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Just back from St Lucia- Sandals and Ladera..Any questions?

Just back from St Lucia- Sandals and Ladera..Any questions?

Old Dec 21st, 1999, 10:00 AM
  #1  
Tammy
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Just back from St Lucia- Sandals and Ladera..Any questions?

We just got back from St. Lucia for our 10 day honeymoon and saw alot of the island. <BR>It was wonderful, the scenery beautiful and the natives very friendly.... <BR>Any questions?
 
Old Dec 21st, 1999, 10:04 AM
  #2  
juli
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Tammy, <BR>Thanks for the info on the driving situation. Could you give me more info about the Trail Trekkers you were talking about. Do you think that my boyfriend and I will have enough to do in the Soufriere area for a week?
 
Old Dec 21st, 1999, 01:05 PM
  #3  
lisa
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Tammy: I'm so glad you enjoyed St. Lucia -- isn't Ladera gorgeous? Please post more details about your trip if you have a chance -- I'd love to hear more specifics. What kind of a room did you stay in at Ladera, any memorable restaurant meals, activities or daytrips you did that you would recommend to others, etc. I'm hoping to go back someday!
 
Old Dec 23rd, 1999, 08:29 AM
  #4  
Tammy
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Juli, <BR>The trail trekkers was a tour we took from Sandals St. Lucia. It was from 9 to 1:00. 3 other couples and us were in the back of an open 4 wheel drive land rover. We had 2 guides up front. We were able to stand up for most of the ride, which gave us great views and was alot of fun! <BR>First we were on regular roads, then we were on rougher roads... went thru the island to the eastern side, stopping on the way in a banana plantation where they showed us all about that. Then we went on to a hidden waterfall, which was about a 15 minute easy hike. That was a nice picture opportunity. Then we headed onto a view of Mt. Gimie, the highest peak on the island. We also had fresh fruit and drinks there, and got to see a Boa constrictor. Then we headed to a manmade water fall w/ a swimming area. We swam there and also had delicious fresh coconut, pineapple, grapefruit. We went thru some charming towns like Ansa La Raye, then headed back to the resort. It was pretty bumpy and adventurous during the rough roads which was alot of fun. <BR>I would also highly recommend snorkeling, we did it 3 times at different beaches...the best being Anse Chastanet. <BR>I think you'll be okay for a week in soufriere as long as you take some tours to other parts of the island.
 
Old Dec 24th, 1999, 03:33 AM
  #5  
Laurie
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Tammy, <BR>We just booked a trip to Sandals, Halcyon, in May. Could you tell me about the resort,food,rooms,beach.Did you rent a car? We were thinking about it to get around the island but our travel agent said it was dangerous. Any other must see or do things would be greatly appreciated.
 
Old Dec 26th, 1999, 01:35 PM
  #6  
Beth
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Tammy, <BR>I'm heading to Soufriere to the Jalousie Hilton next May... did you notice any bad damage from the recent hurricane in that area when you were at Ladera and AC? <BR>Any additional info on activites, tours, restaurants, must do's...? <BR>
 
Old Dec 27th, 1999, 06:46 AM
  #7  
Tammy
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Lisa, <BR>We stayed in Room N at Ladera. It was 2 floors. We had a living room downstairs w/ great views, and a few steps down into our own small pool which was heated. Our bathroom was large and had an open air shower with great views too. <BR>Upstairs was our bedroom, just a large bed with mosquito netting and a great view! We had quite a few lizards in our room, but we got used to them (kind of!) <BR>Laurie, We stayed at the Sandals St. Lucia, not the Halcyon so I wudn't be able to tell you much. We did go to the Halcyon one evening for dinner at mario's and we strolled around the grounds, and hung out in the pavillion after dinner to listen to a steel drum band. Halcyon is much different and smaller than the other sandals. Also seemed to be more Europeans there, and much quieter. In our opinion, we were very happy we stayed at the bigger Sandals. We did not rent a car, didn't need to. Between the shuttles the resorts offer, and transportation is included in every tour, plus taxis are always available at the resorts for cheap. Renting a car wud be difficult, <BR>roads are curvy and hilly... it was much more relaxing having someone else do the driving! Make sure to get to Soufriere at the southern part of the island. Much prettier than the North and lots to see. Make sure to snorkel!! <BR>Beth, I didn't notice any damage at all at the Hilton. They had a very nice beach, very nice grounds and resort. Had a nice lunch there and did some decent snorkeling. Also went sailing there. The water there was by far clearer than anywhere else we had seen on the island, and calmer! They also have waiters that serve you fruit, drinks and moist towels right on the beach! A very nice place. <BR>Definitely get over to Anse Chastanet (probably by water taxi) and snorkel there, the best snorkeling on the island!
 
