The hotel arranged for a car to be waiting for us (they usually ask Donovan who also happens to be choir director at the historic old church). The charge is added to your room so no need to pay the driver (other than a tip). We were welcomed heartily by Vincent who is the life and soul of this hotel - always laughing and smiling and always ready to help in any way he can. He's you go-to man here.
We had an ocean facing room which was well worth paying the little extra for e.g. waking up to see five wild parrots in the tree directly outside the balcony. The bed is very comfortable; the room has a well-stocked Nespresso machine and two bottles of water every day. You need to use bottled water in the Nespresso machine as the tap water has a high chlorine content. The bathrooms are also modern, clean and well laid out with plenty of space but the water pressure is low and you frequently need to flush the toilet twice.
The breakfast buffet has a good choice of content with good quality croissants, fruit, bacon, sausage, eggs, cereal and a fresh hot dish such as omelet or benedict is included in the price.
If the beach bar is open you sign towels out from there and return them there, at other times you have to go down into the basement at the side of the bar and get a towel from the hamper. The beach bar is often run by the lovely Chenise (sp?) who makes good conversation and great margaritas - highly recommended!
You can tell this is the best around when on the Sat night the Governors of Aruba, Curacao, and St Maarten were all here (and all at the historic old church the next morning for the 9am service).
The one drawback is Philipsburg itself. It has been ruined by the cruise ships and turned into a tawdry street of jewelry and booze shops and the boardwalk is full of cheap'n'cheerful bars with not much quality and a very poor choice of beer everywhere (unless you like light lagers in which case you're OK). We ended up hiring a car and spending most days on the beautiful beaches and excellent restaurants on the French side.
The island's hidden gem is Friar's Beach which is secluded and quiet with great sand and two good restaurant bars. Generally leeward beaches away from the windward Atlantic coast are the best.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Perfectly located, right on the beach in downtown Philipsburg, the Holland House offers great charm, a unique ambiance and a rich Caribbean experience. Meet the friendly Islanders, relax and enjoy all that St. Maarten has to offer. The hotel is also located on Front Street, where you will find the best shops and boutiques on the island, all still Duty Free! The Hotel offers 54 rooms and suites all recently renovated, an award winning restaurant and wine cellar, a beautiful outdoor lounge deck and a magnificent beach right in front of the hotel with personal and attentive service. It's great to be here! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Holland Hotel Beach
- Holland Beach
- Holland House Beach Hotel St Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg