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“Idyllic Romantic” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Secret Bay

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Secret Bay
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
sanfernando
1 review
“Idyllic Romantic”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2011

Secret Bay is beyond breathtaking from the entrance where as you enter you can smell the local guava in the air creating a sense of tranquility followed by the beautiful flowers. The bungalows are absolutely breathtaking, it produces an air of relaxation which makes you never want to leave with of course the most inviting comfortable dreamy bed. This resort exceeded and superseded my expectations. We had to kayak to their private beach which is indeed the most beautiful and romantic experience since my bf proposed to me there. This beach is idyllic for anyone in search of relaxation or romance, the turquoise water compliments the white sand and if your lucky you can see the beach crabs playing hide and seek, this beach was the absolute best for me we snorkeled through the coral reefs which was only added to the serenity, I especially enjoyed the privacy it offered by its seclusion. The service was beyond five star, Anna an employee of this five star destination assisted my fiance and I in every question and advice whilst on our trip, her hospitality was truly genuine, we were both exceptionally pleased with their hospitality, all the staff at Secret Bay were very courteous. Their local cuisine was mouthwatering as our meals were prepared in the kitchen in our villa by our own personal chef,what more can one ask for than to wake up with the smell of a delicious breakfast awaiting you. I definitely would suggest Secret Bay to Anyone searching for somewhere idyllic and romantic where the staff caters to your every whim, its a beautiful place and to Awesome to be kept a secret.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sophiecodrington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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471 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (171)
Date | Rating
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English first
Edmonton, CANADA
Level Contributor
83 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2011

Okay, let’s roll out the gushy descriptors: private paradise; tropical heaven; pampered luxury; romantic hideaway, etc.
But, in this case, all of these overworked superlatives play marvelously to describe this small resort on the northwest coast of Dominica.
Secret Bay, with its four seaside villas, had been open less than five months when we decided that it might be what we were looking for on Dominica. We were a little skeptical that not one critical review had appeared in print --all the comments on this site were five star, and the travel writers(Travel&Leisure, and New York Times) were equally enthusiastic.
Nevertheless, we decided to take a leap of faith and pay the sizeable amount required for a week's stay in their signature unit, the “Honeymoon” Zabuca villa.
And after soaking up the special ambience and guest pampering at Secret Bay for a week and a half,(we extended after our first hour on the property) my wife and I both add our voices to the chorus of praise for this special place.
The villas are discreetly arranged in a forested grove on a high bluff overlooking the Caribbean. All are finished impeccably and constructed of South American hardwood that should last well into the next century with ease.
Our unit ---more like a house at nearly 1700 square feet--sat on the promontory of the property like a luxury lighthouse; the view from the gigantic deck spanned 180 degrees, and you captured spectacular vistas of sail boats and nearby Portsmouth from anywhere in the structure--even from the master bedroom shower when you opened the sliding outer wall to gaze down upon the sheltered cove below.
Owners Gregor and Sandra have assembled a staff that defines personalized service. Upon arrival we were given a cell phone with all their private numbers(including the owners) and told to call anytime, day or night. Anna, the “concierge”, is probably the most attentive and warm human being to fill this job that I have come across --she truly is a marvel. She will arrange day trips, hikes --try the gruelling Boiling Lake trek if you’re fit-- restaurant bookings, car rentals or anything else you might dream up. Her favourite saying was “you have my undivided attention until you are happy.”

