BEST PLACE TO STAY ON THE ISLAND, CHARM, NATURE, HISTORY ALL AT ONCE
Where to start…? This is a little piece of heaven on earth, you must stay here if you visit St Lucia and you are not an all-inclusive resort type, looking for a home away from home to explore the island. The owner Uta could not have made our stay more comfortable and welcoming. She cooked a delicious meal in the evening of our arrival, and breakfast is simple but tasty. As a gay couple in the Caribbean, we have never felt more at ease than at Balenbouche, and that is thanks to her. She is very well connected (and loved) in the community and recommended great local restaurants. Everyone we met who asked where we were staying were sending their regards to the owner, and it speaks for itself. The estate as a whole is full of charm, not overly polished, but not abandoned either, just the right amount of looked after. Ask Uta/her daughters to take you on a tour of the property and she’ll tell you everything about its history with such passion. Lots of interesting stories. We stayed 4 nights in the Frangipani cottage which is in traditional West Indies style, well equipped and clean. You do not have air conditioning but the two fans work perfectly, and because of its location the heat isn’t as unbearable as in other places we’ve been to. A few natural beaches are easily accessible by foot, although only one is fit for swimming, but there are a few others west and east of the estate that are well worth the 10/15mn drive. There is a good supermarket (Massy) just 5mn drive from the Estate if you need anything, and the location is ideal to go explore the west/south coasts and the Pitons.The cats and dogs roam the surroundings and are very protective of the guests, on top of being super affectionate for some of them (as dogs lovers, that is just an unexpected massive bonus). Incredibly sad to be leaving St Lucia, even more sad to be leaving Balenbouche. If I set foot on the island again, I know where I’d stay.
Flavien G, October 2023
Staying at Balenbouche was a dream and Uta and her family were great from the get-go! We messaged on Airbnb to see if we could book for the next day and Verena – Uta’s daughter – had responded within the hour with not only a booking invitation sent but also more information about breakfast, dinner and airport pick-up! On such short notice, we were so impressed and grateful that dinner (let alone booking!) was still an option.
Balenbouche is its own mini paradise – so very beautiful and tucked away in a luscious green haven. The estate has plenty to do, walk around and see – both of the beaches are secluded and each time we went, we were the only people there. Frangipani is a gorgeous cottage and is a perfect place to relax and unwind. Whilst we didn’t do too much cooking, all of the necessary amenities were there.
Dinner and breakfast were amazing when we had it at the main house – Uta and Anitanja are amazing cooks! What was most endearing was how gracious and kind Uta and her family were – we got some sandfly bites and Anitanja gave us some oil and cream for the bites. Anitanja was also amazing with recommendations of what to do and see, and even took us to the supermarket so that we could grab a few groceries. It’s this level of care and dedication that you certainly don’t get elsewhere.
Thank you for such an unforgettable and beautiful stay!
A verbose review – no amount of words can do Balenbouche Estate justice – we will certainly be back when we return to St Lucia.
Madeleine, airbnb, July 2022
Rosie P, April 2023
Booked and arrived for a 2 week stay and nearly fell out of the van upon our arrival from rubber necking my way around the property. Stunning, magical, quiet, vivid colors, birds, flowers, Waterlily cottage and of course the family. All were well above expectation. We have been married for 21 years and were never able to take a honeymoon. We found Balenbouche Estates and kept going back to the website. Verena and Uta welcomed us as we arrived and we just felt like we were being greeted by old friends. The estate is a treasure trove of small and grand experiences. From two beaches to wade in, walks around the property, always with a tour guild of one of six dogs, exploring the massive sugar cane wheel, dining on the porch of the 180 year old house, visiting with new friends at one of the other very unique cottages, or just sitting under a blanket of stars at night. And that was day ONE and just the beginning! Dinner the first night was delivered to our door and was delicious as was breakfast the next morning on the porch of the main house. We didn’t have any set plans on this trip and just slowly developed our daily itinerary as we went. Verena and Uta were never far behind to lend us a hand on where to go and see but were never intrusive. We hired two drivers and both were great. Shem drove us for several day trips and never disappointed with knowledge of the island, local culture and fabulous little stops for grilled meats and seafood. Again it felt like we were visiting an old friend. Our trip never ventured further north than Soifriere and we never felt like we missed out on anything on the north end, maybe next trip. Some highlights were The Atlantic Horseback ride on the beach with our guild Max, the Des Cartier Forest Trail with Marvin, the Tet Paul Trail with Fabulous. It is not that we needed a guild but we deserved one. They all know the trees and trail secrets and history and locals and have such pride for their island. Always to return in the evening to Balenbouche. It was so much more than just a place to stay, it became a place to come home to.
Claus, April 2022
I spent 8 wonderful days at Balenbouche. I can truely say that here I found my ‘happy place’.
My beautiful cottage Moringa was clean and airey – no need for air con here – and I had all the utensils I needed to make meals if I wished. There was the option to request breakfast and dinner if desired and the meals I ate were nicely presented and very nutricious, using locally sourced produce. The bread with breakfast, baked locally in a wood fired kiln, was the best I have tasted!!!
Within the grounds there are great walks, giving access to the diversity of flora and fauna and also to the facinating ruins of the old sugar processing mill.
There are 2 beaches within a 10 minute walk through the estate. When I used them I was the only person there.
The little village of Laborie is fairly close by and there are a couple of nice local bar/resaurants and a beach.
Uta, Verena, her partner Josh, and Arabella who run the estate all welcomed me and made me feel part of a family – a fairly rare feeling when you travel solo as did the wonderful estate dogs.
Balenbouche is a gem and I Gods willing, I will return next year.
Allan D, March 2022
“Balenbouche is indeed a world within itself exuding a tranquil presence of warmth, hospitality and harmony.” (Tropical Traveler)
+ 1 (758) 455-1244
P.O. Box VF 707, LC12101, St Lucia
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