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Ladera Resort
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A TripAdvisor Member
Cardiff, Wales, UK
116
Reviewed 30 March 2005

We have just returned from a fantastic week at Ladera 20th - 27th March. When booking we were unsure what to expect at the hotel but reading other peoples reviews on this website made up our minds for us and we went. Nothing can prepare you for walking into your room for the first time. It was amazing, we had a waterfall and a plunge pool alongside a wooden jetty. The sun was on this by midday and it warmed the pool up which was a little chilly. The rooms are lovely, with lots of quirky features such as the shower which is shaped like a boat and the conch shell instead of the tap in the sink. The only thing that bothered us about the wildlife were the noisy frogs which squawk from 6pm to 6am, but having a cocktail before bed soon solved that problem or it could be that we just got used to them. We did wake every day at 6am sunrise, but it was fabulous watching the sun come up.
The views are staggering, the staff are very friendly and the resort is gorgeous. I tried a massage in the Spa which was rather heavy handed so be careful what you ask for.
The beach below at the Hilton is gorgeous as is the one at Anse Chastenet and the hotels free shuttle service is second to none. The hotel thought of everything and all the trips we took were great, especially fun was the boat ride to Castries. You should do the Volcano trip and Botannical gardens and Waterfall, and the Rainforest Walk. The hotel organises everything for you, you just have to turn up.The food in the hotel is fab too with very big breakfast included, but we weren't so impressed with meals taken elsewhere. The locations are good but the food is average , this was in the Mango Tree, Hummingbird and worst of all was Buzz. Food is rubbish and the entertainment of fire eaters was very poor. Watching kids holding fire torches and holding them against the entertainers feet/hands etc was not my idea of fun.
As people have said the main roads are fine now but going off them is rather entertaining, you have to dodge pot holes and trenches at the side and you can only go really slowly. St Lucia is a gorgeous place with gorgeous weather (only a couple of 5 minute showers all week) and we will definitely go back there. One more thing, we were celebrating our Silver Wedding and contrary to what you might expect, there are not only honeymoon couples in the hotel. We met lots of people celebrating anniversaries like us , some honeymooners and a couple of families with teenage children. The hotel offers everything you could want and we felt very smug at the end of the day leaving the busy Jalousie Hilton and retreating to our paradise up in the hills.

  • Stayed: March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2005

Having Just literally returned from a 6 night stay at Ladera on 2/19/05 I wanted to write my review as I read most of the reviews here that helped me decide to book my vacation or not and what to expect. Using the past reviews I called the resort got some more recent information on past issues others posted here and then went ahead and booked the trip for myself and my wife.

Ladera is a Gorgeous resort. We really felt like were sleeping in the level of the clouds. The views of the valley below the Cobalt blue deep ocean, turquoise shallow beach was something to behold. We originally booked a suite with a plunge pool. Using the information on the previous reviews we requested an upgrade. Others have said if there is vacancy they will automatically upgrade you. I wasn't sure about the automatic part so I requested an upgrade. To our complete SURPRISE we were given VILLA C. A 3 floor 3 bedroom 2 bathroom suite with plunge pool plus a pool of our own. It was BREATHTAKING. The gorgeous hardwood floors dark and light shades of chocolate brown with matching furniture upholstered with white cushions is sensational. It was very soothing to look at use and enjoy. The bedroom and living room had the most magnificent views I have ever seen. Having Honeymooned in Bali, Maui and been to Bermuda, Australia, St. Thomas, St. Martin, Paradise Island and Many other locals this was the best NATURAL view I have ever seen. Set between the 2 Pitons the Sunrises and Sunsets were just terrific. This was to be a relaxing trip for myself and my wife so we stayed in the Villa for 3 of the 7 days. We sun bathed by the pool many a day and the views were just virtually stunning. We enjoyed the comfy couch, ordered room service and went to Dasheene the Resorts excellent Restaurant with Chef Orlando who was also fantastic. Actually the food got better and better every night we were there.

We had gone to Mango a nearby restaurant one night with a nice menu for Valentines day but after seeing Orlando's future specials for the subsequent days we cancelled the other Mango and Anse Castanet reservations and stayed at our resort. There was no reason to go elsewhere. Albeit its always nice to go to a different scene but when the taxi ride is 15 min one way or in some cases 30 + Min EACH WAY and the menu items aren't better sounding or looking why make the BIG effort.

