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.