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“Overated and Overpriced”
Review of Ladera Resort

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Ladera Resort
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Soufriere
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 April 2006

First of all, we totally agree the views are stunning, the plunge pool in our suite (K) was not freezing like some other rooms and we dont mind the bugs--there were very few of these to be honest. Nightime temperature was lovely. However, the "award winning" chef and the team appear to have departed for pastures new, we spoke to no-one that had been employed in their posts for longer than about 3 weeks. Service was slow even by West Indies standards (3 hours to serve two courses at dinner? Come on!) The food was just awful, heavy handed on the spices in my view to cover up cheap, tough cuts of meat or poor quality fish, some dishes were just inedible or simply were not as described. We were "comped" a couple of times and finally threw ourselves at the mercy of Jalousie, who got us a lovely villa with nice views and staff that actually knew what the word service means. Yep, Ladera was just so bad. The so-called friendly staff? Yeah, they were friendly enough to locals sat up at the bar but didnt want to look tourists in the eye, let alone serve them a drink. That's not just us talking either, no-one in that resort when we were there over the age of 25 was having a good time, 3 other couples we spoke to were having similar experiences to us. Be warned, its a lot of money to spend to be so disappointed. Personally, I would check in for a night for the views, and that's it.

  • Stayed: April 2006
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22  Thank skyler27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,163 - 1,169 of 1,281 reviews

Reviewed 13 April 2006

We spent the first four nights of our honeymoon at Ladera and could not have dreamed of a better room. We were upgraded to villa E which has three bedrooms and a private plunge pool that encompasses much of the first floor. If you like rustic luxury, this is the place for you. The fact that it the villa is open really allows you to enjoy the sunset as well as star gazing. We loved the room so much, we seldom left until it was time for dinner. Three of the nights, we enjoyed dinner at Dashene. Beautiful view, but the food was a little expensive and overrated. The staff, although friendly, were not as sincere as the staff at LeSport which is where we spent the rest of our time on the island. Ladera is a resort that everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime. We will go back, but likely spend more time at LeSport.

  • Stayed: March 2006
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13  Thank scottg612
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
WA
115
Reviewed 8 April 2006

We stayed at Ladera at the end of March. It is a lush, tranquil and romantic resort--perfect for those who want quiet time together. The views are amazing. The stars were incredible at night. The service was excellent and discreet. The staff are ready to accommodate any wish.
Staying in a three-sided room was a unique experience. We had a fantastic room. The temperature was comfortable in the daytime and the breeze at night kept the room quite cool. We had a lizard visit us, and the birds flew in daily to look for crumbs, but to the best of our knowledge, they did not leave a mess. The moths came out at night, but as long as we stayed under the mosquito netting, they were not a nuisance. The plunge pool was cool, but perfect to "plunge" into after sitting in the sun for an hour. The shower did take about ten minutes to warm up, but we had plenty of hot water. Our room was very quiet. We never heard our neighbors--only their plunge pool fountains.
We had the all-inclusive plan. As it turned out, we rarely went to the restaurant for breakfast, but instead brought muffins and coffee back to our room. We missed lunch a few times, so we might have saved some money by using the breakfast/dinner plan, but we were there to relax and enjoyed not fussing about anything. The food was very good, and certainly well within keeping for the rating of this hotel. The service was excellent, although some servers were slower than others. Don't expect the fast clip of service in the United States. It would not suit the Carribean, anyway.
We each had a massage as part of our package, which was very relaxing. We enjoyed the manager's cocktail party on Monday night, and the Sunday brunch was delicious. We never swam in the pool. We stayed in our room most of the time--there was no reason to leave except for meals. If, however, you want night life, this is probably not the place to be. The open air lounge and restaurant are beautiful, and each night there is some sort of entertainment, but it is fairly low key.

We did visit the Jalousie beach one morning. That was the only time it rained during our entire stay. We also took an island tour with a taxi driver named Herod. He is the only person on the island with this name, and he gave us an excellent tour. He is very knowledgable, and proud of his birthplace, as well as being familiar with the Carribean as a whole. The drive-through volcano was interesting, as was the market at Castries. We weren't able to eat at the Coal Pot in Castries as we did not have reservations. It looked like it had a wonderful menu. Our only regret was not seeing Anse Chastenet, and perhaps taking a helicopter ride, but we didn't have sufficient time. Seven days was too short, because of the travel time. Ten days would have been perfect. When we go back (and we will) we probably won't bother going off-resort.
A couple were married while we were there and the sunset ceremony looked lovely, complete with a garlanded arch on the pool deck overlooking the Pitons and the ocean. We do not snorkel or dive, but we met a couple who said the diving was spectacular, especially Superman's flight. They also hiked the Piton--they said you had to be very fit to finish the climb.
This was not an inexpensive vacation, but we traveled during peak season and did not expect that it would be. We have traveled to Jamaica, Florida, Barbados, Hawaii, the Bahamas and all over Europe and North America, and this has become one of our favorite spots. We went for our 20th anniversary, and hope to go back for our 25th.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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15  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2006

