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“Paradise.....truly!”
Review of Secret Bay

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Secret Bay
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 March 2014

My husband and I returned recently from a week-long stay in paradise!, i.e. Secret Bay.
From the moment you arrive, you are steeped in lush flora/fauna, impeccable service and architecture/design that is elegant and stops short at nothing! Whether you stay in the cozy, treehouse “bungalow” (we stayed in Mapou…amazing views from the floor to ceiling windows of the upstairs bedroom) or one of the villas (we also stayed in Zing-Zing….a spacious, 2 bedroom building with every modern kitchen appliance and a spacious veranda where we spent most of our time (not one mosquito, by the way, but spray at night for the no-see-ums), you can’t help but feel you are luxuriating in the highest quality of materials and design.

The service truly sets this resort apart from anywhere we’ve stayed. From the very first email,…..Anna,( the manager) makes you feel very special. With her warmth, intelligence and “can-do” attitude she sits down with you upon your arrival and helps you arrange all of your excursions, spa treatments, restaurants, taxis, and on-site activities. We especially loved the hike she directed us to, section 13 of the Waitukanubi (?)trail….this is a delightful, moderate, 3+hour hike that takes you through idyllic farm-like landscapes, rainforest and stunning coastal vistas. The other staff who attend to your meals and other needs are fantastic as well.

The food surpassed our expectations----everything was deliciously and beautifully prepared, using Caribbean spices to perfection. You can get any two meals you like in a given day…..some of our favorites were the lion fish, the bbq’d ribs for lunch (they’ll pack them up to take on a kayak to the beach), the lobster, the steak and the amazing array of fruits and vegetables. We loved talking with Gemer, the award-winning chef, down at the Souce shack….we are awaiting her cook book. When ordering items for your stay, we would recommend stocking up on the Secret Bay rum punch, the homemade granola and granola bars, their delicious greek yogurt and the flavorful fruit juices (you can also order a wide variety of wines, alcohol and beer).

Other excursions we loved were fishing/snorkeling with Don, exploring the cave with Vincent, kayaking around the bay on our own (Coconut Beach is accessbile and has sun in the morning, Secret Bay in the afternoon). The river boat tour was lovely but a bit touristy.

While at Secret Bay, you may have all the privacy you wish….on some days we never saw another guest . My suggestion to Gregor (the charming and personable owner who came to our villa and spent some time with us) would be to think about a weekly “cocktail” party up at the Sunset Deck and/or a beach bbq lunch/dinner that would give people the option to mingle with other guests and compare notes about this magical little “secret”!

Room Tip: the bungalows are small, but cozy and with amazing views from the bedroom. Zing Zing villa, while s...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank momtwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 March 2014

Secret Bay is a hidden treasure. The environment and the serenity of the property and its surrounding shores with all the natural beauty make this a very special and relaxing place. There is a little beach on the property, and you can easily kayak to Coconut beach to the right and Secret Beach to the left - both are easy 5-10 minute kayak rides (slightly more challenging if the wind is kicking up.) The nearby Fort Shirley and a tour with "Dr. Birdy" are not to be missed. The staff are all wonderful, and Anna will address any request that you have. Anna really works hard to please the guests, and she does so in a pleasant way. Anna set us up with Tour guides and taxi drivers, and every one was knowledgeable and friendly, and we felt very safe and in good hands at all times. Everyone who works at Secret Bay is nice, pleasant and friendly - every single person. A special thanks to the ladies at the Sous Shack who prepare all of the meals - they do an excellent job preparing tasty meals using all local ingredients. We loved sitting at the counter and watching them cook, and chatting with them, and learning about what's going on in Dominica. We had lunch at the Sous Shack every day and definitely found this to be a special part of the trip for us. We had dinner served on our deck every night. The hotel was full but since it can accommodate only a total of approximately 14 people, it always felt like we were the only ones there, and that all of the staff were focused on us and on making our stay a pleasantly memorable one. They succeeded, consistently. We enjoyed Secret Bay and Dominica so much that we stayed 2 extra days.
It is important to note that Secret Bay and Dominica are not for everyone - If you are looking for a Hilton or a Four Seasons, or nightlife, this is not the place. If you are looking for a small secluded place with local character, spotless, natural beauty, and friendly and accommodating staff, this is the place - don't miss it.

Room Tip: The rooms closer to the water have more "natural sounds" like birds, trees swishing, and t...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Sheilah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2014

Secret Bay is luxurious and relaxing with consistent first class service!!!!
Each day I enjoyed views from large floor to ceiling glass windows opening to the Caribbean sea below, with a lush forrest view behind me. The daily sounds were provided by the sea gently crashing below my deck, along with beautiful tropical birds singing all around the private bungalow.
As I wandered throughout the expansive lush property I found many secluded spots that included two private beaches, a sunset deck, gorgeous landscaping, along with many amenities to enjoy daily excursions.
My arrival started with a warm welcome at the airport by Gilbert, who cheerfully gave me a tour of the island on the way to the resort! Anastasia greeted me upon my arrival at the resort and graciously introduced me to other lovely members of the team throughout my 5 day vacation. Great efforts were put into planning my three excursions, which included an Indian river tour, horseback riding and a nature/birdwatching hike. Even the owner, Gregor, took the time to greet me during my stay.
The bungalow was comfortable, immaculate, and has a pristine architectural flair. I slept peacefully in my treetop bedroom with a view of the sea. Each day I enjoyed wonderfully prepared dishes that were created with local tropical produce and freshly caught fish/shellfish! My favorite item when stocking the kitchen was the gourmet basket, which was full of tropical fruits, granola, yogurt and honey, along with the cocoa tea!
Finally, the best part of the resort experience were the sincere, professional people who valued Dominica's natural beauty and made each day a beautiful memory by providing top notch service!!

