Gregor Nassief, Chairman and CEO of GEMS Holdings Limited, a portfolio of owned and managed properties in Dominica, and proprietor of Secret Bay, The Nature Island’s award-winning, all-villa rainforest resort renowned for its six-star experience, was named Caribbean Journal’s ‘Caribbean Hotelier of the Year.’ The accolade is one of Caribbean Journal’s “Caribbean Travel Awards 2021.”
The publication said in part, “And when you come to Dominica’s Secret Bay, you know you are at the home of an artist. Owner Gregor Nassief has taken a family passion project and turned it into a leading light for Dominica’s hospitality sector, a now world-renowned hotel and, most impressively, a growing footprint thanks to a residential-resort expansion. A native of Dominica, Nassief’s work represents the best of Caribbean hospitality — and a model for what a small hotel can be.”
“This is an unexpected and much appreciated distinction from Caribbean Journal,” said Nassief. “I want to thank our Board of Directors for their support and guidance, and our exceptional team who really deserve the credit for going above and beyond every hour of every day to deliver an extraordinary experience to our incredible guests. This was a challenging year for the travel industry and hoteliers, but I’m very hopeful about the future.”
After many years residing in Latin America where he built a technology company which he still manages today, Dominica-born Nassief returned to his native land in 2009 with a dream to develop one-of-a-kind, sustainable properties that marry effortless luxury with simplicity. In 2011, that vision manifested into Secret Bay. Nassief later established GEMS Holdings Limited, a portfolio of owned and managed properties that have received global praise for their quality of experience and design, commitment to environmental responsibility and understanding and support of local culture and community. In addition to Secret Bay, the GEMS portfolio includes Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort and The Residences at Secret Bay.
Last month Secret Bay unveiled four new Hillside Ti-Fèy Villas, bringing the total accommodation count to 10. Designed to complement, not compromise the land, they are the newest phase of Nassief’s vision to expand across the 33 newly-assembled acres at Secret Bay to create The Residences at Secret Bay, a first-of-its-kind Caribbean real estate opportunity within the award-winning resort.
Tucked away on the unspoilt “Nature Island” — one of the Caribbean’s most sparsely populated, environmentally conscious and culturally rich countries — Secret Bay has been praised for its ability to effortlessly capture the luxury of time and space along with its artful fusion of high design, local craftsmanship, commitment to sustainable development through numerous green and eco-friendly initiatives and a reputation for authentic guest experiences custom-curated to personal preference. Part of Secret Bay’s elevated experience is delivered in the form of its culinary offerings at the innovative Zing Zing restaurant, which has a “no-menu” concept and is part food-lab and part restaurant, challenging the traditional fine dining restaurant rules, and focuses on a hyper-local and intimate experience that simply can’t be replicated. Similarly, the Gommier Spa, a three-walled, open-air retreat designed especially for couples, focuses on local and sustainably sourced products for treatments. Other amenities include dedicated villa hosts, on-call concierge, chefs and guides, and two secluded and swimmable beaches.
Last year, Secret Bay joined Relais & Châteaux, the most prestigious association of luxury hotels and restaurants in the world, becoming the first and only property in Dominica and just one of seven properties in the Caribbean to be affiliated with the elite brand.
About GEMS Holdings Limited
GEMS is an impact-driven Caribbean-based company dedicated to owning, managing and developing world class, sustainable luxury properties and businesses in the hospitality and tourism markets. The GEMS portfolio includes Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort, Secret Bay, The Residences at Secret Bay and Tibay Villas. www.gems.dm
About Secret Bay
Secret Bay features a limited collection of freestanding, secluded and sustainably-crafted villas that are immersed in nature and positioned on a breathtaking clifftop overlooking the azure Caribbean Sea. Offering architectural residential-style villas, fine dining (including Zing Zing, a no-menu concept open-air restaurant), wellness facilities (including the cliffside Gommier Spa), night and day access to remote beaches, and a wealth of transformational experiences, Secret Bay provides guests with the ultimate six-star hideaway experience. experience. In late 2019, Secret Bay was accepted into Relais & Châteaux, becoming the first and only property in Dominica and just one of seven properties in the Caribbean to be affiliated with the elite brand. Secret Bay recently earned Green Global Certification and has received numerous accolades in its nine years in operation, most recently named #1 resort in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas and the #6 hotel in the world in Travel + Leisure’s 2020 “World’s Best Awards.” www.secretbay.dm