Privacy is a dominant theme of Secret Bay. You can access on-site chefs who will custom cook all your meals for you (including my wife's gluten-free diet) at whatever time you want, or stock your kitchen for self-catering(with no markup!) There was even a red flag on the side of our villa that could be lowered to indicate your desire for total privacy--evidently one couple left it down for nearly three straight days, causing some anxiety for staff who nevertheless honored the signal.
Gregor was born in Dominica, and brought his wife and family back after years abroad to fulfill his vision of building an “eco-luxury” property that merged high quality, environmentally-sensitive practices, and community engagement. He is passionate about his masterpiece, designed by his Venezuelan architect father-in-law, and will walk you around the entire property to describe its history and construction. So far, glowing reviews and media accolades have been plentiful enough that success should be guaranteed.(Gregor has plans to sell fractional ownership shares in future villas, so the current cabanas are technically show suites).
But he still has some risk: Dominica and the resort are somewhat removed from the typical Caribbean holiday circuit, and are geared toward privacy-seeking nature lovers who appreciate cultural authenticity and aren’t concerned about a lack of nightlife, white sand beaches and shopping opportunities.
Since we came looking for this type of natural island experience, Secret Bay turned out to be one of the most magical places we’ve stayed at in more than 30 years of global travel.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ron N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barbados
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2011

We have just returned from our stay at Secret Bay. We weren't 100% certain of what to expect but it more than exceeded any expectations that we may have had! We stayed in a bungalow which is so cozy and intimate. We didn't leave the bungalow very much, as we so enjoyed just hanging out there on our balcony looking through the trees to the beach below and the beautiful views beyond. The way the bungalows are built you almost feel like you are in a very luxury treehouse. Everything opens up and you feel like you are with the nature in the tree tops. There are screens however, if you feel that you want to keep the bugs out, not that we experienced any whilst we were there.
You are thoroughly spoilt by the staff and hardly have to lift a finger if you don't want to. We chose to have the cooking service and most of our meals were cooked for us and they were delicious. However, it was great to be able to have food in your fridge if you wanted a snack. They will stock your fridge for you for a minimal fee. Every villa/bungalow is outfitted with every modern appliance that you would need, including a great ipod docking station.
They have kayaks, bikes and snorkelling gear that you can use for free. We used the kayaks and snorkelling gear and enjoyed our short trips around the point to Secret Bay beach, which is gorgeous and we even got a peak into the sea cave which was really cool!
We also managed to have a peak at the Honeymoon suite and the 2 bedroom villa, both of which are amazing. The Honeymoon villa has views to die for. You definitely won't want to leave the villa once you have checked in.
Go and experience it for yourself, you won't be disappointed! We can't wait to get back there!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bimgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caracas, Venezuela
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 16, 2011

Secret Bay is the most amazing place that I have ever been in my life. It is simply paradise. There are two beaches with turquoise water and coral reefs for great snorkeling. My husband and I enjoyed wandering out on Kayaks and exploring other nearby bays and beaches. Hotel owner Sandra took us to Secret Beach by Kayak for the first time, which was great, and after that we went back many times ourselves. There is a sea cave there that I was a bit nervous to go into, but my husband ventured in and thought it was very special. Every day we enjoyed wonderful home cooked meals prepared by the amazing and friendly staff. We loved the taste of their delicious Caribbean dishes - coconut pumpkin soup, yam pie, creole shrimp, passion fruit sorbet. I discovered a ground vegetable called dashine that I never had before, and tasted cold teas made from lemon grass and citronella growing on the property. We spent 5 adventure filled days and romantic nights at the Zabuco Honeymoon villa. The villa is a work of art and is perfect for anyone who wants the luxury of space and time while at the same time being very close to nature. As an artist, I was fascinated by how stylish, modern and well appointed the villa was, while still being minimalistic and Caribbean in terms of the architecture. In the short time we were there our only regret was not exploring Dominica more, but we just didn't want to leave Zabuco! We have already made plans to return next year. This is a very special place.

Room Tip: Zabuco Honeymoon villa, The villa is perfect for anyone who wants the luxury of space and amazing...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Deborah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, Dominica
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2011

My wife and I have stayed at Secret Bay on 2 separate occasions. One with just she and I and another with a group of friends. Both experiences were absolutely amazing. The views of the water are beautiful and each bungalow or villa has something unique to offer. While we were there, we had an amazing chef that cooked fabulous meals. We also went kayaking and they had all the gear we needed to have fun and stay safe. They even provide you with shoes and snorkeling gear! We fell in love with their fully equipped kitchen, washer and dryer and dishwasher! We have stayed at various places in Dominica and would definitely rate it as one of the top places to stay! The staff were always smiling and met are every need. We can't wait to go back and recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxing and astonishing getaway.

