St Lucia is a spectacular island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. And it is one of the best honeymoon destinations in the world. Rainforests nestle up to gorgeous white-sand beaches. Volcanos and hot springs will call to thrillseekers. St. Lucia's charm is further reinforced by its authentic Creole culture, reflected by the spicy cuisine, music, and laid-back attitude.
My favorite honeymoon resort in St Lucia is Ladera. There is nothing I don't love about Ladera. Yes, it is a romantic escape from every day, but they also put a premium on sustainability, which is hugely important to me. Nestled in the heart of the rainforest, Ladera is the only eco-luxe property in St Lucia that is in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ladera is the only resort in the Caribbean ever rated the world's best by Condé Nast Traveler. Oh, and Oprah said it was her favorite resort, too, so you know this is a special place! Here is my review of Ladera's complete with pros and cons. Is Ladera the right resort in St Lucia for you? Read on to find out.
Perched high above the port town of Soufriere, lying on the Southern end of St. Lucia, Ladera is an intimate and secluded hideaway. The resort overlooks the Volcanic Piton Mountains and the untamed Caribbean Sea. The staff strives to offer an exceptional luxury, romantic experience that is quintessentially Saint Lucian. The resort embraces the brilliant views and lives in perfect harmony with the surrounding beauty and bounty of the island. Beware that Ladera is not on the beach, but they do have exchange privileges and a shuttle to nearby Sugar Beach Resort. Sugar is home to Jalousie Beach, St Lucia's most gorgeous stretch of white sand between the Pitons. Ladera is adults-only, but Sugar Beach is not, so there will be children at the beach.
Service at Ladera
The service at Ladera is superb. You will know you are in for a unique getaway when your private driver meets you at the airport. The staff is welcoming and kind. But it's all the little touches that make Ladera an exceptional place. They have thought of everything you could need. One of my favorite bits is the "Necessity Basket." It is full of things you would never consider to bring. It includes star map, earplugs, and sleep mask (the open concept of your room means that it can get noisy at night, and the sun rises early!) It also comes with a squirt gun! Why in the world would you need a squirt gun? You need one to encourage the geckos and birds to leave your room when they come looking for snacks.
Suites at Ladera
Each of Ladera's 37 suites has only three walls; the open concept affords astounding views of the Pitons and the sky-blue coastline below. A private pool replaces the fourth wall so that you can soak in the panoramic views as you relax under the rock waterfall in the pool. Don't worry about peeping Toms; lush tropical landscaping surrounds each room, ensuring total privacy. The decor has a distinct St Lucian flare. Expect locally woven textiles and custom-crafted wooden furniture. The bathroom mosaics are particularly lovely. Do you want the most lavish and spacious accommodations? Look no further than Paradise Ridge, Ladera's newest expansion. All rooms come with netting for the bed, so the bugs don't eat you alive! You need to know that the rooms have neither a TV nor A/C, but wi-fi is available, and fans keep the rooms nice and breezy.
Jessie's Ladera Room Tips:
There are not bad suites at Ladera; you will adore any that you choose!
Smallest rooms (at 600 square feet) are the Petit and Gros Piton suites. These have remarkable views, but no butler service, so I recommend honeymooners upgrade to at least the Hilltop Dream Suite. These 2-level suites are 1000 square feet and do offer butler service. If you want to splurge, book the Heritage Suite, which is 1400 square feet, even the bathroom in the Heritage has an incredible view. There are larger multi-room villas, but they are a bit large for two adults.
Dining at Ladera
Ladera only has one onsite restaurant, Dasheene, but it is excellent! Much like your suite, open-air Dasheene offers incredible vistas and sits high above the sea. Headed by Executive Chef Nigel Mitchel showcases fresh ingredients from local island farms and plantations. The dishes are modern interpretations of traditional St. Lucian fare. You will partake of sweet potato and coconut soup, lamb salad, Cajun-Creole, and jerk poulet sausage. You will experience culinary magic at the Dasheene Wine Cellar when you book a personalized chef dining experience. The wine cellar has an extensive wine collection with more than 2,000 bottles.
Spa at Ladera
In the middle of the lush rainforest, lies a tranquil sanctuary. It's time to escape your cares and breathe in the fresh sea air while you experience the healing essence of St Lucia. The spa offers a vast range of bespoke treatments. Ladera has three private rooms, but you can also receive treatments in the privacy of your villa. A luxurious spa experience is just what you will need to unwind after playing in the St. Lucian rainforest all day.
Jessie's Ladera Pros:
Gorgeous resort with excellent service.
It has the best location on the island, ensuring spectacular views of the Pitons.
Its orientation (toward the Pitons) offers the loveliest sunsets.
At Ladera, no two rooms are the same, and each comes with a private plunge pool. The pools have swings (my favorite feature!) and water fountains.
Ladera is an eco-friendly and sustainable resort.
Pretty heated resort pool perfect for lap swimming.
Ladera has a charming spa with a large variety of treatments.
The food is plentiful and delicious.
Daily yoga classes and you can schedule a private couples yoga session.
It has a multitude of lush hiking trails that beg to be traversed.
Jessie's Ladera Cons:
It's not on the beach, and the bus to the beach takes about 10 minutes.
Ladera has a small dedicated area at Jalousie Beach, but there aren't a ton of beach chairs. And if you want to get a chair from Sugar Beach, it will cost you $50 per person.
Although the restaurant offers yummy treats, they can be on the pricey side.
The private pools in some rooms can be tiny.
There is a lot of walking you have to do at Ladera; it not the best choice for people with mobility issues.
Aesthetically the decor of the rooms will not appeal to everyone. All the wood can make the rooms look a little dark and dated. The deck
The deck around the main pool is small and doesn't have a ton of seating.
There are lots of bugs! They have coils, nets, and bug spray in each room, but you will most likely need to bring your bug spray.
There is not a ton of activities offered at the resort.
Jessie's Ladera Rating
(Rating Scale: 5 Superb, 4 Great, 3 Good, 2 Not Acceptable & 1 Awful)
Location: 5 out of 5
Food: 4.5 out of 5
Rooms: 4 out of 5
Service: 4.5 out of 5
Spa: 4.5 out of 5
Total of 4.5
Ladera is a beautiful and unique resort, but it is not for everybody. It is best for couples that want a laid back trip. If your dream vacation is doing nothing but relaxing and reconnecting, then you will love Ladera. If you're going to lie on the beach all day or party the night away, you need to look elsewhere. I adore Ladera, and I think many of you will too. If you want to learn more about St Lucia, check out our Featured Destinations.