Ladera Resort is an adults-only, luxury hotel set on a forested ridge overlooking the Pitons. With private plunge pools and lots of local furniture, the resort’s 32 rooms, which are completely open to the elements on one side, make a bold impression. The rustic, chic decor found throughout the rooms and common areas connects guests to nature without skimping on style -- although the open-air spaces and lack of TVs won’t be to everyone’s taste. Features include a wonderful restaurant and a clifftop pool, both with great views, plus a spa with outdoor mineral pools. There’s no beach on the property, but the resort provides free shuttle service to nearby Sugar Beach. Travelers may also want to consider the more expensive Jade Mountain Resort, right on the beach.
Eco-luxe hideaway with a romantic atmosphere and spectacular views
Set on a cliff above the sea and squarely between the two Pitons, Ladera Resort’s showstopping views make it one of the island’s most extraordinary properties. Spread over 15 acres, the resort was once part of one of St. Lucia’s oldest cocoa plantations, Rabot Estate. A number of other resorts now offer rooms with open walls, but Ladera pioneered the concept on the island, and it remains the resort’s defining feature.
Ladera’s intimate, open-air lobby, with its mosaic-tiled flooring and liberal use of wood, provides the perfect introduction to the ambiance and decor guests can expect throughout the rest of the property. Local artwork and furniture give the resort a strong sense of place -- of course, the views help too. The Pitons can be seen dominating the skyline from the restaurant, the pool, and many of the guest rooms, providing an ever-visible reminder of St. Lucia’s unique beauty. Leafy grounds, airy spaces, and designs that incorporate rock and wood ensure that guests never feel far from their natural surroundings.
The resort’s vibe is tame and quiet. Guests -- mostly honeymooners and couples -- typically relax in their private pools or head out to explore the island, rather than linger in the resort common areas.
On the southern side of St. Lucia, within a short drive of the island’s top tourist attractions
Ladera Resort is located along a wide road lined with vegetation. The property is spread across a lush ridge, towering over the Caribbean Sea below. There's a handful of hotel restaurants located within walking distance, but otherwise the nearest outpost of dining and shopping is the small town of Soufriere, a 10-minute drive away. For guests with a car, Ladera is centrally located for exploring most of the island’s main tourist attractions. Taxis are also an option, but they can be fairly expensive. It’s about a 10-minute drive to Sugar Beach (the resort also offers a free shuttle service), while Sulphur Springs can be reached in a five-minute drive. Other nearby points of interest include Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens as well as the Tet Paul Nature Trail, which are both less than a 15-minute drive away. Hewanorra International Airport is 40 minutes away by car.
Treehouse-style rooms with private pools and open-air layouts with panoramic views
Guest rooms at Ladera Resort have an elegant, back-to-nature feel with wood-paneled and stone walls, vaulted ceilings, and hand-carved wooden beams and furniture. The heavy feel of the wood is balanced by soft, white linens and colorful, Impressionist-style artwork. Four-poster beds are draped in mosquito netting. Rooms have open-concept layouts -- some are split level -- and all have small sitting areas. Upper-category rooms have larger sitting and dining areas. There are no telephones or TVs in the rooms, but free Wi-Fi is standard and the resort provides pre-programmed cell phones for guests to use during their stay. All rooms have coffee- and tea-making facilities and mini-fridges, with higher categories include stocked minibars.
All rooms have cold or heated plunge pools, some of which have swings or waterfall features. Pools are positioned to highlight the rooms’ open fourth walls, which offer eye-popping views of the Pitons, lush rainforest, and Caribbean Sea. Naturally, these missing walls mean that rooms are open to the elements and don’t have air-conditioning. While this may be an initial turn-off for some guests, the resort’s elevated location ensures rooms are cooled by the evening breeze. Earplugs are provided for light sleepers to block out the nighttime jungle sounds, as are eye masks for guests who prefer to sleep past sunrise. Bathrooms, which are decked out with floor-to-ceiling in wood, feature bath products by Molton Brown along with magnifying mirrors and hairdryers. All have vessel sinks and walk-in showers with vivid mosaic tiling.
The Suites and Villa at Paradise Ridge are the newest, largest, and most luxurious room categories. Set in a separate area of the property, the suites and villas include extras such as butler service and airport transfers.
Picturesque pool and excellent restaurant with Piton views, plus shuttle service to the beach
Gorgeous views add an element of drama to the majority of Ladera’s features. Its clifftop pool is beautifully designed with mosaics, rock features, and landscaped greenery. The handsome wooden deck in front of the pool overlooks operatic views of the Pitons and the sea, and features of row of cushy lounge chairs lined along the deck, shaded by beach umbrellas.
The resort’s breezy restaurant -- Dasheene -- is chic and simple with wooden tables, mosaic-accented floors, and intricately carved wooden pillars. The restaurant also includes a bar area with casual rattan armchairs. Dasheene’s understated decor allows its striking Piton views to claim the spotlight. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Dasheene specializes in fine St. Lucian fare. Many dishes incorporate ingredients from the resort’s own gardens. Free continental breakfast is included in the room rate, which is bumped up to a full breakfast for upper-level room categories. Tables are topped with toy water guns, provided as a fun way to shoo the birds that occasionally swoop in and try to snatch food. Live entertainment is featured nightly. The restaurant offers room service during its opening hours, as well as poolside food and beverage service. All-inclusive meal plans are available.
The bar includes a compact library area with books and board games available for guests to borrow. The resort’s boutique, which is found toward the restaurant entrance, features the typical array of beachwear, souvenirs, and sundries.
Ladera’s tiny spa is painted in cheery pastel shades of green and blue. It offers a range of massages and beauty services, plus a multi-level series of small outdoor mineral pools. There’s also a bright, modern fitness center set in an independent, air-conditioned wooden building, with cardio machines, free weights, and exercise balls.
The resort provides free shuttle services several times per day to and from Sugar Beach. Airport transfers can be arranged for a fee. Free Wi-Fi is offered throughout the property, and free parking is available in a gated lot in front of the property. Wedding planning services are also available.