Room Tip: Zing Zing is the best for 2 couples (sleeps 4). However the rest are only for 2. They are all very c...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Luke C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California - Bay Area
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2011

When my wife told me we were going to Dominica for vacation, I honestly didn't know much about the place and was a bit skeptical about going. Of course, as the time passed and we were packing up, I was a little bit more excited, but wasn't sure what to expect since many of our trips were places I had some knowledge about....Secret Bay Dominica...WOW!
I can't explain in words how beautiful this place is. From the staff, owners, to people on the Island...it was just an amazing experience and one I love to share with friends and family. Secret Bay is simply one of the most beautiful places Ive been. We were able to stay in both the Bungalow for a couple days and then to the Zabuco Villa for the next few days until we had to leave.
Everything about Secret Bay was amazing...the layout, its location, the views, the water, etc...everything was just perfect. I must say that the architecture of the buildings was amazing...such a unique and luxury feel to both layouts. Everything you need is available for you and no reason to need anything more. From our arrival - start to finish, everything we wanted to have as far as snacks, food, and accommodations for anything was just a phone call away if we didn't already have it (a cell phone provided to each suite for you to use while there - amazing).
I read all the reviews here and just have to agree with every one of them - Secret Bay gets its rating because it actually is one of those few that can meet the ratings and it shows. For the most part, we were sooo amazed by the Zabuco Villa that we were completely happy just hanging out at the Villa all day. Kayaks are readily available to take a quick trip to the private beach and bikes are available upon request to take a quick bike ride to town.
If you are looking for a top notch place to stay in Dominica, Secret Bay is a MUST. When we travel back to the West Indies, Dominica would be a definite stop...even if it was for a day or two. I definitely enjoyed every bit of our stay and thank the entire staff at Secret Bay for everything.
By the way...the food was amazing. It was nice to not think about what we were going to eat everyday and the cooks pretty much served as they pleased. We are not picky eaters, so we just told them to surprise us each meal as we were confident that everything would be amazing...and it was. Kitchens are fully functional and we did however make it feel like home by going to the Super Market and buying some food to cook for some of the meals we had.
THANKS AGAIN SECRET BAY FOR EVERYTHING. We look forward to visiting again in the future.

Room Tip: Zabuco Villa - amazing villa.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sirshan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2011

... literally.

My husband and I just returned from a mini trip to Secret Bay. Accustomed to traveling in luxury, we were both continually astounded by the beauty of the property, the surroundings and the dedicated people who make Secret Bay so very special.

Dominica is a Country to be cherished. We are but visitors to a very special place in the world that carries all of the precious characteristics of a simpler life many of us have long left behind. We also realized very quickly that we are mere visitors to an eco island unimaginable to describe in this review. Thus, the activities on the island are endless for those who wish to live life at its richest.

The Secret Bay team were there to make certain that our visit was flawless. Each morning began with a 7AM kayak to one of their two lovely beaches where we would spend about an hour exercising on the beach. Upon our return, we would be greeted with a morning smile by staff who wanted to ensure that we had enjoyed our experience. A leisurely breakfast was prepared and waiting to be served to us in our exquisite Zing Zing villa. The choice of activities during the day was endless. The staff hand pick a very professional and informative tour leader depending on which activity is chosen. Returning back to the resort, there is barely enough time for a short rest before you are either spoiled to another self selected home cooked meal or carried to a fabulous and memorable restaurant. One of the nicest touches was the escorted late night walk back to our villa. Not for security reasons, just to be reminded that you were there to be pampered.

The photographs on the Secret Bay website are highly representative of what you will experience at the resort. What you should expect is to be swept away the moment you arrive to the property. The reviews below are quite accurate. One could go on and on. We have already booked our second visit to Secret Bay and hope to make this an annual family holiday.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 1WandR1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Secret Bay

Property: Secret Bay
Address: | Tibay, Portsmouth 00109-8000, Dominica
Phone Number:
Location: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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