St. Lucia-June Honeymoon??? Need some help!

Feb 12th, 2003, 12:45 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6
St. Lucia-June Honeymoon??? Need some help!

We are planning our honeymoon and we've been told by friends that St. Lucia is wonderful. We'll be going for 12 days. We're considering Ladera for about 4 nights and one of the Sandals
Resorts for the rest of our stay. I stayed at Sandals-Antigua a few years back and was not entirely impressed so I'm a bit leary. He likes the all-inclusive idea and I do too...but I'm not lookking to be disappointed on my honeymoon (The food in Antigua wasn't great). Also, I'm reading a lot of mixed reviews on the beaches and June weather. We're looking to relax and just hang on the beach, some water sports, hiking, a little night life and excellent food. Any advice will be appreciated!

...Colleen
cpalus is offline  
Feb 12th, 2003, 01:12 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 160
I have heard great things about Ladera. If wanting to stay at one of the Sandals resorts, I would recommend the Grand (the new resort). It has the best beach and is the nicest property out of the 3. I would not stay at the Golf resort (the largest of the 3). It is so large you have to wait on a shuttle to get from one end of the resort to the other. That's just too much in my opinion.

You mentioned you have been to Antigua. I would just like to point out that the beaches in St. Lucia do not compare to Antigua's beaches. If a great beach is a must, I would suggest looking into a different island. St. Lucia is beautiful and offers lots to explore, but beautiful beaches is not what it is known for.

Good luck in choosing and Congrats!
beachlover99 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2003, 01:32 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6
Thank you for your response. I've been to Grand Cayman (loved it) and Aruba (October '99...too windy) What's the deal with St. Lucia's beaches? How is it that there 'not beautiful?'
cpalus is offline  
Feb 12th, 2003, 03:14 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,095
beachlover is correct. St. Lucia was developed or created through volvanos. It attributes to the dark sand. It is still a gorgeous and beautiful Island. Very lush and tropical. Great for hiking and exploring. Maybe try Barbados. It all depends on what you are looking for first and foremost. Good luck.
diann is offline  
Feb 12th, 2003, 05:25 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 178
cpalus, your friends are right St.Lucia is wonderful.
Ladera is in one of the best locations for beauty that one is to find in the caribbean, as is the Jalousie Hilton below Ladera. The beach located at the Jalousie Hilton is stunning, my goodness to have the Petit Piton rising right out of the water at the beach 2,400 feet up is so awesome. The sand at the Jalousie is imported white sand, we loved it, to see the contrast of the crystal clear cobalt blue water against the sand was beautiful. The water gets very deep quickly so it mostly leaves this beautiful dark blue water. The swimming is lovely there as are the water sports and snorkeling, scuba diving was incredible even from the beach.
We had split our stay with Ladera and Sandals Halcyon. We only lasted one night at Halcyon couldn't wait to get back to Ladera or the Jalousie Hilton. We ended up at the Jalousie for the rest of vacation. I can e-mail you pictures I put together to give an better idea of what the water is like in St.Lucia.
Donna
sailor is offline  
Feb 13th, 2003, 02:49 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6
Thanks to all for your advice. Our travel agent told us that the Jalousie Hilton went out of business and the new Sandals is on that property. We have friends who stayed at the Hilton 2 years ago and absoltely loved it. This new Sandals opened in October according to the travel agent. I guess it's the same beautiful beach....I'm just a tad leary about Sandals. We're not hard to please but we really enjoy dining and I thought the food at Sandals Antiqua was lacking. Someone on this site compared it to Applebee's. Great analogy. Donna-why did you guys hate the Sandals Halcyon? Thank you for offering to send me your photos! [email protected] We're leaning toward the new Sandals if any.
cpalus is offline  
Feb 13th, 2003, 03:04 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8
cpalus, I dont know who your travel agent is but I would suggest you look into aquiring another. The Hilton Jalhousie is very much still in business under the Hilton name.
DaveT is offline  
Feb 13th, 2003, 03:46 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 125
The Jalouise Plantation hotel did go bust and was bought by the Hilton group a few years ago, hence the new (ish) name Jalouise Hilton.

