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DOMINICA: Need advice for romantic trip with biologist hubby!

DOMINICA: Need advice for romantic trip with biologist hubby!

Dec 10th, 2005, 12:34 AM
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DOMINICA: Need advice for romantic trip with biologist hubby!

Hi, if you have been to Dominica in the last couple of years, I sure could use your advice.

My husband and I visited Dominica over 20 years ago as part of our honeymoon trip. Now we would like to return in February 2006.

We're thinking of spending 3 or 4 nights at the Beau Rive on easter side, and 3 or 4 nights near Rosseau to increase dining options and to enjoy a little nightlife in Rosseau.

Bea Rive looks peaceful and beautiful but isolated, no restaurants nearby.

Or else we could split our time between the Beau Rive (eastern side) and a hotel on the northern side of Dominica, near the sandy beach.

Does anybody have feedback about areas to stay, hotels, food, and nightlife in Dominica? I do realize it doesn't have the hottest nightlife in the Caribbean, but that's fine, we're just hoping for a little dancing under the moonlight and maybe a live band.

On our honeymoon, we stayed near Roseau and didn't actually see the whole island...got a ride up into the beautiful lush rainforest...Found the locals to be friendly and amazingly relaxed compared to the frenetic pace of most folks back home in Southern California...

Can anybody compare Roseau to the little town on the north side of the island? Which would be a better base, do you think?

I should say our interests are nature hikes (easy or moderate); native flora and fauna (hubby is a biologist); scenic areas; good local food and music; and if possible a bit of snorkeling, I get tired after an hour of snorkeling! Sunsets...gardens...pleasant walks...romance in the rainforest...culture...a chance to chat with some locals is always nice when travelling...

Do you recommend any day-tours or boat tours? We will rent a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

If Dominica doesn't work out (don't know if I can get reservations for February 2006, we have waited too long), then we will have to try a different island, have considered Bonaire, St. Kitts, St. John (ahhh! unbelievable prices on St. John!); British Virgin Island or Bahamian Out Islands.

I originally wanted a romantic hotel right on a nice beach, but I was shocked that all the ones I liked were like $600 a night in February! We just can't see spending that much for a room. Have you ever seen a room worth $600? I haven't. Stayed in the Ritz once, room price was reduced to around $300, and that is more than it was worth! And we thought Maui was expensive when we paid up to $300 a night for room for our anniversary trip!

Anyway thanks for any info you can give me.
Melissa5 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2005, 04:29 AM
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www.avirtualdominica.com has a good hotel list and lots of info. on it's site . www.natureisland.com is another great site , it has a map and all the hotels are listed by area ( with each area described ) .
faithie is offline  
Dec 10th, 2005, 04:39 AM
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www.calabishiecoast.com from my research , this is where I figured out a lot of the pretty beaches were . Also the jungle and mountains are your backdrop .
faithie is offline  
Dec 10th, 2005, 09:37 AM
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If you are looking for a place which looks just like it did 20 years ago, Dominica is the place for you to return. Most of what you seem to want to do is there, hiking, etc. It is a beautiful place very natural and not built up at all. I bought a lot of baskets and hand made place mats there as I felt like doing some shopping. Hopefully your plans will work out! If you want somewhere with all of that plus more night life and restaurants I would suggest either St Kitts or Nevis. They are both natural beauties, more built up than Dominica of course, but both wonderful as well. GL
MIM04 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2005, 03:34 PM
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MIM04 or GL: thanks for the info on the Dominica of today; and the suggestions of St. Kitts or Nevis, in case Dominica doesn't work out.

