Secret Bay’s villas are hidden among lush vegetation. Courtesy Secret Bay

Travel

Spearing Lionfish in Prince Rupert Bay

The eco-luxury boutique hotel Secret Bay on the Caribbean island of Dominica offers guests a chance to catch and cook dinner.
By Alix Strauss
Infinity pools offer mountain-peak views. Courtesy Secret Bay

Spearing pesky but tasty lionfish for dinner. Courtesy Secret Bay

Six sustainably crafted, freestanding villas make up the eco-luxury boutique hotel Secret Bay on the Caribbean island of Dominica. Known as the Nature Island (75 percent is rain forest), the spot was significantly damaged by Hurricane Maria. Secret Bay reopened last November, renovated with a new spa and restaurant. While in residence, guests can try their hand at spearing lionfish in Prince Rupert Bay. Though strikingly beautiful and exotic, the invasive and destructive ocean species can cause extinctions of native sea plants and marine life.

Meet outfitter Captain Don on the beach and spend the next several hours on his 40-foot Angler Yamaha motorboat, which takes guests 15 minutes out to sea as they learn about the breed and receive a step-by-step spearing education. To be successful, the activity ($292/couple) requires free diving at least 10 feet; or guests may opt to snorkel and watch their guide dive down. Back on land, Chef Grant Lynott prepares their catch of the day, which is then served in the privacy of their villa. Says Lynott, “Lionfish—which are most similar in taste and texture to hake, white and flaky—aren’t poisonous to eat, but they do present an immense danger to the ecosystem. The aggressive and resilient species is ironically a delicate and beautiful fish to cook with.” secretbay.dm

Open-air villas feature sustainably sourced hardwoods. Courtesy Secret Bay

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