Rainbow over Morne Couronne, from the front verandah.

A very different holiday

Really getting away. Exotic. Truly unforgettable. Located on the edge of one of the few remaining island mountain rainforests in the Caribbean.

Out in the central rural countryside in a safe and functional cottage with special mountain views, climate, fauna and birds, experiences, and people.

Our very private cottage, Chanson we call it, is set on 10 lush acres, on a ridge with panoramic views on every side.

Chanson has an uninterrupted view of Morne Diablotin to the north, rising from the valleys and foothills below us. Diablotin is Dominica’s biggest and highest mountain. It rises 4747 feet from sea level. We look at it from 10 kilomtres away. Chanson is only a few kilometres from Morne Trois Pitons, Dominica's second highest mountain. Morne Couronne is very close, on the north-east side. Our views to the south are the ridges of Warner, to the west the gorges of the Layou valley towards the Caribbean Sea, some 7 km down the Layou Valley.

There are steady breezes from the wind coming from the rainforest above at Trois Pitons down the valleys towards the Carribean Sea.

Of a practical note, because of the wind and the elevation of 1100 feet, there are no mosquitoes. The temperature amazingly is between 70 and 80 day and night, year round.

And there is wind and rain some days, and usually more often in rainy season between August and November. It is the way of the rainforest. It is amazing rain, usually showers that you can see coming down the valley on a wind like a wave, then pounding the heavy jungle foliage and making lots of noise. There are rainbows at every hour of the day.

The local people are into family agriculture for the main part. There are a number of local professionals and businessmen who have their country houses in the area. There is a family of Rastas down below. Marveline runs the 'shop' there and is a real nice lady. Bring some Bob Marley music. One Love.

The cottage.

The Cottage

Both the east and west ends of the cottage are 20'x8' roofed verandahs, both with panoramic views in all directions. These verandahs are joined by a walkway verandah that runs along the northern side of the cottage. There is a concrete patio and outdoor wash area on the south side. A living room/dining room/kitchen take up the north half of the cottage itself. The south side includes a bedroom, closet area and a spacious bathroom. The cottage is fully furnished and equipped with linens, crockery, cutlery, pots, and cooking utensils. There is an electric fridge and a gas stove.

There is no phone available but you can rent a cell phone and Internet time through Cable&Wireless in Roseau.

We have some mixed farming at Chanson- mainly Arabica coffee, some citrus, goats. The property is run by ‘Supers’ Julian who lives in a separate cottage there. You will hopefully feel fully secure with Supers being around. He will greet you on arrival and show you the ins and outs of the cottage - gas stove, water, compost, etc. Supers can help you with laundrry and stuff but sometimes there will be small costs involved and a tip during your stay will be appreciated. Ask him to do his football show for you - worth the price. He can help to buy or pick fresh citrus, coconuts, bananas, passionfruit, breadfruit, or avocados, if in season.

You can start the day with freshly brewed Arabica speciality coffee grown on the property and part of Supers farm production. It is among the very best Arabica mountain-grown speciality coffees anywhere in the world - like all the great ones; it has altitude, volcanic soil, and rain.

Supers shelling coffee beans.

Getting there

The island of Dominica is reached from Europe, Canada and the USA through Barbados or Antigua and then on smaller planes with LIAT or Caribean Star, or alternatively by ferry through the adjoining islands of Guadeloupe or Martinique. There are also American Airlines flights through Puerto Rico from the U.S.A.

There are car rentals at Melville Hall airport - best to arrange one in advance. Or taxis. Get a map and head to the Pont Casse roundabout, just below Morne Trois Pitons, where you take the first right down towards Layou. After a few miles you reach a flat area called Sultan. The cottage is between Sultan and Layou Park. At the Warner Road turnoff there is a small shop run by Ma Lizzie. She, or any of the locals can direct you to ‘Supers place’. It is the second on the left as you descend from Ma Lizzie's, on a curvy part of the road, set on a ridge 100 yards from the main road, reached by a concrete driveway to the left.

Other things to do

There is easy access on paved roads. The cottage is a 35 minutes drive to Roseau, known locally as 'town', either down the Layou Valley and then along the coast or via the Warner Road.

Roseau has most of the usual amenities. Restaurants, a wonderful market, grocery shopping at Whitchurch in town is good and it is next door to Cable &Wireless. Brizee Mart, near Canefield and on the coast road close to town, is also good.

We like to sit around on the balconies, contemplating the dramatic views, sorting coffee, maybe catching a rainbow or listening out for parrots or hawks, napping and reading our books.

The back verandah.

However, for the more "adventurous", you are a 10 minute drive to a natural swimming pool in the Layou river where there is also a hot water spring-fed bath. It is only a 15 minute drive along the Layou Valley road to Caribbean Sea or a 20 minute drive to the Atlantic Ocean at Castle Bruce (stop for a river bath by the bridge at the Belle Fille River) or Rosalie. Be careful in the oceans, there are undertows.

The Atlantic coast near Rosalie.

There are many areas worth visiting, such as the waterfalls at Trafalgar and Emerald Pool on the way to Castle Bruce, lots of history (and a gentle hike) at Fort Shirley in the Cabrits, for example. Also worth visiting is the Carib Reserve, the only existing settlement of indigenous Caribs in the world.

For the truly adventurous (and fit), there are fascinating all day hikes, for example, to Morne Diablotin or the Boiling Lake (an active volcano). World renowned snorkelling and diving.

Take home some bay oil, a Carib basket, a piece of mahoghany, or some vanilla pods.

For more on Dominica check Delphis site and follow the links.

Rental

You will find our rental rate is reasonably priced at $400 US per week, $600 US for 2 weeks, $800 US for 3 weeks, $1,000 US per month. Most comparable cottages are on the coast. Only a very few are by the rainforest.

For further information, Contact Us

mac.grell@sympatico.ca