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Zabuco Honeymoon Villas

– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: Wanderer57984
Reviewed on: 4 February 2019

Located on a flower-covered bluff overlooking the Caribbean, Secret Bay is the perfect island hotel. The villas (Zabuco 1) are luxurious, tasteful, well appointed, and comfortable with multiple decks for taking in the everchanging views, including sunrises, sunsets, daily rainbows, and a lovely range of places to curl up with a book and/or your loved one. Private infinity pools hang over the Caribbean. There is always a tropical breeze, and the villas are open to the natural beauty surrounding them. This is a place to relax, restore, revitalize, rejuvenate in a private, intimate setting of incomparable beauty. The staff, led by Lineta, is extraordinary, helpful, discreet, warm-they anticipate your desires before you ask. We were fortunate to have Megan watching over us. Chef Grant serves delicious sea/farm to table cuisine in Zing Zing, the restaurant, or in the privacy of the villas. With the guidance of experts, we explored the beautiful island of Domenica, the waterfalls, swimming gorges, rivers, hot natural bathing pools, hiking trails, and the beautiful beaches on the Atlantic side. Parrots, hummingbirds, butterflies decorate the rainforest. Sea kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding, yoga, swimming are all available from the private beach. And, discovering the secret bay, only accessible by water is a thrilling experience. Secret Bay is a unique hotel, committed to preserving its beautiful ecosystem, a treasure just waiting to be discovered by more fortunate visitors.

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Stayed on: January 2019


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: JaclynHunt
Country of Origin: Colonia, New Jersey, USA
Reviewed on: 4 June 2017

9 years ago my husband and I made a stop in Dominica on a Norwegian Cruise to the Caribbean from NYC. We only had a few hours to explore the island so we saw some of Roseau, Trafalgar Falls and the Sulfur Springs. We had to rush and there was so much we wanted to see. We had never been to an island like Dominica before and we always dreamt of going back.

When Secret Bay first opened approximately 6 years ago I had been watching it intently. It looked like the perfect place to go to make our return. It took many years but this past May 2017 we finally had the time and the means to book Secret Bay. The booking process was a simple phone call and every question we had was answered immediately.

The trip to Dominica is long since they do not have an International Airport. The mountainous Island makes it very difficult for them to construct one. What we love about this is that it helps keep Dominica untouched and beautiful yet more tourists would bring big business for the island. We flew Jet Blue out of Newark, NJ to Puerto Rico and then took Seaborne Airlines to Dominica. We took off at 7am and arrived in Dominica at 5:45pm. From the moment we grabbed our luggage a driver, hired by Secret Bay, whisked us to the property with snacks and water to revive us. It was a good hour drive on windy roads in the dark and we were very exhausted yet so happy that our journey was almost complete. We were welcomed to Secret Bay and brought up to our villa Zabuco III which is to the left and on top of the cliff overlooking Secret Beach. There we were given dinner, wine and a short overview of the villa for our first night. We were then left to rest and recover for our next day on property.

Sara lee was our villa attendant for the first few days. She came over around 10am to talk to us more about the resort and to show us the menu for dinner that night. We placed our lunch and dinner orders in the mornings and what times we wanted them served. They were always hot, delicious and on time. The food on the entire Island is amazing and Secret Bay’s chefs are top notch. We ate on property most nights. Sara lee kept our villa clean late morning, washed dishes, brought up meals, did our laundry and was simply amazing. All the things I needed a vacation from at home! Bianca took over for her the second half of the trip and was very good too. She was always smiling and helpful.

We then needed to plan our excursions so Lenita the concierge came to our villa and helped us plan what we wanted to do in Dominica. We wanted to see waterfalls, the Indian River and the Cabrits National Park. We also wanted some good local foods and to see the Saturday Market in Roseau. Lenita created an itinerary with how much everything would be, what to wear and bring on our excursions, tips and ideas for more things to do and so much more! She was so organized and helpful, we never had a concierge go through that much effort to plan our trip for us. She was good. She also scheduled us a massage. Everything was very reasonably priced. We also ate at 2 off property restaurants the Iguana Cafe, which was a little shack with the most amazing food on the Island and The Lobster Palace at Sunset Bay Beach Club. We ate a lot of lobster and it was always amazing in different ways. Ryan was our cab driver and tour guide for the day we went to Roseau and the waterfalls. He expertly guided us through the market and to the most beautiful waterfalls I ever imagined.

Spanny Falls we had all to ourselves. The water cascades down the mountain and the water is cool and deep. We spent quite a bit of time there before visiting Jacko Falls and then the Emerald Pool. Emerald pool had a food stand where we had a little snack. There were also facilities there to get changed or use the bathroom. This was a little more crowded but we still had an amazing time. We went during a month where there were no cruise ships in port so we had so much to ourselves. There is nothing like swimming in a fresh water waterfall in the middle of a rainforest.

Another excursion was the Indian River Tour with Fire. He picked us up at Tibay Beach at the bottom of Secret Bay property and took us up the coast to the Indian River. He told us so much about the history of Dominica, the plants and animals and his life growing up there. At one point he pulls leaves off of a tree and starts scrubbing himself. A natural soup! He was fun. The Indian River is where they filmed a scene in Pirates of the Caribbean where they go to meet Calypso. It was neat being on that beautiful river. Again, we mostly had it to ourselves. Fire took us to a little shack bar a ways from the river. We had a coconut punch and a dynamite. Whoa! Both were small but strong. We stuck to one because it was hot and then walked back to the river. Fire told us we could continue on to look at some plant life and visit another bar if we wanted and he would meet us down river. We weren’t going to drink anymore but we met this great bartender Sherry from Queens and had another round of drinks talking with her for a while. This time I had the Lime Punch and he had the Peanut Punch. Both were delicious. The peanut punch was the consistency of pina colada but taste like peanuts. The lime punch was a bit more watery and refreshing. Soon we were back on the river and taken to a cab for lunch at the Iguana Cafe.

Iguana Cafe was a little shack on the side of the road overlooking the ocean. There were two tables and some bar stools. We had wine, conch, tuna, water and a whole mess of lobsters! The most delicious sauce was covering them. We ate everything and lingered for a while before going to Cabrits National Park where we hiked on our own to see a fort, wildlife, crabs, the view of Secret Bay from a distance and more. After a few hours we went back to Secret Bay and relaxed in our villa for the rest of the day. I was too full for my dinner that night and Bianca got upset but I assured her I would eat my dinner for lunch the next day…and I did!

The days we stayed on property we spent a lot of time in our villa because the view and our infinity pool were very relaxing. They have a hammock for two that we relaxed on for a great deal of time. There were hummingbirds abound and so much wildlife. In Dominica they are very self sustaining. Everyone grows something! It wasn’t unusual to see someone picking herbs or plants to use for that night’s dinner. The balcony overlooked Secret Beach and you’d occasionally see a sailboat. On clear days you can see Guadeloupe. It was hot and sunny most days but you can even sit out during a downpour and relax to the sounds of nature. Every where you looked there was a view.

The interior room was where the living area, a television and the kitchen were located. The breakfast basket was delicious! We had so many fresh fruits, teas, the most delicious home made granola I have ever tasted, unique coconut bread and in the fridge some papaya juice, rum punch and home made yogurt that I couldn’t get enough of. I’m going to try to make some at home now. We also had our villa stocked with some eggs, butter, bacon, etc. So we could made a heartier breakfast. The breakfast basket lasted us the whole week. It was well worth the $95. I also have to mention that the cocoa tea is unique and I wish I had more. The lemongrass tea was also very soothing and I saved it for my last day to linger over in the morning while looking at the view.

The beaches: Tibey beach is a walk down to the bottom of the property. We saw 2 others there one day and the other days we had it all to ourselves. I swam in the gorgeous water and we relaxed under shady trees. To get over to Secret beach we called security and they had a kayak waiting for us on Tibey Beach for the 3 minute paddle over. The views were amazing. We could see Zabuco III on the top of the cliff as we approached Secret Beach. I would argue that it is the most beautiful beach in the Caribbean. We had it all to ourselves and after a few hours we kayaked back to have lunch and relax in the villa. We never needed to leave that villa! It had everything we needed.

The bedroom has air conditioning. It worked well but we tended to take hot showers and baths at night so it took a while to cool back down. Although, we were never hot while sleeping. We slept very well. The bed was low to the ground and the mattress and pillows were very comfortable. The closet was enormous although we really didn’t need a lot of clothes at all. I lived in my bathing suit and robe most of the trip. I would pack half as much next time. The bath tub was free standing and fun to bathe in. The shower had 2 shower heads and units so you could have water shooting at you from all directions. Very luxurious. The shampoos and soups were all natural and did wonders for my hair and skin. My hair gets dry but the cactus conditioner made it soft and easy to comb through. It smelled really good too!

