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Review of Ladera Resort

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Ladera Resort
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Soufriere
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 22 February 2005

My husband and I just returned from an incredible 10 night stay at Ladera for our honeymoon. I don't even know where to start. Obviously, the view is fantastic which is evident in all the photographs online. What you don't always see is how wonderful the resort is as a whole and how perfectly it fits into it's environment. Let me preface my review by saying we have both stayed in luxury hotels all over the world and while you don't have air conditioning etc. at Ladera I found the service and experience to be of an excellent rating.

We stayed in Suite R for the first 8 nights and then they upgraded us to Villa F. What a treat!! Suite R was perfectly fine but the villas are divine. All the rooms are decorated in a beautiful cedar wood with wonderful art and furniture. The Master suite of the villa is amazing and the master bathroom is unbelievable. Your villa shower is open to the view of the water and pitons. We slept very well every night. There is a wonderful breeze all the time and even more so in the evening that keeps you cool. We didn't have any trouble with bugs and weren't bothered by the mosquito nets over the beds. The plunge pool and villa pool were a little chilly and not heated but on a hot day it was very refreshing. Some people complained about hot water in the shower- never a problem. There is a water heater switch in the rooms which seemed to control the temp so make sure you flip it on. I didn't see much wildlife in the rooms except for an occasional bird or little lizard. As many others have said the rooms are completely private and no one can see you so feel free to walk around in as much or little as you like.

The service at Ladera was great with the staff being very hospitable and willing to accommodate us as best they could. They are very organized with van transportation to and from the beaches at the Hilton and Anse Chastenet. They were both easy to get to. The Hilton beach is directly below Ladera (you can see it from your room) but over-crowded with lots of kids and the food is horrible. Anse Chastenet is a little further. Ladera drives you down to Soufriere and then you take a water taxi to the Anse Chastenet beach. We definitely liked this one better and it was nice to get out on the water. They have a great Tiki bar and restaurant and the food was good. Also, the beach was a little more private and upscale. There were a lot of kids at the Hilton beach so if you don't want to be around that I suggset the other beach. Snorkeling was just okay at both places but I heard the diving at Anse Chastenet was pretty good. Aside from the beaches the resort will arrange multiple activities for you to do around the area. We climbed Gros Piton one day and it is well worth it for the view and experience. Also, on Friday night Chef Orlando took a group of us to a nearby town up the coast for a street party and fish fry. It was great fun with delicious seafood.

Ladera just opened a spa which was great. I had 4 massages while I was there so I feel pretty confident in saying I was pleased with the services. I spoke to several other guests there that also liked their spa experience.

Dasheene was great. Chef Orlando was there during our visit and he is a real personality to meet. The food was always fantastic with great presentation. They had a special menu every night which made it really hard to choose your meal. The service at the restaurant was fairly inconsistent (this is really our only complaint about our stay) which was disappointing considering how much you spend on a meal. Although, we heard the manager of the restaurant was let go during our stay so that could be a great thing for Dasheene. The bar was great and cool. Generally, they had some live music or entertainment which was nice and were always packed with Ladera guests and guests from other hotels. I don't recommend doing the meal plan. It really doesn't save you any money and it may keep you from eating at other restaurants.

We ate lunch out often but the bar/pool menu at Ladera is delicious. Also one night we ate at the Hummingbird in Soufriere which was good and a nice change of pace from Dasheene. The other night we ate out we went to Cafe Beau. Don't recommend it. It's just beyond the Hilton. They have this Wednesday night party called Le Bang with live entertainment and it's totally not worth it.

Ladera is the type of place where you can do as much or as little as you want. We relaxed most of our trip but did take advantage of some of the activities around the resort. We also met a lot of great people that were from all over and very interesting. Ladera is a great place to be totally secluded with just the two of you and a place to meet some other people.

Weather was beautiful and temperatures perfect the entire stay. I don't think we can say enough about this place. I highly recommend it and it's a great place for honeymooners or for a couple looking to get away. There were couples of all ages staying there.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 30 December 2004

My husband and I stayed at Ladera once in June and loved it so much we went back in December. It is the most amazing place I have ever been! The food is great, the rooms are amazing. We have stayed in many different Ritz's any nothing compares to this. Oprah, David Bowie, Robin Willams, and Sade have all stayed there. How could you go wrong? Now I am talking my sister into getting married there.

