The Nature is The Luxury: Glamping in Dominica

Nestled between Guadeloupe and Martinique, Dominica, called the Nature Island, is a place where you might just feel like you’re the first to explore this gem. Dominica is much less traveled than its neighboring islands in the Caribbean, and the eastern side of the island even more so.


If you’re looking for accommodation with easy to access to nearby adventures, yet feels far away from it all, Citrus Creek Plantation in the small town of La Plaine is a great option. Each of their eight cottages are named after the earth, but the one that drew me to explore this spot one afternoon in the first place was the Glamping Safari Canvas Cottage called AMBAZAMAN, amba meaning below, and zaman meaning the almond tree. As you step inside under the canvas tent, you’ll notice you’re walking on wooden floors that peek straight through to the bare earth below.


“Our concept of luxury is different. The nature is the luxury for me,” says owner Herve as we walked outback of the canvas tent to check out the outdoor shower wrapped in Bamboo. “Cottages are simple. Beds are good.” He should know. Herve and his wife actually lived in it for a whole year, and I can absolutely see where he is coming from. There’s nothing to distract from taking your eyes off the luxury of the nature surrounding you as you step outside to lounge in the hammock with your morning coffee or listen to the sounds of the nearby flowing river literally at your feet as the hot water flows through your fingers in the outdoor shower built into the side of a tree. The Ambazaman sleeps up to four people and the perfect place to spend an afternoon grilling as there is a little BBQ bit in the yard.


I also visited two other cottages perched up high above the others. The second floor of Avocado has lush skyline views and Banyan boasts the postcard worthy scenes out to the sea with bright green everywhere you gaze. Each cottage is equipped with a kitchen if you desire to cook in with a simple French style breakfast of toast, jam and chocolate provided. If you’d like others they’ll gladly accommodate you.


For those wanting to laze around, they have a restaurant on property and what some expats describe as the best on Dominica. Riverside Café has a small French creole menu using as many local ingredients, some from their own garden.


For those interested in creating a souvenir to take home, visit Patricia, a talented French expat who makes Mosaic art and take a class with her. She lives in the loveliest little rustic chic home just on the right as you enter the property. Ring the little bell and Patricia, a lovely petite French woman will come out to greet you.


When you’re ready to explore the surrounding areas, venture just down the road from to Bout Sable Bay for a photography session, lazy beach afternoon, or a swim depending on the days tide.

You can also get a guide to take you on nearby hikes. One of my favorite on this side of Dominica is the Wavine Cirque. ‘Not for the faint of heart’, you might want to channel your inner Indiana Jones as you use ropes and roots to climb your way to the bottom. The view is all worth it. Other guided day trips are great like Glasse Point and Victoria Falls.


Many of the guests who stay at Citrus Creek Plantation come from France and Germany. Herve tells me, ‘They have found what they’re looking for,’ as has many of them return year after year. After spending the day at Citrus Creek Plantation, I would say I’d agree that the simplicity is bliss here.

Affordable Luxury That Feels Like Home

I cozied up legs crossed on the floor taking in all of the warmth of the crackling fire that I could handle while spoon-feeding myself Vermont-made ice cream in a room adorned with vintage snowshoes, skates, traps and trinkets hung from the three surrounding walls. As I got up to throw another log on the fire, I noticed the snowflakes were still gracefully making their way to the ground. It was the first big snow of the season for the small town of Waterbury, Vermont. I could have stayed forever.


In fact, many of the guests who have come to stay at Moose Meadow Lodge in Waterbury have done just that. They’ve gone and bought property after their stay. Once you’ve experienced the hospitality of owners Greg and Willie, you’ll not only fall in love with their quaint B and B, but the entire Green Mountain State.


While this property must be just as idyllic in the warmer months, there is no shortage of a nice balance of serenity and adventure throughout the winter. We bunked up for two nights in the Sled Room, one of four themed rooms in the lodge each equipped with their own balcony or patio. Breakfast was on each morning at 9 am including local Vermont Cabot Cheddar over eggs, french toast and maple bacon with maple syrup tapped from the trees on their very land.


With 86 acres of private property to explore, snowshoeing after morning coffee was at the top of our list. With several different paths to choose from, we listened to the sounds of nature and crunching of the snow under our feet as we made our way to the top stopping to enjoy the picturesque views along the route. If you hike all the way up to the top, you’re in for a beautiful surprise: a simple fully enclosed gazebo with large windows shielding you from the elements where you can reflect, relax, and take in the aerial mountain views. There’s even a heater if you wish to stay a while!


Once we were back at the lodge, I stepped into the bathroom barefoot on heated floors to warm up and had a nice twenty minute steam on the bench in the shower. There is also a jacuzzi tub in the basement! It’s really easy to get too comfortable in the lodge and not even leave the property during your stay, with the option to use the kitchen to make dinner. If you do decide to venture out, there’s so much to do for the epicurious traveler.


