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.
• 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.
- 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