The last day we had to leave at 5:30am to get to the airport for an 8am flight. It wasn’t hard waking up and having a cup of coffee on the deck while watching it get lighter out. I was able to see some stars. It was very difficult to leave paradise but they made it as smooth and easy for us as possible. Security came to get our bags at 5:20am and we slowly walked down to the front of the property to leave. It was a windy drive but we got some nice views of the sunrise. You have to pay a $32 departure tax each when you leave Dominica. Make sure you have exact change. We had to pay to leave paradise! Too funny. The wait was short in the air-conditioned airport. It was very jarring to get home and not have dinner waiting for us or a magnificent view. Secret Bay was the best vacation we ever had and we will be back!

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Stayed on: May 2017


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: Leslie B
Country of Origin: Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA
Reviewed on: 11 February 2016

Our stay in a Secret Bay bungalow (April 2016) was absolutely perfect. Well appointed, comfortable, beautiful view! Staff went above and beyond at every turn. Food was amazing! Not to be missed – Saturday morning market, hike to the Boiling Lake (but not for the casual outdoorsman), paddle to Secret Beach and snorkeling, Middleham Falls, and letting yourself totally unwind – this is the place to escape it all! Would highly recommend to the person looking for a vacation that gives you total relaxation, option to be completely isolated if you so desire, the beauty of an unspoiled environment, and gets you off the beaten path!
Loved our stay with Secret Bay and look forward to hopefully visiting in the future!

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Stayed on: January 2016


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: Velma869
Country of Origin: Miramar, Florida, USA
Reviewed on: 4 February 2016

My husband and I honeymooned at Secret Bay in Jan 2016. Upon arrival we received a warm and personal welcome which really set the tone for the rest of our stay. Instead of checking in at a front desk, we were escorted to our villa where we were served drinks with smooth jazz playing on the sound system.

We stayed in the Zing Zing Villa and it was clear that the staff of Secret Bay specialized in catering to our personal needs and desires. The villa was outfitted with ALL modern and technologically advanced amenities. Our villa was very private and quiet and the views were breathtaking, especially during sunset dinners on the deck. Overall, the food was very tasty and I just love how personal it was with our villa attendant coming to serve our meals on time – no lines, no wait, no mingling with other guests if you don’t want to. The villa is also self-contained, so we had the option of cooking, doing laundry or simply be waited on.

If you are looking for an excellent get-away and privacy, Secret Bay is the place for you. You hardly see other guests, yet you feel safe. And if you’re a nature lover, Secret Bay is where you want to be with beautiful wood finishes and walls that can essentially transform into windows or be removed to create that ‘I’m taking a bath in the great outdoors’ effect.

At check out, staff comes to your villa rather than having to meet them at reception. We did not want to leave. We’re officially spoiled and I doubt many other hotels in the region will be able to match this experience.

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Stayed on: January 2016


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: ShadowyMan
Country of Origin: New Westiminster, Canada
Reviewed on: 27 February 2015

I struggled to find anything to add to the several excellent comprehensive reviews contributed here by others, but let me try my best.

Imagine you had a well-off uncle who really liked you.

Imagine he lived on Dominica and felt passionate about sharing the island with you.

Imagine he had an amazing villa, perched high atop the cliffs, surrounded on three sides by the sea.

Imagine his villa was fully staffed by a friendly team totally focused only on you and your needs.

That’s the only way you could exceed what Secret Bay has to provide.

The incredible, private Zabuco villa with its four decks and view of Portsmouth was the background setting for us, but the staff here combined with the people and splendour of Dominica were what made this trip extraordinary. From the appetizer of delicious callaloo soup on our first night, to the poolside massage with the sound of the surf on our last, the entire experience here was calm and seamless. Most of this came down to the Secret Bay staff.

I won’t single out any of the many staff members, since all from the owner, to our villa attendants, right through to the person who looked after our Infinity pool, functioned as a single team with a consistent ethos. We’ve had private island experiences in the Caribbean that did not approach this level of service.

But Secret Bay is not simply another upscale boutique resort that’s here to pamper you, it’s about providing a base to help shape your own customized experience of Dominica. You can dial the exposure and interactions with everything that Dominica has to offer up or down, depending on your preferences. We alternated days with outings with days on the property, but it’s up to you, and the team here will make it happen.

We chose Dominica based on a brief station stop when flying down to another island several years ago. It simply looked too cool not to visit. We chose Secret Bay because we liked the private setting and it seemed to be a reflection of Dominica. In other words Secret Bay is secluded on Dominica but is not insulated from Dominica.

This is a special place and we will be back.

But if you are still In the research phase, then ask yourself a couple of questions before booking into Secret Bay.

Do you want to come to beautiful Dominica?

Are you or your significant other worth it?

If the answer to both these questions are yes, then start making plans to stay here right now, you won’t regret it. But expect words like ‘stress’, ‘distraction’ and even ‘time’ to drop from your vocabulary while you are here. Because that’s what happened to us and hopefully to you too.

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Stayed on: February 2015


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: Douglas E
Country of Origin: Palm Coast, Florida, USA
Reviewed on: 22 November 2015

A hidden Gem tucked away on the Island of Dominica. Can’t say enough words of praise for the accomodations, staff and owner of Secret Bay. Our 8 day stay exceeded our wildest expectations. Can’t wait to go back. Upon arrival we were greeting by the most friendly and accommodating staff that I have ever encountered in my years of travel.

Our Villa, along with it’s breathtaking view, left us speechless and not wanting to leave the serenity of our new home for the next week. The Villa design with select hardwoods and opening glass walls throught, should be featured on the cover of Architectural Design. Usage of space and Eco design was impressive. The Kitchen was to die for! There was even a Weber Grill on the lower 3,000ft sq Deck if you desired to Barbeque.

My wife and I on our Honeymoon(2 1/2 yrs overdue) would have waited another two years for the opportunity of this experience. We felt like two children in the home of “Life Styles of The Rich and Famous”! Couldn’t makeup my mind whether to first play with the built-in Cappuccino Maker, or to slip into the Infinity Pool overlooking the Caribbean Ocean atop a 100 foot cliff.

The ammenities, too many to list, were incomparably well above 5 Stars. The Staff went out of their way with personalized service, to Welcome us and to ensure that our stay was a memorable one. Their sincerity was for real, not a “put on” as with many popular resorts. We were even invited to attend their country’s Independence Day celebration where we partook in local dishes and dance. We exchanged email addresses, recipes and contact info with many staff members. Another testament to personalized service was when my wife fell ill(dehydration) for 2 days. The owner of Secret Bay, Gregor, took time from his busy schedule to personaly visit us twice at our Villa to offer assisistance. The Staff doted on her with Herbal Tea’s and hydrating Coconut water. That, as my wife would say, ” Spoke Volumes” for Secret Bay!

The Culinary Skills of Jemma, Head Chef and local hero winner of Iron Chef, never ceases to dazzle us with delicious Island dishes. She and her staff would accommodate us with whatever request we made. Our plans of dining outside the resort were dashed after a sampling a few of Jemma’s creations. The Staff arranged a Candlelight Romantic Dinner for us on the Lower Deck under the Moonlight Sky and Stars. Can you say, Unforgetable!

Our Consigier, Anthea, arranged all of our numerous activities exhibiting a great deal of patience with us. We made a few last minute change of plans that would have bewildered most. She just smiled and accomodated us. “No Worries”! She minimized the stress of planing by offering suggestions and alteratives.

The property was surprisingly well maintained and impeccably landscaped despite the recent devastation of Hurricane Erica. Kayaking and snorkeling incredible thanks our Secret Bay Guide. Can’t remember his name, Cool Guy!

Our arranged Driver during the week was Rowey, a laid back patient man. We always ran late! He provided us with history, and insight into the culture of Dominica.

Our Villa Attendants, Megan and Sara Lee, probably still confused that we kept trying to help them with their services as we were not accustomed to being this pampered. They were fantastic in all aspects. Their work ethic combined with personality and dedication went above and beyond to make our stay a memorable one.

Lastly, The Front Office Staff, Anya and Ayeola made our trip possible by handling and assisting us with the many obstacles that we incurred arranging travel. You Guys are the Best! Gilbert our Transfer Specialist was the Bomb!

We Highly recommend Secret Bay to our friends and family. We will definitely be back soon!

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Stayed on: October 2015


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: Ryan D
Country of Origin: Carlsbad, California, USA
Reviewed on: 27 July 2015

Visiting Secret Bay was without question one of the most uniquely wonderful experiences my wife Katie and I have ever had. This was our first time visiting Dominica and this place is such a hidden gem in the Caribbean!

The scenery on the drive in to Secret Bay was so beautiful, lush rainforests and crystal clear waters, just what we were hoping for. I was pleasently surprised that it got even better when we arrived at our villa. We stayed in Zabuco Honeymoon III which is at the very top of the property. I would suggest this one to anyone looking to visit, it has a really awesome view from the balconies and even more private than the other two main villas.

The Villa…WOW WOW WOW. Easily one of the most upscale and beautiful places we have stayed. Private infinity pool on the lower level is about as good as you can get, no need from a main resort pool at all. The upper level balcony is expansive, so much room for just the two of us, but really made it feel even more grand. Inside we had a full kitchen with everything you needed to cook if you wanted to, tons of lounging space and the beautiful bedroom. The king bed was very comfortable and the air conditioning kept the room a really nice temp the entire trip. Double shower with doors that can open out to the outside (pretty cool!) + a full standing bathtub that my wife loved.

The staff at Secret Bay seriously became like family. They take care of literally everything you can think of, but do so in a way that doesn’t make you feel interrupted ever. The meals were DELICIOUS, bravo to the chefs…they do an unbelievable job. You can request anything specific you want or they will surprise you for each meal. Keep in mind, you pay for the food cost and not the service of cooking it, but these are not included in the room cost. We also really liked how they pre-stocked our room with food, drinks and other essentials we needed…a must do, makes you feel right at home.

We were expecting to mostly relax on this trip, but found that there were a TON of great activities and excursions to do. Highly recommend checking out Canyoning, Snorkeling the Champagne Reef, water fall hike and scuba. Plenty to do!

Overall, if you are looking at taking a trip to the Caribbean, Dominica is a must visit. We have been to other islands and you get alot of “the same”…this place is special. Romantic and adventurous at the same time.

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Stayed on: July 2015


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: sdstuber
Country of Origin: Rancho Santa Fe, California, USA
Reviewed on: 25 July 2015

We visited Dominica for the first time for our 25th anniversary. This was a special trip for us and Secret Bay, coupled with the island itself and the Dominican people, helped make it an incredible experience.

The villa (Zabuco villa 3) was beautifully crafted and fully outfitted with very nice kitchen appliances and air conditioning, although we only used AC for sleeping and otherwise kept the folding doors open to the island breezes. It looked over the cliff to secret beach and the ocean beyond. We ate most of our meals on the spacious balcony overlooking the ocean.

The Secret Bay family works hard to make it a completely stress free stay. Personalized service is their signature. Merlinda helped get us set up before arrival. Gilbert brought us from the airport the afternoon we arrived, telling us about the island on the drive, stopping by a tiny store getting us a couple of cold local Kubuli beers along the way to welcome us. We stayed 8 nights, and the first morning we sat with Marvin, planning a combination of slightly adventurous and relaxing days. He arranged all of the transportation and guides. June turned out to be the perfect time for us to visit because even at the most popular sites we were often the only people there, which we loved because we were there to see the island and meet the locals. We saw many of the island’s sights with our guide Ryan including the Emerald Pool, Champagne Reef, Trafalgar Falls, and a 1 hour hike through rainforest to Middleham Falls. We had a paddle up Indian River with our guide named Fire to see some of the locations filmed in Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest and have a drink of “dynamite” at the outdoor bar at River’s End. There was a trip into the interior mountains with Dr. Birdie to see endangered native parrots and a glimpse of an elusive blue-headed hummingbird found only on Dominica and Martinique. We scuba dived and snorkeled off Cabrits National Park in the northern part of the island. You can visit all points on the island conveniently from Secret Bay. We also relaxed with short snorkeling trips around the point directly below the villas to Secret Beach and massages at the villa.

The food was wonderful, local and freshly prepared on site. They have suggestions for local dishes but can prepare pretty much whatever you want. We also had food stocked for us in the kitchen for breakfast and snacks. They have a selection of good wines available and we picked up local rums during day trips. Dinners were hand delivered to the villa by Bianca and Megan, the resort’s attendants assigned to us for our stay.

We barely ran into any other guests during our 8 days there, and there is no obvious central gathering place for guests, so if you are looking for a quiet, intimate time this will work well for you. The island is mountainous and the grounds are not level, so it helps to be able to walk around sloped grounds and up and down a flight of stairs to the villas, which are perched one story above ground on pillars to catch the breezes. They can also take you around the grounds in electric carts.

Staying at Secret Bay is truly a unique experience. On our last night they arranged a candle lit dinner on a deck on the grounds overlooking the ocean at sunset, with a father and daughter serenading us with guitar and flute, a truly memorable end to an amazing week. Who knows what your amazing experience will be?

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Stayed on: June 2015


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: John P
Country of Origin: Toms River, New Jersey, USA
Reviewed on: 2 March 2015

Ill try to put into words what Secret Bay is about but I know that no matter what I write, it will not explain how special of a place it is!

Ill start with the worries my wife and I had when we booked this vacation.

Would no night life be an issue?

Would not having a “resort” pool be an issue?

Would not having a bar be a problem?

Can I really deal with my wife alone for a week?

Can I really deal with my husband alone for a week?

What will I eat if I don’t have a Menu?

Let me answer the above concerns you may have as well …..Not one of those was an issue from the minute we arrived to the unfortunate day we left!

Secret Bay has found the most amazing pleasurable staff willing to help you in anyway possible but never in your way if the red flag was down J Every person from Roslin and Merlinda to the young gentleman who helped us get the kayaks ready went out of there way to make us happy. It showed they truly enjoyed being a part of the Secret Bay team. We should have known how special this place was going to be when we coincidently met the owner Gregor at the Airport in Antigua. He went into the small shop and bought my wife some chocolate candies and thanked us for coming to stay with them.

Our Zabuco honeymoon sweet was absolutely beautiful. When we first arrived and walked up the steps it literally took our breath away. The views from every window even our shower was amazing! Not a dollar was spared nor a detail forgotten when the built this villa.

The private pool always seemed to be the perfect temperature no matter the time of day and there was nothing like not rushing to get dressed every evening because we had to leave for some fancy dinner. I often would be swimming in the pool when dinner would arrive while my wife was upstairs in the soaking tub. Roslin would simply put it in the warming oven and we would eat when we wanted not when some reservation said we had to.

Our days often started the same way the last one ended, starring off our deck wondering if life could get any better. When we finished our coffee we had the hard decision of deciding if we wanted to relax on one of our lower decks, paddle over to the beach or do some snorkeling. We often did all three just in different sequences each day. Often we would pack up our lunch, some cocktails and the beach blanket they provided and spend hours on the beach. It was not until the last day we saw another person there. It was like our own paradise. I even remember joking with my wife saying, “How dare they come to our beach”. That was the only time we saw another guest the entire vacation, and yes that was one of my initial concerns but how quickly I realized that being alone is just fine.

Ill end it with this, after being married for 13 years and having three young children our lives are great but became very routine. Those routines can easily become ruts. Being stuck in them can become boring and dangerous. Those ruts can unfortunately cause you to forget why you fell in love or how special that other person in your life still is. Secret Bay has this magical way of not only removing you from that rut but like a time machine it finds away to bring you back to that time before children, before huge responsibilities, back to the time when you first fell in love. The lack of night life will have the two of you starring into the stars and giggling about the silliest things, not having a resort pool will quickly remind you how nice it is to not have to run out at 5 am and put towels on the chairs to save your spot, not having a bar insured that every drink I made was only to weak or to strong because I wanted it to be, not having a menu to choose from was not an issue because no request was ever not met, and as far as if my wife and I could deal with each other, we cant wait to go again next year!

Thank You Secret Bay for being different in such a special way!

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Stayed on: February 2015


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: Xin L
Country of Origin: New York City, New York, USA
Reviewed on: 3 May 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.

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Stayed on: December 2014


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: Kearney
Reviewed on: 1 July 2014

Even MORE breathtaking than the online photos and magazine articles!

You MUST stay in Zabuco Villa as it is worth every penny! Sit on the veranda like royalty and take in the panoramic view of the tranquil ocean, watch majestic birds flying overhead and sailboats float off in the distance, feel perfect ocean breezes, and listen to the rhythmic whoosh of the warm water on the beach! Open up your wall of glass doors and relax on giant lounge sofas by the flat screen tv you’ll never turn on or use the built-in espresso machine in a kitchen you wish you had at home! Grab a Bordeaux from your stocked wine refrigerator, a Kubuli beer and pretzels from the fully stocked kitchen, or a passion fruit from the daily selection of fresh fruit on your counter and satiate yourself viewing a sunset you’re sure has colors never before seen to man! Retire to your bedroom where you melt into a deliciously comfortable bed and look up at the masterful architecture of the rich, dark, seductive wood beams. Saunter over to the double shower, with nozzles for every body part, open the sliding door and reach outside to see the glistening mountains and Tibay beach! Or bathe in the free-standing tub and gaze out the floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors to view even more sapphire ocean and the occasional owl in the trees! Fill your expansive closet with the clothes you’ve now decided you’ll rarely wear! Throw on your comfy cotton Secret Bay embroidered robe, walk down the stairs, jump in your very own gleaming infinity pool, and stare at the ocean while hummingbirds flit flower to flower right in front of you! Sun yourself on the deck next to the one you love and sigh, “This place is a dream!” Snuggle in the huge beanbag hammock suspended under the giant supports of your new favorite vacation home and watch Netflix or check Facebook using the free wifi! Wake up from your relaxing nap and rinse off in the outdoor shower steps away from the pool! Now it’s time to eat so sit anywhere you’d like and your attendant, who is now your best buddy, serves you amazing food as if you’re in a restaurant! Journey down to your own private upper and lower decks, Wild Orchid, and sunbathe with complete privacy or relax on two full-sized lounging couches. Make a note to have your next dinner down there! Walk through the property, where maybe you’ll see another guest, and view Tibay beach and the magical Ocean deck! Suspended over the ocean attached to volcanic rocks, you immediately start taking pictures and schedule a romantic dinner there!

Be sure to have the ever-so-charming Vincent take you to the cave on Secret Beach! He’ll kayak with you to the entrance, carefully guide you through the passageways leading to glorious caves filled with bats and pirates’ secrets, then snorkel with you to the beach! Ah, Secret Beach! It’s all yours to swim, sun, climb rocks, and stroll because no one is there but YOU! You press Vincent to tell you if any famous people have stayed here but he just smiles and doesn’t say a word! So if you ARE famous, you can stay here with complete anonymity!

Next, tour the Indian River with Fire, the lovable guide, who, if you’re lucky, will walk you through Portsmouth, pick mangoes for you, and introduce you to his friends and play dominoes over a rum punch! He gives you fantastic insight on the real Dominica and knows all the stories of all those who have lived well over a hundred years which seems to be very common in Dominica! You want to friend request him to keep in touch as he motors away off across the ocean!

At last, tour the rainforest and swim in a waterfall with the gregarious Dr. Birdy who you instantly want to hug! You see and learn about every flower, plant, tree, bird, lizard with the child-like attention you had years ago! His infectious giggle and fascinating stories make you realize you will rarely have an experience like this again! You almost ask he and his wife to dinner when you remember you’re flying home tomorrow!

Then there’s Anna, the most attentive hotel manager we’ve ever met, who arranges ALL of this for you along with anything else you could possibly need! For instance, we required an oxygen tank for sleeping and Anna effortlessly arranged it’s delivery and refill during our entire stay! She has such a gentle cadence to her voice and relaxed way about her you wish she could train every front desk clerk back home!

We were honored to meet Gregor, the most humble and congenial owner, who warmly introduced himself, and we chatted about his beautiful property, eco-friendly design, where we were from in the U.S., and how we found Secret Bay. He’s so amicable we almost invited him to come sightseeing with us when we suddenly remember he OWNS the place and probably has a million other things to do!

It was exceedingly apparent that Gregor, and every one of his staff, TRULY cared about us and loved sharing their Secret Bay! We can’t say enough about this pleasurable paradise and can’t believe we found a place we will, without question, visit again and again for total and complete relaxation! Take our advice and book a week stay immediately!!

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Stayed on: June 2014


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: Itlehr
Country of Origin: Miami, Florida, USA
Reviewed on: 22 April 2014

Secret Bay is a place equivalent to Paradise. I do not think there could be a more perfect place to send a romantic getaway with your loved one, a honeymoon experience as I did, or merely a solely retreat to reflect and enjoy nature. From the moment you arrive at the airport, Secret Bay’s luxury and attention surrounds you. Secret Bay would never let you travel to their resort without some refreshments and a nice snack to eat – – all they do is care about your happiness. Upon arriving at Secret Bay you are greeted by the friendliest and kind staff that clearly make it their top priority to please you and provide you with whatever you need to have a wonderful time in Dominica. The amenities in the Zambuca Villa alone at Secret Bay allows you to escape to your own oasis. They include: a private pool grill, oven, gas stove, HD TV, any cooking appliance you could think of (microwave, blender, Panini maker, toaster, pots, pans, you name it!), dishwasher, washer and dryer, fully pre-stocked fridge, fully pre-stocked wine cooler, dual shower which turns in-door/outdoor, bath tub, large closet, fans, and air-conditioning. On site, also available for your use include kayaks, snorkeling gear, bicycles, water shoes, backpacks, picnic gear, and camera – – just to name a few. Secret Bay has its own private beach which also gives you access to a private cave which is a truly unique and awesome experience. Then there is the incredible staff at Secret Bay. Words cannot describe how caring and thoughtful the staff of Secret Bay, Manager and Owner all are. To begin, the resort provides you with a personal cellphone to ensure that you can reach any Secret Bay staff member at any time – – literally any time even when they are not working they invite you to call them if you need anything. Anna is simply a doll as well. Not only did Anna personally have a French baker make my husband French bread on request, but Anna did the little things as well to let us know she cared. Not only would she meet with us, create wonderful excursions for us, including Indian River Boat Tour with Fire (a must), dinner at Le Champs (another must), canyoning down waterfalls (adventurous and amazing) and bike riding to a local hot spring (awesome), but she would call people we met up with to make sure we arrived safely when we may have gotten lost on our bike for example, or to let us know she went ahead and made dinner later for us to give us more time to relax, she is the BEST. The food at Secret Bay was no less amazing and in fact was fantastic. One of the chefs at Secret Bay, Chef Eric, cooks at Le Champs for Friday night Dinner and Saturday Brunch – – that is how good the food is at Secret Bay that they have secured such a world class Chef, along with the other wonderful ladies in the kitchen who are no less as fantastic. Meals at Secret Bay for us included delicious yogurt, granola, homemade jam, fresh squeezed watermelon, pineapple and grapefruit juice, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs for breakfast. For lunch we got salads with grilled chicken, shrimp or fish, ribs, wings, veggie crusted pizza, pumpkin soup, seafood bisque, turkey sandwiches (which they made for us on our canyoning adventure – – so thoughtful), and we grilled out our own burgers one day. Dinner included lobster, shrimps with curry, all sorts of local fish and banana wrapped fish, slow cooked chicken with rice, curried goat, beer battered fish and onions and dessert just sealed the deal with mango short cake, ricotta cheese ice cream, banana brownie – – just naming a few. And they make this in site rum punch that is just delicious and light. And if you have time to stop by the Source Shake for a Pina Colada and discuss the menus with them. Now to the attendants, these ladies literally brightened my day. Our laundry and dishes were done for us whenever we wanted (we didn’t even have to ask just put it in the hamper), our things neatly put away in convenient locations they somehow knew we wanted them and would, without us even asking, pre-stock our fridge with our favorite local items and goodies. And they kept the place (including the outside stairs) spotless. They would do anything for you at any time and surely did not make any request sound too difficult or un-attainable. I now have new Dominica friends. The security and tour guides at Secret Bay also set the bar. Not only were they overly helpful with getting us whatever we needed and transporting any gear for us or bringing us equipment for our adventures but these men are so friendly and just love to help. For example, my bike happened to be too tall for me and these men went in the back with some power tools (basically chopped off part of the bike) and made it fully rideable by my – – they are amazing. Finally, Dominica. Words cannot express how excited I am to go back to this paradise island of adventures. It has to much to offer and its untouched beauty truly captivated me. There are no dangerous or poisonous animals on the island and at Secret Bay you are tucked in the middle of the rainforest, with sounds of birds and waves crashing and endless sites of green mountains and blue sea. It is paradise and beyond. I really just cannot recommend Secret Bay enough (I’ve traveled to Hawaii, Italy, Greece and all over the Caribbean and nothing compares and I don’t think can possibly compare). Book your trip and I promise there will be no regrets. Plus everything at Secret Bay you pay cost for and it is really reasonable in the end. As the website says, no more than $100 a day for three meals, including a lot of alcohol if you desire, and having plenty of food for leftovers. Go to Secret Bay and take on this awesome experience of a lifetime that you will never forget!

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Stayed on: April 2014


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: 767nitah
Reviewed on: 21 June 2014

Turning 50 is a significant milestone that deserves celebrating. I continue to remember my 50th birthday which was a month long celebration. April 25th 2014 was my beautiful wife Nella’s 50th birthday. With few options of special things to do on Dominica that may create a life time memory, a weekend stay at the Secret Bay Resort dominated my ideas. I have functioned there as a guide since this amazing hotel opened its doors and staying there as a guest is something that I had always desired. A short phone call to Anna started the ball rolling, “No problem Dr. Birdy she remarked“, from there she confirmed our stay. Since it was a surprise to my wife I needed help, my daughter Yana did her part while I communicated with Anna at the Secret Bay. They arranged to have my wife transported from work with instruction that she was going to some other hotel, but the taxi driver pulled into the Secret Bay resort drive-way and advised her that he was making a brief stop. Anna calmly approached her and said would you like to see one of our rooms on the property? Well who would say no to such an offer! Together they arrived at the Zabuco 11. “Wow! This place is wonderful” she remarked. Anna then said, “Well, this is your room for the weekend”. Excitedly surprised, she told Anna, “My husband will be in trouble tonight”. I joined her where the kind of trouble that every man would dream of started. From there, the good times rolled until late Sunday evening.

