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“An Oasis in Paradise”
Review of Cocoa Cottages

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Cocoa Cottages
Ranked #1 of 21 Roseau B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 September 2008

As a returning visitor to the stunningly beautiful and unspoiled island of Dominica, I looked forward to exploring more of the territory that I had not had the chance to previously. Having stayed at Chez Fie Doudou www.chezfiedoudoucottage.com for a time in June 2007, my husband and I returned for two more nights and enjoyed the company of its ever-fabulous, ever-hospitable proprietress Marvlyn Robinson. Her flower and fruit garden was in its glory and the many birdsongs greeted us each morning. Thanks again Marvlyn, for a lovely stay.

In a bid to experience a different aspect of Dominica’s accommodations, we stayed in another location for the remainder of our trip.

Too often the phrase "labour of love" is bandied about when people actually mean to say "hobby". At Cocoa Cottages, the phrase becomes synonymous with this home away from home slash eco-adventure tour operation nested in the verdant Roseau valley.

Surrounded by a thickset forest that surely mimics the Garden of Eden, with a river that literally, "runs through it", owners Richard and Iris have, for five years, shared their passions for people, friendship and adventure with their guests. With six individually decorated rooms, each as unique as the original artwork gracing their walls (did I mention they have an art gallery onsite?) there is plenty of space for any traveller, young or old, family or single folk, seeking an oasis of calm amongst nature-defined.

Finding the cottages, like most tourist stops in Dominica, requires a bit of driving expertise - not for the faint of heart. You will take the main route from Roseau through the winding, narrow roads into the village of Trafalgar. Upon arrival, you may be greeted by Iris, the proprietress whose warmth and graciousness follows her every move. She may offer you fresh-squeezed passion fruit juice or the native beer Kubuli and seat you at the colourful and inviting al fresco dining area.

Minute details abound, from the locally-made bamboo cutlery holders to the freshly-picked flowers in the rooms to the colourfully-dyed burlap covering the sloping ceilings. You could spend hours exploring this little piece of paradise, examining all the knick-knacks and curio pieces collected or made by hand. Iris explained that in Dominica, it is difficult and sometimes very expensive to buy the things you need, so you have to learn make do, or do it yourself and use your imagination. At the barbeque on the stone patio, one can watch swordtail fish in swimming among lilypads while downing a glass of straight-from-the-tap water for which the country is renown. A well-worn piece of driftwood is used to hang towels in a mosaic-tiled bathroom. Sofa-style hammocks in a few rooms are a perfect tonic for winding down the day.

Meals are lovingly prepared and filled with local fare, like avocadoes, bananas and papayas, topped with homemade (homemade!) yogurt. Sweetened grated coconut and guava jam are just a few options to top off the warmed wholewheat bread. Omelettes can be made to offer.

With surprisingly mosquito-free evenings, outdoor night-dining in Dominica is possible and embraced. Our meal, fresh tuna, served with garlicky green beans and other healthy veggies, was divine.

Iris said people come to Cocoa Cottages to find something they will not experience anywhere else. They truly offer a unique element of Dominica. Her sentiment is echoed by Richard, who operates the eco-adventure part of the business, giving the more adventure-seeking traveller the opportunity to see the island by air via his six-seater plane, or traverse relatively unexplored canyons of the nature isle through the sport of abseiling. This is an activity not unknown to followers of the CBS television show The Amazing Race, but for the uninitiated, you, Richard and his partner Jeffrey rappel down a canyon using top-of-the-line mountaineering equipment, jump into 20-foot deep pools and hike through waterfalls. They assured us that they have led everyone from age 3 to 75 through the water course, thankfully without incident.

As someone with minimal swimming skills, I found myself jumping in (after a few false starts) and dangling high off the canyon floor without fear, knowing I was in the safe and capable hands of two professionals. Imagine being 45 feet below the earth’s surface surrounded by smooth, glistening rock canyon walls, waterfalls and plunging pools, glimpsing the glorious sunshine through the plant life above. Words cannot express. Simply breathtaking.

