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-   -   Ladera (St. Lucia) OR Le Toiny (St. Barts)?! (

Anne Apr 26th, 2002 01:32 PM

Ladera (St. Lucia) OR Le Toiny (St. Barts)?!
I am trying to book a VERY romantic 20th anniversary get-away. I was pretty well convinced it would be Ladera, but am now intrigued by Le Toiny. So, if anyone has been to both St. Lucia and St. Barts (I've been to neither), please compare the two for me. <BR>Other considerations: We have 5-6 days total, eaten up by the 2 travel days coming/going. Which is easier to access from Boston's Logan?<BR>We'll probably go either this Oct/Nov or next April/May. We love exquisite dining, local music, a bit of shopping, and perhaps a brief boat or snorkel excursion. We want to do a lot of nothing, but I have a bit of concern of feeling totally disconnected. And since this will be a big splurge for us, any idea which one "nickels and dimes" guests less once you are there? (Puhleez, for these prices spare me the "resort fee" for using a treadmill or charge for table water at dinner!:) ) And, finally, how do you pronounce "Toiny?"<BR> So, for those of you answering who've been to one or the other... What made it magic?!<BR>Thanks in advance!

liz Apr 26th, 2002 02:41 PM

See my response to "need a romantic getaway" post, or what I wrote under the Fodors section about St. Barths. Le Toiny (twa-NEE) is just unbeatable!!! You have to go without worrying about the financial aspect truthfully. There is no nickel-diming so to speak, but at the rates they charge they don't need to do this petty stuff thank heavens!!! The island is an all around paradise. See if you can fly direct to St. Martin, trying to bypass Puerto Rico which is a real drag. Then you take a 10 minute puddle jumper to StB and the hotel comes and collects you and the rest is a dream. As stated in the other post, if you go off season, you can get a good package. Forget October, closed, and November, mostly hurricane season. Pre-Easter you will still be in high season so keep that in mind. We went in July and could not recommend it more highly, quiet and delicious.

kmd Apr 27th, 2002 10:02 AM

St. Barts over St. Lucia! St. Barts is an incredibly beautiful island, very little poverty, very French, wonderful shopping, much better restaurants, more beautiful beaches. There is really no comparison.

Anne Apr 27th, 2002 12:52 PM

Thanks for the input! Le Toiny definitely seems to suit the bill for a "honeymoon" type of vacation. May sounds like the best month for us, and flying into St. martin is a great suggestion. But, I still have a feeling that Ladera and St. Lucia might have a more exotic and adventurous feel! (Something very appealing to a cautious, responsible 40-something!) I guess I should decide between that or total luxury. <BR>

Ashley Apr 28th, 2002 09:07 AM

Anne- I've been to both islands- St. Barts (Hotel Isle de France) for our honeymoon in May 2000, and Jalousie Hilton in July 2001. I highly recommend St. Barts. The food is much, much better there than St. Lucia, as is the shopping. St. Lucia has alot of Rastafarians (from Jamaica) looking to make money off of you- you're often being approached by them. It's really only when you go off of the resort-- Le Toiny is amazing and exactly as you said, "pure luxury." You can also drive on St. Barts and get around much easier than on St. Lucia; we did not rent a car on St. Lucia. It's also going to take you a bit longer to get to St. Lucia. For our trip to St. Barts we flew Delta in to St. Thomas and took Air St. Thomas to St. Barts for about $200 per person for that flight. Good luck!

Paul Apr 28th, 2002 02:04 PM

Never been to Ladeire but it is hard to imagine any place being BETTER than Le Toiny. As for the islands themselves, St.Barth leaves St. Lucia in the dust, just for the dining and shopping alone.

A Apr 28th, 2002 03:14 PM

I know Ladera is not on the beach, but in the mountains with ocean views. How about Le Toiney? Can you walk to the beach? See it/hear it from your room?<BR>

ttt Apr 29th, 2002 06:57 AM

for Joan

Paul Apr 29th, 2002 07:29 AM

All the Le Toiny villas have a beautiful ocean view. The ocean that you view from there, however, is rough and not swimmable. It is a 5-10 minute drive to a good bathing beach.