Now we as locals really understand why the Secret Bay continues to win all those awards. The management and staff are very sweet and made us feel at home. Nothing was missing, great food, good wines and champagne, good coffee and an assortment of other beverages were at our disposal. The unit was spacious, very clean and relaxing. My wife and I have stayed at many hotels throughout our travels and even on Dominica; but the level of hospitality and class expressed by all we came in contact with at the Secret Bay was incomparable; it was real service, love and appreciation without hypocrisy. As a nature lover I discovered that the habitat of dry land wood scrub created opportunity to view wild life from up close; some wonderful photos of the Magnificent Frigate Bird and Lesser Antillean Hummingbird and Iguanas were obtained during our relaxation moments and while overlooking the bay and the Cabrits national park in the distance. Interestingly, Dominica’s national flower, the Bwa kwaibe (Sabinea carinalis) was in full blossom, thus giving us the opportunity to spot 3 of Dominica’s hummingbird species. Since we are not very deep sleepers, we were rather surprised at how well we had slept throughout the nights; this was testimony to the general ambiance, serene and relaxing mode set for the guests staying at the Secret Bay. My wife was truly thankful as she expressed her appreciation for the wonderful stay at the Resort. “It’s not about money, one can have a great vacation while staying in their country and feel like they’re on the other side of the world, said my wife. A bubble bath with sparkling wine brought down the curtains on our stay; a time of our life we’ll continue to talk about for months to come. Surely, we highly recommend the Secret Bay to all who truly dream of a romantic and classy get-away and even to Dominicans. Thanks to Anna and her staff for making Nella’s 50th birthday a memorable experience.

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Stayed on: April 2014


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: Barnesology
Country of Origin: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Reviewed on: 23 December 2013

This is not your typical Caribbean. It’s unlike any Caribbean trip I’ve ever taken and I’ve been on many. Secret Bay sets the bar high in Dominica from their tree-house-like breathtaking villas to a level of service and hospitality that eclipses the best resort where you have ever stayed. Secret Bay’s core is built on privacy, luxury, customer service and customer experience. Each unit has it’s own amenities like a pool or hot tub, hammock and fully stocked kitchen. There is no restaurant. The chef at the Souce Shack creates all meals to your wishes and then your attendant delivers them to your villa. The attention to detail from the owner, Gregor, and Anna (Resort Manager) was meticulous. Before you ever arrive and through your departure, you are very well taken care of with kid gloves.

The accommodations are insanely beautiful and amazingly well made with architecture design by the famous architect Fruto Vivas. There are four villas and two bungalows on the property with all similar state of the art furnishings and each with very distinctive romantic views of the Caribbean. Some villas are perched on a cliff and one is set into the rainforest (Zing Zing). They all have accordion glass doors that completely open up to the sea. Bugs are not a problem, unlike other islands, and you can leave your doors open all day. The resort is very safe, so you don’t really ever need to lock up your villa. The staff is very attentive and trusting and will feel like part of your family when you leave. Our attendant, Sara Lee, was very sweet, helpful and really added to your overall experience.

I was very impressed by the technology in the villas and on the property. Wi Fi is fast and reliable which is huge for me, and not typical at other Caribbean resorts. The satellite for TV is also great with most American networks available and flawless reception. The air condition system is comfortable and reliable. The fully stocked kitchen and bathrooms are top notch and the hard wood floors are beautiful. All in all, the most overall luxurious accommodations I’ve ever seen in the Caribbean.

The dining experience is tremendous. You pick whatever you want from fresh fish or lobster to BBQ ribs or gluten free pizza. Chef Eric made me some of the best “fall of the bone” ribs I’ve ever had in my life. I’m from Texas…I know BBQ! There is no menu– you call it. “Whatever you want” is their motto. Same with drinks…ask whatever and you’ll get it. Go meet Jemma in the Souce Shack and ask her for the special iced tea/vodka combo. The Rum punch is addicting and, island natives say, an island aphrodisiac. Jemma is wise and great in the kitchen. We frequently allowed her to select our meals for us and we were never disappointed.

Nature freaks will be in heaven with the lush surroundings. It can go from blazing sun to a 5 minute hard rain every 20 minutes some days. You definitely get the rainforest experience. Everywhere you look is a postcard waiting to happen. There are kayaks, paddle boards and two beaches. One of the beaches you can only access by kayak and when you get over there (2 min) you feel like you are on the tv show, Survivor. There is a large arch you can snorkel through, a hidden underwater cave and stunning cliff rock formations.

Secret Bay is on the cover of Travel & Leisure for a reason. It’s truly a unique vacation with the highest level of customer service and luxury available in the Caribbean. I won’t publish the name here, but there was a certain major female rock star that refused to leave because it is so incredible… even to the point of offering to buy the entire resort. I think we are all lucky that did not happen.

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Stayed on: December 2013


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: MichaelMc101
Country of Origin: St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Reviewed on: 17 June 2013

We took a leap. And can’t wait to do it again. Admittedly, we usually look for a Four Seasons when we need to escape from the real world. But lucky for us, I stumbled upon this Secret on Gallivant.com. Regardless of how we discovered it, this place is special. For a Caribbean island, it’s mountainous, tropical, rich w/ volcanic soil and covered in rainforest. Reminded me of Maui a bit. Everything and anything grows here. For nature fans, bird watchers and fruit lovers, it’s truly fascinating as a destination. Even better, the climate was remarkably pleasant. Breezy, mid 80s with refreshing rains here and there, chased by rainbows.

Sounds ridiculous, right? There’s more.

The architecture, finish and fixtures were flawless. Concrete and tropical hardwoods. Dominica grown and crafted furnishings. Decks with accordion doors. Positioned on a cliff with views you won’t believe. From the kitchen, the deck, the pool, even the shower. So I must admit, even though it wasn’t our honeymoon, for seven days, we didn’t leave the property unless it was on a kayak. Next time, we’ll bring scuba gear and make ourselves journey up the Indian River, hike and see one of only two boiling lakes on the planet.

Our daily routine. We made breakfast ourselves most days, then ordered lunch and dinner from our own personal attendants. Great salads. Highly recommend the Paw Paw. Every evening, fresh fish or lobster prepared at the Souce Shack and served at sunset. We went for the lobster every other night prepared different ways—curry/ginger/chili, garlic/herb, chef’s choice. In villa, they stocked us up with the best local pineapples, bananas and mangos. Dominica coffee, juices, granola and chips. Wines and rum, too.

The staff. Rosaline was the sweetest, humble, most hard-working attendant. She made us smile daily. And on my birthday, along with the surprise cake, she sang to me. SHE SANG! It was so genuine and kind, I won’t soon forget it. Don’t expect a fancy bar or resort scene down at the Souce Shack. But we loved visiting with Jemma, Josie and Eric. Real people sharing fun stories, casual conversation and some wicked rum punch. Just ask for it. It’s back there. Drink it neat and your afternoon will soon get fuzzy.

And finally, as many other folks mentioned, Gregor stopped by for a visit during our evening porch domino tournament. He was fascinating, gracious and welcoming. Keep it going, Gregor. The vision you and Sandra have is truly amazing and we wish you all the best. So sorry we missed meeting the entire family. An early flight had us retiring ahead of schedule that final night. Next time.

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Stayed on: May 2013


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: 1WandR1
Country of Origin: Toronto, Canada
Reviewed on: 9 November 2012

in twelve months! Last week, my husband and I returned from our second one week holiday at Secret Bay. Last October, I wrote a review about this property and I am delighted to contribute my comments again.

We chose to return to Zing Zing villa. A spacious and beautiful two bedroom villa overlooking the sea. The layout is ideal for a family or two couples but we decided to spoil ourselves and take advantage of the large inside and outdoor living space. One year later, the entire property is even more beautiful than when we first visited. The flora is maturing beautifully with the help of Secret Bay’s onsite landscape architect, the villas seem to be settling into their natural environment flawlessly and the hummingbirds and butterflies have definitely found their home. I think my favorite part of the day was lounging on the expansive veranda each late afternoon admiring the beauty of nature. Being a City person, quite used to staring at concrete buildings and the backside of cars every day, there were endless opportunities to enjoy the overwhelming sights and sounds before me.

To honor a promise to the staff which I made last year was to return and prepare dinner for them, just to show our appreciation for their good care during our holiday. Zing Zing proved to be a fabulous entertainment space. The kitchen was equipped well, allowing me to prepare a gourmet meal with ease, and, we were able to accommodate a gorgeous dinner outside on our veranda for 10 easily. We also entertained the hotel guests which felt like a scene out of a magazine. Everyone at the dinner table shared fabulous stories of their discoveries on the ‘nature island’ which only reinforced how lucky we all were to be visitors of such a special place.

Gregor and Sandra were perfect hosts. As with our experience last year, Gregor, my husband and I would kayak to one of their two beaches each morning to fit in some daily exercise before the day began. Sandra was the perfect hostess and was always ready to navigate hotel guests through a very interesting cave experience, take us through a wonderful yoga class or just come around to make sure we were all making the most of our vacation. Secret Bay has a staff masseuse who, I have to rate as one of the best massages I’ve experienced. The staff were wonderful, creating an ambience for us which catered to all of our needs and we really felt as if we were leaving our family at the end of the week. We are already anxious to book Zing Zing for next year and see our ‘family’ again.

