Where to stay: A guide to Dominica’s best hotels
February 24, 2020
Private clifftop villas, hillside hangouts, 180° ocean views, and restaurants serving wholesome food—most hotels in Dominica are some degree of luxury, whether your wallet recognizes it or not.
There are a surprising number of places to stay on the island, considering the amount of time you’ll spend wandering up volcanic roads or down rocky, jungle-hugged cliffs. Here are five of our favorites, from bargain luxury deals to celebrity-endorsed stays, from Portsmouth to Roseau and all the beaches in between.
A universe where worries simply don’t exist, Secret Bay defines luxury on Dominica. Six villas stand alone on a clifftop in Dominica’s north, united by a five-star restaurant, yoga pavilion, and private beach. A stay here comes with your own personal attendant, a fridge stocked to your liking, and access to a long list of Dominica’s most iconic experiences, curated just for you by the hotel’s concierge.
With two floors, your own full kitchen, and a private pool, you wouldn’t be the first to never leave your villa. If it’s good enough for Mick Jagger, you’ll probably have few complaints.
For those who want a more budget-friendly option in the north, Atlantique View Resort & Spa is the way to go. Set away high, high, high on a hillside with excellent ocean views, it manages quality amenities without sacrificing its authentic Dominican roots. The rooms are bright, clean, colorful, and simple, the restaurant is local-yet-gourmet, and the three-tiered swimming pool steals the show.
For an affordable, boutique stay right in the city of Portsmouth, check out Hotel The Champs. At just five rooms and family-owned and operated, you’ll get personalized service—and uncrowded pool time—no matter when you stay. The rooms have an authentic Dominican flair, and the food at the on-site restaurant is good enough to keep you from going into the city. For personable, feels-like-family service, Hotel The Champs is the ticket.
If you’re south in Roseau, the place to stay is Fort Young Hotel. Once an actual defender of the city, it’s now the centerpiece of downtown and the portal to most of Dominica’s “southern” adventures, with Titou Gorge, Boiling Lake, and Extreme Dominica—an excellent adventure outfitter—within 20 minutes or so.
Dive Dominica has a base on the hotel’s first floor, the bustling markets are just a few blocks away, and whale-watching tours and excursions to nearby waterfalls, hot springs, and snorkeling spots happen daily. Many rooms come with a balcony hanging over the edge of the ocean, ideal for lazy coffee mornings watching the ships sail into the bay.
Just 15 minutes from Douglas-Charles Airport and the only option on this list solidly on Dominica’s eastern side, Pagua Bay House feels like a serious find. The mid-tier prices don’t reflect the long ocean views, the chic, rustic cabanas, or the high-quality bites at the open-air restaurant (get adventurous and try their centipede rum punch!). Set on a quiet hill with few distractions making it through the gate—and with friendly cats wandering the premises—Pagua Bay is a cozy, affordable stay that sacrifices little.