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“Especially Great for Divers”

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Castle Comfort Dive Lodge
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Roseau
Certificate of Excellence
Somerville, MA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Especially Great for Divers”
Reviewed January 9, 2006

I have stayed at Castle Comfort four different times in the past 9 years and it is always a pleasure. Each trip there are new improvements to the facilities and the service in this family-run establishment is wonderful. It is ideal for divers with a top-notch dive operation on the premises and wonderful homemade food included in your lodging package. I'll admit that there are sometimes broken light fixtures here or there or a faucet that needs repair, but they will help and make the repair as soon as you mention it. It is not upscale, but VERY comfortable and quite nice because it is small and the atmosphere makes it easy to meet and talk to other guests if you wish. I can't list all of the ways in which the staff have gone out of their way to help each guest feel comfortable during my stays. (Replacing lost luggage items, helping with a medical emergency -- not the easiest thing to handle on Dominica with limited options, and helping to arrange hiking and sightseeing trips with KHATTS--Ken's hinterland adventures and tours -- who I also highly recommend too.)Dominica is an amazing island and if you're there to dive(or with a diver)this is THE place to stay!

  • Stayed December 2003
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Urbanaficionado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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159 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
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English first
West Portsmouth, OH
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2005

If you are serious about diving don't look any further than Castle Comfort Dive Lodge and Dive Dominica. It starts with your pick up at the airport. No looking about for your ride, they find you, load your bags and take you on a ride of your life through the most beautiful island on earth. So much color everywhere. Plants that are small and pot size in the USA grow to hedge or tree size. Lots of bamboo, ferns that grow tree size, red, yellow and orange blossoms everywhere. Driving is on the left and width of road is quite narrow so hang on and enjoy the ride. Passing homes and farms along the way, your driver talks with true affection of their island home. See groves of grapefruit and orange trees and fields of tarrow with heart shaped leaves. After about an hour you start to see the west coast of the island and the town of Roseau. Passing impressive houses to very simple ones, all with lots of flowers planted everywhere. Just beyond Roseau you come to Castle Comfort Dive Lodge where you will be greeted by it's owners with a warm welcome to Dominica and assurance that you will have a great time. After completing waivers for diving-don't forget your C-cards, you are shown to your room and a cooling Rum Punch follows soon after. We had room 2 which was just off of the dining room and between rooms 1 and 3. No direct ocean view but always cool from the shade outside our window. Two full size comfortable beds with ocean life spreads that herald what you'll soon see. Photos everywhere of actual ocean life framed for your enjoyment and anticipation of seeing some of them yourselves. No time for putting things away yet as a meeting with the owner awaits with a full description of your resort and diving particulars. If you didn't bring your own gear with you, not to worry as they stock a large sellection of everything you will use from all your gear to a bag to keep it in. Detailed description of divemasters, boats and safety issues discussed. Several sizes of boats to fit your party's needs and most with toilets. Fresh water is supplied on each boat but if you want anything to eat during your mandatory hour surface interval just remember to pack some granola bars or your favorite thing to munch between meals.
The island has some great fresh baked breads that make a good snack any time. Discussions of the site to be visited were reviewed on your short ride to the sites-usually under 20 minutes at a relaxed pace. More detailed review given upon arrival at your site. Our group was never more than 8 including the divemaster. Captain stayed onboard and monitored the dive from start to finish-what a help he was lifting that heavy tank, being sure you were all together and air was on. Even helped you to the platform, holding your tank to make moving easier. All safety equipment onboard all boats, Oxygen, GPS, life vests, inflatable rafts-you name it, they had it.
