Escape Beach Bar
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I would suggest making use of the contact information on their website:
The beaches on the northeast side of Dominica are for the most part small and beautiful. The problem is that they are on the northeast side of the island. It is going to be about a 2 hour trip one way there from the docks at Roseau. If the reported construction on the road between Pont Casse and Marigot was not happening, it would be a little less time.
Batibou Beach is about one half mile to the southeast. You might want to read this thread: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1578709
Anyway dennbr9, all I know about Escape Bar is what I've read from reviews (which seems fairly positive) but our cruise line is selling a trip there for the end of March which of course doesn't prove it's not closed as excursions can change or be cancelled at short notice, but may be a hopeful sign! We have already booked it now so time will tell!
We are docked at Portsmouth so that eliminates the long drive from Roseau so hopefully that won't be a problem - the fact that we aren't docking in Roseau was the main reason I'm searching for alternatives.
Thanks for your input - don't know when you may be visiting dennbr9 but if it's of any use to you I can post back at the beginning of April with my impressions - if we get there!
We did do the Escape Beach excursion with an excellent guide. From Portsmouth for about an hour we travelled through the very tropical, exotic vegetation which covers the island, through a mountainous terrain and along very bumpy roads. It was an interesting ride.
Escape Bar is associated with the Red Rocks Hotel - and it was closed! However we had been taken to a nearby restaurant for complementary drinks beforehand, had free water provided and had a late lunch there after a couple of hours at Escape Beach so we didn't especially need the bar to be open although some may have been disappointed by that. I guess it would have added to the atmosphere!
The spot is very Robinson Crusoe - unspoilt and very natural - not commercialised to within an inch of it's life or so touristisy that you could be almost anywhere! Having said that we do like to go to resort beachs too but for a feel of something with a very authentic feel this seemed to be rather special. There are plenty of trees for shade - we were able to use chairs from the bar - but not loungers. However you perhaps need to go prepared to just use your towel.
The setting is beautiful and again rather different from others we'd been to on this cruise. It's a bay with red rocks on each side jutting out into the sea. There are coral reefs here too and getting into the sea can be a little difficult with sharp rocks underfoot. but we were able to pick our way along sandy ridges just in front of a large rock about 20m into the sea and found an area which was like a large rock pool with crystal clear water and fabulously warm. It's not a swimming beach though imo - the rocks and tides don't make for easy access.
It was a great spot - as a contrast to some of the other beaches we'd visited - no-one there except our group and we came away feeling we'd seen a really natural and beautiful place.