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“The unique experience I had hoped it would be after doing much research”
Review of Ladera Resort

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Ladera Resort
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Soufriere
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 March 2010

Overall our 4 night stay was very nice here (3/12 - 3/16), the rustic and no fourth wall concept was just what I was looking for in the accommodations. This resort is unique and has character and an island feel with wood, wicker and tile furnishings. It is not ‘pristine’, modern or ‘polished’ like 4 or 5 star hotel rooms are, so you need to consider what you prefer for your money. Many have said it is comparable to outdoor camping in a fort-like atmosphere, but I think it is a little more posh than that. The rooms and villas are all connected in one long line along the mountain side, so without the 4th wall noise from the neighbors could potentially be a BIG problem if they are not considerate. People tend to forget how far sound carries. We stayed in the 2 bedroom villa “F”. We could hear male voices and heavy walking in the villa next door, but with our pool water feature running it helped to drown out the noise. I suspect the room only accommodations may have more neighbor noise. We did not have any noise from the restaurant. This resort really does have spectacular views.

Resort notes:

• Villa F’s pool is very big and has a cool shape. The water was very warm. The view of the Pitons and bay is very good as well. I think it would be a good view in any room. Pool man came each day at about noon.

• Villa F had an open air shower on the second floor. Water pressure is not great and as others have said you need to let the water run a few minutes to get the hot water (solar heated)

• wi-fi in villas worked well and It is free. They do have a transformer for an outlet, but I would bring a travel adapter is you can.

• Cell phone (called a firefly) to call front desk or restaurant worked well.

• The boutique has a few nice things though i suspect overpriced if you were to shop at the markets, which i did not do so i can't comment as to where would be a good place to go, other than in Castries there is a large market for all of the cruise ship tourists, so even there it is probably overpriced. The UVF airport has lots in one shop and more reasonable prices.

• didn’t check out the spa- my husband used the mineral bath, it is free and did not smell or stain his clothing (though I wouldn’t wear white)

• grounds were very nice- though would be more lush if it were not the dry season, they need rain

• resort pool is nice, not a lot of chairs available. Beautiful view.

• frogs and insects very loud at night but still soothing I thought, run the pool for added white noise if needed (they do supply ear plugs in the room kit)

• no mosquitos, again it may be because of the constant breeze. We really did not have any bugs like moths even (we did turn off extra lights). a few ants. Definitely do not leave any food out at all, the ants will find it. The birds will as well as others have mentioned.

• lots of quick little lizards around, but they aren’t very big and run away from you. I did not see a spider of any size.

• bed and pillows very comfortable

• no need for concern regarding a/c, a constant breeze is always blowing which makes it comfortable for sleeping. You can get a standing fan as well.

• walk to whole length of the grounds where the rooms are, at the end there is another pavilion seemingly not in use that has another great view at the top.

• Regarding the restaurant: We found Dasheen was consistently good for dinner, but you are paying a lot more on account of the unique view. (note eating dinner in the villa is also very enjoyable). I ate 3 of the fish specials which were all good. The steaks were also prepared well, not dry, as others have mentioned, but be aware that the beef is not grain fed like most in the US and therefore has a bit of a different flavor being grass fed. And I agree the Dasheen shrimp was good like many have stated. Other than the prices being so high, my husband was annoyed to have to be dressed in pants and shoes and a collared shirt each night, this restaurant does not need this dress code on the island, it's just silly... especially since the resort is really not glamorous.

Things we did and other tips:
• I also recommend the sunset cruise as many others have. Try Mystic Man tours in Soufriere, call them direct if you have a phone [--] to see if you can get it for less than Ladera charges. The hors d'oeuvres were pretty weak, but they were not stingy with drinks!

• We did an ATV tour (not through Ladera) with ATV Paradise Tours in Micoud, about 45 taxi ride and 100US round trip. I would recommend it. They are on the web. It’s 3 hours and private w/just you and the owner/guide Kurt, a Belgium man.

• Taxi’s are very very expensive. i.e. $150 from Soufriere to Castries. However when you get your first ride the driver will undoubtedly give you his card and offer a cheaper price than the resorts to take you places. The resort would have charged us $180.

