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“Beautiful Setting, Charming Hosts”

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Mermaid's Secret - Riverside Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 June 2014

My wife, 9-year-old son and I stayed at Mermaid's Secret during the second leg of a 10-day trip to Dominica this April. The stellar Trip Advisor reviews were the main reason we chose the place -- well, that and the pictures of the crystal-clear pool -- and we certainly weren't misled.

We stayed in the Carib Cabin, which is a spare but pleasant studio-sized cottage. The kitchen seems quite functional for those with an urge to cook, but I tend to want a vacation from cooking when I'm on vacation. The porch offers up an amazing view and abundance of birds, and the swimming hole is as lovely and refreshing as advertised. The bar/dining area is well-constructed and overlooks the river -- not a bad place to wait out a rain storm. Tim, Sam and Tom (and Tom's family, who were visiting from the U.K.) were excellent and thoughtful hosts, and they had plenty of useful advice about things to see and do in the surrounding area. We ate dinner there twice (chili one night, BBQ chicken the other) and had breakfast every morning, and we were happy and well fed after every meal. The only drawback I feel obliged to mention is that getting from the main road to Mermaid's Secret is an adventure. It may not be particularly dangerous, but the "road" certainly doesn't feel safe. Anyway, it's a small price to pay for a beautiful place to spend a few days.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Michael E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MermaidsSecret, Owner at Mermaid's Secret - Riverside Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 20 June 2014

Thanks Michael for taking the time to review your stay with us. We appreciate your feedback and certainly agree that our 'road' is an adventure compared to what you are used to but as Dominica is not for the faint hearted you managed very well. The busy roads in NYC will seem boring now:)

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81 - 87 of 190 reviews

Reviewed 1 June 2014

Just got back from 5 days at Mermaids Secret for a second time in Six months. What can I say that I did not say already in my previous post ? Well I could not on the first post say without a doubt that the second time was better than the first. And I am saying that today in this post. Tim and Sam are indeed what make this place what it is. If you take the time at night(after a great meal that Sam prepares) to get to know this couple you will probably be surprised what you find. They seem to fit and yet break the mold of ex-pat in the traditional sense, and their experience on the island can be very valuable as you navigate this beautiful place. Example: We were awoke around 4:00am one morning by Tim to the news of a Turtle on the beach at Rosalie Bay Resort and off we went. When we arrived, the guards at the gate gave us prompt access thanks to Tim, but unfortunately the Turtle had other plans. According to security she slipped quietly back into the Atlantic Ocean just minutes before we arrived on beach. Women are like that sometime times i suppose. Disappointed as we were, without Tim we would have had no hope of even having the chance to see one of these magnificent creatures. Just the kind of service you can expect when you make friends with Tim and Sam while staying at Mermaids Secret. We are counting the days til our next visit. Tim and Sam we cannot wait to see you guys in November. Dominica we love you and hope you always keep your rugged nature and gentle spirit. Peace Keith and Tina

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Keith H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MermaidsSecret, Owner at Mermaid's Secret - Riverside Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Thanks Keith and Tina for staying with us again and of course writing another review! It was great to have you guys back and we certainly did get more chance to 'hang out' this visit as you were the only ones here:) Glad you mentioned the turtles(thanks to the Rosalie Resort for allowing us easy access to the beach) as they are a key attraction here on the east coast during the season of march to late june-ish. This season has not been so busy but just after you left us we had a nesting turtle and hatchlings at the same time during the light early evening. Just goes to show you can never rely on nature to be predictable!
see you in November all being well. Thanks again and take care.
Tim

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Reviewed 19 May 2014

If you like me have read trip advisor reviews in the past and wondered, "Should I go there?" then read on... This destination was without doubt the best of what the Caribbean has to offer. Beautiful days spent walking in the rain forest or hiking to a spectacular waterfall, snorkelling in the blue water or lounging in the river, all followed by nights under the stars listening to the amazing sounds of the wildlife. Nature is never far away on this volcanic landscape. Everyday a new adventure to be sought and a new experience to be had. All this made so easy by the guys at Mermaid Secret. Sam and Tim have created a perfect idyll in the middle of it all, non intrusive, it lets the island do it's thing while offering a beautiful place to rest, recuperate and plan the next day. The team will be your chef, tour guide, barman, host and above all by the end of your stay, friends. I simply can not do Dominica justice in writing, a visit is the only way you will find the true secret this place has to offer.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank ElectricSweep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MermaidsSecret, Owner at Mermaid's Secret - Riverside Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Thanks for this kind review. We are pleased you had a nice time here with us and we really appreciate your enthusiasm in helping us make 'the movie'. Certainly an unexpected adventure for you guys and I can see it catching on as a 'tour'!

