We selected this property after combing through all the available options on Dominica, and wow, what a pick it was! Keep in mind that this is a very remote location, and you'll need a 4x4 car to make the most out of your stay, we've seen guests without their own transport, but you'd want to be in good physical shape to hike up and down the steep paths.
First of all, when Kate & Patrick say you need a 4x4 to get up to their pad, they're not joking, there is no way a regular car gets you up there. Luckily we took their advice to heart, and even when we mentioned Manicou River to the car rental company, they nodded knowingly and made sure we had the right car for the track, these guys all seem to know what you're up to.
The cabins are all set against the mountain side, and are completely open on one side, giving you a fantastic view over the vegetation below, all the way over to the Cabrits. And that view is just mesmerising, i could sit there any time of the day, just looking out over the bay and taking in everything that happens within your view. Because the cabins are so open, you will get visited regularly by the local wildlife, we had plenty of birds during the day, and bats and geckos at night, but none of them ever bothered us. As long as you make sure your food is well covered, you won't have any problems. (as Kate will most likely tell you, the birds *love* candle wax, so keep the candles out of reach as well when you're not there). I think i should mention that we didn't get any mosquito bites while we were there.
Every week day, our room got a proper clean, and the whole place would smell of Kate's locally sourced bay oil/soap. It's fantastic stuff, don't forget to buy a few bars from Kate to bring home!
The cabins have everything you need, there are plenty pots and pans to cook your own dinner, which is what we did most nights. You'll also find salt/pepper/oil/coffee/tea/sugar in your kitchenette, we were impressed! Local dinner options are limited, so it really makes sense to cook up your own dinner, fresh fish is sold along Michael Douglas Blvd, and anything else you'll find at the IGA in Picard. Dinner options worth mentioning are Poonkies (down the road at the junction), and we can highly recommend Monty's Fish and Grill (on the beach at the T junction where the entrance to Cabrits National park meets Bay street. There are a few more options in Portsmouth, but don't expect too much.
Since the whole property is off grid, running on solar power, there are not that many lights in the cabins, so you will mostly depending on candle light (except for bathroom and kitchen area). There is a solar powered reading light in each cabin, but since we both read quite a lot, we found we could have done with some extra reading lights, and Kate mentioned they'll be supplying more of these soon.
Oh, and the bed + linens are super comfortable!
So if you're looking for a self catered cabin tucked away in lush vegetation with an amazing view, it doesn't get much better than Manicou River. Apparently there are plans for an on-site restaurant at some point, which would make this property even more attractive, we'd love to come back and check out what Kate and Patrick made of that.
- 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