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Reviewed January 24, 2016

We stayed at Secret Bay for a relaxing long weekend and felt so welcome that we now feel we have new friends on the island. We live on Dominica, so this was a real treat, as an anniversary present to ourselves, to stay at Secret Bay. I can not say enough about the staff and our personal concierge who even brewed a pot of ginger tea when she realized I had a cough. The specially prepared, personalized meals, served in our bungalow, were the best you can get on Dominica- a high 5 to the chef - and our accommodations perfect.

For us, it was a relaxing get-away and a long weekend we will always remember.

Date of stay: January 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Maranca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ayeola G, Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Secret Bay, responded to this reviewResponded February 10, 2016

Hi my friend! We enjoyed hosting you and your spouse. I will be sure to hi-five Chef Eric for you. He’ll get a kick out of that :-), and I will also pass on your remarks to your villa attendant Saralee... We hope you consider us for your next anniversary or other special occasion!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2016

Do not let them book your scuba diving. They are not familiar with the rules of diving they asked to book diving on the day we flew back (EXTREMELY Dangerous).

Don't book your car with them. The car they rented us didn't shift out of first, no seat belts and the windows didn't close so the seats were soaked from the pouring rain. Had the rental car agency fix the car twice.

We booked 8 days which should of included a free meal according to the website we never received the free meal a day. We were charged for all dinners. We had groceries for breakfast that we cooked and lunch was off premise due to diving. We asked about them making us lunch to take for our dives and they recommended restaurants and wouldn't make us lunch. The food sometimes would be brought stale (coconut water that went rancid... which we mentioned but they said that happens in 24hrs and made us pay for it). Birds would get in while they cleaned and pick at the fruit which we also had to pay. We would make lists of things we needed but they constantly got them wrong and had to be replaced. Bring your own food or buy your own groceries cheaper and better quality in town. Dinner is usually cold (served before we were even in our bungalow). The service lady said we never told her what time we would be back.... I pointed to the note I wrote every day in the same place. Not sure if they can read because every day they got it wrong. We had better service in the larger bungalows which were cheaper for some reason then the smaller ones. Don't stay in the smaller bungalows.

There is a hole in the road just outside the driveway with an orange cone in it as you go towards the airport making cars slam on their brakes and down or up shift loudly , If you are in the two buildings closest to the road you get the noise from the road and the headlights in the bedroom windows. The Bungalows are right right on the road. We stayed in them two nights and then switched.

The smaller bungalows (stayed 6 nights) face the town across the bay that parties until 1am and the larger family bungalow funnels their noise right into your bungalow which we had to ask multiple times to keep the noise down past midnight.. Not that they were extremely loud but it is amplified into your bungalow. The beds are made of foam and moldy or if replaced smell like moth balls. There is no view in the smaller bungalows or family size bungalow and is very very dark. I think the only good one would be the honeymoon sweet that we didn't stay in.

Security is non existent. We were up early to dive and we would open the gate ourselves and when we got back we open the gate (which is a metal pole across the driveway that you could walk around). The buildings close to the road people could literally just walk into your place. They constantly left the rooms unlocked.
While gone people came in to the bungalows to take chairs and furniture without telling us for a party they were having and broke the railing in our bungalow.

We bought the phone minutes for the mobile phone but they never picked up the phone and it doesn't work on the whole island. Use your own phone. Don't pay for their cell phone minutes. Nor did they read the notes we left. We had a different person every day (a couple trainees, someone pregnant and a very angry lady) we wrote pages and pages of notes to them to say when we would be back when we wanted dinner (which was never relayed to the next person). Nothing they say can be trusted. They say one thing and do another.

This place is an hour from the main town with people driving fast. For the price I expected more luxury but the people had no clue how to be in the service industry and need to be sent to a luxury hotel to learn.

Room tip: Only Choose the Honeymoon Bungalow
Date of stay: February 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
10  Thank ajtravels1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ayeola G, Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Secret Bay, responded to this reviewResponded January 26, 2016

This review first appeared on TripAdvisor in early January 2016, from a guest claiming to have stayed with us in February of 2015 (almost a year earlier). With only 6 villas on property, and based on the guest’s description of their stay (first 2 nights in a villa, and then 6 nights in a bungalow) we went through our entire guest registry for 2015 and we had no such guest. We thus disputed the review with TripAdvisor on the basis that it violated guidelines. TripAdvisor removed the review on January 12th 2016. The person edited and reposted the review. We disputed it again and TripAdivsor removed it again on January 21st. The person again edited and reposted. We are again in the process of disputing the review.

