It has been a few months since we gave an update on how our expansion is progressing. The COVID-19 pandemic did slow the construction works down some. However, our crew is working and it is all beginning to take shape. The bulk of noisy and dusty work is just about done.
The Walls are Up
We have walls! You can now see that our (soon to be) two new Superior XL Rooms coming together nicely. We are now able to distinguish between the two rooms and their interior spaces. With the bathroom walls in place, we are preparing to start the next phases of this project: tiling, fittings. Soon we will be painting and putting in furnishings. We can’t wait for the day when these rooms will be ready to welcome guests.
Looking out to The Cabrits from the Balconies
The views will be splendid!We are not sacrificing any of the signature Hotel the Champs views with this expansion. From their balconies, guests will still have uninterrupted views of the Cabrits as well as the Caribbean Sea and the community of Picard.
Balcony of Rooms 6 & 7
Our new Superior XL Rooms (Room 6 and Room 7) are on the middle level, and as with our existing Superior XL Room will comfortably accommodate up to 4 individuals with the different bed configurations. Our Superior XL Room has the option of a King bed or two Twin XL beds as well a Queen sofa bed, making it ideal for groups or family trips.
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.
Dominica is called the Nature Island of the Caribbean, once you will enter the country (by sea or air) you will understand why.
At Hotel The Champs we are not farmers but because it is so easy to grow fruits / veggies (plants, flowers and trees) we decided to put some herbs / veggies in the soil. Please check below in the first picture you see an eatable hibiscus it tastes like a wild spinach (also growing in Dominica) and some basil (tea / pesto / salads etc) In the second picture you see a small paracetamol (tea) and a patchouli oil: an essential oil derived from the leaves of the patchouli plant, a type of aromatic herb. In order to produce patchouli oil, the leaves and stems of the plant are harvested and allowed to dry out. They then undergo a distillation process to extract the essential oil and is used in perfumes, cosmetics, and incense. Tea: hot or cold.
Below our pool deck we made a special “bed” to grow some nice juicy watermelons;
Top 9 health benefits of eating watermelon.
Helps You Hydrate. …
Contains Nutrients and Beneficial Plant Compounds. …
Contains Compounds That May Help Prevent Cancer. …
May Improve Heart Health. …
May Lower Inflammation and Oxidative Stress. …
May Help Prevent Macular Degeneration. …
May Help Relieve Muscle Soreness.
Don’t forget our crispy cucumbers. Its so nice to pick a fresh cucumber for your salads
7 Health Benefits of Eating Cucumber
It’s High in Nutrients. Cucumbers are low in calories but high in many important vitamins and minerals. …
It Contains Antioxidants. …
It Promotes Hydration. …
It May Aid in Weight Loss. …
It May Lower Blood Sugar. …
It Could Promote Regularity. …
Easy to Add to Your Diet.
And what to think about our fresh chives delicious with every salad, on your eggs in the mornings in a salsa. In front of our Garden Rooms you will find some Papaya plants. Deliciously sweet with musky undertones and a soft, butter-like consistency, the papaya was called the “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus. In Dominica we eat the Papaya ripe (orange inside) as sweet fruit or green in a salad or cooked in coconut oil.
Our last plant / tree in the garden is the Moringa. Moringa is believed to have many benefits and its uses range from health and beauty to helping prevent and cure diseases. The benefits of moringa include:
Moringa seed oil is beneficial for protecting hair against free radicals and keeps it clean and healthy.
Moringa appears to protect the liver against damage caused by anti-tubercular drugs and can quicken its repair process.
Moringa extracts might help treat some stomach disorders. Due to its antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties, moringa extracts might combat infections caused by Salmonella, Rhizopus, and E. coli.
Moringa also contains calcium and phosphorous, which help keep bones healthy and strong. The powerful antioxidants found in
Moringa extract might help prevent cardiac damage and has also been shown to maintain a healthy heart.Extract of moringa has been shown to help wounds close as well as reduce the appearance of scars.
Moringa helps to reduce the amount of glucose in the blood, as well as sugar and protein in the urine. This improved the hemoglobin levels and overall protein content in those tested.
And much more but I am sure for those who like more information about the benefits of Moringa will “google” and find the answers.
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……