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5-Star Luxury Sprouted From Mother Earth
To break it down… Accommodations: *NOTE* every room is a 3-wall concept with the fourth wall open to the elements. There will be bugs, there will be (really cute) teeny tiny frogs, small lizards, there might even be small rodents poking around at night. None of them will hurt you (except the bugs, they bite), and they will run away from you back into the wild if you come near. The bed is covered in mosquito netting (which we sprayed with Off! every night just to be safe), it’s really not bad. They give you bug spray and after bite as well. It’s all part of the experience, you’re 1000 feet up tucked inside a cliff. Embrace it, everyone coexists peacefully. That is of course the main attraction of Ladera, but it’s far from the only attraction. We stayed in the smallest accommodation, the Petit Piton suite, and the experience surpassed my expectations. Every single room comes with its own private heated plunge pool overlooking the lush cliffside, with an unobstructed and complete view of the two pitons. It’s gorgeous first thing in the morning, during a lighting storm, during sunset, and all the damn time. The pool is cleaned and maintained daily, on clockwork like housekeeping (who come twice daily), and that’s just one example of the way Ladera simulates perfection down to the smallest details. More details include binoculars and a star chart in the room, Molton Brown products, sweet treats left and mosquito candles lit during turndown, and an Honor Bar with complementary food and drink. Dining: Dasheene is the on-site restaurant. Each stay comes with complimentary breakfast (take advantage of that!! It was my favorite meal of the day there! The banana jam is to die for, and I keep dreaming about the sweet potatoes). The food is the very definition of “farm-to-table”, with 2 daily fruit juices that changed by the day, a catch of the day that was always different, and the same consistent palate distinctive of St. Lucia. The food was NOT Americanized at all, which was delightful. The menu also changes every other night. There are currently only 3 restaurants to eat at for tourists on the island, and Dasheene was hands down my favorite. I’m so glad it was our home restaurant. We also did the private cooking demonstration with Chef Nigel, and I cannot recommend that highly enough. He makes the complicated seem remarkably simple, and you get to eat what he cooks! Staff: The staff are what make Ladera the place that it is. Caroline, Lorne, Lee, Jovana, Nigel, Clyde, General, Sonja (the GM’s wife who takes a wonderful interest to be around and interact with all of the guests to ensure that everyone is having the best possible experience) and so many other people go so far beyond the expectation to make every experience and interaction pleasant, friendly, and warm. It’s one thing to be hospitable, it’s another to be warm and friendly and generate positivity. That’s ultimately one of the things that sets Ladera apart from any other place I have ever stayed at in my life. I wasn’t just sad to leave the place, I was sad to leave the people! Grounds/Premises: Ladera is built into a cliff 1000 feet up (take one of the sunset cruises, you can see it from the water!), and it definitely shows in the design of the place, which is exquisite. First and foremost, there is a local woodworker onsite 5 days a week who hand carved basically the entire resort. All of the furniture, the walls, doors, decorations, artwork, walking sticks for hiking the property… it’s nothing short of remarkable. Second, there are trails built into the terrain that are definitely doable, but you’ll break a sweat. A lot of steps. Thankfully, you’ll find the aforementioned walking sticks right at the entrance to the trails, which all eventually converge so enter wherever and turn wherever, you won’t get lost. Also there are signs everywhere. It feels like it’s probably designed that way because you do feel like you’re “lost” but you can take comfort knowing that you’re not. There’s a gorgeous, tranquil four-story treehouse on the cusp of the outdoor workout area which is hoot! The property in general is very hilly and stony, which adds to the general feeling of authenticity of the place. It doesn’t feel like a commercial resort, it feels like a luxury way to experience the best that St Lucia herself has to offer. Miscellaneous: Privacy: I’m not sure which genius architect constructed this place but somehow, there is literally no possible way (short of trespassing) to see inside anyone else’s room, even though no one has a fourth wall. The way everything is staggered, the strategic greenery, and the natural topography all work together to somehow ensure complete and total privacy with the freedom. COVID stuff: there didn’t seem to be any real restrictions on vaccinated/unvaccinated, as all the excursions offered by the hotel are “certified Covid-safe” by their tourism industry. Aside from the negative test needed to get into the country, and occasionally donning a mask when you leave the hotel property, there really is nothing different about the experience. HOWEVER, there are fewer available excursions in general because of COVID. My husband and I initially planned out a jam-packed itinerary and we only ended up being able to book about half of it. However, this ended up being for the best because it gave us more time to enjoy the grounds and the experience. Finally, Ladera has an on-site nursing facility where they administer your return-required Covid test and get the results to you in time for your flight (they take care of all the logistics, they just tell you when to show up. It’s amazing.). Excursions: ATV Tour, Soufriere Experience are my two most highly rated, but everything was great. Sail and Snorkel is great, so is the Sunset Cruise (same thing but without the snorkeling), and you can usually get in some whale and dolphin spotting on there which saves you the need for a separate dolphin spotting excursion. My husband hiked Gros Piton, I was gratefully advised by the hotel staff not to go because of my history of knee injury. My husband and his tour were up and down in 3h 15m, and he said it was mostly climbing rocks, very strenuous, not impossible, and not for someone who isn’t up for the physical challenge. Ultimately, I cannot recommend Ladera highly enough to any and all couples. It is an adults-only resort for good reason, and my husband and I cannot wait to make this a tradition in our marriage. It feels authentic, like a 5-star resort sprouted out of the earth into being in the middle of a cliffside in St. Lucia. I can’t imagine anything but disappointment staying anywhere else on the island.
