What We Love
- Hilltop location with mountain and ocean views
- Spacious suites and villas with private plunge pools
- The lush, colorful, jungle-like atmosphere
- Enjoying a rum punch at the Bar at Dasheene Restaurant while watching the sun set and listening to live entertainment
- An in-room massage surrounded by tropical gardens and sounds
- The hotel is located five minutes away from the mud baths and sulfur springs
What To Know
- The resort is not on the beach, but it does offer a free shuttle service to Sugar Beach, 10 minutes away
- Consider booking excursions with the concierge or renting a car if you want to explore the island
- No telephones or TVs in the rooms, but the resort does have free WiFi
- Shorts, tank tops and beach footwear are not allowed at dinner
- Children 17 and under are not permitted at the resort
- Adults Only
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
On a hillside 1,100 feet above the Caribbean Sea, Ladera Resort offers guests the chance to escape and unplug in luxury styled villas and suites. Villas are left open to the elements and have private cold plunge or heated pools, open-air showers and dead-on views of the sea and the famous Piton Mountains. Popular with honeymooners and couples, Ladera is a place for settling into a comfy lounge chair with a book, taking a nap, sipping rum punch, having a dip in the pool — and repeat.
Bed and Bath
Take two steps into your room and you’ll notice that something is missing: an entire wall. Walk past your private plunge pool and peer over the edge of the stone terrace, where a steep slope of foliage tumbles down 1,100 feet toward the Caribbean Sea. Directly in front of you are St. Lucia’s famous Piton Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, framed by walls covered with yellow and pink flowering vines that conveniently block out the neighbors. The interior spaces of the 32 suites are built from Caribbean timber, with vaulted ceilings, wood floors, wood-paneled walls and hand-carved wooden beams and columns. While the missing wall ensures an unobstructed view, it also means that air conditioning is replaced by cooling trade winds, and the jungle sounds cannot be shut out. Hummingbirds whirr and dart among the vines, and when the sun sets thousands of tiny tree frogs start a symphony so loud that sleep seems impossible. It’s not, of course, and the dreamy four-poster beds dressed with crisp white linens and swathed in white gauzy netting ensure a peaceful rest. For very light sleepers, the resort provides earplugs.
As tempting as it may seem to stay in your suite, the resort offers plenty of worthwhile activities. There’s a small spa and fitness room, sulphur mineral baths for soaking, an infinity pool perched on a cliff and a library at the Bar at Dasheene that features live music and a dangerously enticing menu of rum-based cocktails. Ladera also hosts cooking demonstrations, wood-carving exhibitions and excursions to Soufrière, the island’s oldest settlement. Breakfast at Dasheene is a great opportunity to sample St. Lucia’s array of fresh fruit, with everything from bananas to guava to soursop. At night, Executive Chef, Nigel Mitchel spices up his cuisine with native ingredients, putting a polished spin on traditional St. Lucian dishes such as his Dasheene Lucian lamb curry.
In the Area
Explore St. Lucia’s flora at Diamond Botanical Gardens, where meandering paths beneath a forest canopy set the stage for begonias, hibiscus, giant torch ginger and other colorful flowers. Active types should also save half a day to hike Gros Piton — the views from atop the 2,600-foot mountain are well worth the four-hour trek. You can also cruise the treetops of the island’s rain forest via a series of ziplines with Adventure Tours St. Lucia, or discover the beautiful underwater world on the southwest coast with Scuba St. Lucia, which offers courses and tours for all levels. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, hop a boat to the village of Anse la Raye for a traditional fish fry showcasing the catch and cooking skills of local fisherman.
How to Get There
This was our 3rd trip to Ladera in 8 years! Love, love, love this beautiful and surreal place! We have traveled all over the world and normally don't return to places we have already visited but Ladera is different.
From the first time you step into the resort you feel relaxed.
The staff is wonderful! Always smiling and treating you like a family! They know you by name. We also have to compliment the botanist Stan who takes care of the numerous plants and trees at the resort. It's more beautiful every time we come! We took a garden tour on our last visit which was awesome.
The restaurant on the property, Dasheen, is delicious. The chef, Nigel Mitchel, is like no other. Beside the great food,he stops at tables every night and talks to guests. Best chef on the island in my opinion! Always fresh fish. First night, I had the tuna and it was the best tuna I have ever had. It was complimented by the superb staff including Jason, Tanisha, Cindy, and hostess Lee.
We will be back!
