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Guest Book

 
Since Nature Island Destinations was launched in 1997, we have assisted many visitors in planning and booking their Dominica vacation, providing a personal service not simply restricted to the selection of accommodation, but which also includes pre booking of vehicle hire, many activities, guides and the provision of maps, national park brochures, forestry fact sheets etc.  On completion of our clients' visits, we seek feedback from them in an effort to identify areas where improvements can be made to the service both we and our suppliers provide. Understandably, not all respond - holiday over, back to the grind...... Many do, however, and to those we are most grateful.  Below are some of the replies which we have received, or extracts from them, most recent appearing first.
 
Gordon and Carol are from New York State. Since discovering Dominica several years ago, they and their two children have made it their regular winter holiday destination, each time returning to their favourite spot on the mid west coast, Caribbean Sea View Holiday Apartments at Mero, a small village on a popular beach. We have vehicle rental awaiting them at the airport on arrival. Their last visit was in December 2014 and they have already booked ahead for next winter.
CSVHA, Mero, mid west
                                              coast CSVA, mid west coast

Hello Colin,

We have been coming to Dominica since 2005 first by cruise ship and when it came time for the ship to leave we wanted to stay. When the ship got to the next Island I keep thinking I wish  I was back in Dominica. After 3 trips by ship we decided to fly there and stay there - what a good choice that was. Dominica has many things to keep us busy.

Caribbean Sea View Apartments, Nature Island Destinations & Dominica have always been warm & welcoming. CSV apts are very accommodating & treat you like family. The apts are beautiful, like having your own house overlooking the beautiful Caribbean sea. They have everything you need and are very affordable. We love the short walk to the Mero beach and the village people are great. We look forward to next year's visit.

 The Young's,    Cicero NY




 
Xavier & Joanna are newly-weds from Asheville, North Carolina, USA and chose Dominica to spend their 16 day honeymoon in March 2013. All but their last night, which they spent in the NE close to the airport, was enjoyed at Casablanca on the mid west coast. We had a small Suzuki jeep rental awaiting them on arrival at the airport and arranged a whale-watch boat outing and a Syndicate bird tour for them during their stay. This is what they had to say after returning home. 
relaxing in the Rosalie River Casablanca, oceanfront villa, mid west coast of Dominica

My husband and I spent a lot of time searching out the perfect honeymoon destination before settling on Dominica.  We were looking for a place we could get away from the tourism of other islands and snorkel to our hearts content.  I finally stumbled upon Dominica in an article.  It seemed perfect, but I didn’t know where to start looking for places to stay or how to decide which side of the island to stay on.  After weeks of searching, I was still uncertain about logistics and details.  Then I stumbled across Nature Island Destinations and found all the information I was looking for in one place.  I contacted Colin and told him what we were looking for and what we were interested in.  He found a house rental for us in our price range and by the beach.  He arranged a car rental and activities for us based on our interests.  Everything was easy and low-stress and all we had left to do was wait!  Upon arrival, our car was waiting and we took the adventurous drive to our rental.  Colin greeted us and made sure we had everything we needed, down to the last detail.  There was food waiting for us in the fridge and even a fresh papaya from Colin’s own tree.  We felt right at home and when we woke up at Casablanca we made fresh papaya smoothies and revelled in the view of the sea.  Our trip was perfect and relaxing from start to finish.  We fell in love with the island, ate delicious fresh food, met wonderful people, and had amazing experiences.  The activities Colin recommended (from the best bird tour I could ever imagine with Bertrand to soaking at Screws hot springs) were fantastic.  Each day held an adventure that left us feeling more and more like moving to the island!  I can’t say enough about how amazing our trip was and how hospitable and wonderful our experience with Colin and his wife were.  We left Dominica with new friends and a great love for Dominica.  I wholeheartedly recommend trusting Nature Island Destinations with the details of your trip to Dominica!
Joanna Ferdon
 





 
Winston and Kathy are from Barbados and visited Dominica for the first time in April 2012 with their 7 year old daughter, Whitley. Due to their evening arrival and early morning departure we arranged their first and last nights at Coffee River Cottage, not far from Melville Hall Airport on the NE coast. The balance of their stay was at Casablanca, a private rental on the popular mid west coast. They enjoyed Dominica so much that they are now considering purchasing property here.
Coffee River Casablanca,
                                              oceanfront villa, mid west
                                              coast of Dominica
Hi Colin,

Let me express my overwhelming satisfaction with our stay in Dominica. Winston, Whitley and I had a blast! Staying at Coffee River Cottage for our first and last nights as you recommended was a wise choice. The accommodation there was charming, Sandra and Stephen were great hosts, very helpful and cordial, the beautifully landscaped grounds and the river....nature at its best. Casablanca was excellent for getting around to other parts of the island and the accommodation there also surpassed what we had anticipated. The view of the sea and the beautiful sunsets from that ridge was a plus. It was a pleasure meeting Ivor, very friendly. On behalf of my family I thank you for your excellent service and special thanks for the vehicle rental. You helped to make our stay on the island a comfortable one and I've already recommended your service and website to others. We will definitely be returning in the near future and will require your services again, hopefully sooner than later. Give my regards to Cecily and thank her for her helpful recommendations. Winston and I have a very keen interest in acquiring property on the island.

Thanking you again and keep up the good work.

Regards, Kathy-Ann Clarke, Barbados


 
A large family from Sweden, 2 brothers, their wives and 4 adult children visited Dominica for 10 days in February 2012. We had an 8 seater Toyota Townace awaiting them on arrival at Melville Hall Airport. Their time was divided between Pete's Casa, a luxury villa not far from the capital, Roseau, in the SW and Caribbean Sea View Holiday Apartments at Mero, a small village on the mid west coast close to a popular beach. We arranged for them an all day bird tour and a whale watch afternoon boat trip.
CSVHA, Mero, mid west
                                              coast Pete's Casa, luxury
                                              villa, Morne Daniel, SW
                                              Dominica
Dear Colin Lees,

Thank you thank you thank you! For making this fantastic holiday in your fantastic island possible for the 8 of us!

The rainforest, the parrots, the hummingbirds, all the exotic plants, the coral reef, the fishes, whales, dolphins, all smiling fantastic people - the fantastic nature, I cannot tell what was not fantastic.
I would have wanted to meet you and thank you for your crystal clear emails and neat arrangements but we were so busy all time. There is also a more serious part of travelling - meeting kind people who cannot afford to travel the way we do. At home we are much engaged in voluntary environmental work and a greener, sustainable world. The costs for solar cells are actually dropping worldwide, and under Dominicas's sun they would pay off quite quickly.

Irrespective of these last thoughts - thank you again very much.


Sincerely yours, Cecilia Emanuelsson



Jack is a recently retired elactrical engineer from Guildford, Surrey, south east England. He has been visiting Dominica on vacation at least once a year for the past 15 years. His friend Paul, a partner in an exhibition lighting company in Guildford has joined him for the past 6 years. Though they have stayed at various lodgings, their favourite is Casablanca, where they have spent many winter visits of three to four weeks.
Jack
Paul
a Casablanca sunset by Paul


Casablanca: reflections of a regular visitor...

Set in a garden on a clifftop overlooking an impeckably blue and glassy sea, it is wonderful to return there when England is at its darkest. Early morning before breakfast a refreshing and peaceful swim beckons. The stately pelicans glide by to their cliff edge tree roosts or sometimes spectacularly dive for fish. After breakfast you can have a lazy day reading on the lawn under the shade of a mango tree or on the balcony. Alternatively, you can always find a previously unexplored waterfall, bay, river or mountain, according to your taste.

Shopping for provisions is not so easy unless you have a vehicle rental, which Colin always arranges for us. You can get practically anything in Whitchurch supermarket at Picard which is an easy half hour drive north. Locally you can get basic provisions, sometimes vegetables from Michel, the groundsman who keeps the lawn cut and farms an adjacent lot.

Jack Goody, December 2011.
Mero Beach in the late
                                        afternoon

The fact that you are looking at this site pre-empts  my need to expand on the wonderful nature island of Dominica.
More to the point is where you might decide to settle and sleep after your day exploring the island.
I have been coming to Dominica for a number of years and the Villa Casablanca is my favourite destination after a day’s exploring.
The panoramic views along the West Coast from the garden at sunset takes some beating and you have plenty of time to wake up in the morning before the sun pops its head up from behind the hills beyond the Macoucherie Valley and Mero Village.
Should you decide on an early morning swim the beach at Mero is second to none and Salisbury beach is a 5 minute walk away.
Even if you decide to have a lazy day at Casablanca, the wildlife will come to you with pelicans passing your nose on the cliff edge, frigate birds soaring just above your head and a wealth of small birds and butterflies going about their days business in the garden.
After the glorious sunset the fireflies begin their display around the balcony to compliment the emerging stars and when all has finally settled into the night the reassuring sound of the lapping waves below you lulls you to sleep.
Should you need any advice on any aspect of Dominica Colin and Cecily who live just around the corner are a telephone call away for advice or recommendation with their vast experience of the island having lived out here for some 15 years.
 So.... what are you waiting for!!!

Paul Hyldon, December 2011



 
Norm, Loni and their adult son, Jeff, are from western Canada. They arrived in Dominica on 20 November 2011 for a 15 day visit, during which they chose to travel by local transport and sample venues in differing localities. Their time was divided between Hodges View Cottage in the NE,  Villa Oceane in the NW, Gallion-on-Sea in the extreme SW and Itassi Cottages on the slopes above Roseau, the capital. Activities we arranged for them - bird tour, whale watch outing and a guide to take them to Boiling Lake.
 Hodges View Cottage,
                                              NE Dominica   Villa Oceane,
                                              Dublanc, NW coast   Gallion-on-Sea,
                                                Soufriere Bay  Itassi Cottages, SW
                                              Dominica
Colin

Now that we're back in Canada, I just wanted to send a final thank you to you for all the planning help you provided.  Our trip to Dominica was marvellous.  The people of your country are the friendliest and most helpful we have experienced anywhere.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and would love to visit the island again, this time during the dry season.  It certainly knows how to rain on Dominica!  Our excursions - birding with Bertrand, whale and dolphin watching, and of course the strenuous hike to Boiling Lake - were all well organized, well led and truly memorable.

After experiencing the road and driving conditions on Dominica, we decided not to rent a vehicle, but to travel around by local bus and occasionally taxi.  We very much enjoyed this as it gave us an opportunity to interact with the local people.  We were impressed at the good (and inexpensive) service the local buses provide.
I have already spoken to my travel agent to suggest to her that for anyone travelling to Dominica, she should suggest they contact Nature Island Destinations for help in organizing accommodation and trips.

Once again, many thanks for all your help.  We're sorry we couldn't have met you in person - maybe next time.

Norm, Loni and Jeff Funnell   Edgewater, BC, Canada



 
Wil +Lily are Jamaicans who spent their adult lives in Canada but have decided to move back to the Caribbean. Jamaica, however, has become too unsafe. On visiting Dominica in 2009 they fell in love with the island and the following year purchased some riverside land on which to build their new home. On their most recent 2 week visit in May/June 2011 they stayed at Casablanca on the mid west coast. We also had a small Suzuki jeep rental awaiting them on arrival at the airport.
relaxing in the
                                            river Casablanca,
                                              oceanfront villa, mid west
                                              coast of Dominica

Hello Colin,

Dominica is the ideal place for us to be, because we both love nature (the natural environment of Dominica is superb). One of Dominica's many great assets is it's clean water. Visiting Dominica has made us want to be a part of such a peaceful and pristine country and one with such wonderful people. Getting to meet your family was tremendous and it reminded us of our observations and experiences when we first visited Dominica in 2009. For Lily and myself it would have been ideal to have met you both in 2010 and purchased property through Safe Haven. I must say I did get a lot of valuable information (and still do) on Dominica from the Safe Haven website.

Staying at Casablanca was great for us as we found the residence to be central to every part of Dominica and most important - clean, comfortable and extremely quiet. Sitting and looking at the ocean and observing the ships and fishing activity taking place was very relaxing (my binocular was a great asset). We enjoyed the beach below the cottage and also the walk to the wonderful beach in the village of Mero. The trip that you planned for a day in the hills beside the river will always be memorable (extremely relaxing). Our afternoon at DOMFESTA was entertaining and refreshing as we got to sample a bit of Dominica's culture.

I am planning another trip to Dominica soon to meet with our builder and intend to stay again at Casablanca. I will be getting in touch with you when I have a clearer picture as to the time I can be away.