I have decided to arbitrarily "grade" different sections of my stay to give a detailed and (hopefully) objective view of the resort, and am giving pictures of the rooms, as not very many people post them. I hope my review helps you make a thoughful decision and if you go, I hope you enjoy your stay (for the most part) as I did!

Rooms: X2 and Villa F
X2: B-
After the mix up with our room (see below) we were placed in X2. It was a small room, not facing the view, but the road and the forest. The bed took up the whole room (queen sized) but was comfortable. There were shutters opening the wall up to the balcony, and the bathroom had a circular walk in shower open to the outside. It is semi-connected to X1 (the same little walkway after opening a door to get in) so you could hear the noises coming from above very easily. I would not recommend this room, though it wasn’t uncomfortable, because it doesn’t even qualify as a suite. Turndown service is from 6 to 10 at night, and if you are in your room or sleeping at that time, they do not come in. If you must have it, vacate when they knock!
Villa F: A
After being upgraded to Villa F, we were happier with just about everything! The look is a little dated, with dark wood and “tropical” colors, but the carved wooden posts, large plunge (or small swimming as it’s depth extends from 4-7 feet) pool, 20 foot plush couch, and open air shower made up for it. The view was amazing, and we had enough of a yard to lounge in (2 chaises provided) and we were right across from the spa and service desk for easy access and a leisurely walk to the restaurant/bar/pool area.
There are 3 bedrooms in this villa. The main bedroom is under the overhand of the living room on the second floor, with a king size bed, bathroom, and a full view of the yard and mountains. The other bedroom at the front of the villa (2nd floor) is a queen bed w/ private bath, and on the small 3rd level is a little bungalow room with a twin bed. There is a little galley kitchen with a fridge and coffee maker, which holds your stocked drinks (coke, sprite, diets, water, and Piton beer). Noise wasn’t a problem, as there are plenty or privacy hedges, trees, and wood blocking both view and sound!
Note on bugs: We had a very friendly, huge moth (did anything to get into our net covered bed) some very large lizards, tree frogs living in our sink, and some brave birds in our villa, but no bites or scratches. I would advise that you hide your rings while sunning, because I had one bird fly in for a closer look, to my discomfort! We didn’t use bug spray, but because one wall is open to nature, you will encounter it!!!

Service: B-
Our first five minutes at Ladera were blissful. As other guests have mentioned, we were given cold mint towels and ginger citrus tea at the reception desk. After being led up a long flight of stairs, we were then told that our room (supposed to be a one-bedroom deluxe) wasn’t available. When we asked why a room reserved 2 months in advance wasn’t there for us, all our host (Andre) told us was that it was “sold out”. After enquiring further, we got no more explanations. I assume that they overbook on weekends and since our flight was delayed and we arrived late on a Sunday, they gave the room to someone else. We were put in X2, the only room on property that faces the road and not the Pitons and the ocean, so I was quite surprised and a little affronted. This seems to be there “just in case” or overflow room, where they put guests if they can’t accommodate them anywhere else (it seems to have happened to other guests, too). They do try to appease you in any way possible for the “inconvenience”, however, and our room was comped (complimentary) for the night. We also received a complimentary dinner and bottle of wine, and were upgraded to deluxe villa F (see room reviews above) for the rest of our 4 night stay.

Though I didn’t experience the extremely friendly atmosphere of some other guests (a.k.a. chatting with the chef, or the staff remembering your names), they were cordial enough and the dinner staff was excellent (very witty and funny too). The staff is very polite and reserved, and because we are young (early 20’s) they may have just wanted to leave us alone for a romantic week. I would have liked more attentiveness, however; the kind I often saw being given to the older guests upon arrival, checkout, and anywhere in between. All we received was our bill, and no enquiries as to whether or not we enjoyed our stay. They seem perfectly suited to a resort for honeymooners and romantics, who just want to spend uninterrupted time together in paradise!

