Roseau Dominica Capital City, Water Falls and Hot Springs
Welcome to Roseau Dominica, the largest city in this Caribbean nation and the country’s capital. While some may start in the capital city I started my adventure in the Nature Island at the northern end with a stay in Portsmouth and worked my way south via Kalinago Barana Aute and the Emerald Pool. I am curious to see how Roseau weathered Hurricane Maria and how far along the rebuilding efforts have come. Are the markets open, will restaurants and hotels be back up and running ready to service cruise ship and another visitors? If my time on the rest of the island is any indication I expect to see a lot of smiling faces, determination and a city ready to welcome me with its best foot forward. Let’s explore Roseau Dominica.
Where to Stay
The Fort Young Hotel offers one of the best locations and arguably the best views you will find in Roseau. The hotel first opened in 1964, built on foundations that date back to 1699. First, it was a military fort then the central police station. Today it is one of the finest places to stay in Dominica.
At the time of my stay in March 2018, the hotel was operating at about 80% with a few rooms and lobby registration areas still needing to be repaired and refurbished. I was still quite impressed with what I saw including the dining and lobby lounge which boasts ocean side viewing.
If you feel like a refreshing dip in the pool after a hard day of exploring does it get any better than this? Sunset views from an infinity pool. Order me a cocktail, please.
As for my room, I think the video below says it all. Island cosiness with plenty of space and another fantastic view of the Caribbean Sea. This is a double bed suite with a bathroom that is the size of some peoples living rooms. I love the separate wash basin area and makeup desk. Plenty of room for two people to get ready for dinner without bumping into each other. I set up the ironing board in front of the makeup desk and still had plenty of room to get ready.
Exploring downtown Roseau Dominica on foot is a breeze if you stay at Fort Young Hotel. You literally walk out your door and you are there.
Located behind the Dominica Museum you will find a craft market filled with every trinket you could imagine. A great place to pick up souvenirs and gifts for those back home that aren’t lucky enough to be with you on the trip.
The local seafood and produce market is just a short walk from the museum. At the time of my visit over half of the stalls were not operating as they were still rebuilding from the hurricane damage. The produce stalls were busy though as Dominica supplies many of the neighbouring islands with fresh produce. Farming production is not at 100% as many crops were ruined. By now they should be back to near full if not full operation.
Even if you aren’t buying anything it is quite fun to wander the markets and see what is available. Within easy strolling distance from the markets is a restaurant you may want to visit. And by may want to I mean go eat here. Guiyave is located on the 2nd floor on Cork Street. I don’t have the exact address but it is on Cork Street and kitty-corner from a huge yellow building with a massive COURT sign on the front of it.
Guiyave offers quite the flavourful buffet lunch and this would be my recommendation of what to eat. It even includes your choice of dessert afterwards.
Things to Do
Choice, choices and more choices … that is what you have when you are in Roseau. You can explore the Botanical Gardens and hopefully see their Sisserou Parrots, or perhaps going diving and whale watching is more your speed.
For me, I’m all about waterfalls and hikes. You can do both with a trip to Trafalgar Falls which is approximately 20 minutes away by car from downtown Roseau. Once you arrive there is a short 10-minute hike up to a viewing platform. From here you will see the twin falls, 125 and 75 feet of descending water.
You are able to really see the devastation that Hurricane Maria caused here. Five + months later and many of the trees still show are being bare of leaves. They are coming back but it does take time.
You can hike to the falls as well if you are sure of your footwear and balance. Please note they don’t advise swimming in the pools when it rains as flash floods can occur out of nowhere.
On the way back to Roseau we discover a hidden gem called Da-S’Cape Mineral Hot Springs & Spa. Don’t let the rustic appearance of the set up fool you it is worth stopping for. This isn’t a five-star luxury spa resort, but it is an amazing experience and totally authentic and showcases the ingenuity of the local entrepreneur that runs it.
Fresh hot springs are directed into a few small man-made pools. Each pool has a different temperature, so you can either enjoy the one that is right for you or go back and forth between them like I did. Very Goldilocks and the three bears here.
The set up is rustic but very natural and I was soothed into relaxation into just a few minutes. I am not sure which minerals the water is rich in but whatever they are it felt fantastic.
This is just a tiny glimpse of what you can enjoy while in Roseau. It has been a couple of months since my visit and I am sure that in that time many more businesses have finished rebuilding and are ready, willing and able to welcome you. As always when visiting a country recently devastated by a natural disaster be sure to have realistic expectations about what is available. If you have any doubts just reach out to the hotels and attraction partners directly to see what they can and can’t offer.
I can’t wait to return to Roseau Dominica and explore more of what the capital city has to offer its culinary tourists. Happy travels.