I too read that Ladera was rated # 1 by CondeNast Traveler. I was soon to be married (at the time) and looking for a once in a lifetime luxury that we would likely not experience again.
I felt completely mislead and extremely frustrated mainly because of the price paid vs what we rec'd. As a honeymooner I wanted to be pampered. What we got were rude and not the least bit of a warm welcome. Our questions were met with 'oh just do this' kind of attitude. No one was the least bit helpful or concerned that we were happy or understood the property, our options, the way things worked, etc.
Upon arrival after traveling all day we were hungry and looking forward to enjoy all the luxury ammenties like room service, and being pampered. We wanted to go enjoy our beautiful room and not have to deal with sitting down at a restaurant. We tried to use our walkie talkies (there are no phones so this is the way you communciate with all services). It didn't work. We walked all the way back to the front desk where it was determined our walkie needed new batteries!! Why wouldn't they check this BEFORE a new tenant occupies the unit?? We walked all the way back and attempted to order room service. We reread the walkies directions and tried in vain to order room service. Finally, we called the front desk and explained our problem. Their only suggestion was to "try again" and "are you sure your using the right channel?". We tried again (yes we were using the right channel) and still couldn't get thru. Finally, I called back the front desk and there response was that "they must not be there now". I was flabergasted. They knew we just arrived, that we had problems with our walkie, and weI told them we were hungry and what they should have done is contact room service for us. So after all that, we had to leave our room and eat in the restaurant! The sad part is this is the way our stay began and it's only the beginning!!!
The rooms were a bit of a disappointment. I say that because what you see on the internet is not likely what you'll get in YOUR room. I expected (this may be my fault) that all the rooms have this wide open view with the bed right up front. What we got was a very small view point, half blocked by a wall that curves in towards your room/view (Room M) where the bed is waay in the back and down a few stairs - very dark.. When we expressed dissapointment they basically said 'oh well'. Only after I made a fuss and spoke with different front desk personel later that day and the next day did I finally find someone who seemed only concerned about shutting me up. When I mentioned my husband didn't want to have to pack everything up, thet said that they would do that for us; but that made him uncomfortable so I packed everything up and they moved it. The second room was all I had expected (Room O; which we were told was one that was posted on their website) and it was glorious! We enjoyed the view! They did indeed have poor water pressure and temperature issues. Only after days of freezing and offhandidly mentioning it to a serviceman we saw he came in and showed us a button that was a "heater booster" and THAT solved the problem! Why didn't someone tell us that beforehand?? I had little issue with the bugs. I have to say I hate bugs and I was overwhelmingly concerned about being bitten to death. This did not happen. You can expect, if you leave the lights on at night, that they will draw bugs, but our ceiling was high and we didn't have them flying around our heads. I was not bitten more than once in 4 days! But, we did travel from 12/3 thru 12/6 and their was a cool front there our entire stay.
Room service continued to be difficult to reach. Service at the restaurant was painfully slow. I know there was not much else to do around there but eat, but come on 2 1/2 hrs for dinner?? The wait staff was also NOT detailed and downright forgetful. Forgetting to get a soda requested and ordered at the beginning of a meal should NOT happen at a property that charges upwards of $500 plus a night. They forgot to put sauces on the side or forgot to bring them at all.
We found all of our meals (and we ate everyone of them there) were very good. We had no issues or complaints at all about the food. The lobster w/ a coconut sauce was to die for and I still think about it!!! The best cooked lobster I have every had - anywhere (and I've been to much of the Carribean).
Then there were the excursions. Incredibly overpriced and with a bit of research you find you can do these very things on your own for a fraction of the cost. If the service provided was amazing - I'd say go for it, but it was just ok.
We finally found an assistant manager (he name escapes me now) who was the only one who appeared to give a dam. Even then, it was not UNITL we gave her a bottle of wine (that we rec'd in our room upon arrival from a freind) as a thankyou on our last day did she suddenly seem ultra concerned about our stay, made a room available for us to change in (that wasn't an option earlier) and gave us comment cards and her email to contact her about all the 'problems' we had had. (We joked we should have bought them all wine on our first day!)
We found that the few times the manager/owner was on property was when when the service was better from everyone. But while the boss was away... the mice do play - or should I say 'do ignore'.
I thought the views were fantastic. I though everything else was mediocre. I didn't mind spending so much time on the property/in our room because the second room was amazing and we were on our honeymoon. The even had little DVD's player with a tiny screen that you could borrow to watch a movie.
If you are spending your hard earned money looking for an amazing location and expecting luxury service this place is NOT it. If you are looking for a breathtaking view but don't mind what comes with it - then you'll love Ladera.
I myself, still feel disenchanted with what I expected from an expensive (supposid luxury) honeymoon experience and HOPE I have the money and the opportunity to try to find it one day. Don't look for it at Ladera - it's not there.
Management has along way to go to train these employees to treat their guests like a manager is there everyday 24/7.
- 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