There are always so many things to do on Dominica, and the Creole-Independence season is no exception. It had been a hectic and health-challenged couple of months since my return from Canada, and I felt that the best tonic for my recovery would be a little time away from the vibrant festivities. So, instead of attending the 18th annual World Creole Music Festival, as I have for many years, I decided I was deserving
of a little down time at Beau Rive, a beautiful boutique hotel near the village of Castle Bruce, on Dominica`s east coast.
I had spent some time here a few months earlier, and that brief respite aided me in my recovery from Chikungunya and helped me work through my grief from the loss of my beloved cat, Tia-pet. I knew that another visit would lift my spirits and boost my immune system and I really looked forward to my next sojourn at Beau Rive.
From the moment I arrived, I could feel the tension and stress melting away as I focused on the gorgeous gardens, stunning vistas and pounding surf as I settled into my cozy room. I seated myself on the patio chair and meditated on the captivating view below me. While the scene might seem the same to some, a careful study of the surf and terrain revealed different shades and hues of the rocks and the ocean`s multi-faceted moods at different times on different days.
Then I went back inside and lounged on the chaise longue as I read a few more chapters of an intriguing murder mystery, with settings in London, Toronto, Lisbon and Washington! ( I recommend Every Secret Thing by Canadian author Emma Cole, which I had borrowed from the Roseau Public Library).
Just before sunset, I refreshed myself with a dip in the pool. I had it all to myself as I swam back and forth several times to make sure that my appetite was at its peak for the delicious dinner I would enjoy a short while later. Once again, I found myself in a hypnotic state as I gazed around me at the lush greenery and watched darling hummingbirds flitting to and fro as they sought one last floral drink before nightfall.
I had not yet seen Mark Steele, the proprietor as he was overseas and would be arriving later that first evening. However, his friendly staff made sure that I was completely comfortable. I had even been given advance notice about what I would have for my dinner – and I could hardly wait! But the time passed quickly, and at 7 p.m. sharp, I was immediately delighted with the plates that were set before me. I first savoured
mouth-watering watercress soup and garlic bread, and was tempted to ask for more. However, that would not have been necessary,as the scrumptious California-style fish and chips with a garden-fresh side salad were beyond compare.
I did not hesitate to tell the staff (and Mark the next day)that the Beau Rive version of this popular Friday night dish was the best I had ever eaten! The local fish Mahi-Mahi was sliced very thinly, fried very lightly and the potato chips were similarly cooked in healthful coconut oil by Chef Anise. I won`t soon forget that meal and I hope to have it again! Needless to say that the other meals
were definitely delectable: homemade basil pesto on pasta the following evening; and yellow fin tuna (local) with fresh seasonings on my last night. Homemade desserts always satisfied my sweet tooth.
Good thing I did a lot of walking on the hilly terrain around the property and along the quiet main road. My exertions were entirely worth the reward of these fantastic dinners.
I certainly appreciated the horticultural efforts of Mark and his gardener. Lovely flowers abounded all around Beau Rive. I was amazed at the variety and I admired this additional aspect of simple, natural, elegant beauty on the hotel property. I didn`t have to know their names, but I knew that the blooms, plants and trees gave me great delight and added to the serenity of my downtime at this quaint hotel.
After my active late morning-early afternoon forays along the east coast, (which will be described in forthcoming posts), I peacefully unwound in the tranquility and splendor which surrounded me at this casually elegant locale. Mark and his staff, most of whom have been with him for many years have a knack for making guests feel right at home. Their warm personalities, culinary talents and collective desire to ensure that one`s stay is completely comfortable add to the unforgettable experience of time spent well at Beau Rive. If you don`t believe me, then check all the rave reviews on Trip Advisor which confirm my own sentiments.
When visiting Dominica, or in need of a little escape from the rigors of everyday life, whether residing on-island or elsewhere, a little (or longer!) stay at Beau Rive is the perfect tonic for body, mind and soul. It certainly works for me!