Now this wouldn’t be SilverSpoon if I didn’t pop to another local hotel for a little snoop around…One night Mr Silver and I were driven around 10 minutes down the road from Sugar Beach for a tour of The Ladera Resort and dinner in their restaurant, Dasheene.
The Ladera resort in St Lucia is the only hotel on the island actually located on the world heritage site, Soufriere Volcano. The hotel has been awarded many accolades and is the also only hotel in the Caribbean that has ever been voted Best Hotel in the World by the readers of Conde Nast Traveller.
Ladera was once part of St Lucia’s oldest cocoa plantations, the Rabot estate but it 1982, it was transformed into the resort it is now. The hotel’s bar, restaurant and beautiful pool are all constructed in a way that allows for an uninterrupted panoramic view of the Pitons and Caribbean sea.
Like Jade Mountain, the suites at Ladera are also missing the fourth wall allowing for an unobstructed view to the gorgeous vistas beyond. We were shown one of the more premium suites which includes a large pool with a swing chair. I kind of wanted to kick off my heels and give that swing a try but I maintained my ladylike demeanour and admired it from a far.
The hotel manager explained to us that there were 32 suites and each were different, even rooms in the same category had different orientations and the pool was a different shape or position. There are five different categories of room with the smallest being 800 square feet up to this one, as massive 2400 square feet.
The design was kind of like your own tropical tiki cabin with hardwood, hand cut tiles and furniture constructed by the hotel’s own craftsman. I particularly liked the stunning local artwork that adorned the walls while Mr S commented on the gorgeous high ceilings.
We were also struck by how big the bathroom was especially the shower which was prettily tiled with fish and under the sea motifs. I loved the rustic charm of the room, which all felt very natural and organic with a very indoor / outdoor feel. While there’s no beach on the Ladera resort, guests are actually free to use Sugar Beach and the hotel runs a complimentary shuttle between the two.
The bar has the same tiki feel which kind of feels like you’ve stepped back in time but in a good way, the atmosphere was lively with a band singing some favourite Caribbean tunes. We ordered our drinks and sat back to enjoy the entertainment, as it was quite dark by then we couldn’t quite make the most of the view which is why I popped back the next day to take another few photos of the view in the light.
Up a wooden staircase is Dasheene, the hotel’s restaurant where Nigel Mitchell, the only St Lucian born and locally trained five star chef on the island, is at the helm.
The restaurant is totally open, and the starry canvas outside makes it romantic and intimate whilst still be bright and buzzy. Chef Nigel reinterprets traditional St Lucian dishes to give a modern twist and is dedicated to using local and sustainable ingredients from neighbouring plantations.
You know a meal is going to be good when it begins with a good varied bread selection…
We shared starters, the first being a mahi mahi tartare with hearty pieces of the meaty local fish flavoured with fresh local herbs. The fish was so fresh and beautifully prepared that it really spoke for itself and needed very little extra in terms of seasoning or spices.
Our other starter was a traditional St Lucian dish. Accras are flaked fish that have been combined with herbs and seasoning, rolled into a ball and then battered and deep-fried. The version at Dasheene were delicious, not too heavy and not greasy. Served with a tasty hot sauce that packed a huge punch.
I chose Creole prawns for my main course. The seafood was beautifully cooked and plump and the sauce was a little sweet, though not cloyingly so.
Mr S experienced a range of the ingredients on offer from Dasheene by choosing a mix grilled that incorporated lamb, prawns and chicken. He happily tucked into his meat feast that was prepared perfectly and we both enjoyed the rice and vegetables that came alongside.
I went for a bit of island flavour in my dessert and full-on flambe of bananas in rum. Strong with alcohol and fantastic in taste.
Mr S went for the classic chocolate fondant with the perfect melt in the middle centre, and I was even able to get the money shot despite the darkness!
Ladera is a stunning hotel high on a hill with gorgeous rooms, incredible views and delicious cuisine at the award-winning Dasheene. It’s certainly a luxurious resort that is worth considering as an alternative to Jade Mountain or Sugar Beach.
Our dinner at Dasheene was complimentary.