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Architect Michelle Leotaud on the Story Behind Our Fully Refreshed Oceanfront Rooms

Dominica has a rich and vibrant history and culture, and the ground on which Fort Young Hotel was built is no exception. When we set out to renovate our landmark resort, we wanted to pay homage to the island and its inhabitants (humans, animals and lush wildlife alike).

To help us celebrate the Nature Island through this renovation, we tapped architect Michelle Leotaud, who shared our vision of keeping the spirit of Dominica and Fort Young Hotel in mind. Below, hear from Leotaud on the inspiration behind and unique features of our fully refreshed oceanfront rooms.

History Runs Deep: Dramatic Wall Murals

The first thing to catch your eye upon walking in might be the geographical representation of Dominica behind the bed. “We always wanted a dramatic wall behind the headboard,” says Leotaud, “and the rich history is subtly nodded to by using the vintage survey map of the island dated 1773.” Guests will be able to spot Roseau on a recreation of one of the very first depictions of the island. 

Vibrant Colors Representing the Local Wildlife

“Dominica is affectionately known as The Nature Island!” says Leotaud. “The island lives up to its name with its vast green mountainous terrain boasting many different species of tropical flora and fauna.” Especially inspired by the colors of the island, Leotaud decided on a blended palette not unlike a typical island view. 

“The site’s rich history, its breathtaking ocean and mountain views, along with Dominica’s impressive volcanic rock and pebbled beaches, inspired our design concept for the guest rooms,” she says. “Waterfalls and rivers paint the landscape only to be punctuated with an amazing blue sky!” To mimic this, each room is decorated in luxe emerald green, soothing blue, vibrant pops of yellow and orange—amidst natural woods and beach-inspired neutrals. “The use of greys and deep graphite were inspired by the volcanic rock and dark sands of the island.”

Bringing Nature Inside: Natural Elements Weaved Throughout 

The most obvious touch of nature within each room is the natural wood furniture—tables, lampshades, headboards, etc—which contrasts beautifully with the bolder accents throughout. We also took creating a nature-inspired vibe more literally, using “wall planters with indigenous tropical plants to bring the outdoors in.” And, of course, each room is equipped with a waterfront balcony—letting you invite nature’s sights, scents and breezes inside.

An Ode to Roseau: Local Touches

The home of the Fort Young Hotel, Roseau is a constant and consistent inspiration, and Leotaud kept this at the forefront of her design process. To add a touch of local flair, “we engaged local artist Shadrach Burton—whose subject matter for both his pieces also speaks to the tropical flora and prized national bird: the sisserou parrot.” For an additional nod to this small city full of life and culture, “the art also integrates a variety of bold colours which reflect Roseau,” says Leotaud. Guests will feel the lively warmth of this colorful city upon entering their rooms.

Come experience wanderlust, local charm and thoughtful touches for yourself. Learn more about our oceanfront rooms and suites here.

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