Perched on the mountain ridge between the two Pitons—and more than 1,000 feet above the sea—elegantly rustic Ladera is considered one of the most sophisticated small inns in the Caribbean. The approach to the furnishings, food, and service is definitively local, specifically eco-friendly, and superbly unique.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Due to its physical setting and ambience, Ladera does not accept children under age 18. Also, the hotel closes for the month of September.
The overall design motif here comprises rock, wood, and clay. Each tree house-style Piton Suite and the seven units categorized as luxurious Dream Suites are all decorated with locally crafted furniture, colonial antiques, and unique artwork. Hand-hewn four-poster beds are draped with mosquito netting. Each unit also has an open fourth wall with a dramatic Pitons view as a backdrop for a private plunge pool. All rooms have a sitting area and a mini-fridge. Some rooms have large sitting/dining spaces, and some are split-level.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Rooms are not air-conditioned, but the hillside location is quite breezy. Also, you won’t find any room TVs or telephones.
The bathrooms feature walk-in showers, hand-carved wooden vanities with Molton Brown toiletries, wood-plank floors, wooden walls, and brightly colored mosaic tiling. The sinks will definitely catch your eye. While some are modern vessel or basin sinks, others are made of sculptured or tile-lined clay; one has conch-shell faucets!
Reception is in a small cottage that’s separate from the guestrooms, restaurant, and other common areas such as the small shop and a library/lounge.
There is a small, cliffside infinity pool, with a sundeck surrounded by greenery and open to the dazzling view of the Pitons and the sea beyond. Most guests, however, prefer to take a dip in their own private plunge pool—some of which have a swing, waterfall, or other unique feature.
The Ti Kai Posé Spa (Creole for "Little House of Rest") offers relaxing and therapeutic massages, salon services, and restorative outdoor mineral baths.
A modern gym, set aside in its own air-conditioned wooden bungalow, has cardio machines, free weights, and exercise balls for guest use.
Breakfast (included), lunch, and dinner are served at Dasheene, the resort’s popular terrace restaurant. Daytrippers visiting nearby sites often stop by for lunch with a view. Guests of nearby hotels and resorts often come for the delicious cuisine at dinner. The ambience is casual by day and magical at night.
A small boutique near the entrance to Dasheene sells beachwear, souvenirs, and sundry items.
The bar adjacent to Dasheene is a perfect place to gaze at the view during the day, watch the afternoon sun disappear between the Pitons, savor a pre-dinner cocktail, and/or toast another perfect day in paradise. The bonus: live local music at the bar every evening.
A small library/lounge area near the bar has books and board games for guests to use during their stay (or while having a drink).
The hotel overlooks Sugar Beach, 1,100 feet down the mountain, which stretches between the Pitons. A complimentary beach shuttle runs throughout the day.
A rental car is a good idea if you want to explore on your own, as driving is not difficult between Hewanorra International Airport and the hotel or from the hotel to sites in and around Soufrière. Taxis are always available, as well.
Just across the road, Boucan Restaurant (2-minute walk) offers “cacao cuisine,” where everything on the menu—whether sweet or savory—is either infused or spiced with cocoa in one form or another. A little farther south, Bamboo & Cocoa Pod at Fond Doux Estate (5-minute drive) is a historic plantation that offers a purely local experience; come for a tour and a Creole buffet lunch or à la carte dinner. In Soufrière, on the north side of the harbor, Orlando’s (10-minute drive) specializes in exquisite Caribbean cuisine using local, sustainable products; it’s fine dining in a casual atmosphere.
Each Friday evening in Anse la Raye, a small fishing village a few miles south of Marigot Bay, the main street is blocked off for a street festival, called Anse la Raye Seafood Friday (25-minute voyage). Residents set up barbecue grills and picnic tables and serve up grilled fish, lobster, roasted corn, boiled crayfish, and more. There’s usually live music, too. (Take a water taxi to/from Soufrière Harbour, as the winding mountain road heading the north is dizzying during the day and worse at night.)
For a change of scene, walk across the road to Boucan (2-minute walk) and try a chocolate-infused martini or cacao Bellini. It’s recommended that guests not visit local bars in Soufrière.
WHY WE LIKE IT
You can wake up each morning with the most beautiful view of the Pitons right before your very eyes. Each afternoon, you can toast the sunset in your private plunge pool. And at night, the starry sky seems almost close enough to touch.