How to Make Chocolate – Saint Lucia Style!


Chocolate plays a major role in Saint Lucia.  There are festivals and even a month dedicated to its glorious properties.  At Capella Marigot Bay guests have the opportunity to learn how to make chocolate, a skill I definitely wanted to acquire for myself!  Fortunately, the task did not prove too difficult and I thought it would be fun to share the secrets with you!  After all, who can say no to some delicious chocolate?!


You will need:

A pestle and mortar (preferably warm)

Cacao Nibs

Cocoa Butter



Place your cacao nibs into your mortar along with the cocoa butter. Grind the cacao nibs with the cocoa butter using the pestle. If your pestle and mortar are warm, this process will be much easier. The idea is to work the cacao nibs and cocoa butter into a smooth, creamy liquid. It is important to note that you cannot actually add any liquid to your chocolate. If your prefer milk to dark chocolate, use powdered milk. Liquids will cause your chocolate to separate.


Now it’s time to add sugar to taste! The less sugar you add, the higher the percentage of chocolate! For the particularly health conscious, add less sugar or try substituting the sugar for organic stevia in granular form. Be sure to grind the mixture a bit more after adding your sweetener to achieve that desired silky consistency.

edit_MG_3012Once your mixture is free of cacao or sugar granules, you can pour it into a plastic tray and refrigerate or freeze it overnight.  At this stage, you can also add some goodies to your chocolate! I like adding salted almonds or cashews, pretzels, or dried fruit.  Experimenting with different flavors and textures is one of my favorite parts about this process. There is no limit to what you can create!

Now you’re ready to give it a shot and treat yourself to some delicious and healthy chocolate of your own creation! If you come up with an interesting combination of flavors I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to tweet me at @CapellaStLucia!

A Visit To A Cocoa Plantation in Saint Lucia


Ah, chocolate! If you’re anything like me, it is more of a necessity than a luxury. Needless to say, I love treating myself to one of the many decadent chocolate desserts at Capella Marigot Bay. So when I found out I could visit a Cocoa Plantation and discover just how chocolate is made, I couldn’t resist!


Our guide, Cuthbert, knew everything there is to know about cocoa! There are three different types of cocoa beans, Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario. Trinitario is a hybrid of the first two and Criollo is the rarest because the trees are not as robust. Forastero is the most common type of bean and is the one most commonly used in the chocolate we usually eat!

Cocoa beans grow only in tropical climates, making St. Lucia the perfect place to farm all three varieties! The pods can differ greatly in color from green to light yellow to dark red depending on the type. The color of the pod can also reflect its state of maturity.

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I was surprised to discover that the beans inside the pod are encased in a white pulp!


In St. Lucia, they call these “Jungle M&Ms” because the pulp is actually delicious! I was so surprised when I tried it for the first time because the resulting tangy sweet flavor is incredibly enjoyable so Jungle M&Ms are now one of my favorite refreshing and healthy snacks.

But the pulp also plays an important role in the early process of cocoa creation because it helps the beans ferment.


Once the beans have sufficiently fermented, they are placed out in the sun to dry.


I was so impressed to see how diligently they keep the beans dry at this stage. Even the slightest sprinkle and the beans are covered immediately!



I also learned that cocoa trees take 3 to 5 years to start producing pods and because of that, a horticultural technique called grafting is used to help trees grow faster and sturdier! I got to create my very own graft which was later planted in the ground and will one day become a productive cocoa tree. Visitors who create their own grafts get to name their tree!


But before the grafts are transplanted for cocoa production, they live in a lovely little green house, where they are protected from the elements.


While at the Cocoa Plantation, they taught me how to make my very own chocolate.  Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing that recipe with you next time!  But until then, treat yourself to some high qualit

y dark chocolate. Not only is it delicious, it’s also healthy. In a study done at the University of Copenhagen in 2008, they discovered that participants who ate dark chocolate had less cravings for junk food.  Chocolate is also high in antioxidants and theobromine, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.  The higher the percentage of cocoa, the better it is for you. Aim for 55% and above depending on your taste preference.  With so many health benefits, I guess there is no need to feel guilty about my chocolate obsession!

To plan your own cocoa tour, just let your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistant know.  They will be happy to plan a visit to a cocoa plantation here in Saint Lucia.  Definitely a sweet experience!