Lyn Apr 29th, 2002 08:13 AM

Don't know if anyone has told you this or not but you DEFINITELY need to rent a car at Le Toiny as the hotel is very much off the beaten path (so you should figure that cost into your plans). Nothing is further that 10-15 minutes away so I don't want to scare you but you would really be missing out if you didn't have the car. Although I've never stayed at Le Toiny, I understand it is the premier resort on the island (it should be at those prices!). That being said, there are many other hotels to stay at in all price ranges. <BR><BR>I've never been to St. Lucia but have seen many other reviews saying that St. Bart's beats it hands down. In St. Bart's you will have a wonderful time no matter where you stay as the fab French/Caribbean atmosphere is unbeatable anywhere.

liz Apr 29th, 2002 10:36 AM

Just to clear up two things:<BR>Le Toiny is not far off the beaten path! This is an island of a total of 8 square miles, and very hilly, but it does not take more than 10 minutes from one place to another. The hotel package usually includes a Suzuki Samurai which you will need as you will want to visit many beachs and many restaurants, and both of the little "towns" on the island. Meanwhile driving around STB is one hte greatest pleasures known to man, every road is scenic and every turn leaves you breathless, you are never without an ocean view.<BR>Second, the beach in front of Le Toiny is not unswimmable. We snorkeled there every single day. It is a surfers<BR>beach meaning that is can get rough, one day we skipped it thinking that the current was rather strong though there were plenty of surfers out. There is a sign saying unswimmable but that doesn't stop the locals. Most of the time it is just a big, tranquil, deep aqua bath tub with perfect visability and divine for a morning snorkel without anyone else around to bother you!!! The beach is stony, whereas all other beachs there are sand, so I probably wouldn't go there for sunbathing but for a pre-breakfast dip it was perfect. We had some very romantic moments at this beach!

Lori Apr 29th, 2002 03:06 PM

I stayed at Ladera a couple of years ago and wouldn't recommend it for more than a night or two. The idea of the resort is much better than the reality. You don't have a fourth wall--it is open to the elements. Which sounds adventurous and exotic and it is. Unfortunately, without a fourth wall, sound travels-- A LOT. The couple next door to us was very loud, just in their speaking voices. They might as well have been sharing our room. The hotel was booked and we could not be moved. There was no option. It really took away the romance of it all. And, sleeping at night became a challenge. You can sleep under netting to avoid mosquitos, but the openness invites the many tree frogs to come into your room. The lack of fourth wall creates this echo chamber and when a dozen frogs start chirping at 3 am, it was so loud, I can't even describe it! No way to get them out either. I camp so I don't mind being close to nature, but this was ridiculous. You couldn't sleep. And the rooms are more rustic than luxurious (especially the bathrooms). If you are interested in St. Lucia, I'd recommend the Hyatt there (which is on the beach below Ladera). It is truly a great experience if you get a room with its own plunge pool. We've done this twice and it is great if you want peace and quiet. However, I'd say the food isn't terrific at either location and there isn't a lot to do on the island if you leave your resort.

Anne Apr 29th, 2002 05:52 PM

Lori: Thanks for your honest report. It has really helped me confirm my change of plans!<BR>Ashley: I appreciate your first-hand comparison of the islands!<BR>Liz and Paul: Your enthusiasm for Le Toiny has me sold!<BR>

Lyn Apr 29th, 2002 07:35 PM

Liz - I've been to St. Bart's many times and I do consider Le Toiny "off the beaten path". You're right in saying that most restaurants & beaches (and Gustavia, the picturesque St. Bart's harbor) are not further away than a 15 minute (tops) drive but Le Toiny is definitely off by itself versus say, a hotel or villa in St. Jean, Lorient or Flammand's. I definitely agree that driving is just another part of the fun on the magical island of St. Bart's because around every turn is another beautiful view, which is why my advice to Anne was to definitely have a car. <BR><BR>As for the beach at Le Toiny, it may be swimmable, surfable or a great place for snorkeling but it is not a beach that you would go to spend the day relaxing.

Anne Apr 29th, 2002 08:05 PM

Thanks, Lyn. We'll be sure to get a car. Hopefully, we'll go when that package is available.

Lori Apr 30th, 2002 12:02 PM

Whoops! I meant the Hilton, not the Hyatt in my above post.

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