Terry Moore Design is developing on a hurricane-proof hotel design for cocoa grower and chocolate company Hotel Chocolat, situated on the Caribbean island of St Lucia.
The project, at the Rabot Estate, which is a working cocoa farm, will be the chocolate brand’s first hotel. Terry Moore has also worked on interior concepts for the company’s stores in Borough Market, London SE1, and Boston, Massachusetts, in the US. The consultancy is about to begin work on a ’chocolate temple’ flagship store for the company in London.
Terry Moore was appointed to the St Lucia project in 2009. The hotel complex, which is on a Unesco World Heritage Site, has been designed to be ecologically friendly, using local, natural materials, including ironwood, to give a ’barefoot luxury feel’, according to consultancy founder Terry Moore.
Although difficult to work with, ironwood from the estate is ’hurricane-proof’, says Moore, and will ensure ’durability and longevity’.
The project’s Boucan restaurant (visualisation pictured) – developed on the site of a traditional cocoa drying shed – will be the first area to open and will accommodate 65 diners. An ’elegant and minimal’ feel has been applied to the bar area, which features ’a large selection of rum bottles on under-lit glass’, Moore says.
The restaurant is based on a menu concept in which chocolate is the staple ingredient. It features an exhibition kitchen and lounge bar overlooking the Pitons, (the island’s landmark volcanic mountains) across an infinity pool, also designed by Moore.
All restaurant produce is grown on-site and ’formal’ gardens incorporating herbs growing beneath traditional West Indian tree canopies are part of the landscape design, says Moore.
The sides of the main building have been left open and louvres created to induce a flow of fresh air, providing a natural alternative to air conditioning. Three sides of the building feature these adjustable louvres and one side, overlooking the Pitons, is left completely open.
Rainwater running off the roof is stored and recycled and no laminate or veneer finishes have been used in the building’s design.
The hotel is opening in stages, with lodges for couples open this week, to be followed by family villas set among cocoa trees later in the year.