Old Dec 27th, 1999, 06:46 AM
  #8  
Rebecca
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I am really interested in Ladera but also LeSport cuz of the All-inclusive at LeSport. I think that Ladera offers a meal plan to include dinner for an extra fee, is it worth it or should we be on our own for dinner? What restaurants are available? I am also concerned abouth the weather in April and it not being a/c at Ladera. Should I go for the a/c @ le Sport instead. Any suggestions and help on this would be apprciated. Also, what was your average cost for meals pp/pd? <BR>Thanks in advance!
 
Old Dec 27th, 1999, 01:12 PM
  #9  
julie
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Hi Tammy! <BR> <BR>My husband and I have been wondering if this is the spot for us but haven't committed to it yet. We've heard that it is not as commercialized as some of the other islands. We also love the idea of Sandals-are they as wonderful as everyone says they are? What recommendations do you have? I'm all ears! <BR> <BR>Thanks! <BR> <BR>Julie
 
Old Dec 29th, 1999, 04:26 AM
  #10  
Tammy
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Julie, <BR>I would highly recommend St. Lucia.. One of the main reasons we picked it is because it isn't as commercialized as alot of the other islands. It's also very tropical and green, has jungles, rainforests, a volcano, hidden waterfalls, etc. We did alot of research before we picked St. Lucia and we were so happy we did. We both loved it and it gave us enough to do so my husband didn't get bored just laying on the beach! We stayed at the bigger sandals for 6 nites, then Ladera for 3 nites. It was nice because we got to see very different parts of the island, and both resorts were VERY different. <BR>We enjoyed Sandals, we had a great honeymoon suite with an ocean view. Good food, good choices of restaurants, great pools, lots of activities if you are in to that, water sports, a spa, golf, etc. Ladera was more beautiful with its views but in a more rustic way. <BR>We were very happy with both. Sandals was great because we never carried a wallet, all inclusive is great as long as you take some tours and see the rest of the island! Hope this helps!
 
Old Dec 29th, 1999, 12:57 PM
  #11  
EC Sandorf
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I am interested in going to St. Lucia for the first time, and want to do an all-inclusive. Tell me, how is Club St. Lucia? Or, can you recommend one to me? Thanks a lot for your help.
 
Old Feb 1st, 2000, 08:45 AM
  #12  
Alex
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I am interested in a honeymoon in St. Lucia. No white sand beaches? Open air cottages? Are there any mosquitos, etc. that get you that way? What else is there to do besides sit on the beach? What part is best for activity, snorkling? Thank you! November trip.
 
Old Feb 1st, 2000, 09:58 AM
  #13  
Kay
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Tammy: <BR> <BR>I ditto what Lisa says, how about a trip report when yu get the chance. We are going to St. Lucia for our honeymoon in June and staying 5 nights in a deluxe 1 bedroom at Ladera and 3 nights at the Hyatt in the northern part of the island. Did you go on the cruise down the coastline on the Brig Unicorn? We are thinking about doing that. What about restaurants? <BR> <BR>After reading what you ahve said so far I know we made the right choice for our honeymoon.
 
