On the 4th of July, we popped into a little resort in Soufriere St. Lucia to see what all the fuss was about. We read something about a World Heritage Site involving two volcanic plugs and one of the worlds most spectacular resorts boasting some of the most memorable views one could be lucky enough to set your eyeballs upon. Through my newest favorite travel site of the moment, Luxury Link I bought a 5-night stay at Ladera Resort to celebrate my 5 year anniversary with my husband.
All the rooms at Ladera share a very open concept theme allowing mostly unobstructed views down the mountain side to sugar beach and framed by the Gros and Petit Pitons. My husband and I fondly call them the fat man and the little guy.
The fat man and little guy as seen from up on Paradise Ridge on the grounds of Ladera.
Not much nightlife on the island except what you make for yourself. I spent about an hour around 3 am one morning trying to capture the brilliance of a night sky with no big city lights to dim it. The last time I saw such an amazing sky was when I was in New Zealand. I'm on a mission to figure out how to take night shots now. This picture doesn't do justice to how beautiful it actually was.
We rented a car so that we could see as much of the island as we could and do some beach hopping. Our first beach was the Anse Chastanet Beach which is supposed to have the best snorkeling on the island. Anse Chastanet is also one of the most famous and I believe one of the first luxury resorts on St Lucia. Jade Mountain, done by the same architect as Anse Chastanet, is further up on the hill and was one of the places that is on my "places to see before I die" list. Unfortunately, it will have to stay unchecked because it happens to be one of the most expensive resorts in the galaxy. But at least I got to look up at it while swimming in the warm blue waters below with a nice buzz from several rum runners.
Driving on the island is always a fight causing adventure for me and whoever is driving. I just can't get used to giving up control and sitting in the passenger seat so close to deep open trenches and no guard rails on sheer cliffs. This caused a fight with my sister in law while in Barbados too. Sorry Michelle and Mike. I'll try harder next time to keep the peeps and squeaks to a minimum.
Following a truck full of locals on these steep, windy and rainy roads while they drank beer and smoked marijuana at least gave me something to focus on and a good laugh.
Our second beach and my favorite was Sugar Beach on the property of the Sugar Beach Resort. Not as pricey as Jade Mountain but if you're staying here it's probably because you're on your honeymoon and you're splurging or you're Matt Damon or Chris Martin with Gwyneth Paltrow or some other hoity-toity rich celeb. We did do quite a few beach strolls looking for people with an entourage. None to be found on this day.
We were happy with renting our $20 chairs and sharing the same beautiful beach, nonetheless.
This is the entrance to the spa at Sugar Beach Resort. You know you come out of here feeling good!
Our last beach hopping day was to Reduit Beach up in the northern part of the island in Rodney Bay. It was only 15 miles from where we were staying but took us 2 hours to get there. The road was very similar to taking the Road to Hana in Maui if you've ever done that. Long, steep and very windy roads with tons of turnouts for breath takings island views.
The afternoon of our last night at Ladera we had a knock on the door from the staff advising us that we were going to have a visitor. Her name was Tropical Storm Chantal. Because of our unique living quarters and being exposed to the elements we were given a choice of checking into another hotel that had 4 walls but it would be on our dime.
I jumped at the chance. Even though Ladera is fantastic, I had been eaten alive by bugs and was an annoying, itchy, twitchy hot mess. So after a quick pack up and a short rainy drive, we checked into Anse Chastanet. We got to our room only to find out that here too was an open concept floor plan. It was huge and beautiful, yes, but now we just spent an additional $370 on another room that was still open to the elements.
The next morning the storm came through and we got to watch it from the gorgeous view from our new room. Our flight was only delayed 4 hours and we spent it with the rest of the guests down at the beach bar. The power was out so everyone's meals were grilled on the giant BBQ and you don't need the power to pour drinks so everyone was happy!
That's the bar down there.
I also wrote a long winded review on Ladera Resort if you're interested in coming here.