Papillote Wilderness Retreat is a true oasis and a unique establishment in the Roseau Valley. Take a walk through its botanic gardens, you will soon realize that Papillote is a compilation of the best that Dominica has to offer.
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Papillote (pronounced PAP-ee-ott), was founded in 1969 but has its roots in the post-emancipation era of the 1850s. The retreat is named after two freed slaves, Pappi and Alliot, who settled into subsistence farming in the area.
The establishment has gone through many changes since then. It was once a farm, snack bar, restaurant and a nightclub. After Hurricane David, current owners Anne and Cuthbert Jno Baptiste transformed Papillote into a luxuriant tropical garden.
Where is Papillote Wilderness Retreat?
Papillote is located on the edge of the Roseau Valley village of Trafalgar, at the foot of the hill that leads to Trafalgar Falls. It takes less than 20 minutes to get there if driving and you’ll find the entrance on your left.
There is no charge to enter the property, but you will need to pay to use Papillote’s amenities and to take advantage of the establishment’s services. I’ve included a schedule of Papillote’s price list near the end of this blog post.
Tour guide Jimmy was assigned to show us around the 4-acre gardens and he did a fantastic job.
He wasted no time and informed us that every garden area was part of a numbered system, from 1 to 32. He pointed out dozens of plant types, told us their names and even shared with us how some were used as medicines or in foods.
I made a first pass through the gardens with Jimmy and captured a few images, including those seen below:
Anne is curator of the garden and she is very proud of the Black Bat Flowers. They are very rare and originated in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia.
Tour guide Jimmy told me that if he had known we were coming, he would have let out these peacocks and we would have seen his (the peacock) tail in full spread.
After finishing the guided tour with Jimmy, I set off on my own and captured these images:
This charming pool is located just a stone’s throw from Anne’s residence. It is called the Iguana Pool. Observe the iguana sculpture above the waterfall.
The Restaurant Pool (seen below) can accommodate six people comfortably and is open to the public throughout the day. Please note: pools close at 6:00 PM!
This is the largest area of sculptures that I observed. It features farm animals in a ring, facing each other as if playing a game. Someone at Papillote has a great sense of humor!
A variety of services are available at Papillote Wilderness Retreat. Check them out below:
|Interlude for a Day (guide garden tour, luncheon and a bath in hot mineral pool and private waterfall)||US $65 per person (call to reserve)|
|Bath in mineral pools||EC $20 per person|
|Massage||US $80 per hour (call to reserve)|
|Guided tour||EC $26|
|Self tour||EC $13|
The restaurant at Papillote accommodates both reservations and walk-ins, but it’s always safer to call in advance (767-448-2287).
German-trained physiotherapist Ariane Magloire performs the massages at Papillote. She is quite busy and only sees clients on Fridays, so call to book your spot.
We had an amazing day at Papillote Wilderness Retreat. I look forward to coming back again soon! Here’s a short video of the L’iviere Seyo: