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“Perfect for 2 couples” 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, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Perfect for 2 couples”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2013

Zing Zing villa was the perfect villa for my husband and I to share with my sister and her husband for a special vacation together. It's challenging to find a villa where both bedrooms are equally nice - most include one master suite and other smaller bedrooms which doesn't work well for two couples traveling together. Zing Zing has two identical spacious beautiful bedrooms each with matching large luxurious bathrooms.

The villa has wonderful outside decks with views of the water and the other side of the island. The breeze was delightful! We enjoyed relaxing together in the large hot tub or reading on the couches in our outside living room. When we wanted time alone as couples the spacious bedrooms were comfortable and private.

The kitchen is fully equipped with all the modern appliances you could wish for. Every morning we made our own individual cups of cappuccino and espresso - no matter what time each of us awoke we could enjoy a hot steaming cup. The kitchen was always stocked for us with delicious fresh juices and fruits, eggs and the best granola I've ever tasted.

We all wanted to vacation with the comfort of a home but without the work involved in food shopping, cooking and cleaning. Our vacation at Zing zing offered this better than any other option. The villa was cleaned every day - many villas only offer weekly cleaning. We never had to take time away from relaxing or fun to food shop, clean or cook. Lunch and dinner was delicious and we loved dining at the table on the large outside deck. In the morning we selected our choices for lunch and dinner and that was the last we thought about it. The food was varied and gave us a taste of the local cuisine which is what we hoped for. Fresh salads and fruits and homemade desserts kept us so happy we never thought of eating out. It was perfect to return from our daily activities, relax in the hot tub, have a cocktail and then enjoy a candle lit dinner al fresco. The staff was caring, friendly and eager to please including booking all our activities from hiking and canyoning to yoga and massages on our deck. We couldn't have asked for a better "home" to share a wonderful vacation together.

Secret Bay is very low key and casual and in some regards it is still a work in progress but any issues we had were overshadowed by Anna who seems dedicated to providing the best service possible.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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?
Thank JWM0143
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
Michigan, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2013

Staying at Secret Bay was above and beyond what we had hoped for in a honeymoon experience! Upon arriving to the island, we were greeted at the airport with chilled water and towels. How thoughtful! Our ride took us to the resort, which is located on the edge of a cliff facing out over the Caribbean Sea. The location is breathtaking! The resort is surrounded by forest and mountains and of course water. We especially enjoyed birdwatching from our bungalow. The bungalow itself was cozy and comfortable. Secret Bay has its own beach which is just a short walk down from your room, but you also have the option of kayaking to Secret Beach or Coconut Beach. I recommend going to both at least once! Secret Bay has plenty of other activities for you to participate in as well. They offer things like cooking classes, bike rentals, yoga, snorkeling, and excursions away from the resort. The wonderful Anna was ever so helpful in planning and organizing an itinerary for the week that we stayed there. We just had to tell her what we were interested in and then show up at the designated spot to begin our adventure! Not only Anna but also the rest of the staff at Secret Bay are some of the most accommodating and friendly people we've ever met. Maggie took care of our needs inside our bungalow. She made sure we had everything that we needed and also made us our meals. At Secret Bay, you have a few options for food. Each of the bungalows and villas are equipped with kitchens so you can cook for yourself, or you can go out and eat on the island. However, we opted to have Maggie cook for us. Phenomenal is how I would describe the meals! It was well worth it, and also convenient and romantic to have our meals brought up so we could eat on our private balcony. I could rave on and on about how wonderful our experience was while staying at Secret Bay in Dominica. What we truly appreciated was how the staff cared about making sure we were relaxed and having a good time. It felt great to know each of the people that helped us during the week by name and depart with hugs and well wishes. Even the owner made a point to visit us twice and make sure everything was to our satisfaction! Initially we had planned to go to an all-inclusive resort somewhere else, but Secret Bay was the perfect place for our honeymoon; the beauty and level of hospitality would have been unmatched anywhere else. I highly recommend staying at Secret Bay!!
(I would also like to note that Secret Bay has bungalows for couples but also larger villas for groups, whether it's a family group or a group of couples. We met both kinds of groups during our stay who were in the villa and they seemed to be having just as much fun. =] )

