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Reviewed May 14, 2016

My (now) wife and I honyemoon'd at Secret Bay and it was wonderful! The staff was very attentive to our needs and really helped us explore the island in a care-free manner. The villas are stunning! We stayed in Zabuco III and would highly recommend it. It is an incredible living space (and though much of it open to the air, we never had a problem with mosquitoes!) Though you can see Zabuco II from the deck, it is extremely private. The view of the bay is great whether you are hanging out on the deck or in the private infinity pool. The food they serve you is quite good too! We did the "Honeymoon package" and really enjoyed every aspect of it (private massage, private yoga class, live band just for us while we ate great food, private sunset sailboat ride, etc etc). Special thanks to Deslyn (who took care of our every need relating to the villa) and Ryan and Gilbert (for our transportation).

Room Tip: Zabuco III is excellent, especially considering it is much less expensive than Zabuco I
  • Stayed: April 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Christopher S
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 May 20, 2016

Hi Christopher S. There is so much to see and do at Secret Bay and Dominica we’re glad you got to experience some of it through the honeymoon package. It was our pleasure to coordinate it all for you. We loved that you appreciated the privacy of your villa. Guests usually feel like they are the only ones there!

Deslyn says hi and so do Ryan and Gilbert.

Till next time!

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Reviewed May 5, 2016 via mobile

Secret Bay is a hidden, private and extremely beautiful location. As the reviews say, you are treated like royalty and staff is there to attend to your needs and desires. There are so many things to do just at the hotel. We kayaked, and stand up paddle boarded, relaxed on the beach, got couples massages, and ate on the sunset deck. I really enjoy seeing destinations by horse, I was excited to find a place you could ride horses along the beach in Dominica at Rainforest Riding. Every night we got the Catch of the Day for dinner and were never disappointed. The food and fruits and fruit juices are incredible. Rosalin was our attendant and she was incredibly special. She was very sweet and cared about our comfort and our stay. We were delighted every time we had Gilbert as our driver. All of the employees at Secret Bay left such a good impression. There is not one bad thing I can say about any of them. They were so accommodating and their attitudes and demeanor were relaxed and kind. We stayed in the Mapou bungalow and the view takes your breath away every time. We love the beaches. There are three beaches you can easily get to. There is one just by walking down a short path. They are all beautiful. We took the kayak to Secret Beach and had the beach to ourselves. It was such a wonderful experience and I wish we could go back. We stayed for 7 days, next time I want to stay for 14! :-)

Stayed: April 2016, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Jane S
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 May 20, 2016

Hi Jane!!!!!
It was indeed our pleasure to attend to your requests, while at Secret Bay and even before your arrival. You poured your essence into this trip and wanted to make it so special we could not let you down. Thanks to the contribution of the entire Team, you did and that makes us so happy! Next time you come do stay a bit longer… we will be happy to have you here.

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Reviewed May 5, 2016

We had the very unique experience of staying at both ends of Secret Bay's offering: in the smallest (Ti-Fey) and largest (Zambuco) locations, all during a single weeklong stay. And as additional context, we're very well-travelled in the Caribbean so have a good sense of what we found on Dominica and at Secret Bay. Across the week, both Dominica and Secret Bay rocketed to very near the top of our Caribbean favorites.

This is not an island for beach loungers, but perfect for those who appreciate the natural untrammeled appeal of places like Nevis or Vieques. You won't find St. Barts-like boutiques and restaurants. We commonly rent a car to get "off reservation," on islands like this, but this frankly isn't as necessary as the two main towns (Rouseau in the South and Portsmouth in the north) are more commerce/local than tourist-oriented—anyone considering a place like Secret Bay won't find upscale retailers in those towns. Hire a taxi to take a look, but you should really consider this island more for its natural options (hiking, canyoning, diving, etc.) than shopping/eating/beach loungers.

Secret Bay is—as noted in some of the "average" reviews you'll inevitably read—a good hour drive on a windy two lane road from many of the rainforesty experiences you'll read about on the island. It's not a bad ride, but your experiences with the Bolling Lake hike or canyoning through the Titou Gorge will require a ride. All this is arranged with very friendly drivers in immaculately clean vans; everyone you'll meet is extremely proud of the island and its history. The rides can be a great way to connect with them. We made four trips back and forth and every time they felt shorter than the last.

