Where to start with Villa PassiFora! What an incredible place!
We travelled as a group of 6 people our 30s who were on an island hopping trip of the Caribbean with 5 nights to spend in Dominica at the villa. We arrived to Calibishie late at night after driving from the ferry in Roseau which was an adventure in itself! After a few wrong turns, we made it to the villa where Ando was ready to welcome us and explain everything we needed to know. it may have been dark but we were all blown away by the villa, the photos do not do justice to how beautiful this place is. It immediately feels like a home away from home, with so many personal touches put in place by the owners from the decor to the library or books, caribbean music and board games to make you feel right at home.
One of our group was only with us for a day and so we had booked a trip in advance to the boiling lake for our first day which was organised for us fully through owner Bruce and the amazing Isaline, the Villa's housekeeper and all round legend! This tour was carried out by Nigel, a friend of the Passiflora team, and I cannot recommend him highly enough. He even came out of his way to visit us at dinner the night before to brief us on the next day's hike which was really appreciated! Nigel was from start to finish the perfect guide and really did the team proud for recommending him. He was so brilliant at explaining everything along the way on the hike, from the flora, fauna and history of dominica. The boiling lake hike was definitely a challenge but Nigel made it so much fun and an unforgettable experience. He is also probably one of the nicest people we have ever met! He had us in hysterical laughter the whole time with his brilliant energy and so if you are considering doing any trips from the villa- make sure you ask for Nigel, he absolutely made our trip!
With the hike done we were able to relax for the next few days in the villa which we were so excited for and it didn't disappoint. The Villa itself is breathtaking. Absolutely beautiful rooms and kept to a very high standard. Going to sleep at night with the sound of the waves was so special and I have never stayed anywhere like it. It was ideal for 3 couples and felt like more of a boutique hotel with each room having it's own key and entrance areas. The communal areas were also so clean and the view was amazing! We had a bit of rain which sadly meant we couldn't enjoy the pool, as the sun didn't quite reach it to heat it enough but we spent hours playing the game of life which is provided in the villa, and we had a brilliant time! When the sun did come out we headed to the roof terrace which was a brilliant sunbathing spot and had an incredible view. We also spent a lot of time reading in the hammocks, which really you could do all day!
Again, with the help of the owners we had pre organised some yoga classes at the villa with Elise, from Alive with Elise, who came along and took morning yoga classes for us on the upstairs decking- as someone who loves yoga, this was a truly unforgettable experience in the most incredible setting and we all took part, even one of the group who had never taken part in any yoga, really enjoyed it.
The local area of Calibishe is fantastic and very authentic with some of the warmest and kindest people we met on our entire trip. We were able to explore the local beaches and town- sampling rum shacks and local restaurants along the way. Huge recommendation for the Rainbow restuarant and bar in town run by Michael, who's food was fantastic and treated us to some impromptu musical performance. A night to remember!
We also have to mention POZ! the local bar and restaurant within walking distance to the villa that we visited a LOT! Poz, the owner, really helped make our trip fantastic. He welcomed us so warmly each time and really helped us out with local enquiries and helpful trip advice. He opened up early for us for breakfast one day and catered to us all so well. The food and drinks were so tasty and he really took so much care in looking after us, another example of the world class hospitality on this island.
In terms of the villa staff- Isaline the housekeeper was brilliant and like a ray of sunshine. So So friendly and welcoming and couldn't do more to help us out. As well as booking our hike, she was on hand for any and all questions and we had the pleasure of sampling her cooking one night which she had prepared for us arriving back from the hike.
Ando was there to help us out whenever we needed and was great with keeping us right about the dogs. I see that many people review about the dogs and yes, they do bark but they are obviously very well trained and there to keep you safe.
I could go on for pages about this place but lastly I want to say a huge thanks to the owners Bruce and Ann. I had a lot of communication with Bruce on the lead up to the trip and he was absolutely fantastic, replying to my many questions quickly and really helping us out with advice on what to see on the island, local connections and info about the villa. Ann helped us set up the yoga which was a real highlight of the trip. Having owners like this makes such a difference to a trip like this as the personal touch is there from before you even walk through the doors of Passiflora. Dominica was the highlight of my trip and the only negative was that we didn't have long enough!
Thanks to all the team and we hope to be back!
Ami and friends x