From the moment Nigel picked us up at the airport, we felt like we were in good hands. He was friendly and cheerful (we soon learned that was pretty much the norm in Saint Lucia), and told us interesting things about the island as we drove to Ladera. He also stopped at a grocery store so that we could pick up some snacks and water. When we arrived at Ladera, we were met with delicious welcome cocktails and Obi's lovely smile, to guide us to our room. Our luggage was whisked away, and we knew we were going to have an amazing time. Our friends had stayed at Ladera before and we had seen their photos, so we thought we knew what to expect. Even still, when Obi opened the door to our suite and we saw the plunge pool, and the room, and the view, we started giggling like children. Just incredible. I had told them that we were celebrating my husband's birthday that weekend, so there was a chilled bottle of sparkling wine waiting in our room for us, with a personal note - lovely touch. The refrigerator was stocked with sodas, water, and Piton beer that was restocked daily. They also provide tea, creamers, sugar, and a French press for coffee.
The entire staff at Ladera was lovely, friendly, helpful, and seemed genuinely happy to provide impeccable service. Even the drivers for our various excursions went out of their way to be informative and ensure that we had a memorable experience. Nigel, the head chef, is a wizard. Although some reviewers have noted that Dasheene is a bit pricey, we didn't think it was out of line for the level of food and service you get. We really appreciated the fact that there was a different vegetarian special every night, as well as vegetarian options on the regular menu. The complimentary continental breakfast is great - homemade granola, fresh yogurt, fruit, pastries, coffee or tea, and freshly squeezed local juices. For a small price ($7 USD) you can also order omelettes, eggs Benedict, etc., which we did a couple times (also excellent).
We did three excursions: the Soufriere Experience, a sailing & snorkeling trip, and the Tet Paul hike. The Soufriere Experience is well worth it: we toured a volcano, visited botanical gardens, soaked in a mineral bath, bathed in a waterfall, and covered ourselves in mud at the mud bath. Our skin felt incredible afterwards, and we had a much better understanding of the island and its many ecosystems. Plus we got to play around in the water and cover ourselves in mud.
The sail & snorkel trip is a MUST. The wonderful Ladera staff made it happen for us, even though the trip usually only goes on Tuesdays and Saturdays (I think?). We wanted to go on Friday and they made a call and got us on a trip for Friday. (Word to the wise: if you want to do any of the excursions, check the schedule when you arrive because some things are only available on certain days of the week: for example, the sunset cruise is only available two days a week). It was about a three-hour tour (a three-hour tour...) - an hour or so out to the snorkeling area, an hour in the water, and another hour back. Piton beer and Bob Marley the whole way. Wonderful captain and first mate. A gorgeous way to spend an afternoon. Getting out on the water is just essential if you visit Saint Lucia. The snorkeling was good, and as I was swimming back to the boat, Nigel (the captain) started feeding the Sergeant Majors, so I ended up swimming in a school of them. One of the coolest (and weirdest) sensations I've ever felt - imagine 40 or so fish, all swimming toward you with their little mouths moving.
The Tet Paul walk was ok, but it's more of a walk than a hike. The guide was interesting, but we had already heard about a lot of the flora and fauna on the Soufriere Experience tour. Still, the views were great and it was nice to get a little bit of exercise in before heading back to our plunge pool (we had no desire to do the 4-hour Piton hike).
We didn't experience any issues with bugs at all, and my husband is usually a mosquito buffet. We didn't see a single one, so maybe it just depends on the time of year. We also didn't have any issues with moths or beetles or any other flying insects in the room. We did have birds and gekkos, and a frog once, which was cool. The temperature was totally perfect, too - warm and sunny during the day (although it was a bit drizzly at times, which the locals refer to, unironically, as "liquid sunshine"), and cool and breezy at night. Also, the showers are often followed by rainbows, just adding to the mystique of the place. It rained hard late at night, which was kind of cool - how often do you get to experience the wind and rain of a storm from the comfort of your bed?
Another nice touch was the fact that the front desk provides you with a cell phone, so that you can contact them anytime, from wherever you are. It came in handy after the Soufriere Experience, when we had to call for a driver to pick us up from the mud bath (that was the one misstep the entire time we were there - usually the driver would be waiting for us when we finished an excursion, but that time we waited over half an hour, which was a bit of a drag because we were wet and I was cold and it was raining. But that only happened the once.).
Overall, Ladera is a truly special place made extra special by the fabulous staff, who go out of their way to make each day amazing.
- 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:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Travelocity, TripOnline SA, HotelQuickly and Hotwire so you can book your Ladera Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Ladera Hotel Soufrière
- Ladera Resort Soufrière
- Ladera St Lucia
- Ladera Resort St. Lucia/Soufriere