We had the opportunity to book two different rooms because we could not decide which we would like better. Let me start off by saying this resort is truly one-of-a-kind and unbelievable. We had originally been looking into Jade Mountain and I am so happy we chose Ladera instead. It is far more unique for a bit less of a price. The views of the Pitons were beyond gorgeous. The unique wood features of the rooms were so neat. And of course, the best part, the pools over looking the Pitons. Both of our rooms (X6 and PR6) had wonderful views centered between the two Pitons.
Now to compare:
The Hilltop X6 had everything we needed. We loved the forward facing swing and the temperature of the pool. It was a good temperature for night swimming, but a little warm for swimming in the sun. We felt the room was very cozy but still plenty of room. We were able to see the sunset from the room which was another added bonus.
As for the PR6 (Paradise Ridge) this room was a higher tier and therefore more expensive. This room was massive. It was gorgeous, but almost more space than we actually needed. We did, however, love the added front deck with another great view to enjoy espresso on. I believe only 2 of the Paradise Ridge suites have this though. The pool was very large, we were able to put a floatie in which was fun. We did not like that it was slightly cold because we enjoy night swimming and would’ve liked it warmer after the sun goes down. The view isn’t as centered so we weren’t able to see the sunset (but I’m sure that varies depending on the time of year). The swing also doesn’t face forward, which we enjoyed with the X6. We were also the last room on the property and I think the only people in those suites so far away which we didn’t care for. The Paradise Ridge Suites also come with the butler service. I was excited to have butler service, but it almost felt unnecessary. Half the time when we called the butler line from the cell phone we were given, we were connected to someone at the front desk. Or if we ordered food or drinks to the room, it was the room service staff to bring it. One night we asked for candles, but were charged for them. I also noticed laundry pressing was also an extra charge. I guess I am not sure why there is such a significant price difference when everything your butler would do for you is also at an added cost. We made our own dinner reservations which is something, but it’s a pretty simple task for us to do on our own and I wanted to collect the OpenTable points. We also had our spa reservation made directly with the spa. The only other thing he really did was take a picture. for us. I guess I would’ve expected more of anticipating your needs for you. It was still a very enjoyable experience nonetheless.
The staff in general at Ladera is wonderful; they all remebwbered us after the first time meeting us, which I can’t say I would be able to do! They were all very sweet and helpful.
To sum it up, Ladera is beyond worth it but the Hilltop Suite will have more bang for your buck if you were undecided like we were.
We will definitely be back!
My wife and I just stayed at Ladera for three nights for the last part of our honeymoon. While the views are obviously the main attraction, and are amazing, for such a pricy resort you really lose a lot in comfort.
The open wall concept sounds great on paper, but don't underestimate what that means. The birds (finches I think) are noisy all night, and even if you aren't a light sleeper it's rough. We also heard from others the frogs were very noisy too, although I don't think our room had any. They provide earplugs which help, but the combination of heat, bugs and noise are not great. I had a lot of difficulty sleeping and feeling rested the whole time.
Make sure to use the bug spray around your bed, it helps. Even with the full mosquito netting surrounding the bed, you will still get bit. I found an enormous tick or flea inside the net one night. The resort even provides a low amplitude vibrator under the bed to repel pests. It won't bother you, but I'm unsure how much it helps keep away bugs. There are also a TON of bats that come out at night. They never flew into our room (that I saw haha), and are silent, but you will see them so just beware if you have a fear of bats.
Locals will tell you it cools off at night, but it really just means the sun isn't beating down on you. It's still probably 80 degrees at night, even in October. There is no air conditioning, but ask for an extra fan. There is a lovely cool breeze from the hills behind the resort, but in our room it was entirely blocked by the bathroom wall. It was hot, humid and stagnant in the room the whole time.
We were in hilltop suite X6. As I understand, some of the more expensive catagories of room (including hilltops) advertise the private HEATED plunge pool in the room, as if it were a perk. I'm not sure why anyone would want a hot tub in their room with 85 degree blazing sun. We called, and they turned the water heater off and added cold water. By the day we left (3 days later) it was a mildly comfortable luke warm temperature, but we would still recommend swimming in the main pool for refreshing water. Our pool was also littered with dead insects, mostly mosquitoes, so it wasn't a very inviting pool anyway.
