The best location to stay in Dominica
It was the first time, that I visited Dominica, but it was not the first time that I was in the Caribbean. Dominica is special. A combination of nature, friendly people, vulcanic action in the rainforest mountains, good food, tropical weather and last but not least lovely tropical food. Whatever you like to see, it is easely accessible from the Calibishie Lodges located on the north-east coast.
I was here in August 2005. This hotel is build upon a hill, nearby the Caribbean coast. And located in the middle of a typical Dominica village: Calibishie. Friendly people, lively, but also a quiet village. From here it is easy to explore Dominica to the north and to the south. Roseau is a 1 1/2 hour drive. Connections with minivans to Portsmouth and Roseau are also possible and costs only a few Eastern Caribbean Dollars. And the staff of Calibishie lodges are friendly and helpful. The kitchen is very good. Ask for fruit specials. The lodges are clean and well equiped.
So come to Calibishie lodges to explore this beautiful island.
Loved Calibishie Lodges!
To echo what’s already been said about Calibishie Lodges, all my husband and I can say was that everything at Calibishie Lodges was great. The property changed hands a couple months before we arrived. However, Chris and Linda and their son (the new owners) could not have been nicer to us. We were there from November 24 – December 3 and had a wonderful time. We stayed in Apartment 6 – yes, the one that everyone recommends because of the view. And yes, the view is fabulous – you get a wonderful view of the Atlantic Ocean and the village of Calibishie from your balcony. It was our favorite place to sit as the sun rose and set each day.
My husband and I have traveled through much of the Caribbean – and we cannot say enough about how friendly and welcoming the Dominican people are. From the time we landed until we left, the people we ran into were always very helpful and pleasant.
Something to keep in mind – for such a small island, Dominica is very spread out. We chose to use Calibishie as our base and took daily trips to the places we wanted to visit. However, we noticed that many couples traveled across the island and stayed in a variety of places including Calibishie. From Calibishie to Rouseau was about 2 hours across challenging mountain roads. If you get carsick and hate traveling over long distances, it’s probably best to group the activities you want to do and choose a hotel in that area.
In terms of the tours you can do. We did several – we went to downtown Roseau one Saturday to shop for souvenirs and go to the market. We also did the Chaudiere Pool (a tough hike, although the easiest of many); Carib Territory; Morne Tritons Park; beach barbecue at Batibou Beach where we had the entire beach to ourselves; canoe trip down the Indian River with a guide. We were also fortunate to have a whale watch trip as part of our package and were able to see three whales. All I can say is that nothing prepares you for your first glimpse of a whale. They’re awe-inspiring and I was personally dumbstruck.
I loved the little fridge in our apartment. You can pick up your drinks, snacks and water down the street at one of several little markets. Our package included breakfast and dinner. Breakfast included the basics: toast, bacon, jam, juice, tea, coffee, codfish. I personally loved the codfish at breakfast. Dinner at night was usually a special that included a soup or salad, a meat or fish dish, rice, beans or vegetables and dessert. You have to try the callaloo soup – I had it most nights and it was fabulous. For lunch when we weren’t on a tour somewhere, we ate at Swarrows – a cute, very clean restaurant/bar on the water. The menu changed daily but you always got a meat, rice, beans and vegetables. She serves from about one p.m. until she runs out. Two lunches and two sodas was usually between $27 EC and $31 EC depending on whether I had fish or not.
We used the little credit union down the street to change our US dollars into EC dollars. The rate was competitive and we didn’t pay a fee. There is also a little post office down the street where you can mail your postcards for a dollar each. If you need an ATM the nearest one is in Portsmouth about 20 minutes away.
A couple things to keep in mind as you plan your trip. Depending on the time of year, Dominica is hot. It wasn’t the hottest island we’ve visited, but it was very hot. The apartments at Calibishie do not have air conditioning. It was a bit uncomfortable a couple days inside the apartment, even on the balcony. If air conditioning is important to you, you might want to consider this. At night, if you kept the fan on, it was usually OK.
All in all, although physically challenging, Dominica is a gem. It does not offer the typical “lay around on a beach and veg out” experience that so many other islands offer, but it is a beautiful island with lots to offer to visitors with an open mind. If you’re looking to veg out on a beach, you should probably consider another island. My husband jokingly suggested that we should have visited Dominica when we were fifteen years younger and 40 pounds lighter! I agree.
I would love to answer any detailed questions anyone might have (to the best of my knowledge and ability) so feel free to email me about Dominica or any other island you’re considering. We’ve probably already been there so we can provide a comparison.