Food: A-/B+
Dasheene Restaurant for me rates an “A” simply for the view… but since I’m reviewing food here, I’ll stick to my culinary opinions. The food was certainly hit or miss, but the seafood was generally tasty with great seasonings and spices. The Shrimp Dasheene is to die for: they butterfly it and cook it in spices- it comes out tasting like a cross between a sweet and sour and a Creole dish, served with either mashed potatoes or rice. The spiciest dish there is the Shrimp curry, which still only held in your mouth for a minute. The fish were very tender and flaky in all the right places. I recommend the Salt Fish, the Tuna, and the Bluefish, but the Mahi Mahi is great too. I don’t eat chicken, pork, or beef, but my fiancé said it was generally a little on the dry side. If you eat seafood, I would stick with their local catches because they have a lot of experience cooking them! The vegetarian dishes are their weakness, being bland and generally either soggy, dry, or undercooked. Soups that I would recommend are the shrimp/crab coconut bisque, and the sweet island onion soup. Deserts were also iffy. The sorbets, fruits, and ice creams were tasty, but the chocolate and cheesecake textures were more like carrot cake and less creamy than their American cousins. Again, if you stick to ingredients from the island, you won’t be disappointed.

Buffet (managers cocktail on Monday Nights): A
I am giving this a special review because it was so delicious. Usually I am not a buffet person, but this was an “appetizer” buffet, serving delectable creations such as marinated tuna sushi, salt fish fritters, and banana and fish cakes. Their coleslaw isn’t half bad either, and they know how to prepare a beet! You order an entrée off the regular menu and dessert is on the buffet. The bananas flambé is sweet and chewy, and the rice pudding brulee is surprisingly zingy and creamy. Before the dinner, eat fritters, sip sangria (or a lethal coconut rum drink- literally served in a coconut) and meet the managers in a greeting lineup while being serenaded by guitar, piano, and/or a singer. Not to be missed!

Overall: B+
With a little more effort, this resort could be upgraded to A status. Key ingredients for that transformation are a more organized staff, more eclectic and varied menu, and a slight facelift for the rooms. You can apply the nature/nurture argument to Ladera. The nature side is perfect, needing no touchups. The view is amazing, from the resort or down at Jalousie beach (accessible by 10 minute shuttle ride down the mountain). If you have come for the view (as I did), then this resort is not to be missed. If you came for the hotel, then prepare to be a little disappointed that the lodging and service doesn’t quite live up to the area’s pristine beauty. But by all means go to live and breathe the surroundings, and drop your comments and suggestions off at the front desk when you leave!!

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
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60  Thank teilani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2006

We just returned from 5 nights at Ladera, and had a wonderful time. I wanted to write a comprehensive review, as I know I was looking for all kinds of details when we were making our decision to stay at Ladera.

First, let me say that the trip from NJ is quite long, so by the time we arrived at Ladera at about 6:15 PM, we had been traveling for nearly 12 hours. We landed at SJU, which was about an hour and 15 minutes over VERY windy roads away from the hotel. Fortunately, thanks to reviews on this site, we were warned, and we both took some Bonine to ward off any motion sickness. I also sat in the front seat. We had tried to arrange for the helicopter, but there were not enough people to make the trip. (Minimum of 3 were needed)

Upon arrival at Ladera, we were greeted with cold peppermint scented towels, and a cold rum fruit punch drink. (I sucked this down in about 2 seconds, not realizing there was alcohol in it!) We were lead to the reception area, and checked in. We had booked an all-inclusive plan for a deluxe one bedroom suite. Several weeks prior to our trip, I had requested Suite S or T, so I was kind of disappointed to be shown to Suite R. However, Suite R was beautiful in itself, if slightly lacking in the bathroom area. As soon as you walked into door, there were 3 stairs, which lead up to the missing fourth wall/plunge pool/living room area. The view, of course, was spectacular, and we arrived just at sunset. On the main level was the desk area and bed. The bed was against a row of windows, so when the breeze came though, it was wonderful....a great cross breeze. The room was very spacious. We did have a bit of trouble with hearing road noise, but I think that would be the case no matter what suite you are in, as the resort is right above the road. I lived 10 years in NYC, so believe me, I’m used to road noise. I think the difference here is you are in this lovely tropical sounding place, and then all of a sudden it’s a bit shattered by a truck rumbling by. We got used to it, though. Incidentally, we both love the sound of the tree frogs and birds, so that was never a problem. You are provided with earplugs and an eye mask, but I had brought my own, being a light sleeper. It was so lovely with the breeze and the frog sounds, though, that we both slept like the dead every night.

