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“Relaxing Beach Retreat”

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Picard Beach Cottages
Certificate of Excellence
UK
1 review
“Relaxing Beach Retreat”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2009

A wonderful beach retreat for families and couples.
Cottages are well equipped (kitchen, living area which can also be 2nd bedroom, bathroom, bedroom, mosquito nets) and fit in well amongst the natural setting. Those with sea view are highly recommended with the beach as your front garden. On a clear day there are beautiful views of neighbouring islands, Guadeloupe and Marie Gallant.

One restaurant on site attached to the Portsmouth Beach Hotel which offers an extensive menu of local and well known delights. Several restaurants nearby or in Portsmouth such as Blue Bay, Cafe Iguana, are worth visiting.

So much to see on the island so worth hiring a car and exploring it's treasures - Trafalgar Falls, the Boiling Lake, Emerald Pool, Fort Shirley, Middleham Falls. Take your adventure underwater too and see even more delights!

Cottages cannot be compared to the standard Caribbean accommodation one expects when travelling to this part of the world. Dominica is a nature island and the Picard Cottages promote this by keeping things simple and allowing nature to impress those that are lucky to visit this hidden beauty of an island!

Tip: avoid visiting during the University term-time.

P.S. No sightings of negative attitude towards local dogs. Met several dog walkers who felt comfortable walking along the beach.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ILoveToTravelUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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81 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    34
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    7
    11
    6
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35
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Picard, Dominica
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2008

If I could give it zero stars I would!

Dominica is beautiful and I encourage you to visit the island but DO NOT stay at the so-called "eco" cottages!

The management POISONS the stray dogs that live in the area and has threatened to kill my own dogs. I live at the nearby university and walk my adorable little dachshunds past the hotel daily. It is a public beach with no restrictions on dogs on the beach. Despite the fact that I clean up after my dogs as well as the occasional stray, the management at the Picard Beach Cottages has told me to my face that they hate dogs and will not hesitate to kill mine if they get the chance.

As if that were not enough of a reason; all of the environmentally friendly and organic claims of the hotel are highly exaggerated. Anyone genuinely interested in a green vacation will be very disappointed.

  • Disliked — My puppies are not SAFE in the area!!!
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank jamieDF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, FL
Level Contributor
74 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2008

We had to stay at the PBC to get my daughter set up at Roos University medical school. On arrival, we were told we had been upgraded to a better cottage. When we arrived at the cottage, the twin bed had no sheets, there was no A/C, and the refrigerator was broken. We were moved to another cottage. This place at least looked better. The only a/c was a wall unit in the bedroom that made the bedroom like an icebox and the rest of the cottage was still an oven. The housekeeping staff left the bathroom windows open so mosquitos came in during the night and ate us alive. There was nothing to cook with in the cottage, not that you'd want to actually purchase any food in the stores. The onsite restaurant was sickening. They were out of food most of the time and when they had it, it tasted awful. The staff was shiftless, apathetic, and unwilling to lift a finger to do anything. No wonder this island is a 3rd world country. It's because they choose to be. Calling this place a dump is insulting to all of the other places on the planet that are actually dumps. Of all of my travels in the US and abroad, this was the absolutet worse place to stay. I think I would have been better off in the restroom of my local 7-Eleven.

  • Liked — nothing, seriously; it was a dive
  • Disliked — lodging, food, poor service, staff
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank reiddg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington Island, WI
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2008

My boyfriend and I stayed at Picard Beach Cottages for 10 days and had a lovely time. Our cottage was GREAT--just steps from the beach. We did have the very occasional lizard, tree frog or bug in the room, but this was really no big deal. In such a lush and natural setting, critters making their way inside the cottage is too be expected. Our house keeper was wonderful and kept the cottage very clean. Our AC and fridge worked great too. We did not use the kitchen, but it appeared to be simple yet adequate for very basic cooking. We stayed at PBH mainly because it's only a five min. walk along the beach to Cabrits Dive Center. This hotel is an excellent choice for divers who are seeking ultimate convenience and a beautiful/natural setting. However, if you are super picky and expecting a big resort-like feel this is NOT the place for you. With the exception of ordering a Kabuli to drink on the beach, steer clear of the restaurant. The service is terrible and the food is average at best. Not too worry though-there are plenty of other places to find great food, both within walking distance of PBH and in Portsmouth which is a 5 min/1.5 USD cab ride away. BOTTOM LINE: If you are a diver who wants an affordable and basic yet lovely beach cottage within walking distance of an EXCELLENT dive shop, this is the place for you.

  • Liked — Beautiful setting and proximity to Cabrits Dive Center
  • Disliked — the restaurant
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AmyDelyla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
28 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2007

This place has so much potential, but is so poorly run, it's a shame. It has a nice location, and it's great to have the beach at your doorstep, and to fall asleep to the sound of the surf. At first I thought it was a bit quaint, a bit rustic. I've camped on several islands in the Caribbean, so I'm not put off a place if it's not the Marriott.

Here goes: The bathroom smelled like raw human sewage, there were some sort of animal droppings on the side of the bathtub, there was only one AC that didn't cool the two roms very well (not much of an issue), the hot water stopped working at all after day 2 (again, not much of an issue for me.) About this time was when I discovered a lizard in my sink. Wow, isn't that quaint, I thought, until the next day when he and his friends started using my bathtub as a toilet while I was out during the day. Soap in bathroom not replenished, finally bought my own. Giant worm or centipede crawled across floor, leaving trail of brown goo, the died in middle of floor in puddle of same goo. Goo never completely cleaned up by maid.

The attached restaurant was a complete disaster. Allow 20 minutes of stunned confusion by staff just to get a cup of coffee to go, if they are even open when they say they are supposed to be. Every experience there was as if a brand new person was starting his first day on the job and was left alone running the store. And no, they never have change, which is a sly way of getting you to tip them.

The food there was mediocre, overpriced, and delivered cold. I ordered breakfast there and got so frustrated I almost asked if I could go back in the kitchen and prepare it myself. Again, it was as though it was everyone's first day on the job, and the first time they had prepared a breakfast, ever. Pandemonium in slow motion.

The Caribbean is different, especially if you don't want to stay at some chain hotel on a tourist island. But it's not rocket science to keep lizards out of the house- it's called screen and maybe a little caulk. It's not rocket science to sell someone a cup of coffee, or prepare hot food, or respond to simple housekeeping requests, or to clean a room. This isn't a cheap place. They need to put a minimum amount of effort into their business.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — poor service
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank ChesterArthur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
planthealth, managing director at Picard Beach Cottages, responded to this review, April 16, 2007
Thank you for your frank comments. We have addressed them at our staff meeting last week.
Our Policy:

" We will humbly admit that if you are not sensitive to the environment, not interested in protecting turtles and iguanas, don't like being able to take ten walking strides from your cottage to be in the warm Caribbean sea, do not like to be able to snorkel in front of your doorstep, do not enjoy being greeted by genuine warm smiles, don't like to be able to see the stars, don't want to be put to sleep by the gentle lapping waves, or awoken by the flutter of a humming bird's wings, or don’t appreciate the things in life that money can’t buy, or will not let us know directly how we can improve...then we are not what you are looking for."

We do not have a restuarant and recommend our clients patranize all on the island.

Thanks kindly

Fitzroy

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2007

Stayed in Dominica last year at the south of the island, so we knew what to expect. Portsmouth is a fantastic place and the people are so friendly. We booked through the Cabrits dive centre on a 7 day dive package and stayed 10 nights at the cottages. We expected a shack and were not disappointed, far from being a cottage. Forget self catering, this kitchen was basic, the pans we dirty including the frying pan which was filled with fat and dirt which must have been there for months. The glasses had been placed on a layer of old kitchen paper and inside the cupboard was absolutely filthy. Although the floor was swept and washed every day, with clean towels and bedding, by a very friendly cleaner, every corner was dirty with cobwebs,dirt and hair etc. Even though we complained four times about the TV and Telephone which did not work, and that we had no way of boiling water, except in a milk pan which we had to clean, nothing was done. After five days they did offer us a different cottage, however we decided to stay as we were one of the few guests with hot water. Every morning we had to wash away the flying ants which came through the drain in the shower. The restaurant is very expensive and always seemed to manage not to have any change. I know this must read badly, but basic maintence and thorough cleaning would resolve many of these issues. These Shacks are in a great location and the views are fantastic. The diving was great and the dive team at Cabrits were professional and great fun. We found the best place to eat was the Iguana Cafe (rasta food), on the way to Portsmouth. Not only do you get a great meal, the owner and his wife are very friendly and explain all about the ingrediants and cooking methods. Dominica is a wonderful island and we will go back again, but we would not stay at the Picard Cottages.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — Dirty and poorly maintained
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Geordie1108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2006

The location is great - long beach and nice gardens, but the cottages could be so much better (and should be at $144 in the off-season). The kitchenette lacks such basics as can and bottle openers, the fridge has no ice tray, and one wine glass was in pieces in the cupboard. The shower cubicle is tiny, but the TV is a decent size (unlike in many hotels) and the beds are very comfortable (ditto).

