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“Natural Beauty & Experience Beyond Compare” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Secret Bay

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Secret Bay
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
New York City
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Natural Beauty & Experience Beyond Compare”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2012

My husband and I travel to the Caribbean about once a year, and try to visit a different location each time. We were looking for a relaxing, rejuvenating and naturally beautiful place to stay and were intrigued by Dominica and Secret Bay.

From the moment we landed until we checked in for our flight home, Gregor & Sandra, Anastasia and all the staff at Secret Bay made us feel welcome and allowed us to enjoy our vacation without a worry. After our first night at Secret Bay, our first order of business was to extend our stay, which we did!

We’ve never stayed anywhere like Secret Bay – where you can feel completely secluded, yet anything you required was a phone call away. The level of service is beyond compare. We often felt like we were the only guests, and the layout of Secret Bay allows for this. The bungalows and villas are sited so well, nestled into the ridge, each one is barely visible from the other. The walkways, paths and decks are designed with respect for the existing terrain and the native plantings are beautiful.

We stayed in the Mapou Bungalow, which was a perfect size for us, with every convenience you may need. Perched among the trees, with the floor-to ceiling windows, we were treated to breathtaking views from every room. We spent mornings on the balcony drinking coffee and enjoying the views across the bay, and quiet evenings eating dinner by candlelight listening to the sound of the waves.

The meals were all delicious and made with the freshest, local ingredients. I’m a gluten-free eater and my husband is not, but the cooks at Secret Bay provided us with amazing breakfasts and dinners we both enjoyed. Throughout our stay, the refrigerator was stocked with fresh juices and anything else we requested. Having the kitchen in the bungalow allowed us to snack, make coffee (or drinks in the blender) whenever we felt like it.

We enjoyed several hiking outings organized by Anastasia that allowed us to maximize our experience of this beautiful island given our short stay. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and they took us to places off the beaten path (where we rarely saw a tour bus). While we loved the hiking excursions and exploring Dominica, it was also nice to stay put and enjoy the beauty of Secret Bay. One of our favorite things to do was to kayak over to the beach in the afternoon, swim and relax in the sand, then watch the sun set over the water. It was like having our own private beach - we never saw another person!

We enjoyed meeting everyone that makes Secret Bay the amazing place it is. After our week-long stay, we were sad to leave. Secret Bay far exceeded our expectations – the concept, the level of service, the setting, the bungalow, the meals and certainly the beach. We’ve never said we wanted to return to a place we’ve already been until we stayed at Secret Bay. It is truly a special place, and we’re looking forward to another trip to Secret Bay and Dominica soon!

  • Stayed January 2012, 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?
2 Thank Hokie24
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
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
British Columbia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2012

We stayed 6 nights in Mapou bungalow at the Secret Bay Resort. We came to Dominica to surprise our son who was arriving on a tall ship. The staff at Secret Bay 'get it'. Service is over the top. Anastasia, home with the chicken pox, still kept abreast of our activities and helped us organize a beach BBQ party for our son and his crew. Gregor, the owner, has a great vision and is committed to supporting the sustainable growth of the island.

We really can't say enough good things. We will definitely return.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank trvlr5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2012

We had an amazing experience in Dominica at Secret Bay! It is unlike anywhere we have stayed before and we can't wait to go back!

Secret Bay is for those travelers who appreciate incredible service, privacy, and relaxation. It is a very private location with only four guest houses. There are no bars or restaurants on this property. What you get instead is the most amazing location, the most amazing service, the most amazing food and an incredible array of different activities to choose from.

Anastasia is amazing! She will arrange any tour or activity that you would like. She will arrange dinner at the resort or at local restaurants. She will organize taxis so there is no need for having to rent a car. She will coordinate tours and hikes for you. She does it all with a smile on her face! You are given a cell phone when you check in so you can call them at any time. She was amazing!

The food was unbelievable! We usually just said if we wanted a light or heavy meal and then they took it from there. The food is prepared and then brought to you so you can have the most amazing meals on your balcony. We just let them prepare what they wanted to and were never disappointed! The food was very reasonable in price but was five star in taste and presentation. We had the most beautiful and romantic meals on our balcony! We also went one night to Iguana Cafe and that is a must when you visit Dominica!!! It was a truly memorable evening!!

We stayed in the Mapou Bungalow and it was perfect for us! It is not as big as the Zabuca honeymoon villa but it was perfect for my husband and I. We were only there for meals and to sleep as there was so much to see and do. But the view from your bedroom is spectacular! You wake up looking out over the bay!

If you are into birding, I would highly recommend a tour with Dr. Birdie. That was one of the highlights of our trip!! He found a couple of Imperial parrots for us to see and he is just so knowledgable! He knows the birds like the back of his hand and he can tell you all about the local flora as well! We also really enjoyed our trip to Bwa Nef Falls. We met the owner of the property, Graybarry, a local farmer, who gave us a tour up to the falls. It is off the beaten path so you won't find the cruise ship passengers here! He was awesome and asks for donations but he really deserved it with all of the work he has done to prepare the walking path up to the falls. It is a beautiful and easy hike compared to a lot of the falls.

Gregor, Sandra and all of the staff are so professional and friendly! Their goal is to provide you with the most amazing experience and they definitely succeeded. We will be back!!

Room Tip: If you want the view from your bed but don't mind less space, pick a bungalow!
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, 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?
4 Thank littlolsimmo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2012

My husband and I stayed in the Ti-Fey bungalow for 5 nights in early February. We have visited several other Caribbean Islands and were looking for a destination that was a little more remote with some great hiking. The reviews on trip advisor led us to Secret Bay and we were not disappointed. You will not find your typical all inclusive scene of pool bars, music blasting, kids screaming in the pool and crowded beaches. What you will find is a beautiful secluded place tucked away in the trees. If you enjoy hiking, kayaking and snorkeling you will find that Dominica has plenty to offer and with virtually no one else around. We did two hikes that took us into the rainforest high atop the mountains that led to a beautiful lake and waterfall. Pristine views and a really great hike. The kayaking at the beach just below our bungalow was excellent. You can be out there for hours and not see another person. Anastasia and the entire staff at Secret Bay go above and beyond to make you feel comfortable and accommodate your every need. The Ti-Fey bungalow was perfect for a couple. The pictures on their website were accurate and the views were better than we expected. The first floor has a small couch and full kitchen with a large deck with a table and two comfortable lounge chairs. The views of the bay from the deck were breathtaking and we enjoyed eating breakfast on the deck each morning. Upstairs was the bedroom and bathroom, again all with open views of the bay below. Anna will contact you prior to your arrival to stock the kitchen with food items. We got some snacks and breakfast items along with bottled water and beer. They restocked any items we needed and bottled water was available at all times which was a huge plus for us. There is an outside kitchen called the Sous Shack which will prepare any meals you request. We had lunch and dinner most days and eat either in our bungalow or at the table alongside the Sous Shack. The food was the best we have eaten of all of our many travels. The meals were fresh, organic and just delicious. I am a vegan and had no trouble. Lots of grilled vegetables, pumpkin rice, lentils and beans all seasoned with local flavor. We highly recommend having dinner one evening at a local restaurant call Iguana Cafe. Just tell Anna and she will make the reservation and arrange for a taxi. The eclectic couple that own Iguana Cafe prepare some amazing food in a tiny two table restaurant that will be an enjoyable experience that you will be sure to remember. We had such a nice dinner, my husband had a full lobster that was caught a day earlier, and I had a creole vegetable and rice dish that i wish I had the recipe to duplicate. The food prices in Dominica overall were inexpensive that was a huge plus considering what they charge in other places for lesser quality. We live in NY and getting to Dominica was easy. We flew into San Juan on American Airlines and then had a connecting flight to Dominica. Secret Bay includes airport transfers in their room price and they were there waiting for us upon our arrival with nice cold bottled water. There is no need to rent a car during your stay, the roads are very windy and narrow so leave the driving up to the taxis. Anna will arrange any transportation you need and we found the drivers to be good tour guides. The island is very casual so pack light. I brought several summer dresses that I never wore and did not need. Shorts, t shirts, bathing suits, and some casual skirts and tops are all you need and Keens and hiking shoes are essential.
We hope to visit Dominica again and stay at Secret Bay it truly is a gem.

  • Stayed February 2012, 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?
4 Thank Tracy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, Missouri
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2012

Secret Bay is as unique and special as the island of Dominica and to experience both in one trip is magical. My husband and I visited three different caribbean islands and Dominica was both our favorites, in large part due to Secret Bay. We stayed in the Mapou bungalow, which is small but has everything a couple needs. Walking in to the bungalow for the first time and seeing the amazing view out the living room windows, I knew this place was for me. Then, after a quick walk up a spiral staircase I was thrilled to discover the same amazing view out the bedroom as well. The bed, by the way, is fabulous - looking at pictures on the web site I worried it might be a hard mattress, but it was the most comfortable bed (and pillow) I've ever slept on - and to lay with your head on your pillow and look out a wall of windows to tree tops, ocean, beach and cliffs was heavenly.

I should note that the only bathroom in the unit is upstairs and the spiral stairs are not the easiest to manoever so I would not recommend this bungalow (or Secret Bay at all) to those who have difficulty walking.

I could have spent the entire time in the bungalow, but my husband and I like to explore so we were off everyday hiking, swimming, kayaking or driving around the island. We were affectionately named by the staff as the "busy bodies" because we were up and out each day. Dominica is a beautiful island and this is our second trip to this island, so believe me I don't mean anything negative when I say it is not as developed as some islands. They have made great strides in the road conditions, but driving is challenging and takes a bit of getting used to. Also, there are not many new, luxurious places to stay on the island - I would venture to guess Secret Bay is the nicest place to stay on the entire island.

Quality places to eat are harder to find on Dominica than other caribbean islands and it is a big island so driving around the island to sample different restaurants is not very practical, which makes the cooking service offered at Secret Bay that much more attractive. To clarify, as I didn't understand this prior to arriving at Secret Bay, the resort offers cooking services either in your place or in a separate building. If they cook your meal in the separate building, you then have the choice of the food being delivered to your place or you can eat it at the outdoor seating near the beach where they prepare the food. If you stay 5 or more nights, there is a one time shopping/delivery fee which at the time we stayed there was $18.00, then the cook prepares the meal(s) for free - charging you only the cost of groceries. They do need at least a days notice so they can get the shopping done - but with that one time fee they will run to the store for you as many times as you need - whether they are cooking for you or you simply run out of bread and need a loaf delivered to your place!

The staff, especially Anastasia, go out of their way to help with anything you need. There is a washer/dryer combo in the unit and they offered to do our laundry for free. I personally did not take them up on this and did the laundry myself, but I thought that was an amazing offer that I haven't found in any other travels we've done. They even provide you with a cell phone so you can call them anytime, whether in the unit or out exploring the island.

After we left Dominica we went to Anguilla, and though Anguilla is a beautiful island, I greatly missed my evenings on the deck at Secret Bay, watching dozens of large birds find their sleeping place on the nearby cliffs as the sun was setting. We slept with the sliding doors open so we could hear the ocean and feel the breezes all night. We never even needed the air conditioning! We have traveled the caribbean extensively, and seldom go back to the same place more than once. I do believe, however, that a third visit to Dominica and Secret Bay is in our future.

Thanks Secret Bay, and Anastasia, for all you did to make our trip memorable. We can't wait to see you again.

  • Stayed January 2012, 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?
4 Thank islandtraveler41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2012

Secret Bay raises the bar for luxurious places. The arthitectuural detail and setting are unbelievably fabulous and the attention to detail was first rate and amazing. This place will blow you away!. I will dream, hope, and pray to return.

  • Stayed February 2012, 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?
3 Thank Tierney D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 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?
5 Thank EmilyMcInnes
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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