Property: Ladera Resort
Country: Saint Lucia
Region: Soufriére, located on the southwest coast of Saint Lucia
Property size: 32 suites, all with private pools and unobstructed views of the Caribbean Sea and volcanic Piton Mountains
Best time to travel: November to April, which includes the island’s driest months. Temperatures during the winter and spring tend to average in the low 80s, making Saint Lucia a sought-after destination for couples celebrating a winter wedding.
Flight time: Minneapolis to Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) in Saint Lucia, roughly 8.5 hours including a short layover and connecting flight; New York to St. Lucia, roughly 4.5 hours nonstop; Los Angeles to St. Lucia, roughly 12 hours including a layover and connecting flight. Ladera is an additional 45-minute drive from UVF.
Why I’m smitten: Similar to Jade Mountain, one of the other striking St. Lucian properties highlighted earlier this month under the Smitten Spotlight, Ladera offers honeymooners the kind of unique—and memorable—accommodations many couples crave for the most important vacation of their life. Every suite, balanced on a ridge 1,100 feet above the Caribbean Sea, features an open-air fourth wall. This design guarantees couples sweeping, open-air views of cerulean water and the UNESCO World Heritage Pitons, while ensuring the suites remain ultra-private hideaways. (Fun fact: The furniture in the rooms and throughout the resort is made onsite by local craftspeople.)
Because of its design and location, Ladera also is a favorite for destination weddings—especially among brides and grooms desiring dramatic photos. The newer Villa at Paradise Ridge, opened in 2013, is a 1,900-square-foot enclave offering couples and their guests an out-of-this-world vantage point for viewing the Pitons and cerulean water below.
Travel tip: While Ladera Resort dishes up incredible views, it is not beachfront. To dig your toes into white sand, take advantage of the property’s beach shuttle, which whisks guests to nearby Sugar Beach multiple times a day. The cherry on top? Sugar Beach is situated between the Pitons. Talk about a jaw-dropping experience.
(Photos and video courtesy of Ladera Resort)