Holland House Beach Hotel
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Travel Blogs from Philipsburg
Two days of travel is no mean feat but we have to tell you that it's worth every bit of it just to see the view as we flew into St. Maarten. We were excited to finally be seeing the end of our two American Airlines flights that were comfortable but devoid of any reasonable level of service. We gave them a 5 out of 10 for getting us here in one …
... window shopping, the heat was a little much for dad so he headed back to the ship, Age and I ensures he got onto the right water taxi, then we headed to the Star Wars museum. Adrian was in awe, we got to meet Nick, the YODA man, what a charming gent. We were able to wander around his small collection of props from the many movies he has been involved with, truly amazing afternoon spent at St ...
... before so there is nothing we really want or need to see. We decide to take the water-taxi across the bay into the centre of Philipsburg and just do a bit of sightseeing and shopping there. With all these cruise ships in the line for the water-taxis is very long. However, the boats are zipping back and cross the bay at a steady rate and we are aboard in no time. There are 2 stops on the journey. We get off at the first one which is at the very end of the town (the ...
... one road circumnavigates the island. Approximately 100,000 people live on the island and today the population temporarily increased by 16,000 cruise passengers which must be a continual challenge for the residents.
Both sides of the island run independently. The Dutch side has casinos whereas it is illegal on the French side. Both sides have their own ...
... the island of St. Marteen is split in half; one side belonging to the Netherlands and the other side, to France!
The "Magical Highlights of Sightseeing" shore excursion was what I’ve booked along with Justin, Fiorella and the rest of her family. Upon disembarking from the ship, we were met at the pier by a guide who brought us to a wharf close by where ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Holland House Beach Hotel Philipsburg
My boyfriend and I just returned from our stay at the Holland House located in the heart of Phillipsburg, St. Maarteen and we both agree it was a fabulous trip, largely in part to our staying at the Holland House.
We occupied a ocean view room that enabled us to rise with the sun and watch the cruise ships roll in; one day there were six (6) including QM2. Our room was equipped with a small kitchenette that allowed us to prepare breakfast at our leisure and enjoy it on our terrace before embarking on the day's adventure.
Ladies, like most men, shopping is not a high priority, but even my boyfriend begrudgingly had to admit that the location of the hotel made it painless. The shops were literally outside our door, allowing me to browse while he surfed the net in the hotel lobby. We were able to enjoy what we wanted without the need of a car, taxi or directions. My boyfriend wanted to obtain his PADI certification and Bobby's Marina, was less than a ten (10) minute walk along the beach that was our back yard. I was able to wave him off on his dive ship and still make it back to the shops in time to bargin before the the rush hour hit (smile).
The boradwalk behind the hotel has undergone a complete renovation and has a chic flair with a down home feel. We were fortunate to be there during a three day Jazz concert that was diagonally outside our terrace. We were able to enjoy the music dressing for dinner, walking to dinner, back to the hotel to change and back outside to jam a little longer. Everything was perfectly placed.
The staff at Holland were friendly and accomodating. Lou the Beach attendant was a "sweetheart". Oh and let me not forget the massage, to die for........worth every dime. You could have it on the beach or in the salon, I chose the salon because I wanted a "full service" treatment.
The rooms were not luxurious, but they were clean and efficient. I felt safe in my surroundings while in the room or on property alone. As nothing is perfect, there were a few things I would change such as the bed, the dresser and the AC system. The bed was hard and could be improved with a matteress pad, the drawers made of wicker held my clothing hostage a few times and perhaps should be replaced and finally, the AC was a bit deafening and had two speeds, loud and off.
However, as stated earlier, even with the needed improvements, our stay was wonderful and the hotel allowed us to enjoy the best of both worlds. Again, no need for driving, taxis, or anything but a good pair of walking shoes and bathing suit depending on the entrance you choose to exit.
See You Next Year !!!
The Holland House worked out great for us. We had a timeshare rental that ran from sat. to sat. at a different location, but airline flights that landed us in St. Maarten two days prior. The Holland House was a great place to spend a few days.
