Secret Bay: Robinson Meets Wright… in TLC Tropical Heaven!

Posted on 02.21.14.

Zing Zing, aka paradise!

By that, 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, British-born, off-and-on French island of Dominica, in the Lesser Antilles, in between the two islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.

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 the 2014 aTVFest, a television and digital festival

I was honored to present the 2014 aTVFest Spotlight Award to Angie Harmon, co-star of Rizzoli & Isles.

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!

The Souce Shack... all organic food, brought to your villa or bungalow

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.

The view from the Sunset Deck


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