Balenbouche Estate (Choiseul) — a unique 70-acre plantation “eco-lodge” set within a fascinating historical landscape, Balenbouche Estate is located on the southwest corner of the island, between the Hewanorra International airport in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia’s second largest town (20 minute drive), and the town of Soufriere (30 minute drive). Several secluded beaches are also a short distance away from here.
Balenbouche was originally a sugar plantation back in the 1700s (which is evidenced by the remains of a sugar mill from that period). Arawak Indian artifacts (consisting of carved rock basins, petroglyphs, stone hatchets, tools and pottery – all found at the nearby Balenbouche River), along with those from the early waves of African slaves that arrived in St. Lucia (consisting mainly of cooking utensils) are on display here.
Consistent with St. Lucia’s practice of turning historical sites into small hotels, rooms are available in the Plantation House or two self-contained two bedroom cottages, each with their own distinct character. An organic farm is also located on the premises – an attraction unto itself for eco-tourists. Along with eco-tourists, Balenbouche also attracts couples who conduct their weddings within these grounds. Playing up that aspect of this site, the American TV show “The Bachelor” (ABC-TV) held one of its episodes there in 2010.