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“Return to Paradise” 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
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Return to Paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2014

My husband and I stayed at Secret Bay in early 2012, and ever since have wanted to come back to relive the amazing experience we had on our first trip to Dominica. We travel fairly frequently, and very rarely return to a destination we’ve already visited, certainly not to the same hotel or resort. Secret Bay so much exceeded our expectations and created such a memorable experience our first time that we were more than willing to make an exception. However, we wondered, would the many accolades and awards Secret Bay has received in the past few years change a place we loved so much? I am happy to report that it has only gotten better, which I wasn’t sure was possible!

If you are looking for a relaxing, rejuvenating and naturally beautiful place to stay with a friendly, attentive and knowledgeable staff, delicious food and a vacation experience you can customize, then Secret Bay is the place for you. From the moment we landed until we checked in for our flight home, Anastasia, Britney, Dora, Gilbert and all the staff at Secret Bay made us feel welcome and allowed us to enjoy our vacation without a worry. Secret Bay is so unique - you can feel completely secluded, yet anything you needed is just a phone call away. The level of service is beyond compare. We often felt like we were the only guests, and the layout of Secret Bay allows for this. The beautifully constructed bungalows and villas are sited so well, nestled into the ridge, each one is barely visible from the other. The walkways, paths and decks are designed with respect for the existing terrain, and the native plantings and sounds of wildlife are a treat for the senses.

This time we stayed in both the Mapou Bungalow and the Zabuco III Villa - each had every convenience you may need, and ZIII had more than you could imagine! Perched among the trees in the bungalow with floor-to ceiling windows, we were treated to breathtaking views from every room. Once we moved up to ZIII, we thought we would never leave. We took advantage of the pool, hammock, decks, the full kitchen and the beautiful interior – there are so many amenities in the villa, if I listed them I’d make this already long review much longer! At both locations we spent mornings on the balcony or deck drinking coffee and enjoying the views of the sea, then quiet evenings eating dinner by candlelight listening to the sound of the waves. Throughout our stay, the refrigerator was stocked with fresh juices and anything else we requested. The food was beyond delicious, from the traditional Dominican breakfasts to the snacks and a different three-course meal every night; all made with fresh, local ingredients.

We enjoyed several hiking, snorkeling and diving outings organized by Anastasia that allowed us to maximize our experience of this beautiful island (we highly recommend the Summer Fun package). Our guides were extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and they took us to places off the beaten path (where we rarely saw a tour bus). We highly recommend the Boiling Lake hike with Cynthia – challenging, but worth the effort! While we loved the hiking excursions and exploring Dominica, it was also nice to stay put and enjoy the beauty of Secret Bay. One of our favorite things to do was to kayak over to the beach in the afternoon, swim and relax in the sand, then watch the sunset over the water. We rarely saw another person! 



We enjoyed reconnecting with the familiar faces at Secret Bay and meeting a few new ones - all the people that make Secret Bay the amazing place it is. After our week-long stay, we were sad to leave. Returning to Dominica and Secret Bay felt like coming home, and we truly appreciate the staff’s efforts to make this second experience so wonderful. Secret Bay is truly a special place, and we’re looking forward to our third trip – we may even make it an annual tradition!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Hokie24
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
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2014

My new husband and I honeymooned at Secret Bay this summer, it was in a word perfect. We were promptly picked up from the airport by a friendly staff member who provided us with snacks and a cool towel. We then arrived at the resort and it just got better from there, we enjoyed every minute of it! The villa was gorgeous and very comfortable, the food was incredible (try the local favorites!), the views are unbelievable, the staff is very gracious, the water is clean and warm, I could go on! It was everything we could have wanted in a honeymoon, worth every penny!

Also, just a side note, due to a tropical storm our flight home was delayed overnight. We did not have an international phone so we called Ana at Secret Bay from the airport and she arranged an overnight stay for us at a gorgeous hotel near the airport. She went above and beyond to make sure we ere taken care of.

Room Tip: The honeymoon villas have an awesome private pool!
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sarah U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Rochelle, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2014

Where do I begin? Secret Bay is unlike anywhere I have ever been! An idyllic setting that seems to grow out of the earth itself. Secret Bay is nestled in a secluded setting of seaside forest far from anything that resembles a typical resort. All 6 villas are built from natural green heart wood which adds to the feeling that you are at one with the beautiful island of Dominica. Step onto your deck and you are surrounded by the sounds of nature. The rustling leaves move in response to the cool breeze, birds sing lovingly as they call out to one another as the oceans waves beat rhythmically onto the shore in the background. It is a cacophony of sounds and scents that I wish I was able to bottle to carry with me always.
How can a resort so in tune with nature feel so utterly extravagant you may ask? Its easy. The staff at Secret Bay are warm, friendly and attuned to your every need. Bianca was our attendant over our five day stay. Each morning she would ask us what we wanted to eat for dinner (no menu by the way, but who needs one?) and later in the day it was delivered to our villa where we sat on the deck and enjoyed our dinner by the moonlight. In the morning breakfast was delivered in the same personalized manner. Some mornings we skipped traditional breakfast to munch on delicious home made granola bars while sipping local coffee. My only regret is forgetting to secure the recipe for those granola bars!
Thank you Gregor Nassief and your wonderful staff, Anna, Bianca, Vincent and the rest of the team for memorable and reenergizing stay. We hope to see you all again very soon.

