My wife and I spent our honeymoon (5 nights) at Ladera, I am the type to do months of research on a trip (at least one as important as a honeymoon) so after reading all the reviews here, looking on different travel websites we decided to book a standard room with a plunge pool.
For the most part we loved the trip and we have a lot of really good memories, on the other hand there were a few things that tried to make the trip a bit less enjoyable.
The service at Dasheene was slow as everyone said it would be but then again we were in no rush to get anywhere at night so it was not a big deal, the food was mostly very good my favorite being the sugar cane steak. One exception would be the night they had a buffet which consisted almost entirely of seafod, being that neither my wife or I eat seafood we were not very impressed but thats somewhat to be expected when honeymooning on a tropical island in the ocean. When I booked the trip I did not forsee the need for the all inclusive plan - however after one dinner and one lunch we quickly realized that was a bad move as the dinner was around $200 and the lunch close to $100. So for the rest of the trip we added on the all inclusive plan - if you do not plan to eat anywhere else DEFINITLEY get the all inclusive - your wallet will thank you.
The room was very nice (i've forgotten which room we were in because I waited so long to write this) we did not get upgraded as so many others have but we were perfectly happy with our two level standard room. Downstairs had a nice couch behind the plunge pool (which had a bridge going over it so the actual pool part was rather small and very cold) and upstairs had a bed and two chairs with the most beautiful view anyone could ask for. Upon check in we were taken to our room and while explaining all the ammenities it was discovered the walkie talkie did not work and were told it would be taken and fixed. We never got it back even when we asked the front desk about it repeatedly.
We took the drive in volcano/botanical garden/waterfall tour arranged by Ladera with two other couples. The volcano was very interesting and the guide very informative at the end however you have to walk through a group of men trying to sell necklaces - which by the way they will tell you are all completely hand made on the island but oddly enough we found the exact same necklace for sale on a different trip outside of the carribean.. so take things with a grain of salt. After tipping the tour guide and paying for our time in the park we got back on the bus and drove to the botanical garden. The garden itself was very beautiful, however after leaving the bus the guide took us just inside the gates and she stopped us to give a 5 minute talk about how she thinks she should be tipped since she doesnt get paid for leading the tours through the garden. Then we were taken to pay admission into the garden and led on a tour. Another point of confusion (all the couples thought the same way) was that we were under the impression we could get into the mineral baths but were told we could - for another fee, which everyone declined. Leaving the garden we again had to pass through a group trying to sell necklaces and this group was a bit more pushy even trying to follow one couple as they got onto the tour van. And off we went to the water falls. Again paying admission we found our way (the "guide" didnt show up till we had already found the water falls and did not offer and information just standing around and offering once to take everyones picture) these water falls you could indeed get into and my wife and I did - the water was freezing cold but how often do you get a chance to swim- err actually crawl under a waterfall? After we dried off and started walking out the guide actually held his hand out waiting for a tip which we all skipped and kept walking. He could be heard talking about why he deserved one too as we faded away. I'm guessing the van driver took a nap while we went to this place as after waiting on the side of the road for a while he showed up and seemed very sleepy and took us back to the hotel.
After that adventure we stuck to just going to the Jalouise beach which was very nice and split our time between snorkeling (came very close with a barracuda and others reported seeing several octupii) and laying on the beach drinking delicious banana daquiris.
All in all we really enjoyed the trip, but just read all the reviews before you go so that you know exactly what is in store. It is a nice hotel with a once in a lifetime view - but definitely not a "luxury" hotel by any stretch of the imagination. If only once I would recommend a visit to Ladera just to experience waking up in the morning to that wonderful view.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Ladera Hotel Soufrière
- Ladera Resort Soufrière
- Ladera St Lucia
- Ladera Resort St. Lucia/Soufriere