There is no beach, obviously because they are a mountain resort. However, Ladera is quick to point out that this is not their fault, and they are correct, but they even make you sign a paper saying you understand this fact, and that they have nothing to do with the Sugar Beach resort. Very odd. Sugar Beach is about a 10 minute drive down the hill, and is the only way to get a good view of the Gros Piton. Ladera provides free shuttles twice a day, which sounds great, but the timing is silly and forces you to spend four hours at Sugar Beach. You will be ready to leave after 30min, and a taxi will cost $33 for four people as we found out the hard way. The driver was completely unsympathetic when we told him it was outrageous to charge $33 for a 10min 26sec drive (I timed it), to go 3 miles. This would be a $6 Uber, regardless of the number of passengers. Again, not Ladera's fault, but they did absolutely nothing to warn or prepare you for this.
The other disappointing aspect was the cost. This place is already around $1000/night in the off season. It only paid for our uncomfortable room. The one restaurant on site, Dasheene, is DELICIOUS but entrees run $35 - $50. Cocktails are $16-$18. You will feel like you're in Miami Beach or the Vegas strip with the food cost. The meal plans are designed such that you probably couldn't make it worth the money, so go a la cart. For example, the truly all inclusive package is $205 per person, per night. Even at their outrageous prices, a couple couldn't hit $410 in a day. We talked to a couple who tried and only came close. You need to make sure to BYOB or go into town in Soufriere to stock up on booze. We recommend checking out the Boucan restaurant at the Chocolat hotel across the street. Prices are similar, but it's delicious and service is kind and welcoming.
It also felt like they were penny pinching on simple room amenities, namely water. You are "entitled to four waters per day, based on your consumption", if I remember the explanation correctly haha. With Saint Lucia being so hot you'd hope for readily accessible water, but that was not the case. There was only one water carafe at the concierge desk, during the day. I'm sure you could've called for more or gotten as much water as you wanted at the bar, but it just felt... Weird.
The restaurant was also undergoing some renovations during our stay. A small crew was using power saws, hammers, etc. It was very disrupting during breakfast or lunch. And while I cannot blame them for wanting to make improvements, it was barely acknowledged and the staff weirdly ignored it. Probably because they were used to it, but it felt like they could've explained it away better.
They also weirdly ignored the elephant in the room, which was of course the discomfort you're bound to encounter trying to sleep. They did not mention the earplugs, the bug killer spray, and when we asked they said we shouldn't even need the bug repellent! This is probably direction from management, but it would be best to just admit and acknowledge the concerns that come with a unique resort and provide us with advice to be better prepared.
Overall, the service at Ladera was nice, but felt very scripted and formal. The staff was awesome and friendly, don't get me wrong, but it seemed like their management demanded a certain atmosphere of them which felt a bit forced and too formal for a relaxing mountainside resort. Think an exclusive French restaurant in Paris, set in a tropical Caribbean island.
If you want to enjoy beautiful room views, take caution in the comfort you may trade. You're probably better off seeing the pitons from the water, the highway, an excursion from somewhere else, etc. We are VERY surprised at how many 4 and 5 star reviews Ladera has. Maybe it's just us, or maybe most people go in with a total understanding of what we've outlined here. But I would never describe this resort as "5 stars", and we cannot in good faith recommend it in general. I'm sure management will respond here with one of their canned messages they have prepared for poor reviews, but I promise we tried to be optimistic and positive during our stay and are in no way venting any "hard feelings" here. We simply want to provide a realistic and objective assessment of this particularly unique resort for your consideration.
