Welcome to paradise! Also known as Dasheene Restaurant at Ladera Resort. We were lucky enough to spend our honeymoon overlooking the Pitons, sipping on the best punch ever, relaxing day in and day out. If you are a long-time reader of the blog (thank you by the way if you’re out there), you’re probably thinking “wait didn’t you get married, like, almost 2 years ago?” Why yes, yes I did. But the thing is, so much was going on! I started a new job, Matt was traveling back and forth to NYC every week, then Matt got a new job, then we bought our first home, then I got a new job, and on and on it goes! But we were determined to get the honeymoon done in 2016, and in October, we knew we were running out of time! We found a week we could both go, and we just booked it! TWO WEEKS OUT! Yes we are crazy and booked an international trip on two weeks notice. We are nuts, I know.
BUT the thing is: I had been researching locations and resorts for months on end. We knew where we wanted to go, which resort we wanted to book, and how long we wanted to stay. So when it came down to booking time, I was well-prepared! Choosing Ladera was relatively easy, given what we were looking for, but I will go into that in my next post on the trip in general This post is focused on, you guessed it, the FOOD!
Upon booking our trip and stay at Ladera, I reached out to the resort to tell them I wanted to write about our dining experience and talk to you, my readers, about whether a meal plan is right for you! Because we booked this trip so last minute, I wasn’t counting on anything, but figured I’d reach out anyway. Luckily for us, the staff at Ladera is incredibly responsive, and they wrote back right away! The staff at Dasheene and Ladera in general is one of the best parts of the resort. Everyone is kind beyond belief, and so gracious.
A perfect example of this was when we first arrived. We had been traveling since 5AM and it was 3PM and we hadn’t eaten since we left. We were FAMISHED when we arrived at the resort. The people were so incredibly nice, they let us eat BEFORE we even checked in! Matt and I both had the bacon cheeseburger (which was PHENOMENAL BY THE WAY!!) with fries. We were so hungry I didn’t even take a picture of this before I completely devoured it. It was THAT good! What a great way to start off our stay there! They also give you a complimentary glass of Ladera Punch upon arrival, which I subsequently ordered every time we went back to Dasheene because it is SO GOOD. Like, I wish I could just keep a batch of it in my fridge.
Another fantastic aspect of the staff is that they don’t pressure you to do anything. They aren’t one of those places where they say “oh you HAVE to do XYZ activity” or “you MUST do this…” No. They let you do whatever you want, even if whatever you want is not leaving the room, and eating your delicious Dasheene meal in your complimentary robes! We did this two of the four nights…I’ll get to that in a minute!
After we checked in, we went to our beautiful room. I wish we could live in it forever, honestly…it was the true definition of paradise. There was a bottle of champagne waiting for us on ice, and they had already made us a dinner reservation for Dasheene that evening (which they graciously pushed back due to our 3PM burger-fest 😉 ) Not just any champagne, mind you, but Veuve Clicquot! I couldn’t believe it, I was so excited (it’s one of my faves ever!).
We enjoyed our glasses of champagne on our porch swing above our private pool and watched the sun set. It was absolutely heaven.
That evening, we went to Dasheene, and I had the rack of lamb (AMAZING by the way) and Matt got the Kobe beef. We both started with the lobster bisque, which I highly, highly recommend! It was so good, I got it on the last night as well! The lamb was a special, and I can never turn down a special, so I knew I would try the lobster entree another night (which I did!) but that first night would be the only night with the lamb. It was totally worth it! Because we had the meal plan, we could have all the wine by the glass we wanted (you can also do beer and liquor, we just paired wine with dinner). We were completely full after our meals, so we “skipped” dessert, but they brought us the most delicious chocolate truffles, which was the perfect finishing touch!
This is probably a good time to talk about the meal plan. Here is what is included in the all inclusive meal plan: “Includes full breakfast, lunch, afternoon tapas and dinner, drinks by the glass, house brand cocktails and spirits. Premium drinks, bottled wines and champagne are not included. All accommodations are provided with complimentary mini bar beverages on a daily basis; additional mini bar beverages and snacks will charged at prevailing menu prices.” And while we are on this topic: the mini bar?! Amazing. Comes with local St. Lucia beer, sodas, waters (I went through like a million of those) and there was a complimentary Nespresso machine (and capsules) IN our room, so Matt and I had at least 4 Nespresso espressos a day (each hah)! The mini bar is a fabulous touch and really sets this resort apart.
