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“Tranquility, abundance and spectacular ocean views!”
Review of Manicou River

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Manicou River
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Topanga, California
Level 6 Contributor
139 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Tranquility, abundance and spectacular ocean views!”
Reviewed 4 February 2013

I was looking for a location in Dominica that was off the electric grid while still accessible to excursions and adventures around the Island. I spent most of my 24 day trip to Dominica at the Manicou River Eco Resort and I am sure glad I did! The cottage was spacious and elegant, with amazing views of the sea. It was close to town, markets and good restaurants, yet tucked away in its own little slice of paradise. Conrad, their awesome gardener etc. brought gorgeous bouquets of tropical flowers and changed the ice in my cooler out daily. Tess was super helpful and accommodating, and shared little treats with me like coconut oil and maple syrup. She was also kind enough to connect me with friends and activities in the area since I am considering relocating to the island. The drive up to the resort was super steep which intimidated me at first, but I mastered it. I came to Dominica very sleep deprived, and slept up a storm at Manicou. This is a lovely spot and I recommend it highly. I would like to add that as a woman traveling alone, this is a very safe place and I did not have an uncomfortable moment.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank maracujagirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2013

Me and the gang (2 GFs) decided to take a curve ball and stay somewhere that is unique to Dominica. We wanted a nature feel and also an Eco feel. We alsom knew we wanted adventure but we are also wimps so we also wanted nice comfortable king sized beds and nice linen etc.

Basically we wanted this place.

Manicou is set on a volcano (really) that is not smoking I have to add, and though the road is steep once there you can appreciate why. The views that everybody goes on about here on TA ARE wonderful and beat anything so far on our Caribbean trip.

The tree houses are self catering and also de luxe. You can get a notion to stay forever. It is such a good mix. Trees are literally within hand and the tree houses are so private that it looks like a great Honeymoon vacation spot. The beds are water beds. How 70's - very Hugh Hefner.

BTW. We stayed in the lower treehouse all 3 of us and had hot water. We tested it in the day and it had hot water. Maybe in the hight there is a problem? No idea.

We hiked up a mountain, saw parrots fly past out tree house and took a boat ride up the coast to snorkel. We also swam on the secret white beach (ask) and saw sea horses.

If you like your resorts with AC, waterslides and tiki bars This isnot for you, but if you like the real feel of Dominica. this is the place.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank KanuckCalledWanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manicou_River, Manager at Manicou River, responded to this review, 10 April 2014
Manicou River is under new management since April 2013 and all waterbeds have now been replaced with natural latex mattresses.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Antonio, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2013

My wife and I are always looking for a place to relax and get away. No distractions, no communication with others, but just the two of us, and nature. Manicou River Eco Resort allowed us to unwind, relax, and enjoy the beauty that surrounds this wonderful resort.

First, the owners Tess and Kevin are awesome. They welcomed us with open arms and were excited to have us. Our room was magnificently clean and beautiful. Nothing like we imagined. The open view to the Caribbean Sea and Douglas Bay was amazing. We could both wake up to that everyday. We both loved drinking our coffee in the morning and watching the birds fly by.

This experience allowed use to just relax and unwind to the nature sounds and views that surrounded us. Everyone needs more relaxation and rejuvenation nowadays. Staying at Manicou River Eco Resort allows you to do this and more.

We even got a chance to wander around the eco resort. Breathtaking views!!! We happen to wander up to their home, and they welcomed us into their home. Tess and Kevin always made sure we were both enjoying the tree house and our stay. Their employees also made us feel at home. They sure do know how to manage a resort that ensures guests are well taken care of. We are definitely coming back and bringing friends and family along for some R & R. Thanks so much Tess and Kevin!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank C M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2013

Although we had booked for six nights, we left after 3. None of the material we had received from the owners prepared us for the fact that these are self-catering cottages without power or a place to keep food cold. It's very difficult to cook food by candle light. And in the tropics, food that is kept in a cooler with a block of ice goes bad within 2 days. The solar-powered "hot" water system is said to work when the sun is shining, but none of us had anything more than a tepid shower no matter what the weather was doing. We do a lot of camping, so we're not wimpy, but this wasn't what we expected and we don't think it's good value. There is no doubt that the cottages have a killer view of Douglas Bay and the Cabrits. However, they are rundown and dirty. They also aren't remote. Immediately below is a vibrant neighbourhood filled with barking dogs, crowing cocks and, on one occasion, a very loud party. Our disappointment was in large part due to the over-selling of the property in promotional material. If the owners were more honest about what they provide, they would attract clientele who want a quasi-camping experience and screen out those of us who don't.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank juviall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManicouRiverResort, Owner at Manicou River, responded to this review, 30 January 2013
The resort is the # 1 winner of Caribbean Eco Resorts 2012
# 13 Top budget Hotels in The Caribbean Trip Advisor 2013
Excellence Award Trip Advisor 2012 & 2013