Looking forward to be there soon.

William and Lily

 
Deanna Lewis is from Califiornia, USA and visits Dominica periodically. This time she chose Croton Cottage, conveniently located in the suburb of Wallhouse, just 5 minutes drive south of Roseau and in proximity to three dive centres, for her 10 day stay in March 2011. Below is what she had to say on her return home.
Croton Cottage, Wallhouse, SW
                                    Dominica
Colin,
 
Thank you for coordinating my stay at Croton Cottage. I have visited Dominica several times and the level of professionalism provided by you is unparalleled. I enjoyed my stay at Croton Cottage more than any other property I have ever visited. The location is perfect and the view of the ocean every sunrise and sunset was the highlight of my trip, which says a lot because I visited during the Carnival Season. I will return to Dominica in the near future and I guarantee that I will trust no one but you and Nature Island Destinations to coordinate my accommodations.
 
<>All the best,    Deanna

Nigel & Tania Harrison are from the south east of England and took their first Dominica vacation in February and March 2011, spending 3 weeks in 3 different parts of the island. First stop was Cherry Orchard Apartment in the Roseau Valley followed by a few days at Calibishie in the north then lastly, Casablanca on the mid west coast.  We had a Courtesy jeep awaiting them on arrival at Dominica's Melville Hall Airport. Below are extracts from their detailed feedback.
CasablancaCherry Orchard
                                            Apartment, Trafalgar
                                            Village
Good afternoon Colin,

What did we think of Dominica? The island is a very beautiful place, we loved the vegetation, the rivers, waterfalls and valleys. It was really good to see crops growing that we haven't seen before i.e. banana, cocoa, coffee, sugar cane, pineapple, mango, coconuts (there were others we had no idea what they were). The rivers were so clear and we are always up for a good waterfall...Middleham was probably the most impressive that we saw. We did lots of snorkelling - the water was really clear most of the time with visibility about 30 - 40 meters. 
The people we found almost without exception to be friendly and helpful. People in the rural areas seemed to be the most friendly and even as we drove past would say hello or something similar (even when carrying the national all purpose tool...the machete). When we were walking one day we stopped to talk to a person who had obviously been working on the land and he immediately gave us some Grapefruit and refused to take anything for them.

The accommodation that we got though your good self was really good. Nelista (Cherry Orchard Apartment) was a really nice person and made us most welcome. The accommodation was great too. We would recommend it to friends. Ivor's place (Casablanca) is an ideal location and had everything that we wanted. We would go back there again (and to Nelista's). I know that Ivor went out of his way to ensure that we had our own undisturbed space. The pricing of the accommodation was good and the vehicle we had did the job and on some of the steep and rough roads the 4 wheel drive was very good.

Thanks for your help and assistance.      Nigel

 
Janis and Chuck, Gail and John, spent a 16 day holday  in Dominica in April 2010, dividing their time equally between Calibishie in the NE and Morne Daniel in the SW, a quiet residential suburb just a little north of our tiny capital, Roseau, where they stayed at Tranquile Villa, a luxury 4 bedroomed private rental with pool. They hired a vehicle to tour many of the island's natural attractions and we arranged a day outing for them with Dr. Birdy. Tranquile Villa

Colin, we absolutely loved Dominica!!

In the north: we so enjoyed Sea Cliff cottages (8 nights) for the cottages themselves, the view and the small town atmosphere of Calibishe (along with the protest!). Gwen and Jim were most helpful. Cabrits Dive was fine, but the reefs are superior in the south in terms of health and larger fish life. We also saw the Carib Village, walked through Cabrits N.P., hiked from Capucin most of the way to Penville, loved the drive-through volcano. Our day with Dr. Birdy in Syndicate was the best. I’m a naturalist guide, so I know how good he is, very knowledgable and accommodating. His wife makes amazing meals!

Both locations where we stayed required lots of driving, but that’s the way it is. John drove beautifully, but we were not prepared for the time it would take to get from place to place.  

In the south: Tranquile Villa (8 nights) was fabulous, especially the wonderful pool (with birds and bats!) and the private nature of the home, but the whole ambiance of the place was so relaxing, just what we needed, however, very different from Sea Cliff in terms of setting and view. Both were very clean. We appreciated them both. We hiked in Morne Trois Pitons (Middleham Falls and Boeri LakeBoiling Lake was closed). Titou Gorge was a hoot! The Marine Reserve was fabulous; we even saw 3 sperm whales, 2 from the Nature Island dive boat and 1 from the whale watching boat. Nature Island Diving was excellent! Soufriere Hot Springs trail was lovely; we hiked to the upper springs. Also, the drive through the forest from Layou-Bells-back to the airport was superb. Wish we had spent more time in there! We came upon a fun street dance in Marigot on the holiday (and the kite flying in Roseau was wonderful). We so enjoyed the people of Dominica, the experience of village life, the great market in Roseau and our time wandering the lovely Papillote Wilderness Retreat gardens before lunch there.

Thanks, Colin. Cheers, Gail Richardson

 
Croton Cottage, conveniently located in the suburb of Wallhouse, just 5 minutes drive south of Roseau and in proximity to three dive centres, was completed in late 2009. Larry and Beverly are from Canada and were only the second set of guests to enjoy this new private rental for 3 weeks commencing mid February 2010. We also had a small Suzuki jeep rental awaiting them on arrival at the airport. This is what they had to say after their return home.
Croton Cottage,
                                                Wallhouse, SW Dominica
Colin,
Bev and I would like to thank you for the work you put forth in finding us Croton Cottage.
The accommodation was excellent and the condition of the house was better than expected...New in Fact.
We would appologise for not being in touch while on Island but time and purpose kept us busy.
Shortly we will return as Bev and I have purchased property to build our own home.
As you know Dominica is an Island unlike most with great nature and incredible people... this was not our first trip to DOMINICA and over the years we have covered most of the Islands in the Caribbean and found that we enjoyed this island over all the rest.

We have but a few complaints......
1. No swimming pool and we knew this when we rented ... not your fault.
2. the second being a drought that had not occurred in Dominica for many years.. again not your fault.
To every Paradise something will be lacking, however small. All our complains were beyond your control and anyone elses.
All in All this is our Paradise and we will enjoy it for years to come.
I recommend Colin Lees and his rental business to anyone and everyone.
THANKS AGAIN COLIN,
From TWO NEW FRIENDS from Canada.   Larry and Beverley

Ken and Elaine Mahoney are from England. In early January 2010 they came to Dominica for a stay of almost 2 months, After spending the first few weeks visiting friends up in the cool interior and touring the island, the reamaining month of February was enjoyed relaxing by the beach at Marie's Seaview Apartment - a private rental at Mero village on the mid west coast.
Aspect from
                                                  Seaview Apartment.Mero Beach close to
                                              Seaview Apartment, mid
                                              west coast

We spent February 2010 at Seaview Apartment in Mero and had a very relaxing and enjoyable time there. We found Marie, the owner, who lives in the apartment above, to be a very nice lady, helpful in every way, and always on hand to advise and assist if we had any kind of problem or questions.

The apartment is spacious and airy, and it was particularly pleasant to sit out on the balcony in the evenings to enjoy cooling breezes. The accommodation is only 5 minutes walk to the beach, and although we weren't renting a vehicle on this occasion it was nonetheless quite easy for us to pick up the local buses into Roseau, a journey of about 30 minutes. (The pull-in for the buses/vans was very close-by the apartment.)

We had already toured most of Dominica prior to staying at Marie's apartment, and have always found the local people to be warm and friendly. The roads in Dominica could be improved somewhat, and at times services can be unreliable. But after a week or so I guess we kind of accepted such shortcomings and decided to just go with the flow!

A very relaxing 4 weeks amongst very friendly people, Visit Dominica at Carnival time as we did and you'll find you will soon really become part of the local scene!!

Ken and Elaine Mahoney (from England)


The Miller family are from the U.S.A. and have a son attending Ross Medical School in NW Dominica, giving them the perfect excuse to spend Christmas and New Year 2010 together in the warmth of the tropics. We arranged their accommodation at  Seaview Apartment, a private rental near to the popular Mero Beach and had a Suzuki Grand Vitara awaiting them on arrival at the airport. Despite a little teething trouble with reverse gear and the hardware for the internet, plus a 2 day interruption to the village water supply due to maintenance of the supply line, they nevertheless enjoyed their stay and had this to say.... Miller
                                              family at Marie's Seaview
                                              Apartment

Hi Colin!

What an island! I can't begin to tell you how impressed we were with not only the natural beauty but with the pride most of the locals have in their island! It is truly a paradise and I hope with management it can stay that way. We were met with beauty and friendliness wherever we went. Of course it started with Marie who graciously waited into the evening for us and had stocked the fridge! She went out of her way on the two days we were without water to carry a 5 gallon bucket down to us! She also shared her meal with us one night and what a feast it was! We met a wonderful couple in Roseau who fed us on one of the many public holidays that happened to fall during our stay. His place of business was closed but he fed us anyway. Then there was the sweet child that led me through the streets of St. Joseph in search of a loaf of bread! And the young women who opened their place early in La Plaine to get us nourished for Sari Sari and Victoria Falls hikes. We met so many genuine people it was refreshing and cathartic. We have done nothing but sing it's praises since returning. We hated to leave having not experienced the entirety of the beauty of the island.

Thanks so much for your help in discovering!! We did managed to survive 6 hours of Valley of Desolation and Boiling Lake!! Whew!!

The Miller family


 
Connie is a Dominican who left the Nature Isle at the age of 11 and returned for only the second time in the first week of November 2009 to visit friends and relatives and to attend a wedding. She was the first guest to occupy this new addition to our listings of private villas and apartments. This is what she had to say after her return home.
Emerald Cottage,
                                                Canefield East, SW
                                                Dominica
Hi Colin,
      I would definitely recommend EMERAL COTTAGE - it was incredible!!  It exceeded my expectations.  Finding a wonderful place is like finding a diamond in a mine, I have stayed at other hotels and cottages and have been disappointed with the service or accommodations, but this cottage was awesome!  This is truly a special place.  No picture could do justice to the view, or capture the complete serenity while looking at the morning sunrise or the evening sunset from the balcony in the master suite and enjoying Dominica's clean fresh air. 

     On my trip to Dominica  I had the opportunity to take a tour of the island and was amazed by it's green gorgeous scenery, it's enchanting rivers, it's deep blue Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.  To anyone who plans to visit Dominica, it's an adventure, breathtaking  and it's people are warm and friendly.

     Mr. Lees you really could not have been more helpful in answering my endless questions!  However my only complaint was; the trip was entirely too short, and I was  not able to meet with you or your wife.


Thank you!!!            Connie La Ville

 
Alan and Indira and their 2 boys Alec and Andrew spent a week  in Dominica in early April 2009, staying at Tranquile Villa, a luxury 4 bedroomed villa with recently added pool located at Morne Daniel, a quiet residential suburb on the outskirts of our tiny capital, Roseau. We also arranged for a Budget jeep rental to be awaiting them at the airport, in which they toured many of the island's natural attractions. Tranquile Villa
Hi Colin

Our trip to Dominica was definitely a wonderful and memorable one.  The island is beautiful and the people very warm.  The sites we visited were spectacular, and it is truly a nature-lover's paradise.  For all friends out there in cyberland who are looking  for a taste of what's really worth seeing, Dominica is indeed one such place.
 
Tranquille Villa was much more than a pleasant surprise, since it had so much more to offer that what was/ could be posted on your website.  For us, it was indeed a home away from home, and we earnestly wished we had more time there.  Tranquille Villa lived up to its name, situated as it is in a very quiet area, undisturbed and uninterrupted by anything other than chirping birds that pecked on the window each morning from the garden area.
 
The space is well kept and very accomodating.  Fruits form the garden were quite delicious, and the boys had a whale of  a time frolicing around.
 
Many thanks to you for making the experience truly worthwhile.
 
Alec, Andrew, Indira & Allan. 
Pawel Cyran and his 5 friends live in Krakow, Poland, Europe This was their first visit to Dominica in March 2009. We had a Mitsubishi 7 seater Pajero from Budget awaiting them on arrival at the Roseau Ferry Terminal to where they arrived by boat from Guadeloupe - a journey of 1hr. 45min. - and arranged their stay at  Seaview Apartment, a private rental on the mid west coast.
Mero Beach close to
                                          Seaview Apartment, mid west
                                          coast.Aspect from Seaview
                                            Apartment.

