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“Secret Bay” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Secret Bay

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Secret Bay
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Barbados
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Secret Bay”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2014

Arriving at a hotel with pre-determined high expectations can often be dangerous ..... with potential disappointment lurking around every corner. But no such worry with our first visit to Secret Bay last week! We were fortunate enough to stay in the Zabuco Honeymoon Villa and we enjoyed every minute of our time there. Beautiful villa, stunning views, excellent facilities, secluded privacy and first-class friendly and discrete service from the staff - especially Saralee who looked after us very well. We really liked the concept of being able to pre-order your own selection of food and drinks, with the option to cook for yourself, have the food prepared and delivered to the villa or even have the chef come to your villa and cook for you. One of the highlights for us was being able to walk down to the sea, hop onto a kayak and then paddle around the headland to the Secret Beach, complete with snorkeliing equipment and waterproof bags (containing our towels, camera, etc) - all readily provided by the hotel. The snorkeling right off the beach was exceptional. We went towards the left of the bay and about 100 yards away we came across a kind of forest of various types of sea-fans, with a wide variety of live coral formations and sponges. Great snorkelling so close to the beach! When we chose to venture off the property, Anna was very helpful and efficient when recommending where to go and who to go with. By the way, Secret Bay is ideally located to visit any of the main attractions in the north of the island.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Dominica. If you like nature then this island is a MUST DO visit! And if you like tranquil, understated luxury, then Secret Bay is THE place to stay.

  • Stayed February 2014, 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?
2 Thank KeithBarbados
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
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2014

My husband and I had an amazing 8-day stay at Secret Bay. We wanted to go somewhere completely "away" and somewhat extravagant, and Secret Bay is definitely both of those things. We visited during the rainy "off" season, in early July, and we found everything to our liking. There was a tropical storm that came through during our stay, and the owner of the resort came to our bungalow with wine and chocolate and apologies for the weather (as if it was his fault!). Truth be told, we loved spending two days cuddled up inside and watching the storm through the windows of our beautiful treehouse.

There is so much good to say about Secret Bay and Dominica. I am very grateful that I carefully read and understood every detail before we went - it is in no way a "typical" hotel or vacation experience, and it's important to know that beforehand. The property is breathtaking, and the rooms are absolutely gorgeous. The beaches and coral reefs that you have access to (by swimming or kayak) are deserted, and so amazing. We felt at times as though we had the island all to ourselves. We borrowed bikes and went to the national park a few miles away, and we paid for a guided hike to the Boiling Lake (a once-in-a lifetime, not-to-be-missed experience if you have the stamina) and we have talked about the trip in glowing terms ever since we got back. The staff and proprietors of the hotel are wonderful, kind, caring people who offer incredible service and attention, bordering on actual friendship! I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever about the trip, or choosing Secret Bay.

All that said, it is important to understand that this is not the vacation for everyone. Yes, there are bugs, the wildlife is loud at night (you're in a rainforest!) and you cannot have everything you want "on demand". This is not a resort in the traditional sense, even though it is totally modern. We hardly saw another guest the whole time we were there. Cable was out for a few days because of the storm (but we never lost internet!) and if the weather is bad, you'd better like the person you came with, because you'll be indoors with them a lot! The food that was cooked for us was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, but because of the way that it is plated in another building and delivered to your villa or bungalow, it was sometimes a bit cold by the time we sat down to eat it. Again, not a big deal to us - but for some people, that might be a deal breaker. (Honestly, the food was so delicious, I'm surprised to read that people have any complaints about it, but this is what I mean. It's not the experience for "everyone".) There is no formal bar or restaurant, but we had a fantastic time dropping by the Source Shack (I still dream about that rum punch) and chatting with the amazing ladies who prepared our meals. Also, dinners were 3-courses, and so huge that we often ended up saving half of dinner for lunch the next day.

I really loved our time there. This might sound odd, but I felt it was the perfect intersection of "away from it all" and "super deluxe". It was a vacation to remember, always.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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?
6 Thank justjanuary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2014 via mobile

4 of us spent a few days in Dominica and stayed at these delightful cottages which are situated on a small secluded beach.
Nothing was too much trouble and the staff were excellent. Food acceptable and tasty but not 5*. Meals were prepared in the main kitchen and served in ones cottage as they do not have a main restaurant.
The cottages themselves were excellent with every mod con, large rooms and en-suite luxy bathrooms.
An ideal honeymoon retreat
Would love to stay there again

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Jayed2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redondo Beach, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014

My wife and I visited Secret Bay in early January 2014...Everything exceeded our expectations. Stayed in the Zabucco Honeymoon Villa which is amazing along with terffic personalized service from the entire staff...Just a beautiful experience. Looking forward to coming back.

