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“It doesn't get much better than this!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Secret Bay

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Secret Bay
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Barbados
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“It doesn't get much better than this!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2012

We are just back from our second visit to Secret Bay and can't wait to get back again!! We were there exactly one year ago not long after they had opened. We enjoyed seeing the added addition of the Outlook Deck where we spent a few evenings with a glass of wine and watched the wonderful sunsets. You can even dine up there under the stars or have a massage whilst taking in the wonderful breezes, sounds and views. The food was, as usual, amazing! Rose and Eric cook wonderful dishes. A kind of mixture between local and international cuisine. All of the flavours together are so delicious.

We stayed in the Mapou Bungalow again and so relished waking up to the amazing views across the bay from our bed or just sitting on our balcony and enjoying the breeze and views.

The staff are so friendly and helpful. Two of the guys even changed our tyre for us on our hired jeep! A special mention must be made of Anna, Marvin, Megan and Gilbert, who were always there for anything that we needed.

We really enjoyed seeing Gregor, the owner, again and catching up with him and hearing of his future plans for the resort. We also met his lovely wife, Sandra, this time round and their 2 sweet children.

We wish Secret Bay all the success in the future and we look forward to seeing them again next year!!

  • Stayed November 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 Bimgirl
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
Grand Haven, MI
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2012

We have travelled the world and Secret Bay/Zambucco Villa is the perfect spot to relax, unwind and spend a special vacation with someone you love! This "honeymoon" villa sits on top of Secret Bay and you have a panaramic view of the ocean on three sides, not to mention a spectacular villa desgin that reflects nature, tranquillity and luxury. Every attention has been given to asethetics, comfort and modern conveniences. The villa and view are nothing short of amazing. The owner Gregor takes a special interest in his guests, personally providing us with island information, property tour and secret bay cave exploration. He is very friendly, kind and excited to share his dream with his guests. His staff is hand picked and they manage the site with care and attention to detail. They make you feel special and pampered. Anastasia Thomas, the office manager, will plan all your excursions around the island, provide you wiith a programmed local cell phone and call you serveral times during the day to make sure your activitiy is going as planned. She was so helpful and personable. The meals are prepared for you and delvered to your villa. We really found this relaxing and enjoyed the local flavors and fresh seafood. The island offers many activities. We enjoyed the Indian River Cruise with Fire, Shore diving and lunch at Chamagne Beach, birding in the Sancutary National Park with Dr. Birdie, hikes to Trafalgar Falls and more. The island is definitely Nature's Gem!

Room Tip: The Zabuco Honeymoon villa has the best view of the ocean and sunset, don't save money for any o...
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  • Stayed November 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 ReindeerTravelor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Haven, Michigan
Level Contributor
56 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2012

I want to thank Owner's Gregor and Sandra for dreaming and creating Secret Bay. Designed by Sandra's father, renowned architect Fruto Vivas, and built with privacy and quality in mind by local craftsmen, Secret Bay is like having your own secluded Carribean home with the services of a small boutique hotel.

My wife and I are well traveled and chose to celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary at Secret Bay in Zabuco Honeymoon Villa. It is the most well built, private and romantic spot we have ever stayed. Zabuco is perched on a cliff top overlooking the Caribbean Sea with Tibay Beach on one side and Secret Beach on the other side. We loved the privacy, the views, but also the wonderful service from Secret Beach staff.

Anna was a gem even before our arrival, helping us with a car rental, excursion recommendations, food preferences, and any other information that we needed. Anna was even more delightful in person and helped with every detail of our stay. She watches over each and every guests to ensure a delightful experience. Zabuco was well stocked with the food and beverages that we had requested and two meals a day were prepared for us on site by either our very attentive attendant Roseline, or one of two cooks Rose or Eric. We had wonderful fresh shrimp or fish each night including Tuna, Marlin, and Mahi Mahi. Meals were prepared with wonderful sides, salads, and desserts each night.

Staff is attentive, but not obtrusive, always concerned that you are happy with genuine caring and compassion. If you want complete privacy no need to be concerned, just lower the red flag and they leave you alone!

It was our first visit to Dominica, known as the Nature Island. With over 300 rivers, and 20 waterfalls, great snorkeling and diving, as well as lush rain forests it was difficult to decide what to do. We dove a shipwreck and Champagne Reef, as well as hiked to several waterfalls
through lush rainforest. Enjoyed our boat ride with Fire up Indian River where they filmed scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean I and II. Just enough excitement, but didn't want to be away from
Zabuco Villa all day either!

Great activities right at Secret Bay with a paddle board, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment. We snorkeled around Secret Bay for hours enjoying the best off shore snorkeling we have ever experienced. We enjoyed seeing the healthy coral, variety and abundance of tropical fish, and even saw an octopus! Gregor was kind enough to show us into the water cave under Zabuco, and canons from a ship that sank over two hundred years ago!

Let me conclude by saying that Secret Bay and Zabuco Villa surpassed our expectations in every way and can't wait to go back next year to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary!

  • Stayed November 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 Scott R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2012

One of the best things about Secret Bay besides the idyllic setting is that Gregor and his staff have a genuine desire to make the stay of their guests perfect in every respect. Perfect is of course a tall order that's extremely difficult to achieve, but my money is on the folks at Secret Bay to get there.

We choose Secret Bay because we were looking for somewhere quiet, out of the way, secluded; basically somewhere we could be alone, surrounded by beach, sun and nature. Secret Bay is that and from that perspective, we could not have chosen a better place.

If you are looking for somewhere to just go, be quiet, be alone and enjoy nature, Secret Bay earns our recommendation.

If you are on the edge, book now, you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank stackjd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2012

My husband and I stayed in Zabuco Honeymoon villa for our honeymoon this October. Upon our arrival at Secret Bay, the one word I can use to describe what I felt was "surreal". I keep telling people that when you look at a picture of a place it always looks amazing because it has been touched up. Well walking into Zabuco felt like walking into the pictures we have seen. Not one thing was different than what we had seen while planning this trip. AMAZING!!!

Speaking of the senses, the next sense hit was my sense of smell. The entire villa is comprised of Guyanese hardwood which has been treated by bay oil. And it smells so good! I even went home with a vial of bay oil so I can continue to smell this wonderful scent.

The next sense that occurred to me was sound. Listening to the lovely accent of our wonderful host, Anna. Anna was absolutely wonderful at her task of catering to our every need with professionalism, kindness and grace. She even had local caribbean music playing as we entered the villa! (Not to mention the amazing sound of the ocean and local wildlife!)

Now was the real test, TASTE! Secret Bay and our appointed chefs, Rosaline and Dela, did NOT disappoint in our culinary needs. Our meals were delicious and I especially loved the desserts! (Our first dessert was a yummy banana brownie, we also had a delish chocolate dessert another night and a pineapple carrot cake the last night! I think my only complaint would be that there could have been MORE! We also greatly enjoyed the homemade yoghurt and granola that came in our organic breakfast basket as well as the GUAVA juice. YUM!

The last sense would be touch and did we! (I'm talking activities!) Our first day we started out with a kayak to secret beach including a visit by Sandra who guided us through the Secret Cave. I'm bummed we didn't take our camera in there - it was a mini-adventure! Then we attended Music in the Park - part of the Creole Festival in Roseau. It was super fun to see the town and experience some local music and food. We also got a peek of some parrots at the botanical garden where the festival was being held. The second day we took a boat ride with Don for some local fishing and snorkeling. We both caught a Jack fish (my first fish ever!) and Don showed us blowfish and lion fish at the snorkel site. The next day we were picked up by Bobby for our hike through Morne Trois Pitons National Park to the boiling lake. It was TOUGH but we did it! I highly recommend it as there is much to see and a huge feeling of accomplishment when you finally see the prize. Bobby and Joseph were awesome hosts waiting for us to take a post-hike dip in the Titou Gorge and then treating us to rum at the cafe conveniently located just outside the park. That night, another guest had graciously invited us to their villa for a group dinner. The cooking was amazing and the company was fun! Thanks again, Wendy and Ron! Our last day was dedicated to relaxation starting out with a yoga session led by Sandra and then an afternoon massage. The masseuse was amazing and it was super cool having a massage while listening to the ocean - it even rained for about 10 minutes which only added to the relaxing sounds!

I HIGHLY recommend a visit to Secret Bay whether you are looking for adventure or relaxation, they have it all. I really could have enjoyed it just as much, never leaving Zabuco Villa for one minute. The level of detail that Gregor and Sandra have put into this villa is outstanding. I even want to find out what type of sheets were on the bed as they were so comfortable and snugly. Although, I cannot finish this review without mentioning the bathtub. If you have seen pictures of Zabuco Villa, you know there is a free-standing bathtub overlooking the ocean, conveniently placed on the side where the sun sets. AMAZING. I told Gregor my only advice would be to include some bubble bath in the room for those taking advantage of that huge tub! We also LOVED the dual head shower which opened up to the views of the ocean - I felt like I was showering in nature!

