Perspectives Blog

Adventures in Eco Spa Development (Part 1)

One of the most healing islands in the world has to be the nature island of Dominica.  I have had a strong bond with the island since arriving there in 2005 to do some consulting for then Jungle Bay Resort & Spa which was just opening.  The 35 cottages on stilts in the rainforest overlooking the Atlantic Ocean was a magical hidden gem; its no wonder that it was the place where I began my love affair with Dominica.

Fast forward now to 2015 the resort had gained almost 200 accolades and awards but alas it was time to develop the next property.  I am delighted to say I am still part of the Jungle Bay team as we prepare to open the second Jungle Bay property late 2018 for a soft opening and in February 2019 for the official opening.

The new ecovillas and spa is overlooking the Soufriere Scotts Head Marine Sanctuary with world class snorkeling and diving.  Also near the new eco resort are hot springs both on land and in a couple locations just steps off the shore, creating amazing underwater bubbles to swim through!

The Jungle Bay site is situated on a historic lime plantation. Fun fact—it was the site that produced citrus for Rose’s Lime Juice Cordial in the UK. Therefore, in keeping with sustainable development guidelines we will retain  the remaining historic artefacts of the plantation and integrate them into the resort to create a more authentic “sense of place”.

Instead of cottages at this property, there will be upscale eco-villas,  more yoga studio space than before, a larger spa still offering all natural massage oils and treatments, plus a few new surprises and of course the signature restaurant and pool overlooking the coast with Joanne Hilaire chef extraordinaire at the helm.

My advisory role on the project includes input on sustainable construction guidelines, wellness, marketing, public relations and more. There are endless decisions to settle on when developing a new property and our team is amazing to work with. I am proud to say that included on this development team is my talented mother Valerie Ell who is the head interior designer.  Her her approach is toensure that as much of the luxury decor to be made from island materials so we are going to have some unique art featured in the villas that is found no where else.  Even the sinks will be crafted from the stone on the island by local masons. See the image to the right envisioned by Valerie and crafted by Gavin the local mason. The fixtures are yet to be added when it is installed in the completed villas in a few months (please pardon the dust its not ready yet).

So we are all very excited about the progress and cannot wait to host our first guests. I’ll keep updates coming here as the project moves along.

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