Capella Marigot Bay’s Rum Goddess Cocktail

RumGoddessHere at Capella Marigot Bay, the baristas at The Rum Cave are renowned for their delicious cocktails both on and off the menu! But there’s one cocktail that has become a favorite among visitors and it is aptly named, The Rum Goddess.

When I tried it for the first time I was blown away. It’s refreshing and tropical, just like a Caribbean island! I asked Gavin to teach me how to make it, and I’m going to teach you here today:

RG1 Ingredients:
Fresh Mint
1 ounce Ginger Syrup
1 ounce Cream
1 ounce Coconut Cream
2 ounces El Dorado Rum
Angostura Bitters





Place the mint, ginger syrup, cream, coconut cream and the El Dorado Rum together into the shaker. Muddle everything together so the mint releases it’s flavor!

RG8Next, add ice and shake very well! The shaker should get frosty on the outside.

RG9Strain ingredients into a glass.

RG10Now you’re ready for the bitters!

RG11Drizzle them on top and add a sprig of mint for garnish!

RG12Cheers! You’ve made The Rum Goddess Cocktail! Sit back, relax and let the flavors take you on a little escape to the Caribbean. And when you get a chance to visit The Rum Cave, we’ll have one waiting.

Spend A Magical Day At Sapphire Falls

edit_MG_1285Soufriere, the volcanic region of St. Lucia, is well-known for its gorgeous waterfalls and naturally occurring hot springs.  If you’re anything like me, tropical island vacations go hand-in-hand with some up close and personal time with a waterfall, so I am extremely excited to share Sapphire Falls with you!


Nestled in a stunning, private area of rich foliage, Sapphire Falls is exclusive to guests of Capella Marigot Bay. Instead of following the vans of tourists heading to nearby Sulphur Springs, our guide, Jahrod, led us off the beaten path. We walked through a nature trail lined with native St. Lucian flora.

edit_MG_1270The walk was idyllic, as we passed some smaller streams along the way with mini-waterfalls.  Jahrod informed us that the water is dark because it is laden with mineral rich volcanic ash! Since it’s coming from La Soufriere, St. Lucia’s volcano, the water is warm!



Arriving at Sapphire Falls is like entering a tropical dream-come-true. Everything you’d ever wanted to experience on a Caribbean island is right before you.  I found myself just wanting to take it all in.  After plunging beneath the waterfall and slathering our skin in mud from volcanic ash, we spent some time relaxing in the sulphur spring pool and taking in our surroundings while eating fresh mangos.


To actually have a place like this all to ourselves and experience it without interference is such a rarity. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity. When you visit St. Lucia, you must go to Sapphire Falls! It will become a cherished memory and a wonderful bonding experience to share with your favorite people.

edit_MG_1310Pictured above is our guide, Jahrod. He is incredibly knowledgeable about all things St. Lucia. You will love meeting him!edit_MG_1280Everyone deserves to experience nature on this scale and I hope you have the opportunity to visit Sapphire Falls soon! Your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistant will arrange all the details for visiting this stunning location.

In the meantime, I recommend pampering yourself with a mud mask either at home or at the spa! Your skin will feel rejuvenated and baby soft. Enjoy!

Discover Indo-Chinese Fusion Dining in Saint Lucia

masalabaySitting at the edge of Capella Marigot Bay’s Marina Village, lofted on the second floor with a stunning view of Marigot is one of my new favorite restaurants, Masala Bay!


I visited the restaurant before it was open to the public and learned the cuisine would be Indian Chinese fusion. Having never before tried a fusion of my two favorite cuisines, I was understandably excited and to become Masala Bay’s first official customer when they opened their doors to the public!

final-IMG_8641I loved the look of Masala Bay right away. Bright and colorful with gorgeous Indian details create the perfect atmosphere. The owner, Chef Adil Sherwani, said he wanted the restaurant to “be a story, an experience.” And he has definitely succeeded!

final_MG_1398Dinner began how most great dinners should always begin, with excellent wine.  I ordered both Indian and Chinese dishes, wanting to fully experience the combination of these two cuisines.

final_MG_2881It was love at first bite. Each dish was exquisitely seasoned and full of flavor. The combination of these two cuisines couldn’t possibly be more harmonious. I was elated!

