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Planning a trip for two to Dominica in January. Looking at staying at least five nights. Any hotel recommendations from anyone would be appreciated. Also do and don't would also be good.

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    I took my wife and two children to Dominica for her 40th birthday last year. We loved Dominica, though we really enjoy "off the beaten track" type of vacations. The island is extremely tropical and provided our family with a different vacation that we will always remember.

    I would recommend staying at various hotels/inns during your stay. We stayed at the Anchorage for two days, it is on the edge of Rouseau and was convenient to many day trips. Rouseau is on the Caribbean side of the island. We did day trips to Soufriere and to Champagne Beach for snorkeling. The open market in Rouseau is also a blast. We also stayed in the Rain Forest for two nights at the Crescent Moon. This was a wonderful place and convenient for hiking. You must do Middleham Falls and the Boiling Lake hikes. These were wonderful hikes for all of us. We also stayed on the Atlantic side for three nights around Calibishie. Some beautiful deserted beaches but the water is rough. We discovered one beach that had a river running to it and enjoyed the swimming there.

    Overall the island of Dominica is really an undiscovered jewel. It is not for everyone, we enjoy camping and roughing it and prefer natural experiences. Dominica fit our needs.

    Recommendations: Stay at a few different accomodations. Snorkel at Champagne and Soufriere, open market at Rouseau, eat at the small shacks (the food was better and much cheaper), hike and experience the rain forest (unbelievable), Portsmouth area is pretty nice to explore, Calibishie is a great area and close to the Carib lands.

    We would stop and ask some locals for some fruit. They would fill our trunk of our jeep with grapefruits, mangoes, papayas for a few dollars. One night for a meal in Calibishie we asked a local for some good food, he took us to a woman's house and told her we would like to have a great dinner. She had us stop by a few hours later and had prepared a magnificent supper of all local food and produce. The people of Dominica are wonderful.

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    We just got back. Definitely stay at Castaways in Mero. Convenient to virtually all the major sights, without the bustle of Roseau. Stay in one of the second floor refurbished suites. Jason, the host, is great, as is the staff and the food. Also, it is beach front at the best beach on the West Coast. AVOID Picard Beach Cottage Resort. The staff, with view exceptions, are morons, and the restaurant, Le Flambeau, is horrible, with a rude and condescending staff. Fort Young is VERY nice, although we didn't stay there. Papillote is great, so long as you stay in a suite. So, Castaways, Fort Young, and Papillote!

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    We just got back. Definitely stay at Castaways in Mero. Convenient to virtually all the major sights, without the bustle of Roseau. Stay in one of the second floor refurbished suites. Jason, the host, is great, as is the staff and the food. Also, it is beach front at the best beach on the West Coast. AVOID Picard Beach Cottage Resort. The staff, with few exceptions, are morons, and the restaurant, Le Flambeau, is horrible, with a rude and condescending staff. Fort Young is VERY nice, although we didn't stay there. Papillote is great, so long as you stay in a suite. So, Castaways, Fort Young, and Papillote!

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