At the Balenbouche Estate on St. Lucia, one family is making a difference. Owner Uta Lawaetz, 62, and daughters Verena and Anitanja have restored a more-than-200-year-old plantation, turning it into an eco-friendly tourist retreat. Here they cultivate an organic garden, run a small restaurant and welcome visitors to four quiet guest cottages. Start your sojourn with a guided tour of the 75-acre estate. You’ll see ancient Amerindian artifacts found on-site, visit an 18th-century sugar mill and learn about rum making. Dinner is made with ingredients from the estate’s garden, and you’ll be treated to dishes like fresh fish with Creole sauce, coconut-ginger chicken curry, green papaya salad and homemade mango ice cream. At night, retire to your cottage a short walk from the sea. If and when the Lawaetz women get a break, they’ll be happy to share how they support local farmers and why they love St. Lucia’s fragile, beautiful environment. balenbouche.com
- Guided tours start at $6; dinner starts at $14; cottages start at $80 per night.