Hi Colin

It's more than a week since we left Dominica. It was a very nice time we spent on your beautiful island, particularly for us  from Europe.

Dominica is a good place to stay - people are warm and spontaneous which is more visible after an earlier stay on Guadeloupe. And of course you have wonderful nature: mountais, rivers, lakes and sea. We were able to visit a lot of places like Laudat,  Boiling Lake, Trafalgar Falls, Indian River, Fort Shirley, Batibou Bay, Carib territory, Emerald Pool, Scots Head and others.  

Our accommodation was more than satisfactory, Mrs. Marie is very pleasant lady.

Even though we had a little problem with our vehicle it was a good option to have such a means of  transport as a Mitsubishi Pajero. Budget Car Rental was helpful and acted fast when the battery of our car was down.

So thank you for your help and who konws maybe we will visit Dominica again. And for sure I will write about Dominica in the travel media here in Poland and I will place a description of our stay at Odyssei portal.

Thank you again and best wishes from Krakow, Poland

Pawel Cyran

 
Olivier, Laure, Joëlle and José are two French couples who, whilst vacationing in Martinique in February 2009, decided to come to Dominica for a few day on the fast catamaran ferry service L'Express des Iles, which takes only 90 minutes to reach Roseau from ForteDeFrance. We arranged their brief stay at Cherry Orchard Apartment in the Roseau Valley and had a Budget jeep awaiting them on arrival at the Roseau ferry terminal. Cherry
                                      Orchard Apartment, Trafalgar
                                      Village
Dear Colin,
We are back in Martinique and everything went well in Dominica.
We had a great stay even if it was very short.
We would like to thank you for organizing everything for us.
We hope to go back soon to Dominica for a longer stay this time.
Kind regard Olivier

Frank & Kirsten are from Germany. They arrived late December 2008 for a 1 week stay over Christmas at Deaux-La-Mers Apartment, Scotts head, in the extreme south west of the island. We had a small Suzuki jeep from Budget awaiting them on arrival at the Roseau ferry terminal and arranged some scuba diving for them.
view from
                                    Deaux-La-Mers - the 'Toe' of
                                    DominicaDeaux La Mer
                                      Apartment balcony
We want to thank you very much for the perfect organization of our holiday in Dominica! It was excellent: the people from Budget waited 
for us at the ferry port and gave us the perfect car for the roads on this wonderful island!
Edmay and Randy are very nice and helpful people - we liked our stay in Scotts Head sooo much! We really had a lot of fun and perfect
dives there!!

We have been to Martinique and Guadeloupe as well but we must say that we fell in love with Dominica: the people there are very kind and
open and the landscapes are unbelieveble and ... and ... well we guess you feel the same for this island!

Okay, thanx again, Colin and keep well,
Kerstin and Frank

PS: whenever our friends want to visit Dominica we will give them your address!

Gilbert Blanchin & his wife brought a party totalling 11 French nationals for an 8 day visit to Dominica in July 2008, spending their first few days at Calibishie and the remainder at Scotts Head, where we arranged their lodgings at both Deaux La Mer & Oceanview Apartments which are very close. We also had 2 jeeps awaiting them on arrival. An unfortunate dowside to their vacation came when Mrs Blachin injured her foot on Roseau's uneven pavements, in between venues.

Thank you for helping us spend a wonderful time in Dominica. Budget welcomed us when we arrived in Roseau and took care of our luggage. The three 4X4 cars we had ordered suited perfectly with the narrow winding roads of Dominica. We first drove to Calibishie and then to Scotts Head where Mr. Colin had rented two wonderful houses for us. The owners were very nice to us: they even brought us fruit in the morning for breakfast, and they were very helpful. At the end of our holiday we drove the cars back to Roseau and there again, Budget drove us to the boat. They made things very easy for us. Thanks to you Mr. Colin for your professionalism. If we didn’t have this bad fracture of my wife’s foot, I would say everything was perfect! Dominica is a marvelous Island with many things to do.

 
George Laurent is a Dominican who lives in the UK and who enjoys bringing his wife and children to Dominica over the summer holidays. In 2005 we arranged their stay at Pete's Casa, a modestly priced luxury villa not far from the capital, Roseau. They enjoyed it so much that they booked it again, well in advance, for their next vacation to Dominica in July 2008. We also arranged the repeat rental of a Mitsubishi Pajero from Best Deal to be awaiting collection on their arrival at Melville Hall Airport. Pete's Casa
Hi colin,
just a quick note to express our gratitude for renting out pete's casa to us.
This is the second time we have rented from you and it's true to say that the villa is fantastic,
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and have recommended to family and friends,
The whether was so hot it was fortunate we had the pool at our disposal,
We will definitely be back within 3 years,
 
Many Thanks
George

 
Joris Visser and his girlfriend Barbara live in Enschede, Holland, Europe. They visited Dominica in May 2008, spending 1 week at Casablanca on the mid west coast and 4 days at Picard Beach Cottage Resort on the north west coast. We had a jeep rental awaiting them at the airport on arrival and also arranged a  guide to accompany them on the all day hike to the Boiling Lake. Jorris & Barbara Casablanca.Picard Beach Cottages
Colin,   We liked Dominica a lot!  Here is our holiday report! 

Casablanca villa: A spaciously villa on an cliff, very nice views from the back garden (I wish I had it in Holland), the dated (but clean) furniture didn’t bordered us too much and it had a well equipped kitchen to cook meals yourself. The villa is owned by a very nice and helpful Englishman. Great value for money!

Picard cottages: near Cabrits the cottages are in a well kept garden (the nice garden man looked an behaved like bob marley :-). The cottages are nice but much more expensive then the Casablanca villa (the privately owned villa’s are much cheaper and better value for money)

Boetica: near the village of Boetica there is a nice (short) trail along the sea cliffs and at the end at sea level there is a natural “Jacuzzi” (a water filled hole in the rock where you can take a wave-shower). This hike is in the Bradt travel book.
Hike upstream to the Bwa Nef Falls waterfall. Though we didn’t entirely get to the waterfall upstream, walking through the river was a very nice experience! This hike is in the Bradt travel book.
Boiling lake hike:  Take a guide for this hike. Our guide was great! (to bad I forgot his name, but it’s a acquaintance of Colin). The guide gave all the time we wanted, gave very good advices and had loads of biologic knowledge and stories of the surroundings. And the surroundings during this hike are very special and diverse - a must when you visit Dominica!
Short easy hike to Emerald Pool (don’t go there when there is a Cruise ship in Dominica). When we where there was nobody around this popular place.
Snorkeling and diving: snorkel at Scots head (walk to the small beach on the end of the peninsula) it is very nice above and under water!, On the north side of Cabrits is very good snorkeling (park the car near the beach near the road and walk/swim to the north corner of the Cabrits peninsula). I did some diving with the dive schools which were very good (Castle Comfort Dive Lodge and Cabrits Dive Centre).
If you are interested in some colonial history visit Cabrits National Park, it has some nice ruins (overgrown by trees) and signs give directions and historical information through the park. We also saw land-crabs and (harmless) snakes there.
Beaches: The white beaches are missing but in fact you won’t miss them. There are smaller dark colored beaches where you can relax/swim/snorkel a little bit.
Go whale watching, We missed it because we waited too long and at the last day of our holiday the whale watch boat was canceled.
Tips:
We had the Bradt Travel Guide book, which helped us to do a lot of activities on our own
.
Even if you are adventurous, do some guided hikes so you hear some local knowledge and see some hidden places.
Rent a 4x4 to discover the island (guided transport is also possible but you will miss the “freedom feeling” a little bit I think)  and try to avoid driving in the dark (our plane arrived in the dark and it’s not very nice to drive in the dark because of the curves, gaps, cliffs on the narrow roads).
We flew from London to Antigua and had a laidback week there on the beautiful white beaches (not much else to do there) and then we flew with Liat airways to Dominica. We liked that relaxing/activity combination of two islands a lot!


Colin’s booking service is great, not too commercial and very good help (also his website
http://www.natureisland.com/ gives good information).
some of Joris &
                            Barbara's holiday pictures

 
Alex D.Great is a veteran calypsonian from Trinidad who now lives in London with his Dominican wife, Wilelmena, and their 6 year old son. They visit Dominica regularly and on this occasion, late Feruary 2008, they chose to stay at a private rental, Lena's Apartment in upper Canefield, which enjoys a panoramic sea view and is in easy reach of the capital, Roseau. This year is the 60th anniversary of the Windrush, the first ship to bring migrant labour from the Caribbean to Britain to fill the labour shortage as that country's economy began to recover after world war 2. Whilst in Dominica, Alex held workshops at several schools to sing about the event and inform the school children of how this influenced the lives of their grandparent's generation.
Alex & Wil.Lena's
                              Apartment, upper Canefield, SW Dominica balcony view
                              SW

Lena's is a very spacious, comfortable appartment with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, (one en suite) a good sized kitchen, with a through dining room and living room and two balconies.

The views are lovely over the bay and the sea is a breathtaking blue. It is high up and there is always a light breeze blowing which keeps the apartment pleasantly cool at night and virtually free of mosquitoes. As residents of England we found this to be a big plus. Our six - year old son was very happy to have his own room in which to sleep and play.

Also there were no sounds of traffic at night (which is not the case when we have stayed in Roseau or Newtown)..

Lena is a lovely, friendly lady who cooked a meal for us when we had relatives over for dinner one evening and the price was very reasonable and the food abundant and tasty.

It is only about 10 minutes from the capital and local amenities such as petrol and a supermarket are only 5 minutes away without the need to go into town for essentials. You do need to hire a 4x4 vehicle to get around, although a short walk (7-8 minutes) brings you to the main road where transports (15 seater taxis) are available if you so choose. 

We would certainly stay there again and would have no hesitation in recommending it to friends.  


Alex and Wilhelmina Lowenthal.







In response to the increase in noisy, dusty and unsightly quarrying visible along our scenic west coast, along with the willingness of our current political leaders to allow Venezuela to export its dirty, dangerous and environmentally degrading oil refining and storage to our beautiful nature isle despite outraged local opinion, Alex wrote a song, Sweet Dominica, which he sang for a televised school workshop. Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, this was edited out of the news feature shown on TV that evening.

SWEET DOMINICA (Alexander D, Great 20/2/08)

 1   The world is hungry for gas, oil and water
       The politicians only seeing the cash.
       And just like a lamb they will lead you to slaughter
       Turning your treasure into ashes and trash.
 
Chorus
       Sweet Dominica, you beautiful island
       Shining like a diamond in the Caribbean sea..
       The vultures are gathering to destroy your beauty
       Please do your duty and set yourself free.

 2    Venezuela is fighting the Bush Man
       They wanting support for some kind of oil war.
       If you disagree they tell you to "hush man"
       They promise riches but the future looks poor.

 3    big men go round in all of their finery
       but they'll be long gone when the rocks hit the roads.
       Four hundred staff to work the refinery
       And four hundred more just in case it explodes.

4    The coastline is scarred with concrete and quarry
       From Portsmouth to Roseau they want a freeway.
       The wildlife will die and then we'll be sorry
       Demand what is right and give them no leeway.

Two Stephans are friends from Germany who booked an 11 day Dominica vacation in late October 2007, travelling via Paris and Guadeloupe. They had planned to sail to Dominica on L'Express des Iles which takes 1 hour 45 minutes, but unfortunately the boat was in dry dock that week so they arrived instead by small plane (a day late) at Canefield Airport. They spent their first 4 days at a new resort in the southern heights of the Roseau Valley, Rainforest Shangri-La, and the remainder of their stay at Sister's Sea Lodge on the north west coast. We arranged a rental jeep for them to collect on their way to Sister''s and return to Budget's Canefield depot before their return flight. .. 
Rainforest
                                    Shangri-La Resort
Sister's Sea Lodge
Hi Colin,

We want to say thank you for all arrangements you made. When we arrived on Dominica we had no problems with transportation or accomodation.
Unfortunately that came up again on the way back to Germany since Air France was in strike.

Shangri-la was a really good choice. Close to the nature with rain forest and hot springs, but also delicious and healthy meals. We got 4-gear-dinners in the evening.
If you want you can hear a lot of interesting stories from Fred and Dr. Taylor about the island and how they settled on Dominica and built up Shangri-la. But if you want to be on your own - no problem. Shangri-la is a good combination of nature experience, wellness and a kind of rustic luxury (meals f.e.).
We were not quite sure about some prices, e.g. yoga in the morning was free, but Frank who joined us on a tour to the waterfall at the river, charged a little for that.
It was an expensive stay there but we think it was worth it. 