Safety is #1 and you are watched closely by the divemaster but free to do your own thing within stated limits. Many had cameras and got lots of great pictures. Fresh water tanks onboard to rinse cameras. After the dive, just break down your gear, place it in your bag and they took care of it from there. They rinsed all your gear and stored it for you. You exit the boat, go up the dock, remove your dive skin or suit and rinse it in the fresh water tank and drape it over the rail to dry. They always loaded your gear onto the boat. Before each trip they just ask you to be sure all your gear is present before they leave the dock. Gorgeous views underwater!! Sponges you could fit into. Beautiful soft corals, schools of fish, tiny colorful creatures galore. Few big fish seen but the proliforation of smaller, colorful fish make up for that. Looked hard for frogfish or sea horses. Only 1 or 2 sea horses seen. Saw turtles, rays, flounder, grouper, wrass, parrot, sargeant majors to name just a few. Coral Gardens a must along with Champagne Reef. Walls with so much life to rival any place you've been.
Lunch was ordered at breakfast so they could be sure to have it ready when you got back from your 2 tank dives that started at 0845 each day. Our trip had complimentary night dive. They have lights to use if you don't want to bring yours. Some dives close to the south where the Atlantic meets the Carribean can have some swift current so be prepared to kick for all you're worth to reach the anchor line for your safety stop. Most other places the moorings were shallow enough to spend your fifteen minutes looking at the abundant life around you while you off gassed and then boarded the boat at your leisure. Hand up your fins, drag yourself up the ladder with help from your captain and be escorted to your seat while they anchor your tank safely and help you out of your BCD. Don't forget to sign out for your towels at the desk before you leave so you'll have something to dry off with and grab a glass of cool fresh water. Sit back and listen to your dive mates
as they tell about all the incredible things they've seen as you motor to your next site and pass the 1 hour surface interval. All staff were top rate in their care and concern for your every need. Always there to lend a hand when you needed one but not nosey or in your face. They went out of their way to be sure you had a great time. If you didn't have a great time, you have no one to blame but yourselves. Dive packages include 2 meals, normally breakfast and dinner. Each meal you had a choice of entres. For breakfast-banana pancakes, french toast, omelets, eggs any way you wanted them, bacon or ham, toast with fresh jams and a new fresh fruit and juice daily. Wide variety of sandwiches for lunch, including pizza if you ordered ahead. The evening meal always started with a fresh made soup and fresh baked bread. Soups were pumpkin, dasheen, pea, squash, chicken noodle to name a few. Always 2 choices of meat for your meal.
Try the swordfish, kingfish, goat and anything else you've never had. You won't be disappointed. Portions were enormous. Fried coconut plantains, rice, pastas, fresh salads and always great coffee and different dessert each night. Friendly, courteous service ALWAYS!!!! Pampered at every opportunity. Those under the weather as I was one night were worried over by the dining room staff, wanting to find something they might fix for you to help you feel better soon. Been all over the world and never had any so concerned for your well being the entire time you were there. The poolside bartender provided musical entertainment most nights and brought any special drinks you wanted with your meal to your table. Dining was on the terrace surrounded by colorful trees, bushes and fresh flowers at your table and in your room every day. Colorful birds hovered around you and ate raw sugar from the terrace ledge beside you. Hummingbirds as well as other multicolored birds were seen everywhere. Birdsong helped you wake from your restful night's sleep. Plenty of hot water for showers. Spacious, well appointed rooms with phone, ceiling fan, air conditioning, color cable TV, plenty of storage space and locked safe in each room. Don't forget land tours to other areas of the island to see waterfalls and rivers in abundance. Two cruise ship docks on the island-in Roaseau and Portsmouth in the north of the island. The locals were friendly and always helpful. Catch one of many taxi's for a trip anywhere, but don't be surprised if they stop along the way to pick up school children or other locals who use the service themselves every day. In fact, our trip from the airport stopped numerous times to pick up friends and other islanders for a trip to town-even dropping them off at their homes. We didn't want to leave!!! Can't wait to plan a trip back and the ONLY PLACE WE'LL STAY IS AT CASTLE COMFORT!!!! No better place. Right on the water to do all the shore diving and snorkeling you want and closest to the best dive sites with the friendliest staff. Thoroughly enjoyed our stay and you will too, at the Caste Comfort. Returned flight times verified without your asking and transportation planned to be sure you arrived on time for your flight. Don't pay attention to all those reviews that state it's run down, because nothing could be farther from the truth! No peeling paint, decay, mold, etc. All fresh and clean from top to bottom. Grounds and facility immaculant. All rental gear in top shape and well maintained. Would be happy to answer any questions from those thinking about a stay on Dominica. Happy Traveling!!!

