We are always telling you about how wonderful a stay at Hotel the Champs can be. Today we feature a beautifully written experience by Travel Blogger, Clem of the blog “Travel with Clem“. Clem recently visited Hotel the Champs accompanied by Dominican Bouyon Band, “Signal Band“. In her review of the hotel, Clem says,
“Regardless of the room that you pick, you get access to all the room amenities, high speed wifi throughout the whole property, and a modern style bathroom that fits the vibes of the room you choose.”
She also give high praises to our restaurant and the breakfast menu:
..I was particularly impressed with everything we could choose from in the breakfast menu! In fact, because of their breakfast, they can easily rank as one of the top restaurants in Dominica… I love staying at hotels where I don’t have to think about breakfast, because it helps me jump start my day and save time!
Breakfast at the Champs
Clem & Signal Band at Indian River
Beyond the hotel, Clem and Signal Band visited some of the sites and attractions in the area that we also include as part of a Hotel the Champs package. The sites visited were Indian River, Cabrits National Park, and Belle Hall Beach.
The visit was documented by Discover Dominica Authority as part of a travel series collaboration.
Clementine “Clem” Affana is a Medical Doctor by profession, an entrepreneur, travel blogger, business owner and life enthusiast. Passionate of travel and cultural immersion, she build the brand “Travel with Clem” in 2016, which teaches young millennials and busy professionals to travel the world without having to quit their full-time job. She has experienced cultural diversity in more than 20 countries.
This week we will take you away from Hotel The Champs and the surroundings. Behind the Macoucherie rum factory you can hike a long way. The Macoucherie rum Factory is 24 km from The Champs direction Roseau. Just before the (new) bridge you go down to the left where you see a walking trail.
The first part of the trail is “flat”… well as “flat” as it can be in Dominica, nothing is flat in this beautiful nature island but the beginning of this trail is nice and as I call it “flat”. You will see parts of the river on your right hand side on your way up.
After about 1 hour walking the trail goes steep up. (sorry we did not reached that point on or walk) For more information about this walk / hike we will put you in contact with the owner of Tamarind Tree who can also organise a guide if you wish.
The river is nice and calm and very relaxing to look at.
In the next blog we will show you some of the fruits we found on our Macoucherie walk.
You don’t need a car, you don’t need a taxi if you like you can start walking from Hotel The Champs. You just walk direction Portsmouth an turn to your right at Borrow Square (“Bus station”) direction 1 mile / Calibishi. This will take you about 30 minutes.
When you turned to you right you keep following the road till you see a construction company on you right hand (you will see materials / cement trucks etc) here you turn to your right into the bush where you see a nice path to walk.
We had sun and rain on our early Sunday morning walk. The rain can be a nice refreshment. The walk is very easy and relaxing. After 25 minutes walking you reach the point where you see the signs of the Waitikubuli trail. We turned because we prefer short hikes on our Sunday mornings. But you can turn to your right at the signs (if you keep going straight it will be a dead ended road.
If you follow the road to your right you will go further up and will reach a nice view point. If you continue you will will end up at Ross Castle Estate in Picard where you will have to cross a (half broken) hanging bridge. Not too sure how long this will take it all depends if you are an experienced hiker.
On our short hike we enjoyed the view over Portsmouth and Cabrits National Park.
If you look well you can even see we had a rainbow on our way back.
A nice walk in ‘the backyard of The Champs’ is to the viewpoint over looking the bay in Portsmouth and Cabrits. You can just start your walk at The Champs and walk up the hill, before the water tank you go left on a small trail. If you are lucky you can spot parrots here!
After about 10 minutes you will reach a gravel road, take this road up to the banana plantation. Each banana plant has one bunch of bananas covered in a blue plastic bag. The bunches are covered with plastic bags for three reasons: to provide a suitable microclimate for the bananas to ripen more quickly, to protect the bananas (at least to some degree) from insects and other pests and to prevent the bananas from being bruised when it is windy and leaves may brush against the bunch. If you are interested you can take a look at the shelter were they sort the banana’s before taken to the market.
Just before the shelter on your left hand side you’ll find a small path winding down through the banana plantation (marked Waitukubuli trail). This path will lead you to the Picard Bridge where you can go swimming in the river or just continue hiking along the trail. This is part of the Waitukubuli trail, which spans 115 miles across the island of Dominica and the Picard Bridge is just a tiny portion of it. The bridge is a little unstable, so be careful when crossing it.
You will follow your way up, some parts are quite steep, there are ropes to help you up. After about 45 minutes you will reach the viewpoint. There is a small shelter to enjoy the view or have a picknick break. From here you can just take the same route down and back to Hotel The Champs where we wait for you with a nice cold beer or cocktail……
Dominica is known as the island of many rivers. The most beautiful one is certainly the Indian River, which became famous for filming movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean.
From Hotel the Champs it’s only a 10 minute ride or 30 minute walk to the bridge just south of Portmouth where experienced boatmen in hand-oared river boats will take you silently past many types of wild life and plant life along the swampy river bank. The 1½-hour return boat ride along this shady mangrove-lined river glides past buttressed bwa mang trees with a chance to spot egrets, crabs, iguanas, hummingbirds and if you are lucky even a flock of Jacko parrots.
The Indian River got its name because Kalinago (Carib Indian) lived along its banks and used it as an access route to the Caribbean Sea. The river was important to their livelihood as they used it to transport goods for trade with sailors and along the island chain.
After rowing for at least an hour you get to a pretty little bush bar where you get a lot of local, exotic rum punches, the most special one is the Dynamite. It’s a mix of sorrel and passion rum, the locals like it a lot!
From here you can make a nice walk through a small garden with different plants, flowers, fruits and if you are lucky some more wildlife. The guides can tell you a lot about the plants and for what medical reason they use it here on Dominica. If you walk long enough you will reach another bush bar for another Dynamite, but this is up to you….
After your walk and maybe a few drinks it is time to go back to the boat and step in and relax for your way back on the river…….