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“Perfection” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Secret Bay

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Secret Bay
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Warrensburg, Missouri
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Perfection”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2013

My husband and I just celebrated our 10 year anniversary at Secret Bay, and it was absolute perfection in every conceivable way. Every single detail was better than we could have ever imagined (and we did PLENTY of daydreaming beforehand :) )! If you are looking for a TRULY relaxing vacation, a flawlessly operated, maintained, and designed hideaway that caters to your every wish, the freshest, most mouth-watering food, and unparalleled, unspoiled beauty, with just the perfect amount of invigorating, rejuvenating adventure mixed in, then Secret Bay is waiting for you! You can feel the love and care that went in to designing the resort and executing every single detail. Anna is the one of the most genuinely sweet, gracious, and joyful people I've had the pleasure of meeting - her smile is infectious and she made us feel truly at home and masterfully coordinated every aspect of our stay. Every member of the staff went above and beyond to see to our needs (including lots of dietary restrictions) and we fell in love with each of them. I could go on, and on, and on about every single detail, but it would take pages and pages and it would still never do the experience justice. The island of Dominica itself is beyond description - you will fall under its spell the moment you arrive. If you go and you are in excellent physical condition DO NOT MISS a trip up to Boiling Lake - it was the most magical experience with nature we've ever had. Secret Bay and Dominica will steal your heart and renew your spirit ~

  • Stayed May 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?
2 Thank Brittany E
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
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
65 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2013

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.

Room Tip: We loved Zing Zing but it was pretty big. If you don't need the space, a smaller villa would li...
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  • Stayed May 2013, 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 AmyandChuck2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2013

We took a leap. And can't wait to do it again. Admittedly, we usually look for a Four Seasons when we need to escape from the real world. But lucky for us, I stumbled upon this Secret on Gallivant.com. Regardless of how we discovered it, this place is special. For a Caribbean island, it's mountainous, tropical, rich w/ volcanic soil and covered in rainforest. Reminded me of Maui a bit. Everything and anything grows here. For nature fans, bird watchers and fruit lovers, it's truly fascinating as a destination. Even better, the climate was remarkably pleasant. Breezy, mid 80s with refreshing rains here and there, chased by rainbows.

Sounds ridiculous, right? There's more.

The architecture, finish and fixtures were flawless. Concrete and tropical hardwoods. Dominica grown and crafted furnishings. Decks with accordion doors. Positioned on a cliff with views you won't believe. From the kitchen, the deck, the pool, even the shower. So I must admit, even though it wasn't our honeymoon, for seven days, we didn't leave the property unless it was on a kayak. Next time, we'll bring scuba gear and make ourselves journey up the Indian River, hike and see one of only two boiling lakes on the planet.

Our daily routine. We made breakfast ourselves most days, then ordered lunch and dinner from our own personal attendants. Great salads. Highly recommend the Paw Paw. Every evening, fresh fish or lobster prepared at the Souce Shack and served at sunset. We went for the lobster every other night prepared different ways—curry/ginger/chili, garlic/herb, chef's choice. In villa, they stocked us up with the best local pineapples, bananas and mangos. Dominica coffee, juices, granola and chips. Wines and rum, too.

The staff. Rosaline was the sweetest, humble, most hard-working attendant. She made us smile daily. And on my birthday, along with the surprise cake, she sang to me. SHE SANG! It was so genuine and kind, I won't soon forget it. Don't expect a fancy bar or resort scene down at the Souce Shack. But we loved visiting with Jemma, Josie and Eric. Real people sharing fun stories, casual conversation and some wicked rum punch. Just ask for it. It's back there. Drink it neat and your afternoon will soon get fuzzy.

And finally, as many other folks mentioned, Gregor stopped by for a visit during our evening porch domino tournament. He was fascinating, gracious and welcoming. Keep it going, Gregor. The vision you and Sandra have is truly amazing and we wish you all the best. So sorry we missed meeting the entire family. An early flight had us retiring ahead of schedule that final night. Next time.

Room Tip: Zabuco has the only pool. Zing Zing looked perfect for two couples and has the hot tub on the deck...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 MichaelMc101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheverly, Maryland
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 6, 2013

Secret Bay is one of those places that just cannot be described with words, it has to be experienced. Everyone comments on how great the staff are, because they are, but it must be experienced. Everyone comments on how clean, comfortable, and beautiful the villas are, but it must be experienced. Everyone comments on how incredible the food is and how wonderful the island is, but none of this does it any justice, it is one of those rare gems in the world that just must be experienced.

I just returned from my second trip to Secret Bay and they did a great job of making the second trip just as memorable as the first, which I didnt think was possible. Dominica has something for everyone from the beachbum to the adventurer with some of the worlds best beaches and scuba diving. But you cannot experience Dominica without experiencing Secret Bay. It is truely one of a kind and in a class of its own. I know of no other place like it in the world. Go and let the world drift away as you experience one you didnt know existed.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 Flyphishn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 3, 2013

The stay at Secret Bay was unbelievable from the moment we arrived. Upon arrival, we were greeted with cold towels and water to refresh/relax in route to the resort. It didn't stop there! The staff continued with impressive service throughout the vacation and were available for any need. Anna (guest services manager) went above and beyond for every request.

The food was spectacular. The staff asked what we would like to eat each day and delivered on our expectations every meal - breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The island of Dominica has many activities for any guest - kayaking, fishing, hiking, swimming, beach, sunbathing... you name it, they have it on the island. The residents of the island are very pleasant and welcoming.

Finally, the owners of the resort are super! They were very personable and made sure we enjoyed every minute of our stay.

We'll be back very soon and plan to bring all of our friends!

Room Tip: The Zing-Zing Villa is great for friends traveling together.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 Robert H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clemson
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 3, 2013

The hospitality and uniqueness of Secret Bay set it apart not only from other hotels on the island, but also from resorts in general. First of all, the service at Secret Bay is the best I have ever had at any hotel or resort I have stayed in. They are willing to do anything they can to make your trip the best you have ever had. The food, in particular, was amazing and such a treat to be served in your own private vacation home. In addition, the staff is great about recommending one of a kind experiences, such as hikes, private beaches, and excursions, that are unlike anything you typically experience on a traditional beach vacation. Furthermore, Secret Bay is unique overall. It is set amidst a beautiful setting that few ever get to experience. I am so glad I had the opportunity to vacation here and would recommend it to anyone!

  • Stayed May 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 Emily H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 3, 2013

This is my SECOND trip back to Secret Bay, because my husband and I loved the first so much! Our second visit was no less incredible than the first. The first time was for our honeymoon, but we decided to have our babymoon there as well, and we took back friends with us so they could experience the beauty of Secret Bay!

The service was top notch, as we expected. The staff were daily attentive to our needs, desires, questions, inquires, etc. We enjoyed the cuisine very much, as well as the attention to detail, such as staff catering to our personal preferences, interests, tastes, activities, etc. We hiked to waterfalls and mountain tops, kayaked to nearby beaches for snorkeling, relaxed in the hammocks, grilled delicious steaks in the evening, watched many sunsets.

The peaceful environment, the beautiful blend of jungle meets Caribbean ocean, and the kindest staff imaginable make your staff one you'll never forget, and long to return to! If you want a truly rich and unique and indulgent vacation experience, this is your place.

Room Tip: All the villas are beautiful, choose based on size that you need.
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  • Stayed May 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 Laya A
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:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, MrandMrsSmith, Hotels.com, Agoda, Priceline 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

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