Of course, Sister's Sea Lodge is a good choice, too, as you promised. We can really confirm that.
Renting the car was without problems. Budget has a friedly staff. When we gave back the car they took us to the airport as arranged.

I hope we can come back to Dominica once more, but with more time to stay there.

Best regards,      Stephan

 
Dave and Debi King are keen divers, who live in McMinnville, Oregan, U.S.A.. Their 9 day stay in Dominica in late May 2007 was spent at a private rental, Villa Verde, in the village of Salisbury on the popular mid west coast. We had a jeep rental awaiting them at the airport and organized their diving with East Carib Dive, located on Salisbury Beach. They had been to Dominica only once before, for one day on a cruise ship. They enjoyed the island so much that they are now making plans to relocate to Dominica in a few years time. .Villa Verde,
                              Salisbury.
Hi Colin,

     Our time there was wonderful. It was hard for us to leave Verde Villa, Salisbury, and Dominica in general! 
The house was wonderful - I loved the balcony and the breeze flowing throughout. Our stay there was most comfortable and for the most part we had everything we needed. I didn't miss anything from home at all! Not knowing what to expect always leaves one apprehensive, but all that was put to rest quickly. The house is equipped with power converters - we only had one small appliance that we brought that fried. The whole trip was a learning experience and we learned more than we ever expected we would. It was a profitable visit!
     The people in Salisbury are genuinely friendly and most helpful. We fit in very easily and I think we may have surprised the village folk since we are very open and friendly ourselves. Several times I was told I was already a Dominican! We made friends with the lady in the little store at the end of the driveway and also with the gals in the bakery.
     The island was so full and rich of life and fruit - and everyday was a new experience. We didn't see much of the "famous spots" but found our own points of interest buried within. Much of our time was spent in the car, exploring and cutting back and forth through the rainforests, in and out of the hillside villages, waving and saying "OKAY!" to any and all that we passed. It brought smiles out and waves back. We are very culture thirsty people, so what better place to be! As long as I have a mango, I'm happy!
     We have made several friends in Portsmouth and hope to keep in touch. Scott (the neighbour) became a great friend - we were very sad to have to part ways. He is a delight and most helpful. We had a bbq on the first Saturday and invited him. He was thrilled and really added to our "cultural experience."
     One word of advice - you might direct guests who have not been on the island before to travel north and then through Portsmouth to get to Salisbury. It is much faster. It took us nearly 3 hours to get there going through Central Reserve. No streets are named, so we just watched for village signs. At one point we stopped and asked some Caribs where we were - they have no idea where they are on the map, except one of the youngsters in the group could read and saw where it said "Carib Territory" so he knew that's where he was! We laughed! We never panicked but still pressed on and I remembered Ponte Casse from our tour back in 2005 when we were there on Carnival Cruise. When we finally came to that, we relaxed and just kept going. It was dark when we finally reached the house. Scott jumped out and said, "Here! You want here for Verde Villa! Yes, Here!" I had no idea how we would get in the house, so once we figured out he came with the package, all was good! Like I said, he is a treat!  He said he was sad that we had to go - he didn't want to loose his new neighbors! So I took that to mean we were good tenants and maybe other renters don't get involved in the life in Salisbury?
     Our enthusiasm is alive and well - we have a desire to purchase property after another year and move in another 3 or so. Villa Verde is a great house.

 Thanks Colin and I will send any Dominica travelers your way!
 Debi & David King


 
Pat DiGiacomo lives in South Plainfield, New Jersey, USA. She is a diver and visits Dominica regularly. This time she stayed at a private luxury villa with swimming pool and sea view located at Morne Daniel, a quiet residential suburb on the outskirts of our tiny capital, Roseau, for the duration of her 7 day stay in May 2007.  Pete's Casa
Dear Colin,

I can not begin to tell how much I enjoyed my stay at Pete's Casa. I have been a frequent visitor to Dominica since 1998, I first came for the scuba diving and discovered the island had so much more to offer. The scenic beauty and friendly people make it a true paradise. On previous trips I stayed in hotels and felt cramped and confined in one room. Staying at Pete's Casa made me feel like I was living my dreams, I was a resident of the neighborhood, not a guest of a hotel. 
The incredible sunsets, ocean views and floating in the pool while stargazing is pure heaven. Why, I never even turned on any of the four TV's in the house all week.

The kitchen has everything a cook could want, and the grill by the pool was fantastic. It was perfect for an afternoon of entertaining friends. The first step in planning all future trips to Dominica will be to check the availability of Pete's Casa! It is my home away from home, and I can not imagine staying anywhere else on the island!

My only regret was that I was a couple of weeks too early for the mangoes to be ripe!

Regards, Pat 

Dan and Rebekah Kaskubar  live in Durham, North Carolina, U.S.A. This was their first visit to Dominica in late April 2007 and they stayed at  Seaview Apartment - a private rental on the mid west coast. They hired a jeep to explore the island and went diving with nearby East Carib Dive, located on Salisbury Beach. Aspect
                                    from Seaview Apartment  Mero Beach
                                close to Seaview Apartment, mid west
                                coast
Dear Colin -

Thanks for the follow-up e-mail. We had a great time in Dominica. Marie greeted us with a big smile and food in the refrigerator! She was a lovely hostess who is quite
personable. The Sea View apartment was spacious and had everything we needed. It was in a nice centralized location for our daily adventures which took us all over the
island, and it was nice to have only a 5 minute walk to Mero beach.


We dove with Harald and Beatrice at East Carib Dive on Tuesday and Wednesday and had a wonderful time. Harald is clearly an expert diver and a talented teacher. We had
some good conversations about politics, the environment, Americans, and life on the island. Wednesday afternoon, we swam through the Ti Tou Gorge and hiked to Trafalgar
falls. Simply magnificent. Thursday we hiked the boiling lake, had a mudbath, and went to Scott's Head to watch the sun set - Lovely. Friday, on the way back to the airport, we
tried to go to the natural pool on the northern end of the island. Unfortunately, the road was impassable due to the rainfall and associated high water that, we were told, was
passing over the roadway. Nonetheless, we did find a secluded beach near Calibishie just when the sun popped out and had enough time to walk the sand before leaving for
the airport.


Thanks again for your accommodations. We appreciate your recommendation for the Mero apartment and found it to be exactly what we needed. The breeze on the front
balcony as refreshing after a long hot day - the only thing that was missing was a hammock or two.


We will recommend you to our friends and family. They are intrigued about our vacation to a strange island that no one had previously heard of, and we are happy to enlighten
them about the wonders of Dominica and the kind furnishings therein.


Warm regards, Dan and Rebekah

 
Jamie and Allison Forbes live in Portsmoth, New Hampshire, U.S.A. Last year they visited Dominica for the first time, staying at Papillote Wilderness Retreat in the Roseau Valley. This year, Feb/March 2007, they returned, bringing with them their two children, aged 6 and 3. They divided their 2 week stay between Seaview Apartment - a private rental on the mid west coast, and Calibishie Lodges in the north east. We had a jeep rental awaiting them at the airport on arrival, and helped them arrange another outing with Dr. Birdy, this time for the benefit of the kids. When they needed a babysitter, the lady owner of Seaview Apartment was happy to assist. 2009 update - Jamie and Allison have returned with their two children to Seaview Apartment on two subsequent visits to Dominica - in April 2008 and April 2009.
Jamie and Alison.Seaview Apartment,
                            Mero, mid west coast
Colin, 

Just returned last night from our stay in Dominica. It was a teriffic time overall. Out stay in Mero at Marie's house was a highlight. We really fell in love with the town and loved the area. Calibishie was also nice but had a much different feel. We found Mero to be much more to our liking, already talking about returning again next year. We had a great afternoon with Bertrand. He's a terrific guy and did a great job with the kids. Road Runner turned out to be a great option - having the cellphone was very useful. While we didn't use it much, it did come in handy occasionally. 

Sea View Apartment in Mero: We loved the place overall. The 3 bedroom apartment is quite spacious, clean and has all of the basics taken care of. The appointments are simple (compared to our often excessive 1st world expectations), but overall it was more than adequate. Marie, the owner, is a wonderful woman who lives upstairs and is very attentive and interested in making sure you have everything, including providing some initial provisions, which was very useful since we were not able to buy food our first day. The view from the front porch is beautiful, and we spent an hour or more most mornings sitting and taking in the view. Another benefit to this location is that there is a breeze most of the time. There was much less wind as you get closer to the beach, so we were happy to be up a little higher and yet still be very close to the beach. While the heat wasn't oppressive, the breeze helped keep up cool, especially at night. Fans in the bedrooms were also very useful, as was the washing machine for clothes. 

We fell into a very relaxing routine of adventuring during the day and returning around 5 to the beautiful beach.  It's an easy 5 minute walk from the apartment through town. The town is small enough that within a couple days, we began to see the same faces. Everyone was very friendly, and we truly enjoyed our visit. We had our kids with us, and they made friends with some other kids their age in town. It was a great exprience for all of us. Mero is a wonderful little town that is perfect for those who want to get a sense of what it's like to be a part of the local community. 

Thanks again for your help coordinating our vacation.  It was a wonderful one for the whole family. 

Best, Jamie 

A client about to book a week at Oceanview Apartments in Scotts Head read a poor review (2004) on the Trip Advisor website. In order to get a worthwhile opinion, I then wrote to some recent clients, Jean and Jerrel Shaffer, a couple from Olympia, Washington, U. S. A., who spent 10 days at Oceanview in December 2006. Below is their extremely positive response. Oceanview Apartments + view of
                            Martinique
Hello Colin

Thank you for writing because I would love to recommend Ocean View. The place itself was like being admitted into someone's secret garden, when Francis Charles received us through his garden gate, jet lagged and a bit frightened from the drive from the airport. Francis showed us through the cool green shady manicured grounds he created using tropical forest plants and trees that flower and fruit, along with garden art accents made out of found treasures from the sea.  Concrete walking paths were lined with the worn coral a person can find rolled up on the beach. These paths led from "room to room" in the garden. A low surrounding garden wall of rock made the garden feel protected and private. 
One of the paths we took every day after that, to greet each morning, led up to the grand view of the ocean, over a cliff; but safe with the presence of the breast high garden wall. If we cared to sit and view the ocean, we could by climbing up on a twig lath-house shading another "garden room", that multi-tasked as stair step benches. We also sat up on this "grand stand" to view the stars at night. 
We loved the personal quaint touches our romantic host gave the place. The artistic surrounding wall also included a door opening, with a small goat stable on the cliff side of the wall, affording the goat the most magnificent view of the ocean, of all! A hired man came every morning and swept all the paths clean, picked up any little leaf that had fallen on the garden soil, and tipped the patio chairs against our outside table to drain that nights' rain water off them. He was very friendly and we wished we spoke Patois to get to know him. We were charmed with our room itself. It was the last in a line of 3, a corner room, so we had the most private and closest access to the main garden. 
The room was windowed with metal louvers, painted white, that we kept wide open, except when the afternoon sun was shining on the sides of the house. It was so natural and delightful having no glass or screens obscuring the view of the beautiful garden outside, and allowed breezes to waft in. The beds had mosquito nets for sleeping under.
The room had a kitchen and dining table which we weren't expecting and so we did a little home cooking but rewarded ourselves, mainly, eating down at Rogers, or Chez Wan's at the bottom of the hill. Both served wonderful food and had nice outdoor atmospheres, and Roger and Chez Wan were beautiful people. The flat itself was attractive and felt like a vacation home, with books around to read, collections of shells displayed here and there, nice lace cloth on the table, a couch to lay on and look out of the Dutch half door at the garden canopy, beyond. The whole place was aesthetic, romantic, comfortable and relaxing. 
Our host, Francis concluded his warm first day welcome by having us to his patio for some refreshments and his conversation introduced us to the flavor of the island, his home, and keyed us into places we could walk to from there, to see the rain forest above Scott's Head, the place down the hill on the bay to snorkel and so on. It was Christmas in a few days and he invited us, along with the rest of our party who were staying at another place, to come and have refreshments. Which we did, and got to meet his family and other island guests. He, and his place were a high point of our vacation, which was a surprise because coming to Dominica I hadn't even anticipated mingling with the locals or having much attachment to where we stayed. But the local people of Scott's Head, other parts of the Island, and home made for us at Ocean View were my favorite experiences, while the eco-touring I had anticipated and found, kind of were the beautiful back drop for that! I hope Dominica keeps its uniqueness and doesn't turn into another American destination. The lady who wrote about the cleanliness, may not have found it to what Americans expect, in American motels. But I found it merely rough around the edges, but very neat. And the towels were fluffy and clean. 
Thank you for getting us situated at Oceanview, Colin. As you can tell I put a high value on atmosphere, and that exceeded my wildest dreams. And Oceanview's amenities were priceless.  Thank you for being there and doing what you do!

