How did you figure the default is 10 seconds?
nagios.sourceforge.net/docs/1_0/ ... .html#host
The default time interval is 60 (second), the default check interval is 5 (5 intervals = 5 mins), the default max_check_attempts is 5. There is no retry interval for hosts.
If a service fails after the check and the retries, then the host is checked. This time should add up to well over 5 minutes, so I don't see what the problem is, since you stated you didn't want to be notified for 5 minutes. Look at your setup, add up the times, and it should be well over 5 minutes.