For a taste of Waterbury, venture just down the road and taste the world at Vermont Liberty Tea Company, sip small production, family owned, and naturally produced wines at Cork, enjoy small plates at Prohibition Pig, and dine at Hen of the Wood. Not far down the road, the food scene in Stowe is just as exciting. We enjoyed innovative apps at Doc Pond and the classic underground dinner scene at Harrison’s. Vermont also has a huge influence in arts and culture and I especially loved making a trip to the West Branch Gallery and their outdoor Sculpture Park.


Speaking of sculpture, every detail back at the Moose Meadow Lodge was done by hand and all of the Maple and Birch inside of the house is from the property. For those looking for a more secluded escape, book a stay in the Treehouse out back. Open the three warmer seasons of the year, this feel like a kid again beautifully hand crafted room has all you could ever need including an outdoor shower and overlooking the fully stocked pond, perfect for paddling out or fishing.


An affordable luxury escape that feels like home, don’t forget to remain young and adventurous at heart as you plan your next escape in Vermont. A great retreat for all types of travelers including the solo adventurist, couples, or entire family or friends weekend retreat, experiencing a stay at the hidden gem that is Moose Meadow Lodge will leave you refreshed, restored, and curious for more childlike wander.

Experiential Southern Utah with TerraVelo Tours

It’s late October and I’m peering out the front of a tightly rooted thick canvas tent staring straight up into the milky star-filled sky. This, I think to myself after a wild and work-filled summer, is living. After a few minutes of allowing my imagination to drift off into the big sky abyss, I reel my mind back to earth and carefully zip my tired and happy body in for the night. I was three days in on my cycling and glamping adventure with TerraVelo Tours in remote Southern Utah about to slink into the tightly tucked sheets and starfish in my cozy Tempur-pedic bed for another dreamy nights rest.

TerraVelo Tours photographed by Justin Hackworth

When I arrived at our first site without any expectations, it was easy to pick out my tent with my name beautifully etched in white chalk on a small sign just out my front door. Details from the Turkish towels and soft bed linens to the luxury bath and body products in a basket atop the full size dresser next to the bed were on point. After unpacking and meeting the on site staff, we headed out for a lesson to get comfortable riding our road bikes. I had never ridden a road bike before (you can also get a hybrid) so this was very helpful before setting out.

TerraVelo Tours photographed by Justin Hackworth
TerraVelo Tours photographed by Justin Hackworth

For that week, I felt the wind in my hair as I raced down the steep hillsides after exerting myself to the max to make it to the top of each insane vantage point. I was an active participant in nature riding anywhere from fifteen to twenty miles a day. I love that the sprinter van followed along the entire way in case I wanted to opt out of a portion and take a break and just enjoy the scenic view.

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Bryce Canyon Hike-1918
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Though cycling was the focus on the trip menu, there were many other activities to partake in in the diverse landscapes. We hiked Bryce Canyon and part of Zion National Park and explored toward the end of the trip on horseback. Watching the sun set and the moon rise from the top of Pink Coral Sand Dunes State Park as we listened to dune buggies whip around from a distance was a special treat. Another completely unique and off the beaten path gem we explored just after sunset was Goblin Valley. I’m not normally a guided group kind of traveler, but what I loved about TerraVelo was that the trip was flexible and accommodating to some spur of the moment things.

TerraVelo Tours photographed by Justin Hackworth

TerraVelo did a great job of packing our itinerary with adventure but still allowing time to slow down with yoga, massage, time to watch sun set from the outdoor luxury lounge, roast s’mores, tell stories around the campfire, and wake up and walk/run down the road in one of our three off the beaten path camp locations.

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One of the things that makes TerraVelo Tours completely unique is their mobility. They actually move the campsite for you so you get to experience staying in different locations. You don’t even have to pack up any of your things. Just leave them in your dresser and they do it all for you.

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It was nice coming home, or to a new home, after each experience to a warm perfectly prepared meal accompanied by a glass of wine in the dining tent, and even under the stars with hot soup one of the evenings. Dining together gave it a real family style feel and an opportunity to engage and get to know other guests.

TerraVelo Tours photographed by Justin Hackworth

I did a lot of listening that week in Utah. I unplugged and listened to the sound of nothing at all, to sounds of the campfire crackling after dark, and listened to my own inner voice reminding me that I need very few things in life to make me happy: my camera, a delicious meal, the great outdoors, and family. TerraVelo fulfilled all of these in their own way and then some. A balance of incredible food, wellness, and wanderlust, made it a truly one of a kind experience. At the end of the day, a growing catalogue of experiences is one of my most treasured things I own. Being able to flip through this chapter in my life is more fulfilling that any possession I could ever buy.

Enjoy the film I produced and be immersed in my journey.

SOUTHERN UTAH GLAMPING from Border Free Productions on Vimeo.

It’s been great to watch TerraVelo evolve and grown into other destinations like Wyoming, the California Coast, and the Adirondacks. There aren’t many places where you can have an experience quite this wild and special.

Photography Credit: Justin Hackworth