  • Stayed January 2014, 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 MN427
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
caribbean
Level Contributor
38 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2014

This hotel exceeds all expectations. The rooms are exceptional and the service is excellent. Your every need is catered to..all you have to do is relax and enjoy your vacation. Well done Secret Bay! You've certainly raised the bar and made this a vacation to remember. I would certainly be back!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank travelbee811
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Haven, Michigan
Level Contributor
56 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2014 via mobile

My wife and I visited Secret Bay for the first time in November, 2013 for our 24th wedding anniversary. We loved our time at Secret Bay so much we couldn't resist bringing our children back to Secret Bay! Don't worry honeymooner's, the villas are so private you will be lucky to even know that there children at Secret Bay!

So many of the reviews are from couples, I wanted to offer a different perspective for families traveling with teens. Our children are 20, 16, and 13 and could not have been happier with our week long stay over the New Year.

My wife and I stayed in Zubuco Villa, while the three kids stayed in Zing Zing. They were only a one minute walk away, and we all enjoyed our privacy and space. There is no concern for safety at Secret Bay as the Island has very little crime, the resort is set apart from the city, and they have a security guard at the gated entrance throughout the night. The kids would come to Zabuco for our wonderful gourmet meals and if they wanted a pizza or hamburgers while my wife and I had a salad or fish it was no problem! The staff at Secret Bay was as kind and considerate to our children as they were to my wife and I.

Our children were overwhelmed at the variety of fun activities on Dominica and can't wait to return. Whether you are happy staying at Secret Bay and enjoying their kayaks, paddle board, snorkeling right off the beach, or exploring the Secret Cave or you are more adventurous you will be happy at Secret Bay. Our family loves to travel together sharing new adventures and exposing our children to other countries and cultures.

We went canyoning with Extreme Dominica which was a three hour trip of repelling and jumping through a beautiful canyon with crystal clear water through the tropical rain forest. The kids went horseback riding with Linten from Brandy Manor through the rainforest while my wife and I took a strenuous two hour hike through the pristine rain forest right from the stables. Two of our kids have never been on horses and were completely comfortable with the two hour ride. They will adjust the ride to the level of experience as needed. Afterwards, we all swam in the river which runs right behind Brandy Manor.

We also went scuba diving with Cabrits Dive Shop which was a great experience. We hiked to several waterfalls and soaked in natural hot springs. The kid's took the trip up Indian River with Fire, while my wife and I took a much needed relaxing afternoon on the deck of Zabuco.

We also visited Marie Frederick's Indigo Gallery with our entire family which is another great experience arranged by Secret Bay. Marie's house and gallery is a charming artist retreat and you are greeted by Marie with a platter of cookies, fresh fruit picked from her yard, and coffee or traditional Dominican Cocoa Tea which is similar to hot chocolate. Marie is French and has lived in Dominica for twenty years. She has a unique style which is both French and Caribbean. We had arranged for our artistic 16 year old daughter to have an art lesson with Marie after our visit while we returned to Secret Bay. Our daughter Claire loved Marie and while Marie gave Claire tips on the two wonderful pieces she painted, Marie painted a spectacular picture of Claire at the easel painting which we were able to purchase from Marie. We had to drag Claire away from Indigo as her and Marie promised to stay in touch and share their artistic creations with each other via the internet. Check out mariefrederickgallery.com

I could go on about the wonderful destination that Gregor and Sandra Nassief have created on Dominica and how wonderful the staff is, but you have all read that in past reviews. This review is to assure the parents out there that enjoy traveling with their children, that Secret Bay and Dominica is not a destination to be missed! Memories last a lifetime!

Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank Scott R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2013 via mobile

We had read about Secret Bay in Travel and Leisure and when we decided to get married we knew where our honeymoon destination had to be. From the pick up from the airport to our warm welcome from Ana (manager) to our attentive service from Bianca, Secret Bay proved itself to be the best place we had ever been. The details that go into every effort all the staff makes are amazing and create such a unique special and memorable experience for every guest. We love secret bay and can't wait to return to our second home. Thank you Ana, Gregor and Bianca for giving us the best honeymoon possible. We will definitely be back.
Love, Anthea and Eric

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Emoney1
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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