We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Papillote, a primal paradise!”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Roseau
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Papillote Wilderness Retreat
Ranked #2 of 21 Roseau B&B and Inns
Palatka, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Papillote, a primal paradise!”
Reviewed 6 July 2013

IN THE MID 70’s, our family stopped for a season in Dominica on our boat, and while Mom grabbed her alone-time, Dad took us girls exploring the island. I recall hanging onto a strap in the VW as we raced around mountains. Papillote Rainforest Lodge was dad’s favorite hangout. There was a tiny restaurant beneath a roaring waterfall, surrounded with dripping trees, birds humming and frogs peeping, the scent of the earth, the flowers, and spices filling your senses with enchantment and tranquility. But what brought Dad back time and again was not the rum punch concoctions, neither was it the hot steaming natural baths he floated around in face down until we thought he was dead. It was the intellectual stimulation he got from talking to Anne, the proprietor of the hotel, and Anne’s other guests, who were mostly educated well-to-do adventurers.



Dad was starved for social contact and became very outgoing after a few of those rum punches. We kids slid into the hot orange waters of the pool, dad slid into the nap he needed before driving us down the single-lane boulder-strewn hairpin twister of a road…

I SAILED TO DOMINICA yet again in 2006, this time aboard my husband's boat.
On foot, we climbed the steep hill for the premier island attraction -- Trafalgar Falls. I felt the burn in my leg muscles. Since I had last visited, the path had been much improved. It was accessible after paying a small fee at a forestry station. I recalled that in the old days, we walked through the rain over muddy rocks, dodging falling breadfruit, slipping on rotted leaves and hooting with jubilation into the sky -- alone with the falls. Now we waited politely on a concrete ramp to allow a line of fellow tourists to pass: “Wow! You’re going to love it!” they enthused, but I felt superior, having been there already.



We came to a burbling pool of hot water, and that’s where Petur stopped. He was not interested in the rock climbing aspect of waterfalls and decided to sit under a mini-fall, letting the pounding water work on his back muscles. Ludwig and I leapt and bounded over the rocks, following the wet footsteps of a trio of young whites before us. I picked my way to the uppermost pool at the base of the falls. There was a different kind of weather up there -- gale force! High-pressure droplets pelted my face as I swam with all my might against the cold rushing torrent, gulping and thrashing, inhaling vapor, and finally grasping the knobby skin of a rock and pulling myself into the calm space behind the thundering curtain of pure fresh water… Yes, my hair was still attached!



Flopped on a smooth rock in the still sun, letting the goose bumps dry away, we chatted with a handsome and well-spoken local guy, who pointed out crayfish, land crabs, zandoli lizards, and various small birds, and demonstrated fearless back flips into the clear deep pool. He gave us a mini botanical tour, naming some trees and answering our questions. After treating him to a snack we left him and joined Petur. I slid inch by inch into our tiny private pool. The heat was delicious, chasing away the cool damp of the rainforest and relaxing me to the very core. I lay back and did nothing but breathe.



As I floated I began to notice details. An ancient-looking fern tree splayed against the waning sky. Pointy begonias nodded against mossy mineral. Water trickled. My heart beat slow and strong. I was sweating into the hot water. Darkness fell suddenly and fireflies appeared. I made friends with one particular firefly. It embodied the spirit of my departed granny. It buzzed me, sniffing my breath, examining me with loving curiosity. Whoops --! Enough of this fancy -- I was starved! Time for dinner! We had packed evening wear in our backpacks, and brushing off the mud, dressed in the darkness. Tonight was the big night - dinner at Papillote!

I HAD DEEP ROOTED memories of dripping green leaves, dark earth scents, muddy clothes, of the cool damp rainforest with moss and must and mold...

I looked forward to sharing a piece my childhood with Petur. Was it wise to revisit? I was prepared for my nostalgia to be dashed, like when you cruise past an old house you’d once thrived in, only to find that the place has been replaced by a gas-station. Would Papillote have changed for the worse? What if the place had gone to seed, or worse yet, improved beyond our means --would we be met by imposing liveried doormen? Perhaps Mickey Mouse would bow and wave us in?