final_MG_1389In addition to the delicious food, the setting was beautiful. At our little corner table on the balcony, we watched the sun set over Marigot Bay. Some moments in life become exquisite memories.final_MG_2877Chef Adil Sherwani has created something truly special with Masala Bay. His other restaurant, Spice of India, is renowned as St. Lucia’s best Indian Cuisine restaurant. Masala Bay shares the attention to detail and high quality standards of Spice of India, but with a cuisine and flavor all its own!final_MG_1395The team Chef Adil has put together is as skilled as they are friendly and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for the lovely experience! final_MG_1409Head Chef Gorvind Joshi is not only great at running the back of house operations, he is also friendly, fun and outgoing. I thought it was so lovely to receive a visit from him at our table. We chatted a bit and his outgoing nature is evident right away, as is his sincere love and passion for the culinary arts! final_MG_1403I cannot possibly recommend the food and the experience at Masala Bay more highly! When you next find yourself in St. Lucia,  you must give it a try.  And be sure to visit Marina Village located within Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina for even more unforgettable experiences.

In the meantime, find the closest Indo-Chinese fusion restaurant to your neighborhood and treat yourself to a culinary journey! Living the good life means eating great food. That is the True Capella way.

10 Reasons To Visit A Capella Hotel This Summer


Welcome June and sunny weather with summer vacations just around the corner!  At Capella Ixtapa in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico, we have lovely warm weather all year long, but summer months are still among my favorites, because that’s the time when my family, friends and I have vacations and plan travels together, to which I’m always looking forward.

This summer I have decided to make a so-called “Capella Hotels tour” and visit some of our sister hotels.  I’m planning to visit our sister hotel Capella DC, in Washington DC, and Capella Marigot Bay in St. Lucia (while a visit to Breidenbacher HofA Capella Hotel in Dusseldorf, Germany, and Capella Singapore on Sentosa Island, are high on my travel list, they may have to wait for 2016).  I am so excited to meet my colleagues from around the world, and taste and live the experiences which I have seen in photographs and read about here on our Capella Hotels blog.


Have you made your summer travel plans yet?  If not, I invite you to visit us at Capella Ixtapa or any of Capella Hotels’ properties around the world.  If you have stayed at any of Capella Hotels before, I am sure you are intrigued to visit them all!  Here is what I love about Capella Hotels, and what excites me about my upcoming Capella Hotels summer vacations tour:

  1. Opportunity to visit five unique properties located in five different countries, all offering a unique, private and luxurious environment.  You can’t help but feel incredibly welcome-  like visiting your dearest loved ones.
  2. Exceptional quality, where only the best is good enough; from room decor, to food and beverages, to small but thoughtful details.
  3. Unobtrusive, gracious and unscripted service, where you feel part of the family, everyone calls you by name and remembers you when you return the next time.
  4. Five star gourmet experiences, which you can enjoy at resorts’ restaurants with exquisite chefs and culinary teams, or at our hotels’ own gourmet festivals, which honor the local traditions and combine them with the best in contemporary cuisine.
  5. Experiences based on local traditions, enhanced by the support of the Capella Hotels and Resorts’ Personal Assistants.  Visit the local market with Executive Chef and choose ingredients for your meal, taste local liquors with the experts, delve into the history and culture of these rich locations.
  6. World renown spas.  Don’t you just love having a spa experience when on vacation?  Wherever I travel, I simply must have a spa treatment, as I love experiencing spa treatments in different countries.  At Capella Ixtapa for example our spa treatments are based on ancient Mexican traditions and created with local flowers and herbs.  Several Capella properties are in fact home to the signature Auriga spa brand, recognized for their amazing services and treatments.
  7. The unique Personal Assistant service, which allows you to enjoy your vacations just the way you like them, worry-free!  Capella Personal Assistant can assist by organizing everything from  dinner reservation and baby-sitting service to exotic tours, personalized room touches or anything else you can imagine!
  8. Disconnect, relax and recharge.  While Capella Hotels offer free wi-fi service at the properties, we do encourage that you disconnect (for at least a little while), and let yourself enjoy the experience completely.  After your stay you will be relaxed, recharged and invigorated and your productivity will be at its best (I promise!).
  9. Creating beautiful and unforgettable memories.
  10. Getting to know new cities and countries, learning some of their traditions, culture and meeting new and interesting people.

Tell me, where will you travel this summer?  Have you visited any of Capella Hotels yet, and what was your favorite experience?  Please share your thoughts with me in the comments below.