Roseau, Dominica: Travel + Leisure magazine recognized Coulibri Ridge Dominica “World’s Greenest Resort” in its October edition. The inquisitive and mindful travellers voted for the resort and referred it “THIS MIGHT BE THE WORLD’S GREENEST RESORT”.
On the southern coast of Dominica, Coulibri Ridge (doubles from $700, three-night minimum) is a hilltop oasis 15 years in the making. Built to be energy efficient-it’s powered completely by trade winds and the Caribbean sun the resort is also proof that sustainability and luxury don’t need to be mutually exclusive.
Owners Daniel Langlois and Dominique Marchand shared with TL the seen (and unseen) features of their 14-suite property, which opened in 2022. By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
Coulibri Ridge’s 205-acre site, which was once a citrus farm, is supremely practical: the southem exposure optimizes solar energy generation, and near-constant breezes keep wind turbines running. Being oceanview rather than oceanfront means the hotel is less vulnerable to storms.
Accommodation is arranged across five three-story units, each with a mix of room types. Every building has its own power-generating mini grid as well as a rainwater harvesting system. Exteriors are clad in six inches of volcanic stone that was mined on site, which keeps cool air in and humidity out.
The resort’s 255 solar panels produce 85 kilowatts per hour- more than enough for its daily needs. Excess power is banked in 288 recyclable batteries.
Suites are spacious and designed for longer stays. They’re also equipped with power-efficient LED lighting and faucets and outdoor showers that are motion-activated, which helps reduce water waste.
Two communal pools, a third at the spa, and private plunge pools for guests in the three Sky Penthouses are supplied with rainwater, heated with solar power, and cleaned with copper ionizers, which zap algae and fungi Since it’s not chlorinated, the water is less irritating to eyes and skin, too.
Ninety-five percent of the resort’s power comes from the sun, but a pair of wind turbines provide additional juice. Painted green to blend in to the hillside, their blades are oriented vertically, which is thought to reduce risks to birds and bats-creatures that provide natural insect control.
EVEN MORE EARTH-FIRST FEATURES
The property doesn’t have a natural water source, so rain harvesting is key. Roofs are pitched to maximize runoff, which flows into a series of underground cisterns where it’s filtered and sterilized with UV light.
Chef Damien Mason, who’s from Dominica, draws on the estate’s organically grown bounty, which includes avocado, banana, bok choy, cacao, guava, lettuce, lime, mango, orange, soursop, and tomato. Rather than import ingredients, Coulibri only serves food sourced from the island at its two dining venues.
The resort’s efforts go beyond environmental considerations and factor in the community, too. Coulibri was built entirely with Dominican labor, and all the service staff are Islanders, many from the nearby villages of Scotts Head and Soufrière.