Debi and Todd just returned from Dominica, The Nature Island.

Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-EEK-a, and not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is the youngest Caribbean Island and the last to be colonized, ultimately earning its independence on November 3, 1978. Dominica was recently named the #1 Island in the Caribbean by Travel + Leisure and boasts the #1 Resort in the Caribbean (read on to know which one!). The island has long been an under-the-radar destination but it is growing in popularity and tourist numbers. It’s adding more daily flights every few months, and Hilton and Marriott are opening resorts in 2023. Currently, Dominica has mostly a few small boutique hotels and one Kempinski. It has 365 rivers (and lots of waterfalls!), over 300 miles of hiking trails, nine active volcanoes, the world’s second-largest boiling lake, and is home to the largest population of indigenous people in the Caribbean.

Enjoying the Sunset Deck at Secret Bay – our host reserved the deck for our exclusive use for sunset cocktails.

What to do on Dominica

Dominica is one of the only countries in the Caribbean where sperm whales roam its waters all year long. The waters are very clear and allow for some of the best diving and snorkeling in the Caribbean, including at Champagne Reef where bubbling waters come up from the volcanic thermal springs on the ocean floor.

We hiked for about an hour to these spectacular waterfalls. The hike was challenging with a wet, slippery trail and negotiating large tree roots and rocks but it was completely worth it!

Secret Bay: The Best Resort in the Caribbean

The #1 Resort in the Caribbean is the six-star Secret Bay Resort. It is a member of Relais & Châteaux, a prestigious association of luxury hotels and restaurants. Set on a lush hillside in rugged Dominica, this all-villa hotel prioritizes privacy. Secret Bay is growing but currently has just ten tree-house-style villas made of sustainably sourced wood. The eco-sensibility is coupled with luxe amenities including individual terraces offering sea, rainforest, and mountain views; private plunge pools; outdoor rain showers; a gourmet kitchen for guests and their private chefs; and a dedicated butler. There’s also a secret beach accessible only by paddle, kayak, or swim, and activities like night snorkeling and yoga.

Our gorgeous, totally private villa at Secret Bay (left). It has a stocked kitchen, outdoor grill, a second-floor bedroom and bathroom, and yes a private pool. The beach is small but beautiful and secluded.

Jungle Bay Resort

Jungle Bay resort has stand-alone and connecting villas. The views of the valley and ocean are beautiful.

Jungle Bay Resort is a nature-inspired luxury escape, connecting each guest to the soul of Dominica. The nature resort is now offering its Adventure Wellness Package which includes your accommodation in their eco-villas, farm-to-table meals and juices, daily spa treatments, and yoga sessions. Their adventure package also includes access to island excursions including hikes throughout their more than 300 miles of trail, exploring hidden waterfalls, snorkeling in Champagne Reef, ocean kayaking, visiting the island’s hot springs, cooking classes, herbal tea tastings, and local rum samplings. While we were there, the resort hosted a yoga retreat, a small conference, and several couples. It’s a perfect home base to explore the southern part of Dominica.

Kempinski Cabrits Resort & Spa

Kempinski is a Swiss luxury hotel management company that has 80 5-star hotels in 35 countries. One of them is on Dominica on the north side of the island. It is an elegant, traditional resort with several pools, restaurants, bars, a great spa, and a black sand beach. Located near the Cabrits National Park, the historic 17th century Fort Shirley, and the city of Portsmouth, the Kempinksi has a large conference meeting space that would be perfect for an indoor wedding reception or business convention. It’s also near a family-run farm and we loved our horseback ride through the National Park and into the ocean water.

We had a fantastic trip to the Nature Island. If you are considering a Caribbean trip, I’d love to talk with you about it and see if Dominica – or another island – would be perfect for you!