It is impossible to rave about all of the activities on the island. Each day we looked forward to a long hike usually ending at a magnificent waterfall; a reward for a physcally demanding experience. Secret Bay has collected a very professional group of tour guides and we never felt unprepared to tackle a new challenge. The people of Dominica have a great sense of pride in their Country and all it offers. Their enthusiasm is authentic and addictive. Much as we liked all of our guides, we felt drawn to Charlie and Devon. They together offered us the blend of wisdom and youthful energy which we really enjoyed.

I realize that most of these reviews are extraordinarily favorable – its all quite true! If you are considering visiting Secret Bay, enjoy. But please leave Zing Zing available for us next year!

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Stayed on: October 2012


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: Angel M
Country of Origin: Hamilton, Canada
Reviewed on: 29 July 2012

My husband and I just returned from a 6 day stay at Secret Bay. We had been looking online for a while for a Honeymoon destination and couldnt find anything that stood out to us. My Husband came across Secret Bay and I immediately fell inlove. It was like nothing I had ever seen and I knew I had to go to this beautiful place. And boy was that a good decision. Secret Bay surpassed everything that we have experienced on prior trips. The pictures do not do this place justice. We stayed in the Zabuco honeymoon villa. The villa was gorgeous and contained everything and anything you could possibly need. We had our own private pool which we were enjoyed everyday during our stay. A full kitchen, a large bedroom with a freestanding bathtub and two person shower. All the walls inside the villa are foldable if you want to let in a breeze off the water, which is another feature that makes Secret Bay so unique. Also, if you are feeling like a night in, there is a satellite TV and a bookshelf full of DVDs and books! One of the breathtaking features of the Zabuco Villa is the 180 degree ocean view. We were able to sit on our deck and watch the sun rise and set everynight, which was absolutely beautiful. Not only we were surrounded by beautiful landsape and a gorgeous villa but the staff at Secret Bay were top notch. Ana was a great help, she will plan day trips, dinners at local restaurants and coordinate your stay with a smile on her face the entire time. Our attendant Megan delivered unbelievable sevice, and lets just say we never went hungry at Secret Bay. Amazing Amazing AMAZING cook, anything from steak and potatos, to lamp chop with stuff peppers, to homemade pineapple ice cream. Absolutely wonderful food! Everyday she would come and clean our villa, the place was spotless thanks to Megan. If you felt like getting out of the villa for a while there is a beach attached where you can take out kayak’s and snorkel gear at your leisure! Everything about this place set it apart from typical resorts! We were a little nervous at the end of our stay for the food bill, considering we ate like royalty while we were there. But once again they do not disappoint, incredible food for 6 days at a very reasonable price! Secret Bay is by far the most beautiful place we have ever been. Everything about it was beyond 5 star service! If your planning a trip and want something a little different from the usual resort, Secret Bay is a place for you! Trust me it will be the best decision you will make!! We cannot wait to go back!!

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Stayed on: July 2012


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: Debski_12
Country of Origin: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Reviewed on: 10 November 2012

My husband and I stayed in Zabuco Honeymoon villa for our honeymoon this October. Upon our arrival at Secret Bay, the one word I can use to describe what I felt was “surreal”. I keep telling people that when you look at a picture of a place it always looks amazing because it has been touched up. Well walking into Zabuco felt like walking into the pictures we have seen. Not one thing was different than what we had seen while planning this trip. AMAZING!!!

Speaking of the senses, the next sense hit was my sense of smell. The entire villa is comprised of Guyanese hardwood which has been treated by bay oil. And it smells so good! I even went home with a vial of bay oil so I can continue to smell this wonderful scent.

The next sense that occurred to me was sound. Listening to the lovely accent of our wonderful host, Anna. Anna was absolutely wonderful at her task of catering to our every need with professionalism, kindness and grace. She even had local caribbean music playing as we entered the villa! (Not to mention the amazing sound of the ocean and local wildlife!)

Now was the real test, TASTE! Secret Bay and our appointed chefs, Rosaline and Dela, did NOT disappoint in our culinary needs. Our meals were delicious and I especially loved the desserts! (Our first dessert was a yummy banana brownie, we also had a delish chocolate dessert another night and a pineapple carrot cake the last night! I think my only complaint would be that there could have been MORE! We also greatly enjoyed the homemade yoghurt and granola that came in our organic breakfast basket as well as the GUAVA juice. YUM!

The last sense would be touch and did we! (I’m talking activities!) Our first day we started out with a kayak to secret beach including a visit by Sandra who guided us through the Secret Cave. I’m bummed we didn’t take our camera in there – it was a mini-adventure! Then we attended Music in the Park – part of the Creole Festival in Roseau. It was super fun to see the town and experience some local music and food. We also got a peek of some parrots at the botanical garden where the festival was being held. The second day we took a boat ride with Don for some local fishing and snorkeling. We both caught a Jack fish (my first fish ever!) and Don showed us blowfish and lion fish at the snorkel site. The next day we were picked up by Bobby for our hike through Morne Trois Pitons National Park to the boiling lake. It was TOUGH but we did it! I highly recommend it as there is much to see and a huge feeling of accomplishment when you finally see the prize. Bobby and Joseph were awesome hosts waiting for us to take a post-hike dip in the Titou Gorge and then treating us to rum at the cafe conveniently located just outside the park. That night, another guest had graciously invited us to their villa for a group dinner. The cooking was amazing and the company was fun! Thanks again, Wendy and Ron! Our last day was dedicated to relaxation starting out with a yoga session led by Sandra and then an afternoon massage. The masseuse was amazing and it was super cool having a massage while listening to the ocean – it even rained for about 10 minutes which only added to the relaxing sounds!

I HIGHLY recommend a visit to Secret Bay whether you are looking for adventure or relaxation, they have it all. I really could have enjoyed it just as much, never leaving Zabuco Villa for one minute. The level of detail that Gregor and Sandra have put into this villa is outstanding. I even want to find out what type of sheets were on the bed as they were so comfortable and snugly. Although, I cannot finish this review without mentioning the bathtub. If you have seen pictures of Zabuco Villa, you know there is a free-standing bathtub overlooking the ocean, conveniently placed on the side where the sun sets. AMAZING. I told Gregor my only advice would be to include some bubble bath in the room for those taking advantage of that huge tub! We also LOVED the dual head shower which opened up to the views of the ocean – I felt like I was showering in nature!

Thanks again to Gregor, Sandra, Anna and the entire crew at Secret Bay for helping us to enjoy an unforgettable honeymoon. Until we are able to make it back, I will think of you in my dreams! 😉

Debra & Brian

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Stayed on: October 2012


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: kccools
Country of Origin: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Reviewed on: 30 December 2016

We’re already counting the days until we return to Dominica and stay at Secret Bay. My husband, daughter and I have been fortunate to travel to many beautiful places around the world this year and Dominica takes top prize for its natural beauty, friendly people, rich culture, adventurous activities and “off the grid” getaway appeal. There just aren’t many places like this left in the world… mostly untouched and untainted. No stop lights on the island. Hardly any chain restaurants (we saw one), no big brand hotels. Just pure and true throughout; distinctly Dominica.

Secret Bay has 8 total villas and we stayed in Zing Zing, which had two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a living area, kitchen and large patio plus a large terrace below the villa and a hot tub. It is very spacious and primarily for families or I imagine two couples traveling together. We were there for a week and we were pampered with stellar accommodations and service. Secret Bay is carefree luxury at its finest. Whatever you need is a text or call away via the complimentary iPhone they give you that is preloaded with all the numbers and info you need. Want to paddle board? Done. A board and paddle will be waiting for you down at the beach. Need extra towels? Done. Want to go to Trafalgar Falls? It’s taken care of.

The villa itself felt like home and we were treated as such. They pre-stocked our kitchen before our arrival with food we had requested and we enjoyed making breakfast each morning along with slicing up the fresh pineapples and grapefruits during the day and snacking on the house made granola bars and yogurt. As our daughter was missing school and my husband had work to do, we even set aside time each day to do homework and respond to emails and such, and the wifi worked great, which isn’t always the case when you travel to small boutique hotels around the world. For dinner, we had dinner on the patio every night prepared by the Chef Eric and his team, and every meal was well worth the splurge.

All in all, I can’t recommend Secret Bay and Dominica enough for families. It was an experience my family will long remember and is looking forward to experience again.

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Stayed on: December 2016


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: Brian C
Reviewed on: 30 December 2016

I first experienced Secret Bay on a solo trip in 2015 and just returned from my second trip there, this time a 7-night stay with my wife and 10-year old son. We stayed at Zing Zing and had the most spectacular time. From the moment we arrived till the very second we left made up the best moments of this year for our family. From a day trip to Roseau with Ryan where we ventured to Trafalgar Falls where our son immediately started climbing rocks and swimming in the pools to our time with Dr. Birdy where we caught crayfish with our hands, ate fresh grapefruits from the trees and sucked on coffee fruit and sugarcane — every moment was filled with the perfect mix of adventure, relaxation and new experiences. When not away from Secret Bay, our family loved all the attention and personalized service we received from sunrise to sundown from the staff at Secret Bay, as well as our time alone. Our favorite moments on property at Secret Bay include our in-Villa meals prepared by Chef Eric, Gemma and team, nature exploring and seeing the giant iguanas and our time at the beaches, including all day adventures snorkeling and soaking up the sun at Secret Beach to our kayaking journey to Coconut Beach and its nearby water park. Of course our time in Zing Zing’s private jacuzzi and enjoying the sounds of nature at night were highlights too.

Thank you also to Lenita, Ayeola and Jess. Looking forward to this becoming an annual tradition.

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Stayed on: December 2016


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: runwicked
Country of Origin: Hermosa Beach, California, USA
Reviewed on: 30 December 2016

My family and I stayed for 7 nights at Secret Bay this December, and words can hardly describe the wonderful experience we had both at Secret Bay and exploring the beauty of Dominica. We stayed in the two room Zing Zing Villa and it immediately felt like home when we arrived and were greeted with smiles.

First off, you can tell they put a lot of thought into the design and craftsmanship of the villa and no expense was spared with the materials used. Bedrooms/bathrooms are incredibly spacious and furnished in an understated luxury way. The kitchen is well-appointed and efficient with top of the line appliances, including an automatic coffee and espresso machine that got a serious workout during our stay. The large terrace overlooking the surrounding environs and Tibay Beach included a dining table and separate seating area, and this became our primary gathering spot when we were in the villa. All in all, it is the epitome of indoor/outdoor living, connecting you with the beautiful outdoors of Dominica.

From Zing Zing, the primary beach is only a 45 second walk down a series of steps and along the way you are greeted by iguanas, hummingbirds, robins and the culinary team working their magic in the Sous Shack.

Now, with respect to the service and food, for me, these are the cornerstone of any resort experience. The people who are dedicated to ensure your stay goes well and the food and drinks you enjoy often make the biggest impression and Secret Bay delivers here in a big way. Lenita, Jess, Chef Eric and Gemma, the outfitters and all couldn’t have been any friendlier or helpful with everything from arranging day trips to Trafalgar Falls or our naturalist adventure with Dr. Birdy to special food requests for the kids. We spoiled ourselves with dinner in the villa every night but one, and the food was the perfect compliment to adventurous days of paddle boarding to Coconut Beach and bouldering to the pool at the bottom of Mama Falls. Coffee rubbed filet mignon topped with goat cheese, lobster bisque, ginger-glazed Mahi Mahi and desserts like banana bread pudding with whiskey butterscotch are some of the memorable dishes that complimented our memorable experiences at Secret Bay. Even simpler fare like the passionfruit ice cream made locally and the dates and cocoa granola bars made fresh at the Sous Shack were memorable and I’ve already asked for the recipe for the latter.

Must do adventures for family:

Explore Syndicate Falls with Dr. Birdy. The kids loved this experience in nature, tasting fruit straight from the trees, catching crayfish in the river, spotting parrots and hummingbirds, chewing on sugar cane, climbing 400 year old trees and more.

Indian River cruise with Fire. The river tour is popular but it’s special when you go with Fire. I felt bad when we passed the people who were packed in a tourist boat and clearly weren’t having the experience we were with Fire, who grew up chasing crabs and exploring the river. Highlight was the Bush Bar, where Sheri served up a special rum drink called Dynamite and fresh fried plantains.

Paddle over to the Water Park on Coconut Beach. This is relatively new to the area and the kids had a blast as did the adults. Clint there and his uncle have water toys for all ages and it was a fun 30 minute paddle from Tibay Beach.

Secret Beach. We had this beach to ourselves on several occasions and it couldn’t have been any nicer. Clear calm water, plenty of beach to lay on and explore and relatively shallow for the young ones.

Finally, a bit about Dominica. I’ve traveled to South Korea, France, Italy, Switzerland and places in the US like Yosemite and the Grand Canyon this year and Dominica wins as my favorite destination. Its natural beauty goes without saying. Volcanic mountains covered in a 100 shades of green, a wind swept, rugged coastline reminiscent of Big Sur or the west coast of Ireland, hidden beaches worth every bit of the adventure to reach them. But beyond its natural beauty, Dominica stands out for the overall way of life here. “The Nature Island” leads the Caribbean in renewable energy use (seeking energy independence by 2020), has the largest per capita centenarian population in the world (age 100 or older), has a 90+% literacy rate, and makes marine life education compulsory for school kids. Fruit, vegetables and medicinal herbs grow abundantly here in the volcanic soil and you rarely come across any processed foods. Like all countries, it no doubt has its issues, but there’s a lot to be inspired by.

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Stayed on: December 2016


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: aiandrak
Reviewed on: 17 May 2015

I think the magnificence of Zing Zing Villa at Secret Bay is succinctly captured by the comment that my handsome, party loving 20 year old nephew, who is heading to University in the fall, made to me during our family stay there over the Mother’s Day weekend. “ You know Aunty Andy, this place makes me want to get married and have a family just so that I could build a home like this.” And indeed, throughout the weekend similar sentiments of awe and contentment were expressed by the entire family, as well as friends who reside in Dominica and visited us at Zing Zing Villa. Without a doubt the Secret Bay property has created the perfect balance between a contemporary décor and embracing the natural beauty of the surroundings.

We spent much of our stay on the expansive verandah, dining, playing games and chatting with visiting friends. Some persons intermittently popped down to the beach for a swim, used the jacuzzi for a relaxing soak, or migrated to the lower level where lounge chairs and a hammock were available for a siesta, while constant breezes blew gently to cool the balmy days.

We opted to cook some of our meals with the assistance of the house attendant. Working in a kitchen with state of the art appliances was a dream. And to top it all off, each and every staff member with whom we interacted, exuded the quintessential warmth and friendliness for which Dominicans are famous.

The last time I suffered from withdrawal was six years ago when I quit smoking. But tell you now, unreservedly, that since our wonderful weekend, I have suffered from Zing Zing Villa withdrawal every single day!

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Stayed on: May 2015


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: 792amberd
Country of Origin: Westport, Connecticut, USA
Reviewed on: 13 June 2015

Dear Secret Bay Team,

Our family had an incredible stay with you, it was, bay far, the best holiday we have had together. We appreciated so many things about our stay: the lovely and luxurious amenities, the beautiful grounds, the seclusion that makes you feel far away from reality, dinning on the various sun decks, the scrumptious meals that filled our bellies (seriously the best, most flavorful food I’ve ever had), the vast selection of wine and grocery items, the fresh juices (salavating now thinking of your guava juice), the off-site activities and adventures, the tranquility of the resort and, of course, the very helpful and engaging staff beginning with making our reservations to our departure. Kannima, Marvin, Shemima and Megan all contributed to making our stay an excellent one!

We loved Dominica’s natural and untouched beauty, the laid back vibe, the culture, the genuine people, the architecture, the adventure and natural wonders, and even the honking!

It was a life changing experience, one that we still speak of very fondly of and will continue to cherish in years to come. Our kids still wish we had the recipe to your BBQ chicken (“best chicken we’ve ever had”) and that our “hikes” here, in Connecticut, lead us to natural hot springs. Every morning when my husband and I sit with our coffee in hand at home, we say, about 90% of the time, wish we were in Dominica!

Thank you all so much and we are certainly looking forward to seeing you again!

Tom, Amber, Jack & Nick

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Stayed on: April 2015


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: Christine_Leuthold
Country of Origin: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Reviewed on: 22 February 2014

By this, I mean “Robinson”, as in Swiss Family, and “Wright,” as in Frank Lloyd.
Here is an excerpt from my plein-air writings during a recent stay with friends on the small and amazing island of Dominica, in the French Antilles, near Guadeloupe, St. Lucia and St. Barth’s.

Day 2:
Has it been just 24 hours here?!! The words “location, location, location” don’t only apply to real estate. Location can shift sensibilities and personal rhythms – for the better or the worse – in a heartbeat. I came here from a crazy-wonderful 3-day stint of the2014 aTVFest, a television and digital festival presented in Atlanta by Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). With a stopover in San Juan, punctuated by a 15 minute interview on the importance of de-stress zones at home for Bed Bath & Beyond, it seemed like a perfect segway to Dominica. (btw, on a scale of 1 to 10, I give a 20 to the importance of focusing time on creating quality experiences, as opposed to appearances, at ‘home”.)

Secret Bay, this unique world set on a small penninsula of this little known island in the Carribbean, is working her magic, ever so gently, in every sound, feather-like breeze and wave that touches the shore.

Today, the decision was to explore and let Secret Bay enfold us quietly into her world. Breakfast on the lanai of our two bedroom villa, was with the table set so we faced the view of the Caribbean. Perfect. Poached eggs, pan sautéed turkey, island orange juice — much more delicate than stateside offerings, locally baked bread and an orange marmalade that makes me rethink my jam of choice. Then after a walkabout with Megs, our villa attendant, the day was spent on the water, saving adventures in the interior of the island for the coming days. (Can you say “8 1/2 hour hike to Boiling Lake!!??!)

