Hotel Spotlight: Secret Bay May 24, 2014
Dominica is the best kept secret of the Caribbean and it’s definitely my favorite, I’d go back in a heartbeat. Secret Bay is a stunning and luxurious resort, but the allure of Dominica has also got to be the cloud forest, rocky beaches, hot springs, waterfalls, local culture and breathtaking hikes. The island reminded me like something out of Jurassic Park, I kid you not. There were even rainbows at any given time due to the sporadic rain storms that’d last 5 minutes before churning to bright blue, sunny skies again. Dominica is a force of nature that deserves to be explored and appreciated.
Secret Bay had everything you could ask for and more. The villas were made up of the finest wood, the kitchen and private chef that would come cook delicious meals was such a nice element of staying at Secret Bay. If what you’re looking for is a peaceful spot to just bask in the nature of it all while not having to worry about a thing, then booking a villa at Secret Bay is most definitely your style. Upon entering my villa they had the Bose system going with fine Jazz and a homemade bottle of traditional spiced rum. I opened that right away and ran myself a hot rose petal bath and was able to escape from it all.
If you’re going to stay at Secret Bay, give it a week at least. While this is not your typical resort filled with people and tons of activities, it is a place for families and friends to enjoy their own company and be active. Of all the hotels I’ve stayed in throughout the Caribbean, which, in case you didn’t know, they can get very touristy, I’d choose Secret Bay over and over again. To view my peaceful video blog, you can visit my YouTube link here.
The overall rating that I gave Secret Bay was an 8/10.
What I loved: Everything from the checkin process to the villa to the activities (the Kayaking was outstanding!), and the little interaction with other guests. When I travel in luxury, I really appreciate the seclusion and intimacy of being alone, and I know many people feel the same. If that’s what you’re looking for, then this is the place for you! Also, it is a perk that if you’re not interested in cooking but want something special, you can request that your personal chef cook it up for you. It’s wonderful.
What Set It Back: Truly, their focus on sustainability, what else? They could have many more sustainability measures in place, and while yes, it takes a bit of effort, it is well worth it. The type of guests that visit this resort are interested in both nature and luxury (otherwise they wouldn’t pay for such a remote experience), and therefore I think they’d have a higher turnover by being more energy efficient. It’s not something they focus on majorly, which I found to be a bummer. Now, I did plant a tree while I was there (to offset my carbon footprint getting there), and I don’t think it’d be far fetched for them to implement some sort of tree planting program for their guests. I was grateful for the opportunity nonetheless. Also, beware if you are prone to car sickness, take medication prior. The road up to the hotel from the airport is winding and long. I was sick once during the ride and wish I had taken car sickness medication beforehand.
Overall: The best resort in Dominica :).
What makes a sustainable or regenerative hotel? A reverse osmosis water system, farm to table produce, supporting local dairy and meat farmers, engaging with local non-profit or community organization endeavors to address an issue within the country or community, energy efficient lighting, low pressure water systems, recycling, employing locals and offering fair and equal pay, replanting what was lost during the construction, use of biofuel (for boats), engaging guests in local cultural experiences and making them aware of environmental and cultural needs, LEED Certification, educating staff on importance of sustainability (turning off lights, observing for wasteful practices, etc.), reducing bathroom amenities waste (using bamboo toothbrushes instead, locally made/organic soap, shampoo and conditioner that help the environment), the list goes on.
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