Piece of Heaven!
We had an unexpected cancellation of our flight and was forced to take the flight the following day. When I contacted Ladera about this distressing situation, they were very helpful and graciously accommodated our request to move up our reservation a day later for the same amount of nights on the original reservation. Best of all, they didn't charge us any additional fees to make the change! We were welcomed so warmly and made to feel special off the bat. Our suite had the most amazing views of both Pitons! Breathtaking to say the least. The location was top notch, the food was wonderful, but best of all, the people (staff) were exceptional. It was an experience to remember!
Honeymoon in Paradise
If you’re visiting St. Lucia, Ladera is the spot to be (we traveled to 3 different resorts and wanted to go back to Ladera immediately)! Not only do you get the best views of the Pitons, but you also get the best experience (a more local experience). Ladera is close to all of the tours, so the travel time from the resort to the tour location is short and sweet. Although, keep in mind that you are charged a fee for taxi service every time you leave the resort (not a huge deal in my opinion as this is how the drivers make an income). If you are worried about missing out on the beach, they have a daily shuttle that will drive you from the resort to the beach. When you visit the beach, keep an eye out for Blaze! He has a yellow boat covered in island grass and filled with local fruits - we had 3 different kinds of drinks and 5+ different local fruits!!! If you prefer not to go to the beach, each room at Ladera has a private pool and an infinity pool as the main pool. We spent a lot of time at all 3. If the weather seems to be a bit rainy; they have a spa, game room, hot tubs, etc. to keep you busy! This resort is especially nice during the times of Covid as everything is open and it allows for fresh air. We also felt like we were one of the only couples there! The staff/locals are beyond friendly and accommodating. They will do ANYTHING to ensure you are happy. Please keep in mind that this resort is a 3 wall concept. You must go into your vacation with an open mind and be accustomed to the outdoors. Bugs are a thing, but we never had a problem. I did get a few bug bites, but my husband did not. They provide bug spray, so use it! Ultimately, this is one of our favorite resorts and we’d recommend Ladera to anyone!! The menu at the resort restaurant (Dasheen) changes every other day and there are a few other local restaurants to try. This is truly a farm to table experience and is not at all Americanized (which we loved). Ladera, we love you and hope to be back soon!!
The BEST Honeymoon
My husband and I just spent three nights at Ladera for our honeymoon and had the absolute best time ever. We were blown away by the customer service, everyone was so welcoming, friendly, and helpful. The property and views are stunning, and there is so much to do just onsite! An outdoor gym, outdoor games, indoor games, pool area, reading area, massage. My only constructive suggestion is that some of the menu item prices were higher than I think can be justified. But the cocktails were delicious. The beverage manager, Neilbert, was a huge part of what made our few days so special. We had a couple of tasting certificates as honeymoon gifts and were excited to try both. The first night we did the wine tasting experience and we had a blast talking about wine and cheese pairings. On the last night we did the chef's experience with the wine tastings. Both the food and wine were incredible. The chef, Nigel, came in to say hi and he was also wonderful. Nate was assisting with the dinner and he was so charming and helpful and did a great job. It was one of those events that will stick with you for a long time, and something we will remember and appreciate forever. We could not recommend the wine tasting and chef experience more, as well as the whole Ladera experience.
We decided on this resort based on TripAdvisor reviews. Upon arrival to the resort, you are greeted with a welcome drink with local rum and a cold towel. They take your luggage to be sanitized and bring it to your room. Everything in the room is open...bedroom, bathroom, view of the pitons from the shower. It was very nice. The three wall concept is unique and so fun. We had suite D which was right across from checkin. It was conveniently located to the front desk, Dasheene (restaurant), and main pool. The view was also breathtaking. Our big concern was mosquitos. Although we never saw any, there are other bugs that did bite my wife. I was spared for the most part. The bed has netting which keeps bugs out. We kept it closed throughout the day to assist with that. There was only one robe in the room and only one bath towel. We had to call within the first 10 minutes to request more. We also discovered we had no pool towels. So they brought them also. The shower water pressure was extremely low. It was difficult for my wife to wash her hair. It also took several minutes for the water to warm up. Face masks and ear plugs (to use while sleeping) are provided. They did help. We opted for the all inclusive package. Be aware this is not a typical all inclusive. You are only allowed one app, entree, and dessert per person at dinner. Drinks are all inclusive. They did not tell us this in advance. We found out at dinner. We were a little disappointed in that. The drinks we had were very tasty. They didn’t appear to have much alcohol though. We also had wine and beer. We also asked for beers to our room which they supplied. The food was fantastic. Breakfasts and lunches took about an hour. Dinners were over two. The service was slow. We expected this but we were not disappointed. It made it more relaxing. However, getting drinks was difficult. Having the all inclusive package made this disappointing. Our favorite dishes were the shrimp and scallops, rack of lamb, salmon risotto, yellowfin tuna, Tí scallops, and lobster. The menu for dinner changes every 2 days, which is nice. We did the local free hike on resort property. We recommend it. It takes about 1 1/2 hours total and was not difficult at all. It was much easier than we expected. It had nice views of the surrounding area, Pitons, and has a cool treehouse. There is one restroom located close to the resort on the trail, but wouldn’t open with our room key. Make sure you go before starting the hike and bring water. Overall we were very happy with this resort. The views were breathtaking, food was fantastic, and it was so relaxing. We would definitely recommend.
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