Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
No right-minded vacationers would find themselves here -- strictly for the layover and convention crowd.
This Holiday Inn is far from the beach, so tourist traffic is at a minimum. Airline employees, flight delays, local business conventions, and the occasional Oyster reporter keeps the hotel in business. Vacationers will likely find a better hotel anywhere else on the island.
It is, however, two blocks from the congested, duty-free shopping hub at Charlotte Amalie. Thousands of cruise ship passengers bombard the discount jewelry, perfume, and antique shops five days a week from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. After this time, the area is desolate and fairly dangerous (keep valuables hidden when walking at night, and probably during the day as well).
The hotel itself looks like a strip mall, just off St. Thomas' high-traffic artery. Past the lobby is an interior, open-air courtyard that has a restaurant, outdoor bar, fitness room, and slot-machine casino. During my stay, some local hair salons, a few boarded-up storefronts, a cell phone sales office, and a fairly reputable dive shop were also on-site. But given the slim business, I don't suspect any of these shops will be around very long.
Near the port, the airport, and prime shopping -- just be sure you're back before dark
Next to the cruise ship port and 10 minutes from the airport in Charlotte Amalie, the Holiday Inn is a convenient location for travelers in transition.
Reasonably clean and functional
Like at any Holiday Inn, there's little effort to keep rooms looking pristine -- warped green carpet, Xeroxed notices in the hallways, paint splatters on the chairs, slight rust stains, and mildew in the bathrooms. However, the rooms had undergone a slight renovation -- meaning they upgraded the beds and installed some new flat-screen TVs. On the whole, the rooms were kept reasonably clean and comfortable.
Fairly clean for the price, with no shocking lapses
The rooms are far from manicured but tolerably clean. My room had some slight mildew in the shower, some chipped paint, and some bubbles in the carpet -- collectively giving the room a fairly worn and dingy feel. However, the bed was clean and fresh. The toilet was obviously scrubbed. There were no offensive odors and nothing crawling down the walls. In the Caribbean, that's a feat unto itself.
Limited menu and zero décor, but fairly tasty
The only restaurant on-site serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the open-air courtyard, beneath some umbrellas. The space feels like the food court in a shopping mall, surrounded by storefronts. Inside, the restaurant was entirely empty.
For dinner, I ate the "snapper tropical," which was basically just butterfish. But the fish was fresh, well cooked, and certainly tasty (though maybe not $28 tasty). For kids, the hotel offers half-size portions for half the price.
Nearby food, especially for breakfast, is scarce. The front desk's only recommendation (outside the Holiday Inn) was to walk to the ferry port to the British Virgin Islands and eat at the upstairs bar. The food there was terrible at best, and far from cheap ($10 for scrambled eggs that came out bitter, and somehow sticky).
With no beach near the Holiday Inn, it's not an ideal vacation destination. However, it's close to the cruise ship port, walking distance from the seaplane airport to the British Virgin Islands, and about a 10-minute drive from the international airport. Put simply, it's a fairly clean, comfortable place to sleep while waiting to go somewhere fun.
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