Arriving at Balenbouche historical estate and boutique BnB accommodation
A rustic sign marks the entrance to the unpaved driveway to Balenbouche Estate. As soon as you turn off the main road, mango trees, flowers and lush nature surround you.
The three women, mother and two daughters, who created the Balenbouche Estate of today, have lived and worked here for over 35 years and “are deeply committed to preserving the heritage, beauty and tranquillity of the estate,” which is evident at every turn.
The Balenbouche plantation is open for self-guided tours every day. When you first arrive, you may not always find someone at the main house. However, rest assured they’re nearby tending to some or other job of keeping a working estate and beautiful boutique bed and breakfast hotel going… a relaxed stroll around the nearby cottages soon locates a helpful member of the family or staff.
The cottages at Balenbouche each have a personality of their own– lots of old polished wood, rich colours and plenty of evidence of the family’s artistic and creative personalities. Outdoor showers and baths in some, verandas that overlook ancient aqueducts fringed with fishtail palms in others. This is the ultimate in glamping because you are immersed in nature but ensconced in luxurious rooms. During my last visit, I was with a group of 10 friends and all of us remarked how comfortable the beds were. So, after your days exploring the beautiful grounds or adventuring in the neighbourhood, you should sleep soundly.
The website gives you a clear picture of what to expect at Balenbouche –the cottages are all open to nature -doors lock of course, but the rooms are not screened which does allow the small wildlife in. Mosquito nets over the bed however offer good protection.
You can order breakfast every morning if you like. Uta usually also caters dinner on Sundays and Monday when other nearby restaurants are usually closed. A short walk down the road, is a popular restaurant and there are several other options in nearby villages.
You can also opt to take one of the three self-catering cottages and DIY: Well-stocked supermarkets are a 15-minute drive away and roadside vendors and bakeries are close-by.
The website gives you lots of info and the ladies will happily advise you on what to see and do at Balenbouche and around the island.
The Estate Grounds
The 60-acre Heritage Balenbouche Estate grounds contain remnants of many periods of Saint Lucia’s history, the most prominent being the Colonial period, However, with a little determination, you can find evidence of the original inhabitants, the Arawaks and Caribs or Kalinago.
Arrange a guide in advance to take you on a nearby river or rainforest or just following the many paths around the Estate through the expansive grounds to two beaches, via fruit orchards, lily ponds, flower gardens and produce fields. The colonial heritage includes an 18th century sugar mill with a huge water-wheel and crushing mechanism, a copper still, and an elaborate aqueduct. The old cotton drying house is now a tranquil yoga studio. Photo opportunities abound.
Balenbouche Estate offers their beautiful atmosphere and facilities for various events, including weddings, photo shoots and yoga retreats. Groups are welcome to enquire about hosting small events or lunches at the estate.
- Self-Catering option available
- Shampoo, Shower Gel etc, NOT supplied
- Advised – insect repellent and a small flashlight or headlamp
- Breakfast available– pre-order
- Closest airport – Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) 20-minute drive
- Booking direct via website available– if you book after reading our review, please let them know Island Effect sent you!
- Credit Cards accepted via PayPal
- Wifi NOT available in cottages– available in the main house
- Rates: double occupancy, start as low as US$90 in low season to US$180 in high season.
Home +1(758) 455-1244
Mobile +1(758) 285-6628
Mobile +1(758) 724-2667
How to Get There
Click on this What3Words address to be taken straight to the exact spot on the map: https://w3w.co/bling.interim.squirrels
From Hewanorra International Airport or the East Coast Road, head north along the West Coast Road, first to the Laborie bypass, then follow the meandering road, past the Wilrock quarry on your right, along a straight stretch, then around a couple hairpin bends and over a metal bridge and on past Piaye School. The road then curves and as you turn onto a straight stretch of road, immediately look out for the little wooden Balenbouche sign on your left.
From Soufriere or the north, along the West Coast Road, come down past Choiseul, through La Fargue, past the Choiseul Art & Craft Centre and Choiseul Secondary School on your right. The road takes a 90o right turn at the junction to Debruil. Keep on the main road which goes into a straight stretch ending just after the River Doree Anglican Church, going into a 90o left turn this time. There’s a looping bend onto another straight stretch– Balenbouche is towards the end of that straight road on your right, just past L’Escape hotel.
All photos © Finola Jennings Clark unless otherwise credited