Old Feb 1st, 2000, 01:55 PM
  #14  
lisa
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Alex: In answer to your questions: <BR>1. Yes, there are some white sand beaches on St. Lucia but the sand is imported (big deal). The beach at Jalousie Hilton is white sand and is absolutely gorgeous. The snorkeling is better at nearby Anse Chastanet though, which has sand I would describe as honey-colored. Both are great beaches. <BR>2. Ladera Resort has open air rooms, although they're not really cottages, they're more like villas -- all face the Pitons and the Caribbean and all lack a fourth wall so they are open to the breeze. Most have private plunge pools. It's fantastic. <BR>3. Never saw mosquitos on St. Lucia, at least not in the area where we stayed at Ladera (nor did we see any on the beaches at Jalousie/Anse Chastanet, even when we ate outdoors in the evenings). When we hiked into the rainforest for a daytrip into the center of the island there were a few, but no big deal. <BR>4. What else is there to do/other activities/snorkeling: There is lots to do. Both Jalousie Hilton and Anse Chastanet have dive shops. Scuba is reportedly excellent at Anse Chastanet although we just snorkeled boats. You can also rent other types of boats and go sailing/kayaking, etc. There are boating excursions to other parts of the island via catamaran, sailboat, motorboat, you name it. Jalousie Hilton has tennis courts. There is horseback riding at a few places around the island. There is great hiking in the rainforest with local guides, which you can hire or arrange through your hotel. There is a gorgeous botanical garden to tour in Soufriere, plus lots of waterfalls to see, and a volcano (the volcano was interesting but not my favorite). Sample the local fare at some very good local restaurants. Dance to a reggae band on the beach or watch a limbo show. <BR>5. Which part is best? Definitely the area around Soufriere in my opinion. Stay at Ladera, Anse Chastanet, or Jalousie Hilton and I don't think you can go wrong. (Websites: www.ladera-resort.com, www.ansechastanet.com, or www.jalousie-hilton.com). The scenery in this part of the island beats the northern area hands-down, and it's less touristy also (because the cruise ships dock up north). <BR> <BR>By the way -- November is a great time to go -- it's still the low season so prices are less than they are in late Dec.-Jan, and fewer people are there so it's not crowded at all, but the rainy season is pretty much over so the weather is really nice. <BR> <BR>Kay: I've heard great things from others who took the Brig Unicorn. Haven't done it myself but it's supposed to be a fun trip. There are lots of good restaurants -- be sure to try the Hummingbird in Soufriere, Dasheene at Ladera, and Bang between the Pitons.
 
Old Feb 2nd, 2000, 09:19 AM
  #15  
Alex
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Lisa - Thank you very much for the information, you have no idea how difficult it is picking the RIGHT place for a honeymoon. (or maybe you do? ;-)) <BR>I was curious why they had those mosquito nets around the beds (at least that's what they look like in some pictures). <BR>I've heard 10 or 12 days may be overdoing it in St. Lucia for lack of activity, but you quelled my fears a bit about that. <BR>I wish I could purchase a video showing the island and different resorts, know where I could find one?? <BR>I also heard Sandals is a waste of money, but then everyone has their opinion. Do you have one on the subject? <BR>And lastly, I don't think my fiance is interested in staying in an open air villa. Are there any "5" star hotels with jacuzzi and entertainment centers in the rooms (not shared)? <BR>Thank you again!
 
Old Feb 3rd, 2000, 08:57 AM
  #16  
lisa
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Alex: The mosquito netting is around the bed because at night if you leave the lights on there are moths. You will find this very commonly in warm climates and places where they do not use screens on windows. So we used the netting to keep the moths off the bedding if we had the lights on at night, and off of us while we slept. In addition to being practical, it also looks nice and makes you feel like you're in your own little world. <BR> <BR>The open-air rooms are not for everyone -- there are little lizards and geckos that run around and I suppose some people could be bothered by that if they're squeamish about such things (we thought they were cute). But mosquitos are not a problem at Ladera because of the strong breezes due to the elevation. I'm sure there are probably mosquitos elsewhere on St. Lucia though. <BR> <BR>If you are looking for a 5-star on St. Lucia with personal pools/jacuzzis and entertainment centers (and air conditioning) I think you should look at Jalousie Hilton. I've heard very good things about it and their beach is great and the food there is very good too. Just make sure you take a water taxi over to the beach at Anse Chastanet at least one day for the better snorkeling there though (it's a very short ride -- maybe 10-minute motorboat ride away.) I'm not sure if the private pools at Jalousie are jazuzzis or cold-water pools but check their website. Cold-water pools seemed more common on St. Lucia which makes sense given the climate. You don't usually feel like a jacuzzi when it's 80 degrees out. <BR> <BR>Regarding Sandals, I've never been to one so I don't really have an opinion except to say that they are obviously not for everyone either, just as Ladera isn't. It just depends on what you want in a vacation. Some people seem to love them and some don't. After reading lots of trip reports about them (pro and con) and seeing their website and talking to travel agents, my boyfriend and I definitely felt that Sandals was not for us. We don't tend to like huge cookie-cutter places and prefer smaller accommodations with more character. We were more interested in privacy and relaxing than we were in participating in lots of activities and contests and things with other people. And we are just not the "all-inclusive" type -- we like to check out more of the local places and get the real flavor of a place instead of the places that are geared to tourists' palates. Sandals seemed like it might be too much like any random large chain resort in Florida and we felt like if we were going to go all the way to St. Lucia we wanted someplace really different and special that you couldn't get anywhere else. But lots of people like Sandals so it just depends on what you're looking for. <BR> <BR>The one thing I will say about the Sandals on St. Lucia is that in my opinion, their location can't compete with the area around Soufriere where Jalousie, Anse Chastanet & Ladera are located. Up by Sandals it's just sort of flat and not nearly as scenic as the Pitons. But lots of people split their vacation between the two areas, which you might want to consider. I do think 10-12 days in one place might be too long. Think about doing 5-6 nights at one place and 5-6 at another. I think 10 nights total would be good. <BR> <BR>Whatever you decide, make sure you go to dinner at Ladera one night and reserve a table by the edge with a view -- get there just before sunset so you can see how beautiful it is. <BR> <BR>Unfortunately, I don't know of a video that shows St. Lucia in all its glory -- sorry! <BR> <BR>Also, if you are worried about getting bored you can always take a daytrip to another island from St. Lucia. I know they offered them to St. Vincent which is supposed to be very pretty as well. <BR> <BR>Good luck planning your honeymoon (no, we haven't taken the plunge, but thank goodness he likes to travel to tropical places anyway!).
 