• Food everywhere overall is expensive, we did not have a dinner under $90 US. Most entrees are no less than $24. Even a local taxi driver told us he spends 50US on a dinner out with his wife (though he gets beer at a much cheaper price)

• Main road is paved well, but extremely winding everywhere, many will get carsick, remember to have the windows open for fresh air – it will help. If you can handle driving on the left than I think it would be doable to rent a car if you plan on traveling around the island a lot. Though winding, I did not think most drivers were very ‘crazy’, but it all depends on what you have experienced. People from Italy would have no problem I bet. Car rentals are $65 a day and there are a few more added license fees.

•US dollars excepted everywhere but your change will be given in EC. We took cash with us so to prevent the relatively new foreign exchange bank fees on credit cards of 3 percent.

• Unfortunately, Martha’s Table just a mile or 2 away from Ladera was closed because Martha’s father had died, many have said it is good. Gee’s in Soufriere was ok for dinner (food), but the view and ambience was spectacular. The Hummingbird restaurant at the Hummingbird Resort in town was I think our best dinner overall and many others have said it was good, so I would recommend one night there. We also had lunch at Jacque’s in Castries which was good, but again expensive at $65US plus a taxi ride.

• I also want to mention that snorkeling at Jalouise beach from off the shore is really quite impressive. Some have mentioned that it was good, but it is really spectacular for the price! $5US per person to rent fins and masks is it. There are many nice fish to see and the area that is roped off is quite large, even with all the tour boats that make stops, I recommend getting there by 11, the boats seem to come by to drop off people at around noon. There are not many corals to see here, some sponges mostly, so if you want to see a variety of live corals you will need to go on an excursion between the Pitons I suspect, which I did not do so I can't compare. There are several plastic lounge chairs over by the rocks on the snorkeling side. We did not go over to the other side of the beach by the resort, but it did look very nice and the sand is great. A must do!

• Regarding Soufriere town about 30 min., cost $10 US. There is a grocery store there. Some have mentioned feeling unsafe when walking, I see it no less safe than anywhere as long as you just practice common sense. People are quite used to tourists and will likely introduce themselves and ask you if you’d like a tour or a taxi. Everyone is polite, and you can just thank them and say no if you are not interested. This should not be scary. Kids and some adults may ask for money, give them some change or just say no, they did not seem very persistent or aggressive to me.

We also stayed at the Stonefield Estate Villas, see my separate review of our stay there. We did prefer Ladera. However, I am glad we did both.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JACmidwest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 March 2010

I will start out by saying that this hotel and their restaurant dasheene has some of the most amazing views you could ever imagine. It was wonderful waking up to the pitons every morning and seeing the beach and sail boats hundreds of feet below. Staff is very accomadating and eager to please. Its also nice that they will transport you from beach to beach and give you a vocher for a beach chair free of charge.

Now for the bad. Everything is incredibily overpriced. Dinner ranges from 50-75 per person. And forget about having the hotel book you a taxi. We went a distance of about 3-4 miles and it cost us $30. After the sun goes down there is really nothing else to do. Not to mention it just gets down right creepy as u are in the middle of the rain forest. A bat frequented our room nightly and almost flew into my husband's head one night. I don't do well with the "great outdoors" so I was rather appalled to see frogs, lizards, and a barrage of mosquitos flood our room every day. The final straw was when I spotted a spider about the size of kitten trying to make its way into our room.

In all I do think that it is a beautiful hotel and one of a kind experience. I think though that i misunderstood what kind of experience it would be. I was expecting a luxury hotel with a beautiful view. In truth, it isnt really luxrious, the spa is nothing to brag about and the insects and bats , kept me from feeling like i was in a luxurious location. The only luxury about the hotel is that your paying $500 dollars a night (to sleep with frogs) .I think this hotel would be amazing for those that loves the outdoors, dont mind insects, and have gone camping before. I am however a girly girl from miami that loves bug spray, night life, 5* spas, and glamour.