There aren't enough words to describe this place but the ones that immediately come to mind are: perfection, heaven on earth, paradise, dreamy, breathtaking, etc etc etc!!! We arrived at Ladera in early October to celebrate our honeymoon. We were warmly welcomed with a glass of delicious rum punch and cool peppermint towels. After a brief tour with some need-to-know info, we were escorted to our suite. We stayed in a Heritage Suite C which has two levels; the stunning, heating pool with trickling waterfall downstairs and our beautiful canopy bed & open-air shower upstairs. On the bottom level, we had very comfy lounge chairs with a tall, swaying palm overhead. We were surprised by the yummy chilled bottle of champagne waiting for us and after arranging our dinner reservation, we popped the cork and started soaking in the breathtaking view that was ours for the next three days. (We did the Peak to Beach package and left for Cap Maison later in the week.) Every little thing as Ladera was luxurious perfection, down to the complimentary soaps and shampoos in the rooms. I will briefly comment on the bugs that other people mentioned - I did not find them to be a major problem and I am one of those people who typically gets bitten a lot. Around sunset, I felt a couple of bites so I put on a little bug spray and didn't notice them again. We did see a couple of birds in the room but we had fun trying to shoot them with the provided squirt gun. :) If you do not leave food out, they won't bother anything and won't stay long. Dasheene offers some of the most delicious food we've ever tasted. We especially loved their banana bread and other unique bread offerings at each meal. Fresh fruit and juices are always available. Every day we tried something new and each dish was exquisite. I will say that eating there is an upscale dining experience and as such, the service is a lot slower than most of us from the US are used to. Be prepared for most meals to last around two hours. If you are in a hurry, perhaps plan ahead and order room service which we did a few times. They service was always on time and just as delicious as the restaurant. It was nice being able to eat in our robes on our very own terrace. The hot tubs are SO COOL! Be sure to check them out. The water temps were super hot which I love. My husband couldn't sit for long. We each had a massage while we were there and I can't speak for my husband but let me just say that my massage was THE. BEST. massage I've ever had in my life. If you choose to visit the spa, definitely request an appointment with Dexter. You won't be disappointed. Sugar Beach - one day we took the shuttle to Sugar Beach and we consider that to be our best day in St. Lucia. It is a BEAUTIFUL beach with the base of both Pitons surrounding you. The snorkeling was great and the water was the best blue. The water is also calm. Lastly, if you are doing Peak to Beach, I highly recommend the water transfer to your next resort. The roads in St. Lucia are not fun to travel by car. The boat transfer was fast and we got to see the island from a different vantage point. It was an extra $100 and take it from me, WELL worth it! If you do decide to go by road, the drivers we encountered were all SO friendly and all of their vehicles were spotlessly clean. It's just those roads...the most twisty turny roads I've ever been on. I really can't say enough good things about Ladera...it's just like no place you've ever imagined and even though I read tons of these reviews before we left, I didn't fully understand till I was actually there. It was the trip of a lifetime and I hope I have the chance and means to go back someday. Ladera, you're in my heart forever!!!
Does it get anymore perfect than Ladera? We stayed October 2018 for our honeymoon. From the view, to the rooms, to the incredible service from EVERY staff member, to the delicious meals served at Dasheene, to the authentic feel of the resort: everything was just perfect.
Service: could not have been better. The staff is very well trained on using your name and we were very impressed. There are too many people to name but thanks everyone!
Room & View: Heritage suite was HUGE, even the pool was much bigger than expected. (6ft deep in the middle) Majestical is the only word to describe the view. See the pictures, they speak for themselves. One tip - spend the extra $$ to ensure you have a heated pool in your room.
The woodwork in the rooms is outstanding. Craftsmanship like that is hard to find today. We took a stroll around the property and were lucky enough to run into Bonefice (spelling?) who is the main artist creating the rooms/furniture on property. He was working on a new piece however he stopped and talked to us for about half an hour telling us the whole history of the resort, he let us take some great video of him working and even gave us a gift to take home: that was such a nice gesture and a highlight of our trip.
Pool/Beach: Infinity pool and you can't beat the view. The chairs were very comfortable for a nap :) Sugar beach had spectacular calm and crystal clear waters. Take out some paddleboards or a kayak for a great view of the Pitons (and Ladera) from the water. Shuttle took about 10 mins and wasn't bad.
We are foodies so I am saving the best for last!
Food: We were a little nervous at first being limited to only one restaurant however that quickly went away after our first meal @ Dasheene: We knew every meal was going to be incredible and it was. We met and spoke with Chef Nigel on a few occasions he couldn't have been a nicer guy. He makes a herb oil for dipping and we are officially addicted (We bought multiple bottles to bring back home)
Isha & Cynthia provided the best service during breakfast/lunch. They knew how much we liked chef's cajun crisps they even sent us home with a container of them! The first night of dinner we were served by Leah and every night after we had to request her to be our server because she is just awesome and authentic. Leah knew how much we loved the shrimp thermidor dish and arranged for it be made for us on our last night even though it was not on the menu.
Most importantly: LADERA IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. It is an open air resort located in the middle of the rainforest. There is no AC and no TV. There will be bugs, birds, and the occasional Gecko in your room. At night you will definitely hear the "sounds of the rainforest." Anyone who doesn't like Ladera probably didn't do their homework before going. Know what you are getting yourself into people.
Ladera is hands down the BEST resort we have ever visited. The personal touches and staff members going above and beyond are what makes Ladera so special. We will definitely be back, only next time with some friends :)