10 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 19 December 2004

We went to the Ladera Resort for our honeymoon in July of 2003. We are well-travelled and I can sincerely say that this is the most incredible and romantic place I've ever been!

The open-air rooms were fantastic- you felt like you were in nature, but in luxury at the same time. Rooms are all different, but large and very well done with canopy beds. The views are fantastic: you are at the top of the mountain with one entire open wall and an un-obstructed view of the Pitons, the valley and the ocean below. We LOVED lounging around our private pool; the rooms are completely private so you can wear as much or as little as you wish. Staff is very friendly and food at the restaurant is great. Incredibly relaxing! The only cavit would be to remember that one side is entirely open to nature so if you are squeamish about insects (non-biting) and a few little geckos in your room, this is probably not the place for you. (We loved this). Can't recommend it enough!

  • Stayed July 2003
    • Value
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14 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 13 December 2004

This is intended to be useful for men looking for some "no --" research on Ladera. Ladies, you can read at your own risk.

Oftentimes us men are faced with challenging vacation proposals from our respective lady friends, and we are stuck trying to balance the "logic" of an elaborate vacation against the "cost" of said vacation. Personally, I am more easy going than my buddies and the men in my family... but spending $400 plus per night at a smaller resort was worth some pretrip research. My concluding opinion is that this experience was worth the expense of the trip. Sure, other locations or resorts might offer some different things, but in my opinion, cruise activities will never let you relax with a view like this.

Getting there is no picnic. We flew from Chicago to Philly to St. Lucia, which took probably 8 hours in all. I am well traveled, but for some, that can be a long time in airports and on planes. When we got to the airport (Vieux Fort, the southern airport, not Castries), Ladera had arranged a shuttle to drive us to the resort. The drive was lousy. 20 miles took 2 hours. Nothing resembling a highway. The road was full of potholes and was a very choppy drive. We actually asked the driver to stop at a little bar, so we could regain our bearings. This road condition is all due to a major construction project that the St. Lucian government started a couple years ago. There were major issues with the Irish construction contractor, which has setback the progress of the road repairs. I was told that in a year or two it will be better. The point here is that traveling to this place is not like checking in to the Hilton across the street from O'hare. It takes time and it may even test your patience. However, if you are on your honeymoon or are excited about the end result, this should be a forgettable part about your trip. However, perhaps warn the Mrs. to be prepared for some discomfort. At the very least she will be warned and you can confidently tell her that you "told her so". Ok, we all know a comment like that only perpetuates the fury, but if you have planned ahead and can give her a motion sickness pill, it will disguise both your organization skills and your sensitivity pulse. Suggestion for air travel, consider flying into Castries and driving south, as the road is better and more interesting in my opinion.

I think Ladera was a gated resort, so the security feeling was totally comfortable. Checking into this place is easy, they carry your bags to your room and all that. Just give them your credit card and it is amazing how simple things can be. The fridge in our room was stocked with a few beverages, no charge, and it was nice to kick back with a Caribbean rum and coke after a long day of traveling. The walking paths are very nice, flowers and banana trees all over. The other common grounds of the resort are also nice. The main pool looked great, but we did not use it. The pool deck was also nice, but it was not big, which is probably not necessary considering the low number of available guest rooms. There is internet access and some American television in a little lounge area. It is nothing special, but checking fantasy football scores gave me some comfort. The restaurant is everything people talk about, great food and moderately expensive. This place is easily in my top 3 in the world for places to eat, but expect to pay at least $100 for dinner for two with dessert and wine. They actually gave us a bottle of wine or discounted some wine for us due to a honeymoon package, which I suspect was eligible for all guests, including those not on their honeymoon. I liked the bar, a very mellow place that had respectful and professional workers. It was great to hang out and enjoy a glass of wine before dinner, just staring at hawks divebombing the Piton valley.

The weather for us was very pleasant in late November. Felt like mid to upper 80's most of the time, but it may have been hotter. It rained only one afternoon for a couple hours, which was actually very fortunate because the view of sweeping rain and incoming clouds was awesome. Some people have commented on the humidity being a problem, but we did not think it was overly humid at all. Although it was darker earlier at that time of year, in the future we will probably try to visit during the same season. One of the reasons I chose St. Lucia was that it is south of the main hurricane belt, which is apparently a concern at that time of year.

