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“Indifferent, but only game in town”
Review of Fort Young Hotel

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Fort Young Hotel
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Roseau
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 13, 2013

We stayed in the Fort Young for three days in January 2013. No ocean view rooms were available, so against the advice of TripAdvisor reviewers we stayed in a "fort" room. We were expecting the worst, but other than the fact that we had to shower in the dark, due to no lights in the shower stall, we had no problem with the room. We had one of the top floor (500 series) fort rooms. Never stay in the lower 400 series. The top floor room has a cathedral ceiling, and its balconies provide better privacy.

This hotel has an excellent downtown location, and lots of potential, but does not realize it. The staff are indifferent, and poorly trained and managed, except for Sonya at the activities desk - she is first class. The Fort is one of those hotels that rents its rooms by the bus load, and it shows. The hotel is not dirty but not clean. There are lots of restaurant staff in the main restaurant, but try to get one to serve you, or see if you can get any two of them to give you the same price for the buffet breakfast (that is all they serve, no individual service - that bus load mentality again).

There are two or three bars around the property, but only one was staffed, even though the hotel was full. The rest are abandoned. We left any empty beer bottle and glass on one and saw them there a day later.

In the central (only staffed) bar, I watched a guest one morning try to get two coffees to go, only to be told the hotel does not sell guests coffee to go. I tried to get a coffee at the bar itself one morning, only to be told they do not provide coffee at the bar. So I said OK send two to my room, but was told they do not provide coffee room service.

In the end, you don't have much choice if you want to stay in Roseau. The Garraway next door is an old hotel in need of a substantive upgrade. There are a couple of others in town, but they looked a bit iffy from the outside.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the newer part of the hotel. If stuck with a fort room, ask to be put in one of th...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Thank getme2abeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FortYoungHotel, Director of Sales at Fort Young Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2013

Dear Guest

We Thank You for taking the time off to review the Fort Young Hotel and to let us know about your experience here.

We always welcome this type of honest feedback which will allow us to continue to improve on our strengths and to develop strategies and actions to eliminate the weaknesses.

The issues highlighted are now being addressed.

Marvlyn James
Sales and Marketing Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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620 - 626 of 881 reviews

Reviewed January 13, 2013

We needed to stay in Roseau for a night before taking a ferry to Martinique and this hotel fit the bill. Nice clean room with amazing views. Complimentary bottles of water and a cool washcloth upon checking in. Free internet attracted a lot of people from the cruise ship to the lobby bar.

The hotel is a few blocks from the ferry terminal and the cruise ship dock. It is pretty funny to see how Roseau changes when the cruise ship leaves.

Wouldn't want to stay here longer than a couple of nights, but if you need a place to stay in Roseau, this is it.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Go4Fan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2013

I was very skeptical about staying anywhere in Roseau after experiencing or seeing some of the fine lodges and guest houses on offer in the countryside, but I stayed at Fort Young twice and each occasion has been just perfect when doing business in Roseau. The rooms are very well appointed. They could be kept a bit cleaner, especially the balconies over the sea, but all in all the water runs hot, the air conditioner works well and the bed and bedding is very comfortable. There is just one observation that people mind find useful. When it rains, the water cascades down the hollow corridor behind the rooms so the noise it makes can keep you awake at night. My colleague and I both had the same experience in our rooms so it wasn't just me! The thing is it hardly rains in Roseau so I don't think it's a big problem!! We were just unlucky. Try the fish and sweet potato fries at the bar while sipping BB rum!!

Room Tip: Ask if there are rooms that don't become noisy when the rain falls at night!! And make sure you...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank Nicholas K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FortYoungHotel, Director of Sales at Fort Young Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2013

Hi Guest

Thank you for your review of the Fort Young Hotel. We appreciate your feedback and look forward to hosting you again soon.

Marvlyn James
Sales and Marketing Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2013

The hotel does not deserve 3 stars. My rating of them is 2.5 stars. So, where to begin? Well, I had to stay for 5-6 days in Dominica on a important business meeting. Since , their are no famous chains of hotels in Dominica, this is one of the most famous. options. Their were other options as well, when I was earching but I thought, lets be safe and go with the most famous hotel in the country!

The Glitches.

1. Very very poor Service. And I am not saying it one isolated incident. I am saying this on a whole plethora of incidents. If its service, you strive for - this place is certainly NOT for you.