We stayed in a beachfront room on the 4th floor (our friends stayed on the first floor). Our room was clean, somewhat spacious, and had a nice balcony with an even better view. The only downside was that the air conditioning struggled to cool the room during the day, but was sufficient enough overnight and during the morning ( which is essentially the only time we used the room ). The rest of our time was divided between beach time, multiple dining options, casinos, and walking the shops around Phillipsburg. All of this can be done within walking distance, and we didn't feel threatened or uncomfortable irregardless of day or night activities.
The beach is fairly decent considering it is right in the heart of town. The Holland House provides cushioned chairs and umbrellas for their guests, plus the benefit of having beach attendants to get your drinks and such for you. This is a small but nice touch to make your stay more enjoyable. The water is very calm in the bay ( Great Bay ), making it nice to take a quick dip to cool off, only to return to lounging in a cushy chair with a cold tropical beverage. Ahhh, I miss it already.
A boardwalk runs between the Holland House and the beach. This is nice for taking a stroll to one of the many places to eat. We recommend Chesterfields for breakfast ( or any other time ). The GreenHouse(?) was a decent place for dinner ( lobster ). Both are located a short walk from HH.
Right out the front door of the Holland House is the location of all the shopping you've probably heard of. A stroll up and down this street ( Front Street ) will take you to many shops and a few small casinos. For the most part, this presented the opportunity for us to get our "shopping in Phillipsburg " out of the way. This area of St. Maarten is very busy and both driving and even more so, parking, can be very trying for some. For these reasons, it was more convenient that we did not have our vehicle during the Holland House portion of our St. Maarten trip.
Here is one the best reasons we will revisit the Holland House-- the people. Several people at the HH made our visit a very memorable one. Instead of pushing their goods and services upon us, they were very forthcoming at giving us real recommendations to our questions. In fact, we were treated so well that we were compelled to revisit the HH midweek for dinner, drinks, and entertainment. Here is a special thanks to those who made a few of our 11 days on St. Maarten some of the best. Dinner: Don was a great dinner host. We( four adults ) were not disappointed and were very satisfied with every aspect of our dinner. Drinks: Dorcia was a very friendly and fresh face to enlighten our orders. Entertainment: Ayan- not a HH employee, but a soothingly voiced singer hired to add just the right ambience and the transition to after-dinner drinks. And last but not least; Carmella. Carmella was the catalyst for developing our fondest memories of the Holland House. It started with her honest forthcoming recommendations with complete strangers to sharing a few remedies with new-found friends. Carmella was informative, seemingly genuine, and ultimately just a fun person to share our time with. Hope she's paid well -- it's well earned.
All-in-all, there are many nice places and even nicer beaches to see in St. Maarten. However, if you find yourself in Phillipsburg, say hello to all our new friends at the Holland House. Best wishes to all. See you next year. Week 6. Dave and Roxanne --- Tim and Beth --- Indiana
We spent three nights at the Holland House Hotel in mid Dec 2004 after spending a week in Anguilla. The hotel itself is quite nice and a good value for the money, BUT...
While the hotel is on the beach, this is probably one of the worst beaches on the island... its the bay where all the cruise ships dock, so the water is not very good (it looks blue, but you can't see your legs and there's quite a bit of human litter, though they try to keep it clean... not sure if the lack of clarity is from the cruise ship/people pollution alone or also in part from the wierd sand they put down to rebuild the beach after the last hurricane). It also gets awfully CROWDED on cruise ship days with cruise ship people and local vendors. Its unbearable on days when two or more cruise ships are there.
In addition, you have to shower by 5pm or you won't get any hot water. Otherwise, the hotel room was very clean, modern and comfortable and that's why I gave it a good rating.
The positive: the hotel has a very cute outdoor lounge where you can relax, have a drink and smoke a cigar... the bar food menu was pretty good. You are in walking distance to lots of restuarants, bars, casino's and shops. There is an amazing little french cafe on the "old" street (its a small little street off Front street, but can't remember its name). Food was OK in Philipsburg... did not like the restaurant L'escargot at all... more so because the owner and waiter were really wierd and intrusive than the food was poor.
The other positive is contrary to the tourists during the day, at night there are a lot of locals around and that was much more enjoyable for us. In fact, the evenings were quite lively with local fairs and bands, as Christmas celebrations had started.
Went to Orient Beach one day on the French side... the beach itself is quite nice, though there's a lot of commotion on that beach. The food was excellent (breakfast at Le Fish Bar and lunch at one of the French restaurants on the beach, toward the end opposite to the nude end). If you can tolerate the commotion and old naked men, its a fun visit.
Overall, we really liked the island itself.
Can't Beat It!
I just came back from my first trip to St Martin and stayed at the Holland House for 4 nights. I was a little nervous at first from the pictures that I saw and the fact that it is such a small hotel (only 54 rooms I think). When I arrived in St Martin I took a cab to the hotel which cost $12. The taxi driver informed me that she would have to drop me off near an alley and I would have to walk the rest of the way because of construction on Front St. This made me even more nervous about where I chose to stay.
I came to the front of the hotel and it seemed ok, but nothing spectacular to look at. When I went into the lobby my whole view of the hotel changed. There is a large lobby bar and a breathtaking view of the ocean from every corner of the lobby. They told me my room was not ready yet and it would be about 30 mins. So I went to the bar and had some drinks with Torey - the bartender. He made some awesome drinks and took such great care of me, I didn't even want to go to my room. I went up to the room and it was not that big, but well situated. Then there was the balcony with an unbelieveable view of the beach, ocean, and the cruise ships coming in and out of the port. The only negatives about the room was that the mattress was kind of hard, and the shower was a small stand-up shower (no tub). But overall this was no big deal and I enjoyed my stay, especially with the fridge in the room to keep my beverages cold. The best was waking up in the morning and seeing the new cruise shops pull into port.
The beach is simply breathtaking. When you go to the beach you will meet Iceman, who is the beach attendant for the hotel. If you are a guest at the hotel he will hook you up with beach chairs and an umbrella. He also serves you food and drinks directly on the beach at your chairs. The best deal was a bucket of beers with ice - 6 beers for $10 US. If the ice starting melting Iceman would come back and fill it back up. You can't snorkel at the beach because there is no reef anywhere plus because of all the ships making waves, there is not much visibility. But the water is very calm for swimming and relaxing.
Overall this is a great hotel to stay at for the price. It is directly on the beach with what they call the boardwalk behind the hotel. It isn't really a boardwalk but simply a long strip of sidewalk to walk on with a bunch of bars, restuarants, and shops directly on the beach. Make sure you go visit Michael the bartender at the beach bar to the left of the hotel. Tell him Chris & Jazmin from NY say hi. Also ask him for a shot of Windex. He will fill you in on all the action around the island. The Front St location was great nothing but great shopping everywhere you walk with $1 beers for sale everywhere to keep you cool. There is not much nightlife in this location because all the shops close by about 7pm. There is only one club in the area called club 5150 in case you are interested in going out at night. There are some casinos but they are very tiny with not much action. The real action is in Maho - check out the Q club, bliss, sunset beach bar, bamboo bernies, & Sherry's cafe. A taxi from the hotel will cost you about $15 to get there.
The resturants in the area are great especially the Green House for lobster night (Tuesdays). If you are looking for a cheap hotel where the staff caters to your every need, a gorgeous beach front location, great shopping area, and a lot of rest and relaxation look no further than the Holland House.
Affordable, convenient, nice beach and clean!
I stayed at the Holland House last Feb. on a package deal. I loved it. I rated this above average because the price was right, it was on the beach and walking distance to all shopping and restaurants in Philipsburg.
It is not a 5-star resort by any means, but for the traveler on the budget it was great. And Internet PC available in the bar for guests! Log on anytime. The staff was friendly. Rooms were average but kept very clean -- and had a whole kitchenette if you needed it. You walk out the front door to all the shopping one could ask for. And you walked out the back patio to a very nice bar (ask when Happy Hour is, they make great "Brown Ladies") restaurant and beach with chairs/towels. I only ate breakfast at the restaurant and it was good. The elevator leaves something to be desired...small and cramped and not very fast. If you like to be near the business district, walking distance to shopping and restaurants AND have a beach out the back door at an affordable price, the Holland House is your place.
