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All reviewsthe riverother guestsnatural poolboiling lakeswimming holespent nightsrum punchthe east coastafter a long daywavine cyriquefive nightsvery special placestayed longerold friendsamazing hostschampagne reefcooked meals
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Reviewed March 19, 2012

All I can say about the Mermaid's Secret is WOW!!

We loved the south east area of the island. It is so peaceful. Unfortunately, we found this gem when we had only 3 nights left on the island - we could have stayed a lifetime. It was a welcome relief from a not so positive experience the night before. It requires a car for sure (as it is in the Rosalie area), but I'd suggest a 4wd. The road back to the cottages is an adventure! There are 3 bridges, a small stream to forge, and many potholes. Take it slow and you should have no problems. We used our 4wd SUV in 2-wheel mode. The height helped a lot! The cottages or yurts are new, and have indoor plumbing (including hot water) and efficiency kitchens - no oven or microwave, but a nice 4-burner stove top, sink and small frig.

Tim and Sam are your UK born hosts who left their lives to start an adventure. You, as their guest, are going to be so glad they did! They are creating a bit of Eden in the rainforest of Dominica. Tim was building the bar while we were there. It will be very inviting when it is complete. The property is a work in progress and a labor of love. It is very inviting and as you hear about future plans you will see how much more inviting this place will become. Which considering how beautiful and inviting it is, it is hard to imagine it could get even better.

We slept each night with our deck doors flung open so we could hear the rushing river and swam/bathed in the most incredible natural pool each morning. Up river from the pool are some small rapids that make for a wonderful natural spa tub. The water beating on your back melts away all the muscle tension.

We were the first guests in the Carib cottage. It was wonderful and romantic. We added to the ambiance with some battery operated candles - something that may not be bad to add to your packing list just in case you experience a power outage (which we did not). The cabin was a studio apartment with a large deck that had a 2 seat Adirondack chair. We loved the natural feel of everything. The bed was in the nook created by the bathroom and is covered by a mosquito net. The floors are beautiful rough wood plank and the door pulls are made from local drift wood. The bathroom has a beautiful stone floor, and the sink was mounted on a stacked river stone created base. The kitchenette was quite efficient. There was an L-shaped concrete counter top that had a small counter height frig/freezer, sink w/ built in drainboard and 4 burner stove. There was a complete set of pans and enough plates, bowls, glasses, etc. to get through a meal.

There are fruit trees everywhere, and a cinnamon tree, along with lemongrass. Kate (Sam's mom) showed me how to make a lovely bush tea with 5 cinnamon leaves, 3 lime leaves and 3 sprigs of lemongrass. Tim cut us down some jellies (my new addiction that will be hard to service up here in Chicago).

A small warning, this is the rainforest, and bugs are a natural part of that. We had some interesting guests each night (some of which i had never seen before), but, with the mosquito netting on the bed, we had no problems at all. Maybe if we had slept with everything closed up there wouldn't have been any insects, but what is the fun of that? The lightning bugs were so bright that at first we wondered if a camera flash was going off.

Room Tip: All I can say about the Mermaid's Secret is WOW!! We loved the south east area of the island. It is so peaceful. Unfortunately, we found this gem when we had only 3 nights left on the island - otherwise we could have stayed a lifetime. It was a welcome relief from a not so positive experience the night before at a vacation rental. Getting to Mermaid's Secret requires a car for sure as it is in the Rosalie area, but I'd suggest a 4wd. The road back to the cottages is an adventure! There are 3 bridges, a small stream to forge, and many potholes. Take it slow and you should have no problems. While we didn't have to actually use 4WD mode, it was nice to have the extra clearance of an SUV. The cottages and yurts are new. The have indoor plumbing (including hot water) and efficiency kitchens - no oven or microwave, but a nice 4-burner stove top, sink and small frig (the yurts have facilities in a nearby building). Tim and Sam are your UK-born hosts who left their lives to start an adventure. You, as their guest, are going to be so glad they did! They are creating a bit of Eden in the rainforest of Dominica. Tim was building the bar while we were there. It will be very inviting when it is complete. The property is a work in progress and a labor of love. It is very inviting and as you hear about future plans you will see how much more inviting this place will become. Which considering how beautiful and inviting it is, it is hard to imagine it could get even better. We were the first guests in the Carib cottage. It was wonderful and romantic. We added to the ambiance with some battery operated candles - something that may not be bad to add to your packing list just in case you experience a power outage (which we did not). The cabin was a studio apartment with a large deck that had a 2 seat Adirondack chair. We loved the natural feel of everything. The bed was in the nook created by the bathroom and is covered by a mosquito net. The floors are beautiful rough wood plank and the door pulls are made from local drift wood. The bathroom has a beautiful stone floor, and the sink was mounted on a stacked river stone created base. The kitchenette was quite efficient. There was an L-shaped concrete counter top that had a small counter height frig/freezer, sink w/ built in drainboard and 4 burner stove. There was a complete set of pans and enough plates, bowls, glasses, etc. to get through a meal. We slept each night with our deck doors flung open so we could hear the rushing river. A short walk upstream leads you to the property's secret: the natural bathing pool in the river. Between some beautiful rapids upstream and down is a naturally-formed pool, incredibly deep and clear. A large rock sits in the middle of the stream, on which you can climb and from which you can dive into the deep water. We swam/bathed in this most incredible pool each morning. A short wade upstream takes you to the small rapids that make for a wonderful natural spa tub. The water beating on your back melts away all the muscle tension; a truly welcome luxury. There are fruit trees everywhere on the grounds, and a cinnamon tree, along with lemongrass. Kate (Sam's mom) showed me how to make a lovely bush tea with 5 cinnamon leaves, 3 lime leaves and 3 sprigs of lemongrass. Tim cut us down some jellies (my new addiction that will be hard to service up here in Chicago). A small warning, this is the rainforest, and bugs are a natural part of that. We had some interesting guests each night (some of which we had never seen before), but, with the mosquito netting on the bed, we had no problems at all. Maybe if we had slept with everything closed up there wouldn't have been any insects, but what is the fun of that? The lightning bugs were so bright that at first we wondered if a camera flash was going off. In short, we were thrilled to find this oasis of peace in Dominica. We highly recommend this piece of paradise.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank cpaynter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 17, 2012