Faithie, thanks for the links, I will def check them out. And if Dominica works out I'll post a trip report.
Melissa5 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 11:16 AM
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Highly recommend St. Kitts and Nevis. The Caribbean's best kept secret!


lizpereira is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 11:27 AM
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HI Melissa,
I was just in Dominica in August, and I had a great time. It is an amazing island and SO different from anywhere else.
But be warned. It is a hiker's (and diver's) paradise and nature is the prime attraction - they are not kidding when they say the beaches are few and far between.
Go if you want to spend your days shimmying up mountainsides and don't miss the Boiling Lake. What a hike. The Valley of Desolation (they need some PR help with that one) is an attraction on its own. Wait till you see the blue and yellow mud baths and natural jacuzzi.
Also, the Layou River where you hike down (IN!) the river framed by lush gorges rising up 200 feet on both sides. Or climb up stone steps carved into the sheer cliff by an escaped slave 150 years ago.
Beau Rive is GORGEOUS and the owner Mark is a fabulous host. The food is great and oh-so-romantic.
I also stayed at Papillote up in the hills near Trafalgar falls. Keep an eye on your hubby with all the topless girls from Martinique and Guadeloupe around! It's also wonderful, in a kind of luxury Boy Scout camp way. The gardens and sulphur baths are great.
Callibishie is nice too, and cheaper. Check out artist Marie Frederick's wonderful bush cabins in Bourne nearby.
The getting around in Dominica is a problem, no two ways about it. The airport is poorly designed and flights are regularly cancelled from San Juan. That will screw up your trip.
Also getting from one side of the island to the other is a trek and the roads are a bit of an adventure.
Don't go expecting much from Roseau. I'd say it's a pretty unattractive town and downright grim at night. I'm not sure if you're going to find much of the dining and dancing you're hoping for. Maybe I just missed it. . .
If you're thinking about St. Kitts and Nevis, I would say both islands are much more accessible and well-rounded places than DA (that's Dominica).
They have nature (the volcano hikes, horse riding, trails), beaches, great places to stay (especially the plantation inns, stay away from the overpriced 4Seasons and behemoth MArriot) and much more places to eat (stonewalls in Basseterre, Sprat net, Rawlins) and dance.
Basseterre is a much nicer town than Roseau and the island is much easier to get around.
St. Kitt's not as drop-dead gorgeious as DA, but could be a better choice if you like beaches and non-nature stuff.
THEY ARE BOTH GREAT ISLANDS, with so much of their own culture and style. Much better than the speck of sand places that people are touting like Anguilla, Bonaire or those out island places.
Either way, you;ll have a great time -- good luck!
tripster is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 02:22 PM
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Tripster , I just might need to pick your brain sometime ...... Loved your input , I know even more that Dominica is a place I would love . Thanx !! Faith
faithie is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 02:24 PM
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PS any pics online ???
faithie is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 04:34 AM
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Melissa, a poster here named "tabhauser" did a trip report on Dominica, which really gives you a great feel for the island. Here is a link:

joan is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 04:47 PM
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tripster, wow, thanks for the great info on Dominica and comparison to the other islands! Even though I've been to Dominica it was over 20 years ago and also we didn't see that much, we were young and island-hopping. We missed a lot. Glad you mentioned the cancelled flights problem at Dominica. At least I know about that in advance.

Still considering Dominica, and St. Kitts/Nevis.

Joan, thanks, I'll check the trip report link for Dominica.
Melissa5 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2005, 11:36 PM
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tripster, we have decided on St. Kitts for this trip. Can you recommend any specific accomodations, preferably under $350 a night?

Ideally would be located on a beach that has good snorkeling or swimming. We are looking for a nice, romantic place that is low-key, not too built up. On a pleasant side of the island which still has some native flora and fauna...good for snorkeling or swimming...

Am I asking the impossible? Also we were hoping for a little bit of night-life, maybe some music/dancing. Or at least some restaurants with good local food, not just tourist food.

What is tourist food, somebody asked me? I define tourist food as food that only tourists would be foolish enough to eat and pay for.

Hubby is a biologist so we will also want to do some nature hikes, eco-tourism, in areas with some native flora and fauna. Recommendations?

Thanks very much! Would also consider NOT staying on the beach if the recommendation is for someplace that is unique and special in some way.
Melissa5 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2005, 01:24 PM
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Still weighing Dominica trip versus St. Kitts/Nevis for February 2006 (I know, if we don't book it soon it will be too late!)

