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The Most Exclusive Resort in Dominica

Aerial zabuco villas and beaches.

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By Baldwin Ho on 22nd June 2023

Nestled away on the picturesque island of Dominica, lies a sanctuary of unparalleled luxury and natural beauty - Secret Bay.

When you visit The Nature Island, if you want an experience that delivers exclusivity, sustainability and six-star comfort, there is no other resort to consider but Secret Bay. The area has been aptly named, situated on a total land area of 40 plus acres including hidden, verdant rainforest perched on a cliff top overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The main airport in Dominica is only 60 minutes away and yet wouldn't look out of place as a regional airport in the most remote parts of Scotland. Yes, Secret Bay is off the beaten track, but paradise is found on the path less trodden.

Being an all-residential-style villa resort, privacy is delivered in abundance and, unsurprisingly, this is the resort of choice for celebrities when they visit Dominica. The design is open-air, and with a green globe certification, they use the likes of sustainably sourced Guyanese hardwood to construct the resort. They have plans to extend the number of villas to 42 in the coming years, but the personable owner, Gregor Nassief, insists that not a single tree is chopped during any construction. A short stroll around the grounds will reveal remarkable design features, as the hotel is constructed around magnificent and dramatic tree structures. They helpfully have golf buggies to transport you around the various parts of the hotel, as the incline does get steep when you approach certain villas.

Whilst the villas are all luxuriously furnished, they do vary in style. Most popular are the Zabuco Villas. Not only do they offer stupendous scenery of the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea and the dramatic mountains of Dominica, but they’re situated 200 feet above sea level in a sun-soaked, secluded dream. The high-class amenities are endless; from Apple TV and Netflix access, to a De’Longhi espresso machine and Culligan water filtration system. There is a temperature-regulated plunge pool with copious deck space for barbecues, as well as a covered hammock area for those quiet moments when you just want to have some ‘me’ time. Even the smaller touches are taken care of from, with access to bug spray, sunscreen and torches. The other exclusive villas include Ti-Fèy, which are their trendy tree houses nestled in the jungle, the Ylang Ylang villas which are situated in the serene gardens, and the slightly smaller option of the Mapou villas, which are one-bedroom bungalow-style retreats suspended in the open air.

The rates include a pre-stocked organic breakfast basket. They will email you beforehand to check for preferences and dietary requirements. It can include the likes of farm fresh eggs, local fruits and homemade granola, yogurt, bread, jam, and dried fruits along with local lemongrass and cocoa teas. Not that you have to worry about researching breakfast recipes, as they have an in-villa attendant who will cater for your every need - including preparing a bespoke Dominican breakfast for you.

Their fine-dining venue, Zing Zing, is headed by renowned chef Ranaweera, who has worked at top restaurants in both the Maldives and Dubai. The food is served in a tasting course format, which changes daily to focus on an island-to-table concept. Most of the herbs and vegetables are farmed on the grounds of the hotel. You might encounter delectable dishes like fresh yellowfin tuna served with marinated butter fruit and Dominican tacos served with jerk chicken. They have a fantastic bar below the restaurant, serving cutting-edge cocktails, and they infuse their rums so you'll encounter delights such as ginger-infused rum and rosemary-infused rum. For a gastronomic highlight, arrange a private cookery lesson with chef Ranaweera, where he'll teach you a Michelin-quality presentation with minimal fuss (although do expect plenty of blow-torching). They are also launching an outdoor chef's table experience which includes a foraging hike on the estate beforehand.

The Gommier Spa is the retreat space for ultimate relaxation. The covered treehouse has a floor-to-ceiling balcony which allows you to enjoy the relaxing sounds of the Caribbean waves whilst you are pampered by their therapists. They offer everything from stone massages to four-hand massages which you can also enjoy in your villa.

The list of activities you can enjoy is truly endless at Secret Bay. They provide free-of-charge GoPros, kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling and swimming gear. One of the best activities is to paddle board or swim to Secret Beach, which is around 8-15 minutes from the hotel depending on how you get there. The hidden beach is only reachable from the sea, so is untouched by mankind. You can observe the local wildlife such as sea cucumbers or venture into the caves nearby for a guided tour.

For those of a more adventurous disposition, you can experience a catch-and-cook experience by going lionfish hunting with diving experts. Lionfish are an invasive species in the Caribbean with few known predators, so it's one of those rare hunting activities where you are protecting the environment such as the local coral reefs. For those looking for more sedate activities, the island frequently runs music festivals such as the renowned Jazz ‘n Creole Festival in nearby Portsmouth. The hotel will happily arrange tickets and transportation for you. The personalized nature of the service at the hotel means nothing is ever impossible for them to arrange for you.

Secret Bay Resort

Tibay, Dominca



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