Whether u love or hate the hotel just depends on what ur interests are. If someone had forwarned me in advance, I think i would have done better. So i hope that this review helps someone from making the same mistake.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank dwyer2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2010

We stayed at Ladera for 7 days/6 nights in March and had a wonderful time. The views are truly spectacular and the dining on the property was phenomenal. While the prices are quite high in all aspects, the experience is one that you will not find elsewhere. The rooms are nicely appointed with private plunge pools, finely carved furniture, but be aware you WILL have guests in the form of lizards and the occasional bird in your room due to the open wall. At no time did we have issues with bugs/snakes/or anything of the like and as long as you are not opposed to the random brush with nature you are sure to enjoy yourself. This resort is not a good family spot, and the open railings and elevated balconies are in fact a bit dangerous (the resort makes mention of this and somewhat discourages it).
The resort has beach use privileges at two beaches, one of which is unremarkable and the staff at that resort is sub-par at best. (They are NOT affiliated with Ladera). The second beach however (the "black-sand" beach) was fantastic and features great service and a marine preserve with great reef snorkeling.
In summary this is a fantastic resort and an experience that you will most certainly not forget. If you are an outdoor enthusiast with discriminating taste in hotels, it could not be more perfect. The manager and the staff ALL make it a point to interact with you daily, and are all true masters of their craft.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Pbot1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2010

My fiance and I stayed at Ladera prior to getting married at another resort on the island. This resort is a once in a lifetime place. We were treated with first class service from the time we entered the property until the day we left. Holly and her entire staff were unbelievable the whole time. Of course the beauty of the resort says it all but when you have staff that are unparalled in addition could this place get any better? Chef Orlando Satchell at Dasheene rocks! This chef in unbelievable- from visiting with his guests at their table each night to his culinary masterpieces. I could weep over how great this chef's food is. We were truly indulged the entire stay. Then when we had to say goodbye and go to another resort for our wedding I could have cried as I knew no place could match this. Sure enough the resort we got married at failed miserably in every way. All of our requests that were agreed upon were never met! From wedding day hairstyle to flavor of the wedding cake-what a failure this place was. I almost called Holly at Ladera to beg to come back knowing they would have made our day special. Ladera is the best!

Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
1  Thank ChefGirl313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2010

Having read the last review about the noise posted on 24 February, I have to say, I agree!

My husband & I have just got back from a 3 night stay at Ladera (room X3) and although the views of the Pitons are spectacular, I didn't expect to be kept awake until 11 pm / 11.30 pm on 2 nights out of the 3 by live music in the restaurant and bar to then be woke by staff arriving for work, chatting outside, laying out tables etc at 6 am.

Their website gives the impression that's it a quiet, serene hotel but the open rooms with 3 walls means that sound travels fast which is fine if you want to stay up in the bar until late but if you don't, you'd be better off spending your £500++ per night elsewhere.

On another note, the food is good but not great (some odd combinations plus 2 lots of room service dinner were not hot), the hotel pool is tiny (but then you do have your own personal plunge although ours was freezing when it should have been heated?) and the decor is interesting but looks rather tired (especially the restaurant toilets which were really shabby - not what I would expect from a luxury hotel).

So, if you have the money, do go for the experience and views but ask for a room far away from the restaurant and bar.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank windybarn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2010

We were put in the Hillside rooms, X1, the first night. Hardly slept a wink because it is right next to restaurant and bar, and they have live music until 11pm. The restaurant has a good reputation (it's excellent) so outside people and locals come in to eat, and celebrate. On our first night they sang happy birthday to someone several times very loudly until 11.50pm. We were very tired after long flight and zet lag time difference.
Then the restaurant clears up clanking about until 12.30 am plus. Then at 5am deliveries arrive for breakfast and they start to lay tables for breakfast at 6am, dropping things, dragging chairs across the floor, chatting etc.
There are no walls so the sound travels! We moved rooms after the first night to one further away from her and it was fine. Ruined our first day though as we had to sleep most of it to recover from noisy night.
Do not be put in X1 to X5, nor rooms A or B then you stand a chance of not being near the restauant.

