I say believe it because we booked this trip based solely upon the Trip Advisor reviews. We had heard about Dominica from a tour operator in Jamaica as her favorite island to visit & wanted to check it out, but we knew absolutely nothing about the island. My husband and I spent 5 incredible nights in early May in the Zing Zing villa. We had hoped to get the Zabuco villa with the pool, however it was booked during the dates we needed to travel. We absolutely loved the ZZ villa and would highly recommend it for two couples wanting to travel together. Both bedrooms & bathrooms are identical so there will be no "flipping a coin" to see which couple gets the better room! We felt like we had our own treehouse and enjoyed every second we spent in it. The aspect that we loved the most was the fact that entire front wall opened up so the deck became part of the living room. We spent most of our time lounging on the very comfortable patio furniture and ate every meal at the outside dining table. We never had an issue with bugs (but be sure to bring spray for hiking), though we kept the bedroom doors shut at all times just in case. Obviously with that set up, we did not use the AC in the main parts of the house but there were ceiling fans on the deck which kept the air moving nicely. The AC in the bedrooms was great so we had no issues cooling off if needed. The view from our deck was spectacular and I got up every morning around 6:30am and just enjoyed the beginning of the day. We went to bed every night around 9:00pm (not the norm for us!) and the beds were pretty comfy, though maybe a tad soft. Note, there is no nightlife here. If you are looking for peace & serenity with unbelievable food & views, this is the place to be! The wifi was reliable & pretty fast, and the tv had good cable channels. The hot tub was very nice and we enjoyed sitting in it at night with a drink.
Dominica is an amazing island for those who love nature and having a very wide range of activities. As part of our package at SB, we received a 4-hour nature hike to Syndicate Falls & Morne Diablotin to see the parrots with Dr. Birdy. It was fascinating and extremely informative. The hike itself was mild but I was glad that I had on tennis shoes rather than sport sandals. My feet did get wet because we had to cross a creek a couple of times. This hike was only about a 20-minute drive from SB. We did not book any tours until we arrived and Anna sat down with us in our villa and went through many options and then booked anything we selected. She set up our itinerary and provided us with a printed copy so that we always knew where to be & when. We chose to do a river tour with the guide "Fire" and that was a very relaxing easy day. We stopped at the bar on the river and had a couple of drinks (bring cash) and loved the Dynamite Rum Punch! Our final tour was to Boiling Lake. It was the most unbelievable experience we've ever had, but it is not for the faint of heart. We are in pretty good shape, and I don't know how anyone who doesn't work out on a relatively routine basis would make it in & back out. You do have to climb down & back up an active rock slide so you need to be strong enough to do this. It is worth every painful step and I can't describe the feeling of pride you'll have at the end of this day. We made it to the lake in 2 hours 45 mins and it took probably around 3 or so to get back out. The landscape is indescribable. If you do the hike, make sure that you take food with you. We only took some protein bars, granola & dried fruit and desperately wished we had a sandwich when we got to the lake. We were filthy by the end of the hike and the iron-based mud does stain so dress accordingly. I highly recommend sturdy tennis shoes or trail shoes but would NOT recommend any type of open sandal unless that is your normal hiking shoe of choice. Wear your swimsuit and get into the warm pool as you hike back. I considered not doing it and was so glad that I did. We also have never been so happy to slide into a hot tub. If you plan to do this hike, seriously consider the ZZ villa for this alone or plan to make friends with whomever might be staying in it!
I also had a 90-minute private yoga session with Trudy and it was one of the best yoga sessions I've ever had. I practice yoga on a marginally regular basis, so she and I were able to do a very strenuous power yoga class that lasted over 1 1/2 hours. The fact that my view was of the bay from our lower deck only added to the magic. She will tailor her teaching to your level so don't worry. If you have the chance, it truly is worth it. I followed that with breakfast of homemade yogurt & granola on the deck & thought to myself, a vacation cannot possibly get any better than this. We kayaked to Secret Bay twice, and the owner Sandra met us the second time to show us the cave. This is a must see. The snorkeling by the cave & arch was terrific but was not that good on the opposite side of that beach so stick to the arch area if you have to pick one. We also kayaked to Coconut Beach and loved it. Good snorkeling there with cool coral formations & underwater plants. Our package also included massages with Toni, and she gave us a fantastic massage! Very strong hands, the oil smelled amazing, and we did our massages on the deck. Notice a theme? We loved that deck.
Now on to the service & food. Our attendant for the majority of our time was Biana, and she was so sweet & friendly. We only had her cook breakfast one morning and chose to do our morning meals the rest of the time. We got the organic basket & loved the yogurt/granola & fresh fruit. We also had the villa pre-stocked with snacks & some food items. We had no idea how much anything would cost, but were absolutely shocked at checkout when our food/alcohol bill was only around $350. We had lobster, shrimp twice, fish multiple times, pork etc. The food was so fresh. My favorite meal was the king fish with the garlic/pesto topping. I still dream of it. That was our first meal on the night we arrived. SO GOOD. We also took advantage of having a wine chiller in the villa and could pull out a bottle whenever we wanted one. The wine list was decent and I thought the prices were very fair. The local rum with fruit juice was my afternoon cocktail, and we both enjoyed the local beer Kabuli a lot.
Anna was amazingly helpful and very nice to work with. She clearly understands the hospitality business and wants to ensure that your stay is top notch. She actively seeks feedback and wants to make improvements as they move forward. She even gave us a tour of the active construction site where they are building additional villas for their home ownership program. This is the most private resort we've ever been to, and I mean PRIVATE. While I think we saw a guest or two walking on a path, we never heard anyone or ran into anyone. We would go up to the sunset deck with a drink on a couple of evenings to enjoy the view, and we were always the only ones there. It was blissful. DO NOT hesitate to stay here. We came very close to allowing Anna to "lose" our passports which she offered to do when I told her it would probably take Security to get me out of the villa on our departure day.
- 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:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, MrandMrsSmith, Priceline, Agoda, Hotels.com and Jetsetter so you can book your Secret Bay reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Secret Bay Hotel Portsmouth
- Secret Bay Dominica/Portsmouth