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“Great views, great tree houses, great place to stay”
Review of Manicou River

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Manicou River
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Brighton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great views, great tree houses, great place to stay”
Reviewed February 12, 2012

My accommodation was fabulous and the design perfect. Combining a high-end resort (for Dominica) with a true conservation approach has culminated in a wonderful place to stay. Hanging out in a hammock high above the sea in the realms of a truly beautiful tree houses you cannot help but relax.

Also, snorkeling at Manicou River Eco Resort was fantastic. The locations of the reefs are a swim away from a secret beach that the resort discovered. It was sandy and safe for kids in my opinion.

I would definitely come back to this little paradise. It’s hard to put into words the feeling this stunning setting gives you.

I ‘unplugged and recharged’ as someone said here earlier and it felt great. All done with the smallest impact possible on the local environment. A true Eco Resort.

Room Tip: The red cedar cottage has an extra bed that would come in handy for 2 friends.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank BigBillBrighton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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147 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2012

Breathtaking … is the only way to describe the experience as we entered our private tree house. None of the pictures on the website could possibly do it justice. The incredible views over this paradise island ranging from the highest mountains, The Caribbean sea to the isles of Guadeloupe had me immediately enchanted.

The tree houses are hand crafted with love and it shows in the generous floor-space, king size bed, large bathroom and open air rainwater shower. There is enough room to relax, to practice yoga or just lie in a hammock as the Caribbean Sea beckons below. Care has been taken to furnish the tree houses with everything you need for your off-grid stay; bright lanterns, candles, headlamps, and a free battery charging service for your phones or cameras.

We were shown the secret Manicou beach that was both sandy and deserted. The snorkeling a brisk swim away was spectacular. The beautiful fish, coral gardens and sea horses were incredible, not to mention the rainbow of colors with Barracuda as long as my arms would stretch. The area is a must for all snorkelers and divers, especially underwater photographers-do not miss out.

As for excursions, we opted for horse trekking through the lush jungle slopes with Yasmin at Brandy Manor and also showered under a River as it falls 100ft down from the cliffs above and onto the beach below … honestly, it was amazing and worth the swim ashore through small surf from the covered boat. We spent a day with the Kalinago (Caribe) people, we went with the Manicou’s own gardener Conrad, himself a Kalinago and met his family, the tribal chief who is his uncle and viewpoints that no other guide could have uncovered for us. They treated us really kindly and kept giving and giving.

Privacy is assured here, but a relaxed attentiveness purveys throughout the estate. If you are looking for a self-sustaining, intimate, off-grid Eco experience in a natural setting, I would highly recommend Manicou River Eco Resort. If you do not stay here you will miss the best that Dominica has to offer.

My only gripe is that the resort was full so we could only stay for 5 days.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Hannah K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tengen, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2012

We stayed 5 nights at this beautiful resort. It is run by a very friendly English couple, we did not know us before, but we left as friends. The view is spectacular, everthing very private without any other disturbing noisy guests. There is no electricity but we did not miss it all, the shower is run by the sun. Best of all is this very comfortable water bed. Everyone who was dissapointed with this resort should better stay at home, I cannot imagine anything better.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Armin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManicouRiverResort, Owner at Manicou River, responded to this review, February 6, 2012
Thank you so for this 5 star review guys. You are always welcome here anytime and you really made Christmas special.

We hope to see you sometime in Germany.

Regards

Tess Hunneybell
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New York, New York, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2012

this unplugged paradise is perfect for adventurers looking for more than just a pina colada and calypso music. from secret beaches down rocky paths to lanternside cooking with limited portsmouth produce, manicou river and her nearby town are perfect for foragers and explorers. Days filled with pothole strewn roads winding through villages filled with waving natives, nights punctuated by the heavy artillery of sheeting rain on the treehouse tin roof: bring soundproof earplugs! proprietor theresa hunneybell is hilarious and gives meaning to hospitality, and her proud comrades conrad and mrs. christmas are as warm and enchanting as they sound.

Room Tip: be sure to arrive on dominica with plenty of time to stock up on food at the saturday market. there...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Laurenkgoldstein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManicouRiverResort, Owner at Manicou River, responded to this review, February 6, 2012
Thank you so much for your 5 star review. Thanks for spending Christmas with us. I know it is a once a year event and so to be chosen as your preferred destination was a compliment.

Beanie weenies? LOL. I assure you that nobody uses dog meat on this island ... even the dogs ... it is actually cheaper to buy fresh Tuna steaks than dog food ... so you would have had to pay more if that was true.

That was actually a can of French Cassoulet and was being sold out of the back of a car trunk. How DID you find that? LOL.

Come back anytime guys. Whenever you need to have break from NYC.
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Edmonton, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2011

This place is amazing. The treehouses are made from beautifully carved wood, and the views of Cabrits Park and Douglas Bay are spectacular. The water bed was a little strange, but comfortable nonetheless. The kitchen area was perfect and allowed us to cook a lot of our own meals so we weren’t rushed to get up and go for breakfast in the morning. The bathroom was great and if you made it home early enough the water would still be hot (it’s solar heated). Although the one rainy day we had the sun did not come out and the shower did not get hot….but for us this was not a problem at all. Also there is no electricity but there were tons of candles in the house that provided more than enough light. We loved just laying in the hammock at night reading and looking out into the night. I will say it would have been nice to have 2 hammocks so we could both have our own. And there were no bugs! Other than the occasional grasshopper or little beetle at night we had no bugs to speak of. We spent a few days at a similar open concept treehouse in Panama last year and there were a ton of bugs there. I was always worried about what I would wake up with there! But not here at all.
The owners are very friendly and Tess seemed to really want us to experience Dominica and its natural beauty, she was great and always helpful suggesting activities. We drove all over the north side of Dominica visiting rivers, swimming holes, jungles, ruins and snorkeling. And the diving here was phenomenal!
The only only only downside, which is in no way under Tess and Kevin’s control, is the neighbors dogs. The treehouses were not as isolated as I envisioned and there were a few neighbors down the hill. They all had dogs who barked and howled and yelped and barked some more. Sometimes for hours. Barking dogs is one of the sounds I just can’t stand so at times it really got to me. Even with earplugs in you could hear them clearly. I will say they usually quieted down at around bed time and didn’t really wake me up in the night.
Overall, the place was fantastic. It’s definitely geared to the independent traveller. You’ll need a car to get there and you’ll want to do some of your own cooking probably. But really, there is no better way to see Dominica than by renting a car and driving yourself. Driving was a little sketchy at first, but not as bad as we had imagined and after a couple days we were used to it. Though we were really glad we had arrived on the island in daylight. Driving at night did not seem like it would be a good experience on those windy roads with barely room for 2 vehicles to pass.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank copikat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManicouRiverResort, Owner at Manicou River, responded to this review, December 15, 2011
Thank you both for such a great review. Also big thanks from CALLS, the second chance charity school in Portsmouth that I teach at for the book & cards that you very kindly brought out from Canada.

You are always welcome back here.
Tess Hunneybell xx
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2011

My partner and I stayed at Manicou from 16-19 November. After a bit of a nervewrecking drive with the 4x4 we got introduced to our treehouse, which looks truly amazing and has fantastic views over Cabrits and the seas. The house has everything you need and it is very nicely decorated. The treehouse is partly open (no windows I mean), which I had not experienced before but it is really cool. I was a bit afraid there would be many musquitos but there was a clamboo and it didn't seem like there were many after all.
There is lots to do in the area, like the cabrits area and snorkling/diving and ofcourse hiking.The owners are happy to help, but will otherwise let you be.
We really enjoyed our stay at Manicou, but we weren't quite prepared for the lack of electricity and we would like to have known this in advance to take some measures (i.e. charging our camara). Should you wish to do something that requires more light than candles (sorry Tess but we do :), I would ensure to bring something, we got given a lamp but this was for emergency only. Also I would like to stress that this resort is very private, in the sense that it is away from the main road and the owners and neighbours you will hardly see (if you don't wish to). So if you are after romance, peace and quiet, this is the perfect place.
For us, personally, it was a bit too quiet (but please note we are citypeople) but nevertheless we really enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank jessica w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManicouRiverResort, Owner at Manicou River, responded to this review, November 25, 2011
Thank you for the great review. We are really happy that you enjoyed your stay with us.We are 100% unplugged. We are a true Eco Resort and until the electricity on Dominica can run without pollution we will stay free. We have torches, reading solar lights and a battery charging service. I'm sorry that you didn't let us know you needed these.