Just spent 4 days and wished for more at Mermaids Secret in Rosilie. Tim and Sam and extended family have done a wonderful job of creating a peaceful and beautiful space in a
fairly short period of time and the future of it looks bright. Simple well made cabins on a stunning
piece of land-in the rain forest but not far from the beach-surrounded by the sound of rushing water.
Very attentive and helpful hosts, who have put there all into providing a great space. From this location there are many hikes such as Sari Sari Falls and the Glasse Trail are a short drive away.
We have been coming to Dominca for the past five years and feel lucky to have found this place to come to.as mentioned it is a work in progress and judging from what they have done so far they have a winner-and a soon to be finished cliff side bar-cant beat drinking a beer hanging over a river. Paul and Liz Norton USA

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank DragonQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 22, 2012

We are friends of both Tim's And Sam's parents, so had a rough idea of what the couple had been doing. While on a caribbean criuse we called in with 4 others to visit Sam and Tim and had an absolutely amazing day. We had a guided tour of the camp and were much impressed by the amount of work carried out to clear the site and the standard which had been achieved. The cabins are light and airy, comfortable and clean, and well equipped, the yurt tempted us to miss our ship and stay to try it. The Mermaid's Pool is the most refreshing water that I have ever swum in, so clean and clear, the whole site is a delight, with mango, coconut, almond, banana et al growing all around. We were royally entertained by the proprieters who seem to find nothing too much trouble for their guests. The effort put in by this couple has produced a peaceful little Garden of Eden where one can truly lay back and enjoy the surroundings and the company and, if you are more energetic than we are, there are trails to explore through the rainforest. A really pleasant and relaxing experience, give it a try

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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11  Thank Jess J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 10, 2012

We returned to Dominca this January after 2 years and decided to try and explore some of the East Coast this time. We had booked into the Rosalie Bay Resort but after 2 nights we found it wasn't really for us having somewhat of a ghost-town atmosphere, very poor quality food and a low tolerance threshold for kids.

This turned out to be a lucky break for us because as we were leaving we drove past a sign saying 'Mermaid's Secret' which intrigued our youngest daughter so we decided to venture down the track. This road is not for the faint hearted as you have to pass over a mini stream and it is quite bumpy. However, it is worth making the effort as on arrival you are greeted with a magnificent vista of 3 brightly colored country style cabins and an enormous Yurt. We had not booked but the owners were extremely welcoming and said we could choose either the Yurt or a Cabin. Of course the children went straight for the Yurt - an enormous luxury tent basically with full facilities nearby including a shower, kitchen, private seating area etc. We hadn't thought about groceries but luckily the owner Sam is well prepared and has a good selection of meals in stock - local Creole style that kept us going until we got a chance to get into the store in town.

We spent 5 glorious nights here, star gazing, enjoying their private pool - which is huge and completely crystal clear. Tim taught the children how to dive off their huge rock and even lent us an underwater camera so they could have a memory to show their friends once home again.

A bar is on site so you don't have to stock up on ice cold beers and as is the tradition in Dominica they can make a mean rum punch!

There are not many places in the Caribbean that I know of that you can stay in a luxury Yurt in such unspoilt and back to nature surroundings bursting with color and rainforest sounds. Take a leap of faith next time - skip the resort and take the secret retreat instead!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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10  Thank Eileenstuart11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 8, 2012

We stayed in the new yurt at Mermaid's Secret, which is charming, and very comfortable. A kitchen and bathroom are just steps away. The cabins, though we didn't stay in them, are lovely as well.

The crystal clear Mermaid's pool in the nearby river is a perfect place to start the day, or even better, to refresh after a day of hiking in the rain forest.

Though it may not officially advertise itself as an "eco-retreat", they absolutely do follow environmentally-conscious principles, from maximizing energy-efficiency, composting, growing much of their own fruit and eggs… I mention this because travelers who value these principles and who are looking for an "eco-retreat" would be very happy at Mermaid's Secret.

Tim (one of the owners) is a wonderful guide. He led us on a few hikes that became some of the highlights of our trip.

By the time we left, we sincerely felt like we were saying goodbye to friends. Tim, Sam, Thomas, Alex, Kate & Doug (Sam's parents who were visiting) truly made us feel at home from the very beginning.

We would certainly recommend Mermaid's Secret to anyone looking for something off the beaten path, in a quiet rainforest setting. Stay at Mermaid's Secret for a few nights and then in Roseau (at Sisserou Lodge) for a few nights to get a well-rounded, diverse experience in Dominica.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank sdfltransplant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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