Located at The Moorings, one of Tortola’s largest marinas
Popular pre- and post-charter hotel for travelers sailing around the BVIs
Boat provisioning available for an extra fee
Three room types, all with outdoor balconies or patios
Two on-site restaurants and a coffee shop
Room decor and amenities can vary greatly
Temperature control in the showers can be iffy
Following the impact of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, this property will reopen to travelers on December 9, 2017. The Moorings Mariner Inn Hotel is a 40-room mid-range hotel almost exclusively patronized by travelers chartering yachts around the BVIs. It’s a decent place to stay for one or two nights, but it’s not the type of hotel that accommodates weeklong vacationers. Two on-site restaurants, a mid-size pool, and provisioning services make the Moorings a decent pre- or post-charter pick, but decor and amenities vary greatly between rooms, and many guests complain of temperature control in the showers. There really aren’t any other hotels like the Moorings on Tortola, but the nearby Fort Burt Hotel tends to have cheaper nightly rates, and is popular with travelers going on cruises.
A pitstop for travelers chartering yachts around the BVIs
The lobby at the Moorings is typically abuzz with activity. New arrivals arrange charter briefings, staff members haul provisions to the boats, and locals stream in for Rotary Club meetings. The hustle and bustle makes the lobby feel more like a passageway than a grand entry, which sets the tone for the hotel itself. The Moorings Mariner Inn sees a lot of comings and goings. It’s not a weeklong-vacation type place, where people come to relax or enjoy the scenery. Instead it predominantly serves as a pit stop for travelers chartering sailing trips around the BVIs.
The Moorings is actually the name of the large marina in front of the Mariner Inn (though most people refer to the hotel as the Moorings as well). The marina is situated in Tortola’s deep water harbor, and is one of the most popular start points for sailing charters in the BVIs. The Moorings is located in Road Town, Tortola’s capital, which is home to a bevy of shops, restaurants, bars, and supermarkets. The hotel is about a 25-minute drive from Terrance B. Lettsome Airport (EIS).
Unfortunately for American travelers, there are not 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.
There are three different room types at the Moorings: Garden View Rooms, Marina View Rooms, and Ocean View Suites. Garden View Rooms are the hotel’s entry-level category. They’re also the smallest, and the most in need of updating. Despite cheery decorative efforts — sky blue walls, floral curtains, sailboat artwork — these rooms still feel worn. The beds are creaky and the furniture sports a few nicks and scratches. Bathrooms are so small that the sink and vanity aren’t even contained within them. Instead, they’re awkwardly placed in the entryway next to the closet. Many guests also complain of temperature control in the showers — something we definitely noticed during our visit. Garden View Rooms have patios or balconies that overlook the pool or the hotel grounds.
Marina View Rooms are nearly identical to their garden view counterparts, except — you guessed it — they have views of the marina. They’re also slightly larger in size, but have the same awkward bathroom configurations.
For those who don’t mind shelling out a little extra cash, Ocean View Suites are the nicest rooms at the hotel, although their name can be a bit misleading. In fact, Ocean View Suites aren’t suites at all, and they don’t really have ocean views. A more accurate name might be “large modern rooms where you can sort of see the open ocean if you squint.” Misleading name aside, Ocean View Suites are the largest of the three room types have nicer, more modern decor, newer furniture and beds, and sleek bathrooms. Balconies overlook the front of the marina, where the open ocean is visible in the distance.
Two on-site restaurants, a pool, free Wi-Fi, and pre-charter provisioning services
For a hotel where guests typically stay only a night or two, the Moorings has several nice amenities, including a mid-size pool, two restaurants, a coffee shop, a small spa, and free Wi-Fi.
The pool at the Moorings is long and rectangular. It’s surrounded by lounge chairs on three sides, and fronted by a poolside bar on the other. Several guests can be spotted here throughout the day, but it’s never overly crowded.
The Moorings has two on-site restaurants: Charlie’s, an upscale lunch and dinner spot, and The Mariner Inn Restaurant & Bar, which serves all three meals and is often used for large functions. Charlie’s is located at the tip of the marina, and has fantastic sunset views in the evening. The lunch and dinner menus are internationally inspired, but the chef hails from Italy, and the kitchen has its own pizza oven. While expensive, the pizzas probably the best you’ll find on Tortola. The Mariner Inn Restaurant & Bar is a large open-air establishment next to the pool. It serves casual fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as drinks and snacks throughout the day. However, the restaurant is often closed for private local functions. In addition to its restaurants, the Moorings also has its own coffee shop. The coffee shop is adjacent to the lobby and serves an assortment of coffees, teas, pastries, and light breakfast items.
Though it’s not incredibly luxurious, or even particularly memorable, the on-site Amara Spa is a nice feature for anyone who’s feeling a bit stiff after a few days on a boat. The spa offers a small selection of services, including massages, manicures and pedicures, acupuncture, and facials.
For convenience, the Moorings has scuba and snorkel equipment, kayaks and paddleboards, and inflatable rafts available for rent. Guests with sailing charters can reserve these items before their arrival, and the Moorings staff will ensure rentals are loaded onto the correct boats. Guests can also request pre-arrival boat provisioning. The hotel’s website has several differently priced packages that guests can choose from.
Wi-Fi is free for all guests and works well throughout the property.
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