The Secret Bay property itself pretty much speaks for itself in the videos and photos. They are not exaggerated and they are not deceptive. It's only about five years old and incredibly maintained, so there's no fears of outdated facilities you can sometimes find elsewhere in the Caribbean (former five stars gone to seed, etc.). I didn't add pics as the ones you're seeing from others are very representative.

Ti-Fey is quaint and cozy and perfect for anyone who is escaping city life. If your home is 2000+ square feet, you'll likely feel it a bit tiny. But if home is a 1BR in a place like NYC, you'll be fine. Zambuco (the one perched on the cliff you see in the hero video) is the opposite: bigger than your house and frankly more space than two people need.

Both have updated and modern cooking equipment, which is handy for whipping up simple breakfasts or lunches from the previous night's leftovers or groceries your attendant will order for you. As noted, there's no "restaurant" per se and really not many options off campus. So you order daily and they bring stuff to you, either in your place or down on the beach... whereever you want.

All told, this place is honest, caring, and genuine through and through. It's a perfect antidote to more clinical high-end resorts, but with all the personal attentiveness you might expect at the price point. Literally every person we met was friendly and devoted entirely to helping make the stay remarkable. You won't find many more special places in this area of the Caribbean, and it's entirely worth the extra expense you may be weighing.

Room Tip: The smaller units don't have as much pure privacy as the larger ones.
  • Stayed: May 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank chriswooster
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 May 20, 2016

Hi Chris
We appreciate your honest/frank review. Its great to have a perspective of someone who has been in both a villa and a bungalow- its like having two reviews in one!

Yes, the bungalows are quaint and cozy compared to the largesse of the Villas. The good thing is we have an option for differing tastes.

Our drivers do make the trips to/from the airport and some sites seem shorter than they are, they are just so personable!

Thanks for noticing the care that is put into Secret Bay. We will be 5 years old in June and pleased that you found our grounds, buildings and vehicles in good condition. I will be sure to pass on to Nathaniel and his team.

I guess being at the top of your list means we may see you again! We look forward to the day.

Love from us all.

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Reviewed May 3, 2016

Secret Bay is the nicest non-hotel we have stayed at. We stayed in Zambuco II for 7 nights and were beyond impressed with the house. It's spacious and welcoming all at once with a great deck/balcony/porch (whatever you want to call it) on which we ate 100% of our meals that were brought to us nightly for dinner. We usually prepared our own breakfast and lunches as we preferred more privacy. But whatever you need can be procured by the wonderful staff and the food we selected before via questionnaire was waiting for us on arrival. The meals they prepare are great and we felt having our food made and brought to us added to the relaxing experience, rather than getting prepared and dressed to go out to dinner each night.

Zambuco II and from what we saw I and III are huge. We had our own little pool on the lower deck and we spent the lion's share of our time in and around it. It really can't be beat. Our view of the bay was gorgeous and we took time lapse video of 5 unique sunsets while we had dinner, relaxed, and talked.

The location seemed fine although the drive to get there is on a meandering road and it takes a while coming from DOM airport. We didn't leave location via taxi much as all of our expeditions were by kayak or boat launched from Secret Bay's beach. You have access to the beach, one right on property, one to the left which is private, and another larger one to the right which is public but not very crowded. The beaches aren't your typical island paradise ones you might find in DR or Jamaica but we knew that given it's a volcanic island. I think Coconut Beach might be nicer but we didn't venture that way, so investigate that if you're just dying for white sand and daiquiris.

Our service from Roseline and Deslyn was phenomenal. It was top notch and we really liked them both. You can have as much or as little interaction with them as you like and there is a notification system in place to maintain privacy if you so wish. You get a cell phone through which most communication is done so they're a call away with whatever you might want or whatever questions you might have. The service and the beautiful villa made the trip for us and also made the cost well worth it.

