The most quintessential sight in St. Lucia rests right outside my hotel suite: Petit Piton, the smaller of the two mountains in in Soufriere Bay, Saint Lucia. I carefully move the mosquito net that hangs over my bed out of the way and admire the view. I don’t have to open any windows or blinds; my suite only has three walls, literally. The “fourth wall” is a stunning backdrop of two shades of blue 1000 feet above sea-level; a light blue sky and the rich navy Caribbean Sea and, of course, the Petit Piton. I begin the day by taking a dip in my private heated plunge pool, a light breeze sends the unmistakable smell of sulfur into the air but not for long. Ladera Resort is the only resort situated on top of a UNESCO World Heritage Site: The Soufriere Volcano, the world’s only “drive-in” volcano which I would later visit courtesy of the resort.
On the way out my butler, Schol, greets me with a cup of freshly squeezed juice and offers me a ride to the restaurant for breakfast. I can easily walk, but the resort takes great pride in its ability to minimize the need for me to do, well, anything. The personalized concierge service here at Ladera Resort is unparalleled with; my meals, activities and in-room massage are planned out well in advance and the only decision I have to ponder on is whether I want to spend my day at the beach or by my private pool. I must say that living like this, if only for a few days, is quite spectacular.
Executive Chef Nigel Mitchel surprises me with a hug as I admire the emerald Piton in the distance from my outdoor breakfast table. He tells me about his dining experience at some of the world’s most exclusive Michelin starred destinations including all six in my native NYC. Here in Dasheene, he takes pride in showcasing locally harvested ingredients native to the island. Savory flavors of jerk, coconut, sweet potato and rum attract people from all over the island to this award-winning culinary experience. For hotel guests this is not an average all-inclusive restaurant; here you will find lobster, filet mignon and wagyu beef paired with an impressive wine list with bottles from Bordeaux, Napa, and Argentina.
A hummingbird darts past me and lands on a thin vine near my pool. A luscious garden is the only thing that separates my three-walled room and the thousand foot drop to the Caribbean Sea. As tempting as it is to stay in the suite, I know there is so much more to admire in the resorts neighboring areas and Schol already thoughtfully planned out the best activities for me. I spend the next four hours bathing in the Toraille Waterfall, getting lost in the Diamond Botanical Gardens and soaking in a bubbling mud pool in Sulphur Springs. After lunch, I take a ten minute drive down to Sugar Beach to snorkel and finish the day looking at the Piton’s from a different point of view; on a speedboat far out in the Caribbean Sea.
Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Harrison Ford and Raquel Welch all made an appearance in this remote eco luxe property. However, you don’t need a bank account like Oprah’s to experience this eco luxury resort. Ladera Resort offers incredible promos year round, and the best way to snatch one is to subscribe to their mailing list to get the latest deals and offers in real time. Off season is typically between June 1st and November 30th which is also when the prices are the lowest. If you don’t mind living like a celebrity in a luxurious private retreat, then you should move Ladera Resort to the top of your bucket list.