We are very sorry that you were not happy with your stay at Manicou River Resort. Once your family of 3 adults, one who stayed for free as an after thought on your behalf, arrived and realized that the tree house did not have electricity you were offered a full refund and help booking another hotel. You refused. Extra lamps and lights were provided again with the option that you could leave without financial loss at any time. We have a waiting list for our accommodations.

The tree house that your family stayed in was the one we sent 4 photographs of showing clearly it was light by candles and LED lamps. No TV. No microwave. No radio. It is an ECO tree house in 60,000 acres of nature reserve.

The tree house and the resort is 24 months old therefore your comments of 'rundown' confuse me. The tree house was cleaned for 2 hours a day by 2 maids with new linen and fresh towels. I check it myself. As all can see on Manicou Rivers many TV appearances, guest photos and magazine shoots the tree houses are all made of untreated local hard wood. No paint peeling here.

I do appreciate there was an air of sadness due to one of our guests dying of a heart attack on the beach the same time but I honestly do know you were never taken for granted during your time here. We understand that you were unhappy at being asked and to share the resorts subaqua equipment with other guests when you were not using them as you needed 3 sets and you tree house for two only had two sets. ECO is sharing.

If any guest is unhappy here we are more than willing to relocate immediately. This is a small family business and unhappy guests affects everyone who is here to relax and enjoy nature even if it is a dog.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sperryville, Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2013

My husband and I stayed in the middle tree house for 5 days at the end of December. What a beautiful room, and so lovingly designed and constructed. And the view! Theresa and Kevin were wonderful hosts, making us feel like welcome friends, and the staff was lovely. We do a lot of backpacking, so for us the lack of electricity was no hardship (Kevin and Theresa generously offered to charge our camera battery). The shower was plenty hot while the sun was still up, and we made a lot of use of the great kitchen area. We were a bit nervous about the water bed, both of us having bad memories of them in the 80s, but it was incredibly comfortable and didn't "slosh around."

Manicou was a great location for us. We had already stayed in Roseau for 3 days and were ready to get away from the noise of the "city." The Portsmouth area is big enough to have a good grocery store, but far enough away so that we felt like we were in an unspoiled spot. From Manicou, we enjoyed day trips to Batibou Beach (so gorgeous), Cabrits National Park, Indian River (ask for James, also known as 007), Emerald Pool, Calibishie, Cold Sulfur Spring, a hike at Syndicate, and horseback riding at Brandy Manor. The little beach at Douglas Bay (go at low tide) was great for a quick snorkel and lying in the sun when we didn't have time to get over to Batibou Beach. We would definitely spend time at Manicou again if we ever make it back to Dominica.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Glbtrttr72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manicou_River, Owner at Manicou River, responded to this review, 10 April 2014
Please note, Manicou River is under new management since April 2013.

We now have solar power and all waterbeds have been replaced with natural latex and bamboo mattresses.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Yarmouth, Maine, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2013

When researching places to go for our honeymoon we had never even heard of Dominica or the concept of eco-resorts. Everything we read about the island sounded like a perfect fit for our style and it took no time for us to settle on the "nature island." Soon after deciding on Dominica we began searching for lodging and stumbled upon Manicou River Eco Resort. As a couple who is forced to spend so much time in front of computer screens and on the phone the idea of being virtually alone in the rainforest with no distractions - not even electricity - sounded perfect to us and the reviews on Trip Advisor as well as the photos on the internet sealed the deal. This resort sounded and looked so beautiful to us that we didn't even bother to contact any other lodging options - so glad we booked this one right away!

Our correspondences with the owners Tess and Kevin were lovely. They were always very quick to respond to our questions and incredibly helpful in arranging for a driver to bring us from the airport to the resort when our flight arrived after dark. When we arrived late that first night Tess even provided us with dinner to cook, a jug of local rum and some breakfast for the morning as she knew we were too exhausted to venture out to get these provisions for ourselves.

