Review: Secret Bay – Dominica’s award winning six star hotel

Dominica, lovingly known as the “Nature Island” of the Caribbean, is the quintessential paradise for travelers seeking a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. But among the plethora of eco-luxury resorts and hotels on this idyllic island, one stands head and shoulders above the rest – Secret Bay.

Nestled on a breathtaking cliffside overlooking the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea, Secret Bay is an exclusive, six-star resort that promises to take your breath away.

I was lucky enough to be invited to stay at Secret Bay after hearing about how the luxury resort won Travel and Leisure’s highly coveted Number 1 Hotel in the Caribbean award twice in the last three years. This inimitable travel haven is the epitome of luxury, refinement, and relaxation and is the  ultimate destination for discerning travellers with impeccable expectations.

At Secret Bay, exclusivity is paramount. With only twelve sustainably constructed wooden villas spread across vast acres of lush, tropical landscape, the resort guarantees guests an unparalleled level of privacy, intimacy, and personal service. Each villa is a true masterpiece of design, blending seamlessly with the surrounding environment and boasting unobstructed views of the mesmerising Caribbean Sea.

Our stunning villa’s spacious living area

Upon arrival, we were greeted by our dedicated and friendly villa attendant, who catered to our every need throughout our stay. Our fridge was stocked with foods we had requested in our pre-travel questionnaire and freshly prepared Dominican breakfasts were made for us upon waking – always served with a smile.

We were even given our own iPhone for the duration of our stay with WhatsApp chats already set up to communicate with our personal concierge and housekeeping – a much more convenient alternative to pressing 0 on a crusty old hotel telephone and hoping someone answers.

The moment I realised I was going to have trouble leaving

The villas themselves are the epitome of luxury and comfort. Exquisitely designed with an emphasis on natural materials and sustainability, each villa features indoor and outdoor living spaces, private plunge pools, and sumptuous furnishings that exude elegance and sophistication. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide an unbroken connection to the stunning surroundings, inviting the lush greenery and warm Caribbean breezes into your personal sanctuary. We loved watching the sunset from our very own private plunge pool and showering under the clouds as we looked out to the sea.

Private Villa pools at Secret Bay are heated to any temperature of your choosing

At Secret Bay, dining is an experience that tantalizes the senses. The resort’s renowned chef, Damith Ranaweera, crafts exquisite culinary delights at Zing Zing restaurant using fresh, organic ingredients sourced from local farmers and fishermen. Whether enjoying a romantic dinner on the villa’s terrace or savoring a sumptuous breakfast in the privacy of your bedroom, each meal is a masterpiece, a celebration of the island’s rich culinary heritage. One of our favourite dishes during our stay was the grilled snapper – a perfectly cooked tender white fish marinated in flavoursome spices and herbs.

I’m on a seafood diet. I see food, I eat it.

The resort’s Gommier Spa, named after the indigenous Gommier tree, is a tranquil haven for relaxation and rejuvenation. From the moment you step inside, the soothing scents of essential oils and the gentle sounds of the nearby ocean transport you to a world of serenity. The spa’s expert therapists offer a range of holistic treatments, including traditional Caribbean healing practices that are tailored to your individual needs and preferences, ensuring the ultimate pampering experience. I opted for the full body aromatherapy massage which left me feeling rejuvenated from head to toe.

Leave me here. Save yourselves

One of the hallmarks of Secret Bay is its commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism. The resort has garnered numerous accolades for its eco-friendly initiatives, including the Green Globe Certification and the prestigious Sustainable Tourism Award. From solar-powered energy systems and rainwater harvesting to supporting local farmers and fishermen, Secret Bay is a shining example of how luxury can coexist with environmental stewardship.

Adventure and exploration are an integral part of the Secret Bay experience. The resort’s location within the Cabrits National Park offers guests unparalleled access to Dominica’s stunning natural wonders. From guided rainforest hikes and birdwatching excursions to snorkeling the vibrant coral reefs or kayaking along the pristine coastline, there is no shortage of opportunities to immerse yourself in the island’s breathtaking beauty.

Just casually sitting here (not posing), learning about coconut trees during Levi’s river tour

We were lucky enough to be taken on a scenic river tour by Levi – the hotel’s most adored and knowledgable local guides. As we floated blissfully down the serene rivers we were given a detailed education on the various plants surrounding our watery path. Our tour ended in a charming rum bar complete with adorable puppies and kittens mincing about.

Rum cocktails with a side of adorable puppy?

What truly makes Secret Bay so special is the warmth, genuine hospitality, and attentive service provided by the resort’s staff. From the moment you arrive, you are welcomed as a cherished friend and treated with the utmost care and respect. Early during our stay, I mentioned how I loved the freshly made juices in our fridge, but how I would prefer them with no added sugar, and the next day I was surprised with a variety of sugar-free pressed juices. The staff’s unwavering commitment to excellence and personalised attention ensures that your stay at Secret Bay is an experience you will treasure for a lifetime.

Blissful bathtubs with dreamy views

Secret Bay is a testament to the magic and allure of Dominica. By seamlessly blending  luxury, sustainable practices, and the island’s stunning natural beauty, Secret Bay offers guests an experience that transcends the ordinary and transports them to a world of escapism, adventure, and indulgence. Arrive with your favourite person, let go of whatever stresses trouble you back home and prepare to make memories that last a lifetime

Mitra Msaad

Editor in Chief