Otherwise it has a charm of its own, great views, good staff. The place is a little rough and ready though so it is quirky and things l;ike showers do not always work well.
Great to have your own pool.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank katdSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2010

If I’d read the last two reviews before booking our St Lucia holiday, there’s no way we’d have gone to Ladera. Fortunately, I’ve only read them since our return – we had a wonderful time at this unique hotel!

However, it’s not for everyone. If you’re expecting a highly luxurious, modern, plush hotel, you should look elsewhere. If you want a uniquely St Lucian experience, with breathtaking views, good food, good service in an “organic” setting, it’s for you!

The rooms are very comfortable and quite well equipped. Our “villa” suites were spacious and full of character, the décor interesting if a little tired. The four poster bed was the most comfortable I’ve ever slept in away from home. And then of course, there’s the view – spectacular and ever-present.
The open–sided design brings the outside into the room, and again if waking up to gekkos on the walls, frogs on the floor and birds perching on your bed worries you, Ladera’s not for you! But we loved it! The beds have good-quality nets over them so nothing actually gets in to you as you’re sleeping.

The missing wall obviously lets in sound where an enclosed room wouldn’t. The night time chorus of insects, frogs etc was an amazing sound, and we actually found it soothing as we went to sleep, but some probably wouldn’t. You’d certainly be disturbed if you had noisy neighbours, but luckily we didn’t. Note that all suites and villas are connected – there are no standalone buildings – and it would definitely be a good idea to include a site plan on the hotel’s website to give prospective guests a better idea of the layout.
I would agree with an earlier reviewer about the music, though. Ladera pitches itself as a quiet, relaxing hotel ,so having live entertainment blaring out from the bar until as late as 2300 most nights when all the rooms are “open” seems a strange thing to do. It should definitely finish at 2200, or even earlier. I guess it’s not a major problem unless you want an early night, though (as we did on our first night due to the 4 hour time difference).

Our first room was right opposite the bar and the noise was quite bad, but after complaining we were moved to a more distant room the following day, which was much better. Full marks to the staff for the way this was handled. In fact, the hotel staff were pretty much spot on all throughout our eight day stay.

The plunge pool temperature does vary as they’re solar heated, but were never too cold to use (although the double pool in our second suite was both larger and warmer than that in the first). There was a bit of refurb work going on in some rooms as well, which created a bit of unwanted noise between 1000 and 1500 on a couple of occasions, but wasn’t really a major issue.

We found the Dasheene restaurant pretty good, if a little expensive. Head chef Orlando is very hands on, so perhaps his absence may explain some of the poor reviews below. (Incidentally, definitely sign up for his Saturday morning market visit – it’s a great way to get up close to the local Soufriere experience without feeling intimidated by pestering sellers.)
Breakfast was rather more hit and miss - both in efficiency of service and standard of cooking – although the choice of food on offer was very good.
The bar, like the restaurant, was full of character and the service, bar food and drinks were all superb.

The closest beach, Jalousie, was quite nice and uncrowded when we were there. We were treated no differently to Jalousie guests – being able to select comfortable loungers and offered beach service.

We didn’t use the Spa, so can’t really comment, although it did seem quite expensive and not overly inviting (which is why we didn’t use it!).

We had a hire car, which was very useful as the location of Ladera makes it expensive to get taxis anywhere. As a UK driver, I found no problems with the roads – many of which are better then I’m use to at home, if somewhat steeper! The hotel are good at arranging taxis, excursions etc but it works out far more expensive than organising yourself.

The best local restaurant we found (other than Dasheene!) was the Mango Tree at the nearby Stonefield estate. Excellent for both lunch and dinner, if rather quiet (as were most things while we were there).

So, in summary, Ladera’s not perfect, but it is, in our experience, a very good, unique hotel. It has bags of character, a stunning location, a good restaurant and bar, and helpful, friendly staff. It’s probably not for everyone, but we loved it! If we were planning our trip again we’d definitely choose Ladera, although we’d probably split our eight days between it and a hotel in the North to make it easier to explore all of the island.

Finally, we met two couples during our stay who had previously been at the (more expensive) Jade Mountain resort, and both said they preferred Ladera. We never heard any serious complaints from other guests during our time at Ladera.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank drcarrera
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 - £1,091 (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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