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Fort Young Hotel:
A Stylish and Savvy Blend
of the Old and the New


News Release



In Pictures         

Roseau, Dominica – A tasteful blending of old-world charm with modern luxury and amenities is about the best way to describe the facilities at the Fort Young Hotel in Roseau, Dominica.  Symbols of its fighting days, now in the past, two highly polished cannons flank the entrance of the hotel, which was built by the British in 1761; it was also home to the Dominica Police Headquarters from 1859 — 1955.  The Fort was officially unveiled as the Fort Young Hotel in 1964.  After being rebuilt in 1989, ten years after 1979’s Hurricane David, it was again renovated in 1999.  It further benefited from an ambitious expansion project in 2004.  The seventy–one room hotel beckons and welcomes visitors to the shores of Dominica with well–trained, professional and friendly staff.

Fort Young Hotel offers four styles in accommodation: Standard, Oceanview, Deluxe Oceanfront and Oceanfront Suite rooms.  From the moment When Steel Talks (WST) press team stepped into the hotel’s reception area, to the point of departure three days later, the experience was one that offered welcome respite from the team’s hectic schedule while on the island.  In step with the times and technology, the hotel offers free high speed internet connection in all their rooms.  Guests can also savor the Balas Bar & Lounge adjacent to the lobby, sipping at cool drinks with appetizers, while working away wirelessly on their laptops and PDAs.s

The hotel also features business and conferencing services which make it ideal for meetings.  Guests, who are in Dominica strictly for vacation purposes, can count on the availability of massage and spa facilities.  Quality in-house entertainment on the bill is the norm, and this is additionally augmented periodically, depending on which 'act' is in town, as was the case of visiting steelpan artist Vanessa Headley in 2006.

The accommodations for WST were the spacious Deluxe Oceanfront rooms, complete with private balconies overlooking Roseau Bay.  The rooms are located in the most recent additional wings of the hotel.  The bathrooms were large and elegant with attractive fittings, complete with oversized sunken baths.  They were also equipped with welcome features such as mini refrigerators, personal in-room safe-boxes, and adequate desks for working away after WST’s coverage of events.  As a plus for families considering choosing the Fort Young Hotel for their stay in Dominica, some rooms are inter-connected. Air-conditioning appeared to be central, was very effective, but so unobtrusive that the guest did not audibly know it was on while functioning.

Depending on where your rooms are located, there are breathtaking views of the panoramic Roseau Bay, and a beautifully semi-secluded pool set to the bay as its backdrop, that entices you to pause no matter how many times you make your way to the dining area and other parts of  the hotel.

In addition to optional room service, there is buffet style breakfast and lunch (the latter with different themes on a daily basis) and à la carte dining for dinner, with an appetizing choice of both international and local cuisine.  WST generally dined in the Waterfront Restaurant, where the staff was officious and attentive at almost every turn.  Like its name, the Waterfront Restaurant lines Roseau Bay, and also overlooks the Roseau Berth where, during the day, there is often a cruise ship in port.

The hotel currently functions under the seasoned and watchful eye of its Sri Lankan-born general manager, Fazl Khan (pictured).  He is world-traveled, has worked in about twenty–three countries, and made St. Lucia his home with his family for almost seventeen years; they remain there as he tends to his present assignment, Fort Young Hotel.

Khan has been in the hotel management business for twenty years, especially within the Caribbean.   He came to Dominica in November of 2007 to take over the management of the Fort Young Hotel, where his initial tenure is slated for two years.   In the short space of time that has elapsed since coming on board in November, he has significantly upgraded the facility, motivated the staff, and heightened the lure and marketability of the hotel.  His specialty is ‘boutique hotels’ and he is a master at resurrecting hotels that are bankrupt or in a lurch and putting them on the path to profitability. 

He has an exceptionally strong base in human resources, one that is borne out by his words “staff come first, guests come second, and the owner comes third…If your staff is happy, then automatically your guest is happy; if your guest is happy, then automatically the owner is happy...This is my philosophy, which some [other] owners do not understand.”  Khan went further to explain that his staff is his asset, and he is a team worker.  Fort Young Hotel is owned by one of Dominica's leading business entrepreneurs and  chairman of the hotel’s board of directors, Philip Nassief.  Khan further ensures respect for his workers by having them ‘work with their own people.’  “If you look [around], there are no expats [expatriates in supervisory positions above his staff] here.”  When in the Caribbean, he looks within the region to acquire his human resources.

Khan mingles unobtrusively with guests, sometimes sitting at dinner, quite unassuming but quietly and keenly observant, usually with no one but staff knowing who he is.  He emphasizes that he enjoys not operating as a figure of fear, but being a genuine part of their support and growth process, while at the same time tweaking in areas whenever there may be a need for enhancement in their service.  “I love to train and guide my people as much as I can” he explained.

Though adept at all phases of the hospitality industry, Fort Young has made the ‘leisure’ market their target audience; they have identified honeymooners, diving enthusiasts and other such leisure-seekers, as their objective.  The Dominican Government also contracts the hotel’s services.  There are occasions when high–level ministerial meetings are held on the island; the hotel then teems with officials, and their attendant retinues.  It is the ideal time to observe Prime Ministers, Presidents and other high-powered personnel in more relaxed frames of mind, as they mingle in the classy Fort Young Hotel.  At that time those familiar with general manager Fazl Khan, drop by the latter’s office to easily renew the acquaintance and jokingly ensure that their pet ‘penchants’ are being catered to during their stay.

Fort Young Hotel is currently listed at three-and-a-half stars, but Khan’s aim is to mold it into a four-star establishment.  To this end he has put forward the Fort Young as a candidate for AAA Four-Diamond-status in the hotel’s ongoing upwardly mobile thrust.  Already touted as the island’s premier hotel, it remains Fazl Khan’s constant vision.  In his doggedly determined manner, the veteran manager – arguably a man with the ‘Midas touch’ when it comes to hotels – says he will continue the focus on ‘his people’ [the staff], and by extension, his guests. “I always train my staff, regardless who it is, as soon as they [the guest] walk into that door [hotel lobby], you treat them like a king or queen…”  His philosophy is that if he can get every guest to return as a repeat customer [and recommend to others], then “that is the hotel’s success.”

contact: Fazl Khan, General Manager, Fort Young Hotel | email:   | tel: (767) 448-5000

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