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Despite the natural volcanic beauty of Dominica, this is one of the least developed Caribbean islands and the best places to stay in Dominica are a rather charming collection of smaller resorts and guest-houses surrounded by lush forests.
Dominica is both the largest and least developed of the Windward Islands, a green, fertile country, rich with exotic plants and animals, sitting between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.
Most of Dominica's sand is dark and volcanic, with just a few beach-loads of that white, traditionally Caribbean stuff. Which is probably why the island hasn't been as popular with traditional Caribbean tourists.
But what Dominica does have is excellent diving centres, and there's also whale watching around the island's south. One of the most famous diving and snorkelling sites is Champagne, on the southern coast, where volcanic vents emit continuous streams of bubbles.
Dominica's rugged, mountainous interior also attracts hikers and explorers - there's an excellent cross-island trail through the mountains. Dominica's mountains are mostly volcanic cones and up here amongst the lava caters you'll also find Boiling Lake, the world's second largest thermally active lake. Dominica also has sulphur springs - nature's spa'. In the hills above Roseau, the capital, you'll find some really charming island hideaways, which make a great base for hikers and explorers.
While English is the official language, many Dominicans speak French Creole as a first language, so there's a French Caribbean feel to the place, and strong links to Martinique and Guadeloupe - which lie on either side.
For a Caribbean hideaway
- The Zandoli Inn is a wonderfully secluded, five room hideaway set on a 111 foot cliff with views overlooking the Atlantic. As well as the sea view you're surrounded by six acres of lush gardens. The small restaurant serves Dominican cuisine.
- Secret Bay is a "Robinson Crusoe" paradise offering barefoot luxury with breathtaking seaviews. It is definitely one of the best places to stay in Dominica if you're planning to come here on honeymoon.
- Castle Comfort Dive Lodge is ideally located on the waterfront and is surrounded by many of Dominica's best dive sites. It is a chilled out guesthouse offering superb value for money, with rooms starting from as little as £52 per night.
For contemporary chic
- Pagua Bay offers hillside accommodation in four smart cabanas and two suites. The ocean views are superb and it boasts a great restaurant.
Still not sure which to book?
Best Hotels in Dominica
Castle Comfort Dive Lodge 14 rooms from $85Dominica
A traditional Caribbean guesthouse on the water front surrounded by some of the best diving spots, waterfalls, national parks, and whale and dolphin safaris. Fantastic sea views, traditional accommodation, and a simple restaurant. Fantastic value for a back to nature experience.Great walks - Hikes to lakes, rivers or waterfalls, heritage tours to the Kalinago Territory.Diving - Diving is the main attraction.Views - Stunning sea views.Active HolidayRecommended by - Fodors
Zandoli Inn 5 rooms from $145Stowe, Dominica
Charming inn with outstanding views. The rooms are in colonial-chic style with shuttered windows, canopy beds and balconies. Outdoor pool, six acres of gardens. Excellent Dominican cuisine, small bar area. A perfect Caribbean hideaway.Hideaway - Set on a 111 foot cliff, the views and seclusion are perfect, enjoy the orchid gardens and Atlantic swimsOn an islandDiving - West coast dive operations in Loubiere and Castle Comfort are a mere 25 minute drive awayGreat walks - To the small waterfalls at DubiqueRecommended by - Fodors
Pagua Bay from $200Marigot, Dominica
An intimate boutique hillside property, with six romantic cabanas. Contemporary chic interiors, private balconies, and all the mod cons. An excellent Caribbean and fusion restaurant, lovely bar, pool, and endless ocean views. Totally relaxing, barefoot luxury, not overstated.Romantic BreakViews - Great views from hotelBarefoot Luxury - For total relaxation.Sailing - Can be booked nearby.
Secret Bay from $370Dominica
A Robinson Crusoe paradise. Barefoot luxury, panoramic sea views, a private beach, private pool on your balcony, fully stocked kitchen and personal chef. Each bungalow up in the rock face and surrounded by tropical plants. Diving, snorkelling, yoga, reading. The ultimate honeymoon.Honeymoons - A Robinson Crusoe paradise.Views - Panoramic views.LuxuryRomantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith