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“Outstanding!”
Review of Secret Bay

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Secret Bay
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Outstanding!”
Reviewed February 7, 2012

Mix one part Swiss Family Robinson, two parts Wallpaper Magazine and a good dose of Brazil ’66 (think Oscar Niemeyer and his ability to make concrete sexy) and you might be getting close. We spent a week at Secret Bay this past January and we were wishing it were more like a year. It was our first trip with our 3 month-old, and it felt like we were on holiday with ten sets of grandparents, instead of two. The staff were unbelievably kind, and seemed to have everything figured out before I knew to ask. If I thought “coconut” in my head, one would somehow magically appear (I actually think they have ESP). Choosing among the highlights of Secret Bay is a futile task; unlimited snorkeling in toothpaste coloured water, the organic food box delivery, Rose…Rose’s cooking, breastfeeding at sunrise nestled among the treetops in TiFey, the architecture that made me feel like I was stepping off the pages of Vogue – even in my flip-flops…

This place is what you imagine when you are asked to go to your happy place. Congratulations to Gregor, Sandra, Anna and the incredible staff who make this place so unique.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank EmilyMcInnes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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487 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (177)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2012

Seecret Bay is truly a secret, romantic haven. The staff are incredibly helpful, always attentive to your every need, always smiling and kind, it makes such a big difference when you are miles away from home and from your comfort zone. Whatever is required, the staff at secret bay take care of every last detail, from treks, to sightseeing, to romantic dinners in local restaurants. And when opting to eat in, the food is simply delicious! All homecooked, and it definitely shows. Zabuco is definitely worth every penny, it is, simply put, one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. It's not easy to get to from Europe, but definitely worth it!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank fsquillante
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 18, 2012

It appears that the word has spread like wildfire, Secret Bay and it's staff are AMAZING!! There's no need to reiterate what other reviews have clearly stated, Secret Bay is a pure, top notch experience. The prepared meals are organic and delicious, the staff are ready and willing to fulfill any need you may have and the beautiful landscape is jaw dropping. I highly recommend an outdoor massage; it was the BEST massage I have ever received, talk about magical hands! My boyfriend and I also went canyoning to add a little adventure to our trip. Besides a small insect problem at night (which can only be expected in a rain forest) the trip was perfect! Thank you Secret Bay!

Room Tip: Zabuco Honeymoon Villa, 180 degree view of the Caribbean Sea, breathtaking!
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank J0511
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2012

We're just back from seven nights at Secret Bay and I'm having to hold back from turning around and getting right back on the plane. It was a phenomenal holiday in so many ways: from the comfortable and elegant accommodation, to the graciousness of the staff.

I have to admit that I had some concerns heading in: for the last five years we've had an annual winter vacation in the Caribbean, but have always headed to all-inclusives (in Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic). We travel with my parents, my sister and her fiancee, and our family (my husband and I have a seven-year-old boy and ten-year-old girl). This year we were also traveling with my new baby nephew.

With young kids, we assumed that all-inclusives would be the best bet for us. My worries about Secret Bay revolved around the kids missing the kids' club, swim up bars and the (ghastly) nightly entertainment. Happily, I was wrong. This was the perfect holiday for an extended family (ranging in age from three months to 65+). My kids loved the beaches (Tibay for beach combing and Secret Bay for building sand castles and swimming), they couldn't get enough of the sea kayaks and they loved providing us with their own version of nightly entertainment (cards and monopoly were favourites). Probably the best thing about Secret Bay? We were able to reserve the entire place for our extended family of nine.

The staff went out of their way to make our stay at Zing Zing Villa comfortable. We were stocked up with kids' movies, books and games, and the cupboards and fridge were full of kid-friendly snacks (the banana chips were a huge hit). Our Personal Chefs were able to accommodate our wide variety of diets (from vegan to carnivore) and made a particularly wonderful roast chicken that the kids loved.

Before heading to Secret Bay I also worried a bit about the cliff-side location (did I mention we have a seven-year-old boy?), but I needn't have lost sleep. Trails are well laid out with fences and railings right where you'd want them to be. I had no qualms about allowing the kids to run between the villas (which they did all day long). Zabuco became our home base for meals and evening get-togethers, though we often ended up in the hot tub outside Zing Zing at the end of the day.

The wonderful Anna arranged great family excursions for us: a trip up the Indian River (our guide, Fire, picked us up right at Secret Bay Beach); an afternoon with the amazing Dr. Birdy (who was particularly great with the kids); horseback riding; and fishing. We'd barely have a thought cross our mind and Anna would have it taken care of. One evening we were all sitting around Zabuco and I sent Anna a quick email asking for some more wine and banana chips for Zing Zing. She laughed because she was standing in the room with us, but I explained that I didn't want to inconvenience her so sent an email that she could deal with when she had time. Within about four minutes she looked over at me and said "it's all taken care of." Amazing.

Kudos to Gregor and Sandra for developing this incredibly special place. We can't wait to see you again!

I've posted a few of my photos, but you can see them all at http://tinyurl.com/dominica-2012

Room Tip: Zing Zing is perfect for a family (it has two bedrooms, each with a king size bed). Ti-Fey worked ve...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Jeledese
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2012

My family spent 7 days in the Zing Zing villa in Secret Bay, Dominica. We loved every minute of it and we go ton complaints from our 13 yr old. That in itself was worth the trip. The space in our villa allowed for 2 separate bedrooms an death was as luxurious as the other. Cool wood flooring, fancy expresso machines, a fully equipped kitchen, hammock, hot tub, sweeping balcony and air con. Better than my own home.
The service was incredibly friendly and responsive. Dinner was served every night and we loved the food. Our fridge was kept stocked with exactly what we wanted. And we took full advantage of this idyllic way of life.
Think of this place as your own home with other people doing the legwork. If you want to meet tons of people this might not be right for you. But if you want to experience luxury and attention in some refined setting then this is exactly what the doctor ordered.
We could enjoy the solitude of the natural beauty found in Dominica and use this location as a great base from which to discover the country's charms. Wonderful to return to after a day sightseeing but also wonderful to remain in. Leaving is hard. You have been warned.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank jeremy w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Level Contributor
56 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2012

We just spent 7 days with our children and grandchildren at Secret Bay. Being foodies, what came as a surprise is what could be prepared using fresh local organic food. It's more amazing because not only are we foodies, but we`re vegan (who, except for one daughter, also eat wild fish).

Our Day 1 through 3 meals were a variety of traditional Dominica dishes prepared by Personal Cook, Rose Lewis, helped by Roseline Lawrence.

Day 1 Dinner

Fresh gilled marlin garnished with garlic sauce, peppers and onion
Pumpkin Rice
Eggplants sautéed in tomato sauce with Dominica seasonings
Garden salad slaw with lettuce, tomato, cabbage and carrots
Fruit Salad with papaya, watermelon, pink grapefruit and ortanique (a cross between an Orange and Tangerine)
Every meal included juices such as sorrel, coconut water, passion fruit, cocoa tea, and others

Day 2 Lunch

Salad
Dominica Herbed Pumpkin Soup
Toast

Day 2 Dinner

Fresh lobster in creole sauce
Stir fried christophene, string beans and carrots
Parsley Yam
Lettuce and tomato salad
Pineapple poached in Dominica orange juice and fresh ginger (made by Sandra Vivas)

Day 3 Dinner

Marlin salad with lime, garlic, red onion and carrots
Stir fried curried pumpkin
Sautéed dasheen
Tossed tomato, lettuce and cucumber salad
Vegan brownies made with ripe bananas, cocoa and "farine" (handmade cassava flour made by hand shredding raw cassava root, then soaking it in water and squeezing and pounding it until it dries to extract the 'poison'.(cyanide). Cassava was a staple food for pre-Columbian peoples in the Americas, and still is.

Day 5 Dinner

Day 5 and Day 6 our Personal Cook was Christine (Chris) Roserens helped by her 12 year old son Yannick who prepared an Asin meal on Day 5 and a Lebanese meal on Day 2.

Red Thai Shrimp and Vegetable* Curry in hand pressed coconut milk
* Christophenes (Chayote), Carrots, Pumpkins, String Beans, Bok Choy
Organic Asian Greens Salad* with homemade Passionfruit Balsamic Vinaigrette
* Giant Red Mustard, Green Mustard (with the Wasabi flavor), Mizuna, Bok Choy, Pak Choy, Tatsoi

Day 6 Dinner

Fattoush* (Lebanese Salad) with homemade Pita Bread
*Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers (red, yellow, green), Cucumbers, Onions (optional), Mint, Cilantro, Green Onions, Parsley, Green Onions
Dressing: Lime, Lemon & Orange Juice, Olive Oil, Black Pepper & Salt

Vegan Moussaka made with various Root Veggies (Sweet Potatoes, Irish Potatoes, Silk Yam), Eggplant, Soya Chunks cooked in Tomato Sauce, Greek & Italian Oregano, Thyme, vegan Bechamel Sauce (prepared with homemade Coconutmilk)

Ice Coffee Smoothie & Ice Cocoa Tea Smoothie (local variation)

Day 7 Dinner prepared by Personal Cook, Rose Lewis, helped by Roseline Lawrence

Garden salad slaw with lettuce, tomato and cucumber
Pan Fried Spanish Mackerel and Grouper (caught by Devon Eustace) garnished with tomato and onion sauce
Baked Avocado (picked by Emily McInnes) and "farine"
Vegan Passion Fruit Jello (without the gelatin) (made by Sandra Vivas)

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Glenn007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2012

I couldn't imagine a better place to propose to one's girlfriend than Secret Bay! The villas are exceptionally well constructed, and ours (Zabuco) had the most incredible views from every aspect. The staff were always there to help when needed (and good at staying away when not) and Gregor was a excellent host, always looking for for room for improvement, which is difficult I must say! To be honest, all in all the only reason we could possibly find not to give this five stars is for fear of not being able to book next time we wanted to return... Yes, we too thought the reviews were too good but don't worry as they are true. One other thing- if you can't find a spot at secret bay, please don't give up on Dominica as it is really amazingly beautiful and the forests are great both for hiking and birdwatching if you're active and relaxing in hot springs and seeing impressive waterfalls if you're not! And everyone we met along the way was great, as well as excited about the high quality appeal of secret bay... Everything about our holiday was truly perfect; but then again, we did get engaged, and so may be biased!!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank HenryL2
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 | 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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