Many thanks again. We hope to see you back in Dominica
Theresa Hunneybell
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Raleigh, NC
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2011

After a harrowing drive from the south side of the island, over narrow, winding mountain roads, and then through cramped and crowded Portsmouth, the beautiful tree house awaiting us at Manicou River Eco Resort was a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively. The tree house is open on one side to the mountainside below, and from the balcony you have a spectacular view of Douglas Bay, Portsmouth, and Cabrits National Park. Despite being completely open, there were only a few insects and a couple lizards which came in to visit during our stay. The owners were kind enough to remove some large crickets which had been keeping my husband awake at night, and the lizards didn't seem very interested in staying -- they'd just have a look at us and scurry on through. The bedding and kitchen area were all clean as could be, and the owners provided us with coffee, spices, and some condiments to use for cooking which was really nice so we didn't have to waste time or money getting way more salt/sugar/oil than we could possibly use in a few days. The owners and their groundskeeper have planted decorative plants all up the winding road to the resort, and they are finishing up a few more tree houses (in addition to the one tree house and the main lodge which they currently rent out) which will make this place even more beautiful in the months and years to come. Even though the location is kind of far from a lot of Dominica's main attractions, you are still close to a lot of the northern beaches, some great snorkeling spots, and the best drive-through volcano I've ever been in. However, this is the kind of place where you'll just want to relax on the hammock and enjoy the peaceful tranquility of your surroundings. If you decide to stay here, which I highly recommend, be prepared to time your showers to the sun if you want hot water, and bring a headlamp if you have one (or a flashlight will do) for doing things at night, or for when you get back to the lodge after dark as there is no electricity. Also, my husband kept commenting that he wished he had brought his binoculars so if you have a pair I'd suggest bringing them as well. You will also need to rent a 4x4 to get to the resort. I would not recommend Manicou River to anyone who is pregnant, out of shape, or has a heart condition because there is a little bit of climbing to get from the driveway to your room (though it should be no problem whatsoever for the type of people who come to Dominica for vacation). In spite of how spartan it may sound to not have electricity or on-demand hot water, Manicou River felt like the most luxurious of all the places we stayed in Dominica. I thought the tree house was an amazing value for the price, but if you have the money and are going to Dominica during the dry season, I recommend renting the main lodge which is even more amazing than the tree house we stayed in.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bourgeois_Yuppie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManicouRiverResort, Owner at Manicou River, responded to this review, November 4, 2011
Wow we are simply blown away by this review. Thank you so much that is a wonderful thing to say about our resort.

We actually DO have more tree houses built and ready to rent ... they are so well hidden and secluded that you didn't even notice them. Which proves we must be getting it right. The other two you can reach straight from a car.

Binoculars are a must I agree. Especially when the parrots come from 'Morne Diablotin' to feed on the mangoes. One can also see many birds including kingfishers, flycatchers, cuckoos and eagles. Of course all the yachts and clippers and ferries that pass by.

Thanks again and please do come back anytime.
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Additional Information about Manicou River

Property: Manicou River
Address: Tanetane, Portsmouth, Dominica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominica > Saint John Parish > Portsmouth
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Portsmouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Manicou River 3.5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT SINCE APRIL 2013. Manicou River is a collection of hand-crafted wooden cottages perched on the mountainside high above Douglas Bay and the Cabrits National Park on the beautiful, pristine island of Dominica. Our view is one of the best on the island, taking in mountains, the Caribbean Sea and the small town of Portsmouth below. We offer a simple, relaxing, nature experience with just the right touches of luxury. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Manicou River Eco Hotel Portsmouth
Manicou River Dominica/Portsmouth

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