72 Hours at the Ladera Resort, St Lucia
Travelling has always been a prestigious thing once reserved to the rich and pretty ones, though nowadays everybody loves to go on vacation. Hotels originated out of the urge to have your head bedded on a remote place however it's interesting to see how the use and sense of hotels changed over the years. Is a room with a bed and a bathroom really enough for today's travelers? Why does it need blogs and online review platforms? Well, don't we all like to enjoy the extra mile provided by hotels and resorts? According to different studies, the most significant thing to remember from a hotel stay is actually the room above service and location. Service can be outstanding and the view the best in the world if the so called hardware was not on par with your expectations. It might be true, some hotels are generous on upgrades while others are not and some might be happy to have you while others would rather take your money before you even arrive and hope you never arrive (Yes talking about the Bahamas). When we were flying into St Lucia, our day was a true nightmare which began with a cancelled flight, followed by a 5-hours layover at the boring Airport of Barbados ending with a delay of 1 hour, having arrived 9 hours later than expected with our cancelled flight. To all our luck, the reservations team was extremely fast in replying to my updates and keeping the team informed about our situation.
As soon as we left the terminal, the driver was welcoming us and all our madness slightly vanished away. Fortunately it was already dark outside so we didn't pay any attention to the windy road trip which took us an hour and a half until we approached the gate of Ladea resort where the car stopped and we were greeted by two staff members who asked us to board the club cart. It was actually the lovely Keisher who drove us to our amazing room - but first we stopped at the front desk to grab a cold towel along with a refreshing towel. Even tough it was already night, we could feel the rainforest with all its humidity and sounds. During the drive to our room, we had the feeling that something special was waiting for us, and indeed my intuition wasn't wrong: We were really heading towards one of the magnificent Paradise Ridge Suites located at the furthest end of the property boasting tons of space and privacy. I would love to say that the view was only magnificent from our suite but I have to admit that the restaurant area and the rooms next to it can't complain neither as I really love both views of different perspectives going onto the Grand and Petit Piton. Keisher gave us a quick orientation of the room, introducing her as our private butler (she is only responsible for the Paradise Ridge Suites, ensuring a most perfect experience) plus welcoming us to our home for the three nights.
I was really impressed by the gorgeous look of the suite, but the best was yet to come the next morning. Since at our arrival it was already dark, we had not even a single idea of how pretty this place actually is. Once we went to the restaurant for dinner, we got a slight idea thanks to the light of the moon, however it was nothing compared to what waited for us the following morning. To be honest, it felt a bit like Christmas. I couldn’t really sleep in since I was more excited than a small child to see the actual view – THAT view to be more precise! So while we had an excellent first dinner at the main restaurant composed by three courses including starter, main course and dessert, we were served by the friendliest staff we have met during our 8-weeks trip. The entire team was so personal and dedicating, but I have to point out Shekina and Jerma who immediately recognized all our preferences and soon we talked about our travel and our previous experiences, which shows their interest in their guests and their willingness to provide us with a flawless experience. We really had the feeling of having become part of the family and this is hospitality at its best actually!
If I am brutally honest, I had zero expectations to Saint Lucia just because I did not know as much about the island as I knew about let’s say Cuba, the Bahamas or Saint Barthelemy. However, there were some serious wanderlust videos uploaded on Facebook showing bloggers waking up in a four-poster bed and walking towards the private pool with the most amazing view in the back. That was when I knew it’s time to pay attention to the pretty island of St Lucia. And since we are so honest by now, there are only two properties that should come into consideration for your honeymoon vacation on this island. First of course we have the ridiculous expensive Jade Mountain and then there comes Ladera – forget all the other properties, because their either lack the authentic St Lucia feeling, they have no ambiance, the views are just usual, or their service is just bad. Sometimes there are moments when you regret choices you have made, but then there are moments that are the best confirmation that what you do is your passion. Latter one was the case in St Lucia. From the moment we were picked-up at the small airport of Castries (for me one of the scariest in the world) until the moment I woke up and was nothing but really speechless, Ladera did impress me on all levels already.
Breakfast is served in the area below the main restaurant and consists of a la carte only. Everything at Ladera is especially designed to fit couples so no wonder that you are stuck with your loved one for the entire breakfast. This continues with lunch - which is served in the main restaurant featuring the most amazing view from the entire property - until the very last relaxing drink in the bar with live music every day. The food is really good and they don’t just have exotic dishes that come from the island but they also have wonderful international choices such as Surf & Turf or Spaghetti with lobster. All three evenings we had perfectly matching house wines from Italy, California and South Africa. In general, I would not hesitate a minute and go for their all inclusive package since it is absolutely worth its money! Another great amenity is the fact that they offer complimentary shuttle service to Sugar Beach Resort where you are able to use the beach for free. It’s important to note that you can use the beach for free with your towels on the sand but once you want to have a beach chair and service, there comes a fee since it is managed by Viceroy Hotels. Anyways make sure to go there at least once because the black sand and the crystal-clear water is just out-of-this-world.
What else is there to mention? Well, the housekeeping was extremely attentive. There were always two persons coming to our suite: while the guy always cleaned the pool and vacuumed it daily, the lady was tidying up the beds and bathroom. Ladera already got my full attention by providing 75ml Molton Brown toiletries, two bath towels per person, turndown service, daily pool cleaning and that one-of-a-kind service by our two favourite waitresses and our two lovely butlers Keisher and Schol. All in all, this place was just flawless and considering the rate, one of the most unique hotel experiences we have ever had the chance to explore! A big thanks to the entire staff for creating such an unique stay and unforgettable time. I love when my time at holidays is well invested and this time it had the best Return on Investment actually.
Me and Lukas were invited by the Ladera Resort in St. Lucia for this three night stay. Although the place itself would have convinced us to write everything, all above written expresses our own opinion and has not been influenced in any way.