Holland House Hotel, Philipsburg
The Holland House Hotel in Philipsburg is above average and quite recommendable. Pay a bit more and get sea view. Ask for the weekly rate if planning to stay seven nights. The only caveat is that if you rent a car it will be impossible to park it nearby. Maps are misleading, Front and Back Street are extremely narrow. No car traffic is allowed in the Holland House neighborhood on Front Street. And Back Street is literally filled up with people and cars during daytime.
There is a parking lot about three blocks away, on Cannegiter Street, charging $1 per hour (maybe you can escape this on Sundays). Enter through its "exit". And a free parking lot close to the Pond Fill on D.A. Patterson Street, about three more blocks away. This one becomes scary at night but local police says it is safe. Anyway, nobody leaves the car overnight there.
Your best chance is to wait until the evening (after 6 PM) and find a parking spot on the right hand on Back Street. Start from the beginning of thre street, in the so-called "head of town". Leave it there night and day until you need to use the car again. During the day, save time and money by using the free parking lot and walk. Always say hello to locals before asking for directions or help, even when fending street vendors off.
Holland House Beach Hotel
We got a cab from the airport but he had to let us off at the end of Back Street as Front Street had roadworks. We were aware of this before we arrived as we had read reviews. Once we had got there and checked in, we very pleasantly surprised at how our room was. We had a Junior Suite with a beach view and the view was absolutely beautiful!! We had a fantastic view of the broadwalk, beach, sea and we could see the cruise ships coming in in the mornings. We spent 10 days there and every single day our room was kept clean and tidy. The bar man was excellent and made us feel welcome. All the staff were very welcoming. The restaurant was excellent too. I cant say enough about this hotel - If i were to return to St Maartens, i would definately be staying at the Holland House Hotel. Check it out!
Two Sides of Phillipsburg, Holland House Beach Hotel
My wife and I and another couple spent the last week of July '04 at the Holland House Beach Hotel in Phillisburg. We stayed in the ocean view rooms and absolutley loved it. It's an older hotel, but obviously well maintained and very clean. The staff was courteous and the food in the restaurant was very good and moderately priced for St. Maarten. The hotel is on very busy Front St. with the grittiness of a small city with a lot of traffic and pedestrian congestion. The rear of the hotel is quite a contrast from the street side. Very quiet and serene, it faces beautiful Great Bay with a newly constructed boardwalk and a fabulous beach with complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas for hotel guests. There are also a number of small beach front restaurants and bars in in short walking distance from the hotel. I highly recommend the Holland House and would certainly stay again.
Good value, Holland House-fun locale
We stayed at holland house for 2 or 3 nights in 2002, prior to our week in St. Bart's. It was really a delight. The room was adequate, not large, not fancy, but clean and comfortable...we had a decent view out the window. The staff was very accommodating and there was even a computer you could use in the lobby to check email, free of charge. Like many of the less expensive deals, the place showed some signs of wear and tear and updating will probably be needed (if it hasn't already occurred).
We were tired that first night and decided to try out the restaurant in the hotel, right off the lobby and we must tell you, the food was of the same consistent high quality that permeates throughout St. Martin. This place was excellent. If you are looking for a good value, then look to this place. BUT, I warn you, do NOT leave your car parked on the street after (I believe) 9:00 AM or you will be towed. We had to retrieve our car from the Police Station on the day we were leaving from St. Bart's and had to walk through Phillipsburg with our bags/carry ons, to the police station and then we were driven to where the car was stored. We paid something like $40 to get the car back, so word to the wise. It was not fun, very inconvenient. The signs are NOT NOTICEABLE about moving your car.
Have stayed at this hotel several times. Enjoy the view from the beach side--always get beach side room. Street side noisy. People are friendly and hotel is well cared for. Reasonable food in restaurant, especially breakfest and lunch. Restaurant directly on beach and great atmosphere at night.