As others have said, it is a great place, and when we were there, very popular with honeymooners.
Marz is offline  
Feb 13th, 2003, 03:54 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6
My husband-to-be was told by the travel agent that the HYATT went out of business. (He had his "H" hotels confused. I guess that's how rumors get started.) Would you recommend the Hilton over the new Sandals? How is the food at the Hilton? We may be interested in the AI.
cpalus is offline  
Feb 13th, 2003, 04:26 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 107
You will love St Lucia. I would recommend at least 4 days at Ladera as it's incredible. Just make sure you get one of the rooms with a heated plunge pool. Sometimes the pools aren't in the sun most of the day and they can be chilly.
I'm not a Sandals person so my choice after Ladera would be a week at Anse Chastenet. It's a beautiful property! My second choice would be the Jalouise Hilton. I wouldn't do all inclusive at the Hilton though, the food gets very mixed reviews.
Mermaid is offline  
Feb 13th, 2003, 06:03 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 160
Again, if expecting beaches compared to Antigua, Grand Cayman and Aruba, you won't find them in St. Lucia. It is your honeymoon and it is good to know your options. Me, personally, I HAVE to have a great beach. That's my top priority! So St. Lucia doesn't interest me.

Have you looked into Anguilla? There are many options on this island. You mentioned that good food was a priority and there are great restaraunts on this island. Cap Juluca looks wonderful.

Congrats, cpalus, and enjoy whatever you choose!
beachlover99 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2003, 07:47 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 178

cpalus, I do prefer to use the word very disappointed rather than hate. This was are first Sandals stay, we have been to other all-inclusive. Felt we were way over charged. It was totally impossible to go from a location in heaven to the Sandals Halcyon.
It is a clean,cute,little place, but..... We didn't care for its location. Thought it was supposed to be secluded and quite, it is at the foothill on a main highway in a populated area. We found it very noisy, dogs, cars, machinery running next door, on top of construction going on during breakfast, right in front of us. We paid $5,500 for are 7 ngts/w/air. No mini fridge, no bottled water/no room service. Nothing we could get as far as canned pop or something to have in room without paying for it. If you want something to drink at the bar and you arrive at 5 mins. to 12:00. You may get the answer sorry we close at 12:00 can't help you. Lots of rules.
The rooms are a very small basic room, there was nothing romantic or luxury about the room, with plastic stackable chairs on balcony.

We couldn't get into any al-a carte restaurant. Told we needed to come early to eat or stand in line. Buffet seemed to be the only option if you didn't want to be running around checking what places didn't have a wait. Reservations are only taken at a couple of the resturaunts out of the 3 resorts. We only ate at the Buffet is was your standard type buffet food.
The beach was not appealing to us at all very small, narrow, three hut umbrellas, on the whole beach and no palms trees on the beach. Water, color, in this area left much to be desired.

I could go on and on. But it comes down to Ladera and the Jalousie Hilton are in an incredible location. It is so romantic and the beach is beautiful.

I do respect the people that get a good price to go to a Sandals, and some just need the swim up bars and a more active social life at these resorts.
sailor is offline  
Feb 13th, 2003, 11:08 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 107
My sister stayed at Ladera and LOVED LOVED LOVED it! : ) She would go to the beaches at the Jalousie Hilton each day ( they provide transport for you wherever you need to go at Ladera ). She also stayed at the Sandles Golf resort. I would stay at the Ladera and the new Sandels for the best of both worlds! : )

Dawn
DawnF is offline  
Feb 13th, 2003, 11:35 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,832
We personally thought that St. Lucia was expensive for what you get. If you are set on going, I would not do a Sandals, especially if you did not like Antigua, as that really is the best of their resorts. The beaches on the west coast are the best, although as many people have pointed out, St. Lucia is not an ideal beach location. There also is virtually no night life. Since this is your honeymoon, you don't want to be disappointed, so you may want to research other islands, if you haven't already done so. What you friends love, you may not.
Knowing is offline  
Feb 13th, 2003, 01:31 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 54
Also, I would check St. Lucia weather in June. Is it rainy season? I would just check that out because when it rains in St. Lucia- it really pours and that might put a damper on your vacation.
sarajkl is offline  
Feb 14th, 2003, 08:40 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 30
Ladera does get a lot of kudos (deservedly so) for the incredible views of the Pitons from the rooms and the resort. Having been to both resorts, it is my opinion that the views of the Pitons, beach and sea from the Jalousie are the equal of what you will experience at Ladera. The Jalousie is closer to the Pitons and, as another poster has said, it is almost as if you can almost reach out and touch them. The effect is awesome. At the Jalousie you are directly between the Pitons and the view from your villa is stunning. At Ladera, you will expereince an equally magnificent view, but because you are higher in elevation, it is more of a bird's eye view. The unique feature of Ladera is that their rooms have only three walls with one wall opened out entirely to view of the Pitons. On our honeymoon, we did want to have great scenic views, but we also wanted the amenities to ensure that we were going to be comfortable. I've heard people say that the open wall doesn't affect the comfort level, that you don't really need A/C, that bugs and other critters crawling in is really not a problem. In the end we decided that the benefits of the open wall were not outweighed by the possible problems that might occur that I have referenced above. Also, access to the Jalousie beach is much better at the Jalousie because the beach is right on the property whereas the beach is a 15-20 minute shuttle ride from the Ladera. Also, there were no problems at all with cold plunge pools at the Jalousie, because they are not in shaded areas. If you get a villa at the Jalousie that is higher up on the hillside (700's, 800's 900's), you will find that those villas have a lot of privacy so you can enjoy the plunge pool without worrying about prying eyes. The Jalousie suites are very luxuriously equipped with A/C, TV phone, marble bathrooms, etc. The food at the Ladera was better, but I had no problem with the food at the Jalousie. Unless you demand gourmet food, the Jalousie has food that is quite good, but overpriced (as is everything in the Caribbean). I think the Ladera is a great resort. These are just things to keep in mind in making a decision as to which of these two are right for you. P.S. I didn't mention the Anse because , while it is nice, it is not in the same league with Ladera and the Jalousie Hilton.
keepitreal is offline  
Feb 14th, 2003, 09:30 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 27
I have to disagree, just a bit with Keepitreal.
The views at Ladera are vastly superior to those at Jalousie. That along with the privacy at Ladera and the food at Ladera makes it an easy choice for me. The only thing that would put the Hilton first for me was if I absolutely had to be on the beach.
On our honeymoon our main concern was privacy and ambiance. That's where Ladera shines.
I would split the trip between Ladera and the Hilton but just be aware that the food at the Hilton is very expensive and not great. It's expensive at Ladera too but the meals are exquisite. There's truly no comparison.
MaryBeth is offline  
Feb 14th, 2003, 10:28 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 30
Marybeth-
I agree with much of what you say although I reach a different conclusion about which of these two I would prefer. Some people prefer the more rustic setting of Ladera and would prefer to get away from the rest of the world completely. If so, Ladera is the place. We wanted a place where we could get a flavor of being in a tropical, secluded environment, but we also wanted to have some creature comforts-- A/C, phone, TV, luxurious interiors in the villa where we stayed. For us, the Jalousie was just the right mix of these two worlds. Ladera just didn't have all these amenities and so it wasn't right for us. I do agree (based on having one meal at the Ladera) that the food at the Ladera is really good but for me it was not so much better than the Jalousie that it would have changed my mind about where to stay. As I said, access to the beach is a big plus at the Jalousie and it is a very nice beach, small , secluded, clean with great snorkeling. As far as which of these resorts has the superior views, that is such a subjective thing, and would certainly respect your opinion about the Ladera being tops in that category, even if I don't agree. The main reason for my previous post was to give folks what I thought to be the good points of each of these resorts. I think we can both agree that for anyone considering the south part of St. Lucia, these are the two top places to stay
keepitreal is offline  
Feb 14th, 2003, 11:22 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 27
Keepitreal,
Since it was our honeymoon, the telephone and television weren't needed or wanted. If it was just a vacation maybe I would have felt differently. We had absolutely no need for AC at Ladera with the breezes.
You and I just have slightly different priorities and reached slightly different conclusions but in the main we agree. These two places are without a doubt the best properties in southern St Lucia.
Everyone has to look at what's important to them and match those priorities with a property. There are plenty of islands and resorts to choose from!
MaryBeth is offline  
Feb 14th, 2003, 12:34 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 178
keepitreal and Marybeth, for all the above reasons you both stated, did we LOVE both Ladera and the Jalousie. We would not be able to pick between the two next time, so we will again stay at both. This has never happened to us before. We just found both to be unique in there own way. I like to say Ladera for wildly romantic side and Jalousie for the cozy cofy side plus.
As far as food, it is so subjective. We enjoyed the food at both. I think food is so secondary to being able to EXPERIENCE these properties. I would think sad if someone gave up going to either of these resorts based on food opinions.
Food prices being high? Yes this is not your budget vacation. I would just like to add it was so reasonable to us after, coming from the Sandals Halcyon and paying upwards of $600 a day for the two of us. The room value there in my opinion, should have been around $100 a night or less. I can't imagine what the Buffets we ate cost us there? When people pay for the whole trip before they leave they aren't even thinking what the food and drinks are actually costing them at the high priced all-inclusives.
Anyway, I think you both are right and these are incredible properties. I think anyone lucky enough to stay at either would be very happy.
Donna
sailor is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:01 PM.