If you are looking for a luxury break overlooking the Caribbean Sea, look no further than Soufriere, St Lucia. A quiet area on the island's west coast with beautiful beaches and panoramic views, Soufriere is home to more than ten outstanding hotels.
Here we compare three of the finest luxury hotels situated in Soufriere - Jade Mountain, Ladera Resort and Sugar Beach.
Jade Mountain, owned and designed by architect Nick Troubetzkoy, places bold design on the highest hills of Soufriere and is the only resort boasting a view of both the Piton mountains that jut out of the Caribbean Sea. In among Forbes magazine's Top 10 Luxury Boutique Resorts and voted top Caribbean Resort in both Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure magazines, the hotel has worldwide recognition but remains exclusive and private.
Ladera Resort didn't come far behind, voted 6th in Conde Nast and 7th in Travel & Leisure. Situated in the former Rabot Estate, one of Soufriere's oldest cocoa plantations, it offers rainforest and beach surroundings for adults only.
Sugar Beach is much larger and accommodates families as well as couples and individuals. With a huge range of activities on offer, luxury relaxation and recreation is accessible for all the family. One of the best beach settings on the island, it is ideal for those who enjoy watersports.
Jade Mountain offers Sky, Star, Sun, Moon and Galaxy open-wall suites, known as Sanctuaries, all of which offer private infinity pools, except the Sky level which has a jacuzzi instead. Constructed with a range of designer-selected hardwoods and crushed Barbadian coral plaster, they are furnished with an eclectic mix of luxury West Indian wood creations and soft, exotic upholsteries.
Ladera offers 32 open-wall suites with private plunge pools, some with cascading waterfalls. Each suite is constructed with tropical hardwoods, stone and tiles, and decorated with local artwork.
Sugar Beach offers a range of accommodation, from guestrooms with private plunge pools and patios, beachfront bungalows with outdoor showers and jacuzzis, and The Residences, a series of 1 to 5 bedroom luxury properties with their own infinity pools. Their white decor fuses modern and colonial styles for a truly luxury feel.
The Jade Mountain Club at Jade Mountain is the home of James Beard Award winner Chef Allen Susser and caters for breakfast, lunch and dinner for guests only. Caribbean fusion cuisine with a modern twist, the Chef uses unusual techniques to create exciting culinary adventures. Dine to live jazz and acoustic musicians in open-wall dining wrapped around a vibrantly-tiled infinity pool for the ultimate in dining luxury. If you prefer privacy, Jade Mountain offers a range of gourmet private dining experiences in multiple locations.
Ladera's restaurant, Dasheene is a favorite with guests and visitors alike for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With unobstructed sea views from the bar, guests will delight in choosing from a selection of stylish twists on traditional St Lucian dishes.
All Dasheene's innovative dishes are prepared using local ingredients from island farmers and provide an authentic taste of the Caribbean. Dasheene also offers daily cooking classes and bartending classes on request.
Sugar Beach has a range of restaurants, including the Great Room restaurant for semi-formal candlelit dinners, the Bayside Restaurant for beachfront a la carte lunch and dinner, The Terrace for breakfast, and a number of bars including a beachside bar offering stonebaked pizza and entertainment into the early hours.
Spa services can be enjoyed at Jade Mountain in their dedicated Kai en Ciel spa, or in the privacy of your sanctuary. Guests also benefit from free admission to two sister spas, the Kai Belte at Anse Chastanet and the Kai Mer spa cottage. Ayurvedic and holistic treatments are available alongside the classical beauty and massage menu. Yoga classes are complimentary, and there are escorted walks and hikes daily.
Ladera's Spa offers a full range of treatments that you can enjoy in their treatment rooms, picturesque outdoor locations or in the privacy of your accommodation. Along with a full range of massages, facials, body scrubs, manicures and pedicures, they also offer hairbraiding and waxing, as well as a volcanic mud treatment located in the drive-in volcano, just minutes away by taxi.
The jewel in Sugar Beach's crown is its Rainforest Spa, with its wooden weaved treatment rooms and earthen Amerindian steamdome nestled in lush tropical foliage.
They offer a huge range of treatments for adults, couples, teens and children, as well as yoga and fitness programs, and the prices are competitive.
Though there are few activities available at Jade Mountain, as it is geared to relaxation, guests receive complimentary passes to the Anse Chastanet Resort, where they can enjoy the white-sand beach, watersports, scuba diving and tennis court.
Ladera offers botanical garden tours, horseback riding on the beach, a fitness room and a library, among many other facilities, though the focus here is on relaxation rather than exertion and sporting activities.
Sugar Beach is the perfect place for those who crave excitement. With a PADI Dive Centre, and extensive motorized and non-motorized watersports, including windsurfing, sailing, snorkelling, wakeboarding and snuba, those who love the water will not find themselves running out of things to do. Sugar Beach also boasts two tennis courts, pool tables, table tennis and fitness classes. There are kids and teens clubs that run scheduled activities for all different age ranges.
Images courtesy of jademountain.com, telegraph.co.uk and luxurydirectorycaribbean.com