Best
Jean Shaffer, Olympia Washington

Linda Gay Wages and companion live in Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.. During their Dominica vacation in July 2006, they spent some time in the south, at Gallion-On-Sea, an affordable private rental on the waterfront at Soufriere/ Scotts Head Bay, a submerged volcano and Marine National Park. The 'toe of Dominica' (beyond Scotts Head village) can be seen in the first picture. Snorkelling along the bay side of it is exceptional. Also to be found at various locations is 'champaigne' - streams of tiny bubbles rising from the sea bed, betraying underwater hot springs. One of these is immediately in front of the old Catholic church on the waterfront at Soufriere village. Gallion-On-Sea.Gallion on Sea.
Just returned and had a wonderful stay in Dominica. 
Your website was helpful and the only way we found accommodations in the South. 
Our stay at Gallion on the Sea was just perfect for us and exactly where we would have wanted to be had we been there to pick it out ahead of time. 
The fan was an absolute necessity.  We used the mosquitoes nets every night and survived just fine. 
I would say that area is for the more adventurous traveler.
Snorkeling was fun, the Champagne bit was unusual and Gallion definitely our most special place as a spot to stay.  Thanks. 
We are delighted that we decided to come to Dominica and to stay at Gallion. 

Linda

Tim & Shelly Mooney live in rural Nova Scotia, Canada. Tim is an IT specialist, Shelly a nurse. They spent 2 weeks in Dominica in March/ April 2006, spending 1 week at Ginger Lily Cottage in the east, 6 days at Casablanca on the mid west coast, and their final night at Calibishie Lodges, convenient for their early morning departure home. We had a jeep rental awaiting them at the airport on arrival and also arranged a birdwatch outing, including packed breakfast and traditional lunch, with Dr. Birdy, plus a guide to accompany them on the all day hike to the Boiling Lake. Ginger Lily Cottage.Casablanca
Colin: 

Just wanted to provide you with our thoughts on our recent stay in Dominica… Discovering Dominica has truly been a memorable experience; from the moment we
flew into Melville Hall, arrived at the “Ginger Lily”, moved on to the west coast to “Casablanca” and then on to Calabishie we thoroughly enjoyed each and every
day.
We have such fond memories of the warm and friendly people we met in Riviere Cirique during our stay at the Ginger Lily; everyone on the island is friendly and
helpful. The sights we saw were truly amazing and everything is still so pristine; Sari Sari falls is a must see as is the Secret Beach. Being able to walk for hours
through the rain forest with no sign of anyone is an amazing experience. All this and no bugs!
On to the south west coast and the Casablanca; amazing sunsets over the Caribbean with no one else in sight. The local rum factory  where the rum  is made from
sugar cane grown on the property and water from the Macoucherie River. More hikes into the mountains and a multitude of fresh fruits along the way.
Two local favorites – Kubuli beer and the local grapefruit – so sweet.
Thank you Colin for all your help in arranging our exquisite accommodation and the most informative hike through the Syndicate Forest with Bertrand; he is definitely
a fountain of knowledge regarding the local flora and fauna. Thanks to Fernanda for making our stay at the Ginger Lily so comfortable and the first meal on the island
a memorable one.
We would highly recommend either of the accommodations as well as the Calabishie Lodge and of course Nature Island Destinations to anyone who wants to
experience an untouched Caribbean island and the natural wonders it has to offer…. 
One word of caution on the driving; new drivers beware… the roads are very narrow and winding and contain a wealth of potholes. Defensive driving is a must.
Again thanks for all your help and have a great summer.

Tim and Shelley Mooney

Whilst most of our visitors to Dominica enjoy a memorable experience, there is the occasional disappointment. Jean King lives in Barbados and had a brief visit in late March 2006 with her two companions. Seeking inexpesive and quiet out of town accommodation, she contacted us in January to request 3 days at Floral Gardens Hotel in the NE interior. I became a little concerned when, after phoning Floral Gardens to make the reservation, my confirming email and all subsequent emails to Floral Gardens were returned 'mailbox full'. I was then unable to reach them any more by phone, so to make sure they received our confirmation I mailed it to them. On arrival day, Floral Gardens were unprepared for guests, having commenced redecorating their rooms without notifying us. They did, however, attempt to make alternative arrangements at another venue - Hummingbird Inn (not taken) and in fact accommodated them on their final night only. Floral Gardens
                            Hotel
Dear Colin, 
We did not have a good time in Dominica because when we got to Floral Gardens we were told the rooms were being repainted etc.  We then has to pay much more in taxi fare being schuffled around from one unsuitable place to the next and ended staying in the middle of town which we did not want. We would have stayed at Hummingbird but it had no facilities - i.e. restaurant etc.
We spent our final night at Floral Gardens and I can tell you that is one experience I would not  like to have again.  Mr & Mrs Seraphin tried their best but these rooms should be knocked down and rebuilt.  I ended up bringing home a mouse which had crawled into my bag and was eating my Dominician coffee.  Thank God it was dead by the time we reached Barbados and the customs did not look in my bags. I would advise you make a trip and have a look in those rooms against the hillside away from the river.  In Barbados the health people would close this place down in one minute.
I think if you are an agent you should really be informed when a hotel is closed.
 
Please note that as a result of this unfortunate experience, Nature Island Destinations has suspended business with Floral Gardens Hotel until such time as they  can demonstrate that they are once again capable of providing a satisfactory and reliable service in rooms fit for habitation by our stay-over visitors and can keep open their basic lines of communication.

 
Jamie and Allison Forbes live in Canton, Massachusetts, U.S.A. With the kids at home with Nanny they spent a week in Dominica, arriving late Feb 2006, just in time to enjoy the height of Carnival. They stayed at Papillote Wilderness Retreat in the Roseau Valley and we had a jeep rental awaiting them at the airport on arrival, in which they explored many of the island's natural attractions. We also arranged a birdwatch outing, including packed breakfast and traditional lunch, with Dr. Birdy, a Forester and the island's bird expert, plus a guide to accompany them on the all day hike to the Boiling Lake. .Papillote
                            Wilderness Reteat
Carnival2006-
                    click for more images
Some of Jamie & Allisons' carnival pictures. 
Colin,

Thanks so much for your help arranging the details of our trip.
The week we spent on Dominica exceeded our expectations, and we have resolved to return next year - and bring our kids with us.
Papillote was a very nice spot.  We enjoyed the setting and amenities.  It was a great place to return to every afternoon to soak, enjoy a rum punch and rest.
The bird-watching with Bertrand was exceptional.  He's a great guy, and his passion for the flora and fauna is infectious.  The food his wife provided was another highligh - we thought that was a great touch. I would recommend anyone who is interested in learning about the local species spend time with "Dr Birdy".
The hike to Boiling Lake was another high point.  We really enjoyed spending the time with Julien.  He's very easy-going and eager to share information. He was a great hiking companion.
In the end, we covered a great deal of the island - the one exception being north or Calibishie.  In addition to the places we visited with Bertrand and Julien, we snorkeled at Champagne beach and Scott's Head, went to Trafalgar and Sari-Sari Falls, walked to the ocean at Glassy Point and Tete de la Chien, hiked around Freshwater Lake and up to Boeri Lake, and we enjoyed the Carnival festivities.  It was an active vacation!
Next year we'd like to rent a house so that we'll have cooking facilities, somewhere the kids can play on the beach easily.
If you have any thoughts for us, please send them along.

Thanks once again for helping make this one of our best vacations ever.

 
Sven & Ingrid Eisenhauer briefly escaped the Scandinavian winter to spend 9 days in Dominica in early December 2005, staying at Picard Beach Cottage Resort in the north west. Much of their time was spent in search of a suitable property to purchase, with the assistance of Safe Haven Real Estate. We also arranged a jeep rental to be awaiting them upon arrival at Melville Hall Airport. Picard Beach Cottage Resort.properties for sale
                            in Dominica - prices + digital photos
                            displayed
Colin, 

I can say that we were very pleased with both the island and accommodation, as well as the service you provided.  It may have been a bit of a hassle getting the hotel
and rental car booked without your help.  So, thanks a lot.  The one thing we wish we had known is that there aren't any ATM's at the airport.  We managed to get the
earlier flight in from Antigua, but this also meant that we didn't have time to get EC$ at the airport there. 
The story only starts here, so -hopefully- we'll get a chance to meet with you and Cecily to laugh about it over a glass of wine. 
On the property front, well, thankfully Cecily is helping me to find the right one and I am hoping to be able to finalize something soon. 
As you may have guessed already, we fell in love with the island and the people, so I hope to be back very soon. 
I look forward meeting you then. 

Best regards,   Sven

 
Daniel Bessis & Jeanne Ward are a retired couple in their 60's from Decatur, Georgia, U.S.A. They spent a week in Dominica in early January 2006, staying in the mid to south east coastal region at Ginger Lily Cottage, a small private rental in the heights of the village of Morne Jeaun. We also arranged a jeep rental to be awaiting them upon arrival at Melville Hall Airport and a full days birdwatch outing, including packed breakfast and traditional lunch, with Bertrand, a Forester and the island's bird expert. Ginger Lily
                            Cottage
Dear Colin,

A note to tell you we were very pleased by our stay in Dominica. Mrs George was a delight and the cottage very comfortable although a liitle remote. 
We enjoyed very much the day with Bertrand and his great knowledge of the island, the vegetation, the birds were very interesting to us. 
Too bad we had that bad experience at arrival in Antigua and lost a full day ! 
We loved the whole island, the coastal areas as well as the inside, and found the people extra nice and helpful.

Thanks for your service.    Daniel and Jeanne

 
Gil, Cathee & Kyle Vierra escaped the snow of north America to spend a week  in Dominica in early March 2005, staying at the Tranquile Villa, a luxury 4 bedroomed villa located at Morne Daniel, a quiet residential suburb on the outskirts of our tiny capital, Roseau. We also arranged for a jeep rental to be awaiting them at the airport, in which they toured many of the island's natural attractions. Tranquile Villa
Dear Colin, 
We returned from Dominica on March 12th.  It was a wonderful trip.  We can't begin to say enough about the people of Dominica.  We have visited several of the islands and the Dominican people are by far the friendliest and most  helpful. 
Traquile Villa was absolutely beautiful and more than met our expectations.  Edris (the maid) was wonderful and very accommodating while awaiting our unexpected late arrival. 
Our trip included the ATV ride through the rainforest.  That was a blast.  We also did the sky tram, Fort Shirley, Indian River ride, tubing down the Layou River with the Wacky Rollers, sulfur springs, several of the beaches, Carib Indian Reservation, the Emerald Pool and some minor hiking to different waterfalls.  By the time the week was over, we had made our way around the entire island and logged several hundred miles which also included two flat tires.  We got to know Sly, the tire man quite well. 
The food was delicious.  We did the gamut from eating in small road side stands to the Fort Young Hotel, Sutton Place and Garraway Hotel.  The island is absolutely   beautiful.  To say that driving is a challenge, is an understatement.  You certainly have to pay attention.  We traded in the Mitsubishi Pajero Tuesday for a Suzuki   Grand Vitara. 
A week is not long enough to truly enjoy this paradise. 
Thank you for all your help.  I would highly recommend your services to anyone interested in visiting Dominica. 
Sincerely, 
Gil, Cathee & Kyle Vierra

 
Seth and Danielle Baker live in Wilmington, Delaware, U. S. A., choosing a Dominica vacation to celebrate their 1st wedding anniversary during Carnival, early February 2005. We arranged accommodation for them at Pete's Casa, a luxury villa with swimming pool and sea view located at Morne Daniel, a quiet residential suburb on the outskirts of our tiny capital, Roseau, along with a Suzuki jeep rental to be awaiting them at the airport, in which they toured many of the island's natural attractions. Pete's Casa
Roseau Carnival Parades -
                    7th Feb 2005
Colin, 

Thank you so much for your help in putting together our vacation to Dominica.  My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Pete's Casa, and only wish we could have stayed longer.
The Suzuki you arranged was great, and made the experience of driving in Dominica a little bit more manageable. 
The house was absolutely wonderful.  The sunset views each night were the highlight of our day as we ate our dinner on the front porch.  We will gladly recommend Pete's Casa and your services to anyone interested in visiting Dominica.  The trip could not have gone more smoothly. 
The people of Dominica were so friendly, we enjoyed Carnival, shopping in Roseau, and exploring the west coast of the island.  We also did trips to Titou, Middleham, Traflagar, and the Champagne Reef.  The water too high and moving too fast to enjoy Titou, and it was too foggy to see Freshwater Lake.  The hike to  Middleham Falls was amazing, and we had a terribly difficult time leaving the hot water pools at the bottom of Traflagar Falls. 

