Ladera Resort – Heaven on Earth in St. Lucia
By Tim Cotroneo
Your first day at Ladera Resort in St. Lucia left you feeling so excited, you couldn’t wait to wake up the next morning. Quietly you step from your four-poster bed and stand face to face with the best part of Ladera’s indoor/outdoor environment. The amazing view just beyond your suite is exactly the way you remembered, only better.
This panoramic view is but a stone’s throw from your private plunge pool, and the scene feels like it’s calling to you. The magnificent Piton mountains stand at attention in all their glory. At this moment you know what to do next.
You made coffee the night before and now it’s time to sit back and ponder what could be a cavalcade of unforgettable Ladera moments. As you sit back into one of Ladera’s hand-crafted wooden chairs, you take a first sip as a smile curls over your face. This Ladera living is something special. Could the rest of your day top this exhilarating wakeup call?
I Could Get Used to This
After a hot shower in your suite’s massive hand-tiled shower, you feel ready to take on all that Ladera has in store for you. The concierge mentioned the amazing views guests enjoy from the elevated perch of Ladera’s gym, so a quick workout on the treadmill should add a bounce to your step.
You climb the stone stairway to the Ladera workout area and there it is. BOOM, another breathtaking view of The Pitons is looking back at you. This is the kind of workout you could get used to.
With your heart rate now in buzz mode, you remember hearing that the Ladera breakfast is Caribbean home cooking at its best. Upon entering the Dasheene Restaurant, the hostess walks you to a table right next to the railing separating you from another expansive view of The Pitons. The air is fresh, the eggs benedict are perfectly cooked, and the view is worthy of multiple wows.
What Does One Do for an Encore?
When your morning starts off this nicely, the question is, “What does one do for an encore?” The word is that the Ladera nature trail is not only great cardio, there is a special reward once you get to the top.
After a 40-minute hike led by Eustace, Ladera’s longest-tenured employee, you peer from an epic landscape checking in at around 1,100-feet of majesty. Eustace smiles as you take in the panoramic view. In front of you are resort guests stretching on Ladera’s two yoga and Pilates platforms. Just in case you forgot why you chose to vacation at Ladera, you witness a spectacular view of the twin Pitons and beyond to the Caribbean Sea. These Ladera views are addictive.
During the afternoon you decide to take a tour of the resort property with Ray, Ladera’s Master Gardener. Ray points out the wealth of flowers, plants, trees, fruits, vegetables and herbs that flourish in Ladera’s paradise-like setting or what Ray calls, “his tropical garden.” The plant life and flowers are so abundant, Ladera is a haven for hummingbirds.
This Pool is So Cool
As the Caribbean sun rises high overhead, you indulge in Ladera’s most famous pool. Ladera was one of the first resort’s in the world to offer an infinity pool. The setting of this pool is so beautiful, it’s featured in the film Superman II.
You’re in a paradise, so you decide to splurge with a foot massage in the Ladera spa. As you head back to your suite feeling regenerated from this relaxing treatment, you learn that Ladera will soon be home to a new 18,000-foot luxury spa facility. It seems Ladera is always surprising and delighting guests with new features.
Before booking your trip, you read that sunsets are extraordinary at Ladera. Guests begin to gather during the late afternoon at Ladera’s Dasheene Restaurant. As you noted during breakfast, Dasheene has three tiers and each level delivers amazing views of The Pitons.
Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow
With a specialty rum cocktail in hand, you, and your fellow Ladera guests, bask in the incredible image of the sun setting behind the Pitons. Your server asks if you’ll be staying for dinner and you reply that you’re looking forward to savoring one of Dasheene’s farm to table dishes.
As you finish your delicious entrée of Kingfish, Dasheene’s catch of the day, you reflect on what a day it has been. You’re reminded that Ladera sits on a Unesco World Heritage site, and the St. Lucia air is so clean, the stars take on an added evening brilliance.
Upon returning to your three-walled suite, you notice that your butler has a bottle of wine waiting for you. You relax in the same chair in which you started your day, and then take a moment to appreciate your open-air surroundings. That’s when you realize that tomorrow you get to do this all again. Ladera, what will you do for an encore?