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“Ladera - A Man's Point of View” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ladera Resort

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Ladera Resort
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   Rabot Estate, Soufriere, St. Lucia   |  
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Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Soufriere
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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“Ladera - A Man's Point of View”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2004

This is intended to be useful for men looking for some "no --" research on Ladera. Ladies, you can read at your own risk.

Oftentimes us men are faced with challenging vacation proposals from our respective lady friends, and we are stuck trying to balance the "logic" of an elaborate vacation against the "cost" of said vacation. Personally, I am more easy going than my buddies and the men in my family... but spending $400 plus per night at a smaller resort was worth some pretrip research. My concluding opinion is that this experience was worth the expense of the trip. Sure, other locations or resorts might offer some different things, but in my opinion, cruise activities will never let you relax with a view like this.

Getting there is no picnic. We flew from Chicago to Philly to St. Lucia, which took probably 8 hours in all. I am well traveled, but for some, that can be a long time in airports and on planes. When we got to the airport (Vieux Fort, the southern airport, not Castries), Ladera had arranged a shuttle to drive us to the resort. The drive was lousy. 20 miles took 2 hours. Nothing resembling a highway. The road was full of potholes and was a very choppy drive. We actually asked the driver to stop at a little bar, so we could regain our bearings. This road condition is all due to a major construction project that the St. Lucian government started a couple years ago. There were major issues with the Irish construction contractor, which has setback the progress of the road repairs. I was told that in a year or two it will be better. The point here is that traveling to this place is not like checking in to the Hilton across the street from O'hare. It takes time and it may even test your patience. However, if you are on your honeymoon or are excited about the end result, this should be a forgettable part about your trip. However, perhaps warn the Mrs. to be prepared for some discomfort. At the very least she will be warned and you can confidently tell her that you "told her so". Ok, we all know a comment like that only perpetuates the fury, but if you have planned ahead and can give her a motion sickness pill, it will disguise both your organization skills and your sensitivity pulse. Suggestion for air travel, consider flying into Castries and driving south, as the road is better and more interesting in my opinion.

I think Ladera was a gated resort, so the security feeling was totally comfortable. Checking into this place is easy, they carry your bags to your room and all that. Just give them your credit card and it is amazing how simple things can be. The fridge in our room was stocked with a few beverages, no charge, and it was nice to kick back with a Caribbean rum and coke after a long day of traveling. The walking paths are very nice, flowers and banana trees all over. The other common grounds of the resort are also nice. The main pool looked great, but we did not use it. The pool deck was also nice, but it was not big, which is probably not necessary considering the low number of available guest rooms. There is internet access and some American television in a little lounge area. It is nothing special, but checking fantasy football scores gave me some comfort. The restaurant is everything people talk about, great food and moderately expensive. This place is easily in my top 3 in the world for places to eat, but expect to pay at least $100 for dinner for two with dessert and wine. They actually gave us a bottle of wine or discounted some wine for us due to a honeymoon package, which I suspect was eligible for all guests, including those not on their honeymoon. I liked the bar, a very mellow place that had respectful and professional workers. It was great to hang out and enjoy a glass of wine before dinner, just staring at hawks divebombing the Piton valley.

The weather for us was very pleasant in late November. Felt like mid to upper 80's most of the time, but it may have been hotter. It rained only one afternoon for a couple hours, which was actually very fortunate because the view of sweeping rain and incoming clouds was awesome. Some people have commented on the humidity being a problem, but we did not think it was overly humid at all. Although it was darker earlier at that time of year, in the future we will probably try to visit during the same season. One of the reasons I chose St. Lucia was that it is south of the main hurricane belt, which is apparently a concern at that time of year.

We stayed in room N and enjoyed it very much. Bed upstairs with the netting everybody talks about. College quality couch and chairs on the main level, which was just fine for our needs. The bathroom was surprisingly large and they had a power converter for the electronics. The pool is not something to swim in, it is way too small. But ours was exposed to the sun and became comfortably warm by noon. If you have seen the video from Ladera, you can get a sense for the pool and room, but I think the video only shows the best and largest rooms. We were happy with the room, but we also can tolerate less than 5 star amenities. The water was warm, not hot. The lizards and bugs were visible but not swarming or annoying. There were plenty of moths at night attracted to our bathroom light, but it was no big deal. Did not get bit or disturbed by anything at night. If you or your woman absolutely detests camping, the living quarters may be a bit challenging. Otherwise, if you can forget about your American or European luxuries for a few days, tramping around barefoot or by sandal can be pleasantly liberating. I think many people who say negative things about Ladera are mostly dissappointed with the room. The room is decent, not great. It is probably less clean than a Holiday Inn. You are not paying for the room quality by going to Ladera, you are paying for the view. The view is everything and more than what is shown in pictures and on the video. If you appreciate awesome views and privacy, this is place for you. If you cannot stop to smell the roses, Ladera might not be up your alley.

We recommended Ladera to some friends and they spent a few days there during their honeymoon. Their experience was not as positive as ours. They had stayed at Sandals beforehand and I think were expecting some of the same all inclusive services. They seemed more interested in the next free meal than relaxing, and the woman is more of a Sex In The City type. I can see why they did not like it as much, and perhaps I should have given them some of this information ahead of time.

