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“Disappointing”
Review of Manicou River

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Manicou River
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 21 March 2013

My boyfriend and I read the reviews and looked at all of the splendid pictures of this place, and decided it was the perfect place for nature lovers like us to spend a week. When we booked I asked about the "Truly Relax" $135/night special, as advertised on here and on their website, but after an uncomfortable back-and-forth, I was informed that the special was not actually available. The price was $195/night. I should have known right then, but it still seemed so great and luxurious, so we booked 3 nights there and 5 at a similar-sounding but much cheaper treehouse nearby. That place turned out to be a magical, laid-back, 3-walled hut in the rainforest and we were sorry to leave. But we expected to find more luxury here. We arrived at 10:30 am, and found the property much less beautiful than expected. We were told repeatedly that we were too early and they weren't ready-- we were a little early, admittedly, but we only wanted to drop our bags and groceries off and head out hiking. When we were allowed to drop our bags off in the room, we saw that the view was nothing like the images on the website (those are mostly pictures of the owners' house), and we had to put our food in a cooler with no ice. When we returned that evening, we found the cabin alarmingly unlocked, with the key inside. Our cooler still had no ice, and our food was already going bad in the heat. There were none of the provisions or toiletries that were promised. Then, to our complete dismay, the bed was a waterbed! We had not read anywhere that they only had waterbeds-- there should be an all-caps disclaimer about this!! We tried to sleep, but every move we made was accompanied by a great slosh and heave of the water beneath us, which was also HOT from the heat. We tossed and turned for hours before moving to the floor, where we managed to sleep for an hour or two. We were awake at dawn, but tried to wait until a decent hour before going up to the owners to cancel and leave. We hoped to have our deposit returned, but of course we ended up paying $250 for the most miserable night ever in a hotel. We were just relieved to get out of there, and we ran back to our former treehouse, where we finished off our trip very comfortably and happily.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank jessamineskye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManicouRiverResort, Owner at Manicou River, responded to this reviewResponded 22 March 2013

Oh dear! We are so sorry that you did not enjoy your stay here. You were very happy when you first saw your tree house and said the view was breath taking.

Check out is 11 am as we like to let our guests have relaxed, lazy mornings and check in is minimum of 12pm. You both arrived at 10.30am and spent the time waiting for the house to be cleaned and made up in my home having cold drinks where I tended your bruises and cuts from your previous days hike. Remember that I gave you a cup of arnica massage oil from France to ease the pain of your sore limbs? Maybe the tole of the hardest hike in Dominica was the reason you found it so difficult to get comfortable.We state clearly on our website that all the beds are water beds. We choose these as the tree houses are open and these mattresses do not absorb the damp as a regular mattress would and they are made of recycled plastic bottles;)
In the email that I sent with directions I state that you should pick up your own ice on the way as we are off grid here and do not have a freezer. Maybe you forgot.

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

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76 - 82 of 148 reviews

Reviewed 21 March 2013

Really enjoyed our stay. The view alone makes this eco-resort worth it. But couple that with a wonderful design and attention to detail and you have a truly great experience.
This really is an eco-resprt, so no electricity. Does that turn you off? It shouldn't, picture your treehouse cabin lit up from within by the flicker of warm candle-light will outside on the balcony you look out over the moon swept bay and dark jungle covered mountains with small lights from the sea-side villages twinkling up at you.
Minuses... its hard to find. Yeah that not really a minus is it.
Manicou River is awesome, you gotta check it out for yourself...

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank FishLife17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2013

Unique, splendid, spacious treehouse in a superb location with stunning seascape.
It is sleeping almost outside in a rainforest - strangely without mosquitos and insects - with huge middle-of-the-night downpours but staying completely dry. We have never had such good sleep ...
Tess is a fabulous hostess with brilliant ideas and organiser for our trips and yoga classes and morning visits to bring her lovely dogs to greet our son Harry. Conrad, the gardener / handyman changed the ice in our cooler daily. We cooked supper in the well-equipped kitchen by candlelight, even superfresh Kingfish bought from local fisherman on the beach and Dasheen.

Room Tip: Amazing magical eco treehouse experience - with Hummingbirds
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Michael D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2013

Not everyone would appreciate what this resort offers but most folks visiting Dominica will love it. After all, why would you go to Dominica if you didn't love nature. And here you are in the midst of it.
It reminded me of my camping days but this is very much a luxury version, of course. The rooms are open to the world. You will hear the sounds of nature; the rain on the roof, the wind in the trees, the birds, the crickets, the cockerels at dawn and, yes, the locals' dogs (but from far enough away to not be a real nuisance). You will have birds flying into your room; bullfinches virtually eating out of your hand and hummingbirds investigating the lovely flower arrangements. You will feel on top of the world, the view is amazing.
We were there during carnival which disrupted things somewhat (the maintenance man was heavily involved, apparently) so only on the last day was he there to bring ice to us for the cooler but we'd get some at the IGA in Picard along with our provisions. OK, so we love being surrounded by nature but it is nice to be near the shops! And only on the last day did we get the solar hot water fixed, and the last day was cloudy so we had 5 days with no hot water. Major issues? Not really, as I said, it reminds me of camping. And the “cold” water really wasn't that cold!
We were always happy to get back to the room after the day's exploring and most days we'd cook our supper in the very well equipped kitchen and eat by candlelight.
We did eat at Big Papa's. It's worth looking for just to have a beer or two and watch the sun set over the bay. It's right on the shore before getting into Portsmouth town but easy to miss. Food there was so so. They also have free WiFi.
One thing you might want to check up on in advance. We had the top house which only had one hammock. I believe the one below had two. It was so nice to sit and enjoy the view but a shame only one person got to do it in comfort. The other? either the floor or the bed and therefore missing out on the view. We did bring this to the attention of Teresa so maybe something has been done about it.
The maid service was exemplary, the hosts very friendly and I couldn't think of a better place to stay as our finale to our Dominica visit.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank shrimper67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manicou_River, Owner at Manicou River, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2014

Manicou River us under new management since this review was written. We now have reliable hot water for showers, solar power for a small refrigerator (no more trips to town to buy ice) and we have two beautiful hand-crafted wooden arm chairs on every balcony for watching the sun go down.

Kate and Patrick
(since April 2013)

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Reviewed 6 February 2013

A very unique place to stay. Theresa was a great hostess, and the setting is beautiful. There is something special about waking up to himmingbirds inside your "room". The tree house is well stocked with everything you need, and she even gives you rum!! For a person that likes to go off the beaten path and really enjoy the outdoors, there is no better place.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Gabe M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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3  Thank maracujagirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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 reviewResponded 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
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Additional Information about 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: £112 - £142 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
Also Known As:
Manicou River Eco Hotel Portsmouth
Manicou River Dominica/Portsmouth

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