The only lacking area, as I said, was the bathroom. I do not mind the rustic look, and that's what it was, certainly. But it went beyond rustic a bit to just out of date and rather beat up. The vanity really could stand to be replaced, as the sink and the tiles were cracked and discolored. The wooden drawers were warped, and the mosaics, while very nice, had tiles missing in the shower. They were right underfoot, and could have cut a foot badly if they were not noticed. The lighting was just bare bulbs on the vanity light. We did have trouble getting hot water our first night, but then they came and flipped the "booster" tanks. After that, we had plenty of hot water. You just have to wait a bit for it to come up. Overall, the bathroom being how it was didn't bother us greatly, but I can see how it might others.

The resort itself I will describe as this: If you are familiar with Disneyworld, it's like being in Adventureland, in a cross between the Jungle Cruise, the Tiki Room, and the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House! It’s very lush, with all wood and stone buildings. We loved the intimacy of it, and of course, you cannot get over the views. We found the staff to be EXTREMELY friendly, and very accommodating. We thought we might miss phones and television, but we really didn’t. There is an Internet connection in the reception area if you need it, as well as a payphone. So, we didn’t feel isolated at all. The only “communications” trouble we had was with the walkie-talkies they provide you with to communicate with the front desk or room service. Basically, we could never get them to work or respond. We ended up just walking over to make our requests. Some sort of direct dial phone line just to reception might be a nice addition.

We loved every meal at Dasheene. The food was wonderful. It’s a little spicy to those like myself who do not eat a lot of spicy food, but you can request less spice on anything. The fish was incredibly fresh, and everything was innovatively prepared. The desserts were good, not great, but then again, I am more of a dessert fiend than anything else.

The bar was a great place to chill out, play a game or cards, and just listen to music. Once again, that view entranced you.

Our all-inclusive plan was not COMPLETELY all-inclusive, as it did not include service charges or tax, some premium liquors, (such as champagne or Bombay Gin) and lobster entrees. Personally, my husband and I would rather be charged a little more for the plan and have it truly all-inclusive, but that is just us. We had no problem mostly staying within the plan, except for our glasses of champagne.

We had several spa treatments, all of which were wonderful. The prices were extremely reasonable as well. My husband and I were joking that Ladera is the place to send someone who is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, for it will cure them right out of it. There are many activities and tours offered, but aside from a sunset cruise and the mineral baths, we just vegged out. It was what we came for, total relaxation, and we weren’t disappointed. We did go one day to the beach at Jalousie, and that was nice. The shuttle took all of 10 minutes. I’m glad we stayed at Ladera, though, after seeing Jalousie! Jalousie was nice and all, but it just didn’t have the uniqueness of Ladera.

We were able to take the helicopter back to SLU…what a trip! It was well worth it.

So, to wrap us my very long review, we truly enjoyed Ladera. There are many places in the world we’d like to see, but Ladera is one spot we hope to come back to some day.

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
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43  Thank Purrberry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2006

A truly unique experience! Wake in the morning to the sunrise and birds singing. You never get tired of that view! Nestled in between the Pitons, a horizon so magnificent you cannot tell where the sea ends and the sky begins. The staff cannot do enough to please and the food at Dasheene is exceptional. I strongly recommend it for honeymooners or couples that want to reignite their romance.

7  Thank michaelaurasmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2006

Staying at Ladera was a great experience. The resort is relaxed and pretty; the open air restaurant is terrific.
The suite is delightful, albeit a bit rustic. I would recommend it, without reservation, to a more adventurous traveler. Here are negatives:
The open wall definitely allows noise and insects in. The mosquito netting over the bed is fun and romantic, but tends to keep as many bugs "in" as out.
Little birds fly into the room (which we thought was delightful). But beware, they can easily lift your rings and earrings if you leave them on the nightstand! The decor is interesting, if a little bit rustic. The resort is set high upon a hill, which is great for the view, but not near the beach.
That being said, if I had to plan my trip again, I would have split the week between Ladera and Jalousie or Anse Chastanet. We had breakfast at both of these resorts - the Jalousie is more upscale (conventional) and has a beautiful beach. I would have enjoyed either.

  • Stayed: March 2002
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10  Thank brfootcontessa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ladera Resort

Address: Rabot Estate, Soufriere, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Soufriere Quarter > Soufriere
Amenities:
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 Top resorts Hotel in Soufriere
#1 Spa Hotel in Soufriere
#2 Luxury Hotel in Soufriere
#3 Family Hotel in Soufriere
#7 Romantic Hotel in Soufriere
Price Range: £412 - £1,093 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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