The Hilton everybody talks about is just a beach resort in my opinion. Seems very nice, but not much character. This is the place to swim and snorkel for Ladera guests, although those that appreciate nature will be discouraged that the Hilton imported the sand on their beach. We took a couple tours while at Ladera and had a good time listening to and visiting with the guides. The volcano tour is interesting, but it does not look like what I expected a volcano to look like. If you have been to the hot springs in Colorado, this is very similar. I enjoyed it, but would not do it again. We also went to the Diamond waterfall, which was cool but there were lots of tourists. On the same tour we went swimming in another waterfall, which was fun. The botanical garden tour was very very nice. However, DO NOT consider swimming in the hot springs. These are basically YMCA quality pools with hot water that smells like rotten eggs. Tempting as the tropical experience may sound it was a total waste of money. We did not spend a lot of time in Soufriere, but when we go back to Ladera, that is one place I would like to hang out more.

I found the people of St. Lucia to be very nice. I have traveled a little in the Caribbean, and the people here seemed more friendly than Barbados, St. Thomas, Martinique, etc. The people of Aruba I found to be more kind to tourists than the other islands, but everybody's experience is different. I heard in St. Lucia that the unemployment rate is crazy high, something like 25%.

So in closing, I guess I could say that for the right type of person, Ladera is one of the best possible vacation spots. My wife and I are those types of people, so Ladera will always be special for us and we will go back many times I am sure. However, if you are not up for a little adventure, or if your companion will flip over a cracked fingernail or a curious lizard, you might want to stick to something more like Sandals.

Hope it was helpful, good luck gentlemen.

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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london
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2004

We have just returned from St Lucia, where we spent nine nights, the last two at Ladera. The hotel was everything we had hoped for, and more.

The room was unbelievable - much bigger than I had expected, with an incredible view of both Pitons. There was room for a giant four-poster bed - about 7ft square - a really comfortable sofa, two armchairs and a plunge pool. We didn't care that the pool wasn't heated as we only used it when we were really hot and wanted to cool down. Because of the opening where the fourth wall should be, you can sunbathe in your own hotel room (with nothing on, if you like, since no-one can see) and then jump in your own plunge pool. What a treat!

The food was gorgeous, the best we had in St Lucia. I recommend especially the lamb and the shrimp dasheene. It is expensive, but they didn't seem to care when we ate just a main course each for dinner. The servings were huge, so that was all we needed. The buffet brunch on Sunday is better value at $20 a head.

On Wednesday nights, there is a great party down the hill at Bang Restaurant, through the grounds of the Jalousie Hilton and out the other side. There are acrobats and fire-eaters and everyone ends up dancing. It's well worth a trip.

The staff were really friendly and helpful. Our only complaint was that our shower never ran hotter than lukewarm, which is fine on a hot day but not so good on a dark evening when a fairly chilly wind is whistling through your room. At these prices, you do expect hot water.

Otherwise, though, Ladera is fantastic: a real one-off. Even if you can only afford to go for one or two nights, I would definitely recommend it.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2004

Being a later in life married couple on our honeymoon we were primed to experience St. Lucia as a remarkable place to visit by the comments of a recently married couple(much younger than we) who were our accquaitance. They had stayed at a resort near Ladera. After review with internet and Air Jamica we decided upon the Ladera experience--and how thankful we were. Being from the great Eastern Texas Forest we knew something of the nature scene. We wondered how the construction of Ladera would handle bugs, lizards, birds, frogs, flowers, fauna and flora. Boy- how was it handled! Wonderful!! As regards our trip: scored # 1-10
a. We recommend a villa. Ours was E. Words cannot describe the view, space, decorations, service and style. #10+
b. Shuttle on the hour to the Hilton Joluses beach #10
c,. Food at Ladera restaurant #9
d. Wine List #7.5
e. Ambience #10
f. Fellow visitors--We were accepted with kindness by our fellow guest--we being 30 years older than most #10
g. Botanical experience #10
f. Value of services#10
g. Monitary expense for food at Ladera _high but worth it.
h. self directed walking trip to Piton water falls from Hilton. We made arrangement to be picked up by Ladera shuttle. This is a MUST! #9
i. trip to Castries- Boat portion #10 City Portion #7
j. Self Directed Trip city of Soufriere. This was one of the highlights because the social structure, architecture, small individual owned stores, and monetary conditions reminded us of the condition of Southern Cities immediately before and after WWII. The people were accepting and accomadative especially at the restaurant "Green Room" Don't do this trip if poverty of materialistic things offend you. Do this trip if you enjoy the resilence of the human spirit to adapt to his environment. #8
k. Rum- Chairman's Reserve #8.5, Piton Beer #8
l. Main Course Fish Meals (Barracuda, Saltfish,Mai Mai, Marlin) #9
m.Plunge Pool- Location #10. Temp.-#1 Needs heating we opinioned.
n.Flight Air Jamica #8
o.Road trip from Vieux Fort to Ladera- 45 minutes
experience of the art of dodging holes, driving on the opposite side of the road, excellence of a driver to understand dangers, fall offs, short cuts through forest and the generalized art of driving over roads unknown to my wife and me-#10
p. Weather - had some rain, some sun, some light wind, some moon glow #9
q. Service and "Kindness of Stangers"at restaurant, bar, villa---#10
r. Ability to do "Our Own Thing at Our Time" #10
s. Absence of Radio, C.D, Internet, T.V., D.V.D., People magazine, Star, Newspaper, WSJ, Walmart, Gas Stations, e mail, #10+ ( yes the world still functions without these.)
t.. Desire to Return----- You have got to be kidding--- Probably within the next week!!!!!

