As soon as I stepped into the open-air lobby and looked past the bar to the blue waters of the Caribbean, I felt relaxed and at home. A great feeling as the Holland House Beach Hotel was going to be my home away from home on St. Maarten the day before and the day after cruising aboard the Island Windjammer’s Sagitta.
Check-in was a breeze and I headed to the third floor to settle in and ditch the heavy bags. A smile grew on my face as soon as the door swung open and revealed a tastefully decorated room that looked modern and newly renovated. I dropped my bags and instantly walked out to the balcony to take in the views of Philipsburg, the boardwalk, and the sparkling sea.
After a short decompression in the room I headed down to the lobby bar for a refreshing rum punch. As I sat there sipping the glass of deliciousness I slowly took in the surrounds. The bar dominates the open air lobby and has wonderful views of the harbor. Next to the bar is a gorgeous lounge area with comfortable couches and large stylish umbrellas to keep the Caribbean sun at bay.
On the other side of the bar is the hotel’s restaurant called the Ocean Lounge. I never did dine at the restaurant so I can’t comment on the food, but it was busy for dinner and offers great views of the water.
The Holland House sits right on the Philipsburg boardwalk and backs up to Front Street, one of two main roads in Philipsburg, the other being Back Street. Both of these streets are lined with restaurants and tons of shopping. Philipsburg is the cruise port for St. Maarten so it’s a tourist friendly area.
I walked around town trying to get a lay of the land, snapping pictures here, sampling Guavaberry drinks there. After awhile I got tired of dodging the red-skinned tourists and anchored myself at a place called the Blue Bitch Bar. Yes, the name sold me, so I had to give it a shot.
As I enjoyed a blackened Mahi Mahi sandwich I struck up a conversation with a French couple whom I presumed lived on the other side of the island. We swapped a few stories and I told them I was staying at the Holland House which was just a couple buildings down. They said that I made the right choice in staying there, in their opinion it was the nicest hotel in Philipsburg.
I had only been on island for 7 or 8 hours, but I too was realizing that my home away from home was indeed a good choice.
After leaving the Blue Bitch Bar I set out to find some rum. The goal was to sit quietly on my balcony, listen to the waves lap the shore, and sip on forbidden fruit. Goal achieved.
The Holland House Beach Hotel is clean, comfortable, and has a friendly staff. I spent hours in the lounge area just watching the world go by. I would have no problem recommending this hotel to anyone looking to stay in the Philipsburg area of St. Maarten.
If you have stayed at the Holland House, I would love to hear what you thought. Feel free to leave a comment below and tell us about your experience.