Examples for poor service ( Not all examples listed)

aa) The hotel was advertising a 50% discount on their own webpage. When I called them up to book my room, they denied having any such discount. They behaved as if I am talking of something ridiculous. When I challenged them and said, open your webpage "NOW" and check what I am talking about. The lady on the other end called "Teresa" acknowledged her loss of memory and said "Oh yes, I THINK we have some promotion going on!" She "thinks", she is not sure!

bb) On arriving at the airport, I had asked the hotel to pick me up. The guy, was very much there to pick me up. However, after greeting me, he just vanished somewhere and returned after 20 minutes . His excuse - he had gone to pick up other passengers. While driving his van from airport to the hotel,he drove extremely rashly not having any concern for the passengers who had come froma long flight and may not be enjoying the rash drive along the sharp mountain curves. He even stopped the van 2-3 times to pick up people from the road and give them a hitchhike. The service was "Alwyn's taxi service" used by the hotel.

cc) The check-in was not smooth. Though I arrived at 5 pm at the hotel, it seems my room was not ready. They made me wait for amost 45 minutes for the room.

dd) I stayed there, 6 nights, my room was cleaned only twice. So many times I left my keys with them in the morning to return in the night and find my room not cleaned. Out of two times, when my room was cleaned, I returned in the afternoon and called them like 5-6 times before they sent a maid to clean the room. And even after she cleaned my room,she did not put fresh towels. She took the dirty towels to wash them and then forgot about it. called reception 2-3 times before the towels were returned! Phew!!

ee) On check-in, I clearly asked the recptionist to book me a place for the new years event. They promised it. But when I wnt on 31st afternoon, they said, everything was sold off and I can not get entry at new year event in the hotel. So I went to the waterfront restaurant to book a seat for dinner lest I would not even get that. Guess what? When I went for dinner, they said, i had no reservation! So I spent my new years even at the church in front of the hotel as their was no seat for me for either eating dinner or attending new year event despite staying in a premium room in the hotel!

ff) Couple of times, I ate in the bar. It takes at least 1 hour for the food to be delivered. Its as if no one cares whether you get the order or not. Once you order at the bar, just forget about the food for at least 50 minutes at a minimum!

I can go on and on but lets continue with other kind of glitches.

2) The breakfast was pretty ordinary and similar on a daily basis with no variety.

3) the food often came with excess salt such that it made you wince , it was so much.

4) The fort rooms have old fashioned locks. It takes some time locking and unlocking. Could do with card type locking system.

5) The Television is from the late 80's or early 90's with big body and rounded screen and fading colors. I am sure we could do with a better model TV at a room priced at 180 us$ a night.

6) The bed did not have a proper comforter or a blanket. Just a bedsheet and a bedcover. Highly inconvenient, if you like sleeping with AC turned on and you want to war up a bit.

The Positives

1) It has a excellent location, no doubt. Almost, every room has a view. You cant go wrong taking any room in the hotel. I was in a "Fort room". I found the room so well located with a fascinating view

2) The room as such was very good. I found the bathroom very good and spacious. I liked the antique look of the bathroom.

3) I liked the waterfront restaurant. It has a breathtaking view.

4) I loved the layout of the hotel. Its unique and a bit confusing but therein lies it beauty. I got lost a couple of times within the hotel but I enjoyed it!

5) The hotel staff had wonderful integrity. Once I forgot my iphone in the bed and went out. And that day, was the day my room got cleaned. The girl left my phone on the table. Full marks to her for that.

6) I liked that 2 complimentary water bottles were provided in the room at check-in time. Considering the hot climate, really appreciated that.

7) The hotel has different kind of facilities within premises. Such as organising trips, scuba diving etc. This is good for holiday makers.

I guess this sums up my review. The 2.5 stars is for the location and view of the hotel. The missing stars is for the extremely poor service on all the days and on so many matters.

If I return to Dominica , I will not stay here any more.

Room Tip: Take a Fort room. No need to splurge on a ocean front room. Fort room have excellent views.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
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3  Thank Sally M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FortYoungHotel, Director of Sales at Fort Young Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2013

Hi Guest

Thank you for your review. We appreciate your feedback both positives and negatives. We will do our best to ensure that the negatives are dealt with and that we continue to improve on the positive aspects of the hotel.

Our main goal is to offer excellent service to our guest at all times and regret that your stay was less than excellent. We hope we are able to get the chance to serve you again.

Regards

Marvlyn James
Sales and Marketing Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2013

Stayed at Fort Young over the Christmas holday period . As mentioned in other reviews , Fort Young is Dominica's largest and certainly most international hotel . Well located on the edge of Roseau , the capital , with a cruise ship berthing next to hotel on virtually a daily basis .

Built on the site of the old fort , with still part of the original building evident in the older section of the property , complete with cannon guns .

Choice of restaurant , with the waterside option particularly good for lunch or dinner . Attractive pool , right on the water edge , an adequate little gym . Tour desk.

You have a choice of the older , rather compact rooms in the original section , fine if price is the main consideration , and also newer , brighter , larger and more comfortable ocean front rooms and suites .

A good location , you are literally just a few strides walk into town , and the hotel is a good base for exploring the island . It is popular with both the leisure and business traveller .

You would not really mention deluxe when describing anything to do with Dominica , unless you were mentioning the natural beauty of the island and that must certainly is outstanding . But Fort Young is the most established , well located and experienced hotel on the island , and if your expectations are realistic , i think you will be delighted .

