If you're into nature, aren't big on crowds, and love experiences that are unique and authentic, this is the place for you. Hotel The Champs delivers a vacation experience that's refreshingly different from a high-rise resort. First, there are the views. The hotel is perched on a hillside on the scenic northwest coast of the island of Dominica, delivering sweeping views of the Caribbean from rooms, pool deck and the top-level dining room and bar. And then there's the atmosphere. Owners Lise van de Kamp and Hans Schilders to provide the level of warm personal service usually associated with a bed & breakfast, from fetching guests from the airport to arranging outings and hosting dinners. And perhaps best of all for divers, there are the reefs. Hotel The Champs has partnered with a local dive operator to create stay-and-dive packages that showcase all of the underwater treasures of the Caribbean's Nature Island.
Currently, the property includes five guest rooms, with two to be added in the near future. Accommodations and amenities are arranged on three floors. There are three garden-level rooms furnished with queen-size beds and two Superior Rooms with king-sized beds. All rooms are air-conditioned, and also have ceiling fans for those months when open windows usher in cooling trade winds and bird songs. Amenities include sitting areas, compact refrigerators, spacious ensuite bathrooms, local artworks, both wired and wireless Internet and flat-screen televisions with international programming. That said, guests may find themselves turning off their devices and adjourning to the pool deck or relaxing on their porches or patios to take in the expansive views of Portsmouth, Cabrits and Rupert Bay. At this time, two additional rooms are being added to the hotel along with a yoga area and two massage rooms, and a small bar and hot tub on the pool deck.
The hotel's top level is the home of Restaurant & Pizzeria The Champs, which is one of the island's most acclaimed dining venues, both for the food and the views. Complimentary breakfasts are included with every stay, and the kitchen serves up lunch and dinner menus that feature an extensive range of both local and international dishes. The setting is casual, save for the “Fancy Friday” dinners Friday where fine-dining options are prepared by chefs Joselyn and Eric Subin, and monthly dinners that bring showcase the culinary talents of guest chefs from around the island. Adjacent to the dining room is a well-stocked bar offering spirits and an international variety of red, white, rose and sparkling wines.
Hotel The Champs works with the Cabrits Dive Center, which is located on the Portsmouth waterfront, just a quick shuttle ride away from the hotel. Shop owners Virginie and Rémi Granger personally host each dive, visiting a variety of sites within the Cabrits National Park and Prince Rupert Bay. Unlike the southern end of the island, where sloping reefs predominate, the underwater landscape in the north feature’s walls and a range of intriguing collection of caverns, swim-throughs and volcanic vents. Dominica is known for its macro life, and for unusual finds such as seahorses, flying gurnards, and batfish.
In Prince Rupert Bay, the site known as Volcano is known for the gases that vent from the sea floor and bubble up gently through the sand and coral. Heated sands at this site colored by sulfur deposits that surround huge sponges and brain corals. Shark's Mouth draws its name not from tooth predators but from the groves of large sponges that cover the steep slope in what appears to be the gaping mouths of a school of sharks. Sunshine Reef is ideal for multi-level profiles, as divers can descend a sheer wall, then end on a coral and sponge-covered plateau at a depth of 35 feet. Toucari Caves has been called the beautiful dive in Dominica, if not the Caribbean. This site combines abundant fish life, a healthy reef, caves and coral archways, with geothermal bubbles rising from the reef floor. Favorite sites in nearby Douglas Bay include Five Finger Rock, which is a huge boulder that rises from a depth of 100 feet to break the surface. The wall at Douglas Bay Point is covered with a dense coating of both hard and soft corals and includes a giant boulder field that creates a maze of swim throughs. There is a wreck dive suitable for all, and for the more adventurous, trips to the island's northern tip where Atlantic and Caribbean meet.
Dominica is an island tailor-made for active adventures, which can be arranged through the hotel. Horseback rides follow a historic track along the Brandy River into the heart of Dominica's interior. Hikers can sing up for guided walks that cross the island to the Atlantic coast, climb to the highest peak or venture into the forest reserve to spot Dominica's national bird, the Sisserou Parrot. Dominica is known as the land of 360 rivers. Some cascade down jungle-clad slopes forming scenic waterfalls and cool swimming pools. Closer to the coast, streams such as the Indian River become the site for relaxing float trips made in traditionally-styled canoes. Bathers can also take a soak in the hot springs that create pools along the Layou River. There are a number of historic sites worthy of a visit, and a trip to Carib Territory is a rare chance to interact with some of the last remaining indigenous Caribbean peoples and to experience firsthand their way of life, dress and handicraft traditions.
We have partnered with Hotel the Champs and Cabrits Dive Center to create special diving and adventure packages that deliver the best of Dominica. To learn more, give one of our expert agents a call at 800-330-6611 or send a note to email@example.com.
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