Proprietor Gregor Nassief Talks What’s New & Everlasting at Secret Bay
With our much-anticipated reopening just a month away, it goes without saying that all of us are incredibly excited to share the beauty of Secret Bay with our guests once again. And, there’s perhaps no one more deeply connected to Secret Bay and its array of new amenities and accommodations than the man who founded Secret Bay himself: Gregor Nassief.
Since boyhood, Gregor had the dream to create a home away from home amongst the lush cliffs of Dominica and, alongside his wife Sandra and her father, architect Fruto Vivas, Gregor brought his wildest dreams to life with the creation of Secret Bay. As such, we decided to sit down with Gregor to get his insight into the Secret Bay, which, despite its recent additions, will always remain the same.
With Secret Bay’s reopening this November, what are you most excited about?
I am most excited about being able to share Secret Bay with the world again. I love hearing from guests in their own words about how Secret Bay’s beauty and our sincere, caring staff have given them joy and lasting memories. That is what makes it all worthwhile and that’s what I have missed!
Tell us more about the idea and vision of transforming the Zing Zing Villa into Secret Bay’s first ever full-service, sit-down restaurant.
I remember walking into Zing Zing for the first time after Hurricane Maria. It was roofless and open, without boundaries. It floated above the landscape and there was a magical intersection of nature, ocean views and intimacy. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to complement our much loved in-villa dining with something unique and untypical—a communal yet intimate space, an open yet full-of-surprises kitchen and a conspicuously absent menu. Guests will discover what the chef has curated for them only after it is served. This curiosity followed by surprise and then delight is something that we always aim for at Secret Bay and it will be wonderful to have it extend to our culinary experience.
For someone who has stayed at Secret Bay in the past, what do you think they’ll be most excited about when they experience all the new offerings?
The fact that the more it changes the more it remains the same. I think what guests love about Secret Bay the most is that the resort is small, intimate and private with an attentive and discrete team of great people looking after them. And we never want that to change. So what they will find special is how the introduction of the new amenities and the related concepts are in harmony with and complement what they love about Secret Bay.
Dominica has made headlines of recent about its plastic ban and with President Clinton proclaiming Dominica can lead the way in producing clean energy. What role do you see Secret Bay playing in this narrative?
Dominica’s move to ban Styrofoam and single-use plastics is highly commendable and we must continue along a focused path towards more sustainable development. We should be aiming for carbon neutrality, 100% renewable energy and best practice environmental and conservation policies. We should be moving to all-electric vehicles and full waste recycling. Secret Bay’s role is to put these things into place within its business while advocating for the same at a national level.
Tell us about the new spa and wellness experiences now offered at Secret Bay.
The newly built Gommier Spa and Bwa Mang Wellness Pavilion are similar to the introduction of the Zing Zing restaurant in the sense that they take what had traditionally been a much loved in-villa experience and extend it to a unique, new locale. The Gommier Spa is extremely intimate, immersed in nature and spectacularly located for breathtaking views. Here, guests can indulge in an array of treatments, including relaxation, deep tissue, hot stone and four-hand massages—all using custom blended essential oils—as well as our signature Gommier facial. The Bwa Mang Wellness Pavilion is cantilevered over the river with ocean views, bathed in the sounds of the sea, the river and wildlife.
What hasn’t changed about Secret Bay? And what will never change about it?
Its rai·son d’ê·tre, meaning the reason for existence, which is for our guests to reconnect to nature, to their partner, to their loved ones and to themselves.