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Ladera Resort St. Lucia Review: Adults-Only Luxury With Open Air Rooms

Ladera Resort Plunge Pool

Imagine this: You’re waking up in the most comfortable four-poster bed, snuggled under the blankets as a cool, fresh breeze blows in. Birds are chirping in the distance, and you open your eyes to see an unobstructed view of St. Lucia’s Pitons. That’s how I started every morning of my stay at Ladera, a luxury resort in St. Lucia where the open-air rooms only have three walls—so you can be truly immersed in nature. 

I review luxury hotels for a living, and so when it came to picking a place for my honeymoon, I knew I had to find somewhere really special for the ultimate romantic trip. Fortunately, Ladera exceeded my expectations and has taken the spot as my number one favorite hotel in the world. This is my honest review of Ladera Resort in St. Lucia.

The Location

View of Pitons from Suite at Ladera

Ladera Resort is perched on a ridgeline over 1,000 feet above the Caribbean Sea. A lush forest runs down the mountain between the resort and the sea, providing plenty of privacy.

Ladera is located on the western side of St. Lucia and is about a 45-minute drive from the airport on a very windy road. The resort is less than a 15-minute drive from the main city of Soufriere, and is also close to the Soufriere drive-in volcano, the Tet Paul Nature Trail, and the Gros Piton hike starting point. 

Ladera Rooms: Open-Air Accommodations

Ladera Resort Rooms

Each of the 37 suites at Ladera features an “open wall” design where the entire western side is left open, providing uninterrupted views of the iconic Piton mountains and the ocean beyond. The room seamlessly extends out onto a patio, with a private plunge pool. 

Don’t worry about privacy in these open-air rooms—the rooms are set up so no one can see in. The rooms face a cliffside drop-off (so no one will walk by) and there are tall walls on either side that prevent you from being able to see your neighbors’ patios. 

When we stayed at Ladera, there was no one next to us for the first few nights, creating a completely secluded atmosphere. On the last day, another couple took the room next to us, and we could definitely hear them if they were on the patio which ruined the romantic mood a little bit. 

We stayed at the Suites at Paradise Ridge, which had a perfectly heated private plunge pool overlooking the Pitons. Over the pool, there was a swing large enough to fit two people, which was so relaxing to lounge in. The outdoor patio also had two comfortable lounge chairs. 

Inside the room, there was a king-sized four poster bed with mosquito netting, a huge bathroom with a walk-in shower (stocked with Molton Brown toiletries), bathrobes, and slippers. The suites are built from tropical hardwoods, stone, and tile, creating a seamless blend with the natural environment.

Ladera Resort Rooms Shower

The room was stocked with a mosquito coil that the staff lit every night while we were at dinner and did a great job of deterring any bugs. We were also provided a water gun in case any birds flew in the room, but we didn’t have any issues with creatures trying to get in, which really surprised me since we were truly out in the open. Occasionally we would wake up with bugs on the outside of the bed’s mosquito net or a few bugs in the shower, but it wasn’t anything bad (and I’m squeamish when it comes to nature).

If the open-air design of the rooms scares you, there are two rooms at Ladera (Villa La Fleur and La Petite Fleur) that have sliding glass doors that can be closed, but I think this would be a waste and that the open-air design was the best part. These are also the only two suites that have air conditioning, but we definitely didn’t need air conditioning as it gets pretty cool and breezy at night on the ridgeline. A ceiling fan also helped keep our room cool and bugs away.

Ladera Butlers

The Suites at Paradise Ridge come with butler service. Upon check-in, our butler showed us around our room and gave us a small cell phone that we could use to contact her at any time. We mainly used the butler for random things (like requesting a float to use in our pool or to set up an in-room massage) but it was a nice feature to have. 

Wondering how much to tip your butler? Read our guide here.


The view from the restaurant at Ladera Resort where all meals are served.

We knew in advance that we would want to spend most of our honeymoon enjoying Ladera Resort, so we opted for the all-inclusive package. There’s not really anything walkable nearby, so unless you plan on renting a car and driving a lot to check out other resorts, I recommend getting the all-inclusive package—it’s worth it for the convenience.

The downside is that there’s only one restaurant at Ladera, Dasheene, and we got pretty bored with the menu (which didn’t change that much during our trip) by the end of our stay. We didn’t rent a car, so one night we walked to Hotel Chocolate, which is just down the street, for dinner to get some variety. 

Breakfast is included with all the room rates at Ladera, or you can opt to add on a half-board package for $103 per person, per day, which includes dinner only. The full board package costs $157 per person, per day, and includes all meals but no drinks, so this is a great option if you’re not a big drinker. The all-inclusive package cost us $250 per person, per day, and included all meals and all drinks. There were some specialty alcohols and wine on the menu that would have cost extra, but we didn’t feel the need to upgrade. 

