Is Beau Rive a ‘Green’ hotel?
We do our best to be responsible and minimise any negative impact to the environment. We use no chemicals in the garden – only the compost that we make; our hot water is solar heated; our garden lights are solar powered and in time, we hope to generate at least some electricity using solar energy. We waste very little and support local farmers and products, utilising fresh, seasonal ingredients and locally made, natural soaps. Before even starting to build the hotel we planted 170 fruit and flowering trees which help to attract a wide variety of birds and butterflies.
Can you drink the water?
Tap water on the island is generally fine. If you are hiking above the farming areas, you can even drink water straight from many of the rivers and natural springs!
What is there to do?
Dominica is a very different Caribbean. It is an island of mountains, forests, rivers and waterfalls, but it is not an island fringed with white sand beaches and vast all-inclusive hotels. Consequently, you will not encounter many other tourists (except in Roseau when a cruise liner visits) and you will enjoy what is today, the rare sensation of feeling you have discovered a place before the tourist invasion. This also means that the Dominican people are still themselves, still real and still decidedly down-to-earth.
Now, what to do:
There are numerous sight-seeing opportunities and places to visit. There are historical sites such as Fort Shirley at Cabrits National Park, and there are some attractive colonial buildings in the centre of Roseau, which is small enough to explore on foot. But it is the countryside, the forest, rivers and waterfalls that offer such a genuine and unspoiled experience of tropical wilderness to the visitor. You can explore either with a guide, or alone if on established trails, and it need not be too strenuous (as in getting to the boiling lake or climbing Morne Trois Pitons). We would be happy to advise you of exactly what is involved before you undertake a marathon hike! Even a gentle walk in the hills above Beau Rive is pleasant, allowing you to see numerous tropical fruit trees and lush vegetation.
The Carib Territory (just north of Beau Rive) is a region of the island populated mostly by indigenous Carib Indians and Dominica is really the last remaining refuge for a people who offer a unique perspective to the island and its heritage. Various handicraft items can be purchased in the villages. Snorkeling and diving are particularly good – mostly off the Caribbean coast, and whale watching is a year-round possibility. You will not run out of things to do!
Are there really no beaches?
No, there are some beautiful, golden and black sand beaches but they are few and far between. Much of the coastline is rocky and rugged (as it is below Beau Rive) but we can direct you to some fine beaches. If however, you only want a beach holiday you should probably choose another destination. There are over 300 rivers on the island and many offer extremely picturesque and refreshing bathing.
Is the walking difficult?
Yes. There is very little flat land in Dominica, so if you have difficulty walking on hilly terrain you are likely to find it hard going. However, if you are accompanied and assisted by a more able person and are willing to take it slowly, you would probably manage some of the easier hikes.
Is renting a car the only way to see the island?
No. It’s the most economic way but for those who prefer not to drive, we can help arrange tailor-made tours with a driver. We drive on the left in Dominica and most car rental agencies will provide a temporary license which costs US$12 – valid for 30 days. If you want to go into Roseau by bus, there are local mini-buses that pass by the hotel each morning except Sunday. The fare is approximately US$4 each way.
Are there good restaurants?
In nearby Castle Bruce there are two or three places that serve snacks and simple meals. One can eat well in Roseau, Portsmouth, various hotels and some of the more touristic villages – but do not expect haute cuisine. Fresh fish is almost always available and prices are more reasonable than on the more commercial islands. Service can be erratic, but again, this should be viewed as part of the charm of an island not dominated by tourism.
Are children welcome?
We cannot accept children under the age of 16 – mainly for reasons of safety but also because Beau Rive isn’t particularly suitable for young kids. There are high verandas that a small child could fall from, there is no lifeguard by the pool and no sandy beach or entertainment geared specifically towards children.
Are pets welcome?
No, we cannot accept guests with pets as we already have two dogs and a cat in residence. Our animals are very friendly and are free to wander throughout the hotel (including the bar and dining terrace) so if you object to pets being in close proximity Beau Rive is probably not going to suit you.
What should I bring?
Definitely a camera and comfortable walking shoes – ones that can survive getting wet. As for anywhere in the tropics, sunscreen, a hat, swimwear etc. Clothing should preferably be of natural fabrics, and casual dress will be appropriate for virtually all occasions.
Is it safe?
There is a relatively low crime rate in Dominica and people are more likely to want to help you than rob you. However, as in any country, things can happen and it’s always advisable not to display your wealth (if you have it!) in an ostentatious or insensitive manner.
What about ‘wildlife’?
Dominica is home to numerous varieties of birds (including two species of Parrot that are found nowhere else in the world) and endless tropical plant life. There are no venomous snakes or poisonous spiders on Dominica. There are mosquitoes at certain times of the year so bring repellent if you are particularly tasty! All guestroom windows at Beau Rive have mosquito screens.
Can one find local art?
Yes, there are a number of accomplished artists on Dominica. A personal favourite is Marie Frederick and you can visit her new website www.mariefrederickgallery.com
If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org