If you look at my profile, you can see that I have traveled a lot and rarely take the time to write negative reviews. My goal with this review isn't to list the overwhelming number of annoying things we had to deal with a Ladera. My goal is to give information I wish that I had before booking. The rooms at Ladera are some of the coolest designs I've ever seen, and the views are exquisite. However, that is about the only goods things I can say about Ladera. Ladera has been around for awhile and has received a lot of good press. However, it seems like at this point they have put up their feet and no longer pay attention to the details that a resort with an incredibly high price tag should. It seems clear that the problems of the hotel stem directly from an ineffective general manager. If you are looking for an ideal spot for a honeymoon or romantic getaway, the best place in the world that I have found is Rancho Pacifico in Costa Rica. At Rancho Pacifico they truly understand the importance of service and the little details. Additionally, the price tag at Rancho is dramatically lower.
The food at Ladera is mediocre at best and at times was inedible. I found the quality of the food unacceptable considering the extremely high price tag on meals. Appetizers were miniature portions (even for apps) and were over $20+. Entrees were $40+ which is really steep considering the quality of the food. Additionally, it says breakfast is included; however, that is only coffee, juice, and a bowl of cereal. If you want anything else, it is $7 a person plus the 10% service charge on everything you order and 8% local tax. This means that breakfast each morning came out to $20 which is a lot for a "free" breakfast. If you want breakfast (or any food) delivered to your room there is an additional $10 charge which you also get the pleasure of paying the 10% service charge and 8% tax on. The prices of the food wouldn't bother me at all if the food was good. However, unless your idea of good, fresh seafood is eating at Red Lobster, you will be disappointed with the quality and freshness of the seafood. This place seems to be extremely conscious of controlling food costs which has a direct impact on the quality of the dishes they serve. They also seem to be very conscious of their bar costs. We were having a drink at the bar in the afternoon. We watch the bar tender had a server a handle of Absolute Vodka with a funnel. 5 minutes later the server returned with the bottle full of some clear liquor. He gave the bottle and funnel back to the bar tender who put the Absolute back in the fridge. Take from that what you will.
Any of the small annoyances here wouldn't have been a big deal in and of themselves; however, they compounded to the point where they reduce our enjoyment of our time at Ladera. A good example is that it rains every hour to three hours in St. Lucia. Even though there are plenty of people working around the pool bar area during the day with little to do, it isn't anyone's job to bring in the cushions from the chairs at the pool (there are only 6 chairs). This means that the pool chairs are completely soaked any time you go to sit on them. When you are paying $750 a night to stay at a place like this, I think it is fair to expect better service. Also, all wine (red or white) and all cocktails are served in white wine glasses. Seriously?!?
We had a great time in St. Lucia; however, it was more in spite of the resort than because of the resort. There isn't much to do in St. Lucia other than go to other resorts. The beach is lame because of the constant rain and having to deal with shuttles and taxis to get to and from. The town of Soufriere is not a place for tourists to hang out. There seems to be extreme poverty in St. Lucia which means you get swarmed with people constantly. There aren't any bars or restaurants worth visiting because the town is so dodgy.
If you only care about having a really cool room, then Ladera might be the place for you. However, if food and service matter to you, I'd recommend looking else where. We did have an amazing meal at Jade Mt. one night; however, actually staying at Jade Mt. is a very steep price tag. Personally, I'd recommend looking somewhere other than St. Lucia for a romantic getaway unless you love resorts and bouncing around between them as the only activity. Also, be prepared to overpay for everything both at Ladera and anywhere else in the area. As I said, I found Rancho Pacifico in Costa Rica to far exceed anywhere I saw in St. Lucia for a dramatically lower price.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ladera is the pioneer of the open air three-walled concept in St. Lucia and has since been distinguished by a wide range of international publications, awards and accolades from Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Forbes Life Caribbean Travel and Life, Brides Magazine and countless others. Ladera was once part of Rabot Estate, one of Soufriere's oldest plantations, which still borders the resort. In the late 1960's a parcel of land was sold and developed into a small cluster of condominiums and christened Dasheene, named after the thousands of large, glossy-leafed dasheen plants (also known as elephant ears) harvested on the site. In 1982 it was transformed into a unique resort and changed hands a number of times before emerging as Ladera under the current private ownership. The mission has always been to offer an unparalleled guest experience that is quintessentially Saint Lucian, one that embraces the magnificent views and offers harmony with the surrounding natural beauty and rich bounty of the island. Today, that commitment to sumptuous authenticity is evident in everything from the innovative renderings of fresh local dishes at Dasheene restaurant, to the use of Caribbean timbers, stone and tile work used in the guestrooms and public areas. Yet it shines through most effectively with warm and welcoming Saint Lucian staff. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ladera Hotel Soufrière
- Ladera Resort Soufrière
- Ladera St Lucia
- Ladera Resort St. Lucia/Soufriere