Old Feb 3rd, 2000, 10:24 AM
  #17  
Lara
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Alex: <BR> <BR>There is a company called "Destinations on Tape" that has videos of a lot of resorts. Check a search engine. <BR> <BR>Twelve days in St. Lucia would be too much, IMHO. If you are looking for a lot of action and activities and shopping, St. Lucia probably is not the right island for you. <BR> <BR>It is very time-consuming to navigate the island and you can waste a lot of time traveling from south to the north end, so stay at a hotel that is near most of the attractions that you want to see. <BR> <BR>We found Sandals to be a waste of money, and not even close to five star. <BR> <BR>As far as your need for a jacuzzi in room and satellite TV, VCR, etc., have you considered a villa? There are some incredible ones in the Cap Estate area on the north part of the island. Very scenic as well.
 
Old Feb 11th, 2000, 06:02 PM
  #18  
Laurie
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Hi Laurie, <BR> <BR> My wife and I went to Sandals Halcyon last year. While it was nice, we spent more time in the pool than anywhere else. There isn't tons to do outside of the Sandals' compunds at night, and the beaches are only decent. In fact, we were pretty disappointed with the beaches and surrounding countryside (outside the Sandals compunds). While the Pitons are pretty amazing, our horseback adventure revealed numerous beaches with garbage all over them, and a pretty poor population. The most fun things we did were the day and eveneing sailing trips. Between Halcyon and the other St. Lucia Sandals, Halcyon is much more quaint, but also slower at night. Sandals St. Lucia was far larger, and almost reminded me of one of the large Spring Break type of hotels in Cancun (packed at dinner and during the day in the pools and beaches). We didn't see lots of opportunities for shopping, as we had expected. Also, although the water was nice (royal purple in the deep parts), the shallow parts were not as clear and "tropical looking" as you see in other vacation spots (despite the pictures). We had a great time, but who wouldn't on a 7 day tropical honeymoon, but we probably won't go back. <BR> <BR>-Rick
 
Old Feb 15th, 2000, 02:46 PM
  #19  
Lynn
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Hi, <BR>I'm so glad some one referred me to this site. I have been searching High and low for information on ladera. Tammy, we are thinking about doing the same thing. Sandals st. lucia and ladera. I'm having trouble figuring how to split it up. I think we are going to be staying 8 nights, so maybe 5 nights at sandals and 3 nights at ladera, what do you think? <BR>Thanks, <BR>Lynn
 
Old Feb 20th, 2000, 11:26 AM
  #20  
sheila
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Hi Tammy! My husband and I are going to Ladera in May - can't wait- I've done a lot of research but can't seem to find out about tipping. Are we supposed to tip at the other resorts when we visit the beaches? Does the staff at Ladera require tipping? These forums are wonderful for all sorts of information I am so glad I found it. Any reply would be helpful! Thanks.
 

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