Secret Bay Q&A: Meet Our New General Manager Dinesh Kissoon
No stranger to island life, Secret Bay’s new General Manager Dinesh Kissoon has spent the last ten years in hospitality management for luxury brands like the Four Seasons and Relais & Chateaux in the Seychelles. Incredibly passionate about people and—of course—food, Dinesh is ushering Secret Bay into an even more elevated realm of luxury.
We sat down with Dinesh to learn more about his journey to the Nature Island and why, of all boutique hotels in the world, Secret Bay is amongst the most unforgettable.
How and when did you first decide to enter the hospitality industry?
The industry and I share an everlasting bond and connection—I was always intrigued by the hospitality industry as a child. I still remember whenever we were on a family vacation at a resort or hotel, I was so fascinated with the service and everything around me; and, funnily, how I would simply love to work in hotels just to indulge on sumptuous food. By a twist of fate back in 2008 over a business lunch, my hospitality story began.
What was it like transitioning from banking?
It was finally time to put away the suits and boots and be barefoot on an exclusive coral island paradise and enjoy the fun part of life! As much as I loved my stint in the banking industry, hospitality was simply the world I belonged in—especially island resorts. I never looked back.
We understand that you worked in Seychelles for multiple luxury resorts. How do they compare to Secret Bay? What are the major similarities and differences?
I’ve been privileged enough to have worked with some of the very best luxury resorts in Seychelles, most notably managing a similar sized high-end boutique hotel for two and a half years. Dominica shares a lot of similarities with the Seychelles islands from culture, language and demographics. But, each resort I’ve worked at has its own charisma and uniqueness. Secret Bay is simply special, though—secluded, intimate and immersed in nature, where you actually connect to your soul!
What does luxury mean to you?
Luxury is all about crafted, authentic experiences through simplicity and personalised service.
How did you react about the opportunity to move to Dominica and work as the General Manager for Secret Bay?
It was purely unexpected—it still seems like a dream right now! The way the opportunity came about was truly out of the blue and I am grateful to Gregor Nassief for believing in my competencies to realize his dreams at Secret Bay.
What about Secret Bay are you most passionate about so far?
Secret Bay is a story of “love”—where one can genuinely experience sustainable luxury, an intimate and personalised stay that incorporates elements of environmental awareness and social responsibility.
We understand that you’re a self-professed foodie. What do you think of Secret Bay’s new Zing Zing restaurant and the vision of Chef Grant?
I was ecstatic when I first learned of Gregor’s Zing Zing concept—there’s no better way to showcase the epicurean culture of Dominica. The “no menu” concept at Zing Zing is rooted in local ingredients, both tantalizing and delectable. Chef Grant has created an entirely new culinary experience at Zing Zing with his innovation, creativity and enchanting aromas.
What is your favorite part of your role so far?
Undoubtedly, the guests’ check-out scene. When the guests are emotional, in tears and don’t want to leave, I feel so deeply proud of the team for exceeding the guests’ expectations. Apart from that, I devote my time daily to my team, walking about the property to ceaselessly improve and push them to go the extra mile in creating that “difference.”
When Secret Bay’s first guest arrived following the reopening, you greeted and escorted them to the gate to meet Gregor and Sandra. What were you thinking and feeling at that moment?
It was a moment of joy to be part of Secret Bay’s reopening story and I was so proud of the team’s effort and accomplishments to have made this happen. I was emotionally touched to greet and welcome Jared and Shevora, our very first guests, and escort them to the gate of Zabuco I to meet Gregor and Sandra. At the same time, I was thinking that this is showtime to deliver on the expectations we have set.
Have you embarked on any island adventures yet? Which ones are you most looking forward to experiencing?
As much as I am excited to discover and explore Dominica, I have not had the time as of yet to make the most of the Nature Island. But, I’m really looking forward to experiencing Titou Gorge and the Sulphur Spas sometime soon. So far, I’ve only been to Indian River, Cold Soufriere, Cabrits National Park, Red Rocks at Pointe Baptiste and have driven by other exquisite attractions and landscapes.