You might remember I went to the Caribbean last winter with my family - but this time I saw a completely different side of it. Forget the stereotypical clear sea and white beaches of postcards and Bond movies and prepare to experience the diversity of the real Caribbean, boasting thick forests, volcanic mountains and deep blue waves crashing against sparkling black shores. Even the swimming pool at Rosalie Bay is lined with black onyx to fit in with the natural surroundings. This eco boutique resort is built on the site of an old coconut plantation where the Rosalie river meets the ocean. Ancient cedars and palms still line the beachfront where crabs scuttle between the fallen coconuts. Dominica well deserves it's reputation as the Caribbean's 'Nature Isle'- expect visits from curious hummingbirds and kingfishers by the pool, and at the right time of year you can witness turtles nesting and hatching on the beach, less than 30 feet from your bedroom window.
Our room was in this building, about 30 feet from the sea!
If you fancy some more strenuous exercise, the resort runs hikes through the forests of Morne Trois Pitons national park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or you can opt for a more leisurely stroll to the nearby Emerald pool to swim beneath a picture-perfect waterfall.
How gorgeous are these women?! And the costumes were all incredible- so colourful and creative.
The extra effort this requires is completely validated as soon as you reach the island's shores, for Dominica is a rare example of the unspoilt Caribbean some claim to be a thing of the past. But I'm pleased to report that it's still going strong, and Rosalie Bay is the perfect place to experience it. A new spa is currently being finished, including a massage platform built in the branches of a tree, whilst the old spa will be transformed into a dedicated yoga centre. The organic cuisine is very health-conscious without being remotely reminiscent of 'rabbit food'; think lobster, mussels and fresh fish with local vegetables, brown rice and plenty of fruit.
The outdoor showers at the spa backed onto the jungle- I was slightly worried about any peeping-Tom monkeys, but I had my shower undisturbed!
Here I am wrapped up in a duvet when Ib (my boyfriend) and I got up to watch the sunrise on our last day. It was pretty perfect.
Disclaimer: My stay at Rosalie Bay was complimentary as I was reviewing it for Beach Tomato. It was honestly so great though, I wanted to include it here too.