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“Hidden Treasure” 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
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Hidden Treasure”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2014

Secret Bay is a hidden treasure. The environment and the serenity of the property and its surrounding shores with all the natural beauty make this a very special and relaxing place. There is a little beach on the property, and you can easily kayak to Coconut beach to the right and Secret Beach to the left - both are easy 5-10 minute kayak rides (slightly more challenging if the wind is kicking up.) The nearby Fort Shirley and a tour with "Dr. Birdy" are not to be missed. The staff are all wonderful, and Anna will address any request that you have. Anna really works hard to please the guests, and she does so in a pleasant way. Anna set us up with Tour guides and taxi drivers, and every one was knowledgeable and friendly, and we felt very safe and in good hands at all times. Everyone who works at Secret Bay is nice, pleasant and friendly - every single person. A special thanks to the ladies at the Sous Shack who prepare all of the meals - they do an excellent job preparing tasty meals using all local ingredients. We loved sitting at the counter and watching them cook, and chatting with them, and learning about what's going on in Dominica. We had lunch at the Sous Shack every day and definitely found this to be a special part of the trip for us. We had dinner served on our deck every night. The hotel was full but since it can accommodate only a total of approximately 14 people, it always felt like we were the only ones there, and that all of the staff were focused on us and on making our stay a pleasantly memorable one. They succeeded, consistently. We enjoyed Secret Bay and Dominica so much that we stayed 2 extra days.
It is important to note that Secret Bay and Dominica are not for everyone - If you are looking for a Hilton or a Four Seasons, or nightlife, this is not the place. If you are looking for a small secluded place with local character, spotless, natural beauty, and friendly and accommodating staff, this is the place - don't miss it.

Room Tip: The rooms closer to the water have more "natural sounds" like birds, trees swishing, and t...
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  • 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?
8 Thank Sheilah S
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
Reston, Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2014

Secret Bay is luxurious and relaxing with consistent first class service!!!!
Each day I enjoyed views from large floor to ceiling glass windows opening to the Caribbean sea below, with a lush forrest view behind me. The daily sounds were provided by the sea gently crashing below my deck, along with beautiful tropical birds singing all around the private bungalow.
As I wandered throughout the expansive lush property I found many secluded spots that included two private beaches, a sunset deck, gorgeous landscaping, along with many amenities to enjoy daily excursions.
My arrival started with a warm welcome at the airport by Gilbert, who cheerfully gave me a tour of the island on the way to the resort! Anastasia greeted me upon my arrival at the resort and graciously introduced me to other lovely members of the team throughout my 5 day vacation. Great efforts were put into planning my three excursions, which included an Indian river tour, horseback riding and a nature/birdwatching hike. Even the owner, Gregor, took the time to greet me during my stay.
The bungalow was comfortable, immaculate, and has a pristine architectural flair. I slept peacefully in my treetop bedroom with a view of the sea. Each day I enjoyed wonderfully prepared dishes that were created with local tropical produce and freshly caught fish/shellfish! My favorite item when stocking the kitchen was the gourmet basket, which was full of tropical fruits, granola, yogurt and honey, along with the cocoa tea!
Finally, the best part of the resort experience were the sincere, professional people who valued Dominica's natural beauty and made each day a beautiful memory by providing top notch service!!

Room Tip: Love the bungalows for going solo or for a couple who wants to be cozy!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • 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 Nancy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2014 via mobile

Stunningly beautiful accommodations that grabbed my attention even after years of travel and stays at 5 star hotels. My next stay will be extended to fully take advantage of the peaceful surroundings and the amazing service, but most importantly relax an not leave my incredible room!
If you have a bucket list add Secret Bay.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank William W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CT
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2014

I write this review with some misgivings. Secret Bay is a hidden, unspoiled gem located on an island paradise. The staff is wonderful, the location spectacular and the villas quite extraordinary! We missed a connection on the way there and had to overnight in Barbados. Anna from Secret Bay went above and beyond; she found us an hotel, helped us get on the next available flight etc. she even called us at the hotel to make sure it was satisfactory. In short she turned what could have been a hellish experience into a hiccup. It made a huge difference knowing we weren't navigating it alone. At Secret Bay you truly feel special. The service is discrete and personal. Oddly enough there is a very home-like feel (even if home does not have amazing views, personal attendants and a cappuccino/ espresso maker!).
Dominica is very different from other Caribbean islands we have visited. It is extremely lush with an abundance of fresh produce. It seems they can grow anything - except apples! The people are warm, friendly and very proud of the Island. Nature is everywhere, unspoiled and spectacular.
So hence my misgivings........ The secret is out!

