Ladera Resort - St. Lucia... our dream come true....
As a child I would visit London zoo with my family and be fascinated in the rainforest section, especially by the little humming birds. As I grew up the fascination never wore off and I always dreamed of exploring the rainforest and seeing these little birds in the flesh.
When I came across the Ladera Resort whilst searching unique and luxury accommodations for the ULS website, I was in absolute heaven and just had to know more about this unique resort. I was over the moon when we booked to stay at the Ladera last week and just had to share our experience with everyone. Even the hour drive to the resort was magical with the views and scenery, seeing the pitons even from afar we knew this would be a spectacular experience.
The minute we arrived a small team of Ladera staff quickly pampered us with fresh face towels, cocktails and warm greetings, making us feel straight at home. Our luggage was promptly out of our hands and we were taken on a lovely tour of the resort. The first time we experienced the absolutely stunning views of the pitons we fell in love, the photographs will never do these views justice, you really do have to see it to believe it. The resort has a beautiful restaurant, Dasheen, which is split across two floors. The top section is for evening meals with breakfast and lunch served on the lower section, both sections boast spectacular views across the pitons and the beach below. The bar area leads down to a viewing platform and pool for guests which leads into the most magical of gardens. The spa, gym and Jacuzzi’s are a short walk from the reception area.
We were in Heritage suite F, which was very near the spa and reception area and the perfect location for .
The suite was like nothing we had seen or stayed in before, from the detailed woodcarvings and mosaics to the huge heated pool overlooking the views we couldn’t believe this was real. We were in absolute heaven from the minute we stepped in the suite. This particular suite was huge with a seating area in the shade, dining table and kitchen area and a fully stocked fridge of local beers and soft drinks (included In the price and stocked daily). The pool came off of the main living area and down into the garden with beautiful flowers at the end, which were covered in tiny bright colourful hummingbirds, breath-taking! There was even a basket containing binoculars, star charts and a water pistol for any unwanted ‘guests’ being the very tame cute birds that live nearby.
Upstairs boasted a huge four-poster bed and walk in shower that was open to the views once again. Being completely open at the front of the suite the views were uninterrupted and you got a fresh breeze as well as the Caribbean warmth. You could enjoy your morning coffee from a seated area upstairs or even with your feet in the warm pool, which we loved doing
There were two extra guest rooms in this suite, two single beds in an upstairs side room, which were completely shaded. The second area would be perfect for another couple to share as it had its own door with another four poster bed and separate bathroom and shower area ensuring complete privacy. The second bedroom was shaded and out of the sun so perfect if you were a light sleeper and fancied a lay in without the sunlight in the early mornings. We however loved waking up to the sunrise and looking out across the Caribbean ocean ready to start each day the second the sun hit!
Every suite here is unique, from the hill top suites perched high above the resort to paradise ridge at the opposite end of the resort with a completely different set of views, any suite you stay in here will take your breath away. Paradise ridge have their own butler service and they will drive you to your suite so you don’t have to walk as well as be on hand for anything you may need. The selection of suites here will be a tough decision but a win win result either way!
We chose the all-inclusive option while we visited and highly recommend this for anyone staying at the Ladera. The all inclusive not only covers the restaurant areas but also covers in room dining, if you just wanted to relax in your suite. The in room dining had a small service charge and different menus but is perfect for honeymooners and couples just wanting to spend time on their own and chill out, we spoke to many couples that loved this option. The in room dining covered breakfast, lunch and dinners.
The Dasheen restaurant is truly romantic and had elegant entertainment some evenings. I remember one of the evenings thinking I was listening to a CD and realised later in the night that it was in fact a lady with a guitar singing sweetly by the back of the restaurant, it was beautiful and truly memorable.
The view may be darkened at night but the magic and atmosphere is still there as well as a huge range of freshly prepared and mouth-watering dishes. The bar has a huge range of cocktails and drinks to suit everyone including a martini menu, again these are included in the all inclusive package. One morning at breakfast we were very lucky and managed to see a rainbow stretch right across from the bottom of the pitons to the other side of the suites.
The outdoor Jacuzzi’s were just divine, so unusual and unique yet they fit perfectly into the surroundings, these were also very private and quiet. The gardens were so well looked after, you could see the passion from the garden team everywhere you went and it was reflected in the beauty of every path and corner you turn. We did not use the spa but I went in and took a look and got a list of prices and packages all of which were very varied and appealing.
This resort would be an absolutely unique and unforgettable setting for a wedding or proposal. There are also packages here with specific suites that will include a free, yes free, wedding package. These packages include everything from the cake and champagne to flowers and fees, all planned to suit each couple. The staff have years of experience and can create a package for you and ideas for a once in a lifetime experience and I assure you the scenery here for photographs and that first kiss as a married couple will be nothing short of perfection.
There’s a huge range of activities here and these can be seen and booked in the reception area. These range from piton hikes and zip lines to rainforest walks and sightseeing and again will suit a range of guests of all ages and interests. There is also a complimentary shuttle down to sugar beach a few times a day that only takes ten minutes to get to the beach. The beach is fantastic; they do water sports and hire out snorkelling gear for a very reasonable price. The snorkel spot is full of colourful sea life and was not crowded at all. There are two beach areas one of the seating areas is free of charge but if you prefer you can pay $50.00 each and take advantage of the sun loungers and table service at the Viceroy Sugar Beach hotel as well as the pool and restrooms.
One concern I had before travel was the bugs; I love nature and wildlife but worried about the spiders, moths and other creatures in an open front property. I can honestly say that this was not an issue; I did not see one spider or moth the entire stay. The suite would have a few birds, tree frogs and lizards but they do not venture into the main areas and most of the time just ran away. We made sure the lights were off whilst we were at dinner and even when we got back and put them on we were not bothered by any unwanted creatures.
Our experience at the Ladera was by far the best experience of our lives; we loved it so much we booked to come back before we had even left! I must also say the customer service at this resort is absolutely five star; there is nothing that they will or cannot do for you. The small touches like cakes and gifts on your bed at night, the champagne and fruit platter on arrival and the fresh flowers they prepare for you in your suite are just the icing on the cake, it is the staff behind these thoughtful gestures that make this place so perfect. Every member of the team is always smiling, always have time for a chat and to check you have all you need and we left feeling part of a family and not just a guest. We would like to thank Shay and the reservations team for all their hard work and having such quick responses to our requests and also the rest of the staff for making each day so special and memorable in paradise, there were no tears when we left only smiles for the memories and experience… well…and it helps knowing we are coming back again next year…. Until then St. Lucia….