  • Stayed October 2004
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2004

We just got back from a week at Ladera. It was our favorite vacation ever. After reading ALL the reviews here i was only hoping for the best (cold showers, small rooms, managment). However, we were very pleasantly surprised all the way around --and I'm kind of picky myself. It was our first time in St. Lucia and I really believe that staying at Ladera made the visit what it was. We did see the whole island while we were there and Ladera seems to have the best view by far. As many have said, if you want a TV, quick walking access to beach, or are afraid of lizards it would not be the place for you. I don't go camping or anything and am by no means a nature woman--yet couldn't have asked for a more awesome experience. There is a big difference between types of rooms. We saw about 6 of them and loved our room best (Rm. B). I think if Ladera has vacancy they may upgrade you without you asking (like they did for us). But if you can afford the top room you'd be safer to just book it since the resort was almost full at all times. We were upgraded to the top category type of room--a 3 bdrm. villa and it was mind-blowing. Even the smallest rooms were still very cool but just didn't have much room in the plunge pool (You could swim in ours and it was warm) and not as much comfort I felt. Feel free to email me with questions.

  • Stayed November 2004
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, CA
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2004

We just came back from St. Lucia, where we stayed at Ladera Resort from 10/17-10/24. What an incredible place! We stayed in A-2; a two-story suite with a bedroom and bathroom on each level. The view from this room was breathtaking. On two separate mornings we woke up to a double rainbow over Petite Piton. Every night, the moon would sit in the sky, smack in the middle of the Pitons, and cast a moonpath on the sea below. We would sit in our plunge pool (which was heated—lots of comments here saying that they were cold...not sure if it has to do with having a lot of direct sunlight or not) and have drinks and listen to soft music (bring a cd-player, you'll be glad you did) and just enjoy the fantastic view.When I say this place is paradise, I mean it!

The weather was great, except for the day we hiked Gros Piton. We made it to the top with fine weather, and were rewarded with a beautiful view of the southern part of the island, but 15 minutes into our descent, the sky opened up with the most incredible downpour! We were soaked! I thought it was pretty exciting to be hiking down in the rain (not to mention, it cooled us off) but when the lightning and thunder struck, our guides (two very nice ladies named Virginia and Merle) covered their ears and shrieked!!! LOL It stopped raining about halfway down the mountain. When we got back to Ladera, we realized that the rain was coming into the rooms horizontally! The walls and bed linens were wet! Housekeeping was great—they went from room to room and took care of everything.

We ate most of our meals at Dasheene. The food here is second to none. The Shrimp Dasheene, Mojo Steak, and Seafood Rasta Pasta were our favorites. We were lucky to be there while their Executive Chef, Orlando Satchell, was in residence. What an amazing chef he is. We attended a cooking demonstration on Saturday morning which was incredibly fun and informative. Orlando is a true credit to his profession, and to Ladera.

We had lunch at the beach everyday—our favorite was the beachside restaurant at Anse Chastanet. I highly recommend the shrimp baguette, as well as their barbecue buffet. Delicious! Lunch at the beachside cafe at the Jalousie Hilton was fine, but nothing extraordinary. We ate at the Mango Tree at Stonefield, and were not impressed in the slightest. I don't know if it was because we were comparing it to Dasheene, but we found the food to be lacking in flavor and originality. It was basic fare, at best. The music they played was better suited to a disco.

We took a water taxi into Castries for shopping one morning, and that was great fun. There was a cruise ship in port, and it was enormous! The people in Castries are friendly, but overall, they didn't seem too happy around tourists unless they were trying to sell you something.

We met some wonderful couples at Ladera, and were made to feel as part of the group by everyone we came in contact with. I highly recommend staying here if you are looking for a relaxing vacation. True, there is no television, or telephone, but the view alone is worth giving up every single one of our modern day conveniences. It was so romantic, in fact, that my boyfriend proposed to me in the plunge pool, under the moonlight on our very last night there!

Ladera and the island of St. Lucia will forever have a place in my heart.
I wish we were still there.

Please email me if you have any questions or would like to see our pictures.

Thanks for reading!
Judith & Robert

  • Stayed October 2004
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
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:
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Soufriere Quarter > Soufriere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Soufriere
#3 Luxury Hotel in Soufriere
#4 Family Hotel in Soufriere
#5 Romantic Hotel in Soufriere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ladera Resort 4.5*
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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