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“Wilderness/garden retreat on the Caribbean's nature isle”

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Papillote Wilderness Retreat
Ranked #2 of 21 Roseau B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
86 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Wilderness/garden retreat on the Caribbean's nature isle”
Reviewed April 3, 2013

Papillote has been around for decades, slowly growing and evolving. Owner Ann joins crowds at dinner - her landscaping and gardening skills are amazing. It's almost at the end of the Valley Road to Trafalgar Falls (a short and worthwhile walk), very steep everywhere. Great exercise for legs and lungs. The altitude makes air conditioning unnecessary, and fans help keep the air moving. Screens would really help to eliminate the mosquitoes that enter through slatted windows. Mosquito nets are a pain, but necessary. The semi-private hot mineral bath just outside the door was a real treat. Meals at the restaurant were simple but tasty. If you hesitate to rent a car on an island with steep, narrow, winding roads everywhere, driving on the left and few signs to help you navigate - be aware that taxis will cost an arm and a leg. The location is gorgeous, but you can not go far without a rent a car or taxi, hence a mixed rating on location.

Room Tip: The Honeymoon Suite is indeed larger than other rooms, and well worth the modest extra cost. It also...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Bill M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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152 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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  • Italian first
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
47 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Suite #6 is the place to be. Just my wife and I were traveling but it was nice to have the extra room where we could spread out after living out of our suitcases elsewhere. Also, this suite has a spacious sun deck and the best view. On the deck is a small fountain running hot water.
We had a very pleasant meal at the restaurant on barbecue night; met the owner who, along with all the staff, were friendly and helpful. The rum punch there is lethal, by that I mean really good!
The grounds are great. To be able to soak in the hot pools (temperature just right) while it is raining, that was a unique experience.
A short walk down the road is the River Rock restaurant, a good place to have a drink overlooking the river. If you want to eat there let the owner know in advance. She will cook especially for you. The price is a bit much but combined with the atmosphere we thought it worthwhile.
Walk up to Trafalgar Falls from the hotel but do it early or late in the day or on a day the cruise ship isn't in port!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank shrimper67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Stonington, Connecticut
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2013

First of all, I need to preface this review with the fact that this was a reconnection with Anne, who I first met 30 years ago---long before she and Cuthbert developed Papillote into this level of HEAVEN. She was as sharp, witty, and stylish as I remember, despite her cold. The high points were the gardens, pools, hot baths and Marcel. We would have followed him every day , just to soak up all his info re local herbs/healing properties AND floral out of this world. It was a real thrill to see a jade plant in full flower------ our pictures will never do justice to the memory.
Our meals were very nice---but the rum punch is the winner and unlike any other... this one takes time and is REAL. and banana pancakes for breakfast were to die for. Our room (hummingbird) had a lovely private terrace frequented by a tiny finch we knicknamed Joe, who liked us so much he often frequented our bathroom. We did not expect a luxurious room---but did find it lacking a tad. Would have liked better bedding, pillows, towels, toiletries--actually expected local/ eco-friendly soaps, etc. Darker color towels to be used in the springs would have been preferable to using "older ones". The staff was AMAZING---we loved every single person (wish I wrote down everyone's name)---from the pleasant breakfast gal who has travleled to Germany--??Precious???, the gals at the desk---whose sense of humor, warmth and info was wonderful, and Orlando, who worked magic with our phone/ IT stuff-----they were beyond the best and seem to love their work----

Room Tip: next time would go for room #12....
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank 123maxipad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK and Lefkada
Level Contributor
68 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2013

My impressions of Papillote fall into three parts: the garden, the restaurant, and the rooms. But before I start on that, let me say that all the staff were friendly, charming, and mines of information!

1. The garden is as wonderful as everyone says; a little piece of paradise. Don't miss Marcel's garden tour, he will show you things you'd never find on your own and regale you with botanical, herbal, and folk lore. Wonderful. And the hot and cold pools are magic, too. Ten out of ten.

2. The restaurant has a stunning view, charming staff, and the food is delicious. We had breakfast and dinner here every day, and enjoyed a variety of fresh local fruit, vegetables, and fish. If you take the inclusive meal plan there's always a choice of main courses, it might be grilled mahi-mahi fish with creole sauce or curried goat! I'd give the restaurant nine out of ten (it would have been ten, but we'd been to Beau Rive).

The rooms were, frankly, a bit of a disappointment -- or at least, ours was. (We had a ground floor room in the main building, so please bear in mind that the other rooms may be very different.) The room was plenty big enough and we had everything we needed. But it was rather dark, even with the louvres fully opened; there was no view at all, the windows looked out at the shrubs and fence enclosing the sitting area, so you could see some nice tropical plants at close range, but nothing beyond. Also, flyscreens on the windows would be nice: We weren't bothered by mosquitoes or bugs -- the natural balance of the garden seems to work effectively -- but if you open the louvres, birds fly into your room. Charming at first, but then, birds will do what birds will do, and if it's your bedroom...

Then our roof leaked, so there was water running down the wall in two places when it rained (which it did, every day -- that's why they call it a rainforest). We mentioned this to reception; nothing happened that day, but the next day we heard someone up on the roof trying to fix it. Only thing is, it didn't work; it still leaked, and nobody said anything to us, or asked if it was OK, or offered to let us move to another room (they may have been full anyway, I'm not sure). So we had pools of water on the floor every night. We didn't make an issue of it, we were only there for 3 nights and it wasn't a disaster, but we did think it could have been handled better -- especially as the stains on the walls showed that this wasn't a new problem. Generally the room could do with a refurb -- even little things such as a curtain in front of the clothes-hanging area (there was no actual wardrobe) would be nice.

We did have a private sitting area outside our room, but as I mentioned, it was very enclosed with no view. There are, however, plenty of beautiful sitting places scattered around the gardens. (Tip: If you go up to the bird-watching shelter at the top of the garden in the early morning or late afternoon, you have a chance of seeing parrots -- though we didn't!)

So, for the room: Honestly, not more than 6 out of 10. I didn't expect 5-star luxury, that's not the point of Papillote, but I think they could do more with what they've got, without it costing them a fortune. It could be so lovely.

Some things to know before you go:
-- The water in the bathroom is hot mineralized water from the hot springs -- lovely and warm, and eco-friendly, and clean, but the minerals in it stain everything brown, which is not good news if you want to wash your undies. There is no cold or non-mineral water in the taps (though they do give you a generous supply of bottled water for drinking every day). If I'd been forewarned, I might have brought some older undies with me! And bring an old or dark-coloured swimsuit for bathing in the mineral pools in the garden, or you'll never get rid of the stain.
-- There's no TV (who cares?!), but there is wifi, though you have to pay extra for it (when will hotels stop doing this?).
-- Don't miss the walk to Trafalgar Falls, only 10 mins from Papillote.

Room Tip: If you want a view, choose an upstairs room.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank kyklamina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2013

A truly lovely place. Friendly, relaxed but efficient, superb food, and very child friendly. Our 2 year old spent her time walking up and down the many steps and slopes, in between collecting leaves and having fun in the various natural hot spring tubs. We enjoyed our little suite (double bed room plus a little single roon) and the adjoining sun terrace. The climate - wet but warm and lots of sun in the afternoons - is much easier for kids than the heat of Roseau. 5 mins walk to Trafalger Falls and 15 mins by taxi or car down to Roseau. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Little suite - 2 adults pls child and could get a cot into double room also if you have two little k...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jennifer1101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hannaclara, Owner at Papillote Wilderness Retreat, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
It was a joy for us to have you and your family at Papillote. We do enjoy having little children here to explore and develop a love of the natural world
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2013

Papillote is one of my favorite hotels in the world. It has a wonderful broken-in feeling, like it has coalesced with its natural setting overtime. Its a type of aura that younger, newer buildings even on the same site couldn't possess.
That being said, we come for the hot pools. The duel pools (one hot, one cool) is one of my favorite places I know of in the world. This could be very well be the best constructed sulphur pool on Dominica. Its like my dream backyard.

The staff is so very nice. Housekeeping is solid. The restaurant food is always incredible. Front desk service is always helpful. Etcetera etcetera..

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Moonsouljah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Watchet, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2013

It is in a rainforest so expect rain- and unexpected sunshine flaring through showers. The rooms are amazing - mostly suites. Mine had a bedroom with a mosquito net, dressing room, breakfast room and bathroom! Fantastically peaceful and I could play my music as loud as I liked because the walls are solid. Outside I had sitting space and hotpoolsto lie in

The gardens ramble through ten acres following a logical sequence designed by Ann Jno Baptiste who started digging and creating there in the'60s. Now in her eighties, she presides over her hotel with close attention, every staff member writes a daily report which she glances at before or after she dines with guests, and either praises or takes corrective Action.. The gardens are a must because they are unique: a series of set pieces each themed such as the Witch Garden, the Purple garden and the Waterfall garden. In each are plants found in few places like the Bat flower or plants with special properties that those who know can use a s aphrodisiacs, birth easers, pain controllers and narcotics. I was amazed by the highs available within yards and also aware of the dangers. Take care! Marcel the gardener (father of eight and still under 30) will give you a full lecture on any plant in the garden from the North-South palm to the humble grasses. Alan Titchmarsh would be in Heaven. Often people visit from the big universities and places like Kew because it is unique.

Food is creole, interesting and filling.

Wine is good but a bit of a waste drinking that when they make their own punch and mature it for a year!

In her time in Papillote Anne and her Dominican husband, have created a whole town nearby: Trafalgar,where every family works or has worked at Papillote.

Well worth visiting- lookout for Orlando and Evelyn on reception, both are extremely helpful.

Room Tip: Say what you would like and they will put you where you would like to be as all the rooms are unique...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sam W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Papillote Wilderness Retreat

Property: Papillote Wilderness Retreat
Address: Trafalgar Falls Road | Box 2287, Roseau 811, Dominica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominica > Saint George Parish > Roseau
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 21 B&Bs / Inns in Roseau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A small secluded hotel at the head of the beautiful Roseau River Valley with comfortable charming rooms overlooking gardens, mountains, waterfalls and pristine rainforest wilderness.Dine in our Rainforest Restaurant on fresh caught fish, prawns or chicken prepared with all the fabled spices of our Island's rich cultural heritageWander through four acres of nurtured wilderness amidst a world class collection of bromeliads, begonias, gingers and aroids. Bathe in our natural hot mineral pools. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Papillote Wilderness Retreat Hotel Roseau
Papillote Wilderness Retreat Dominica/Roseau

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