At Secret Bay, there are 2 bungalows and maybe 5 or 6 villas in all. Each, positioned in a way that allows for complete privacy, but places it in the middle of what becomes a breeze-filled concert hall at night. Sort of like sleeping in a tent in the jungle… But truly, this is by no means a tent!

Making up this compound surrounded by nature, is a meditation deck, the “Souce Shack”, essentially an outdoor kitchen with a bar so that guests, if they choose, can enjoy a marguerita while getting a glimpse of food preparation in process, a small beach area where kayaks and paddle boards can be taken, along with snorkeling gear, around the point to the totally private Secret Beach or in the opposite direction, to Coconut Beach.

It’s at these two beaches, that I spend my first day here, exploring via kayak and sunning on the sand and snorkeling the coral reef. And how nice that two dogs silently come to spend some time socializing with us on Coconut Beach. Then over to Secret Beach, with a bottle of Secret Bay’s house-made rum punch, dried pineapples, oranges and bananas and other nibbles as companions. Without ice, the concoction has transformed from cocktail to hot toddy. Not bad for a 4 pm refreshment. The island takes care of its visitors.

Then, later in the day, having just come from the sunset deck, I feel fully relaxed from the day. Not only was there a sunset — this one a bit shy — with only a partial showing of the sun, but turning to look at the hills to the East, we also were honored with the rise of a full moon. Sitting outside on the lanai, Megs discreetly enters and proceeds to get things organized in the state-of-the-art Siemans kitchen of Zing-Zing, our villa.

It is now dark, and hidden in the nature that envelops, I hear birds and other night creatures, the waves and the soft voices and occasional shifting of dishes and utensils as organic ingredients are combined with TLC and local recipes for the evening meals that will be served to the guests are fortunate enough to have found this unique and wonderful place.

… But back to the sunset deck — simple, elegant and intimate. No doubt the owners’ choice of location and structure to provide guests with a Secret Bay-worthy experience at the end of each day. Grasses are trimmed to offer a sweeping view of the western horizon, with just a few reeds left to grow, so as to merge island beauty with sun, clouds, sky and stars. After all, one of the most important times of day when living on water is sunset. A moment to thank the gods for delivering yet another day and for welcoming the time to rebalance as the separation between day and night blends together.

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Stayed on: February 2014


Ti-Fèy Villas

– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: Jeremiah C
Country of Origin: Wilton, USA
Reviewed on: 17 October 2019

Secret Bay is absolutely amazing. My wife and I celebrated our 11th anniversary and her 40th birthday with a 10 day stay in Ti-Fey II. What wasn’t amazing?

Food: Incredible. Chef Grant is a culinary genius. Everything was delicious, made to order, customized just for us, and had an amazing and inventive story behind how it was produced. At one point my wife happened to mention offhand that she was in the mood for steak. The next night, Chef Grant had sourced us some excellent steak and grilled it at our room for us. Plus, he’s also an expert mixologist. His inventive drinks were to die for.

Room: Perfect. View amazing from bedroom AND living room due to the 2 floor design. Everything we needed was in there, including a lovely outdoor shower, patio for eating with a view, plunge pool, TVs with various streaming services, full kitchen, very comfortable bed and linens. Just perfect.

Service: This might have been the most unique part, at least for us. We are not used to being waited on so expertly. Want lunch brought down to you at the beach with a cooler of pina coladas? Done. Want to book a last minute snorkeling excursion with Captian Don (who is fantastic as well)? You got it. Need a personal item procured? It’s handled for you. We barely had to lift a finger the whole trip, except when we wanted to.

The island: Not built up as much as some other Caribbean islands we’ve been to, but if you’re going to Dominica you’re not going for the cities, you’re going for the nature, and that it has in spades. Waterfalls, beautiful rain forest, Champagne reef and other snorkeling spots, beaches of all kinds, natural hot springs, and my favorite of it all, Titou Gorge, a beautiful natural gorge formed by a lava flow where a somewhat cold waters flow through. Getting used to the water temperature is well worth the swim up the gorge to see the natural beauty, then you can lay back and float back down like a lazy river. Oh, can’t forget the Indian river tour with Fire, a highlight of the trip as well.

So much I’m leaving out, but I’ll leave it here. An unforgettable vacation.

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Stayed on: May 2019


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: Christopher T
Country of Origin: Eustis, Florida, USA
Reviewed on: 17 January 2017

Imagine sleeping to the sound of waves crashing below and the quiet chirps of the coqui frogs. In the morning, with a cup of hot local coffee and fresh juice, you watch the sunrise from your balcony, the hummingbirds hovering nearby, a yellow bananaquit begging for a crumb of toast, and the iguanas climbing the tree trunks to catch the first rays of sun in the leafy canopy. This is the daily cycle that you will experience at Secret Bay and it quickly becomes part of you. Before you know it, you are relaxed and connected, not to your social media account, but to your surroundings.

The room: We stayed in one of the smaller villas, the Mapou, which was perfect for a couple. Great views from the balcony and upstairs bedroom looking toward the sparkling lights of Portsmouth. Nestled in the treetops, you have a great view of the waves below which were particularly transfixing in the moonlight. Guess what? No bugs. No spiders. I think we were bit by one mosquito the entire trip to Dominica which is amazing considering all of the hiking we did. We never saw another guest during our entire stay. Lenita laughed and assured us that there were other people staying there. Wifi was great. Electricity, water, and a/c all worked without fail which isn’t always true in the Caribbean especially when traveling to boutique resorts such as Secret Bay. When you stay here, you are paying for tranquility, privacy, personalized service, and unique villas in the trees.

The service: Lenita was our concierge and Magan was our villa attendant. Both were fantastic. One of the hard things to get used to at Secret Bay is that the service is catered specifically to your wishes. If you don’t want to wash a single dish, then you don’t need to wash a dish. If you don’t want to make your own coffee, then they will do that too. You can choose where on-property you want to eat. Don’t see something on the menu that you want, then you can ask. It takes a few days to get used to this type of service. We chose to make our own breakfasts from foods that Secret Bay stocked for us, so we didn’t need to grocery shop. This also allowed us to wake up at whatever time we wanted to wake up. Invariably, we woke up with the sunrise. We had Magan serve us dinners on our balcony and one lunch. She was so pleasant to talk to about the local sights and life on Dominica. She was very discreet and somehow she always knew when to return to serve us the next course of the meal. Lenita was incredibly patient and cheerful as she helped us plan our itinerary. She didn’t get tired of our endless questions. I don’t know how she does it other than to say she had a very organized clipboard. Lenita is an expert at planning your itinerary around the cruise ship schedule. She gives you an iphone so you can call her anytime.

The food: My wife and I are both vegetarians and Secret Bay knocked it out of the park. We had a large menu to select from and we tried every option without having the same thing twice. Every meal was fantastic. The soups were soooo delicious. Ask for the vegetable chowder and the pumpkin ginger soup. Eating excellent food is one of the things we love to do and Secret Bay is high on our list of best food experiences. I definitely recommend Secret Bay for vegetarians and “foodie” vegetarians in particular.

The island: Dominica has so much to do that it was difficult to make choices. We were helped a bit by the rough, windy seas during our visit. It kept us from snorkeling and other activities on the sea, but it opened up the rest of the island for us. We visited a bunch of waterfalls that most visitors don’t get to see. We got to experience the Carib territory. Of course we had some great lunches at local eateries. If you are visiting during the winter, I suggest trying sorrel, a refreshing drink made from red flowers that grow on the mountaintops. Save some time to watch parrots on the Syndicate trail and jump from the rocks into Chaudiere pool. I recommend you bring hiking shoes. Rainforest trails tend to be muddy. The people of Dominica were all incredibly friendly. Be open and friendly back and you will be rewarded with memories of a lifetime.

Thank you Secret Bay!

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Stayed on: January 2017


– 5 out of 5 stars
Name: maureendavis
Country of Origin: Bridgetown, Barbados
Reviewed on: 10 October 2016

This was our second visit to Secret Bay and this time we stayed in Ti-Fey, one of the two Bungalows nestled in the trees. It honestly feels like a 5-star tree house, perfectly nestled among the trees, overlooking the bay and in earshot of the soothing sound of the waves rolling on to the beach below.

Our welcome at the Airport as well as at the Hotel was warm and friendly as usual. Since there is no formal reception desk, once you arrive at the Resort and are escorted to your bungalow or villa, which is already stocked with your pre-ordered items, you simply feel like you have returned home and home is in Paradise. Bianca was our Attendant this time – always on call and always ready to fill our every need ….. including my craving for Cadbury chocolate! Our meals were fantastic – with fresh, local incredients and a variety of amazing home made salad dressings.

There is a long list of things to do on the island but once on Secret Bay, we found it very hard to leave the property. We did kayak and we took the River Tour with ‘Fire’ which was great. I also had a massage in the comfort of my bungalow which is highly recommended. All in all, Secret Bay refreshes and rejuvinates the soul and you leave feeling relaxed and ready to face the real world again.

For sure, add this unique resort experience to your bucket list!

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Stayed on: September 2016