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Windward Passage Hotel 3.0

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Five-minute walk to shops, restaurants, and the ferry terminal
  • Large courtyard features a lovely open-air bar
  • Pleasant rooms have mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs, and private balconies or terraces
  • Tiny spa/salon offers nail services and massage treatments
  • Well-kept pool and sundeck plus fitness room
  • Small, relatively modern casino with video gaming
  • Wi-Fi is fast and free property-wide
  • Room service is available (fee)
  • Full-service Admiralty Dive scuba shop
  • Free, secure self-parking in a staffed lot

Cons

  • Decor is dated and inconsistent
  • Indoor restaurant is dark and charmless
  • Gym is tiny and pool is too small for hotel's size
  • Ocean views don't always live up to expectations
  • Noise can be an issue

Bottom Line

The three-pearl Windward Passage Hotel is a mid-range option in the heart of downtown Charlotte Amalie. The city’s tourist-friendly waterfront district -- with shopping, dining, and the ferry terminal -- is within a five- to 10-minute walk of the hotel. The architecture and decor are a curious mix of dated and modern, and most of the features -- from the tiny pool, small fitness room, and dark restaurant -- are forgettable. The 151 rooms are modern-ish, but mismatched, with lots of patterns and colors alongside amenities like mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs, and Juliet balconies with (optional) water views. The slightly pricier Lindbergh Bay Hotel and Villas provides a beachfront alternative with similar amenities at lower rates.

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Scene

Basic 151-room downtown hotel without a distinct social scene

On paper, this hotel makes a fine impression -- the list of features looks long and the services on offer appear varied. It's all a bit of a mirage, though, and things here fall short of expectations on most fronts. Decor in the lobby sets the stage for guests’ expectations throughout the rest of the hotel. Dark, traditional wood furnishings, polished marble flooring, and bland, faded wall art feel like relics left over from the property’s grand opening. Occasional accents like resin wicker seating and a flat-screen computer workstation offer hints of of something a bit more up-to-date, but everything ultimately feels two decades past its prime. A large, lovely, central courtyard -- including an open-air bar on the first floor and the pool and sundeck just above -- provides the hotel’s main gathering space, but there's little, if any, social vibe here. The generic nature of the property attracts equal numbers of couples and families. Many guests find themselves here on their way to or from the airport and other points on the island, which unfortunately makes this hotel feel like just a “transit hotel” -- where guests spend a single night on their way to someplace else -- that’s trying to be something more. 

Location

In the heart of Charlotte Amalie near shops, restaurants, and the ferry terminal

Map of Windward Passage Hotel

The hotel sits on Veterans Drive -- the main waterfront road that runs through Charlotte Amalie’s downtown tourist district. Shops, restaurants, and markets line the north side of the street. The waters of Cay Bay line the south side of the road and the city’s main ferry terminal (with service to Tortola and St. John) is less than a five-minute walk away. The shops around Main Street in the center of town are a 10-minute walk away, while the island’s popular 99 Steps attraction is about 15 minutes away on foot. 

Cyril E. King Airport (STT) -- St. Thomas’ only international airport -- is less than 15 minutes west by car. The hotel does not facilitate airport transportation. However, taxi and shuttle service is readily available at the airport with affordable rates comparable to most other Caribbean islands. Rental cars are also available in the terminal from several major agencies.

Rooms

Modern rooms with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and optional Juliet balconies

When taken in parts, room decor is decidedly more modern than that found throughout the rest of the hotel. Still, when thrown together, the mix of wave-pattern carpeting, fisherman's basket-style lamps, and blue and white bed linens are mismatched and a step too far beyond eye-catching. Chunky dark-wood veneer furniture give it all a contemporary edge, but we noticed a decent amount of wear on everything from statement lamps to desks. Light wood-veneer headboards pop against blue accent walls and when taken together the look is vaguely nautical and Caribbean. 

The hotel features four room categories that offer similar floor plans but different views and bed configurations. Compared to a typical, mid-range chain hotel, entry-level Standard Rooms offer slightly more square footage and a two double bed configuration. Ocean View rooms offer identical floor plans but upgrade to more modern furnishings, Juliet balconies with harbor views, and the option of either a single king or two double bed configuration. Flagship Harborview Suites have slightly larger floor plans with a single king bed, plus two water-view Juliet balconies -- the views are nice enough if you look past the parking lots and busy road in the foreground. All rooms include mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs with cable, and coffeemakers. The on-site Wi-Fi is fast, free, and available property-wide. Beds are well-reviewed as comfortable.

Bathrooms are compact, but the decor looks modern, with tasteful tile and stone accents, up-to-date fixtures, and a sliding, industrial-style door. Still, it feels done on the cheap and the tilework was sloppy in the room that we visited. All rooms include a standard shower/tub style combination and limited counter space around the sink. Keep in mind that noise can be an issue in the guest rooms, especially in those facing the harbor and road.

Features

An open-air courtyard restaurant, a lovely pool, and a casino with video gaming

Guests will find an extensive list of communal amenities, though they range from pleasant to forgettable. The spacious central courtyard is a real highlight, with a lovely open-air bar on the first floor and a large sundeck with a pool on the second. The on-site casino and dive shop are additional nice-to-have features not typically found in other area hotels.

The hotel features two full-service restaurants. The hotel’s unnamed indoor restaurant is dark with a outdated decor similar to that found at any budget chain motel. The space is open for breakfast and dinner (no lunch) with a la carte service available for both. The Courtyard Lounge is situated in the center of the large courtyard, surrounded by the hotel’s four floors. A covered bar area provides a dozen counter stools and a full menu of beer, liquor, and wine. Eight patio sets with umbrellas provide additional shaded seating where guests can also order from the restaurant menu. The surrounding courtyard storefronts include the full-service Admiralty Dive scuba shop and several small gift stores.

A nearby spiral staircase leads to the courtyard’s spacious second floor. At the center, the hotel’s only pool is small for the hotel's size, but clean and well-maintained. The surrounding deck provides patio dining sets and 20 cushioned lounge chairs. There is no poolside drink service or a dedicated pool bar. A tiny two-room spa and salon on the first floor is clean and simple. The menu features a full list of massage treatments (including Swedish, deep tissue, and aromatherapy), though the salon only offers nail services. There's also a gym that's clean and has modern equipment, but it's small and has limited options. 

While there are no full casinos on the island of St. Thomas, the on-site Harbor Gaming Center offers video slots and video poker. The two-story space is clean and relatively modern. Keep in mind that Wi-Fi is free at the hotel, as is parking in the secured lot. The hotel's front desk can help arrange various tours and activities.

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Things You Should Know About Windward Passage Hotel

Address

Veterans Drive, Waterfront, Charlotte Amalie 00804, Caribbean

Phone

(340) 774-5200

Also Known As

  • Charlotte Amalie Holiday Inn
  • Holiday Inn Charlotte Amalie
  • Holiday Inn St. Thomas

Room Types

  • Ocean View Room
  • Ocean View Suite
  • Room Selected at Check-in
  • Standard Room
  • Standard Suite

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