We went to Anse Castanet via taxi to the water taxi to its Black Sand beaches. We went to snorkel but upon arrival the surf was VERY rough. We went in anyway and tried to snorkel but the currents were very strong and the complimentary snorkel equipment malfunctioned (a strap broke off my goggles) and it made it even tougher. We struggled to get back to the black sand beach and rested for a while. The beach was nice, good breeze however its like a factory of scuba diving launching fronts where boats take tourists to scuba nearly every 20 min. The stench of fuel and fumes from the boats was nauseating at times. We moved our seat locations to not be in direct line of downwind of the motors fumes. The complimentary chairs R OK. We went to the hotels beach restaurant ordered lunch which was Ok too. I walked up after lunch to see the main dining area about 100 feet above the beach, there are steep steps and or a shuttle coming by every few minutes. The menu wasn't that impressive and the staff not that friendly so we decided to stay at Dasheene with Chef Orlando where everyone is as friendly as can be. The waters were so rough that the Ladera driver or one of them Trevor came to pick us up as the water taxi was unable to come because of the strong waters. The ride out of Anse Chastanet was GRUESOME. It is BEYOND ME that anyone would want to come there by car. Its a nearly 2 mile trek over unpaved roads filled with big rocks and holes in the ground. It seems they want guests to come in but not to leave. I am glad we cancelled those reservations and the rough surf made us then see that the taxi ride to the restaurant AT NIGHT nonetheless would have been a nightmare coming in and leaving with a full stomach. We were happy to cancel the reservations and stay at Ladera and Chef Orlando's creative, robust flavor packed dishes.

Snorkeling at the Hilton down below at the Anse De Piton beach was HEAVEN and worlds away from the rough surf of the previous day. Its mostly VERY QUIET has some scuba boats going out but nothing like the previous day. The water is Aqua blue, the truly baby powder sand imported from Trinidad and Tobago is unreal. They have water kayaks, boats to rent out as the water was VERY CALM and easy to walk in and out of. The snorkeling there is fantastic we spent all day there and the lunch at the beach restaurant was VERY GOOD. This is a family oriented location. Ladera In my opinion is mainly for adults. We would surely come back to St Lucia and stay at the Hilton with our family. Kids walking the beaches playing in the sand.The coral scenes while snorkeling to the left were terrific. Mind you the rates at the Hilton St Lucia are comparable to the Suites at Ladera. St. Lucia is an expensive island with its 18% taxes 10 Service and 8% Gov tax on everything at the hotel. Islands are usually expensive and St Lucia is No different. The coral scenes while snorkeling to the left were terrific.

Here are some issues that others have talked about that I had to call Ladera to inquire about and get up-to-date information before booking and now I can update:

1. Roads- The MAIN roads now have all been paved. The ride from the UVF airport took about 40 min to Ladera and I can't FATHOM having come through the windy ups and downs with an unpaved road as was the case in the past. But its all been taken care of. Ladera is located above the main road so occasionally you will hear a truck going by or other.

2. Breakfast- The new GM at Ladera has now implemented a complimentary American breakfast for ALL GUESTS. That means fresh fruit every morning. Your choice of juices, sweet baked goods, eggs, meats, cereals, tea, coffee, French toast, assortment of pancakes, toasts, yogurt and more. This is a great way to start the day and now all FREE.

