Top Ten Luxury
Hotel Chocolat, West Indies
Determined to put British-made chocolate back in favour (or should that be flavour), chocolatiers Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris, chose to follow traditional methods of  making it from scratch 'from the bean' rather than buying chocolate already made from specialist bean converters. Their search five years ago for quality cocoa led them to the West Indies in the Caribbean (where Thirlwell grew up) and eventually Rabot Estate, the oldest cocoa-growing estate on the island of St Lucia. They bought it, replanted it, and subsequently brought life back to a dying industry. Visitors are invited to tour the plantation and see first-hand how the chocolate is made and in 2011, Hotel Chocolat will greet its first overnight guests. Like the brand of chocolate of the same name, the cofounders have not skimped on quality providing all the luxury amenities one might need-  including iPod docking stations (and free loan of iPods) and 'concierge cabinets' with chilled drinks (ie.  minibar to you and me). Cocooned by rainforest, built by local stone and wood and naturally cooled, the 14 cocoa pod cottages and villas will also feature double bedrooms with high-quality linens, bathrooms with open-sky showers, and private verandas where you can soak up views of the landscaped grounds, the plantation and St Lucia's iconic twin Pitons - from comfy rocking chairs.
Images courtesy of Hotel Chocolat.

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Hotel Chocolat, West Indies
 
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