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!

Horseback Riding In Saint Lucia


There are so many activities for guests to experience when visiting Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina.  For example, just a few minutes drive from the hotel is a lovely stable where guests can go to experience horseback riding in Saint Lucia.  Recently, I had a chance to try this popular activity for myself.

Having only been horseback riding one other time in my life, I definitely have no real idea what I’m doing.  But the guides’ directions made up for everything I lacked in experience. They were so comfortable on horseback that they could do it backwards!


We rode a trail alongside the banana plantation.  I was still a little nervous so we kept the pace steady and slow.  The experience is truly tailored to the participants skill level and I can’t wait to increase mine– galloping along would have been amazing.


We reached a clearing where we let the horses graze.  As they ate we explored one of the most stunning beaches, Roseau Beach!


I was truly blown away by the beauty and serenity of this location. And as if that wasn’t enough, we had all of Roseau Beach to ourselves.


Of course we had to take advantage of this and jumped into the crystal clear water for a dip.  Meanwhile, the horses continued to graze on the grassy knoll above us.


When the time came to leave it was difficult to part with such beautiful surroundings.  But the fun was far from over because we got to ride the horses back to their stables. 



Back at the stables we were able to feed the horses their favorite apples and say our goodbyes.  It was so much fun to create such lovely memories, especially along such endearing creatures.  Added bonus, I definitely improved my riding skills, thanks to the knowledgeable and helpful guides.


Horseback riding on the beach is one of those activities that truly has it all. It is adventurous, romantic, and   just plain fun!  Also, it is an activity that can work for any age and skill level, making it ideal for groups and families.

Don’t forget to ask your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistant about all the different activities St. Lucia has to offer so they can guide you to the perfect Saint Lucian experience!

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!

Spend a Day at the Saint Lucia Botanical Gardens


Botanical Gardens are among my favorite places to visit. All the most interesting flora of a given region together in one space is a veritable smorgasbord of nature!

When you visit Capella Marigot Bay, I highly recommend asking your Capella Personal Assistant to set up a visit to the Saint Lucia Botanical Gardens for you. Located in Soufriére, the island’s volcanic region, the Botanical Gardens house one of St. Lucia’s most famous waterfalls, Diamond Falls.

The water is dark with mineral rich volcanic soot making the waterfall that much  more interesting to look at. And since since there is no swimming in Diamond Falls, I was able to get beautiful shots of this stunning natural landmark!


In addition to seeing one of the most beautiful waterfalls, I was blown away by the interesting plants and flowers. No one does interesting flora quite like tropical islands!


Torch Ginger



From the torch ginger flower to the heliconia, red hot cat tails to jade vine, each breed of flower is exquisitely bright and brilliantly colorful. Fascinating trees like the Walking Tree, which starts out in one location and migrates on its own by “walking” to a new location, can be seen as well!

A Walking Tree

A Walking Tree


Red Hot Cat Tails

The jade vine was my favorite because it’s so rare to see a naturally occurring aqua-hued flower!


Jade Vine

Another interesting discover, was the Castor bean.  I was interested to learn that this bean, has two distinct identities.  First, it is the source of Castor Oil, which has long been recognized for its many medicinal uses.  However the bean also has a much more sinister characteristic as it is the source of Ricin (for Breaking Bad fans, this was Walter White’s favorite poison).  Our guide, Jahrod, opened a pod for us to see the bean inside. An interesting fact, while the bean itself is poisonous if ingested due to the Ricin toxin found inside, you never need worry about Castor Oil being poisonous, as Ricin is water-soluble.  I love the duality of this single bean!


Castor Bean



My visit to the Botanical Gardens was a wonderful experience. I learned so much about St. Lucian flora and being surrounded by so much nature left me feeling refreshed.

After the Botanical Gardens, we went to Sapphire Falls, located in the same volcanic region ,where we were able to bathe in the volcanic mineral rich water of the falls! You can read my previous blog post about Sapphire Falls here! Enjoy and be sure to make plans to visit during your trip to Saint Lucia!

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!