Dominica may very well be the Caribbean’s best-kept secret. Wedged between Guadeloupe and Martinique, this volcanic island is beloved by both adventurers and escapists for its incredible natural beauty that spans rainforest-shrouded mountains, pristine white-sand beaches, sulfurous hot spring and long-distance hiking trails. The lack of any large cruise terminal and airport that can take even medium-haul flights means that Dominica has preserved its traditional character far more than other Caribbean islands, offering both intimate serenity and alluring culture for those willing to make the trip. Boasting big and small wonders that will dazzle you all the same, Dominica is the perfect destination for in-the-know travelers looking to get off the beaten path and discover unimaginable nature, tranquil luxury and villages untouched by time.
Where to Stay
Perched high atop a cliff that overlooks the Caribbean Sea, Secret Bay is a hidden boutique resort immersed in Dominica’s breathtaking natural beauty. Designed to capture the luxury of time and space, the hotel property is set on four acres of land along the island’s northwestern coast and offers guests direct access to two swimming beaches, Tibay Beach and Secret Bay. The resort features just six treehouse-style luxury villas and bungalows crafted from sustainably-sourced Guyanese hardwood and surrounded by lush gardens that are home to native plants and fruit trees. Whether it’s lounging on your personal hammock or swimming in your private pool, everything at Secret Bay happens from the comfort and privacy of your villa. Begin your days with a tranquil yoga session at the open-air wellness pavilion before choosing from a wealth of experience that range from snorkeling and kayaking to Caribbean cooking classes, which can be arranged from the convenience of the resort. Be sure to check out our Luxury Hotel Guide to Dominica for a breakdown of the island’s top resorts.
Where to Dine
Along the southern end of Roseau’s bayfront, the Palisades combines sweeping water views of the Caribbean coastline with the fresh local cuisine of the Nature Island. Directly accessible from its own private jetty, the restaurant is Roseau’s only oceanside dining option and puts forth a smart and refined atmosphere. Choose from the expansive wraparound terrace, where you can indulge to the sounds of the sea, or head inside to the intimate dining space for a more romantic ambiance. The inventive fusion dishes are as tantalizing as the panoramic ocean views, showcasing the bounty of the island with locally-sourced ingredients grown on nearby farms and freshly-caught seafood. Revel in a delectable array of Caribbean and Creole dishes, such as lion fish served with green-banana croquettes and mushroom sauce, BBQ jerk octopus and sesame-crusted tuna with a soy-chili dip, or the char grilled lobster with lemon butter and seasonal greens. Take a peek through our Restaurant Guide to Dominica for all the top-rated gastronomic experiences on the island.
What to Do
On an island that’s well-known for its abundance of unspoiled nature, the Boiling Lake may be Dominica’s most famous attraction. Stretching approximately 200 ft across, the cauldron of bubbling greyish-blue water is the world’s second-largest of its kind and offers magnificent panoramic views of the ocean, the neighboring island of Martinique and rugged terrain shaped by hundreds of millions of years of erosive and volcanic forces. Meanwhile, Batibou Beach is the island’s most gorgeous beach. Fringed by coconut palm trees and rolling green hills, this long and private beach is an entry to nature’s bliss, while the azure waters give way for great swimming and snorkeling. This slice of paradise is cleaned daily for visitors to enjoy the unspoiled natural beauty and there’s even an on-site beach shack where you can refuel on fruity rum drinks. Elsewhere, Roseau is the island’s vibrant capital that’s ripe with bustling markets, botanic gardens and vivid buildings worth exploring.
What to Pack
Dominica is a place to unwind and explore in tranquility and luxury. Leave the plush kit at home and make a casual statement instead. Show off your energetic side while you destress with this Johanna Ortiz Cerca De La Tie-Front Ruffled Swimsuit, which features ruffles falling from the bustier for an ultra feminine silhouette. For added effect, it also has a plunging neckline, ruched bodice and high-cut legs to minimize tan lines. Whether you’re in the spa or at the beach you’ll look refined and put together. For something to cover up between swims the Frame Denim Belted Linen-blend shorts will do just that for a relaxed and intricate style that is ideal for a seafood lunch pitstop. For the complete fashion low-down, check out our Style Sheet for the Caribbean.