Colin, thank you so much!      - Seth Baker

 
Grant & Jean Olenick, Gerald & Karen Sparrow are from Minnedosa, Manitoba, Canada. They spent 2 weeks in Dominica, late Jan/Feb 2005, staying at the Anchorage Hotel & Dive Centre, which is on the waterfront a little south of the capital, Roseau. 1 week of their stay was a 7 day dive package, though they were able to spread out their dives over the 2 week period. We also arranged for a large jeep rental to be awaiting them on arrival at the airport, in which they toured the island extensively. Anchorage Hotel
Colin, 

To say we enjoyed our stay would be an understatement but firstly I want to say THANK YOU for your perseverance and help. 
The diving was very good, easy to understand why it is rated so high by people that visit.  The Anchorage Hotel was perfect for us, the accomodations just what we wanted.  The dive shop at the Anchorage was great, they accomodated our fexible itinerary completely. 
Having the jeep rental for the 2 weeks gave us the ability to do all the hiking (Emerald Pool, Middleham Falls, Trafalgar Falls and Wotten Waven) on our own time. 
We were also able to travel back and forth to Portsmouh and tour accross to see Caribe Territory, Calabishie as well as Melville Hall since we never did fly there. 
Your island offers a wonderful blend of the things we look for, from the rainforest to the diving.  The hiking were we hardly saw another soul, to the friendly people that call Dominica home. 
We look forward to using your services again. We will definitely recommend Dominica and Nature Island Destinations to people we know. 

Thanks again           Grant, Jean, Gerald and Karen

Charles Bennett is a farmer in Oxford and still had a Nature Island Destinations business card 5 years after assisting us on the motorway in England when we had a flat tyre and no jack. He and his fiance spent 11 days in Dominica in mid January, 2005. They spent their first night at Calibishie Lodges, the remainder at Cocoa Cottage in the Roseau Valley. We also arranged for them a jeep rental, whale watch seafari, birdwatch outing and a guide for the all day hike to the (not so) Boiling Lake - on Xmas Day it unexpectedly emptied - see feature relaxing at the river.Cocoa
                            Cottage
Dear Colin and Cecily,

Thank you a hundredfold for arranging our holiday. We have absolutely no complaints whatsoever and took to your way of life with a natural ease.
Bertrand and Julian were first class guides, both as fresh and enthusiastic as if it was their first assignments.
Cocoa Cottage was the perfect place for us and Iris, Jeffrey and Robert will be remembered for a long time. 
Dominica has a magical quality that is so fragile that you must be careful. A big airport would spell ruin - all the best destinations require effort to find. 
Our trip home was very easy and our farm still in one piece. 
Much love to you all and look us up when you come over.

Ellen and Peter Davis, Susan and Bill Abrams live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, U.S.A. In late December 2004, they spent 5 days of their Caribbean vacation in Dominica before continuing to Les Saints for Xmas - 3 days at Picard Beach and 2 days at Papillote. We also arranged for them a jeep rental, whale watch seafari, birdwatch outing and a guide for the all day hike to the Boiling Lake.  Picard Beach Cottages.Papillote
                            Wilderness Reteat
Colin,

Our trip to Dominica was wonderful – it’s a very special place. 
The walk with Bertrand was fascinating – he is so knowledgeable and delightful, and we thoroughly enjoyed, and learned a lot, being with him.  The hike with Julien also went very well. 
The whale watching was amazing – we saw several whales – one at a time – from a distance of less than 20 feet, including one with a nursing baby;  it was a real treat, and I never thought we would either see so many whales or be able to get so close.  Of the two places that we stayed, Papillote was particularly beautiful.  The setting is quite spectacular. 
Thanks for making the arrangements for us.   We loved it!

All the best,    Ellen Davis

Corina Maldonado and Bryan Pearson are from Pittsburgh, Pensilvania, U.S.A. They arrived late   November 2004 for a 1 week stay at Deaux-La-Mers Apartment, Scotts head, in the extreme south west of the island. They hired a 4x4 and we arranged some scuba diving for them with Nature Island Dive and a qualified guide to take them on the all day hike to the Boiling Lake in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. view from Deaux-La-Mers - the 'Toe' of
                            Dominicawhale +
                            dolphin safaries, scuba diving centresDominica's UNEP
                            World Heritage Site
Colin, 

  Our trip was excellent. Dominica is unbelievable as are the people. Everyone was so friendly. As we drove down the streets, everyone greeting us with a smile or "hello."
  Deaux-Le-Mer was a wonderful guest house and Edmay was a great host. One morning she picked a jelly coconut right from her back yard, sliced off the top and
  handed it to us. It was great to have fresh coconut juice. 
  We scuba dived and the guys at Nature Island Dive (Weefee, Simon and Tony.) They are well experienced Dive Masters and are very informative. The coral reefs were
  amazing. We really enjoyed the night dive. Everything came to life and the colors were so brilliant. 
  We hiked to Boiling Lake. It took about 3 hours each way and was worth every minute. Julian, our guide was very knowledgeable and provided an enormous amount of
  insight on the flora and fauna. 
  A huge surprise was the hike to Middleham Falls. The fall was absolutely stunning. We were completely taken back by it. It was breathtaking. 
  We also drove to Portsmouth and toured the Indian River. Our guide was Jerome and he was awesome. We had a lot of fun with him. 
  Everything else we did and saw was well worth it and the food was great. 
  We had a wonderful time, our best vacation yet.
  Thank you for all your assistance. 

  Corina and Bryan

Denise Nurse is a Solicitor who lives and works in West London, U.K. In late October 2004 she brought a family group of 8 persons to Dominica to celebrate her Mum's 50th birthday. This also coincided with Dominica's 8th annual World Creole Music Festival - 3 consecutive nights of open air music from around the Caribbean, 8.30pm till daybreak. We arranged accommodation for them at Pete's Casa, a luxury villa with swimming pool and sea view located at Morne Daniel, a quiet residential suburb on the outskirts of our tiny capital, Roseau. Pete's Casa

8th annual World
                    Creole Music Festival

Hi there 
I just wanted to let you know that we had a fabulous time in the Villa and will recommend it to everyone.  The housekeeper was lovely and all issues were dealt with promptly.  I left some comments in the comments book.  I didn't get to meet Pete or you but we had a wonderful time and I can't wait to get back to Dominica again. 
Hope you are well. 
Kind regards 
Denise

Jon, Kimberley and Heather Charton live in Bolivar, Ohio, USA. They visited Dominica for two weeks in June 2004, staying at  Pete's Casa, a luxury villa with swimming pool and sea view located at Morne Daniel, a quiet residential suburb on the outskirts of our tiny capital, Roseau. We arranged a Suzuki jeep rental to be awaiting them at the airport, in which they toured  the island, went diving and whale watching with Dive Dominica and enjoyed many hikes. Pete's Casa
Hi Colin, 
Our vacation to Dominica was wonderful.  We've never been to a place where so many people were so friendly.  It is so nice to walk, or drive and to be greeted by everyone.  Even hesitating at an intersection while trying to decide which road to take, someone was always quick to point out the right way. 
Pete's Casa met and exceeded all our wishes.  The view is so great as is the pool.  The location is also very convenient.  Having such a nice supermarket just below you was handy.  Also the location to town and many hikes makes it a great base to stay at.  It would be nice to mention on your web site that 110 electric is available in the house.  Could have spent all day either on the front porch or in the pool.  But there is too much to do on Dominica to stay put in one place. 
Diving with Dive Dominica was a very pleasant experience.  The guides are helpful and informative.  On the whale watch with them we had 14 sightings, 8 different whales!!  We were very excited to be so lucky. 
We hiked to Victoria Falls, Emerald Pool, Trafalgar Falls, Freshwater and Boeri Lakes, Syndicate Nature Trail, and Middleham Falls.  While we know that Dominica is trying to increase tourism, from our stand point we totally enjoyed being alone on each hike.  Only seeing 2 other people once. Also toured Fort Shirley. 
Our vehicle rental had a small problem.  They came and took the car, fixed it and returned it promptly. 
Visiting Market day is an absolute must.  The fruit, vegetables and flowers on Dominica are so abundant. 
Our vacation is one we will always remember, the people, the sights and the sounds (can't forget those roosters!). 
Thanks,
Jon, Kim and Heather

Linda & Helmut Huber live in Leimen, near Heidelberg, Germany. They visited Dominica with their 2 children, aged 10 & 12, for one week in mid April 2004, staying at Casablanca, a three bedroomed furnished house with balcony on a cliff above the sea, near Salisbury, mid west coast. We also arraged vehicle hire for them and diving with nearby East Carib Dive on Salisbury Beach. They like the island so much that they are now considering their next visit, or maybe even returning to live in Dominica. Casablanca
Dear Colin,
I am sorry that it has taken so long to respond to your e-mail.  We loved Dominica.  My children are still begging to go back so I am sure we will return.  We spent a week on the Island, but we would have preferred to have had more time.  We could not take part in any of the tours for this reason - we took the dive class for a week.  Next time!  The accommodation was fine and we would love to book it again.
All in all we fell in love with the island and hope it stays just the way it is.  After having the small talk with you on your veranda, I
often think that it would be a great idea to follow suit -- pack it all up here and leave this rat race.  I hope you and your family are
doing well.  We really do want to come back and will definitely contact you for our arrangements.  It was a pleasure working with you to plan our trip and of course you were very helpful!
Take care,
Linda Huber
Leimen, Germany

Kathy Vandervoort lives in Brooklyn, New York, USA. She and her partner spent a week in Dominica in March 2004. They hired a 2 door Suzuki jeep and stayed at two venues in the south west, the Anchorage Hotel which is on the waterfront a little south of the capital, Roseau, and Papillote Wilderness Retreat which lies beyond the village of Trafalgar at head of the Roseau Valley. Anchorage Hotel.Papillote
                            Wilderness Reteat
Colin,
Unfortunately our trip to Dominica has ended.  We had a wonderful time in your exquisitely beautiful country. 
We enjoyed both the Anchorage Hotel and the Papillote Retreat.  The unflattering comments on the web left by the disgruntled travelers about Papillote were unfounded. 
We were very glad to have rented a car, and equally happy that we had a nice young man to drive us from the airport on the first day.  You have some tough roads!
We saw the island from top to bottom and met the most friendly people everywhere.  We hiked in the mountains and swam in the ocean and drove all around.
Thanks for your help in planning our trip.  I will encourage others to travel to Dominica and will send people to your web site.
Thanks again,
Kathy

Debra and Kenneth Kawaller and their friend Linda live in Syossett, New York, USA. They escaped the winter weather to spend a week in Feb 2004 at Pete's Casa, a luxury villa with swimming pool and sea view located at Morne Daniel, a quiet residential suburb on the outskirts of our tiny capital, Roseau. In addition to their accommodation, we arranged a full days birdwatch outing with Forester and island's bird expert, a guide to accompany them on a half day hike to Middleham Falls, and an afternoon whale and dolphin boat safari. Pete's Casa
We loved the house. It was very comfortable and very clean. The maid did a very nice job preparing the house for us. We loved all the extra amenities you had (ie air conditioning and T.V. in each room) and even the pair of binnoculars came in handy.
We lost our water one day and were amazed to return that evening and find it turned back on. Our complements to your manager on the island who attended to the problem immediately. 
We would definately recommend your villa to our friends.
The tours you arranged for us were great. Each tour guide treated us wonderfully.
We found the island to be beautiful with wonderful hiking opportunities. We found the people of Dominica to be incredably friendly. We also had the opportinity to visit a high school in Rouseu. The students were very kind and anwsered all our questions.
You might want to warn future guests that the airline sometimes does not deliver luggage upon your arrival. It would be practical to have a carry on bag with a change of clothes and toiletries just in case.
Thank you for all of your help with the arrangements.