Thanks again to Gregor, Sandra, Anna and the entire crew at Secret Bay for helping us to enjoy an unforgettable honeymoon. Until we are able to make it back, I will think of you in my dreams! ;)

Debra & Brian

  • Stayed October 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 Debski_12
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 November 9, 2012

in twelve months! Last week, my husband and I returned from our second one week holiday at Secret Bay. Last October, I wrote a review about this property and I am delighted to contribute my comments again.

We chose to return to Zing Zing villa. A spacious and beautiful two bedroom villa overlooking the sea. The layout is ideal for a family or two couples but we decided to spoil ourselves and take advantage of the large inside and outdoor living space. One year later, the entire property is even more beautiful than when we first visited. The flora is maturing beautifully with the help of Secret Bay's onsite landscape architect, the villas seem to be settling into their natural environment flawlessly and the hummingbirds and butterflies have definitely found their home. I think my favorite part of the day was lounging on the expansive veranda each late afternoon admiring the beauty of nature. Being a City person, quite used to staring at concrete buildings and the backside of cars every day, there were endless opportunities to enjoy the overwhelming sights and sounds before me.

To honor a promise to the staff which I made last year was to return and prepare dinner for them, just to show our appreciation for their good care during our holiday. Zing Zing proved to be a fabulous entertainment space. The kitchen was equipped well, allowing me to prepare a gourmet meal with ease, and, we were able to accommodate a gorgeous dinner outside on our veranda for 10 easily. We also entertained the hotel guests which felt like a scene out of a magazine. Everyone at the dinner table shared fabulous stories of their discoveries on the 'nature island' which only reinforced how lucky we all were to be visitors of such a special place.

Gregor and Sandra were perfect hosts. As with our experience last year, Gregor, my husband and I would kayak to one of their two beaches each morning to fit in some daily exercise before the day began. Sandra was the perfect hostess and was always ready to navigate hotel guests through a very interesting cave experience, take us through a wonderful yoga class or just come around to make sure we were all making the most of our vacation. Secret Bay has a staff masseuse who, I have to rate as one of the best massages I've experienced. The staff were wonderful, creating an ambience for us which catered to all of our needs and we really felt as if we were leaving our family at the end of the week. We are already anxious to book Zing Zing for next year and see our 'family' again.

It is impossible to rave about all of the activities on the island. Each day we looked forward to a long hike usually ending at a magnificent waterfall; a reward for a physcally demanding experience. Secret Bay has collected a very professional group of tour guides and we never felt unprepared to tackle a new challenge. The people of Dominica have a great sense of pride in their Country and all it offers. Their enthusiasm is authentic and addictive. Much as we liked all of our guides, we felt drawn to Charlie and Devon. They together offered us the blend of wisdom and youthful energy which we really enjoyed.

I realize that most of these reviews are extraordinarily favorable - its all quite true! If you are considering visiting Secret Bay, enjoy. But please leave Zing Zing available for us next year!

  • Stayed October 2012, 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.
Lakeland, Florida, United States
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2012

Secret Bay is really indescribable. I know we will have a hard time finding a hotel better. Their service was amazing. My now husband got coral splinters in his foot from not wearing water shoes kayaking and not only did Ana get the first aid kit out.. She picked them out herself!!! Can I bring you home with me Ana!?! Food is delicious best on the island, Rose was our beautiful attendant who cooked and took great care of us. We also went to Monty's which serves a nice fish dinner and has a fun atmosphere on the water. There is so much to do at Secret Bay you really don't have to leave. You must stay here if you're visiting Dominica. There really is nothing like it. I was worried that there would be bugs because I'm prone to getting bit. It wasn't horrible and luckily Secret Bay supplies all the bug spray you need. I do recommend buying citronella wrist bands I wore them the whole trip and it really helped prevent bites. All in all a wonderful trip on a beautiful island. What a great time! We can't wait to return to Secret Bay. Thanks to all their wonderful staff who made our honeymoon a trip to remember. Love you guys!!!!

Room Tip: We stayed at Manciou which I prefer over Ti-Fey it is a little more private I think because of the l...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 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?
Thank Kelly M
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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