  • Stayed October 2006, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MTLUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Picard Beach Cottages

Property: Picard Beach Cottages
Address: Picard Estate, Portsmouth, Dominica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominica > Saint John Parish > Portsmouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Portsmouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Picard Beach Cottages 2*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Picard Beach Cottages, being & healing with Nature. The only Beach Cottages in Dominica where you literally step out of your cottage and onto the beach. Where you are literally 25 feet from a dip in the Caribbean Sea. Where you can sit on your porch and watch your children play safely in the sand or experience some of the most amazing romantic Sunsets. Where you HAVE to walk among a profusion of flowering and fruit trees and shrubs and our 500 year old Samaan Tree all vying for the attention of the countless birds just to get to your cottage. Where your locally built accommodations celebrate traditional 18th century style wooden bungalows which would have speckled Dominica's coasts and villages in those days. Where all the Team are just naturally sweet and courteous and really happy to be here at Picard Beach Cottages to be able to host you in Dominica. And where the owners are 100% local having spent 41 years and now 3 generations working as Pioneers of Dominica's Tourism Industry. As recipients of the Responsible Tourism Award in both 2012 and 2013 we continue to work in all aspects of our operations to be guardians of our heritage through various community and environmental activities and mentor-ship programs. Nestled on the shores of the old Picard Coconut Plantation on the North West coast of Dominica, the Nature Island of the Caribbean, fringed by Dominica's longest sandy beach, Picard Plantation is just south of Portsmouth and Ross University School of Medicine, in a quiet suburban area originally called Ayohayo by the island’s first settlers, the Arawaks. Our eighteen one bedroom en-suite air conditioned hardwood cottages each contains one queen bed, bathroom, kitchenette and living/dining area and private veranda. There is a daybed in the living area, a TV with over 50 channels of Cable television coverage, free wireless internet and iron & board. You will be supplied with local herbal & organic teas and cottage amenities. The Beach Front cottages are just steps away from the beach and the Beach View cottages have glimpses of the beach through the flowering and fruit garden. The Kitchenettes in the Standard cottages have a hotplates, fridge, kettles and coffee makers and our Standard Beach views have shower in the bathroom while the others, Superior cottages have kitchens with standing stoves with oven, fridges, kettles coffee makers and microwave on request (at a small daily fee), as well as a bathtub with Shower. Due to our strategic location you may choose to spend your time relaxing on our beach or in the gardens but we are also ideally located to take advantage of many of the natural attractions and restaurants in the area. We can arrange them all for you, these include; Scuba diving and snorkeling, whale watching, visiting the Cabrits National Park, taking a ride up the Indian river, where parts of the film, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 1 & 11’ were filmed (a number of the executive crew members of the movie were also our guests), Bird Watching at the Syndicate Forest Reserve, visiting the Carib Model Village & Territory or anything you would like to do on the island. Our Wellbeing Pavillion is situated in our forested paddock where Pilates sesions are booked by appointment or various retreat sessions and meetings are held. Our therapists offer various health & beauty treatments by appointment for our guests. At Picard Beach ‘Wellness Eco’ Cottages we offer wildlife & adventure tours, Scuba diving, honeymoon and wedding packages and invite our guests to join in our wildlife preservation and environmentally sensitive operations and projects. Le Flambeau Restaurant & Beach Bar is situated right next door on the property of the Portsmouth Beach Hotel where meals and snacks and of-course beverages are available from 7:30am to 10pm while there are numerous other interesting places to eat in the vicinity. Many neighborhood taxis can take you around Portsmouth, Dominica's second town, should you wish to do some grocery shopping, if you choose to rent a vehicle, we can assist with all these arrangements too. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Picard Beach Cottages Hotel Portsmouth
Picard Beach Cottages Dominica/Portsmouth

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