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Reviewed January 17, 2016

The Dominican Island is stunningly beautiful without any help. Secret Bay is the best place to experience this natural beauty. The resort is thoughtfully built into the hillside that juts out of the bay waters. The lovely people at Secret Bay make the location so much more than just a wonderful sight to behold. My wife and I began our marriage together at Secret Bay. Our honeymoon was exactly what we hoped it would be. Here's our wish list: Beautiful, private, romantic, sweet, cozy, peaceful, fun, exciting, and adventurous! We can't wait to return to this wonderful place and see the friends we made at Secret Bay. The personal touches the resort provides make this experience priceless. It is incredible how caring and thoughtful the staff are. Our driver, Gilbert, met us at the airport immediately upon our arrival to the island. We were so grateful for the delicious, fresh snacks and conversation he provided. From that first encounter, we knew we had made a fantastic decision to spend our first days together at Secret Bay.
We stayed at the Mapou Bungalo. Wow! We chose the bungalow because of a few things. First, it fit our budget. Second,we were attracted to the private location. Lastly, it looked very fun and cozy. It was all of those and more! It was so special waking up to the incredible view through the trees overlooking the waves directly below from the cliff we were perched on. With the views, the incredible looking and even better tasting food that was personally prepared and served to our bungalow, it was like we were on a TV show. Loved it! You can't beat the food. I would return if just for the food! Our personal attendants, Bianca and Megan were so kind and sweet and really made the whole experience incredible for us. Anything we needed they were there for us. For the times we ventured off the resort, Marvin was there to guide us and set up the details. It was simple making arrangements to see anything the island offered. The Middleham Falls, Trafalgar Falls, Batibou Beach, Chaudiere pool, and the Indian River were great visits to appreciate the islands natural offerings. I can't help but smile when I remember our time at Secret Bay and Dominica! My wife and I searched many weeks for a secluded and peaceful place we could enjoy and feel close together. It was such a blessing to find and then experience such a wonderful and beautiful location on this Earth. We thank the whole team there and everything they have done to care for the island while creating a world class location for all to come and enjoy! See you soon Secret Bay!

Room tip: Mapou Bungalow is beautifully designed and located. Incredible view. Very private. Natural jungle noise at night is abundant.
Date of stay: July 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Conor F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ayeola G, Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Secret Bay, responded to this reviewResponded January 26, 2016

So glad you celebrated such a momentous event with us. We wish you a life full of wedded bliss and hope that you return to Secret Bay to create new and even more beautiful memories. Gilbert will be waiting again!
Love from the Team

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Reviewed January 16, 2016

From the moment I was greeted at the ferry port by Gilbert with the sign, Secret Bay, to the moment my two-day stay came to an end, I enjoyed every moment and was treated wonderfully by the staff at Secret Bay. Gilbert picked me up from the ferry terminal and had warm cookies, dried fruit and water waiting for me. Once we arrived at Secret Bay, the Manager, Marvin, greeted me with a smile and walked me to my Zabuco Honeymoon Villa II. He showed me around the villa, offered me fruit and also addressed any needs that I had.

The property is gorgeous to say the least. The Villa was impeccably clean and everything was all set up; lighting, air conditioning, music on the flat screen and when I walked into the bedroom, there was a lovely scent of eucalyptus. The infinity pool, ocean views and attention to detail of the entire villa was so amazing. It was a quiet and relaxing environment with everything you could ask for. There are so many activities that can be done around the property. I went ocean kayaking to the cove just around the corner and through the cave and it was so much fun.

From the architecture and beauty of the villa, to the amazing staff, to the breathtaking environmental surroundings at Secret Bay, I can't say enough good things about this resort. It truly is a unique experience in an un-touched country.

Date of stay: January 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank CassandraD196
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ayeola G, Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Secret Bay, responded to this reviewResponded January 26, 2016

Hi Cassie. Thanks for your lovely review. We hope that you will visit us for a longer stay and wish you the best of everything on your awesome journey! Everyone says “hi”.

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Reviewed January 14, 2016

I don't usually write reviews but felt compelled to write this one because I wish I had known about these issues before I booked. Overall, I was fairly disappointed with our stay. My husband and I spent two weeks traveling around the Caribbean where we stopped at a number of other islands, stayed at some great resorts, but spent the longest time at Secret Bay. The pictures and reviews made Secret Bay sound like a dream. But that was not our experience so I wanted others to be aware.

First, the good:

The Food - was absolutely phenomenal. Best part about the trip. We are foodies and very particular, and I'm a pescatarian so typical resort food does not work for me. But this was some of the best food we've ever had, with unique flavors cooked to our particular tastes. The lobster in particular was fabulous. You should know there are no menus. You have discussions with your personal attendant each day and talk about the kinds of things you like and then they make you unique dishes just for you. That process was a little awkward at first, but turned out to be one of the best parts about Secret Bay. Top marks to the chef and staff.

The Views - are beautiful. It feels like you are in a jungle and can watch the ships passing by from your balcony.

The Staff - was great. Everyone really tried to make our stay enjoyable.