  • Stayed February 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?
1 Thank kofka01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antioch, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2014 via mobile

After weathering three months of the horrible Chicago 2014 Winter (Chiberia), we have escaped to the beautiful island of Dominica, specifically Secret Bay... And we are in paradise! We had the wonderful experience of being met by Gilbert at the airport, who greeted us with water and local tropical snacks and transported us to Secret Bay while educating us on the island along the way. Upon our arrival @ Secret Bay, we were simply in awe of the architectural wonder of the individual villas with spectacular ocean and jungle views. Zabuco II is simply beautiful and, as a couple of engineering nerds, we thoroughly enjoyed Gregor's visit (the owner) during which he educated us on the design and materials of construction.

We have been spoiled rotten by Saralee and Deslyn as they keep us served with our needs for drinks, snacks and meals. Talking about meals, no restaurants here. Just state what you want and it's yours... But after two dinners of our choosing, we opted to be surprised! Ever meal cooked by Jemma, Josie, Nianda and Eric has proven to be mouth watering! From freshly caught shrimp, lobster and blue marlin to chicken and beef... May the surprises continue until our departure! Of course we definitely hope to have some more seafood chowder mixed in there somewhere again!

While we are being stuffed and spoiled, we have also enjoyed Anna's great recommendations on sites to visit and things to do: snorkeling off Secret Beach; hiking to Bwa Nef Falls where we also got an education on the local provisions plus how chocolate is made from cacao; exploring Emerald Pool, snorkeling Champaign Reef and whale watching where we saw 4 Sperm whales plus a school of dolphins! Today we explored the Indian River with "Fire" as our guide and saw where Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3 were filmed. A very relaxing vacation thus far with excellent accommodations! So glad we picked Secret Bay... Glad we have another 3 days to go before we depart!

Stayed March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Tom W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort White, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2014

Secret bay was wonderful. great vistas the help were very very good. The food was tremendous. A very romantic place furnished completely with first class materials.
It is very different than any hotel we have ever been in. Looking over the bay seeing wonderful sunsets was very restful. It was quiet and set in a natural location. The cabins are also protected from each other. We loved it and would think any one else who loves nature would also love it.

Room Tip: be prepared for the stay of your life
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  • Stayed February 2014, 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?
Thank Marshall B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
72 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2014

We were visiting out child at university and stayed at the hotel in order to be close to Ross university and have short and nice vacation. Yes room was excellent and service was very nice but I believe they need to upgrade service. Food prepared at kitchen was o'k, some of dishes were great but fish was bad. We had fish two times, both times didn't like it, it was fried although we asked not to fry, lobster, chicken and goat ware very good. Fresh squeezed juice was may be shot of juice rest was sugar and water. They've upgraded our suite to the most expensive one without asking us. At the end they gave us Ross discount so we paid the price that was quoted from beginning and had better suite, but they had to ask. When i called hotel to reserve they said everything is book except Zabuco villa, but at resort we didn't see any other guests, it seemed empty and we had to stay in most expensive villa. Pool was very cold. Also to go to the beach we had to take kayak, but at the beach it was very inconvenient , no hotel service at all.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank ruzannaca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anastasia T, Manager at Secret Bay, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Dear Ruzannaca,
Thanks for sharing your experience. We do apologize that we did not meet your expectations. Please accept our sincere apologies for the circumstances you have shared.
Regarding your experience with food, our records do show that you had asked for some modification in the way your meals were prepared and once we made the adjustments you were very pleased. Our juices are all freshly squeezed and may have some water or sugar depending on the concentration of acidity, but as we did with you, this can be adjusted to guest preference.
Regarding your booking, the lower cost Zabuco II villa which was your preference based on price was booked by another guest before you confirmed, so we upgraded you to the higher cost Zabuco Villa but at the same previously quoted rate, thus at a discount. I am sorry that this was not properly understood but you were not charged any additional fees for the upgrade but rather a reduction in price of which you were notified.
The pool does have a heat pump which can be adjusted by the maintenance team upon the guest’s request. We are sorry that you did not ask or we would have certainly adjusted the temperature.
As mentioned from our initial correspondence we have 2 beaches available to our guests, one which can be accessed via a 2 - 5 minute walk along a groomed pathway and a second which is a 2 - 5 minute kayak ride.
During your visit we were in fact fully booked. Many guests have mentioned they feel like they are on their own private island as they rarely see other guests.
Regarding your mention of “no hotel service”, we are not sure what you are referring to, but Secret Bay is not a traditional hotel in many ways and we try to fully explain this on our web page and in our correspondence. Generally, guests love our concept, but it is different.
Finally, we are saddened by the fact that while we met in person each day several of the issues above were never mentioned as we would have immediately wanted to act on them. We still do appreciate this feedback and hope we have the opportunity to host you again in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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