|Chez Fie Doudou|
|In July, 2007, my husband and two small children (all canadian) visited the "one and only" Marvlyn Robinson, proprietress of Chez Fie Doudou, a lovely, two-bedroom cottage nestled alongside rolling hills between Giraudel and Eggleston in the country's southwest side. it is worth the incredibly winding roads to get to chez fie dou dou - i mean honk before you turn a curve, because you literally cannot see oncoming traffic around the bend.
The cottage was wonderfully spotless and efficient; not a wasted inch of space. Two double-bedrooms (with curtains designed and sewn by our hostess), a bathroom with shower stall (hot and cold) and lots of towels, a fully-functional kitchen (microwave, fridge, stove, kettle) and eat-in dining, and a living space complete with cable T.V. and phone, all with ample space throughout.
The view from the spacious and breezy verandah was just as wonderful; coffee, avocado and lemon trees blended effortlessly with the tropical plants (especially the anthuriums), lillies, and irises. Marvlyn regularly welcomes visitors from the Princess cruise lines, and they have rated hers one of the best experiences they have had in Dominica and this is no surprise. No tour of her gardens is complete without Marvlyn's very interesting story about the cross-pollination of the vanilla plants entwined in the trees.
Did I mention the view of the Morne Anglais and Morne Trois Pitons from the front lawn? The papaya and cocoa bean trees from the kitchen window? How about the pineapple "plantation" further up the hill? Or the massive mango tree bursting with golden/red fruit? Don't forget the mature royal palms lining the drive.
Avid gardeners like myself will be fascinated by the flora on offer. Even if gardens aren't your thing, the cottage is secluded enough to give you a solid nights sleep, the peace interrupted only by the occasional tropical rainfall and the odd cicada. Her cute and friendly Pekinese(?) dogs Yoko and Annan were just as curious of us as we were of them, but they know they are not allowed in the cottage, so non-dog lovers shouldn't be put off.
My in-laws run a bed and breakfast in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada (Westwinds B&B) so we had very high expectations upon our arrival. Chez Fie Doudou matched and exceeded all of them. We are avid travellers and have stayed in everything from all-inclusive 5-star hotels to roadside inns so we can tell when we've stumbed upon a jewel. We found Marvlyn and Chez Fie Doudou entirely by accident - in fact, another cottage owner recommended her when he wasn't able to accomodate my family. By my books, when your competitors have nothing but great things to say about you, then you're doing a great job.
Thank you Marvlyn for your wonderful personality, your infectious laughter, your funny and poignant stories, your encyclopediac knowledge (and genuine love) of Dominica and the effervescent way that you embrace life. We will definitely be back for seconds and I invite anyone and everyone to share in such unforgettable experience. Plus you'll find out how Chez Fie Doudou got it's name - quite a lovely tale. Feel free to visit our webpages devoted to Chez Fie Doudou and the unforgettable island of Dominica: