“A tranquil heritage plantation looking out to the Pitons, where simple cottages and a lush tropical garden provide a secluded retreat”
The 12 cottages are bright, airy and surrounded by foliage, with polished wooden floors, handmade four-poster beds, bamboo lights, an abundance of wooden shutters, and private terraces with rocking chairs. Technology is limited to a careful selection of gadgets, and a torch and candles indicate there may be an issue with power, but not during our visit. There's no air conditioning, but there's no need for it either - all have ceiling fans and the plantation's lofty position helps catch the breeze.
Bathrooms have rain showers and clay basins decorated with smiling faces - slightly bizarre. You'll also find handmade soaps and seasonal fresh flowers from the plantation.
Of the 1-Bedroom Cottages, our favourites were Hilltop Coconut and Hilltop Guava Tree, each perched on a forested ridge amongst coconut trees. Their peaceful terraces have fantastic views, but break-neck steps to access, so be sure to book a garden-level room if vertigo is an issue. We stayed in Coconut and loved the colourful décor and tranquil setting. It's worth noting, though, that as the sun goes down, the evening chorus of the rainforest ignites. We found it mesmerising, but take earplugs if you're a light sleeper. On terra firma, Cinnamon is popular amongst honeymooners, but we liked the look of Bamboo with its white louvered windows and pretty patterned bedspread.
Of the 2-Bedroom Cottages, each of which has a kitchenette, Avocado is the most private, located at the end of a long path. Bamboo furniture and bright Caribbean décor make it both comfortable and colourful.
Deluxe 1-Bedroom Cottage Angelina is a 2-storey, 160-year-old yellow colonial house that feels slightly more tired than the others, but offers generous amounts of space and an extensive private garden - great for families. With the bathroom and kitchen located off an open walkway, it wouldn't suit those who prefer their amenities hermetically sealed.
We are yet to see the Honeymoon Suites, each of which is a self-contained 1-bed cottage nestled at the top of the hill with a private plunge pool on the veranda. We like the look of the secluded Tree House, hidden away in the foliage.
There are 2 restaurants at Fond Doux, both offering Creole cuisine, and most of the fruit, herbs and vegetables are harvested on the plantation.
Breakfast is eaten in Cocoa Pod (once a pigpen!), where you choose from a continental / American menu, or the St Lucian menu of salt fish and salad, with cocoa tea. The raffia chairs are rather uncomfortable, and you need to watch out for cheeky birds eyeing your food, but the fresh grapefruit juice will be the sweetest you’ve ever tasted. You can also lunch at Cocoa Pod - a buffet of local and international dishes, such as fish curry and jerk chicken.
Dinner is taken in the Jardin Cacao, an open-sided bamboo construction where you're surrounded by candles, lanterns and greenery, and serenaded by the night chorus. The food is enthusiastic as opposed to masterful, but the à la carte menu offers plenty of choice such as baked red snapper with fresh herbs, golden plantation chips in a Creole dip, or Piton lamb rack marinated in local beer. As you might expect, cocoa is a regular feature on the menu (chocolate and onion soup, anyone?!) and the alarmingly named 'Volcanic Eruption' is a must-try dessert. Room service is also possible (just order from a menu in your cottage) and on Sundays there's a poolside BBQ.
If you were staying a week, you might find the menu limited, in which case there are a couple of popular restaurants, which the hotel can organise taxis to: The Mango Tree (great rotis) or Gee's (excellent seafood), both of which have sunset views of the Pitons.
The Deluxe 1-Bedroom Cottage and the 2-Bedroom Cottages have kitchenettes so you can self cater, too. Eroline owns a supermarket down the road and she can take you shopping or provide a starter pack. In terms of equipment you get a microwave, a stove, a fridge, a toaster, a kettle and a coffee maker.
Fond Doux is very family-friendly and children under 12 stay for free.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Each cottage can hold a baby cot and a rollaway bed, but space-wise we'd recommend 2-Bedroom Cottage Cocoa Tree or Avocado, or smaller families should opt for Deluxe 1-Bedroom Cottage Angelina. You may find it tricky carrying toddlers up to the hilltop rooms and their patio's have a steep drop off; you would need to keep a watchful eye near the triple cascading pools (there's no life guard).
Baby-sitting can be arranged on request.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking