10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"My husband and I spent our honeymoon in St. Lucia. We spent 5 nights at the Windjammer Landing, and then rented a car for the adventurous drive to Ladera, where we spent out last 3 nights. I am glad that we did Ladera last, it was such a special place, that I it was a great way to end our trip. If you do plan on driving yourself though, beware of the city of Soufriere (not to mention all of the VERY hard to drive on mountainous roads on the way there!) There are lots of impoverished people in the city that pretend to give you directions, jump in front of you car to get you to stop, and then ask for money, it's a little scary, but most of them don't mean any harm.
Anyway, back to the hotel! When we first got to Ladera, we were a little dissapointed. I think most of our distress was because A) I forced my husband to go to Ladera (he was fine with staying in a "normal" hotel) and I was really nervous that he wasn't going to like it and when I didn't like it I was thinking here comes the "I told you so ..." HA! B) it was hard to adjust to the completely different atmosphere after being at the Windjammer. But the hotel definitly is unique, interesting, and has GREAT Carribean flair! We were very unimpressed with our room though, which was the regular room with the plunge pool. I didn't think it was very spectacular, the pool was freezing, the room was small and a little cramped (despite the open fourth wall). Though the view was breathtaking. We took a drive down to Anse Chastenet to see if we liked it there any better, and we certainly did not.
We got back to Ladera and started to enjoy ourselves a little more, joking around about two cute lizards on the wall. Just on a whim, we decided to ask if the hotel could upgrade us to a better room. Turns out, they had a villa available WHICH WAS INCREDIBLE!!! Once we were staying the amazing 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom villa, with an almost full sized pool, we were in heaven. It was important to us, on the last few nights of our honeymoon, to be very happy with our room. We were planning to be in the room for the rest of our trip, as we had already gone sightseeing and done plenty of beach activities. We just wanted to enjoy time together which was easy at Ladera. We did make a few nice friends though and spent some time with them.
The main differences (besides the space), between the regular room and villa, in my mind are:
1. In the villa you don't feel like your neighbors (also with out a 4th wall of course can hear you). In our first room I would have been nervous to do what most people do on thier honeymoons ... because it seemed like the people next door could have heard you everytime you took a step.
2. The pool, and the sun. In the first room, there is no sun really, in the second room you practically have a small yard covered in sun all day, if you are looking to get a good tan, and prefer not to lye out in public, this is the perfect private place to lounge around.
But, both rooms had awesome furnishings. My favorite parts were the tile work on the kitchen wall depicting an iguana, and the whole shower with fish swimming on the walls. One of the bathroom sinks had water spewing from a conch shell, and the other sink basin was a big clay pot face! There was also a gorgeous sculpture and painting in the room.
The restaurant was THE BEST FOOD we ate our whole trip. Though unforunately only one of the meals we happened to be there for was a sit down dinner - which was ALOT better than the buffet there. You must have the chocolate mousse dessert though it is incredible. All in all we loved Ladera. Staying there was a once in a lifetime experience we will never forget.
We would both HIGHLY recommend staying at Ladera provided you get the villa if you can afford to, or at least try for the upgrade once you are there - THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE! You are comfortable in natural surrondings, meaning if you are absolutely terrified of all types of insects this is not the place for you ... well ok my husband is terrified of insects, but he managed to remain *almost* calm when we found a moth with a 9 inch wingspan in our room - no joke! And lastly you like to do things a little differently sometimes!!
While staying on St. Lucia be sure to:
Drink lots of Piton. Shop at Bagshaws for awesome silk-screening products. Go snorkeling. And soak up lots of St. Lucia sun! Have fun!!"
- Travel date: Wed 25th of August 2004
Totally Amazing.......Best Experience Ever!!!!
"This was one of my most amazing experiences. I loved the idea that this hotel introduced to me. I wish I could do the same to my house :)
The staff were amazing; the resort was run like a with true professionalism, and best of all the weather is great there.
I stronly recommend experiencing Ladera. Its totally worth it.
I will be back again for sure.
Thanks for an amazing time. It really makes you appreciate life more."
- Travel date: Wed 25th of August 2004
close to heaven
"just back from paradise. so glad we didn't let the threat of tropical storms stop us from going. The weather was glorious, the people so kind and friendly and the staff at Ladera was so gracious.
the night sky was beautiful, like being in a planetarium. we did the rainforest hike it was incredible ( wear comfortable shoes). great snorkeling and sailed to a secluded beach for a picnic lunch. the food at the restaurant was really delicious. we were so relaxed and happy it was one of our all time best vacations.
i totally recommend ladera. i think they close for september but i would go back again in a heartbeat."
- Travel date: Sun 22nd of August 2004
No better place on the island!!!!
"My wife and I just returned from our honeymoon at the Ladera Resort and it was BEYOND BELIEF!!! We arrived at 11:30 pm via the Castries shuttle (the only slightly negative experience) in the pouring rain and were immediately greeted by the most friendly staff we have ever encountered. We were greeted by name, taken to our INCREDIBLE villa and treated like royalty. The view from our balcony in the morning was a true view into the world the way God intended it to be. We showered overlooking the Pitons in all their true majesty. As for the humidity? There was none. The cool evening breezes made sleeping a pleasure. The bugs and lizards? You are in the tropics, not New York City-if you don't like a little of the natural wildlife sharing a room with you, go elsewhere. The staff was extremely friendly and accomodating to every detail. The tours to the volcanoes, the sulfur springs, and an AMAZING hike of the rainforest are not to be missed. If you are interested in the Ladera Resort, please do your research because it is not for eveyone. However, if you enjoy spectacular views, phenomenal cuisine, outstanding service, and one of the last truly unspoiled places on Earth, Ladera is the place for you!"
- Travel date: Wed 28th of July 2004
"We were married July 5th, our fifth day at Anse Chastenet. Nine of our diving friends were with us. Day eight, we and two other couples went on to Ladera for three days. Perfect way to go. we scuba dived thirteen times and were ready for the mountains to dry out. This whole trip was beyond all of our expectations. What a perfect spot for a wedding! The two resorts are two different experiences- both wonderful in their own way. The food was marvellous at A.C. (I suscribe to Cook's, F&W and Gourmet). Fresh local ingredients like dasheen, yams and plantain were used in every way to accompany kingfish, dolphin,mahi and tuna. Yummy curries, super soups and magnificent desserts. The buffets offered a nice selection two days a week. Service: outstanding. The steps to Premium rooms were killer, but the view negates complaining. At Dasheen, in Ladera, the food was fresh, scrumptious and gourmet in presentation. We opted for the meal planat $60/day p.p. A completely different view of the Pitons, here. Surreal. We had a chance to see six rooms because three of us couples that went on to Ladera had our rooms upgraded from mid to high end the second day as a surprize to us. While the small rooms lacked in size, they made up in charm. You never want to leave your room no matter where you are. We managed to pull ourselves away to see the Botanic garden, rainforest, waterfalls and volcano. Guides were great. It would be a tough decision if we had to choose one resort over the other- so do both!!! The fans were enough at A.C. Ladera didn't need them. Bugs not a problem and they love me. Both resorts had island entertainment nightly. Outrageous trip!"
- Travel date: Fri 16th of July 2004
Heaven On Earth
"My wife & I spent the first week of our two week honeymoon at Ladera beginning 6-27-04 & were awestruck by the beauty of the place; we left there concluding we had found heaven on earth. I read all the reviews before we left, and was frankly concerned about the bugs (my wife shrieks at the site of spiders and other creepy crawlers), the weather, the food, cold showers, the roads, and the staff, all of which were grounds for criticism in former reviews. All these criticisms were substantially unfounded. As to the bugs, I brought a citronella candle & the rooms had bug lites & we had no problems with the variety of moths that came at night; the morning birds, hummingbirds, frogs, and tiny lizards that found their way into our room in the morning by far, overshadowed the presence of a few moths at night. The nightly chorus of singing frogs was akin to listening to a lullaby. Of the 7 days, it rained 3 & 1/2; those rains did not prevent us from spending time at the beach, the pool, the bar, or sightseeing. The food at Dasheene was outstanding; breakfast & dinner, hors d'oeuvres & drinks were all unique and scrumptious. The plunge and swimming pools were heated with solar coils, so when it was cloudly, they were not warm; conversely, when the sun was out, they were warm. Granted, the showers ran a bit hot & cold on occasion, but I found them to be consistently warm before 8 a.m. As to the staff, everyone we met greeted us with a smile and kind word, and every request we made of them was responded to with "no problem" - an island motto. My wife cried when we left, and they gave us a hand-made gift, which we will always cherish. We visited Jalouise Hilton, & Anse Chastenet & stayed at Sandals (Regency) for our 2nd week, and Ladera was undeniably superior in almost every respect. The roads are being repaired/rebuilt from Vieux Fort to Soufriere, and they are bumpy & littered with potholes; moreover, the roads traverse a mountain range and are winding, narrow, and a bit dizzying. Much of the way, we were proceeding at 5-10 mph. North of Soufriere and along the east coast, the roads were fine. On St. Lucia, at least, in our humble opinions, Ladera is second to none."
- Travel date: Thu 15th of July 2004
2nd time and just as good as the 1st!
"Well, this was our second visit to Ladera, and I have to say that they did NOT disappoint! We went there originally for our 1st honeymoon and decided to go back every 5 years after that. The view is absolutely amazing, and the serenity of it all is intoxicating.
Some people have complained about the staff, but we found that all the ones we dealt with the entire week were absolutely wonderful(specifically housekeeping, Obadiah, Andre, and Rosemary, they really made our stay very nice!).
We originally wanted to be moved from our room as well, but that was more for old times sake then anything else. My husband wanted the same room we had the previous time, room T which is absolutely beautiful.
We were originally in room S, which has a nice size stone plunge pool, a bar table with two chairs, a sitting area, and if you go downstairs, the bedroom and bathroom. The shower is a little small, but serves it's purpose. It was a great view, and a quaint room.
The next day, they actually moved us into a Deluxe villa, room F, which was a 3 bd villa with a full size pool. It was absolutely amazing! We walked in to the villa and our jaws dropped! The place was absolutely gorgeous from the view to the inside of the villa! The only complaint I have with the villa, is that the air doesn't move as freely as it does in the deluxe 1 bd's. Since it was a 3 bd, one of the bedrooms has plenty of airflow, but the master gets a little warm. and you get more bugs. But since they upgraded us at no charge, I won't complain about a few bug bites! ;)
The food at Dasheene was fantastic! For dinners, we decided not to go elsewhere, and our favorite meal was the Mojo Steak. The catches of the day were also very good. I tried the Kingfish and rainbow runner and both were excellent! As much as we loved Dasheene, I wouldn't recommend the BBQ on Monday evenings. It is expensive, and not a whole lot of choices. By all means, enjoy the complimentary cocktail hour, but then grab a cab to a local restaurant afterwords.
I would say the service with the meals lacked a little because it seemed to be at an island pace (very slow), but we were on vacation, so we didn't mind. Even though the the restaurant staff were slow, they always seemed eager to please and pleasant. Others have talked about a change in management, but we didn't notice any trouble whatsoever.
I also share the same complaint that others have had about the breakfast being expensive. I think they take advantage of you a little on that one because it is very difficult to leave Ladera for breakfast. But if you get the meal plan, suddenly it isn't so bad.
The best part about Ladera is you can do as much or as little as you want to do while you are there. The staff can set up any tour you can possibly think of, or even set up an in room massage (which I did and was fantastic! Thanks Barbara!). I loved the flexibility of it all. The last time we did a tour a day, this time, we mainly grabbed shuttles down to the Hilton and snorkelled!
I have been recommending this resort for the last 5 years and will continue to recommend it since it remains to this day my favorite romantic destination!
See you in another 5 years, Ladera!"
- Travel date: Sun 27th of June 2004
Hoped for more
"We had originally booked a seven night stay and ended up leaving after four nights and went back to TiKaye. Let me first say that the review that proceeded mine is very accurate as we know the couple and were aware of their difficulties they encountered at Ladera. For ourselves,we were happy about the room size, the beauty of Ladera,we also enjoyed the dinners,but...... We were extremely disappointed with a few key aspects of the place. 1. The fact that the General Manager has left,has indeed affected the resort. I spoke to several (3) employees who are extremely disappointed at the recent turn of events. 2. The vaunted pool,is impressive but they keep the darn pool temperature at about 68 degrees and you will never see more than two people in the pool at the same time,because it is too darn cold !. We are from california and know cold water (Pacific ocean runs about 60-65 degrees) and this is absurd. 3. The breakfast situation is a joke. For two people including coffee or tea it is $30.00 . This is for Toast, Fruit, Bagel, little box of cereal,and juice. This is obscene. If you want to step it up to Omelettes bacon pancakes etc. it goes to $45.00. I would recommend Ladera for a couple of nights,and then direct people over to what we found to be a first rate resort and that is TiKaye. Feel free to email me for any clarification."
- Travel date: Sun 20th of June 2004
Ladera could use some work!
"My husband and I just came back from a 10 night stay in St. Lucia. The first seven nights we stayed at Ti Kaye Village Resort which is amazing. It is very secluded, personalized, and the staff is friendly and accomodating. We then spent three nights at Ladera. The first room that we were put in was a tiny dark room that was so small you could have fallen out of the bed into the plunge pool. It smelled horrible and was not very clean. We requested to be moved and were amazed to find the next room was in that same category but was twice the size of our first one. How they can charge the same amount of money is beyond me. The room was very pretty and the views were amazing. But, the hotel does look like they have not updated it since around 1985, and I'm not too sure about the cleanliness either. There was dirt literally caked on the light switches. Although they did move us into another room, the staff was not very friendly or accomodating. Be prepared to make every meal 3 hours long as they will leave you sitting there with an empty plate for at least 20 minutes. We gave up on dessert almost every night because it took so long to get someone's attention and the restaurant wasn't even half full. The food is very good though but very heavy, try the Ladera Coco dessert, it is excellent. The prices were also very steep for all meals, $12 US for bread and juice on the continental breakfast is a little much. People keep comenting on how quiet Ladera is but we found it very loud. There were a lot of drunk, loud people at the pool and there is constant noise throughout the night. Trucks on the highway, people walking around and roosters starting around 5am.
We knew that there would be one open wall in our room and knew what to expect with that, although I would not stay more then three nights, that part did not bother me. What bothered me was paying $300 p/night plus the meal plan to be treated like an inconvenience in a hotel that only has a beautiful view and not much else going for it. We were told that the general manager quit in February and it shows, I was shocked at the quality of service after all of the great reviews I had read. If you want a quiet, secluded experience in St. Lucia there are several other hotels on the island that offer that and Ladera would be worth visiting for a meal and not much else. This hotel and many of the patrons, reminded me of the Carnival cruise we went on a few years ago(and hated). Ti Kaye was much more secluded, the other guests kept to themselves and it had a much more elegant and sophisticated style. I was really looking forward to our stay at Ladera and wish that I could give it a glowing review but in all fairness, it has apparently gone downhill without proper management. I truly hope they get it together because it could be an amazing hotel."
- Travel date: Tue 15th of June 2004
Perfect Honeymoon at Ladera
"My husband and I spent our honeymoon (May 2002) in St Lucia, but since we could not make up our minds, we spent 4 nights at Ladera, and 4 nights at Sandals. We were awed with the view at Ladera. The food at Dasheene was excellent. Only downside was that the plunge pool was a little chilly in May. Otherwise the weather was great and Ladera had unbrellas for the occasional rain shower. We had plenty to do visiting the sights on that end of the island. We were dissapointed with the Sandals - had to have the AC on because it was too hot, too many mosquitos, cheesy entertainment, bland mass produced food, and too generic - we could have been anywhere. We like to stay at places where we know we are in a different country. We loved that Ladera was rustic, the view, looking at the stars from our bed, the songs from the birds and frogs, no TV. Ladera is 5 star in experience, not in luxury. If you travel to Thailand I also recommend the Amari Palm Reef in Koh Samui."
- Travel date: Tue 25th of May 2004