I was thinking it would be fun to divide time in Dominica between the Beau Rive, which sounds great but isolated, and staying in one of the diving hotels near Roseau, so we could book a snorkeling trip...sounds like there's great snorkeling down near Scotts Head.

Which of the diving hotels near Roseau has the nicest rooms with most comfortable beds and best showers? Anchorage Hotel? Castle Comfort Lodge? I read the Castle Comfort Lodge has weekly buffet dinners with live music? Worth checking out?

Calibishie Lodges have a nice location near the northern beaches of Dominica, but we would have to choose between that and being closer to Scott's Head on southern end for snorkling. And the Beau Rive really draws me...

But St. Kitts is also a possibility. Looking at these places to stay on St. Kitts: Timothy Beach resort; Rawlins plantation inn; Ottley's Plantation Inn.

Have also considered Coral Sands resort on Turks & Caicos, which sounds like it's on a nice snorkeling beach, but the island of Providenciales sounds pretty built up, which gets depressing for hubby the biologist...

Thanks for your help everyone.
Melissa5 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2005, 02:08 PM
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Hi Melissa .... I have friends in Turks that have partenered in a hotel .... Virtually devoid of flora , fauna , and hiking etc. Incredible beaches though !!! Have you ever considered Young Island Resort off St.Vincent ??? ( Johnny Depp stayed here for the filming of the first pirates movie ) ( now being fimed in Dominica for the 2nd ) Look at scuba mom's website for great pics and details of Young Island Resort and St.Vincent . ( and take another peek at Tobago )P.S. I believe most people prefer Nevis over St.Kitts !!!
faithie is offline  
Dec 17th, 2005, 04:34 PM
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Faithie, hmmm...Turks and Caicos sounds like a good place to stay put on the beaches...maybe not enough flora and fauna it sounds like for hubby. We're trying to decide between Dominica and St. Kitts/Nevis, which would be very different vacations. Have you got your next island visit figured out yet?

Guess what faithie, my "baby" (who is 18) is planning her future honeymoon to Costa Rica already! When we came back from Italy she had chosen Venice for her future honeymoon. Now it's Costa Rica. Perhaps after our trip next July she will be headed for a honeymoon in Ireland. I'm glad she has so much to dream of.
Melissa5 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2005, 03:16 AM
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That's cute !!! But she really is still a baby !! Well , we are not certain yet , probably back to Costa Rica , but also considering places I have mentioned to you . ( I think your hubby and I like the same sort of place ) . Tobago , Dominica , St.Vincent ......
faithie is offline  
Dec 18th, 2005, 12:01 PM
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Faithie, when we saw Dominica over 20 years ago, it was awesome. I was a travelling newbie back then and knew absolutely nothing about it. It really opened my eyes, wow! It's like paradise, the nature is so pristine, but since it's undeveloped, nature is not very accessible...read on-line about people hiking up muddy slopes for 8 hours to reach some boiling lake!!! I also found the people to be friendly and having a totally different lifestyle, I loved it. It sounds like you would love it too, and from what I hear from others on-line, it hasn't changed that much in 20 years!!!

I think since Dominica hubby has been searching for paradise but nothing has come as close as Dominica or Costa Rica so far!
Melissa5 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2005, 01:16 PM
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If youa re still deciding where to go if your choice is St.Kitts then definitely consider the sister island of Nevis. Nesbit is beautiful.
vinceygirl is offline  
Dec 20th, 2005, 11:21 AM
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vinceygirl, thanks, we decided to go to St. Kitts with a day-trip to Nevis on this trip. We'll get back to Dominica someday on a future trip hopefully. It sounds like Dominica has plans to update their airport. Read something on tripadvisor about that.
Melissa5 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2006, 03:51 PM
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the airport is probably the last thing on their list! it's behind potholes, employment rate, excess bananas, etc.

i've got a bunch of digital photos of dominica if you're interested!
rubies is offline  

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