Debra and Kenneth Kawaller

Rebecca Kugel lives in Lutherville, Maryland, USA. She and a small group of family members, all keen birders, went on a Caribbean cruise on the MS Maasdam in mid Feb 2004. They had the good fortune to visit Dominica on a weekend day and to contact me in advance, so I could arrange a birdwatch outing for them. Dr. Birdy collected them from their first port of call in the north west - Cabrits, showed them around the Cabrits National Park, Syndicate Forest and environs, provided lunch, and at the end of the day dropped them at their second port of call in the south west - Roseau.  Purple
                            throated hummingbird.Dr. Birdy
Dear Colin and Bertrand,
Our day in Dominica was truly one of the best days of a terrific vacation. We thoroughly enjoyed hiking in the park and viewing the birds. It was really surprising the way Bertrand knew where to stop to see each kind of bird. A true delight was seeing all four
species of hummingbirds on the island. Besides being so knowledgable, Bertrand was also a gracious host.  We felt like we were with friends by the end of the day. You were absolutely correct, Colin, in saying his wife is a wonderful cook. The picnic lunch we had rivaled any of the meals on the cruise ship.
This was my second visit to Dominica. The scenery was beautiful, the birding fantastic and everyone we met was so pleasant and interesting that I wanted to get to know them better. Since then I have been researching the history and economy of Dominica on the internet...I am impressed; especially with the environmental policies and eco-tourism. My husband and I are honestly considering moving to the Caribbean. 
My mother and sister-in-law, who came with me, thoroughly enjoyed themselves, too. We are all still talking about it. 
Please feel free to use me and my family as a reference; if anyone has questions about the tour, I will be very happy to tell them
about our wonderful time.
Thank you so much for such a great experience!
Beccy Kugel 

John & Denise Wyman live in Cushing, Maine, USA. At the end of January they came to Dominica for a 2 week vacation, staying at the Morning Bird Apartment Hotel, just a 5 minute walk from Mero Beach, mid west coast. We arranged for a 2 Suzuki jeep to be awaiting them at the airport on arrival and they also spent a day with Dr. Birdy. .
We owe you a very special thanks for all the help you gave us on planning this vacation.  Also, a special thanks to Bertrand for the time he spent with us on touring your Island.  He was also very witty, & his wife is an EXTREMELY good cook!!  Thanks again for the great tour of the Island.......the birds, animals, & parks, & history of your lovely home.
Also, we feel we couldn't have chosen a better place in which to stay.  The MorningBird Hotel was all we expected, & the owners were more than wonderful.  Another special thanks to Angela. She was perfect and treated us wonderfully. I will remember her & herr charm!  I know we chose the best place.
We also enjoyed the Mero Beach area.  Especially liked Connies.  Enjoyed watching the crabs on the beach, & the beautiful sunsets.  Had my pictures printed........GREAT!   The memories & the wonderful people there will stay with us. 
Again, THANKS, 
John & Denise Wyman

Roberta McConochie, her husband and two grown children live in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S.A. They arrived late January 2004 to spend 2 weeks at Rachelle's Retreat, a three bedroomed furnished house with large covered balcony on a cliff overlooking the sea near Salisbury, mid west coast. Initially they got around on public transort, then hired a car for their final week. In addition to their accommodation and vehicle rental, we arranged a full days birdwatch outing with meals with Forester and the island's bird expert to Syndicate Forest and evirons, and a guide to accompany them on the all day hike to the Boiling Lake.  Rachelle's
                            Retreat
Colin, 
We have about completed our re-entry. We thoroughly enjoyed Dominica. Especially snorkeling;  trips to the market in Roseau; the availability of local transport between Macoucherie and Roseau was a big plus. Though we also enjoyed having a car the second week. Best of all possible worlds. 
Both of your tour guides were wonderful. Bertrand in particular is a jewel. In every way – his knowledge of flora and fauna, his generosity, his obvious enthusiasm for Dominica and what he does. And for arranging the very best meal of our entire stay. We dream of the christophene pudding. And the fresh juices, fruit, veggies and the provisions. Thoroughly enjoyed all the food including your superb and perfectly ripe paw paw/papaya. The best I’ve ever had anywhere. But I digress.  Julian was also excellent, quite flexible and even creative re our itinerary. 
The area of the island we would be most interested in revisiting is Scott’s Head.  For the future, do you know accommodations there, particularly of the self-catering sort? (Deaux La Mers Apartment - see comments below)
The photos and maps on your site were immensely helpful in making decisions about where to stay and what we initially wanted to do. Kudos on all your work on the site and the various links from and to. 
That’s about it. 
Best regards, Roberta et al

Ingvar Backéus and his wife, Sigrid, live in Uppsala, Sweden, where they teach and are engaged in research programs with the Uppsala University, Dept of Plant Ecology. They spent a week in Dominica in late June 2003, staying at Fallsview Guesthouse, where they enjoyed almost all their meals. They pre-booked a rental car, birdwatch outing and a guide for the all day hike to the Boiling Lake.  Fallsview
                            Guesthouse, Trafalgar Village
Dear Colin,

Our stay in Dominica was fantastic. I don't understand why people go to boring places like Antigua or St Maarten when there are such fascinating countries around the corner.The car was there, no problem. We had only a minor problem finding the Simeldas (father and son) for the Boiling Lake hike because it was a very rainy day. When we found them we decided anyway to wait for the next day, hoping for better weather, which we got. It was one of the hardest walks we have made. Bertrand Jno Babtiste is a most remarkable man - he is really much more than what you expect from a guide. He could as well have been a teacher for our biology students. He seems to know everything. His wife´s cooking - yes, you were the one who told me. I hope we will be back in Dominica one day.

Best regards,

Ingvar Backéus

Daniele Skopek and her husband live in Cambridge, MA, USA. They and their two companions spent 9 days in Dominica in late March 2003, hiring a 4wd Pajero to get around in and explore the island. After their first few days spent at Papillote Wilderness Retreat in the Roseau Valley, they moved to the north coast, where they spent their remaining 6 days at Pointe Baptiste Guesthouse. View from
                            Pointe Baptiste Guesthouse
Colin,

Thank you for inquiring about our vacation. We all loved Dominica and are looking forward to going back. It truly is nature's tropical paradise.

Pointe Baptiste was wonderful and relaxing, exactly what we needed after the first part of our stay at Papillote, where we did a lot of hiking. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

Daniele

William and Ruth Spiro live in Mamaroneck, New York, USA. They spent just 5 days in Dominica in early February 2003, at our premier hotel on the waterfront of our capital Roseau, The Fort Young Hotel. We arranged a hire car for them at the airport and a half day weekend bird watch outing to Syndicate Forest with our Forester and bird expert. Fort Young Hotel,
                            Roseau
Dear Colin,

Ruth andI have just returned home after a most enjoyable stay in Dominica, and  we thank you for the information and arrangements you made for us. 

I cannot end without saying how much we enjoyed our birding trip with Bertrand Batiste.  He, and it, was great, and our
accommodations at the Fort Young Hotel were just what we had hoped for.

Sincerely,

Bill Spiro 

Richard Knoblauch and Susan Smith live in Great Falls, Virginia, USA. They were the first of our guests to stay at Pete's Casa, a luxury villa with swimming pool and sea view located at Morne Daniel, a quiet residential suburb on the outskirts of our tiny capital, Roseau, for the duration of their 9 day stay in late January 2003. In addition to their accommodation, we arranged their car hire, a full days birdwatch outing with Forester and island's bird expert, a guide to accompany them on the all day hike to the Boiling Lake and an afternoon whale and dolphin boat safari. Pete's Casa
Dear Colin,

It has been almost two months since we enjoyed ourselves on your wonderful island of Dominica.  We have been meaning to write to thank you for making our stay so totally enjoyable.  And we are wishing we could find another “Colin” to help us plan our next trip to the Hawaiian Islands. 

In a nutshell, you were the one who made organizing and planning our trip to Dominica so easy and who ensured that every planned activity happened without a hitch  … from the pre-trip welcome package that was so helpful, to having a car rental ready for us as soon as we landed, to the spectacular housing you arranged.  And the specific activities you organized for us provided a perfect introduction to the gems that make up Dominica.  And all your wonderful descriptions of what we would be doing (the Boiling Lake hike with Jep (he’s half  billy goat we told him!!), bird watching with Bertrand Baptiste, the whale watching trip) were even better in reality as well!  We were so fortunate to find you on the internet among all the choices that the internet offers.

Dominica is definitely our kind of vacation … not touristy, lots of snorkeling and the most interesting hiking opportunities, wonderfully friendly and helpful people everywhere we went, reliably warm and sunny weather  ….    And what a perfect ending to see a mother and calf sperm whale up close on our last full day there!!!   By the way, one of the island’s many secrets that we found on our own, with some effort and persistence to do so, was Andre Charles’ Forest Bistro!

We are planning to come back to Dominica some day …. it’s amazing how such a small island can offer so much!!  There are at least one hundred more waterfalls we need to visit!!  And we will of course be contacting you to pull all the details together for us. 

Please feel free to use any part of our letter in your Nature Islands Destination website guest book page.  We would be honored to be a contributor.

    Most sincerely,      Richard Knoblauch and Susan Smith

Nancy and Percy Wyles are a retired yet active couple from Gymea Bay, New South Wales, Australia. They spent only 5 days of their Caribbean tour in Dominica, at the Roseau Valley Hotel, just a 10 minute drive inland from our tiny capital Roseau in early January 2003. During their brief visit they did the all day hike via Titou Gorge, Breakfast River and the Valley of Desolation to the world's largest Boiling Lake, situated in our World Heritage Site, the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, at an altitude of 2,500 feet above sea level. Being elderly, the hike took longer than is usual, but their guide was sympathetic and took good care of them. Roseau Valley Hotel
Dear Colin

Thanks for your email which arrived home just as we did.

We loved Dominica and its unspoiled beauty.  The stay at Roseau Valley Lodge was excellent. We loved our balcony room and Pat and Hugh were the perfect hosts.

The NID tour we did to Boiling Lake was also excellent.  Julian was the best guide we possibly could have had.  Please extend our compliments to him.  I had warned him that as we were 63 and 67,  we would be the tortoises in "tortoise and the hare" because we wanted to finish the walk in one piece, and Julian was very patient with us.  We didn't get back until sunset.

We didn't do any other formal tours.  We have fond memories of our Caribbean trip and hope we can return to Dominica in the future.

                                                                 Sincerely,  Nancy Wyles

Neil Money and Dianna live in the United Kingdom and are keen birders who spent just 3 nights in Dominica in early January 2003, choosing to stay at Floral Gardens Hotel due to its proximity to Melville Hall Airport. Their two full days on the island were successfully spent with Bertrand, our bird expert, who collected them from their hotel and provided them with breakfast and lunch during their tours. Their experience of Floral Gardens was, however, unfortunately not the best. Had they contacted Nature Island Destinations at the time to advise of this, we would have made efforts to get the level of service improved, or failing that relocate them at another suitable venue. Floral Gardens
                            Hotel
Hello Colin

Diana and I very much enjoyed our all too short a visit to Dominica.

Bertrand was very good and found us some good birds and told us a lot about the culture of the island and other aspects of its
natural history.

Our experience of the Floral Gardens Hotel was mixed. A beautiful setting but over all they did not reach the standard they aspired to. They had clearly ran out of cash as half way through the stay they asked us to settle our meals bill in cash as they appeared to have some pressing bills to pay. Fortunately we had cash available - but not being able to use a credit card could have been a cause of embarrassment. The food was good, except having been told that breakfast would be available at a certain time we were kept waiting for an hour before it was served - on investigating we found that the waiter had gone off up to the village to buy the food! Nobody had bothered to contact us to tell us. We were without running water in the shower for most of the stay. This all sounds like carping but these were points of irritation rather than real complaint - they did not spoil our stay and we appreciated that tourism in the island was going through a difficult time.

We chose the Floral Gardens because of its rural location and its nearness to the airport as we had an early morning flight. For bird watching it would have been better if we had stayed in the Portsmouth area and that is a point which is probably worth making in future to people visiting the island for birding.

Your own service was excellent and certainly made arranging the visit to the island easy.