  • Stayed January 2013, 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
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Brittany K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2013

Secret Bay is even more beautiful than the pictures. The unique beauty and surroundings, coupled with the comfort, privacy and delicious food made for an incredible honeymoon. After the beautiful surroundings, the food and the food service was my next favorite part. I loved having a pre-stocked kitchen (with everything we requested). We enjoyed making our breakfast in the morning and being treated to dinner at night. Every dinner topped the previous. Everything tasted fresh and delicious. One of my best memories was having the kitchen staff make the fish that we caught on an excurious earlier that day. Ana is extremely accomdating and helped us plan our mini-adventures. I say mini, because it was just the right amount of action for us. Taking a boat tour with Fire down the Indian River and stopping at the bar in the middle of the river (litterally, a bar in the river!) was a special adventure. Watch out for the rum punch they call Dynamite-it's delicious and is as it sounds.

The Mapou bungalow we stayed in was great-it truly feels like a "luxury tree house". Everything feels new, clean and modern but also layed back. I especially liked the fresh flowers that were refreshed in our kitchen during the week.

The kayak to the beach was fun (and easy) everyday. The staff was so accomodating in having the kayaks ready for you as soon as you got down to the beach. We saw one other couple, only once, during our many trips to the beach. Laying on the beach was so enjoyable I could barely pay attention to my book.

The resort has both a Sunset Deck and Meditation Deck that are extremely comfortable and enjoyable to relax at. We often sat on the Mediation Deck as a change of scenery from the already beautiful view from our bungalow's deck. One morning we did yoga on the Sunset Deck overlooking the water and watching the sunrise. Basically anything that you would dream of while at Secret Bay, the staff can help to make it happen.

I would defintely return to Secret Bay and maybe even be more adventurous. Although even if we did the same exact thing, I know we would again have an incredbile time.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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 julie h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2013

Last year, a colleague casually mentioned Secret Bay to me, and after a year of obsessing over the website images, my honeymoon was booked. The trip was everything we hoped for, namely, a safe and quiet island paradise for us to enjoy. So many wonderful things to say...

1. Greeted at airport with air conditioning, cold scented towels, and water. Um, yes please.
2. Mapou bungalow was perfect for two. Waking up with the ocean breeze and sound of wind in the trees was something every human being should experience. Best sleep of my life.
3. Kitchen was pre-stocked as requested and we thoroughly enjoyed making breakfast each day.
4. We paid for the cooking service for dinner each day, served at a time we requested. All I can say is lamb = heaven. And please, for me, order dessert each night.
5. Staff is so friendly you almost hate how discrete they are. They can also make pretty much anything happen. Example - I called Anna at 5pm one night asking if we could arrange a massage the next day. It was confirmed within 10 minutes.
6. Having to kayak to the various beaches was a mini adventure each day. Secret Beach was our favorite, honestly, we never ran into another person in 5 days. A Caribbean beach! All to yourself!! Actually we did have one visitor - an employee who met us on the beach with coconuts that he hacked the tops off so we could drink the fresh water. Priceless.
7. Indian River tour with Fire was entertaining and recommended for a quick excursion.
8. We were the lucky recipients of an upgrade to the Honeymoon Villa our final night. Wow. There is not one thing wrong with that place. We took advantage of everything - the outdoor shower, the Pirates of the Caribbean DVD, the espresso machine, the bathtub, the infinity pool, the veranda. The pure bliss of having an hour long massage on the veranda, with the breeze on your back and the sound of the ocean, will never be forgotten.

Our goal was relaxation and Secret Bay delivered. If you don't want to plan a single thing, it's cool. There is no pressure to "do stuff" like on some vacations I've taken, but if you want to, the staff can plan literally anything you want, usually the day of. If you don't want to deal with crowds, you may literally not run into anyone for a week. If you are a sweatpants person like me, you will rejoice in the fact that you can bring 5 articles of clothing and still over-pack, because there is nothing to get dressed up for.

The only con I can think of is that the drive from the airport to Secret Bay is about one hour on a WINDING road, so if you get carsick really easy, brace yourself. Another downside is writing your glowing review when you get home and sinking into depression when you realize you are no longer there :(

A big thank you to everyone at Secret Bay! Can't wait until the day we return...