None of that. Nothing had changed but for a wee bit of expansion.



Papillote. Intriguing changes had taken place. A new balconied restaurant, built of stone and ornamental ironwork, gave a magnificent view of the valley. Paths led in every direction -- to private rooms, hot pools, waterfalls big and small, on garden walks or simply to benches where one could sit and reflect in the company of orchids and hummingbirds. The gardens were amazing --antherium and bird-of-paradise, and lobster-claws and gingers overpowered miniature blooms and strange plants I’d never before noticed.


Wearing our sponge-cleaned formal attire, we made our entrance into the dining room. We had arrived just in time - Anne, the grand old proprietor, was climbing up the back entrance from her private rooms at the bottom of the property. She flung aside her flashlight, umbrella, shawl and cane to greet us with both hands outstretched. I had not seen her in over ten years and was glad that age had treated her well. Her short grey hair was combed back in waves, her face was neatly made-up, and she grinned happily, squeezing my hand and making me feel important. Her staff settled her, bringing her a glass of red wine, and soon an assortment of other guests filled the night with gaiety. At Anne’s table was a Canadian film producer, a runaway house-wife, a cruise-ship massage-therapy-franchise operator, a London Times reporter. My mother arrived, looking weather-beaten in spite of her elegant fringed and beaded gown. Anne introduced her as a sea-captain retired from her ocean-going tugboat and salvage company. The conversation ranged from topic to topic. Anne even gossiped a little about some guests at a nearby table -- it seemed that the American father-daughter duo was not happy because there were no TVs in any of the rooms! We covertly examined the pair. Yes, they belonged in a different hotel -- the generic, sterile type of hotel, with chlorinated pool, room-service burgers, and a TV to preclude conversation.



Mom allowed herself to be persuaded into ordering a spicy rum punch - her usual. “Just one! “ She said, recommending it. I tried to sort out the complex entanglement of flavors: nutmeg, certainly. Passion fruit, lime, cinnamon? An unidentified scent laced throughout. And strong rum. Now I know why dear old dad was so enamored! Hopefully I’d be better at controlling myself… I’d better stick to the advice -- “Just one! Or two!”



First, a bowl of callalou soup, salty and smooth, with garlic bread. Then, mahi-mahi, fresh, grilled. Dasheen, plantain, christophene. Casserole and seasoned rice. And for dessert, rich black chocolate cake with ice-cream on top. It was an elegant finale to a big day. Following Mom's flashlight, we turned to bed with thoughts of tomorrow’s explorations awaiting us.

FORTY YEARS of my life visiting Papillote. Tripadvisor doesn't want insider, "friend-reviewed" posts, but how can I not be biased? While the rest of the world grows more crowded and hectic, Papillote has remained timeless and primal.

The rocks, mosses and waterfalls are as enchanting as ever. Thank you Anne and Cuthbert, for keeping it right.

Room Tip: Feel free to ask the staff for help and advice. Recommended for everybody - romantic honeymooners...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SailboatDagny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

153 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    93
    37
    16
    4
    3
See reviews for
30
77
13
4
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Any
English first
Philippine, The Netherlands
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2013

This resort is an older place, but quality of room 11 was ok. It is spacious for a family of four and the hot pool underneath the room is comfortable after a day of hiking. Restaurant is fine and the views are beautiful from there.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marc B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kosice, Slovakia
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2013

We spend four nights here and enjoyed it very much.The location is fantastic with views of rainforest hills.There are two waterfalls in the wonderful garden with hot water pools everywhere. You can walk to famous Traffalgar falls and by car it is possible to get to other points of interest nearby. We stayed in Breadfruit suite, what can accomodate up to 6 people /we were 4 adults+2children/ and it was spacious enough for all of us.There was one privat hot pool and sitting area very close and we spend most of our evenings there. As for restaurant, we did not eat there, as we did spend most of our time discovering/touring the island.I noticed, it has beautiful view though.

