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“Every detail perfectly thought out, amazing staff!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Secret Bay

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Secret Bay
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Burlington, Vermont
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Every detail perfectly thought out, amazing staff!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 24, 2012

My wife and I went for our honeymoon in July and were astonded at how wonderful the zing zing villa was. It is a tree house, in the woods, with a hot tub, all the amenities you would ever want. Every detail of the villa is incrediably well thought out down to the clocks on the night table, that are a cube wooden cube that only light up if you touch it or the table. The are two secluded beautiful sandy beaches just a few minutes kayak ride away. The staff is wonderful, particularly Anna who is a true gem. We had a last minute issue and had, to leave our luggage at the airport, and only were able to bring a backpack, yet this didn't efffect our trip in the least. Anna just asked for a list of what was needed and by the time dinner was brought up to our deck (which is such a great idea) someone had already gone to the store and bought the socks, sunscreen, and other few items I mistakenly left behind, the fact that there's a washing machine in the villa means you really can pack lightly. The only thing that wasn't perfect about our stay, (which should in no way change your mind) was that there is a dance club across the bay (miles away) that one night a week plays music so loud that you can hear the bass. The island is spectacular with great excursions, hikes, snorkling, etc. and Anna co-ordinates everything with all the best local guides. My wife and I really can't say enough about how great the villa, staff, and island all are, it really is a special place.

  • Stayed July 2012, 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?
3 Thank Adam G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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471 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
94 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2012

A gem of a tiny resort with a superb and helpful staff, from Anna the chief to Miguel the watersport assistant. Upon our arrival, we were provided with a free, local cell phone, with everyone on the resort staff included in the contact list. We used it to call for taxis, arrange excursions, order supplies, etc, even when we were traipsing around the island. This is a terrific idea that more resorts should adopt since using our US cell phones would have cost a fortune.

The hotel is tucked into a mini-jungle and currently has only 2 villas and some bungalows, all with very creative and attractive designs. Our villa, Zing-ZIng, made us feel as though we were living in a tree house but very quiet except for the coquis. Inside were 2 large bedrooms, with excellent air conditioning, plenty of storage, a safe, LCD TVs with cable, and 2 bathrooms with lots of towels and supplies. Between them is a small living room, with a stereo, games, videos, books and a Kindle, and a very well equipped kitchen with Siemens appliances, including a washer-dryer that allowed us to avoid bringing lots of clothing. The resort also installed a current transformer with a power strip that allowed us to charge all our US electronic devices without the need to bring our own current converters. Another excellent idea that should be standard.

The villa came stocked with all needed kitchen and bathroom supplies as well as the food we requested before arrival. One can arrange meal preparation with some leeway in menu choices or simply cook with food that the staff will purchase for you. Their meals were excellent, well prepared and presented, and served on our patio from the kitchen located just steps below. There are restaurants around the island but very few near the hotel and none, outside of the other resorts on the island, that serve other than local foods and relatively simple recipes. The food is usually fresh and tasty but do not expect St Barts cuisine on Dominica.

A hot tub rested a few steps below, and another patio equipped with tables, chairs, recliners and a hammock. Another few steps further down a hill, the watersports area above the beach stocked kayaks and snorkelling gear all maintained and provided with good cheer by Miguel and Vincent. In order to reach the nearby swimming and snorkelling beaches one needs to kayak for a few minutes but the staff will do that for you if you are uncomfortable on your own. One beach was in their "secret bay" and, for most of the days we were there, totally ours, alone. Clear water, nice sandy beach, close inshore snorkelling and absolutely quiet, no planes, cars etc to disturb us. The other side of the resort had a much larger, wider sandy beach, also usually deserted but for us. (There are plans to build a hotel on that one.)

Dominica needs to be well-researched before one chooses this island for a vacation. We knew what we intended to do and have had many years of experience in Caribbean travel (Petit St Vincent, Jumby Bay, Cap Juluca, Caneel Bay, Little Dix, Cotton House on Mustique and so on, are the places we have visited over the years.) This is not RockResort territory, nor should it be, but this is the perfect place for very low-key, casual, and nature-based vacations and Secret Bay is a wonderful base for that purpose.

Room Tip: The honeymoon villa sits on top of a hill directly overlooking the ocean so you will hear constant w...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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?
4 Thank Alexander A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2012

We cannot say enough wonderful things about our trip to Secret Bay. This was truly a vacation we will always remember. Anna and the staff went out of their way to make everything carefree and easy.

We asked to do a number of excursions, including the Boiling Lake, Cabritz, the Indian River, and spear fishing. Anna set-up each trip with the most amazing guides on the island. Each guide or taxi driver went out of their way to tell us about their home, and show us their favorite places. Our driver on the way to the boiling lake went out of his way to show us Rosseau and all his favorite places. You could definitely tell everyone was so proud of their island.

Not only was the island full of places to visit, but Secret Bay was amazing in itself. The scenery and snorkeling around Secret Bay was so serene and peaceful. Our bungalow also had every appliance and amenity imaginable, and the staff went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed to cook or make rum punch. We did take advantage of both the organic basket, as well as had two meals a day cooked for us. We had originally intended to try local restaurants, but the food was so good at Secret Bay we chose to eat dinner on our patio every night.

The staff, especially Maggie, were so accommodating, and made sure we had everything we needed. We kept running out of juice for rum punch, which Maggie was quick to replace. When we ran out of rum on our last day, a smaller bottle was fetched from Portsmouth, so we did not have to waste a large bottle of rum. It's this kind of service that makes a vacation truly relaxing.

We will definitely be making a trip back soon.

Room Tip: The Mapuo Bungalow had an amazing view, and was perfect for relaxing.
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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?
2 Thank Tiffany C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2012

Our honeymoon at Secret Bay was like something out of a romance novel. Our every need was cared for and the only thing we were left wanting was more time at our Zabuco Villa. My wife and I are "type-A" personality planners and we thought we had a good idea of how this week would go based on the website photos & videos, our correspondence with Anna, and reading other's reviews. But we could not have planned the surprise of rose peddles placed on our bed by Roseline, the thoughtful drop by of Gregor to check in on our stay, the rainbows that would sneak out from behind the clouds at random times, the delicious handmade cherry juice, the sound of the waves on the shore as we turned in for the night, and the colors of the sky at every sunset. It was like we were the only ones there enjoying paradise and it was all for us. If you are looking for a place to truly unwind after months of planning your wedding, or if you just need a vacation away from all the noise then Secret Bay is about as close to perfect as I have ever experienced. We will definitely be returning on anniversary's.

Room Tip: The Zabuco Villa had 180 degree views of the Sea and was amazing.
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Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Aaron N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2012

The perfect get away from it all with all the luxuries available. The staff was amazing no detail left undone. The location is absolutely picturesque, beautiful views of the ocean and grand views of the mountains and the town of Portsmouth. We stayed at the Zabuco Villa and it was so beautiful, the shower in the master bedroom has the ability to be opened to the outside so as you shower you feel as though you are outdoors in the beautiful surroundings of the nature island. Meals were prepared and provided and were scrumptious. I had a private message arranged and a private yoga lesson. My husband and I spent two days touring the island with a tour guide Bobby Fredrick provided by Anna and the tour guide was also the highlight of the trip. He was so knowledgeable about the island and took us to all the spots we would never have found on our own. Secret Bay is a great choice for honeymooners and couples who want to experience peace on earth. Anna and her staff couldn't do enough. I love them all and thank them, they made my birthday so special

Room Tip: All homes have great views
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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 699stephanie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2012

We searched for months to find the perfect honeymoon location before we were fortunate enough to hear about Secret Bay. After reviewing the Secret Bay site and doing a little research on Dominica, we decided to book the Zabuco villa for our honeymoon, and we couldn't have made a better decision. It was absolutely perfect, and the experience far exceeded our expectations.

Reading all of the other reviews, there is not much I can say that hasn’t already been said about this amazing resort. Everything you read is true - The villa was absolutely beautiful with amazing views in every direction, the food was delicious (we requested local fare only) and beyond reasonably priced, and the island of Dominica is one of the best kept secrets in the Caribbean. Like many others, we opted to only have one long day away from the property exploring the island, and one day proved to be sufficient for us. The majority of our time was spent at Secret Bay, either swimming to Secret Beach, laying by the pool, or lounging on our veranda enjoying the view (while always enjoying a rum punch).

The one thing I can add, and what I truly believe sets Secret Bay apart from other places, is how amazing the people are here. Gregor, Sandra, and the entire staff are dedicated to making your stay the best experience possible. Every need was addressed without hesitation and with a true sense of pride. They are eager to share their island and their lives with you, and it shows in everything they do. By the time we departed, we felt like we had made friends for a lifetime. It’s not often that you receive hugs and handshakes when you leave a place where you have only been for a week, but that is the kind of people you will find at Secret Bay.

So if you are reading these reviews trying to decide if this is the place for your next vacation, do yourself a favor... Book now, you won’t regret the decision.


(I would like to add one tip, something we discovered right before our departure - Make sure you have your departure tax in hand, in EC dollars BEFORE you arrive at the airport! Credit cards are not accepted and several people have commented that the airport ATM is often out of service. US dollars will suffice, but know that you will receive change in EC - if you choose this option there is the airport bar where you can spend the last of your EC on an ice cold Kubuli!)

  • 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?
2 Thank BrettandJenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2012

We have been luck enough to travel to many very nice and fun locations but Secret Bay and Dominica are different.You can lounge around or as we did take advantage of the natural beuty of the island.Hiking, Biking, snorkeling, sailing its all there.Secret Bay provides EXCELLENT Attentive staff, wonderful food, gorgious accomodations and teh chance for relaxation.Ana knows all and everyone and takes personal care of guests! Thank you!

Room Tip: Ti-Fey was awesome, Zabucco next time
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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?
2 Thank daslis
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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