LOCATION: FOND DOUX PLANTATION AND RESORT

LIVING OUT OF A SUITCASE, TRAVELING FROM  COUNTRY TO COUNTRY, BEACH TO BEACH, CITY  TO RURAL VILLAGE AND BACK AGAIN, I thought I  had experienced just about everything the Caribbean could  offer. Craving a retreat, desperately needing a change of  pace yet refusing to succumb to a generic “sand and sun”  experience which tends to leave me unfulfilled, I heard the  tale of Fond Doux.  The Fond Doux Resort, like St. Lucia itself, is steeped in  history. The French first arrived to St. Lucia in the 1660’s, but  the subsequent centuries saw the island change hands between  the French and the English numerous times. The island was a  favorite of mariners, colonists, and pirates alike, each of which  left their unique mark on this hidden paradise. Even Prince  Charles and Martha Stewart have paid a visit to this luxury  getaway. The Fond Doux Resort reflects its historical roots with  colonial cottages and 19th century décor. The resort’s landmark  19th century mansion, the Angelina House, was rescued from  St. Lucia’s capital and reconstructed on the premises. Stepping  into the house is like stepping into a scene of Caribbean history.  The property is located in the southwestern rainforest of  St. Lucia, encompassed in tropical foliage yet not far from the  iconic Pitons a World Heritage Site. The property features a  fully-functioning plantation and 15 cottages where guests can  enjoy a private stay. As I drove up the winding path to the resort,  I felt like I was entering an idyllic Caribbean secret preserved  in time.  Greeted at the gate with an ear to ear smile from security, I  was eager to meet the statuesque owner Eroline who I heard  walked the property, never fail, in heels and dressed to the  nines. My imagination paled in comparison when this local  beauty arrived emphatically with a warm hello and genuine  laughter that seemed to breath even more life into the greenery.  She led us through the wandering pathways from cottage to  cottage describing in detail previous visitors, the history of  the property, and tearing off bark to let me smell cinnamon  straight from the source.  Reaching the cottage I had imagined to be quaint and cozy,  I was shocked in its grandiose presence. I couldn’t believe this  entire colonial home was taken apart like a deck of cards and  reconstructed on their land in 2006 with the architecture  intact and the interior design suiting the build yet in no way  feeling outdated.  The 15 cottages currently available are integrated into the  property, each with its own distinct charm and view. Each guest  is treated to a tour of the property guided through the local  plants and flowers and their many usages. The health benefits  of the leaves, roots, and bark is astounding and could likely  explain the beauty and youthfulness of the staff on property.  Despite the Fond Doux Resort’s long history, it has not resigned itself to the past. Hidden amongst the resort’s quaint  cottages are solar panels, which are used to generate electricity and  heat the water. The Fond Doux Resort is an organic and eco-friendly  estate, much of the food available in the two boutique restaurants is  harvested right on the property. The Fond Doux Resort has been  certified both as an Organic Plantation and as a member of Green  Globe, two distinctions few Caribbean resorts can boast.  Everyone seemed to have a story of this plantation, national  pride in a piece of land which had become home to some and a  slice of paradise to others. A risk, a dream, grit and passion has  preserved history in a way that can be touched, smelled, taste, and  felt. From a life in transit where jet lag is the norm and sleep is a  luxury, this sanctuary and simplistic beauty was under my skin  in a matter of minutes and relaxed my mind by the end of the day.  A rainforest that encouraged flip flops but rose to the occasion of  stilettos reminded me of the necessity to relax and yet the pleasure  to experience a life lived differently. The light wind, crickets,  thousands of blowing leaves and light raindrops were a melodic  gesture from the plantation accompanied by the laughter of locals  that will end up a story to grandchildren in hopes they have the  same pleasure one day

The island was a

favorite of mariners, colonists, and pirates alike, each of which

left their unique mark on this hidden paradise. Even Prince

Charles and Martha Stewart have paid a visit to this luxury

Getaway”

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