by Charlotte Johnstone, The Telegraph, July 28, 2017
Chocoholics everywhere: rejoice. To celebrate World Chocolate Day we've rounded up some of the best hotels for chocolate lovers and the most deliciously chocolaty experiences on offer, including lavishly-gooey body treatments, truffle-making classes, cocoa-inspired cusine, chocolate-themed afternoon teas, ridiculously expensive desserts and the home of the Pudding Club and the Original Sacher-Torte. Go on, treat yourself.
Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, Soufrière, Saint Lucia
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of hotels and chocolate is undeniably Hotel Chocolat. Boucan by Hotel Chocolat sits right in the heart of the Rabot Estate in Saint Lucia, surrounded by cocoa groves and lush countryside. Pretty much every dish in the restaurant contains cocoa in one form or another, the Cocoa Juvenate Spa offers treatments such as the Cacao Body Exfoliate & Moisturise package and there’s a huge array of experiences for guests including chocolate-making classes and tours around the estate which culminate in creating your own chocolate bar, from tree to table.
Read the full review: Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, Soufriere, Saint Lucia
Hotel Sacher Wien, Vienna, Austria
Hotel Sacher Wien is home of the Original Sacher-Torte. This is a must-visit for any discerning chocolate lover, being one of the most popular cakes in the world. It's still made according to its original recipe by Franz Sacher in 1832. Hotel interiors are as rich as the cake itself: the place is full of memorabilia, period antiques and superb original art works – some might find it almost museum-like. There is a huge amount of history and many a famous visitor has crossed the threshold, from Queen Elizabeth II to John F Kennedy. And don’t miss out on the cake for breakfast, available in Café Sacher or Sacher Stube next door.
Read the full review: Hotel Sacher Wien, Vienna Austria
Hotel Café Royal, London
Right by Piccadilly Circus, Hotel Café Royal offers superb breakfasts, a snazzy gym, a tranquil pool, sauna, hot tub, steam room and treatment rooms, all hidden behind a historic 1865 entrance on Regent Street. Its walls have seen the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Liz Taylor and David Bowie. But the desserts put it on the map for chocolate lovers. Sarah Barber, Head Pastry Chef, is a master chocolatier and well versed in the art of creating chocolaty masterpieces; throughout the year she holds masterclasses at the hotel. Her Jaffa Cake is particularly renowned.
Read the full review: Hotel Café Royal, London
Jade Mountain, Soufrière, Saint Lucia
Jade Mountain has its own chocolate lab and since 2010, the hotel and its sister resorts have hand-crafted Emerald Estate Chocolate for the enjoyment of their guests. With the opening of the Chocolate Laboratory, guests have been able to participate in a variety of regular chocolate-infused activities like sensory tastings, estate trips and truffle-making classes. Furthermore, true choc-aficionados can enjoy chocolate-inspired dishes, chocolate cocktails and cocoa-based body treatments in the resort's restaurants, bars and spa.
Read the full review: Jade Mountain, Soufrière, Saint Lucia
Hyatt Regency London, England
If there ever was an afternoon tea for chocoholics, this would really take the biscuit. To celebrate Green & Black's 25th birthday, The Montagu at Hyatt Regency London has launched the Chocolat-Tea – London's signature 'entirely chocolate' afternoon tea. Every single element, including those all-important savoury dishes, champions the humble cocoa bean. The experience costs £38 per person or £47 including a glass of Champagne or Sir Winston's Martini cocktail. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate World Chocolate Day in London.
Read the full review: Hyatt Regency London, England
Three Ways House, Cotswolds
This is the home of the renowned Pudding Club – a Friday-night celebration of British desserts which has been running for an astounding 32 years. They also run chocolate lunches with demonstrations by their chefs, as well as overnight chocolate indulgence breaks from £145 each. The Three Ways House hotel has seven suites that flamboyantly sport a dessert-themed décor, such as the Summer Pudding room with murals of a summer meadow, and the hugely popular Chocolate room with a bed decked out like a chocolate box. Talk about passion for puddings...
Read the full review: Three Ways House, Cotswolds
The Fortress Resort & Spa, Galle, Sri Lanka
This hotel offers one of the most expensive desserts in the world. It's located before a slim beach beyond which perch Sri Lanka's iconic stilt fishermen – which is what inspired the dish. The fruity concoction of gold leaf cassata, Dom Perignon sabayon and Irish cream presented with a stilt fisherman made from homemade chocolate will set you back an eye-watering £11,200 ($14,500), and it comes with an 80-carat aquamarine stone. Other delectable indulgences include a chocolate body wrap treatment in the spa.
Read the full review: The Fortress Resort & Spa, Galle, Sri Lanka
Rosas & Xocolate, Yucatan, Mexico
The name of this Mayan-inspired hotel in Mexico is unusual in itself. Rosas, in honour of the owner’s mother and Xocolate because of the town's history and cocoa roots. The beautifully pink hotel has a chocolate shop and offers treatments such as the three-step Rosas & Xocolate experience: body exfoliation with homemade gourmet mix of cocoa salts, dehydrated rose petals, oils, powdered spices of your selection and a touch of local liquor; a hot Xocolate body wrap, prepared with a mix of natural organic chocolate good enough to eat; and a relaxing massage with some of their customised moisturising oils. Delicious in every way.
Chocolate Boutique Hotel, Bournemouth
The story of the Chocolate Boutique Hotel in Bournemouth started in 2004, when the Wilton family set up a chocolate business after seeing a cascading chocolate fountain for the first time. A couple of years later, they bought a beautiful 19th-century Grade II-listed hotel and renovated it to become a chocolate-themed hotel. Come here to sip cocoa-based cocktails, dip strawberries and marshmallows into chocolate fondue fountains and experience a chocolate workshop, where you can learn how to make chocolate truffles, the art of chocolate portrait painting, attend bean to bar workshops and even chocolate and wine pairing sessions.
Hotel Fabrica do Chocolate, Viana do Castelo, Portugal
This hotel literally takes chocoholism to the next level – even the walls are made out of it. There are 'chocotherapy' treatments available at the hotel's Chocolate Factory restaurant. Don’t miss out on their speciality at breakfast: Gruen bread, a dark, cereal bread with cocoa grué, which adds a crunchy texture and a deep, chocolate aroma, without being sweet which goes down well with a nice cold glass of chocolate milk. Masterclasses are a hit with the kids. The suites are themed, such as the romance suite where guests can indulge in a chocolate fondue fountain and champagne, or the Hansel and Gretel suite with it’s own candy play house. Oh yeah – and the hotel has it’s own chocolate museum.