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank vosscarr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2013

The staff takes care of your every wish. Zing Zing is a beautiful spot. Very relaxing, rejuvenating experience. Trips to town can be a little slow given the terrain; no super-highways but friendly and helpful drivers.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank RwTCU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Martinsburg
Level Contributor
46 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2013

We stayed at Zing Zing Villa, on Secret Bay, Dominica. What a lovely place to vacation! The staff is so accommodating. Anastasia was extremely helpful from the very beginning...we had trouble finding flights and she helped us locate some! If you want adventure, there are so many places to explore on this island.....from waterfalls, hiking and watching parrots in their natural habitat. The men went diving and saw seahorses for the first time ever!

The staff is very helpful, but there are some additional charges that you may not be aware of at the time...so check if there's an additional charge...just so you aren't surprised when checking out. Also, they have a lovely small beach front cottage you can arrange to use for the day...take them up on it!! Nicest beach we saw....others are very rocky (Large rocks).

Also, we had some trouble with returning our rental car...we filled up with gas (needle didn't register full but gas attendant said it wouldn't take any more) and when we returned it, they said it WASN'T filled & were going to charge quite a lot of money...so my husband went BACK to the same gas station where the lady running the station was QUITE upset that the gentleman said it wasn't full (the needle did not go to full) and told my husband to tell him to not "rip us off",and call her if necessary. When we told him this, he backed down...but I will say it was quite alarming. So when they say go to the airport 90 minutes ahead, you should incase you run into something like this!

Again, this is a lovely place to stay, with everything you could need provided for you and we would HIGHLY recommend it!!!

Room Tip: Zing Zing is the only villa that has two bedrooms. It is farthest from the water, but was a nice wa...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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 Tina R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delray Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2013

I originally learned of Secret Bay on The Today Show. As soon as I saw the property and island, I researched more, saved it as a "Favorites tab" on my computer, and a few years later, I finally booked a stay at Secret Bay. There are so many reasons my husband and I love Secret Bay.

The Location is Magical: Waking up to "Benny" the bull-finch bird that was waiting for us to eat breakfast on our lovely balcony overlooking the Caribbean and Dominica Mountains.... Kayaking right from the Secret Bay shores.... Resting on the Secret Bay private beach.... close to many hikes, waterfalls, cute town of Portsmouth, and Fort Shirley....and it's an amazingly scenic and easy drive to and from the airport. (we rented a car and explored the island on our own...very easy!)... we were alone on much of our hikes and at the waterfalls....hard to find that now-a-days.

The Service is Excellent: Anastasia was so pleasant and helpful from the first point of contact. She was always quick to respond to emails, questions and request. Ana did a great job explaining the resort, island and amenities at Secret Bay along with getting us quickly adapted to Secret Bay and the services they provide. Then came Maggie, our concierge for our stay. She was always there when we needed her, and always so pleasant! One of our favorite memories of Secret Bay was getting to know the staff. We would hang out with Jemma and Josie, the Secret Bay Chef's, while they were cooking our meals. We learned about the native cuisine, their culture and themselves. Jemma and Josie were always so friendly...and really excellent chefs! One day we had the pleasure of running into Jemma in the town of Portsmouth. She was so kind to walk around with us as we enjoyed the local farmers market. Jemma, Josie, Maggie and Ana are all examples of how kind the Dominican people truly are... We had no hesistancy picking up the locals to give them a lift to their next destination. They are truly the nicest people I've ever met while traveling. So rich in culture, religion, family and the love and respect for their island and for others.
I highly recommend a visit to Secret Bay!!! It's the best money we've ever spent on lodging...and it's worth every penny based on the accomodations, location, service and staff. In addition, Dominica is paradise, with wonderful people....and totally off the beaten path!!! Highly recommended!
PS: To Secret Bay management: Ana, Jemma, Josie and Maggie deserve a raise!!! They work so hard to please their guests, and they do it with warmth and a smile. Not to forget Bianca, who was also very helpful and friendly.

Room Tip: Ti-Fey had such a beautiful view, the bed was super comfortable, easy to get to from the parking lot...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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 travelluvbug18
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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