Breakfast is included in the meal plan of course, and every night you set out what you want for breakfast on the menu in your room, and they bring it to you in the morning (whenever you ask for it…again, heaven). One morning we did omelettes but I have to say, they make a fabulous sunny side up eggs, so once I had that, I decided that’s what I wanted forever and ever, so I got that each morning with ham on the side. It was the perfect way to wake up: eggs, ham, and espresso!
You can also get mid-day snacks delivered to the room. I ordered a cheese plate after our zip-lining adventure, and it was one of the best combinations of cheeses I have ever had in my entire life. It also came with their crisp flatbread crackers, which also came in every bread basket at dinner and which I would eat every day for dinner if I could buy it here at home. At dinner they would serve this crisp flatbread cracker (and the other breads–including pretzel rolls–Matt’s fave), with an amazing spiced olive oil. It was kind of a creole blend of spices mixed with olive oil and was indescribably delicious.
So the first night we ate in Dasheene, and the second night we decided to eat in the room. We were so comfortable in our robes and it was still raining a bit, so we thought we’d just stay in the room and look out at the view while we enjoyed dinner. Our view was spectacular by the way. This is it:
Wouldn’t you eat in the room too?? GORGEOUS.
So the second and third nights we ate in the room. We tried a few pasta dishes: one was a shrimp linguine and one was a chicken penne. Both were absolutely out of this world! We also started with Caesar salads, and finished with dessert this time! I highly recommend the “trio” chocolate dessert because they are small portions of each of the chocolate desserts: mousse, lava cake and flourless cake. All three heaven (and pair beautifully with espresso!). I love how perfectly portioned they are, so you get a sweet fix without feeling like you ate too much. We got dessert on both days (and the pasta on both days…it was rainy and nothing gives you warmth on a rainy day like comfort food am I right?!)
On the third day we splurged for our favorite of the chocolate trio, the molten lava cake! It is to.die.for.
On that third night, after eating in the room, we decided to venture over to Dasheene for drinks and games. We got Ladera Punch (this time with rum!) and played Connect Four. It was perfect for the rain! They have all kinds of board games in Dasheene, and if you ask nicely they let you take it back to your room after they close We had so much fun!
On the fourth night, we went back to Dasheene. One thing I should point out, which I think is a great unique feature, is that the menus for in-room dining and Dasheene restaurant dining are different. They have some overlap so that you can get the same thing if you really want it, but they each have unique dishes, so I highly recommend doing a mixture of each on your trip. It’s fun to go out but fun to stay in too
Dasheene is absolutely stunning, by the way. The views are spectacular and the dining room itself is gorgeous.
We came back for the lobster! So, not only do they have their normal menu, but they also have an entire menu dedicated to their lobster dishes. Interestingly enough, lobsters in St. Lucia do not have claws. I know, this seems so odd, and I was hesitant at first because some of the best meat is in those claws, but these St. Lucia lobsters are superb! Dasheene prepares them in a number of different ways, so you can enjoy them however you prefer! Matt and I got the garlic butter grilled ones (because what is better than garlic and butter?!). We also started with lobster bisque because you can never have too much lobster! I highly recommend ANY lobster dish from Dasheene. You will not be disappointed!! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
We returned the following day for lunch, our last meal at Dasheene, and both opted for the pasta again because we knew we had a long day of travel ahead of us and would not be able to eat until we arrived home.
Their normal lunch menu is below (they also offer the lobster menu at lunch):
My favorite part about the restaurant (other than the delicious food and friendly staff) is the view. It is truly spectacular and unmatched by any other place I have ever eaten.
This place was paradise. The perfect place to honeymoon. Having the meal plan also made everything so easy, and made our trip less stressful than any normal trip would be. Knowing exactly what our food would cost, and not having to worry about spending this much for each entree and that much for each glass of wine, let us just relax and enjoy our honeymoon. We were able to have wine and cocktails whenever we wanted without feeling like “ok where does this fit into the budget” and that was totally worth the cost of the meal plan. I highly recommend doing the meal plan if you come to Ladera. They have different tiers of meal plan as well, if you don’t want to do the all-inclusive, though we very much enjoyed not thinking about what we were eating/drinking the entire trip. I very strongly recommend Ladera for honeymooners and believe it is the perfect place to spend a few days in paradise. So what are you waiting for?
Disclosure: Ladera did not compensate me for this post, as we had already booked our trip to stay there when I contacted their marketing team. They did, however, provide us with a discount on the meal plan after I informed them I intended to do this post. Thus, my opinions and recommendations are my own and are not as a result of this discount. We very much appreciate Ladera providing us with this and being the perfect place to spend our honeymoon. We would go back at the drop of a hat!