Room Tip: The Zing Zing 2 bedroom villa is perfect for a family. Both rooms have Queen sized beds and there wa...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Laurie J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2014

Secret Bay is perfection itself. A boutique getaway in a most romantic setting on a most wonderful island, we could not have asked for more. We spent seven wonderful honeymoon nights at Secret Bay last month and returned to our jobs and urban life completely restored by the sounds of the Caribbean just below our deck, the sights in the rain forest, the wonderful sense of peace. We spoiled ourselves and took the two bedroom Zing Zing villa with its two soaking tubs and its upstairs and downstairs decks. A private yoga lesson on that lower deck was the perfect thing after a day of hiking and sight seeing. The team assigned to our cottage was unfailingly knowledgeable and helpful. The food they prepared for the meals we ate at home was the best of Dominica's local cuisine with some special touches. We cannot recommend it highly enough. Its a place that is good for the soul.

Room Tip: There are only seven villas and cottages. Each has a view. Each is perched on a hillside or cliff ov...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RichardENYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
68 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2014

We had a fantastic stay at Secret Bay. From the first email we sent until we left before dawn every touch point was a positive experience. All of the staff were responsive, friendly, helpful and sincere. They could not be faulted!!

We stayed in Zambuco III. I understand that all of the Zambucos are identical except for their location. We chose III because it was the most private on the edge of property. We loved it!! It was extremely private and had wonderful views especially at sunset. We sat on the deck mesmerised by those views for hours.

The Zambuco was an exceptional villa! It is an architectural masterpiece. Wood and concrete and very sympathetic to the location. Extremely well designed with everything (and more) you would want. Plunge pool, great sound system, chef's kitchen, wine fridge, views to die for and a bed which made sleep easy. A special mention to the bathroom as well. It had a huge bath tub in the room and the best shower ever with water jets for your knees, head and everything in between.

We also really liked the in room meals. Everything was fresh, delicious and local. All you had to do was to give an indication of what you would like and it would miraculously appear. Prior to you arrival you will be sent a questionnaire to stock the kitchen. Just a small warning - the quantities are large!

We would have liked to spend the rest of our lives in Zambuco!!

As mentioned previously all of the staff are wonderful. Bianca our house attendant was very always there when needed and went above and beyond the call of duty. Anna was also great and arranged our tours and activities. We should have heeded Anna's warning not to drink too many Dynamites at the end of the Indian River cruise!!

Secret Bay is not cheap but it is good value. We had to stretch our finances to afford it but do not regret it one little bit. It was the highlight of our 3 week trip to the Caribbean. If we didn't live on the other side of the world we would go back every year.

Room Tip: Zambuco III is very private but remote and a steep walk up the hill from the beach!
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank aaspro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2014

My husband and I stayed in the bungalow, Ti-fey, and it was perfect, with a gorgeous view of the ocean. From the service to the activities, we have absolutely nothing negative to say about Secret Bay! The food was incredible, and everyone was so friendly and wanted to make our stay just how we wanted it. Each day we spent a few hours on one of the beaches, snorkeled, kayaked, swam, and then we hung out in the nice little bungalow. We would recommend - and ARE recommending this place to anyone and everyone!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MrMrsGalis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
62 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2014

If you like a state of the art Villa, fully stocked with all of your favorite goodies you requested, overlooking everything good, with your own private pool keep reading. If you like to hike in a jungle like setting, and have the persistence to reach amazing water falls, secret cave swims, and the famous boiling lake, keep reading, if you like to scuba dive in crystal clear warm water with an abundance of sea life and some of the most amazing sponges and coral on the planet, then you have come to the right place.

Activities on property include a Yoga instructor on request, and the resort has paddleboards and kayaks, to use at will to get around to secret bay, or just put on some goggles and swim around the picture perfect point

Don't bring any fancy clothes, there is nowhere to go to dinner, but the ladies on staff are amazing cooks and the food was delicious. The transportation staff are great guys, excellent drivers, and extremely helpful in everyway. Do bring lots of "Dry Fit" active and hiking wear. Your Villa has a washer/dryer so this is a light packing trip, other than dive gear.

A group of us secured the entire Secret Bay complex for 10 days. There were 15 people total, all adults, perfect amount. Make sure that if you do it this way, that you REALLY like their company, if so, you will have one of the most memorable wonderful weeks of your life. I highly recommend putting a group together, it was one of the most exceptional places to do this kind of a trip.

.

Room Tip: Zubuco III is an awesome Villa, but you should be in good shape if you choose this one to stay in. I...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DJCJR_11
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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