90% of the hotel is very well maintained and attractive , with just a few areas that seem to be neglected and overlooked . Service was usually pleasant , but in common with most of the Caribbean it does at times appear to be reactive rather than proactive . With just a little more forethought the service could have been outstanding .

Dominic -London

Room Tip: Unless you are on a tight budget or short stay , invest in the ocean front rooms , much nicer in eve...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank davidkLondonUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FortYoungHotel, Director of Sales at Fort Young Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2013

Dear Guest

We thank you for your review and appreciate that you took the time out to provide feedback. We are happy that you were satisfy with your stay. We are striving to continuously improve on our existing service and plant and to provide excellent service to our guests at all times.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Regards
Marvlyn
Sales and Marketing Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2013

I read Tripadvisor before booking. Read positive and negative reviews. The hotel is a historic fort. The lobby is nicely decorated. The reception/front desk staff is very professional and courteous.

We got room 524. To get to it, we had to walk by the laundry room. The hotel does all it's laundry on site. That didn't give me a good impression. The room was cute and very spacious!. It had a rollaway bed, and a table with four chairs. However, I remembered the negative reviews I had read: traffic noise and an AC unit that didn't work. After we returned from dinner about 1.5 hrs later, I realized that on top of hearing traffic noise, the AC was not working, so I called front desk and requested another room. We got room 511 which faced the ocean. The "drawback" was that it had two twin beds. The AC worked and also did the fan, and we had a private balcony, so we were very happy. I had to go to the front desk to request an adapter plug. While I was filling out the paperwork, a gentleman came to request to be switched to another room because the one he and his wife had gotten, was over a compressor that made noise constantly and his wife was very bothered by it. I would've been too!!!! I do not know why the hotel assigns these horrible rooms to begin with, when they have good rooms available. It doesn't make any sense, that if that they'd rather keep them empty than save guests the hassle of having to request another room, and move. They are only creating a very bad reputation for themselves. I guess the hotel feels they can do whatever they want because they are the only thing close to a real hotel in the entire country.

The bathroom is very spacious! Big plus, but there is no AC in the bathroom (which is not so bad but I know some people get bothered by this), and there's no light above the shower area, so you take a shower in the dark. The light around the mirrors, in the hand washing area, is very dim.

The toiletries never get replenished. We were provided one very tiny bottle of shampoo and one very tiny bottle of conditioner. It's two of us and I have long hair, so I need extra stuff. Called front desk and they brought a few more bottles of shampoo but no conditioner. There was a shower cap and 2 bars of soap, and a tiny bottle of shower gel in the bathroom. After taking a shower, I realized there were no towels in the bathroom. We had to call front desk to send a few over. The room had a little fridge, an iron and an ironing board.

I read on a negative review that the hotel lobby becomes a night club on Friday evenings. When we got back from a long day of activities, I noticed the horrible noise just as described. I just called the front desk and just as the review said, I was told the loud noise would end at 11pm. I'm hearing the outrageous noise as I write this. It's unacceptable that they create a "second business" that disturbs their guests. The good thing is that the noise was over by 10:30 pm.

This hotel is conveniently located in Roseau. It's a charming city with lots of vibe. We are so glad we didn't end up in a different village, because Dominica, although it is a small island, is very difficult to get from point A to B. The roads are very narrow and they wind up and down, so it was convenient to be close to a market, cafes, restaurants, shopping, etc.

The Waterfront restaurant located in the hotel has excellent food. We had grilled lobster, seafood sancoche, pumpkin and ginger soup, and it was all delicious! We ordered room service once. The delivery took one hour, but it was really good food. We ordered a shrimp roti, and a salad topped with grilled fish. Fantastic!

Bottom line, this hotel has good things going on, but the very few negatives are huge. Book it, but be ready to be disappointed and to be bothered. I wouldn't give them a poor review, but average is a huge compliment. The hotel is below average.

Room Tip: Ask which kind of room you will be getting, before making a reservation. Make sure you do not get ro...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Thank roamifiwant2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2012

This is a full service older hotel built into a site that was once a military fort. The hotel is located in the center of Roseau the capital "town" and it did not disappoint. I was fairly clean and service was fine. For us the stay included, breakfast including hot egg items, fruit, juice, bread etc. Prices for lunch and dinner were reasonable. There was the Ocean Front restaurant, the bar with food and a buffet restaurant. We found that there are several levels of rooms. We were in a deluxe ocean front room with a veranda and found it large and satisfactory. Hot water was usually available. Water from the tap was potable. There is daily maid service. The cruise ships dock next to the hotel and provided a small diversion as they set their mooring lines and were not an intrusion. All in all staying at this hotel is not a mistake.

Room Tip: Deluxe Ocean front rooms were an the whole quiet.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bigtrek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fort Young Hotel

Address: Victoria Street | P.O. Box 519, Roseau, Dominica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominica > Saint George Parish > Roseau
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Roseau
Price Range: $257 - $397 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Fort Young Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 71
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

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