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“Short, but Oh So Sweet” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mermaid's Secret - Riverside Retreat

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Mermaid's Secret - Riverside Retreat
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Newfoundland Estate, Rosalie, Dominica   |  
Hotel amenities
Virginia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Short, but Oh So Sweet”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

I spent one night in the soon-to-be-famous Yurt at Mermaid's Secret. It was a quick getaway for my husband, myself and my teenage son and we had an absolutely fantastic time.

We were lucky to be there during the Pig Roast celebration which was an added treat as I had never experienced cooking a pig in a pit. It was totally delicious, but even better was all the fun we had...

Swimming in the refreshing Mermaid Pool in the river, playing games at the riverside bar (Giant Jenga, Liar's Dive & Cribbage to name a few) and basically just relaxing and enjoying ourselves.

We were there in February and the Yurt was delightfully cool at night (had to sleep with a duvet). The early morning light gently glowing through the canvas and the sound of the river rushing by made it a very peaceful and enjoyable experience. There is plenty of room in there - I had never luxury-camped before, so this was a great introduction. I especially liked the private bathroom & kitchen area in a cabin adjacent to the hut, which made dealing with the necessities of life very easy and convenient!

I hope to get back to Mermaid's Secret before too long and spend more time in the Yurt, watching the ducks stroll by during the day, star-gazing at night, and thoroughly enjoying myself at the Mermaid's Tale Bar & Restaurant in between!

Thanks Sam & Tim.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
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 review, March 24, 2013
Thank you for choosing to sample what we have on offer here at Mermaid's Secret and taking the time to share your experience with others here on TripAdvisor.
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109 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Gloucester, Massachusetts
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

I try not to have high expectations on trips to avoid disappointment and found myself delightfully surprised by the charm and beauty of the Mermaid's Secret and it's lovely hosts! We felt totally spoiled by Sam and Kate's cooking, Doug and Tim's bartending and everyone's stories and also assistance with our trip planning.
I'm a vegetarian and found that Sam rose to the occasion by providing me with delicious and satisfying meals! I thought I'd be using the kitchen in the cabin but never needed to.
I found that we had just the right amount of interaction with our hosts, who would appear whenever we had a question and would give us all the privacy we might need or wish for as well.
Our cabin was pretty and I loved the sound of the river, which, together with the fresh, not too hot tropical night air, easily lulled us into restful sleep.
We are hoping to return to Domenica to see more of it's treasures and we'll be staying at Mermaid's Secret again if we do (also so I can have a re-match at Shove Ha-Penny, their traditional English Pub game and show Tim that Sam and my team are the true Champions!)

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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 review, April 9, 2013
You would obviously be welcome back anytime. Thank you for the great recipes and letting us try out our vegetarian cooking skills.
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

Mermaid's Secret is tucked away in a small valley surrounded by beautiful rain forest, and the cottage we rented was tastefully nestled among fruit trees and flowers. Even better than that, it was the owners, Tim and Samantha, and Samantha's parents Doug and Kate, and Tim's and Samantha's kid Alex, who made our visit special. For a nominal fee, they cooked us breakfast and dinner, dining with us on their deck, serving bar drinks with dinner, giving great advice on places to visit and hike in Dominica, and generally instigating all sorts of mirth and fun. Tim knows the locals quite well and contacted them to ensure we enjoyed our stay; my girlfriend enjoyed quite the luxurious massage on the deck from a masseuse Tim phoned up, and later we took a whale watch with a local captain Tim recruited at half the price of the commercial boats. Mermaid's Secret also boasts fresh coconuts, onsite swimming at the river, and a 'secret pool' with a double waterfall just a short hike away.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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 review, April 9, 2013
Thank you for your contributions to all of the mirth and fun we shared.
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Stafford, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

We endorse everything set out in other reviews from "sv b", "theMikeD" and "paradise 231" so will not waste time repeating their detailed accounts. As a retired ex-pat couple not wanting a tourist type resort, the 4 nights in one of their cottages in this magic location was ideal. We could have stayed longer but had other islands to visit. Another time we would spend more time in and around riverside retreat. Evenings were spent at the meal table/bar with the family (Tim, Sam, Doug, & Kate) plus guests and were memorable, playing cards and exchanging stories. Tim and Sam were most helpful in making sure that all guests were aware of what the island had to offer and the best way to go about things. We spent the days with a hired jeep exploring the island including hiking, sight seeing and carnival. As it was local holiday time with reduced or no bus service, we picked up the locals who needed a ride and they made up for the lack of road signs by directing us, or in one case actually volunteering to go all the way to the tourist site. We were glad we had transport in the form of a high clearance jeep as we were able to explore without too much worry and as to the poor state of the roads.
We did not self cater but loved the excellent meals provided and sipped one or two sensibly priced beers in the evenings. Tim and Sam have a vocation in caring for their guests.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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 review, April 9, 2013
A very sound warning about not playing Cribbage with Kate - lucky there was no money changing hands!
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Tarpon Springs, Florida
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013 via mobile

