A Peaceful Haven in Soufriere
At 250 years old, Fond Doux Holiday Plantation is one of the oldest working plantations in the Caribbean. At the time, the Soufriere area consisted of a number of small, productive estates which produced Coffee and Cocoa and later, Sugar Cane. Fond Doux was one of these estates, granted by King Louis XIV to the Devaux brothers in 1713. Through a succession of owners, the estate was sold to Mr. Kirby Lamontagne who is the deceased father of Lyton Lamontagne, the present owner.
The estate had been derelict and abandoned for over 40 years when Lyton Lamontagne’s father purchased the estate. Lyton and his wife Eroline moved in 18 years ago and began remodelling and refurbishing the buildings and the systematic planting of fruits and flowers. Today, there are about 30 other trees and food crops, including some which at one time were economically viable.
The plantation opened up as a Heritage Site 10 years ago for day time tours. The business began to grow, whereby they began offering snacks, tours and lunch to the various tour operators. The Lamontagnes went back to the drawing board, and came up with the idea of guest accommodation. The charming, secluded cottages are the latest additions to this authentic plantation.
Today, Fond Doux Holiday Plantation is the only true organic estate on the island, with most of the produce being harvested on the plantation. It is the only resort in St Lucia that engages in true eco building practices and natural preservation. To underscore this point, the British newspaper, The Guardian voted Fond Doux Estate as one of the five best plantation retreats in the world.
In 2008, His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall visited Fond Doux Holiday Plantation for an official tour. It was their only visit to a private property on their 24 hour stop over in St. Lucia. There was nothing accidental about the Prince’s desire to spend time on the estate with the Lamontagnes.
After years of hard work, maintaining the organic label and creating one of the most peaceful havens on earth to spend a vacation, the Lamontagnes truly appreciated this royal mark of approval.