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“Amazing Honeymoon Experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Secret Bay

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Secret Bay
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Amazing Honeymoon Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2013

My wife and I traveled to Secret Bay for our Honeymoon in October and we could not have been happier with our stay. The Ti-Fey bungalow was a perfect size for us - Cozy, but plenty of room. We were close to another bungalow on the property, but we felt secluded and never felt a loss of privacy. The quality of the bungalow was apparent from the moment we walked in: fantastic hard wood, great appliances, marble counter tops, nice furniture, and a very comfortable bed. These bungalows have been built right. We also loved the little perks like the Bose stereo with iPod hook up, the cell phone for contacting Anna (Resort Manager), security and other staff members, and the kindle loaded with Newspapers from back home. The grounds were very nice as well. You get a rustic luxury feel as the resort is built into the hill/cliff side with all of the tropical feel preserved. Tucked into the trees and wildlife are the bungalows and villas seamlessly incorporated with stone paths, lighting, and beautiful flowers. There is also a new observation deck for great views of sunset and a great spot for dinner (Just ask)

Service - My first impression of Secret Bay was the service. From the moment I booked months before the Honeymoon I was in contact with Anna via e-mail hashing out our plans and details. Airport transportation, activities and the food we ate during our stay – everything was taken care of. She was attentive and always provided prompt feedback. Upon arrival the service was continued. Our bungalow attendant Rosalie was wonderful. She brought us amazing food, took care of our bungalow and did all the little things: a heart of rose petals on our bed for our last night, providing anything we asked for, and packed lunches for our excursions every day. Security was always just a phone call away and could provide anything. We felt very well attended the entire trip while still maintaining privacy.

Food – The food was fantastic to say the least. We asked for fresh juices and a breakfast basket filled with breads and fruits, granola and yogurt. It was the perfect way for us to wake up every morning. Not to mention the fresh juices made fantastic Rum Punches to enjoy on our deck. Like I mentioned before lunches we provided to go whenever we needed them. When we arrived our fridge was stocked with exactly what we requested. Then there were the dinners prepared and brought by Rosalie. Fantastic food! We asked for mostly seafood, but we wanted to eat local fare prepared the local way and we got it. We were never disappointed with a dinner! Try the cocoa tea as well. We loved it so much we found some ingredients to bring home.

Activities – For our honeymoon we wanted a balance of relaxation and adventure. Dominica was the place and Secret Bay made it a possibility. Anna and the staff worked out every detail of our excursions on the spot – Then provided us a printed sheet with what to bring, a proposed itinerary, and a driver/guide for our trip. From snorkeling in Champagne beach, to hiking Trafalgar Falls, to taking a boat ride down the Indian River everything was taken care of. We felt safe the entire time and we loved every min of it. On top of that you could call security and be snorkeling in and around Secret Bay’s cave within 5 min. Finally, our best activity was Canyoning! An amazing activity suggested to us by Anna that we will never forget. If you don’t know what it is imagine a river flowing down a mountain in the middle of a tropical rainforest – now imagine rappelling and cliff jumping your way down that river!

Lastly I would like to say that throughout our entire experience we felt at home. The owner of Secret Bay, Gregor, and his wife Sandra made a point to come visit us before they left on their own trip. They were genuinely interested in our story and it was obvious to us how much they cared about their resort. From the moment I booked to weeks after I left I was in contact with Anna who took great care of us and put up with all my questions. Rosalie was an amazing host and a wonderful cook. My wife and I cannot wait to go back there for another stay. As we learned when we were saying good-bye…. It is not good-bye, it’s see you again soon.

Room Tip: Utilize the observation deck!
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  • 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?
5 Thank CutterB
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
Panama City, Florida, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2012

Me and my husband had a great time for our honeymoon. The service was great and we felt like celebrities. We wanted to stay at the Zaboca however, it was booked that week. We stated in the Tifey bongalo and was great. Our last night we wanted to stay at Zaboca to experience the famous honeymoon suite since it was not occupied. The staff was very nice and cleaned the suite as early as possible to allow us to fully enjoy it for one night. We loved the uniqueness of the place and its food service.

We had a great time and thinking about going back on our 5yr anniversary.

Great service overall and having the owner personally drive us to the airport on Sunday was a nice touch.

  • 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?
1 Thank Mimi C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2012

Secret Bay is a romantic, exotic, and beautiful escape that before our trip, I had only dreamed about travelling to. My new husband and I stayed in the Mapou bungalow at Secret Bay for our honeymoon in July. The bungalow was the perfect size for us and the perfect location. Our bungalow was perched perfectly in the trees and although it was only about 20 ft away from the Ti-Pey bungalow, it felt like we were all alone. The view from our upstairs bedroom was breathtaking! Waking up each morning to the pebble beach and rock cliffs was so relaxing and made us want to stay in bed all day...(and for a few days we did!). A few things that stood out in my mind about our stay at Secret Bay:
1) I came down with a terrible cold the night we arrived. With the cell phones we were given, my husband called security (because it was after hours...8:30pm) to ask if they had any cold medication. Security called Anna, the amazing resort manager, at her home, and she was the one to call us back to tell us that security would be at our bungalow shortly with something for my cold. They turned up within 15 minutes with fresh herbs that they picked from the property, including ginger root, lemon grass, and some other mysterious plant. Anna gave us instructions earlier to chop it all up to make tea for my cold, and it worked wonders!
2) Our "attendant", Rosalyn, was fabulous! She is an amazing cook and just a really great lady to chat with! She was so thoughtful too, because on our second night, while we were out for dinner, she left hot tea in the kitchen for me! That tea was so strong that it kicked the rest of my cold out of my system!
3) We liked that we could decide what we wanted for lunch and dinner the day of, and that we could take a short walk down to the snack shack to grab lunch if we wanted. We also like that at the beginning of the trip we told them what activities we were interested in doing on the island, and they arranged it for us, including a taxi to dinner (although we learned after that that the cooking at Secret Bay is better than anywhere you'll find on the island), a rowboat cruise with "Fire" on the Indian River, and a reservation to go canyoning (which was AMAZING!).
4) It was cool that we could call security whenever we wanted to ask them to arrange the double kayak, life vests, paddles, and snorkelling gear for us. We went out a number of times to see the sea life in Secret Bay and try to find buried treasure!
5) Lastly, the owner of Secret Bay, Gregor, stopped by our bungalow one day to see how our visit was. He told us about some old cannons buried underwater and tried to help us search for them. It turned out one had been taken, and the other was VERY hard to find! Gregor's wife, Sandra, met us on the beach one day as well, and took us over to a small cave beside Secret Beach. She led us in the cave through a small crack in the cliff rock that was half underwater. It was so beautiful! There were tons of bats overhead, but the colour of the water was so magical! Then she showed us the way out from there and invited us to return any time from that point on by ourselves.
Overall, our trip was one I'm sure we'll never have again, and one we'll always remember. The staff were incredibly accommodating and met our every need and want, the location and accommodations were breath-taking, and the hospitality and kindness of everyone on the island was so much appreciated! We can't wait to go back some day!

Room Tip: I think every villa and bungalow at Secret Bay is amazing! I would recommend either the Mapou or T-P...
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  • Stayed July 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 Alex W
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 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2012

We came here for our one-year anniversary. . .I wish we had come for our honeymoon. We stayed at the Viceroy in Anguilla for our honeymoon - which was beautiful, don't get me wrong - but Secret Bay is just special. With only four units, you feel like you are the only ones there. They give you a cell phone to use and has everyone you will ever need's name programmed into it. There is always someone ready willing and able to get you whatever you need!
You can tell that the owner (Gregor) puts his heart and soul into his guests' experience and makes sure everyone's is extraordinary and special. With that much care and attention to detail, it's hard not to have the most heavenly time there.
When i first found out about this place, i went to TripAdvisor to see what the reviews said. At first i couldn't believe what i was reading, i thought with that many five-star reviews, they must be fake. I've never seen so many glowing reviews about one place - even the five-star resorts.

Everything was amazing - they stocked our kitchen with all the things we wanted - we got fresh, delicious meals cooked for us and brought to us every day. And the food was really amazing. It wasn't fancy, which we didn't want anyway. They were all simple, local dishes, cooked to perfection. We were so spoiled.

The service was also beyond exceptional! Every last need was attended to. You can tell that Gregor and Anna were both made for this kind of thing. They make you feel like anything you ask for is not a problem. They are really special people. Anything you want to do they will arrange for you, and they take care to set you up only with people they trust. We did many excursions, but my favorite was the trip with Dr. Birdie! I had read other glowing reviews of him but my husband was skeptical. Neither of us are particularly into bird watching. But this guy did not disappoint. His knowledge of the local fruits and forrest, in addition to birds, was second to none, and made for a very entertaining trip.

If you must wear your Christian Louboutins and "be seen" on your vacation - don't go here. I love to do that, too, once in awhile. If you want five-star service, five-star accommodations, five-star views, and five-star romance, relaxation and privacy and no attitudes - come to Secret Bay.

Room Tip: There is no bad room. Considering there are only four units. We were in the Mapau bungalow, which...
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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?
3 Thank dcyogi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Vermont
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
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.
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.
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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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