Our time spent on the island and in our treehouse proved to be the most fun, relaxing, and adventurous experiences we have ever had. The treehouses are very secluded, perfect for those seeking privacy, however there is plenty to do, eat, drink and see in just a short (bumpy! - definitely rent a 4X4) drive down the volcano into town. The occasional visit from Tess, Kevin or Conrad (the gardner/ice man - he brings fresh flowers for the room as well as ice for your cooler each morning) was always welcomed and very pleasant - they are all wonderful people and great to talk to and always happy to offer advice/tips and can even arrange for a guide for any of the adventures the island has to offer.

The view of the sea and Cabrits alone from the treehouse balcony makes this an ideal stay, but the amenities the treehouse has to offer are also perfect - the king size waterbed, gas range stove, hammock, beautiful bathroom, panoramic windows, books, games and cards for days inside far exceeded our expectations for an eco-resort treehouse. Seriously, this place is beautiful! Not once did we wish we had electricity, in fact, the candles and lanterns made for a more romantic and cozy stay. Though the solar shower never really got hot, we didn't much care as it was typically hot on the island and the cool water was refreshing. If you are like us you probably won't even end up needing to shower that often as there are countless natural hot springs, emerald pools, waterfalls, rivers and beaches to bathe in. If you must have a warm shower, we would recommend showering in the afternoon.

For those wishing to stay at a bustling big resort with bars, restaurants, dancing, etc. right on the beach, Manicou is not for you. For those seeking a relaxing, quiet, romantic setting on one of the most beautiful tropical islands in the world and want to leave the distractions of every day life behind, stay here!

For our next stay in Dominica we wonder why we would even consider staying anywhere else.

Thanks Tess and Kevin!

Eric and Katie

Room Tip: If you want the best view (though they are all wonderful) request the treehouse right below Tess and...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Selvabell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManicouRiverResort, Owner at Manicou River, responded to this review, 27 January 2013
Wow ... we are gobsmacked (that is good by the way) by that review.

This is how we imagined our guests to be ... enjoying our resort ... when we started to plan it and we were hacking away with a machete through our woodland to find the ideal spot to place the tree houses.

Whenever we saw you 2 you always had a smile and were having such a great time. It makes us feel like it was all worthwhile.

Thanks.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2012

My trip to the Caribbean was about hedonism, Miami Beach partying and St Maarten nightlife.

However by the time I got to Dominica (a small island between Guadeloupe and Martinique) I was ready to recharge. I has booked an' Eco' resort. I had no idea what that meant really. I was in for a surprise.

NO electricity, no WIFI, just me and a hammock. Sound like negative things? No way Jose. I saw the moon set over the Caribbean, 2 parrots backs (they fly below you as we are so high up) and made friends with the bird that fly in all day. the rooms are totally open ... sound mad? No, it is completely sane. Think about it. I came to see the Nature Island NOT a concrete wall. Wide open all day and night. The only walls are those that protect you from the rain and thieves I guess. The fronts are about 15 feet in the air so would need to be a pretty nifty thief to get in. That and the fact that there is no TV or anything to steal once they got there.

I digress.

Manicou is a truly relaxing (as the advert says) experience where you are forced to be with nature and the REAL world. No distractions at all. The views are so incredible that all I will say is that no way there are better places to stay for the view alone.

Bring along car chargers for the phone and any cameras etc. They will also charge your phone for you and have all the extentions needed for iPad, iPhone, blah blah blah.

I never met the owners as they were in Barbados, but Conrad looked after me and even took me to the Carib (Kalinago) territory and we had a great time. he was born there and it was so much more fun to go as a guest than just as a tourist. He does tours there so ask him.

Room Tip: As a single woman I stayed in the top treehouse. It is near to the owners BIG dogs that are very fri...
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank FlemmingRockets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Manicou River

Property: Manicou River
Address: Tanetane, Portsmouth, Dominica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominica > Saint John Parish > Portsmouth
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Portsmouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Manicou River 3.5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT SINCE APRIL 2013. Manicou River is a collection of hand-crafted wooden cottages perched on the mountainside high above Douglas Bay and the Cabrits National Park on the beautiful, pristine island of Dominica. Our view is one of the best on the island, taking in mountains, the Caribbean Sea and the small town of Portsmouth below. We offer a simple, relaxing, nature experience with just the right touches of luxury. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Manicou River Eco Hotel Portsmouth
Manicou River Dominica/Portsmouth

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