We wanted a low-key, private, non-touristy experience that is hard to find with the proliferation of all inclusive compounds throughout the Caribbean. It is a compound per se given it has private beaches and is fenced off, but nothing like the busy and obnoxious inclusive resorts you'll find, well, everywhere. We didn't want to be forced into a conga line with other couples or to be caught on some booze cruise that we'd have to tolerate for 4 hours. We got exactly what we wanted: secluded luxury with first-rate service.

It is difficult to explain just how nice the villa was. You have to see it to believe it, and all of the pictures of this place are accurate. We have stayed at places that weren't the case but can say Secret Bay is exactly what it says it is. The bath is huge. The shower was cool. The kitchen amenities are some of the nicest we've seen (coffee maker is off the charts). The living room area is so spacious and beautiful.

There was one issue we had but want to say it is unrelated to Secret Bay in any way whatsoever. This is a travel tip. We gave all of our remaining cash to our wonderful driver, Gilbert (fare plus a good tip) and we didn't know it but had to pay tax when leaving Dominica. This is on us as we should have known. It led to us almost missing the flight trying to figure it out but had some local help and were on our way. So make sure to have cash to leave (I believe $46 USD/115 ECD, google it). We let Secret Bay know in case we might have to stay an extra night and they sent three emails from three senior employees, including the owner apologizing for not making us aware, stating that is their common practice, and being extremely courteous. While it was my fault, their genuine concern and eagerness to help blew us away. Nobody does that anymore, but Secret Bay did.

Room Tip: Stay in Zambuco 1, 2, or 3. 3 would be most secluded but atop a steep hill. 2 is a ways below it and less strenuous of a hike.
  • Stayed: April 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Jordan J
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 May 20, 2016

Jordan we really don’t consider ourselves a typical hotel and I am thrilled that you caught that. This means that you totally ‘get’ the Secret Bay difference- a curated experience for all. At Secret Bay you can really enjoy special moments with your loved ones, because we take care of everything else. “Secluded luxury with first-rate service” is a great way to describe what we offer at Secret Bay. Thanks so much for your review. We appreciate it and look forward to your return.

With respect to the departure tax. It is something we normally do and we dropped the ball in your case. Thanks so much for understanding. We continue to advise guests of the need to walk some cash upon their departure to pay this fee.



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Reviewed May 2, 2016

We were completely blown away by the Secret Bay environment. We have never been so relaxed in our lives. The food was INCREDIBLE. Every meal just seemed to get better. The view from our Mapou bungalow was breathtaking, and although we didn't have a chance to tour any of the other villas, I have a hard time imagining a better view. We awoke each morning to the sounds of the waves on the beach and the songbirds in the trees. It was truly paradise found. The staff were a bit of a mixed bag. We LOVED Rosaline. She was an angel and took wonderful care of us. For the first half of our stay we had Jess, who was a little more hands-off, but very sweet and helpful. Their structure of service is unique and I thought they could have done a better job explaining things to us upon arrival, but we figured it out within the first day and were very impressed by their system of personal service. The hiking, touring, snorkeling, swimming, waterfalls, etc were are incredible, although I think some of our favorite moments were the quiet moments on our porch, or on one of their gorgeous private beaches. Both days we visited the beach we were completely alone. It was so romantic! Advice for future travelers: Absolutely stay here. Absolutely eat as many of your meals as possible here. Absolutely ask for Ryan as your tour guide. Our only gripe was that we probably weren't the best candidates for the Lion Fish hunt excursion. But all in all, a dream week at a dream hotel!

Room Tip: We LOVED the Mapou bungalow. BUT for space, we look forward to trying one of the villas on our next visit.
  • Stayed: April 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank jessicaanne2016
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 May 20, 2016

Hey Jess, we were so happy to have you here!

I will be sure to pass on your sentiments to Rosaline; and I'm glad that you found Jess so sweet.

We will definitely use your comments to improve on our orientation and are happy that overall you had an awesome stay. We know guests value their privacy and “alone time” and are extremely pleased that you found this with us.

We will also mention your reference to Ryan. He will be happy to hear.

Captain Don is the coolest, so don’t worry about your Lion Fish hunt experience, you don’t have to be an expert, just willing to enjoy. You can always come back again for a do-over :-)

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