Dominica is a stunningly beautiful island and we will plan to visit again in the future for a longer stay.

With all best wishes and thanks for your help

Neil

Joel Patenaude, his wife Judy and their 3 children live in Montclaire, New Jersey, USA. They arrived in Dominica the day after boxing day, for a 9 day vacation at Rachelle's Retreat, a three bedroomed furnished house with large covered balcony on a cliff overlooking the sea, near Salisbury, mid west coast. They also hired a category 3, 4wd Suzuki jeep. As Judy works for American Express, that was how they wished to pay. So I decided it was time I got an Amex electronic terminal installed (the small number of previous Amex transactions I had had to do manually, present to one bank, wait a week, collect a cheque then take it to my own bank - yes, quite a fag!). A straight forward exercise you might think, but it actually took almost 3 months, a lot of chasing, and in the end Judy's help to achieve. I was finally able to accept payment on my new terminal just the day before they arrived. Rachelle's Retreat
Colin

Thanks for everything.

I apologize for not stopping in again before leaving yesterday.  Between a last minute swim, packing, this and that... we were behind schedule.  We hit the tarmac heading out when I exclaimed "Colin!", but by that time we had momentum.

I left the car at the airport -- tried calling Garraway at the number on the car but no answer.  I left it unlocked, with the key in the
glove compartment.  Hope that worked out okay. 

Also our favorite topic -- AmEx.  The woman at Dive Dominica was really difficult about accepting American Express, despite the
signs on display.  Insisted she gave us a good price and we should accommodate her request to use Visa.  Judy said she'd tried to sort out her Amex difficulties but she wasn't buying.  She even called Scota Bank while we were there, who claimed that AmEx was at fault.  Eventually she did accept AmEx as payment and sweetened up at the end.  Since Judy is going to try to sort out AmEx's acceptance on Dominica if you have any thoughts or additional details, she'd appreciate it.

The whale watching itself went well -- took 3+ hours but we did finally run into several whales with dolphins along the way. 

We enjoyed the island very much.   We explored quite a bit -- though never did the north properly, nor did we visit 3 Rivers.   We
loved the waterfall up past the cricket pitch and at Emerald Pool and the steps down to the ocean in Caribe territory,
roadside roasted corn ... (I loved Didier's warm feta at Stonedge).  And Rachelle was very very sweet. 

Again thanks for your help with setting it all up -- snow's blanketing everything here - another world.

Regards,

Joel Patenaude
 

Footnote: Whilst Nature Island Destinations does and will continue to accept payment via American Express, after the difficulties which we have had and continue to experience with this company and its local agent banks, we can sympathise with and fully understand why some operations in Dominica are either reluctant or simply refuse to accept this method of payment.

Suchi Kanagasundaram and her boyfriend Paul are both doctors living in London, UK. They spent all of their 10 day Dominica vacation in late November 2002 at Papillote Wilderness Retreat, beyond the village of Trafalgar at the head of the Roseau Valley. In addition to their accommodation, we arranged their car hire, a birdwatch outing with Bertrand our bird expert, a qualified guide, Julien, to accompany them on the all day hike to the Boiling Lake, and an afternoon whale and dolphin boat safari with Dive Dominica. Papillote
Hi Colin
Thanks for the email.  We had a wonderful time. It was Pauls idea to go there because it was very unspoilt and it fulfilled his expectations. The people were certainly unaffected by mass tourism. The highlight was the boiling lake trip altho I felt pretty bad that night mainly due to a bug brought from Britian!
The Whale watching far exceeded my expectations as I had done it twice before in NZ.
All the guides were professional, friendly and we felt very secure.
People and service at Papillote was fantastic. Food fantastic.
I also found communication and arragements made thru you prompt and efficient. So thanks very much and it was nice to put a face to the name.
Please give my email to Julien as I would like to hear from him.

All the best
suchi

Adam and Clare Partridge are a young couple who live in Winsford, Cheshire, in the west of England. They have visited Dominica on two occasions, both of which they spent at Casablanca, a three bedroomed furnished house with balcony on a cliff above the sea, near Salisbury, mid west coast. We also arranged vehicle hire for them. They like the island so much that they are seriously considering returning to live in Dominica. Update: since this entry was made almost a decade ago, Adam & Clare have returned to Dominica many times, the most recent being March/ April 2012. They have now purchased land in Mero where they intend to build their home. Casablanca
Dear Colin

Just a quick note to thank you very much for organising our holiday.
As I am sure you are aware we had a wonderful time and did not want to leave. England is as depressing as ever particularly here in the North West ! Some photos came out quite well - I may scan some and send them to you in due course.
I wish Cecily all the best for the real estate venture - I am sure it will be a great success and I hope you will keep me informed of
anything you have available - land, housing etc.

Thanks again - it was a pleasure to meet you and I would have no hesitation in recommending your services.

Best wishes 

Adam & Clare

Jared Bond and his bride Erin are from North Plainfield, New Jersey,  U.S.A. They spent their 3 week, low budget honeymoon in Dominica, staying at three separate lodgings in different parts of the island. They got about by taxi and public transport. During the second week of their visit, whilst they were staying in the Roseau Valley, we arranged for a qualified guide to take them on the all day hike to the Boiling Lake. Deaux-La-Mers Apartment, Scotts HeadFallsview GuesthouseHibiscus Valley Inn
We *loved* Dominica.  We plan to return again someday, and if we ever have enough $ for a vacation home, we are seriously considering setting up residence down there.

Ok, our comments - 

Deux la Mers guest house.  We loved the place, and Randy (and his dog Barry). One problem we had was that there was no sign marking which house was his, so our taxi driver was lost for a bit.  It was a perfect guest house, A+.  And Randy was helpful.  Barry was a bit loud, but we love dogs (but some people might not understand...)  We didn't end up scuba diving, for the snorkeling was amazing every day!

Fallsview - also quite nice. Lost power for a bit which was a bit upsetting.  The food was great.  A further trek from the falls than we expected, but we got used to walking in Dominica.  Owners were quite helpful.

Hibiscus Valley Inn - a place with fewer ammenities than we thought. Located a bit outside a tiny town, there was no hot water, electric fan kicked in when the generator was powered (9pm-6am), and there were a few solar powered lights.  And there were many ants everywhere (but I guess it is something to get used to being on nature island and all).  The food was great, and the cook was quite friendly.

Boiling Lake Hike - excellent!  This was our favorite activity on the island.  The guide was amazing.  I forget his name. Thanks so much for hooking us up with him.

(Note:-  the activities described below were not arranged by Nature Island Destinations, but via Hibiscus Valley Inn)
Carib overnight - not at all what we expected.  We were dropped off in the carib territory where this Carib grandmother (Jenny) took care of us.  We spent the night in a replica Carib house (that had aluminum siding roof panels), and acutally were more comfortable than at the hibiscus valley guest house. However, there were no activities prepared for us.  By chance we wandered down the road aways and stumbled upon a roadside craftsperson, who we grilled for information about Carib crafts.  We also had to question and question Jenny about the food she was preparing for us, and the trees and plants of the land.  We ended up learning a lot, but only because we continually kept taking the initiative.  I would have loved to see more crafts in person, or heard tales of Carib life, etc.  Instead we were staying with a modern Carib lifestyle. 

...because of this, we ended up not going on the other HVI tours, except for the Banana Farm 1/2 day.

Banana Farm - the irony here was that we were taken to a banana farm that didn't produce banana's anymore.  Of course, this is common now.  It took us a while to get there because the farmer wasn't ready, so our breakfast meal we were making, turned out to be lunch (and we were hungry!), and the half day turned out to be a full day.  We didn't mind, because this was well worth it.  We learned all about how farming is these days, what the future might be, and how it was in the past.  We picked plantains, breadfruit, and made cocoa tea for lunch.  We planted a plaintain tree, and were shown how cows were milked.  Very informative, we loved it.

Um, I guess that's about it.  Thanks again for helping us find Dominica.
Jared and Erin

Although Laurel Hajek and her friend spent only 6 days in Dominica, they had an active vacation. In addition to their accommodation at Rainbow Village, Cochrane, and vehicle rental, we also arranged for them a half day bird tour, a day of scuba diving with Nature Island Dive at Soufriere, and a guide to accompany them on the all day hike to the Boiling Lake. Rainbow Village
Hi Colin,

Thanks for the email.  I am very happy with the arrangements that you made for me.  Both tour guides were GREAT!  They are very knowledgeable and also very friendly and fun to be around which made the tours quite nice.  I hope you will tell them for me that they did a great job. I really appreciated your directions and time estimates which were perfect.  I don't know if I would have found some of those places without your directions and I surely would have been late. The dive operation was also quite good and the diving was great.  Rainbow village was a very nice place to stay but was a challenge to get to as are most places on the island.  I don't know if I would have chosen a different location if I had known ahead of time though as most of the other places I considered before going were in even more difficult locations and I would not have liked being in Roseau.  As for the vehicle, I can say that it didn't break down and got us where we wanted to go. 

As for the island itself, it sure is a beautiful place and I enjoyed myself.  I loved that there were no bugs!!  I expected there to be tons, even more than here and was very surprised and happy.  I was not prepared for the roads or driving tho which I found stressful.  In closing, let me say that I was very happy with your company and will definitely pass your name along to anyone I know who may be going to Dominica.  I'm sure they would be happy with your services as well.  Thanks so much for your help and good luck in the future.

Laurel


 
examples of private, furnished accommodation available for short term holiday rental
-Coffee River Cottages, NE Dominica - US$100 per night for 2 persons--Hodges View Cottage, currently unavailable--North East - Sunrise Gardens, Calibishie, from US$80 per night--La Tye Cottage, Woodford Hill, near Calibishie, NE Dominica - from US$60.00 per night--North West - 2 bed cottage with sea view - available again from 1st June 2015-
-Salisbury, mid west coast, 2 bed apartment from US$60.00 per night--3 bedroomed villa from US$65 per night--mid west coast, 3 bed oceanfront villa near dive centre from US$75 per night--Mero, mid west coast 3 bed apartment from US$75 per night--Mero, mid west coast 2 bed accommodation for max 5 persons €65 per night-
-
1 + 2 bed apartments, mid west coast, from US$80 per night--cottage annex on private estate, mid west coast - US$70 per night--Tranquility in style - in the cool, forested mountains.--South West - 4 bed villa from US$160 per night--South West 4 bed villa from US$160 per night-
-
Martin's Suite, Morne Daniel US$105.00 per night--Springdale Apartments, Morne Daniel from US$80.00 per night--3 bed villa, Canefield East, from US$70 per night--2 bed apartment, Roseau Valley, from US$50 per night--1 bed country eco cottage only US$120 per night-
-
East Coast Region - 2 bed cottage from US$60 per night--Sisserou Lodge - in the hills behind Roseau US$175 per night--Comfort House, near 3 dive centres, SW Dominica - from US$85 per night--Angie's Hideaway near 3 dive centres, SW Dominica, from US$80.00 per night--South West, 2 bed villa near 3 dive centres from US$70.00 per night-
-
Soufriere Bay - waterfront cottage - from US$60 per night--Garvin's Apartment - 1 bed apartment, Scotts Head, US$50 single, US$60 double--Scotts Head - 1 bed apartment from US$50 per night--Scotts Head - bedsit US$55, 2 bed apartment US$80 per night--2 bed apartment, Scotts Head, from US$70.00 per night-
most of the above offer attractive discounts for extended stays. Click on image for rates, details

 
 

Other pages available on this website

Home  :   Introduction to Dominica  :  Getting to Dominica  :  Scuba + whale-watch  :  What to do + see  :  Birdwatching + Botany
Morne Trois Pitons National Park  :  Rainforest Aerial Tram  :  Carnival  :  Pirates2 filmed here
driving + vehicle rental  :  private villas and apartments 

editorial for SAFE HAVEN property magazine

Sisserou Parrot - unique to Dominica
to book or for further information
contact us by email or tel: (767) 449 6233
Nature Island Destinations Ltd.
P.O. Box 1639,      Roseau,
Commonwealth of Dominica,
West Indies
Jacquot Parrot - unique to Dominica

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Related Links
afternoon whale + dolphin
                                    safaris, Dominica's scuba centres +
                                    dive sites Pirates of
                                    the Carribbean - Dead Mans Chest,
                                    filmed in Dominica

 
 
 
 

 

Dominica,
                                    The Eco-Tourism Island comprehensive info, bird list,
                                    books, field trips...


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