We stayed in room N and enjoyed it very much. Bed upstairs with the netting everybody talks about. College quality couch and chairs on the main level, which was just fine for our needs. The bathroom was surprisingly large and they had a power converter for the electronics. The pool is not something to swim in, it is way too small. But ours was exposed to the sun and became comfortably warm by noon. If you have seen the video from Ladera, you can get a sense for the pool and room, but I think the video only shows the best and largest rooms. We were happy with the room, but we also can tolerate less than 5 star amenities. The water was warm, not hot. The lizards and bugs were visible but not swarming or annoying. There were plenty of moths at night attracted to our bathroom light, but it was no big deal. Did not get bit or disturbed by anything at night. If you or your woman absolutely detests camping, the living quarters may be a bit challenging. Otherwise, if you can forget about your American or European luxuries for a few days, tramping around barefoot or by sandal can be pleasantly liberating. I think many people who say negative things about Ladera are mostly dissappointed with the room. The room is decent, not great. It is probably less clean than a Holiday Inn. You are not paying for the room quality by going to Ladera, you are paying for the view. The view is everything and more than what is shown in pictures and on the video. If you appreciate awesome views and privacy, this is place for you. If you cannot stop to smell the roses, Ladera might not be up your alley.

We recommended Ladera to some friends and they spent a few days there during their honeymoon. Their experience was not as positive as ours. They had stayed at Sandals beforehand and I think were expecting some of the same all inclusive services. They seemed more interested in the next free meal than relaxing, and the woman is more of a Sex In The City type. I can see why they did not like it as much, and perhaps I should have given them some of this information ahead of time.

The Hilton everybody talks about is just a beach resort in my opinion. Seems very nice, but not much character. This is the place to swim and snorkel for Ladera guests, although those that appreciate nature will be discouraged that the Hilton imported the sand on their beach. We took a couple tours while at Ladera and had a good time listening to and visiting with the guides. The volcano tour is interesting, but it does not look like what I expected a volcano to look like. If you have been to the hot springs in Colorado, this is very similar. I enjoyed it, but would not do it again. We also went to the Diamond waterfall, which was cool but there were lots of tourists. On the same tour we went swimming in another waterfall, which was fun. The botanical garden tour was very very nice. However, DO NOT consider swimming in the hot springs. These are basically YMCA quality pools with hot water that smells like rotten eggs. Tempting as the tropical experience may sound it was a total waste of money. We did not spend a lot of time in Soufriere, but when we go back to Ladera, that is one place I would like to hang out more.

I found the people of St. Lucia to be very nice. I have traveled a little in the Caribbean, and the people here seemed more friendly than Barbados, St. Thomas, Martinique, etc. The people of Aruba I found to be more kind to tourists than the other islands, but everybody's experience is different. I heard in St. Lucia that the unemployment rate is crazy high, something like 25%.

So in closing, I guess I could say that for the right type of person, Ladera is one of the best possible vacation spots. My wife and I are those types of people, so Ladera will always be special for us and we will go back many times I am sure. However, if you are not up for a little adventure, or if your companion will flip over a cracked fingernail or a curious lizard, you might want to stick to something more like Sandals.

Hope it was helpful, good luck gentlemen.

90 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2004

We have just returned from St Lucia, where we spent nine nights, the last two at Ladera. The hotel was everything we had hoped for, and more.

The room was unbelievable - much bigger than I had expected, with an incredible view of both Pitons. There was room for a giant four-poster bed - about 7ft square - a really comfortable sofa, two armchairs and a plunge pool. We didn't care that the pool wasn't heated as we only used it when we were really hot and wanted to cool down. Because of the opening where the fourth wall should be, you can sunbathe in your own hotel room (with nothing on, if you like, since no-one can see) and then jump in your own plunge pool. What a treat!

The food was gorgeous, the best we had in St Lucia. I recommend especially the lamb and the shrimp dasheene. It is expensive, but they didn't seem to care when we ate just a main course each for dinner. The servings were huge, so that was all we needed. The buffet brunch on Sunday is better value at $20 a head.

On Wednesday nights, there is a great party down the hill at Bang Restaurant, through the grounds of the Jalousie Hilton and out the other side. There are acrobats and fire-eaters and everyone ends up dancing. It's well worth a trip.

The staff were really friendly and helpful. Our only complaint was that our shower never ran hotter than lukewarm, which is fine on a hot day but not so good on a dark evening when a fairly chilly wind is whistling through your room. At these prices, you do expect hot water.