Helpful?
31 Thank DKBibbey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 16, 2005

Dominica is a beautiful country with very friendly people. The Castle Comfort is a very basic hotel primarily geared toward divers. We are avid divers and we thought the dive operation was excellent. The guys on the boat are very friendly and knowledgeable. The diving is good but not excellent. The reef is very healthy and there are some very interesting small animals (some I have never seen anywhere else) but there is not much fish life. Like the hotel, the dive operation is basic. If you need frills this isn't the place. They carry your gear to the boat, but you have to watch and make sure they don't forget it. They don't give you towels or fruit between dives, but that is okay. You need to take care of yourself a little and everything is fine. Again, the dive guys (Stinger, Reggie and David especially) are fun and talkative and know all about Dominica-they are also very safe.

The hotel is clean and simple. It is on the main road near Roseau so in the morning it sounds like the freeway outside. The breakfasts are good. Lunch is a headache. It takes forever and is overpriced. Go to Cindy's behind the furniture wharehouse across the street and get great takeout chicken or fish and dasheen and plantains for about 8 EC (about $3.25 US) along with great local fruit juice. All the guys that work at the dive operation eat there and it is good. Cindy may be the nicest lady on earth and all the locals there for lunch are great. Don't let the shack like appearance of the place put you off.

Dinners run from bad to okay. The ladies in the kitchen are the least helpful and friendly folks in the place. There are good places in Roseau to eat dinner (Fort Young, La Robe Creole) and the bus to get to town is only $1.50 EC. If you are down in town late it may cost about $10 EC to get back ($1 US = $2.67EC)

The rainforest is beautiful. It is harder to go on your own than it should be-too many guides and tours. However, with a little initiative you can take some good hikes on your own. There are some hikes you probably should use a guide.

Dominica is quite unspoiled compared to glitzier islands in the Caribbean. No chain restaurants or hotels. The local music is incredible. Service can be slow at an island pace which is okay unless you have to be back on the dive boat or on a bus to go to the rainforest. (See above-lunch at Castle Comfort is a headache). We had to admit we missed having access to a beach-there are none. The Castle Comfort is run by Derek and his wife and they could not be nicer. Some of the rest of the staff is a little indifferent-but overall very friendly. Again, the hotel is not fancy but is comfortable. The Evergreen next door looked a little nicer and you would still dive with the same great guys at Dive Dominica.

Dominica and Castle Comfort are definitely for divers and "eco-tourists" (although I am not sure what that means). If you need white sandy beaches and world class cuisine, go elsewhere. We also visited St. Lucia on this trip to get some beaches and French Chefs- so the two islands were a good combination for us. Overall Castle Comfort worked for us and Dominica was great experience.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
19 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island
Level 6 Contributor
241 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2004

We spend 5 days in Dominica. Great place. Truly the Nature Island.
Castle Comfort was only fair. the Dive people were very nice.
See www.tabhauser.com and click my trip report on Dominica

Thanks for the tips from here

  • Stayed April 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank tabhauser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, Scotland, uk
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2003

This place is one of the best kept secrets in the dive world. Not only is the diving first class but so is the training and attitude to diving. The level of service provided by the owners and team is first class- nothing is too much trouble. The food is all freshly cooked and very varied. I can not do justice to the high level of service and care provided at this venue. This was a one of the best accomodation I have ever stayed at because you are instantly put at ease and made part of a big family. Bland five star hotel it is service that has the personal touch.

Helpful?
11 Thank Tiny265
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Castle Comfort Dive Lodge

Property: Castle Comfort Dive Lodge
Address: P.O. Box 2253, Roseau, Dominica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominica > Saint George Parish > Roseau
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Roseau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Castle Comfort Dive Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a small, intimate Caribbean dive lodge located just one mile south of Dominica's capital, Roseau. With true Caribbean ambiance, our traditional style guest house makes you feel like a family member - as casual, relaxed and as comfortable as your favourite pair of slippers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castle Comfort Dive Hotel Roseau
Castle Comfort Dive Lodge Dominica/Roseau

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