclusive but is smaller with […]

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The third Sandals resort on St. Lucia is the biggest and aptly named Sandals Grande. It sits on the Pigeon Island and area called Gros Islet. It unique because it sits on a peninsula so almost all rooms have an ocean view. One side looks onto the main white sand beaches of Rodney Bay while […]

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St. Lucia is home to three Sandals resorts. We stayed at Halcyon, the smallest, boutique style resort. The other two are Sandals La Toc, complete with dramatic cliffs and one of only two golf courses on the island and Sandals Grande, the biggest resort with the most party like atmosphere. While staying at any Sandals, […]

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