Room Tip: Love the bungalows for going solo or for a couple who wants to be cozy!
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Nancy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2014

Stunningly beautiful accommodations that grabbed my attention even after years of travel and stays at 5 star hotels. My next stay will be extended to fully take advantage of the peaceful surroundings and the amazing service, but most importantly relax an not leave my incredible room!
If you have a bucket list add Secret Bay.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank William W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2014

I write this review with some misgivings. Secret Bay is a hidden, unspoiled gem located on an island paradise. The staff is wonderful, the location spectacular and the villas quite extraordinary! We missed a connection on the way there and had to overnight in Barbados. Anna from Secret Bay went above and beyond; she found us an hotel, helped us get on the next available flight etc. she even called us at the hotel to make sure it was satisfactory. In short she turned what could have been a hellish experience into a hiccup. It made a huge difference knowing we weren't navigating it alone. At Secret Bay you truly feel special. The service is discrete and personal. Oddly enough there is a very home-like feel (even if home does not have amazing views, personal attendants and a cappuccino/ espresso maker!).
Dominica is very different from other Caribbean islands we have visited. It is extremely lush with an abundance of fresh produce. It seems they can grow anything - except apples! The people are warm, friendly and very proud of the Island. Nature is everywhere, unspoiled and spectacular.
So hence my misgivings........ The secret is out!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kofka01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2014

After weathering three months of the horrible Chicago 2014 Winter (Chiberia), we have escaped to the beautiful island of Dominica, specifically Secret Bay... And we are in paradise! We had the wonderful experience of being met by Gilbert at the airport, who greeted us with water and local tropical snacks and transported us to Secret Bay while educating us on the island along the way. Upon our arrival @ Secret Bay, we were simply in awe of the architectural wonder of the individual villas with spectacular ocean and jungle views. Zabuco II is simply beautiful and, as a couple of engineering nerds, we thoroughly enjoyed Gregor's visit (the owner) during which he educated us on the design and materials of construction.

We have been spoiled rotten by Saralee and Deslyn as they keep us served with our needs for drinks, snacks and meals. Talking about meals, no restaurants here. Just state what you want and it's yours... But after two dinners of our choosing, we opted to be surprised! Ever meal cooked by Jemma, Josie, Nianda and Eric has proven to be mouth watering! From freshly caught shrimp, lobster and blue marlin to chicken and beef... May the surprises continue until our departure! Of course we definitely hope to have some more seafood chowder mixed in there somewhere again!

While we are being stuffed and spoiled, we have also enjoyed Anna's great recommendations on sites to visit and things to do: snorkeling off Secret Beach; hiking to Bwa Nef Falls where we also got an education on the local provisions plus how chocolate is made from cacao; exploring Emerald Pool, snorkeling Champaign Reef and whale watching where we saw 4 Sperm whales plus a school of dolphins! Today we explored the Indian River with "Fire" as our guide and saw where Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3 were filmed. A very relaxing vacation thus far with excellent accommodations! So glad we picked Secret Bay... Glad we have another 3 days to go before we depart!

Stayed: March 2014
Thank Tom W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2014

Secret bay was wonderful. great vistas the help were very very good. The food was tremendous. A very romantic place furnished completely with first class materials.
It is very different than any hotel we have ever been in. Looking over the bay seeing wonderful sunsets was very restful. It was quiet and set in a natural location. The cabins are also protected from each other. We loved it and would think any one else who loves nature would also love it.

Room Tip: be prepared for the stay of your life
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Marshall B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Secret Bay

Address: Ross Blvd., Portsmouth 00109-8000, Dominica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominica > Saint John Parish > Portsmouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Portsmouth
Price Range: £471 - £933 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Secret Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tucked away on the unspoilt nature island of Dominica, Secret Bay offers sustainable luxury villas and bungalows and is the perfect place for a honeymoon, anniversary or the secluded holiday of a lifetime. Situated on a cliff-top overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Secret Bay is unique in its diversity: two beaches, the magical Cario River, a spectacular sea cave and two distinct micro-climates. Secret Bay is becoming known as one of the best boutique resorts in the Caribbean - and indeed the world - for honeymoons, anniversaries, small family escapes and adventure vacations. In 2013 Secret Bay was chosen as the number one luxury resort in Caribbean by Islands Magazine; and its Zabuco Honeymoon Villa was voted as having the 3rd sexiest bedroom in the world at the Smiths Awards. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Secret Bay Hotel Portsmouth
Secret Bay Dominica/Portsmouth

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