3) Veritable campground- Some have called Ladera a luxury campground- Reason being was the open 4th wall. You have geckos on the walls at times, baby tiny frogs too. Look this place has an open 4th wall facing a LUSH tropical surroundings. Birds will fly right near you in and our of your room along with other flying insects. This is hard and was hard for my wife to get used to coming from a 4 walled home. If you loathe insects, birds , the sight of geckos and can't tolerate them to enjoy the other immaculate surrounds and views then this isn't the place for you. If you can't stand the outdoors and nature then this isn't the right spot for you. My wife tolerated the geckos and baby tree frogs because from 7am until 10pm we had the most amazing time.There are many other places to stay. I don't see how it can be called a campground though. I have camped in many US parks and this is nothing like them AT ALL. Great restaurant, great couches, showers, service rooms etc.. . The water pressure was stated by others as being an issue along with the hot water being just Luke warm. The water pressure on a scale of 1-10 at your home it is probably a 8-9 here it is a 3- 4 at times a 5. The hot water in the showers is no longer an issue as long as you leave the hot water on for 1-2 min first takes a few min to get going as it got VERY HOT then . They use solar energy to heat the water. It began to steam at times and thus got VERY HOT. So that's not an issue anymore. If you can't stand the outdoors and nature then this isn't the right spot for you. My wife tolerated the geckos and baby tree frogs because from 7am until 11pm we had the most amazing time. Day trips, snorkeling, the people on the Island and the magical views.

Now some of the things we didn't enjoy. The nights were hard for us we were not used to so much tree frog bellowing and birds sounds at night along with other animals / insects. The mosquito nets there are OK but we took a 2nd one from the 2nd bedroom that had no seams in it or open slips as the bed we were on had 4 curtains of mosquito nets and we needs an all closed version laying into of the canopy bed draping down over the sides of the bed. I wish seriously we would have brought ear plugs at night so we could have gone to sleep better. If you plan on going to Ladera Bring a GOOD PAIR for you and your spouse. That was the worst part. We didn't sleep that well at 1st but the sounds did diminish as the days went by. We awoke at 7am. We went to stretch classes at 7:30. Had breakfast at 8:30 then enjoyed the days there. It rained almost everyday in the VERY early AM. The sun began to come out at 8am in full strength and hit our sun deck at 9am until 1-2 then some nice clouds for a most needed shade and then sun again from 3 until sunset. Mind you that you can still get sunburn when the clouds are about as did happen while snorkeling to me. Being close to the equator the sun is VERY strong and literally at 9am while sunning we began to sweat by 9:15. The water in the plunge pool is not yet heated. We turned the small waterfall and Jacuzzi to heat the pool itself . It warmed up perhaps 10 degrees with the help of the machine and the sun being out. But after sunning for some time getting hot and sweaty jumping right into the pool was absolutely refreshing and the water was Luke warm and just right!

Shopping at Castries was very nice. Lava flow a shop at the both duty free shopping locations has beautiful platters, serving bowls, vases and other that are magnificent. The water taxi ride of 45 min was a very nice way to see the island from the water as we would not otherwise not gone on a separate boat. The staff at Ladera are GREAT. Maria who was like our own personal concierge wizard set up all the taxis, water taxis, getting faxed menus and other. The Resort takes care and plans it all for you and bills the items to your room at very reasonable rates for excursions that we took. No worrying do you have exact change for the taxi and other in US or EC currency the Ladera staff takes cars of that for you. They arrange hours of pick up and departure to know where you are at all times. The rates are very fare for these excursions we took and taxi rides.

Mango is a nice restaurant and we heard Rainforest Cafe is VERY good too and located in a GORGEOUS COVE. Having seen the faxes over menus from La Sport, Mango, Coal pot and others we chose to have most of our meals at Dasheene and with Orlando the head chef He is Truly an Artist. Some Restaurants are over 90 Min away 1 way. So you can see why the resort location has a lot to do with where you go on the Island.

The Spa- Recently opened in late DEC I think is VERY good. Barbra is great and the other staff is very good too. We enjoyed multiple massages and the rates to other top notch resorts from 75-95 dollars for 60 mind massages and the pedicure My wife talked me into the 1st one for me was great.

I recommend you prearrange a pickup at the airport where a Ladera rep will await you get your bags and put you on a taxi to the resort.

ALL in all this was a GREAT vacation. The sights are just UNREAL. The images on the Ladera website really tell what you will see. We stayed in our room for about 1/2 the trip so the upgrade to a villa really made the trip more enjoyable. But I am sure the other rooms were good as well as we spoke to a few other guests and they loved the suites they had. As many others have written the rooms are VERY private you can wear as much or as little as you want and feel all alone.

I truly hope this helps!

78  Thank RYBA1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
New York, NY
134
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.

34  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
nashville
216
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
Louisville, Ky
114
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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    • Cleanliness
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14  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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