(for confused readers check our mermaids secret youtube page for the movie 'Animals Assemble and the case of the Bounder')

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Reviewed 13 May 2014

The island of Dominica is raw,rugged and an adventure seekers dream! You could spend weeks exploring the island and not even touch the many gems on this island. However (hands down) the best lodging on the island is this jewel called Mermaids Secret! As many have said, the property is nestled dead smack in a rain forest, sits rest next to 3 rivers ( is that a copyright enfringement :) and is very clean/comfortable. You may find resorts with more glitz and hype but you WILL NEVER find one with more personable owners! Tim and Samantha are true Owner Operators and put sweat equity into their ownership. After one day on the property, I felt like I knew them for years. By the time I was ready to leave, it felt like I was leaving a loved family member. Which brings me to my only word of caution; " A trip to this island and property could throw your current life into turmoil! After leaving the first time, I had a hard time getting back into groove of my old life. In fact, after returning to the states, I spent a great deal of time researching how I could make the move to this island and become neighbors with this beautiful couple".

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Thomas D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MermaidsSecret, Owner at Mermaid's Secret - Riverside Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Wow what can I say to this review Tom? Thanks so much for your kind words and we certainly felt we waved goodbye to good friends when you headed back home. Our many wonderful guests like you guys really do make our job easy though. We simply enjoy meeting and getting to know everyone while they are here and try to have a few laughs along the way.

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Reviewed 10 May 2014

Hearing about this place through friends, I knew it was going to be great. However it exceeded my expectations! It was absolutely beautiful. Surrounded by jungle next to a river and with it's own beautiful natural pool Mermaid's Secret offers exceptionally comfortable and well equipped cabins and a yurt. The Mermaid's bar is a lovely hangout with a large veranda looking out over the river. It offers comfy chairs and a hammock. Breakfast can be had from here, and on request a lucky dip evening meal is offered. All the food I had was delicious. Sam and Tim are exceptionally welcoming and friendly hosts. Tim can take you out to explore the island's sights and hidden treasures. His knowledge of the island is vast. I would recommend Mermaid's Secret and Dominica highly and I'm looking to revisit in the not too far a future hopefully.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank Moppiepats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MermaidsSecret, Owner at Mermaid's Secret - Riverside Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Thank you for this kind review. I'm pleased your friends had heard about us and you took up their recommendation and came to stay. Hopefully they will also get the chance to explore this wonderful Island one day

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Reviewed 10 May 2014 via mobile

We stayed here last month for 5 nights, it was a return for me, but my girlfriends first visit.
I knew that Tim and Sam would have been working hard in the intervening years but the transformation from beautiful spot with potential to the present set up was hard to believe.
The cabins are little spots of luxury and the bar area is such a wonderful place to sip a cocktail while chatting with whoever is around at the time.
Sam's breakfasts and evening meals are perfect ways to start and finish the days of trekking, snorkelling, sightseeing, turtle watching or just loafing.
The favourite part of our day was rolling out of bed after a long deep sleep and wandering down to swim in Mermaids Pool. What a way to start any day!
Tim and Sam are the perfect hosts with a deep knowledge of the island. Tim is more than happy to take visitors on adventures both big and small.
The boiling lake is a hard day, but a worthwhile one.
We will definitely be back. Hopefully next time it won't take 5 years!

  • Stayed: April 2014
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Thank RogerSarginson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MermaidsSecret, Owner at Mermaid's Secret - Riverside Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Thanks for this review Rog. It was great to welcome you back and show you the changes we have made over the last 5 yrs. You were our first visitor back in the day. There is still more to do of course!

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Reviewed 10 May 2014

We spent 4 nights at Mermaid's secret and we definitely have to say it is one of the best, if it is not THE best place on the island that we've been to. The surroundings make you experience the real jungle that you normally only see in the movies, and the cottages are so well done, you feel confortable and cosy as soon as you step into them. And what to say about Sam, Tim, Alex and Tom, the owners and "team"? They're just great! They Welcome you so friendly and make you leave the place with a big smile on your face! If you want a great holiday, don't hesitate: it is the place to go in Dominica! :-)

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Meryl P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MermaidsSecret, Owner at Mermaid's Secret - Riverside Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Hey Meryl, thanks for this kind review. We enjoyed you being here and it was a nice surprise you came back later on to camp once your boyfriend had gone back to Switzerland. I guess its safe to say you enjoyed it here too! I hope you still remember the actions to the pirate song:)

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Additional Information about Mermaid's Secret - Riverside Retreat

Address: Newfoundland Estate, Rosalie, Dominica
Region: Caribbean > Dominica > Saint David Parish > Rosalie
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Rosalie
Price Range: £11 - £71 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mermaid's Secret currently offers a choice of accommodation options in either stylish, comfortable and fully equipped cabins or fully fitted Yurts for the more discerning camper. Located in the beautiful, lush Dominican rainforest on a site surrounded on three sides by three rivers with pools suitable for bathing and a riverside bar. ... more   less 

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