Have a fabulous trip to Dominica wherever you decide to stay.
Great Location & Accomodation
My friends and I stayed at Calibishie Lodges recently (December 6th-9th 2005). We stayed in the main lodge in the second floor rooms which were connected by a small walkway. The rooms were clean and comfortable. The balconies were perfect for early morning and late evening reading. The hosts (Chris, Linda and their son) were wonderful.
While in Calibishie, I recommend eating at KoKo Nuts located on the main road in Calibishie.
I highly recommend staying in Calibshie Lodges for your stay in the northern part of Dominica. If you are visiting the southern part (Boiling Lake, Scotts Head, Virginia Falls, Roseau...), I recommend splitting your stay. Cocoa Cottages is a wonderful eco-lodge perfectly located in the southern area.
Great Place / Great Service
Calibishie Lodges is simply a great place to stay.
I guess it`s the next stop to the Melville Hall airport, but that´s not the only thing :
The owners are very friendly (and never short of a story of "Dominica"...). Rooms are clean and fitted with everything you could need (apart a/c, which we did not really miss).
Food was also nice. We enjoyed it very much to stay on the terrace in the evening and taste some of the (reasonably priced) wine list...
We had the package including whale watching, hike to chaudiere pool, indian river and batibou beach.
Absolutely great was the hike to chaudiere pool (including the jump into the pool !) and indian river.
Whale watching was also nice, but take into account that it was quite a challenging 2 hours ride back from Roseau on Dominican roads in the dark.
Always rent a 4x4 on Dominica, then you can also get to the beaches easily...which are definitely worth it ! Close to Calibishie there are at least 3 beaches which are simply gorgeous.
Some tipp: Get yourself the map of Dominica in the agricultural ministry. It´s quite detailed / military stile and helps a lot.
Great place! Our family stayed with Chris, Linda and Juris. We felt we were staying with the hosts rather than renting a room from a business. Chris and Linda were very attentive to our needs, arranging tours around our diving schedule, taking us for a walk in the village to point out places we might be interested in such as a post office. Local businesses aren't signed as North Americans have come expect. The village is small and eveyone knows where everything is except "us" North Americans.
On that note, the lodge is on the edge of the village. Each "room" is a fully equipped apartment with verandas. Every veranda has views of the ocean and village. It is a quaint well designed lodge that fits well into the environment. Our familly booked a 10 day package which included 2 separate apartments, breakfasts, dinners and tours. One of the best deals in the Caribbean! Very inexpensive. Breakfasts were full North American ones but you could order anything from the menu. Go for the fruit salad. It's to die for, made from fresh fruit grown on the island and bought directly from the farmer. There were island specialities for dinner as well as a full menu. We always went for the specials as they were based on island food. Food was great!
Yes, we expect to return soon!
What a fabulous trip to Calibishi
It took us two years to finally get to the beautiful island of Dominica but from the moment we landed until we left it was the best holiday we ever had in the Caribbean area. We searched the websites for places to stay and the Calibishie Lodges site was the one we always seemed to revisit....and so we booked 6 nights at the end of January. The moment we arrived Chris and Linda immediately made us at home. We decided to stay at their Seaview Apartments on the hilltop and what an excellant choice. The views and the tranquil setting was just what we were looking for. The apartments are self contained, exceptionally clean, recently repainted, and fully equipped with everything we needed. They were vigilant of the fact that the bugs can be a nuscience and they regularly have the building sprayed...which allowed for sitting around outside on those balmy Carribean nights with ease. We would highly recommend contacting Chris and Linda about accomodations if you ever decide to visit Dominica, you will not be disappointed.
I like to see all the nice comments here on this site about calibishie lodges, but we had some problems.
And there where other people also who where complaining !
I'm not gonna say much, but i think everything is just one big advertising, where the people post some nice reviews for themself !
We stayed one night at Calibishie Lodges and another night at the Seaview Apartments. Chris and Linda were wonderful! Very helpfull in straigthening out a rental car problem. Giving insites into the island, and activities that were available. Dominica is an island for people to embrace nature not a place to sit on the beach and drink pina coladas. I recommend staying a few nights at Calibishie Lodges initially, travel to other parts and return for a night or two to relax prior to departure.
Relax eat a great breakfast with all the great juices and fruit available on the island, go diving at Cabrits, hike into the rainforest, sit and watch the hummingbirds, and talk to the locals. What a special place Dominica.