Just got back early this morning from this trip that we went through a dive tour company who booked our rooms and really didn't know what to expect. We knew that the island was a little 'rough' and prepared ourselves for any short comings (I'm a little embarrassed, but I brought a pillow and an actual bar of soap) But after arriving, being driven through the most incredible forests, mountains and narrow (death defying?) twisty roads, we were blown away. On the edge of the 'city' of Roseau (very third world), we arrived at Fort Young and were escorted to a welcoming reception flowing with rum punch and appetizers. The head of security ("Chief") escorted us to our rooms in the NEW part of the hotel* and WOW. We had a blow-your-mind view right over the ocean, bay and toward the mountains. The room was ENORMOUS, CLEAN, well appointed (hello internet and all the premium channels!). The bathroom was, well, any woman would approve! And YES! they had soap (Bath and Body Works Cocoanut/Lime body wash/shampoo, etc.). Open that sliding Pella door and you slept to the lulling sounds of the waves crashing against the boulders below your balcony.
The dive center at the hotel was run by Ken and "Dive Dominica" who had their main dive center 15 minutes away by boat. The boat that we used was in great shape (yay, it had a bathroom!), the captain and dive masters (Kevin's the best!) were knowledgeable, professional and FUN! The dive locations were along the shores all within 15-25 minutes from the hotel and were all very special. The water was clear, the underwater life was plentiful and the diving was so relaxing ranging from steep cliffs and drops to 25 sand and coral/sponge fields; turtles, eels, colorful fish, etc. everywhere. We even were joined one day by a huge pod of porpoise who played around our boat on the way back to shore. Every afternoon after diving the staff at the shop would take care of our gear and it would be there waiting for us in the morning.
The restaurant at the hotel did a great job of serving both local cuisine AND your typical 'high end' style dishes (lamb, fish, pastas) and we have two terrific dinners there. BUT we mostly ended up eating down in the bar on the reception level. Great Roti, jerk chicken, island music and some locals. Order the fruit plate; it's like you've never tasted. All fresh from the island; spectacular.
Sonia Lander-James, the wonderful woman who greeted us every morning with a warm smile, manned the activities and tours desk that most everyone took advantage of. Those who didn't take side trips during the day, sat by the pool drinking the cold local beer Kabuli or nursing a rum punch and watching the cruise ships that tied up just off the pier down the shore from the hotel. A few from our group had massages and rolled their eyes back to show how good they were and others used the gym everyday.
Bottom line, if you can afford the whole week, enjoy creature comforts, and don't mind a 'roller coaster of a ride' to and from the airport, you will not be disappointed by the Fort Young Hotel.
*I've heard that the older part of the hotel is a whole different story so just splurge and go for the ocean front deluxe rooms!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- First built in 1699, the Fort Young has been at the heart of Dominica's story for several hundred years. Travellers from across the globe have stayed within our walls from the very beginning, all sharing the same breath-taking setting that our guests do today. Today our site on the capital's main quay is still the focal point of the capital city, with the main market and ferry port connecting island hoppers to neighbouring islands just a minute's walk from our entrance. The Fort Young Hotel is a 3 star property with historical ambience and the most recognized name in quality hospitality services in Dominica The Fort Young marries traditional elegance with breath taking views of the ocean. Our 71 guest rooms and suites are ideal for both business and leisure travellers. All rooms are fully air-conditioned, with free wi-fi throughout and all feature a terrace or balcony offering the most dramatic sea and sunset views imaginable. The Fort Young is perfectly situated to discover all this island's treasures. You can dive or go whale watching directly from our jetty. Hike the rainforests and waterfalls that stretch up behind our hotel. Whatever you desire to do, Fort Young is The Key to Dominica ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Fort Young
- Fort Young Roseau
- Fort Young Hotel Dominica/Roseau