Places & Spaces: Rosalie Bay Resort

Rosalie Bay Resort on the Caribbean island of Dominica is a colonial-style paradise with an eco-conscience.

When you’ve been to the Caribbean, you’ve probably stayed on one of the bigger, more famous islands: Antigua, Martinique or Barbados. Tiny Dominica is just 18 miles wide and 29 miles long, so it may have been off your radar, especially since its hotels aren’t much to shout about being neither super-stylish nor particularly green. Until now.

Rosalie Bay Resort, which opened just one year ago, sits on the Atlantic coast, in a secluded spot on the southeast of the island, with a perfect sunrise view over the sea. Although the rocky, black sand beach is too rough for swimming, the staff are delighted to drive you to other locales more suited to frolicking in the surf.

Or you can just lounge by the pool drinking cocktails from the bar. Well, you are on holiday in the Caribbean, after all.

Accommodation is in 28 rooms and suites, housed in picturesque wooden cottages with verandas some with swings, looking onto the beach, the Rosalie river, a garden or hills behind. Decor is classic colonial, without being stuffy: locally-built, four poster beds and comfortable armchairs, plus exotic flowers and plants; the grounds are rich with fragrant tropical flora including frangipani, ginger lily and hibiscus. Some rooms have vaulted ceilings and old-fashioned fans.

In the spa, which is elevated above the surf, you can enjoy treatments such as massages using local organic products. The new wellness program promises lots of innovative health-focused activities.

Rosalie Bay is self-sustaining in terms of energy with a wind turbine (the island’s first) and solar panels, as well as a water filtration system. The local environment in the 22-acre estate is carefully protected – the resort has its own turtle monitoring program, which guests can help with. Many locals are employed as staff, some after working on the construction of the property, an eight-year labor of love by the owners, Bev and Oscar.

The restaurant offers highly-rated, original dishes, featuring organic fruit and vegetables grown in the resort’s own kitchen garden with a Caribbean twist: conch ravioli, guava-glazed pork ribs and duck with coconut rice are a few specialties on the menu.

Rates start at $125/night plus tax, including cocktails without umbrellas and baby turtle-minding.

Places & Spaces is a travel guide that will inspire you to carve out a vacation on your calendar. All of the gorgeous locations and accommodations in our guide share our concern for the environment. From tent glamping to lavish built environments, fair warning, you’ll feel compelled to pack your suitcase.

Fiona Flores Watson

Fiona Flores Watson covers Places & Spaces for EcoSalon and currently resides in Seville, Spain.