Cacao Pods How sweet it is. The new Hotel Chocolat on St. Lucia is the first to be launched by two U.K.-based, chocolate-obsessed entrepreneurs, the founders of a London confectioner company also called Hotel Chocolat.

The boutique property is built on the grounds of the 18th century Rabot Estate chocolate plantation, where guests can take part in the cocoa harvest, learn about the production of chocolate, cook up chocolate concoctions in the hotel's kitchens and, of course, taste the products.

Six Cocoa Cottages and the Club Boucan pool and bar are open; eight Cocoa Villas will open on July 1.

Still to come are the restaurant, a second bar and the CocoaJuvenate spa and wellness center. Chocolate massage treatments will be offered.

The hillside estate, 1,000 feet above sea level, offers 140 acres of trail walks, graded for different levels of fitness. The beach is a 15-minute ride by hotel shuttle. Concierge services will book island tours and other off-site activities.

Four of the six cottages have views of the Pitons, and two offer courtyard views of ancient Royal Poinciana trees.

The pool at Hotel Chocolat.Each cottage has a queen bed, chaise lounge, private bath, open-sky rainfall shower and a concierge cabinet with tea, coffee, Piton beer and chocolate treats.

Each of the eight villas will sleep up to four guests and features views of the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea.

Room-and-breakfast rates through June start at $280 per cottage, per night, single or double for a courtyard view, $320 for a Pitons view; from July through November, the starting rates are $395 and $450, respectively.

Villa rates start at $600 per night from October through November.

Dining packages are $70 for two meals a day, $95 for three.

For details, visit www.thehotelchocolat.com.

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