Island of Rastas, Pitons and Jah love

St Lucia, a nation located in a chain of eastern Caribbean islands, between St Vincent and Martinique, rears the rough Atlantic Ocean on its eastern coast and the serene Caribbean Sea to the west.

It is deemed an emerald jewel and a cut above the rest due to its natural wonders – the two Piton mountain peaks, Gros and Petit Piton surging upward from this unperturbed sequence.

It used to be a British colony and therefore English is an official language, but before that it was ceded to the French and the locally spoken dialect is French Creole, though the natives communicate mainly in English. Eastern Caribbean dollar is an official currency, however with the widespread acceptance of US$, it’s easy not having to fumble with the exchange rate.

Ladera hotel is a complex that cherishes not only the most exclusive location on the island – in the lush Jalousie plantation, elevated between the two Piton mountains – but also fascinating open-concept huts, each missing the fourth wall toward the sea, allowing for nature to breeze through the lodgings.

Jalousie beach is as perfect as they come, located face-to-face between Gros and Petit Pitons, and at direct sunlight all day long. Its salt-and-pepper sand is warm and delicate, though rumored to be imported from Trinidad, as the sand between the Pitons would otherwise be black due to its volcanic origins.

The resort boasts green credentials in more than one way: the al-fresco design substantially cuts back on air-conditioning, they also sensibly scale down on towel dispensing, and the water for showers is heated in solar boilers. Each villa has a small private pool, and the main pool is welcomingly refreshing. Ah, it’s a delight to know that even a luxury resort – especially a luxury resort – is aware of the impact it can have.

© Deja Dragovic, for National Geographic Footprint Online, Mar-09

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