Eric did most of the planning for this trip, so the hotels were more or less a surprise to me until we arrived. I know we would both agree that the subtitle for this post could read: two out of three ain’t bad. :)
As you can tell from the photos below, this inn had stunning views. Arl, the assistant manager, greeted us with a phenomenal chocolate rum punch and was both informative and helpful. He was very interested in knowing how we heard about Dominica and why we came. This curiosity was a common theme of our trip, as we found the locals to be genuinely interested in how we heard about their island.
Parking was never a problem. I imagine if/when the other lots fill up that might not be the case, but the inn’s location at a dead end overlooking the sea couldn’t be more private and quiet.
the Calibishie Cove at the end of a gravel road
Our room was spacious and very open – no screens! – and the view was spectacular. The room had a fridge (which came with two beers and two bottled waters, all complimentary), bottle opener, plenty of glasses, even a cutting board and knife. At one point, Arl even dropped off some freshly picked mangoes for us to enjoy. In the bathroom were Aveda shampoo and conditioner and locally-made soaps. The wireless internet was sporadic but we didn’t want to spend too much time online anyway.
our huge room, nicely decorated
The balcony afforded us views of the trees, coast and water and Eric especially enjoyed the hammock.
the beautiful view from our wrap-around balcony
Calibishie Cove was a great base for trips around the north end of the island, and made for a relaxing start to our Dominica trip. We certainly hope we make it back in the future!
Of all three places, Cocoa Cottage was definitely the most rustic. Unfortunately, a little too rustic for us. No windows or screens is fine when you are located near the water with some wind (see above), but in the middle of the jungle? Yikes. We spotted termites along the windowsills and spent much of the time in our room swatting at mosquitos and flies. Once it got dark, we were afraid to turn the room light on lest we become inundated with insects. But our biggest complaint, actually, was the attitude of the owner, Iris.
She seemed distracted and generally annoyed that we were even there (it turns out we were the only overnight guests) and when we asked about dinner, she recommended we drive back into Roseau to eat. Like where exactly? We had already gotten lost on the way with all the road construction. Going back in the dark? No thanks. Thankfully, she gave in and made us dinner (we paid extra for this) which turned out to be quite tasty. On the other hand, Richard, who runs the canyoneering tours and hikes, was very friendly and cheerful and our breakfast companion the following morning.
Cocoa Cottage is advertised as being in the heart of the rainforest, which is true. However, we were surprised at their immediate proximity to the main road to Trafalgar. This meant road noise, barking dogs, and people walking up the road until quite late. As Eric previously mentioned, there is also a lot of road construction going on in this area. Not exactly a tropical paradise. This combined with the fact that we couldn’t lock our doors and mosquito netting was too small to cover the bed means we would not stay here again.
doing a little island reading away from the bugs on our deck
This was another beautiful inn. Not only was the location quiet and comfortable but the views from our room were unforgettable. But, just in case, we took lots of photos.
the grounds leading up the rooms
The mosquito netting covered the bed completely so we could keep the windows open for lots of fresh air. They also had a small dip pool and ocean access for snorkeling on property. We took advantage of the shady deck nearby when our room was in full sun around 3pm. A good book and a shandy from the communal fridge was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. We ate breakfast and dinner here since we were several miles from a major town. Jenn’s signature rum punch was tasty and strong. I had two the first night and they absolutely did me in, I stuck to nursing only one the next night.
the view from our bed for two days
The food was great, the room was very comfortable, and we absolutely enjoyed our stay at the Zandoli. We hope to return to this property in the future too.