Room Tip: Breadfruit suite N.11 - 2 bedrooms and 1 "living room" with 2 single beds and sitting area
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dana X
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
boston
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2013 via mobile

I stayed here for the last 3days of my vacation. The staff is very nice. They introduced themselves to me and gave me suggestions of ways to spend my days. The grounds are amazing. There are beautiful gardens and hot water pools everywhere. Trafalgar falls is very close which is a nice way to spend and hour or two. The rooms are very clean. There is a nice restaurant with an outdoor patio and wifi.
One of the nice things that I did here was go on a walk with a man named Christopher who gives tours in and around Papillote. Along our walk he pointed out all the different plants and flowers teaching me about all of them and talking to me about the history of Dominica. If you are wanting to take a local tour ask for Christopher 767.614.0939. He is a wonderful person to talk to and spend a day exploring Dominica.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jess2688
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. John's, Antigua
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2013

I have visited Dominica many times, but this was my mothers first time. She suffers with Arthritis in her knees and hands, I had hoped that this trip would prove to bring her some relief. The hour half long trip from the airport was a tour in itself. We were welcomed with friendly smiling staff...and quite a few stairs to get to our room. I could see the dread on my mother's face, but she took her time and managed. We were in room #11 after reading other reviews I thought it would be nice to have such close access to the hot pool. It was right outside our door. It was wonderful and soothing. We took full advantage. The garden tour was excellent as well. My love for tropical plants made this location really special. I only wish that they had seeds for some of the plants on sale in the small gift shop.
The food in the restaurant was very nice. The staff, again were wonderful. We took a day trip into town to do a little shopping and have lunch. All in all it was a wonderful stay and we are hoping to return with some more family during the winter.

Room Tip: Room #11 is close to two hot pool, one of which is right outside the bedroom door. It also adjoins t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michelle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
178 reviews
116 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2013

Spend a few nights here and enjoyed it to the max! What a place and what a ride to get here in the first place. Friendly folks, near the Trafalgar Falls and our room was just huge, with plenty of space to store stuff, sit and a comfy bed as well. Our private hot spring plunge pool was a big bonus and the food here is excellent, albeit a bit pricey to be honest. Only the front outdoor seating area at our hotel was a bit sad, with plastic chairs, but everything else was just perfect!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MichaelBurm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2013

I first visited Papillote 24 years ago and was glad to see on my recent second visit that it has only gotten better. The Papillote sits at the end of a mountain road just inside the rain forest. It has real waterfalls powered by gravity and hot baths heated by nature; no fiberglass landscapes, pumps and water heaters here. The grounds are their own botanical gardens, worthy of just gazing around and relaxing all day. The on-site restaurant was terrific, featuring local fare cooked to dazzling splendor (but somewhat expensive). Our room had a balcony and two bedrooms, a simple but a nice place to let the frogs and tropical nightlife serenade you to sleep. Papillote is great place base your travels around and hike this amazing island.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DavidandPam_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Roseau
0.6 mi away
Fort Young Hotel
Fort Young Hotel
#1 of 7 in Roseau
855 reviews
17.8 mi away
Secret Bay
Secret Bay
#1 of 4 in Portsmouth
488 reviews
1.5 mi away
Castle Comfort Dive Lodge
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
16.8 mi away
Pagua Bay House Oceanfront Cabanas
21.3 mi away
Manicou River
Manicou River
#3 of 4 in Portsmouth
147 reviews
1.4 mi away
Anchorage Hotel & Dive Center
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Papillote Wilderness Retreat? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Papillote Wilderness Retreat

Property: Papillote Wilderness Retreat
Address: Trafalgar Falls Road | Box 2287, Roseau 811, Dominica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominica > Saint George Parish > Roseau
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 21 B&Bs / Inns in Roseau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A small secluded hotel at the head of the beautiful Roseau River Valley with comfortable charming rooms overlooking gardens, mountains, waterfalls and pristine rainforest wilderness.Dine in our Rainforest Restaurant on fresh caught fish, prawns or chicken prepared with all the fabled spices of our Island's rich cultural heritageWander through four acres of nurtured wilderness amidst a world class collection of bromeliads, begonias, gingers and aroids. Bathe in our natural hot mineral pools. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Papillote Wilderness Retreat Hotel Roseau
Papillote Wilderness Retreat Dominica/Roseau

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing