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“Believe everything you read and experience it yourself - Amazing!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Secret Bay

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Secret Bay
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Believe everything you read and experience it yourself - Amazing!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2012

We stayed at Secret Bay for 10 nights in March 2012, 9 in the Zabuco Honeymoon Villa and 1 night in the Tibay bungalow.

Everything, and I mean everything about this place is amazing. Gregor the owner picked us up at the airport and we arrived in the evening where a very nice home cooked dinner awaited us.

Zabuco is massive, one could easily live in it permanently. The bedroom has a wonderfully large and comfortable bed and you have a free-standing bath tub facing West if you fancy having a bath whilst watching the sunset. You will also find a double shower that can open up to the outside so that you have the view and the fresh air. The air conditioning unit is very good and has a quiet setting for night time
The second room is the living room and an open plan kitchen (Siemens appliances with all the mod cons you want, including an espresso/coffee maker, fridge/freezer combination and ice cube machine. All very spacious with windows all around.
The highlight for us was the massive veranda and we only discovered its full magic the first morning in daylight: 180 degrees views over the Carribbean Sea and Portsmouth... and at night a magical ceiling of stars. We spent most of our time we were home (it did feel like that) on that veranda as it has very comfy sofas and the big dining table where we had all our meals.

Talking about meals: The villa comes with a cooking service that is excellent. Just tell Anna (more about her later) when you would like to have breakfast, lunch or dinner and what you fancy and they will dish up truly delicious meals. We opted for local dishes every time and loved it.

You also have access to free kayaks, snorkeling gear and other kit to make the most of their two beaches, Tibay and Secret Bay which you can only access by kayak or swimming there. Snorkeling around Secret Bay is good and especially the coral life is great (for the best snorkeling take a trip South to Champagne Beach and La Soufriere).

So the accommodation and location is very special but what made our stay outstanding was the service and the personal attention by Anna, who is managing Secret Bay, Gregor, the owner and the entire staff. They are there for your well-being 24/7! At the beginning you get a local mobile phone you could use anywhere on the island for free and the numbers of all staff and especially Anna and Gregor are programmed and they urge you to make use of it whenever you feel like it. And they not just say that, they mean it! I have never experienced anything like it.

Anna is also organising anything your heart desires - from trips or personal guides to restaurant reservations or whatever you can think of. She is also great with her personal tips for bars, restaurants or excursions. The best example I can give is that she recommended a local shack on the beach in Portsmouth that is her personal favourite, called Monty's. And Monty's provides you with a truly authentic and happiness-inducing Dominican experience: He grills his fish and provides a few simple accompaniments and it is mouthwateringly tasty. He is also doing his own rum punch (a MUST to try) and we had such a perfect evening that when we returned, were sitting on the veranda, glazing into the stars I thought life could not get much better than this... and spontaneously proposed to my girlfriend there and then. Ans she said YES! So we have Anna and Monty to thank for that.

Later in our stay we also wanted to make use of the downstairs pool area with a grill. So Rose, one of their amazing cooks, prepared a fish and chicken local BBQ for us and I asked Anna to make this dinner special and romantic... and boy did she deliver! Not only did the place look romantic with all the candles but she also hired to very nice local girls who sang and danced for us in honor of our engagement... and when we returned to bed she secretly covered it in flower pedals. This sums it up: Everyone goes out of their way to make your stay truly unforgettable and everyone does it with a big smile as if it was their hobby and not their job.

I could go on and on with these praises but I think everyone got the picture by now.

We want to come back as soon as possible and we also promised to come back for our 10th wedding anniversary!

Thanks Anna, Gregor, Rose and everyone at Secret Bay for the best holiday ever! We miss you!

Vince & Sayo

Room Tip: It HAS to be the Zabuco Honeymoon Villa! Worth every penny!
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Vincent P
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
New York City
Level Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2012

Our 5 night stay in Zabuco Villa was an overdue get-away; it had been too long since we had left the children behind and treated ourselves to a rest. The visit from start to finish exceeded our already high expectations. Browse through all of the reviews to catch the universal high praise for Secret Bay. I agree with the: compliments to Gregor for his creativity and thoughtfulness in creating such a magical environment, praise of Anna for her dedication to meeting all of a guest's needs without being intrusive, kudos to Rose for transforming local ingredients into 5 star mouth watering dishes, hats off to Cornell for his equipping guests with kayaks, snorkel gear, water booties, whatever is needed.
We had expected to avail ourselves of the many activities Anna was willing to organize. However, it was soon obvious to us that the deep refreshment offered by the serene views from 3 sides, the warm breezes flowing through the many screened windows and walls which open and close easily to suit, the comfortable seating on the deck, the lounging in the interior living area, the warmth of wooden construction, a soaking tub, the private pool, easy access to the beach, the availability of a kayak and snorkel gear with a moment's notice was just what we needed to have our batteries re-charged. Anna showed us the discrete banner to drop over the stairs to alert staff we were in private-mode. The housekeeping staff swept in whenever we left to enjoy swimming and snorkeling. We developed a little routine of speaking with Anna in the late morning to let her know what we needed. She kept us in full supply of fresh fruit and juices and simple lunch supplies. We'd let her know when we wanted dinner and right on cue, Rose would bring a tray of four or five specialties in containers for us to serve ourselves. Had we not been so desperate for alone time, any of the Secret Bay staff (and Gregor, the owner) would have made great conversation partners. Gregor and Anna have set the standard for guest services that are uniquely intuitive; all of the staff read the cues and chatted or retreated as was appropriate.
One night, Anna arranged for a taxi to come pick us up to go to the Iguana Cafe. Gregor had pointed it out on the drive in from the airport. Gregor, by the way, was an extraordinary driver, probably going a little slower than needed, but we escaped any motion sickness on the windy hour long drive from the airport. We were grateful for the recommendation; the cafe, really a tiny-almost-shack on the side of the beach in Portsmouth, seated 8 people or so on picnic tables. We were the only ones there and the food was outstanding...even worth missing a night of scrumptious food at Secret Bay.
Part way through our trip, I briefly considered that all of the specialized service, the grocery runs, the can-we-have-some-ice-cream? was likely creating many add-ons to our bill. Not so. The final bill was exactly as stated up front with a very modest charge for the grocery items.
We were looking for a nature experience with comfort. What we got, exceeded our brightest hopes and created full memory banks to take us through the year ahead. It would be a dream-come-true to be able to return to Secret Bay. Thanks, Secret Bay!

  • Stayed March 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 Mary Ellen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Augustine, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2012

My wife and I stayed at Mapou cottage for a week. The setting was magnificent and the accommodations were wonderful and every conceivable item needed was provided. The views from our cottage were incredible. It was literally like being in a tree house with all the comforts of home. The staff was extremely caring and anticipated our every need. The in house cooks Rose and Dello were great and very amenable to our plant based diet. Anna the manager was beyond compare and always available to assist. She arranged excellent excursions to a variety of sites with capable guides. It was literally the most relaxing vacation my wife and I have ever taken. We felt totally pampered and our individual needs were met as though we were in our own private tropical retreat. You will not regret a stay at Secret Bay.

  • Stayed April 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?
1 Thank THP1957
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 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2012

We spent five days at Secret Bay. I cannot say enough about the staff and owners of the establishment. Gregor and Sandra are the most welcoming hosts and Anastasia Thomas (Anna) is simply the best guest services manager/concierge/hostess I have ever encountered (and I worked around the 5 star hospitality industry for many years.) She will set up whatever you request whether it is a 6 hour hike to Boiling Lake or a massage in your villa. The entire staff are brilliant; welcoming, friendly, caring, and will happily and cheerfully rescue you if you do something idiotic with your car…

The meals prepared for us by Rose, the restaurant recommendations from Anna, the care and conversation as you prepare to kayak to Secret Beach, all are the stuff that dreams are made on.

We stayed in the villa called Zing-Zing. The use of space, the flow of outdoor to indoor and back is amazing. The two bedrooms were spacious and comfortable, the bathrooms large and well stocked. The living area is laid out nicely and the kitchen is a marvel.

Whether you want to cook for yourself or have all your meals prepared, the staff of Secret Bay will make it happen. We asked for the refrigerator to be pre-stocked with as many local items as possible and the fruits and Sorrel Juice and homemade lemonade more than satisfied our needs.

We never travel to the same place twice. We are planning to a make Secret Bay an exception.

Room Tip: There are no bad places at Secret Bay
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  • Stayed March 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?
2 Thank RSJohnson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2012

From the moment we got to Dominica it felt as if we where family coming over for a visit, not just a couple of visitors. Secret Bay took that feeling one step further, the people at Secret Bay really do make you feel at home. Anastasia, Gregor and the rest of the staff really go above and beyond. Anything you need, be it scheduling activities, snacks, or questions aout anything are really just a phone call away. At Secret Bay not only are they concerned about getting you everything you need, They genuinely care about if every little detail of your day is going according to your wants and expectations.

We had such a great time that we had a really hard time coming back home. Everyone in Dominica is kind, friendly, and inviting. There are so many activities to do that we could have been there for weeks and still have not done everything.

Really, visiting Secret Bay makes you feel like a celebrity going on vacation to your own little piece of paradise. So far, nothing has topped this experience

  • Stayed March 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?
1 Thank Jason N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Varmdo, Sweden
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2012

If you demand a hotel with sun loungers and a cocktail, you can go somewhere else. This is a place where you get everything you desire and everything you want in terms of nature adventures, scenery, service, comfort and peace of mind. To have your own chef in your exclusive hut is super but we will definitely come back when you have built a restaurant. Don't judge the rooms from the pictures. If you only have experienced 5 star service before, you should go to Dominica and experience secret service.

  • Stayed February 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?
Thank Angelica E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saginaw, Michigan
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2012

Secret Bay is our new favorite destination. Zing Zing is a beautiful and artfully designed villa, intricately melded with nature. It is secluded, quiet, and spacious - with 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths and plenty of living/lounging space. The walls of retractable windows offer a true room with a view - and what an incredibly gorgeous view! For those who can't live without electronics, it's a gadget heaven - for those who can, a delightful assortment of reading materials is offered. We chose to have most of our meals in our villa...excellent. Gregor is hospitable and informative and quite fun to bump into here and there. Anastasia is professional, courteous, and efficient, all while being a dear. We will be back."

Room Tip: There ARE NO bad rooms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, 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?
Thank tonisdh
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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Secret Bay Hotel Portsmouth
Secret Bay Dominica/Portsmouth

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