Now for the bad:

Location - What I didn't realize is that Secret Bay is located on the North part of the island, whereas most of the hiking and waterfalls ect. are in the South part, which means you have to travel on a very narrow winding road for an hour and a half (very bad if you get carsick, which I do) in order to do most activities. We had wanted to go to Dominica for the hiking and did one great hike but I got so sick on the car ride that we cancelled the second day. Also, although located on a more remote part of the island, the resort is actually across the bay from a town. While I thought the remoteness would be an asset and provide for a more relaxing environment, the closeness to town meant we were kept awake each night by techno music which traveled across the bay each night until like 4 or 5 in the morning. This meant we certainly couldn't keep our windows open (so no nice ocean sounds or breeze), and we could still hear the bass through closed windows so had multiple sleepness nights. After a few sleepless nights, I asked the staff for the sound conditioning machine referenced on the website. At first I was told they didn't have one. Then after I pointed out the website and called the manager, I was told another guest had it. Not sure which is the truth but I wouldn't believe the part of the website where they talk about guaranteeing a great night sleep.

Accommodations - we stayed in the Ti Fey Bungalow. Although the wood is very nice, the bungalow is very small and claustrophobic. It felt like we were staying on a small sailboat. I hit my head multiple times. Now, my husband and I are both over 6 feet tall so it may be ok for shorter folks, but I would strongly recommend against it for tall folks and anyone who is claustrophobic. The bed loft in particular is very small. You can barely walk around it and you can't have the bathroom door open and be able to walk around the bed. The bathroom is also very tiny. While there is a tub, it wasn't big enough for me to lay down. Also, the drain in the tub was broken. I asked to have it fixed but it never happened.

The Beach - is not nice, plain and simple. It is rocky and you can't go into the water without water shoes. The water itself doesn't feel very nice. There are a few lounge chairs but they are very uncomfortable and you wouldn't want to hang out down there. This was very disappointing. This just isn't the place for beach lounging.

Water sports - the kayaks and paddle boards were very worn. The paddle boards in particular were in bad shape. The paddles were stuck in the shortest position (looks like sand had gotten stuck and they were never cleaned out). This was very disappointing as we are avid boarders and were really looking forward to boarding but it was too difficult with the short paddles (and there was lots of wind). We did enjoy kayaking to the Secret Beach, which is a tiny beach around the corner from the resort that you see on the website, but it is open to everyone and there were party boats that came by each day so, again, not great for relaxing.

Construction - this was the biggest disappointment of the trip. We were on our balcony one day when we started to hear a tile saw below us. Turns out they were doing some work by the beach. So we went to the top part of the resort to get away from the noise and then started to hear hammering. Turns out they are expanding the resort and were doing construction on the new buildings. I was pretty shocked that they were doing loud construction during Christmas week when the resort was totally booked. I talked to the manager about this and he apologized and gave us a free dinner, but although he assured me the noise would cease, it didn't. I was really shocked that this kind of high end resort would do that. And I believe they will be doing construction for the upcoming future. Again, something I wished I had known before I booked.

Date of stay: December 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
7  Thank KatherinefromCal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ayeola G, Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Secret Bay, responded to this reviewResponded January 16, 2016

Hi KatherinefromCal,

Thank you for your review and detailed feedback. We are deeply sorry that we did not meet expectations, especially as we feel we could have done more to make your experience better. Every guest at Secret Bay means the world to us and we are very saddened we let you down.

Regarding the night music coming from the town of Portsmouth which is a few miles away, this is rare but can occur during festive seasons like Christmas and Carnival, but once we know it is affecting guests, the venues are very corporative in reducing the volume or changes the angle of the speakers so it does not travel across the bay. We were not aware that it was affecting you this much. We are really sorry.

Regarding the bungalows, we know that most guests find them intimate and cozy, and regret that they were not more comfortable for you. It is certainly understandable that for very tall persons like yourselves they may feel small.

We try to ensure that the water adventure gear is always in good condition and we will check on this and replace/repair what is necessary. We were not aware that you had an issue with the Kayaks and Paddle Boards and certainly would have done what we could to respond.

Regarding the beaches, Tibay beach is more volcanic in nature, but Secret Beach and Coconut Beach are beautiful light sand beaches both very short distances by Kayak. Dominica’s green and volcanic topography means that our beaches are not the typical coral and white sand formations, but we consider them equally beautiful.

Regarding the construction, unfortunately we were dealing with some final repairs post Tropical Storm Erika near the beach and should have been more careful with the noise – this was a lapse on our part. And yes, we are building two additional villas which we have hoarded off to reduce the noise. You are the first guest to report to us that the noise was affecting you. We had it dealt with, checked back with you and you confirmed that it had been resolved. Again, we are truly sorry that it affected you.

In summary, we are all very saddened that you were disappointed and will work towards improving everything. Our only regret is that you did not communicate more with us on the issues, so we could have tried to make things better while you were still on property.

Finally, thanks for mentioning “the good”. Our aim is to always exceed guest expectations in every way possible. We did not achieve this in your case and it will make us work harder to do so with our future guests.

Thanks again KatherinefromCal, and we hope you will consider a return visit – this time in a villa – so we can make it up to you.

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