If you plan to visit Dominica and want to be a part of this unforgettable journey, try giving Iris and Richard a ring tel: (767) 448 0412 or cell: (767) 276-2920, or check out the Web site at www.cocoacottages.com. When we come up for air, we will be posting an entire webpage devoted to the experience. Until then, please email me at loisb@hi-octanecreative.com if you need more info, or would like to see pictures of our adventure. Thank you Iris, Richard and Jeffrey, we cannot wait to come back to Cocoa Cottages!

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank toexpatriate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 May 2008

We stayed at CCC in May 08 based on reviews on Trip Advisor and researching on our own. I can't imagine staying anywhere else in the valley. CCC is the perfect location for exploring the valley especially if you like to hike.

The folks that run CCC are wonderful. They make you feel right at home. In the morning you eat with the other guests in an open air kitchen. The food is delicious with herbs grown on the property. The property is beautiful. It's right in the jungle.

The rooms are somewhat open air in that there are no screens on the windows. It's not a problem as there are almost no bugs and there are nets over the beds. It's cool actually.

I would recommend taking a day trip to Boiling Lake with CCC's guide Jeff. Here is a great guide and you will have a wonderful day with him.

After a day of exploring you can eat right at CCC. One night we had BBQ chicken. They have a large BBQ and put jungle leaves over the chicken while cooking it. It was amazing! It was nice to sit around the BBQ with the CCC family and other guests and share stories.

CCC is a great place to stay if you are going to Dominica. We recommend it highly.

P&J

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank PAULwithJUDE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2008

Can't say enough about this place. Truly a piece of heaven on earth. We came back from Dominica in about 2 weeks and we spend wonderful time in Cocoa Cottages.

The location is great, close to a lot of attraction to explore - Middleham Falls, Freshwater Lake, Boeri Lake, and Trafalgar Falls,Boiling Lake, Scots Head, Victoria Falls,Hot Springs...etc.

After the first day we feel the place like being at home and accepted very well and warm from Richard and Iris. They do everything to make sure you feel comfortable.

Cocoa cottages is located in the rainforest which make this place paradise.We ate almost every night at wooden outdoor tables by the kitchen with the other guest. It looked like one big family. Iris and Richard are great cooks. We had always fresh fruits and juice, the famous Cocoa tea for breakfast and fresh fish, local rum and beer ( Kabuli made with spring water) for dinner . All products were local . My girlfriend and I enjoyed every single bite.

We stayed 6 nights and our room was clean, beautifully arranged with a lot of pictures of local artist , every day made service .We went to bed every night listening to the sounds of the island creatures in the forest, and woke up with the chirping of birds. Most of the time we kept the windows open because I liked the breeze so much ( don't worry for the mosquito).We have patio looking out on a rainforest and swinging bed for relaxing and enjoying the amazing view. By the way our room was Lalin Myel (Honeymoon Suite).

Richard, Iris, Charm and Jeffrey - the best hosts ever- friendly,hospitable. We had so much fun with them. They would help you with everything. Don't hesitate to ask them. We had very good conversations over the table for breakfast or dinner.

If you want to know about the flora and fauna for Dominica - ask Jeffrey he knows every single plant or animal in the island ( he is the best guyed in Dominica. No poisonous creatures).

We didn't go with Richard and Jeffrey on Canyoning tour and definitely we regret but I thing everyone has to try it. With Jeffrey we went to the famous Boiling Lake ( the only one in the world actually does boil. In New Zealand the lake is bigger but doesn't boil ). That was an amazing and enjoyable trip to see the beauty of Dominica. ( Don't be afraid to go there is hard but with the right guyed like Jeffrey it won't be hard. I wasn't prepared for such a hike but I did it).

I suggest to renting car because we didn't have car for the first 2 days and we wasted a lot of time but we had very good time with the public buses. ( Iris will help you with pleasure).

We did snorkeling in the Champagne bay ( It was my first time. I felt in the water paradise). We also went to Trafalgar falls but I like the most Victoria falls. Scot Heads is very beautiful place and has amazing view (you can snorkel too).For sure you have to try Sulfur Hot spring tubs. We spend some time in Roseau and ate in some local restaurants, shopping of course and even talk with the locals.

The people in the Island are the most peaceful, friendly and helpful people in the world ( almost no crime).

Dominican says if Columbus comes now to the island he would recognize it as 550 years ago. If you love the nature, hiking and exploring, and being around friendly people, this is a perfect place to visit. Go before it is fully touched by human hand and maid for lazy tourist.

Cocoa Cottages is hidden Gem in the Jungle of Dominica.It was precious to be in this special place. I highly recommended this place for those who know about the real life and love the nature.

You gonna have unforgettable trip like us.

Pack and go
.
Thanks a lot Iris and Richard.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank dslart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2008

Although our trip to dominica and Cocoa Cottages was 4 short nights, we certainly felt like family by the time we left.
The cottage was quaint and eclectic. It also serves as an art gallery and we ended up leaving with a number of pieces from a local artist. The hosts, Richard and Iris, were warm and welcoming. The meals they served were made with fresh ingredients and as good as any of the meals we had experienced out in restaurants. Having an infant, it made it very convenient to be able to eat meals at the cottage. We certainly would stay at Cocoa Cottages again...

Stayed: January 2008
Thank MontanaHabibi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2008

What can I say about this place? An incredible rainforest setting, rustic yet very comfortable, and with friendly hosts who will organise your life for you while you're there. We stayed for a week in the honeymoon suite which was perfect for hummingbird viewing and sharing your shower with the forest crabs. We had a great time with the guide Jeffrey -a truely lovely guy who will make sure you enjoy yourself however much it rains! If you want somewhere away from it all where you'll find total relaxation within hours of arriving then this is for you. What's more, Dominica must be just about the friendliest place on earth.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank YorkSandT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2008

Just back from our 3rd trip to Dominica, my wife and I spend at least part of every trip at Cocoa Cottage, outside of the capital, Roseau. We've always been treated like family there. Richard, Iris, Charm and the staff were all wonderful as usual. The rooms are lovely and the food is very good. The activity level goes from relaxing around the house to a 6-8 hour hike to Boiling Lake with many options in between. Dominica is a great place with good people and Cocoa Cottage is a good central location from which to explore the island. Highly recommended.

Kevin and Barbara

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank millhann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2008

Cocoa Cottages combines the excitement of travel with comfort and ease of the favorite room in your own house. It is very much a family-style operation, which was perfect because I was traveling with my wife and three teenage daughters. The proprietors, Richard and Iris, are extremely knowledgeable on all aspects of this wonderful island, and they are extremely generous with their time in helping their guests to make the most of their time Dominica. By all means go canyoneering and walk to the Boiling Lake. You will remember it forever, regardless of how much you may have traveled.

To me, Cocoa Cottages has an 18th century, almost Dickensian feel to it, despite the tropical setting, in which travelers share their experiences over glasses of rum punch. It is an extremely convivial setting--a place where you make friends--but with no sense of being forced together. Everyone has plenty of their own space--and the spaces are gorgeous. The rooms are dramatically situated in the rugged, volcanic topography. The beds are comfortable. Only a curmudgeon could find fault with anything. A+ rating in all respects.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
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2  Thank Anonymuncule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cocoa Cottages

Address: Roseau Valley | en route to Trafalgar falls, Roseau 0001, Dominica
Region: Caribbean > Dominica > Saint George Parish > Roseau
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 21 B&Bs / Inns in Roseau
Price Range: £76 - £94 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Cocoa Cottage--Dominica Mind Body Adventure. Cocoa Cottage is an artistic guest house located in the heart of the Roseau Valley, only a few miles from town but worlds apart. This valley is home to many waterfalls, sulfur pools, rivers, and various trails, all within minutes' drive of the cottage. Cocoa Cottage is imaginative, earthy, rustic and whimsical, a fine gentle touch with rough edges. It is a perfect union of all that nature offers. Our kitchen provides food for the soul, using the plentiful offerings of our island. At any time you'll find yourself deep in lively conversation with someone you just met, connecting, sharing, inspiring and being inspired. We adopt eco- friendly daily practices as a way of connecting with ourselves, with one another, and with the world around us. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cocoa Cottages Hotel Roseau
Cocoa Cottages Dominica/Roseau

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