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Reviewed May 7, 2015

Secret Bay is difficult to get to: 3 1/2 hour flight to San Juan, from JFK, then 1 1/4 hour twin engine turbo prop flight to Dominica, then over an hour car drive to Secret Bay. The accommodations are one of the best we have found in the Caribbean. Unlike other islands, the staff at Secret Bay are all very professional. The food is good, although extremely expensive. You don't get a breakdown on the cost of each meal, just a total amount when you check out. We had fresh fish (mostly locally caught) and locally grown veggies every night. The staff was helpful in arranging hiking trips and a boat captain for a full day of reef snorkeling. The beach at Secret Bay is unusable, covered with big rocks. The mountain bikes available for guests are very well maintained, unfortunately there really is no where safe to ride them. Secret Bay sits between the ocean and a highway, so at night we could hear the cars racing by. There was a house adjacent to the property that had dogs that barked at night.

Keep in mind Dominica is a developing island. Mostly agrarian, bananas, mango, etc. So no choices if you decide to have dinner off the property. Also, be prepared to have your luggage searched when you land on Dominica. They will charge you a "duty" tax on any food, liquor, etc... they find, regardless if it is for personal use (we had to pay a $70 duty on a bottle of vodka we purchased in San Juan airport!).

Room tip: Zambaco I or II seem to be the best
Date of stay: April 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Patrick L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merlinda F, Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Secret Bay, responded to this reviewResponded May 12, 2015

Dear Patrick L,

Thanks for writing a review and giving your feedback. We agree Dominica is more difficult to get to than some islands, but hope you agree that it is more than worth it. We are not a mass tourism destination, and all of our guests arrive through a hub (either San Juan or St. Maarten or other islands).

Regarding the food, due to our personalized cooking service, we do not have a set menu, but we do have prices as guidelines. On average a couple pays us$500 - us$700 for food for a 6-night stay, excluding alcohol and this is what we advertise on our web page. Also, a detailed breakdown of the bill is certainly available!

Regarding the beach, Secret Bay has two beaches on property. The beach you refer to is Tibay beach, which is stony, but there is the beautiful, secluded, sandy Secret Beach just a few minutes from Tibay beach by Kayak or swimming. Dominica’s volcanic nature is what makes the island so different, and one of these differences is our 365 rivers, black and white sand beaches and areas of rocky coastline.

There are quite a few restaurants that our guests enjoy off property, including The Champs, Sunset Bay, Iguana Café and others. Our concierge can make all arrangements. We really apologize if this was not communicated.

Though Dominica is a mountainous Island, some parts of the Portsmouth area are quite flat and we do recommend using our mountain bikes to cycle to the Cabrits National Park.

On the issue of customs at the airport, visitors are allowed 2 liters of liquor duty free, so I am not sure if your quantity exceeded that.

The barking and the sound of traffic is not a normal/frequent occurrence but we apologize nonetheless. Once a guest lets us know of anything affecting them, we do whatever we can to make it better.

Thanks for your wonderful comments about the architecture and our staff.


Kind regards,

Merlinda

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Reviewed May 3, 2015

When we chose to escape the daily routine of our city life, on a wedding elopement to a private paradise where the sole focus would be the company of each other, the challenge we faced was how? And where?

For any like-minded couples, trust us when we say that Secret Bay has become THE memory closest and dearest to our hearts. We still fondly remember the names of everyone we met, the amazing food that was catered to our every craving, and every vacation since has been measured against our experience at Secret Bay.

As much as we would love to keep Secret Bay a secret, it would probably be a felony in some countries. Think of an impeccable resort with a handful of villas, each luxuriously finished with state of the art amenities, personal service, a private beach only accessible via the coast, culinary finesse (we’re NYC food snobs) and an endless array of activities – cave exploring, biking, hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, river boating, and frankly they will make happen whatever else you might want to do!

We stayed at Zabuco Villa I for about a week and had our private wedding there. Our package was fully customized to our needs, and while it may not have been cheap, there is no doubt that every dollar was worth it. Every activity was planned and coordinated by the Secret Bay team (thank you Merlinda, Marvin, and Kanniama) and they seemed to always have a backup plan, so there are absolutely no logistics for you to worry about. The entire team is really close knit, and everyone seems to know everyone! It didn’t take long for Dominica to become our home, and Dominicans to become our family – we had our photographers on Facebook by the second day, our wedding officiant Lewis also became our guide to the Boiling Lake hike (along with Peter Green aka the Bushman), and we even grew as passionate about voting for the right party as the locals did (maybe because it was essentially a huge dance party!).

If you have ever wondered what it’s like to take a warm morning shower while overlooking the beach, or to walk out of your bedroom into the edge of a cliff, perched above a sun still rising from the horizon – it goes without saying that the views and sounds at Secret Bay are awe inspiring. Secret Bay goes beyond a vacation or a temporary respite. Sometimes we still hear the sound of crashing waves as we fall asleep, but sometimes that is mixed in with a little bit of city traffic.

Room tip: Zabuco Villa I hands-down. Otherwise one of the bungalows also serve as a great cheaper option just steps from the waterfront where the kayaks are.
Date of stay: December 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
6  Thank Xin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merlinda F, Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Secret Bay, responded to this reviewResponded May 12, 2015

Hi Xin L,

Thanks for your amazing review of Secret Bay and especially for choosing us to have your wedding and spend your honeymoon.

It was an honor to orchestrate such valued celebration in your life. We appreciate your feedback and knew how important this special celebration was for the two of you.

Wedding planning is super exciting and will do everything possible to ensure your expectations are met. The Team had a great time working with you and we hope to see you soon for your anniversary!

It was really great having you.

Kind regards,

Merlinda

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Reviewed April 26, 2015

This spring, my husband got a new job and had one week off during transitioning. We knew we wanted to go somewhere tropical and we had to act fast because we only had two weeks to plan the trip. Thankfully, we found Secret Bay and it was exactly what we were looking for. Secret Bay was magical and the coolest spot we have ever been to in the Caribbean. The landscape of Dominica was beautiful and the perfect balance between rain forest, beach, and rugged terrain. The food was so fresh and local and Secret Bay was so accommodating on all of their meals. We ate so much delicious food but never felt sick or that we were just racking on the pounds because the food is so healthy and fresh. We stayed in Zubucco III and loved the privacy and views. After breakfast, we would kayak down to the beach, where we enjoyed the snorkeling and caving. Then we would head back to our house for lunch and a lazy afternoon in the splash pool and hammock. The houses are stocked with every appliance you could ever need. We made lattes in the morning and smoothies in the afternoon. All of the decor is beautifully simple and comfortable. Each house gets their own Bose speakers which is really fun. As for excursions, we spent an afternoon on the Indian River which was so cool and highly recommend. We also went snorkeling in Champagne Beach and hiked to see Trafalgar Falls, both of which we would recommend. The only excursion that we wish we had skipped was the Sulfur Springs. They were touristy and we preferred the natural hot springs that were near Trafalgar Falls. The staff at Secret Bay was so amazing and made our trip so wonderful. We can't wait to go back one day!

Date of stay: March 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank Kathryn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merlinda F, Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Secret Bay, responded to this reviewResponded May 12, 2015

Hi Kathryn M,

Thank you so very much for your detailed and amazing review. It means a great deal to us to know that given your one week to unwind you chose us. Nice pick!
As you said “Secret Bay was magical and the coolest spot we have ever been to in the Caribbean.” This melted our hearts…

Thanks again and we look forward to seeing you soon.

All the best, from the entire team.

Regards,

Merlinda

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Reviewed April 20, 2015

My husband and I stayed in Secret Bay for 5 nights for our honeymoon and it was fabulous! We stayed in one of the bungalows, which was very modest and had everything that we needed. The resort is very private and secluded and you can literally spend the entire time together without any interference or excessive noise. The staff was very polite and helpful and helped us to arrange all of our activities; from whale-watching, to bird-watching to hikes and tours into and around Roseau. There are some things to do at the hotel as well; like kayaking, snorkeling, bike riding, etc. There is no restaurant at the hotel itself so meals are prepared for you as you please - we arrived to a well stocked kitchen, supplies of which we chose ourselves and cooked our own breakfast but you can request they prepare it for you though. Lunches and dinners the hotel staff prepared for us and was laid out on our private balcony or on one of the romantic decks; we asked the staff to "surprise" us with selections.. and every time the meal was exquisite! The food was fabulous, local and very tasty!!

All in all, it was very relaxing and nature-esque which is exactly what we were looking for!!

Room tip: All rooms are quiet and private, it all depends on the space size you prefer. The bungalows are smaller and more quaint, but were exactly what we needed. Not all the rooms have private pools though - only the larger ones.
Date of stay: February 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank 370samanthai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merlinda F, Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Secret Bay, responded to this reviewResponded May 20, 2015

Hi Samantha, it was our pleasure to host you and your husband for your honeymoon. The Secret Bay Family would like to say thank you for taking the time to write such a wonderful review.

Out of the many places, you chose our majestic Island and for this we are grateful. We take pride in taking care of our guests and we are elated that you felt well taken care of. Secret Bay misses you and we hope you miss the warmth of Secret Bay.

We look forward to welcome you back next year same time.

Regards,

Merlinda

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Reviewed April 8, 2015

Can not recommend highly enough - beautiful villa, excellent staff, stunning location.

Only regret is not having booked for longer - the private beach, canoe hire, snorkelling and just relaxing in the villa had to compete with the activities on the rest of the island.

Having food served in the villa was a nice option as well and the food was fantastic.

Date of stay: January 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Bruce R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merlinda F, Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Secret Bay, responded to this reviewResponded May 20, 2015

Dear Bruce, greetings from the Nature Isle. We would like to say thanks for your short yet sweet review of your stay. I do hope next time you get to book a longer vacation. This would give us more time to pamper you.

Thanks for the recommendation…it goes a long way.

We look forward to seeing you again in the near future.

Warm regards,

Merlinda

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