This is yet another place that fails on the stay cationer experience. I am reviewing this from a staycationers view not as a tourist. If you are a tourist this place will probably be paradise for you. Stay cationers receive a major discount because they are of local origin and are supposed to get the same perks and treatments as full paying customers.In my opinion they should get an even better experience but that is just not so except at Bay Gardens Beach resort. If I hear one more time that this is not part of your package from a resort associate I will scream!!!! We arrived to the Fantasy Island treatment at Ladera with cold towels and punch. Their punch was the first we encountered at any of the resorts we stayed at without any alcohol. It all goes downhill from here! This resort is truly in my opinion for the upper class only.... not locals who spend their hard earned EC dollar money only to be gouged with ridiculous food prices charged to them in US dollars and a room that looks nothing like what we saw and thought that we would receive on the website. The rate for a US dollar converts to 2.67 EC dollars at the moment so you will see that my review is a warning for all locals and a challenge to management to change this for the future.The receptionist even had the audacity to tell me that we had an upgrade from the class of room we were supposed to stay in...sheesh. In the last week my wife and I had visited Ti- Kaye (very good but not perfect either), Bay Gardens Beach resort (awesome) and we felt that we were going to strike a home run coming to Ladera (major fail due to the price for what you receive). On the website it looks like Ladera could be a cheaper version of Jade mountain for a local to stay at. The good thing is the views are amazing as advertised. The bad starts with the person that takes you to your room. My wife kept on correcting her on things we had in our package.She quickly remedied the situation and had Shawn who was amazing, stock our refrigerator with the necessary beverages. The free bottle of Brut Champagne was a cute perk although not for my taste. She also did not know that staycationers get full breakfast not just continental during their stay. I do not think anyone that is employed at Ladera knows this policy as they made me sign a bill for our breakfast in the restaurant and even at checkout they again tried to bill me yet again for this. Let me discuss the room we stayed in which was room K. This is a split level room with a plunge pool which truly needs to be heated. The pool is just for relaxing no room to swim here as in the photo on the site that I liked.The room was well kept, neat and clean but I immediately noticed I heard another couple nearby. I started wondering, if this is supposed to be a romantic resort why am I hearing my neighbors like I live in an urban housing complex Ti Kaye is better as you get your own private cabin. It gets worse later in the review. So we left our room and went to the front desk because we had to leave a credit card on file for incidentals and our 6:30pm reservation for dinner at Dasheens restaurant was confirmed. I asked if we could be moved to a better room more like what I saw with the swing overlooking a rather large pool and the Pitons. This was definitely not what we had in our package or room. She told us they were fully booked and could only show us two other rooms in our class. In our class what does that mean?? We looked at the other rooms and although they were bigger they were still not looking like the room we saw on the website that made us want to visit Ladera. I wanted that room that they show on the website splash page. We chose to stay in our room K because it was split level which meant two amazing views but she promised us if something opened up they would move us to the room I really wanted. I also encountered this at Ti Kaye as it seems these upper class themed resorts sort out the locals as a different class than there full price paying tourists and you feel this vibe during your entire stay no matter how hard they try to make you happy. I felt this less at Ti- Kaye except for the lady that checked us in. My Ti-Kaye review is forthcoming back to Ladera resort.The restaurant view at Dasheens is even more amazing than your room. We arrived early to take pictures of the awesome view and to make sure that we received a great view for dinner. The staff at Dasheens are kind and courteous and they even sat us in an amazing seating area right next to the Pitons. Ladera truly needs to offer staycationers a 40% discount on all meals and drinks as our meal for two turned into a $165US affair. We only budgeted $100US for this meal. It started with the server asking us if we wanted bottled or fizzy water. I assumed this was free and asked for bottled. He brought us out a bottle of royal blue water that sells for $2.29 EC dollars anywhere in town. When I saw my bill they charged me $8US for this alone. I later found out they have regular water they could have served us for free too. Why he did not offer that option to us is something that needs to be adjusted and corrected management. We did meet the co-owner of Ladera at dinner and she was polite and even said that we staycationers are supposed to get the V.I.P. treatment. I had an earful for her on that subject but that moment was not the time. I ordered surf and Turf for $48 or $49 US and my wife ordered cocoa Lamb for $43. The lamb was the better choice although both meals were too small of portions. When we arrived at the restaurant I saw a gentlemen get a burger and fries that was huge. It was made with 3 big angus beef patties and was only $17 with a nice size basket of fries. I asked the sever would the dinner portions be like this. She replied they would be a little bit smaller but good portions. That turned out to be an understatement when I received my meal I told the server chef Nigel needs to stop playing around with these portions!!! I should have ordered the burger meal a much better and cheaper option. I received 3 medium size shrimp, a small piece of filet Mignon that was not memorable and a small potato pie. Ti Kayes Filet Mignon is too die for..... it was utterly amazing!!!! although expensive too but I still remember how good it was. We ordered two lava cake desserts with ice cream. My only complaint here is that the ice cream portion was actually a 1/4 of a scoop. and each lava cake was overpriced again at $10US each. We also ordered two drinks rum punch and a fruity concoction that were $10US each too. I also ordered the fish cake appetizer that was too small too for $14US. In hindsight, I should have taken pics of my food to show what we received. After we went back to our room. It was quiet for about 5 minutes when to our amazement we heard a lady calling reception. She was terrified as there was a cat in her room and she asked for them to send someone there to assist her. She was so loud and screaming that she sent the cat across our balcony before they arrived. She was hysterical and overboard. Although they magically managed to find her a much better room to move her to for her troubles. We heard it all her screaming antics the men searching for the cat that we knew had left because it ran across our balcony too. The guy promising her a much better room although they said they were totally booked and could not accommodate my wish for an upgrade. I was done after that and retreated to my bedroom which because we left the light on in the bathroom was overrun with all sorts of flying things. I turned off all the lights for awhile and this remedied the situation. After our neighbor who through (our open air we could hear everything situation) packed all her things they escorted her to a better paradise. Our evening turned into the night that it was supposed to be peaceful cool and quiet after that. The morning and breakfast was much better food portions were good and we had an amazing view yet again. We met the co-owner again at checkout where she apologized for being so fully booked and again I was incorrectly billed for a free breakfast and then charged $2 for a mystery vacation fund. The breakfast bill was removed but the pain and anguish is not. In my opinion, if they could have moved our hysterical cat screaming neighbor on up like the Jefferson's to a better room they could have damn sure accommodated my wife and I. I saved my hard earned money to make this a memorable experience for her birthday which unfortunately it was not. Ladera will probably be amazing for most people as my pictures below do reveal an amazing place. After going to Ti-Kaye, Bay Gardens resorts and then Ladera in a week span this is my opinion. If we could have been housed in the suite as in the website splash page I believe my review would have been more favorable.
STAYCATIONERS PROCEED WITH CAUTION UNTIL THINGS CHANGE FOR THE BETTER FOR US AT LADERA August 11,2014
- 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