More about Holiday Inn Windward Passage Hotel
We booked the hotel through Priceline. Holiday Inn Windward Passage is given 3 stars, which is the same rating as the Wyndham Sugar Bay resort. We stayed at both properties, and it is completely inaccurate that the Holiday Inn should be given the same rating. Since Priceline is based solely on star levels when booking a hotel, it should have a consistent manner in which hotels are rated. The Wyndham was truly in a completely different class and far superior to the Holiday Inn even though they are both given 3 stars.
The plumbing at the Holiday Inn was terrible. There was no cold water coming out of the tap, and even after a staff engineer visited our room, we were told that it was “just the way it is.” The water was hotter than room temperature and there was no way to alleviate the warmth of the water. The water pressure in the shower was also terrible as half of the water kept running through the faucet instead of through the shower head. The toilet was also required at least 3 flushes to remove waste from the bowl.
Even though the TV came with cable channels, there was static on every single channel. While we were watching a movie on a cable channel, it suddenly cut out with an “unusable signal” error in the middle of the movie.
The general upkeep of the hotel is much lower than the Wyndham. We were shocked that Priceline would say that it was a comparable hotel to the Wyndham when obviously it is far inferior. The only good thing that came out of staying at the Holiday Inn was to make us grateful for the time we spent elsewhere for the rest of our trip.
Beautiful view but hotel was mediocre at best.
A security fence surrounds the hotel and parking lot and you have to go thru the guard at night to leave or enter. The area is in a seedy part of town--abandoned and boarded up buildings next door with intoxicated people and beggars loitering about soliciting passerbys. Sometimes they have entered the hotel courtyard during daytimes when we where there and they were quickly told to leave.The main sounds heard in our room were of police sirens. It is less than a mile to town center but shuttle taxi fare is a min of $4 ea way. When I inquired as to a less expensive alternative I was told there was no other available.We were never told about a free shuttle to Magen's Bay but were told to take a taxi. I learned about the $1 Safari Bus from the locals just before leaving for home after spending considerable money on Taxis.We were also were trapped several times in the elevator. The complimentary breakfast was never offered and a coupon had to be issued by the desk for it which most people didn't know and wouldn't be told. We felt less than welcomed at breakfast as we weren't ordering from the menu which was very high priced. This hotel uses public water and there isn't any cold water at all. For several hrs daily a water container is in the lobby with ice in it and cups for the customers. The rooms were clean but over all there was a feeling things were in need of updating and refurbishing.I would not recommend this hotel to anyone---it needs more pleasant, friendly staffing in all areas not just front desk but the dinning and cleaning staff as well.
Sweet Resort Alternative
My friends and I originally intended to spend our spring break on my roommate's dad's boat - plans fell through and we ended up staying here in Charlotte Amalie (pronounced "Amalia"). The staff were generally helpful and friendly. The room was always clean and the only thing that didn't work was the safe. I would suggest avoiding the hotel restaurant, it's overpriced, bland, and the wait staff were rather rude.
The most pertinent things about this hotel are 1) that its not a resort and 2) Location
With Location, know that this is a downtown in an area where alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes are cheap. Emphasis on the drugs - there are a couple sketchy parts to walk by to get to the nearby tourist-friendly shopping area. I was in a group of two girls and two guys and did not feel threatened at all. A couple of people 'sleeping' or sitting in alleys at night in any urban area is pretty normal. Also, our room was on the fourth floor with a view of Charlotte Amalie, not the harbor. I loved it. I wouldn't want a lower floor as you can hear the locals partying at night and the four roosters in the morning, but all in all it's not bad and I thought the view was great (see my pictures).
I suppose you'd stay in this hotel for business or for shopping. They do have a free shuttle to Magen's Bay for beach lovers. Still $3 for beach access. Through the advice of a local friendly waiter from The Tavern on the Waterfront (go there!) we took the public safari all over the island and snuck onto the Sapphire Bay Resort property for a different beach. The Public safari looks just like the $10 taxis but is $2 and has a route. Stand with the locals at the stop in front of the Holiday Inn and it will come to you. This is a wonderful way to see more of the island and mingle with locals.
Overall, if you can't afford or don't want the resort experience - stay at the Holiday Inn - it has a great proximity to the restaurants and shops of Charlotte Amalia and a beautiful view of the harbor. Utilize the public safaris and while you're at it... make a t-shirt that says "NO TAXI" ---you'll want it while walking to the Green House.
Oh---and if you're sneaky and want the resort experience/beach without the price tag - I don't think the beaches alone are off limits - my friends and I walked onto both the previously mentioned Sapphire Beach resort and the Westin on St. John. Stay off their chairs though ;-).
Great location for short stays
This hotel has great sweeping views of the activity on the bay. I watched huge yachts and the sea planes land from my window. The shopping is right down the street and offers fantastic restaurants. We ate dinner one night in the courtyard with a steel drum musican serenading us. This hotel is close to the cruise terminal, airport and town.
We stayed one night at the Holiday Inn before our flight out in the morning. Hotel staff at check in were professional and nice. The corridors were a little run-down but not too bad. Our room was clean but shabby. The recliner chair's upholstery was worn clear through with holes in it. When I lay on the bed, I could feel the springs in the mattress. The bathroom was clean but the tile was broken and the grout kind of nasty looking.