Otherwise, though, Ladera is fantastic: a real one-off. Even if you can only afford to go for one or two nights, I would definitely recommend it.

13 Thank columnist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2004

Being a later in life married couple on our honeymoon we were primed to experience St. Lucia as a remarkable place to visit by the comments of a recently married couple(much younger than we) who were our accquaitance. They had stayed at a resort near Ladera. After review with internet and Air Jamica we decided upon the Ladera experience--and how thankful we were. Being from the great Eastern Texas Forest we knew something of the nature scene. We wondered how the construction of Ladera would handle bugs, lizards, birds, frogs, flowers, fauna and flora. Boy- how was it handled! Wonderful!! As regards our trip: scored # 1-10
a. We recommend a villa. Ours was E. Words cannot describe the view, space, decorations, service and style. #10+
b. Shuttle on the hour to the Hilton Joluses beach #10
c,. Food at Ladera restaurant #9
d. Wine List #7.5
e. Ambience #10
f. Fellow visitors--We were accepted with kindness by our fellow guest--we being 30 years older than most #10
g. Botanical experience #10
f. Value of services#10
g. Monitary expense for food at Ladera _high but worth it.
h. self directed walking trip to Piton water falls from Hilton. We made arrangement to be picked up by Ladera shuttle. This is a MUST! #9
i. trip to Castries- Boat portion #10 City Portion #7
j. Self Directed Trip city of Soufriere. This was one of the highlights because the social structure, architecture, small individual owned stores, and monetary conditions reminded us of the condition of Southern Cities immediately before and after WWII. The people were accepting and accomadative especially at the restaurant "Green Room" Don't do this trip if poverty of materialistic things offend you. Do this trip if you enjoy the resilence of the human spirit to adapt to his environment. #8
k. Rum- Chairman's Reserve #8.5, Piton Beer #8
l. Main Course Fish Meals (Barracuda, Saltfish,Mai Mai, Marlin) #9
m.Plunge Pool- Location #10. Temp.-#1 Needs heating we opinioned.
n.Flight Air Jamica #8
o.Road trip from Vieux Fort to Ladera- 45 minutes
experience of the art of dodging holes, driving on the opposite side of the road, excellence of a driver to understand dangers, fall offs, short cuts through forest and the generalized art of driving over roads unknown to my wife and me-#10
p. Weather - had some rain, some sun, some light wind, some moon glow #9
q. Service and "Kindness of Stangers"at restaurant, bar, villa---#10
r. Ability to do "Our Own Thing at Our Time" #10
s. Absence of Radio, C.D, Internet, T.V., D.V.D., People magazine, Star, Newspaper, WSJ, Walmart, Gas Stations, e mail, #10+ ( yes the world still functions without these.)
t.. Desire to Return----- You have got to be kidding--- Probably within the next week!!!!!

  • Stayed October 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
22 Thank cherryberry55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
37 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2004

We just got back from a week at Ladera. It was our favorite vacation ever. After reading ALL the reviews here i was only hoping for the best (cold showers, small rooms, managment). However, we were very pleasantly surprised all the way around --and I'm kind of picky myself. It was our first time in St. Lucia and I really believe that staying at Ladera made the visit what it was. We did see the whole island while we were there and Ladera seems to have the best view by far. As many have said, if you want a TV, quick walking access to beach, or are afraid of lizards it would not be the place for you. I don't go camping or anything and am by no means a nature woman--yet couldn't have asked for a more awesome experience. There is a big difference between types of rooms. We saw about 6 of them and loved our room best (Rm. B). I think if Ladera has vacancy they may upgrade you without you asking (like they did for us). But if you can afford the top room you'd be safer to just book it since the resort was almost full at all times. We were upgraded to the top category type of room--a 3 bdrm. villa and it was mind-blowing. Even the smallest rooms were still very cool but just didn't have much room in the plunge pool (You could swim in ours and it was warm) and not as much comfort I felt. Feel free to email me with questions.

  • Stayed November 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10 Thank DeTraveler05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ladera Resort

Property: Ladera Resort
Address: Rabot Estate, Soufriere, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Soufriere Quarter > Soufriere
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Soufriere
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Soufriere
#2 Luxury Hotel in Soufriere
#3 Family Hotel in Soufriere
#7 Romantic Hotel in Soufriere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Ladera Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 32
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

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