we stayed at one of the cottages and slept very peacefully. you are among fruit trees and flowering shrubs. the cottage has a nice porch, comfortable bed and beautiful bathroom. the cottage is self contained and situated on the property between rivers in the valley. you are close to the atlantic ocean side of the island and among hiking trails and near by pools and waterfalls. the owners are very nice and helpful. you can swim in the river, enjoy a drink at the bar that has a deck on the riverside. this island is all about fresh water. let tim and sam suggest day trips for you to include hot springs, waterfalls, snorkeling and hiking. enjoy the interior of a rain forest and a place where everything grows so well! take a breath of fresh air and enjoy relaxing at mermaid's secret!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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 review, April 9, 2013
You are so right that Dominica is about the water and lush surroundings and we are glad that you found that taste of Dominica here at Mermaid's Secret.
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Tarragona, Spain
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

For me, going to Dominica in January 2013 was a voyage of re-discovery, having visited the island on many occasions in the 70s and 80s. My girlfriend, however, had never even been to the Caribbean before so I wanted her to be able to truly appreciate the magic of this beautiful place. I had put a lot of effort in searching for good accommodation in a location which would be an excellent base for doing some exploring and had just about decided on an expensive hotel when, on my last look through Trip Advisor brought up Mermaid's Secret.
I am so happy to have made the change to stay with Tim and Sam. The Carib cottage felt as though we were, in many aspects, in that expensive hotel: It was clean and neat and I loved the wooden floors, the stone fittings in the bathroom, the terrace at the front of the cottage and the private garden at the back. The grounds gave a feeling of peace and tranquility with the restful sound of the river running by. I loved being surrounded by the vegetation and being so close to all aspects of nature, including the bats and lizards catching the insects at night and the birds (including humming birds) passing through the terrace during the day. Many others have written about the pool, the bar terrace and the hikes so there is no point in repeating the information - apart from saying that they were all wonderful. The location of the place is great for exploring the island, especially the south-east, - and we particularly enjoyed hikes to some of the waterfalls - but visitors have to remember that driving anywhere in Dominica takes time and Mermaid's Secret is not particularly close to towns or villages so it is always good to plan ahead for all aspects of your day. I am not saying this in a negative way - just practical since, for example, one day I had to drive to Roseau just to go to the cash machine....
Tim and Sam were extremely helpful, giving us great information to help us on our excursions and I particularly appreciated that Tim lent us his walking poles - a recent gift to him from Sam - which turned out to be very useful indeed. Other people have written that Tim and Sam made great efforts to make them feel at home: for me this was not quite correct because they did not have to make any extra effort - it just comes naturally to them to look after their guests and make them part of the family.
Negatives? - my girlfriend would have preferred to have bug screen in the windows and doors, but this did not bother me in the slightest. The track from the main road is rough, needing the height of a jeep-type car, and this may not suit everyone, but, again did not bother me.
In short, I would love to go back - back to Dominica and back to Mermaid's Secret

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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 review, June 2, 2013
Thank you for this kind review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

If you are going to Dominica DON”T MISS out on staying at the incredibly lovely Mermaid’s Secret.
We have just returned from an idyllic 6 nights stay at Mermaid’s Secret. Tim and Sam have put so much love and labour over the past few years into realizing their dream – and it really shows. We stayed in Caribe, one of the lovely cabins, very well-built, comfortable and tastefully furnished/decorated with a lemongrass bush and gardenia just about to flower at the entrance, fringed with bright pink ginger flowers and a lime tree. We were able to sleep with the doors flung wide open onto the porch/deck not needing the mosquito nets at all, waking early to sounds of the rain forest. From our porch we could watch the sun rise over the valley and curls of mist rising from the rivers. At night the full moon lit up the forest and reflected off the river. Magical!!!
Staying at Mermaid’s Secret you can be as private or engaged as you choose. We spent much enjoyable time chatting with Tim and Sam and Sam’s delightful parents Kate & Doug, sampling drinks (including Doug’s famous grapefruit punch and Kate’s bush tea), joining them for meals at the bar and many lovely swims in the exquisite river pool. A highlight of our time at Mermaid’s Secret was going on the Wavine Cyrique hike with Tim and Kate down (and back up again) to reach a secluded black sand beach and stand under the waterfall that drops right down into the ocean. We wouldn’t have done this without Tim’s amazing guidance, support and encouragement.
From Mermaid’s Secret with our 4x4 rental car we were able to access many of the hikes on the south-east side of Dominica. The Kalinago area north-east as well central areas and the west coast were a little further away but no more than an hour to hour and a half drive. You can also hike directly from Mermaid’s Secret without having to drive anywhere.
For us Mermaid’s Secret was the perfect balance of wilderness and comfort. Thank you Tim and Sam for an amazing time.

Room Tip: Any of the cabins or Yurt fantastic
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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 review, February 4, 2013
It was great to have you as guests. We made it to Glasse Point this weekend and our wildlife experience this time was a turtle swimming in the bay.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mermaid's Secret - Riverside Retreat

Address: Newfoundland Estate, Rosalie, Dominica
Location: 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 2 Specialty Lodging in Rosalie
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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