Breakfasts were my favorite meal at Ladera. Served outside on a deck overlooking the Pitons, with tropical birds coming to join your table, it was a really relaxing meal. I loved the local St. Lucia coffee served in a French press, the fresh island fruits, and the extensive smoothie menu and pastry baskets. The French toast was also delicious, but super indulgent. 

Ladera Resort Restaurant

The dinner menu was fairly small and didn’t change that often, but had a mix of local specialties as well as American comfort foods, like pizza. I recommend skipping the pizza (which wasn’t that great) and opting for the local dishes, which were much better. I loved all the salads on the menu, as the vegetables were incredibly fresh and better than anything we get at home. 

Note that there is a “smart casual” dress code at Dasheene for dinner, that requires long pants or dresses. Shorts are not allowed. Breakfast is more casual, and you can go in your swimsuit as long as you have a cover-up on. 

We worked our way through the tropical frozen drink menu during our stay. The drinks were so refreshing and it was great to get them to go and sip them in our private pool.

Resort Amenities

Ladera Beach

Ladera has a pool near the main restaurant, but it was empty most of the time we were there. I think most people, like us, prefer to use the private plunge pools in their rooms.

Since Ladera is located on a cliffside, which is why it has such great views, it doesn’t have a beach on site. Instead, there’s a free shuttle to Malgretoute Beach. The beach area is pretty small, and you have to pay if you want to use a beach chair or umbrella. 

All beaches are public in St. Lucia, so I recommend getting a taxi down to nearby Sugar Beach, another luxury resort, and using the beach there instead. 

Other amenities at Ladera include:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Small gym
  • On-property Nature Trail
  • Free airport transfers

Hiking the Pitons

Gros Piton Hike View

After gazing at the Pitons for our entire stay, we couldn’t resist the temptation to get out and climb them. Ladera arranged a driver and guide to take us to the top of Gros Piton, which is the taller of the two Pitons. Gros Piton is a steep but non-technical hike that almost anyone in relatively good shape can do, whereas Petite Piton (the smaller mountain) is actually harder and more technical.

Gros Piton is 2,619 feet, and the trail is fairly steep, so it took us about four hours round-trip to complete. You can do the hike in sneakers (no need to pack hiking boots) but don’t attempt it in flip-flops! Start this hike early in the morning, as the hot and humid temperatures make the hike extra strenuous. 

Although we would have preferred to hike without a guide, it’s actually not allowed to climb without one. Our Ladera guide was entertaining and motivating though, so we were happy to have one in the end (plus it’s nice to have someone to snap your photo at the top.)

Pro tip: The actual summit of the mountain is fairly wooded and doesn’t have the best views. If you continue for an extra 10 minutes, there’s a small viewing area without foliage in the way that makes for a much better photo. Make sure you ask your guide to take you there if they try to end your hike at the actual summit. 


Ladera Resort Spa

There are plenty of other activities on offer at Ladera in addition to hiking if you can tear yourself away from your room. We also did the sunset sail, which was a cocktail cruise that went along the coastline and past the Pitons for up-close views. This was probably my second favorite activity after hiking the Pitons.

We also did the Tet Paul Nature Trail, a super easy trail with viewing platforms and stunning scenery that was less than a 10-minute drive from Ladera. 

Free activities at Ladera include:

  • Garden Tour
  • Yoga
  • ​Ladera Nature Trail
  • Ladera Tree House
  • Ladera Wellness Gyms

Other activities are available for a fee and include:

  • Bartending class
  • Trip to Fish Fridays, a street festival in Soufrière
  • Horseback riding
  • Cooking demonstration
  • Soufrière tour
  • Evening sail
  • Sail and snorkeling trip
  • Sail to Marigot Bay
  • Sport fishing
  • Whale and dolphin watching
  • Tet Paul Nature trail
  • Zipline tour
  • Action adventure scuba diving
  • ATV tour

There is a small spa at Ladera Resort, but you can also opt to get treatments done in your room, which I thought was more relaxing.

Is Ladera St. Lucia Adults Only?

Yes, Ladera Resort is adults-only, with a minimum age of 18 years old. Most guests were couples on their honeymoon or a romantic vacation. 

Is Ladera Worth It?

We booked our stay at Ladera on Agoda, and our room cost $1,400 per night. Other suites start at around $800 per night. Although Ladera Resort is a splurge, it is the most romantic and special hotel I’ve ever stayed at. I would absolutely say Ladera is worth it, especially for a special occasion like a honeymoon.

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