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Fort Burt Hotel 2.5

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Historic family-owned hotel in Road Town 
  • Stunning views of the harbor and neighboring islands 
  • Homey rooms, some with private pools and/or full kitchens 
  • Small pool with harbor views 
  • Restaurant serves breakfast and dinner 
  • Within walking distance of Road Town shops and restaurants 
  • Six-minute drive from the Tortola cruise ship pier 
  • Free parking and Wi-Fi 
  • Conference room 

Cons

  • Not on the beach 
  • Hilly property can be difficult to navigate for people with limited mobility 
  • Dated decor throughout 

Bottom Line

This hotel was impacted by Hurricane Irma in September 2017. We will update our review as soon as we have more information. Once a Dutch fortress used to protect Road Town’s inner harbor, Fort Burt Hotel is now a budget-friendly property with 17 guest rooms. Within walking distance of Road Town shops and restaurants, and within a short drive of Tortola’s cruise ship pier, the hotel is popular with pre- and post-cruisers. Fort Burt offers everything one might need for a quick stay — clean rooms, an on-site restaurant, free Wi-Fi, and a pool — but this no-frills hotel isn’t a place for vacationers looking for a relaxing beachfront property. Those in search of something directly on the sand in this price range should check out Long Bay Beach Club.

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Scene

A historic hotel in Road Town popular with pre- and post-cruisers 

Built by the Dutch army in the 17th century, Fort Burt Hotel was originally used as a protective fortress for Road Town’s inner harbor. In 1953, a small cottage was constructed behind the fort, which eventually became Tortola’s first hotel. In 1967, facilities were expanded to include multiple rooms and suites, a pool, restaurant, and a conference room. In 1989, the property was purchased by its current owners, the Smith Family. Guests at Fort Burt Hotel will immediately recognize the property’s historic presence within Road Town, as its exterior still looks much like it did in the 17th century. The hotel’s lobby, a round room located in the fort’s original turret, offers sweeping views of the surrounding harbor and neighboring islands. Upon arrival, many guests are greeted by the elderly Mrs. Smith or her son Ian, the hotel manager. Their gracious hospitality is a hallmark of the hotel, and attracts many repeat customers. 

The majority of guests stay at Fort Burt for one or two nights, usually pre- or post-cruise. You won’t find many weeklong visitors or beach vacationers, but the clientele is a mixed bag of families, couples, and business travelers.

Location

In downtown Road Town, close to cruise ship pier and marina 

Map of Fort Burt Hotel

Fort Burt Hotel is located in Road Town, Tortola’s capital. Road Town is home to a bevy of shops, restaurants, bars, and supermarkets, but its main attraction is its deep-water harbor. Tortola’s cruise ship pier and The Moorings (a large marina) are within a six-minute drive of the hotel. Fort Burt is about a 25-minute drive from Terrance B. Lettsome Airport (EIS).  

Unfortunately for American travelers, there are no direct flights to Tortola from any U.S. cities. Travelers must first fly to San Juan Puerto Rico (SJU) or St. Thomas (STT) and then take a connecting flight to EIS. The flight from SJU is about 40 minutes, while the flight from STT is about 15.  

Rooms

Dated, but clean; most have balconies with harbor views

Last updated in 1996, rooms at Fort Burt don’t exactly feel new. Decor throughout is clearly dated — think linoleum floors, tube TVs, and vertical blinds — but rooms look far from worn. Surfaces are sparkly clean and furniture is neatly arranged throughout the room. Glancing around, it’s easy to imagine the grandmotherly Mrs. Smith selecting the homey furnishings and embroidered the bedding that give each room a cozy, almost nostalgic feel. But, guests looking for modern style will surely be disappointed. In rooms with kitchens or kitchenettes, the appliances and cabinetry look decades old, and faux marble bathrooms are almost an homage to the '80s. On a brighter note, all rooms have outdoor balconies, most of which have stunning harbor views. Some rooms even have private outdoor plunge pools.  

Features

A pool, restaurant, and conference room are the main features here.

Fort Burt doesn’t have an overwhelming list of amenities, but its most notable features are the pool, restaurant, and conference room. The small pool overlooks the harbor and parts of the old fort. The sun-drenched patio is a great place to catch some rays, but the noisy traffic below makes it difficult to relax. There are a few lounge chairs and patio tables, and a covered trellis to provide some shade.  

The Fort Burt Hotel Restaurant is located in a sunny room just off the lobby. It offers panoramic views of the harbor and serves breakfast and dinner daily. Though it's hardly the island’s most sought-after dining establishment, it is convenient for hotel guests looking for a quick bite. 

Fort Burt also has an on-site conference room. The dark, wood-paneled room looks like it was transferred to the hotel from an old time-y Elks Lodge, but it has a projector and modern audio equipment. 

All Fort Burt guests have access to the hotel’s free Wi-Fi, which works well throughout the property. Parking is also free for all guests. 

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Address

Waterfront Dr, P.O.Box 3380, Road Town, Road Town, Caribbean

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