Nice flat screen tv though.
The real problem for us was the noise. Oh man, the noise. Or I should say NOISE. Not just the steel drum band playing in the courtyard all evening, which you could plainly hear right through our closed door. Not just the noise from the baseball field that our windows overlooked. No. It was one guy whose truck was parked right under our window (we were on the 3rd floor). A truck with huge bass speakers. The music was literally rattling our windows. It was so loud we couldn't hear our own TV. It went on hour after hour.
At 10 pm we called the front desk and asked them for help with it. They said they'd tell Security. At 10:15 pm, with still no relief, we called the front desk again. "We'll take care it." they said. At 10:30 pm we called again. And again at 11:00. Each time we were assured that they would take care of it. Finally, at 11:15 pm, we called again and asked them if they could give us the telephone number of the local police so we could make a complaint.
We found out that the front desk shift had just changed . (And therefore assumed that the previous shift had done nothing, but we really have no way of knowing that for sure.) We talked to a new person who said that the guy with the truck was outside the hotel grounds and therefore not within their control, but they would see what they could do. Five minutes later the music stopped, and the clerk called us back to make sure we were fine.
Point of the story? Don't accept a room overlooking the ball field unless you've got some very good ear plugs.
Also, I went down to the gift shop at 10 pm by myself and found crossing through the dimly lit courtyard to be a creepy experience. I bought a candy bar which, after I got back to my room, turned out to be so old it crumbled when I opened it. Totally inedible.
I think the staff here are trying very hard with an aging hotel in a bad neighborhood. I give them lots of credit for trying.
But would I stay here again? No.
Just got back from STT on our way to St. John. We had 3 rooms before and again after our stay in St. John and had a horrible experience here. On our first night we checked in around 10:30pm and found our NS double ocean view rooms were not available but they gave us Smoking king rooms without the view. When we went to move into one of the rooms, we found it wasn’t even made up from the previous occupant. When we asked the staff to make up the room they replied “I can’t do this tonight, it will have to wait until tomorrow”. So I proceeded to the front desk and told then this and they called housekeeping who then denied saying this 5 minutes earlier. I also told them the smoking room was unacceptable as my wife suffers from asthma and this was not what we reserved and were confirmed 10 months earlier. The response I was constantly given was that the hotel was totally sold out and they had no other rooms.
Finally after traveling 4000 miles and dealing with the extremely rude, inattentive staff with 9 people waiting for their rooms, I finally told them to find us a room somewhere else at their expense. This really ticked them off and they miraculously cleaned our rooms and found ones that were still smoking, but tolerable.
On our return trip back from St. John, we were hoping we just had a bad experience. This time one of the rooms had a broken sink and they had no other rooms for us and would not be able to fix the sink until the following day. The toilet was also clogged. Once again the attitude which could have diffused the situation was once again combative and unsympathetic. When we voiced our issues we brought up our previous experience during the previos week. We told the front desk mgr. of our issues such as not having them rooms ready and she responded “We cant always have everyone’s room ready by 4pm” (With an attitude) When we told her we didn’t check in until 10:30pm she didn’t offer an excuse.
The hotel seems like it is about 40 years old. It is in a central location, good perhaps for an overnight before or after the flight. I thought they had an airport shuttle, but they didn’t. Even though the airport is only 2 miles away, I was quoted $6 for a taxi. Seems reasonable? That is $6 per person each way PLUS $2 per bag. So our 5 minute taxi ride ended up costing us nearly $70.
So, IF I ever go back to St. Thomas, I would avoid this place like the plague, mostly due to the staffing and maintenance, but also due to the poorly maintained, aging facility.
if you are paying, you can do far better
We were bumped from an "overweight" flight to San Juan by American Airlines. They provided a voucher for our overnight at the Holiday Inn, so if I had paid to stay, it would have been much worse.
Cleanliness was not one of the hotel's high points. The shower drain and walls had hair that did not belong to us. The bed sheets were littered with both dirt/sand and hair. The bedspreads appeared anceint. Some towels seemed to need to be washed. Our room had two double beds. We had to sleep apart due to the discomfort and lack of support from the bed springs. AA's dinner voucher for $20 barely covered the price of a poorly prepared fettucini alfredo and iced tea that never got refilled.
On the positive side, upon checkout, front desk staff was extra kind and helpful. The view of the harbor from our third floor room "balconette" was great. And, of course, it was free. If you are paying for a room in St. Thomas, do your research and good luck elsewhere.
Can't wait to go back!!!! Loved It!
This hotel is not for the person looking for a resort. It's in the middle of everything and was just what I was looking for. It's also very close to anything you'd like to do. Close to great shopping, good food and night life. The manager and her staff were GREAT!!!! I plan to go back and stay there. Our room was a waterfront room with a view to die for. Our room was spotless!
Not so great
I brought some food to the room with me and the next morning I had all sorts of ants in my garbage. When I slept a few scout ants would crawl on me from time to time. The air conditioner in the room was very loud and not very effective. In the daytime, very close to downtown and shops, but several people warned me not to go out too late at night here. They were also doing some renovating of the parking lot and limited parking was available.