St. Lucia has an alluring mystique. A top destination for both couples and families, this incredibly lush island is home to the majestic UNESCO world heritage site Pitons, rainforest dotted by waterfalls, and beautiful palm-fringed beaches.
Located in the Lesser Antilles between Martinique and St. Vincent, St. Lucia remains one of the most active geothermal islands in the Caribbean. Travelers can even experience Sulphur Springs which is essentially part of a collapsed volcano crater (coined a “drive-in volcano”) in which visitors can relax in hot springs and thermal mud pools.
During our visit to St. Lucia we had the pleasure of exploring the southwest portion of the island which is home to the town of Soufriere, the Pitons, and a handful of luxury boutique resorts including Ladera, Sugar Beach, Anse Chastanet, and Jade Mountain.
Our first stop of the day should have been for a leisurely hike on the popular Tet Paul Nature Trail which is a 45 minute loop with great views of the Pitons, but unfortunately, mother nature had other plans for us. Our trip coincided with the tail end of St. Lucia’s rainy season and it poured for a good 1-2 hours that morning.
After a quick change in plans we made our way to the adults-only Ladera Resort which is located approximately 30-40 minutes from the island’s Hewanorra International Airport (UVF). Perched on a volcanic ridge 1000 sq. ft above the Caribbean Sea and on 15 acres of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ladera is home to 37 open-air rooms and suites all with private plunge pools overlooking the Pitons.
(Hilltop Dream Suite)
The property itself is incredibly beautiful and overflowing with gardens at every turn. It would be easy to spend a few days getting lost in the views while feasting on food from Ladera’s farm-to-table restaurant (try the Roti which is a local favorite!). Adding to the resort’s appeal is the soon to open 18,000 sq. ft. spa which is currently under construction.
Views from Across the Property:
I won’t give away all the surprises by sharing images of the grandest views!
Our second stop of the day was at Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort. Markedly different than the Ladera Resort, this ultra-luxe property is located on a former 18th-century sugar plantation and features the white-sand Sugar Beach.
This resort has a total of 96 rooms and 22 multi-bedroom residences sprinkled across the property. Every room features a private plunge pool, butler service, and A/C. One of the most spectacular parts of the property is the spa which has 9 treatment rooms that are essentially tree houses. To enter the spa you walk down a long enclosed wooden walkway which our guide likened to entering the mother’s womb, a place for rejuvenation and rebirth.
(spa treatment rooms)
The grounds of Sugar Beach are beautifully manicured with lots of room for guests to spread out. This family-friendly resort has a great schedule of activities for both adults and children including champagne sunset cruises, a Caribbean BBQ with Reggae Band on Friday nights, adult movie nights (kids have their own movie night on Wednesday nights), and a kids club for ages 4-12.
Views from Around the Resort:
Our third and final stop of the day was at the sister resorts, Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain. Together these two properties encompass more than 600 lush hillside acres on two crystal clear bays that are part of a marine reserve teeming with tropical fish.
Anse Chastanet is comprised of 49 individually-designed open-air rooms, 37 of which are scattered across the lush hillside and 12 which are nestled within a tropical garden at the beach level. This property is a nature lover’s paradise with 12 miles of jungle trails for hiking, biking, birdwatching, and coral reefs excellent for scuba diving and snorkeling. I would recommend this property to beach lovers as there is no pool on-site.
(Premium Hillside room at Anse Chastanet)
Jade Mountain is perched on the hillside above Anse Chastanet and is best known for its bold architectural design, sweeping views of the Pitons, and the in-room private infinity pools which range from 450-900 square feet! Featuring 24 infinity pool sanctuary rooms and 5 sky suites, Jade Mountain is adults-only. Guests may enjoy the exclusivity and privacy of Jade Mountain while also utilizing all the amenities at Anse Chastanet.
(Jade Mountain sanctuary room with private infinity pool)
(view of the individual bridges that lead to the infinity pool sanctuary rooms)
(Celestial Terrace with views of the Pitons across the way and the Jade Mountain Club’s infinity pool below)
(Celestial Terrace perfect for sunset cocktails or evening star-gazing)
All of the properties that we visited in St. Lucia were really special in their own way. Although it is impossible to completely capture the magic of these resorts, I welcome the opportunity to speak with you further regarding any of these properties or others located on St. Lucia. For those travelers who want both the open-air lodging experience and a stay at the beach, there is a popular “Peak-to-Beach” vacation package that incorporates three nights at the Ladera and three nights at Cap Maison (another amazing resort!). In addition, as a Virtuoso Advisor I’m able to get my clients complimentary upgrades at many of these properties including room upgrades, resort credits, and more. Please reach out for details or with questions! If you’re ready to start planning your next vacation, please fill out my Vacation Planning Form.