I am not someone who often leaves reviews, but I think given the circumstances of how we chose Holiday Hill Marina, I feel as though a review is necessary. After coming off a season of cruising in the Bahamas we were looking for a place to dock our boat and hide out for hurricane season. We did some google searching and found Holiday Hill. The reviews were all pretty good, the price was reasonable, and the location looked ideal. Upon arrival, we were met with friendly neighbors and were struck with how kind and generous our fellow boaters were. But honestly, the people who stay there, at least the ones that we met, are the best part of this marina. I’m fairly sure that many of the positive reviews you read here were part of a marketing push by the marina itself. We found almost none of these reviews to be accurate. There is Wi-Fi, but it doesn’t really work. So plan on driving to a coffee shop or the library if you need to do human things in the year 2018. There are showers and bathroom facilities but they are never cleaned and are filthy. Think gas station bathrooms, you know, like the scary ones out back that you need the weird key to get into, but without the glory holes (they get two stars for that). I suspect the community does not clean the bathrooms because they feel that they are paying for these amenities and do not want to set a precedent of this basic maintenance being taken on by anyone other than the staff. And I suspect the staff does not clean them simply because they do not care. There is a washer and dryer on the property and honestly I was scared to use them. Rumor has it they don’t really work that well either. This is not surprising. There is supposedly a lounge with a TV but it is located in a small cabin in the parking lot and the ripped curtains hanging in the dirty windows was enough to keep this girl out. So I cannot personally attest to this specific outbuilding but it looks like the type of place you’d yell at the people in horror movies for entering. There is no gasoline like one of the previous (and paid) reviewers stated. And in two months we never saw a single boat get a pump out, so obviously swimming is not a thing here. There is not enough power for the amount of boats on the docks and this seems to be a concern for the long term slip renters and that’s a shame. It’s very hot in MD in the summer and very cold in the winter. Heat and A/C take a lot of power but are necessary to provide basic comfort in the extremes of these seasons. There is no mail system for this marina. So your love letters and Defender orders will get lost. There is a lot of parking and the marina is close to all your creature comforts if you have a car. So, the location is pretty good if you are just coming back to do land based things. And Annapolis is just 15 minutes away. The marina is quiet, and that’s very nice. There are a few duck families that live here and ducklings can make almost any hair clogged drains and chronically toothpaste stained bathroom mirrors better. So it’s not all bad. The real glaring conflict here is that the owner’s very large, very expensive motor yacht sits in the middle of the marina. It’s pristine appearance and gleaming varnish is a constant reminder of the ample resources that are not invested into his marina. It’s a daily reminder of how much better the place could be if they really cared enough to make it so.
Let me begin by saying that we are cruisers. We have a 40 foot monohull and were hopeful that this marina would be a good place to tuck away to work on the boat for hurricane season. We consulted the reviews here on Google and they looked good, so we meandered down the Rhode river in still 6-7 foot water towards the marina. We draft six, so we were a little concerned. Be sure to go at mid-high if you have a deep draft boat. If zero stars were possible, I’d consider it. But in thinking about it, the truly lovely folks who live on the dock are the real stars. So they get that one. The reviews here seem mostly contrived. If you read through them, they seem suspiciously positive towards the management. My theory is that they were not written by customers of the marina, but by some other party. That’s unfortunate, because those reviews misled us. The WiFi is so poor, it’s not worth mentioning. The bathrooms were remenicient of the dirtiest bathrooms I remember from my time at Boy Scout camp as a child. But in this case, picture dozens of adults all creating their regular human mess without cleanup for weeks on end. In fact, I tested this by observing a disposable razor cover in the shower on the floor. It did not move from its place for a full month. Meaning that zero cleaning occurred for over a month. This is in stark contrast to the reviews here, which describe ‘clean bathrooms’ and ‘hardworking staff’. Very far from the truth. This situation became so dire that the only option was to clean the bathroom myself in order to not vomit while attempting to shower. I figured that the act might trigger some level of interest in the state of their facility, but the management still seemed uninterested in providing any more than a dock and some electricity. Different than advertised. Note that the marina also does not have sufficient power run to the docks to power all of the shore power hook ups they have. This reality results in a sense of guilt and scarcity between the management and the folks on the dock, who are just trying to maintain a normal level of human existence. Folks are guilted about the heaters they run in winter to ensure their boats are not freezing cold. Borderline inhuman. The lounge mentioned in these reviews is more like a ratty shack where folks hide out from the heat in ‘free’ air conditioning. There is apparently a bathroom there as well, but considering the state of the main bathrooms, we gave that one a miss. It is impossible to receive mail at this place as well. A letter sent to this address ended up in some USPS vortex and the management were of no help. How does one receive equipment/parts for projects? So strange. Their accounting is also confusing. It seems that everyone pays different rates based on some arbitary system that no one on the dock understands. They do not take credit cards and even trying to find someone to give a check to was a challenge. We were charged $600 per month for our boat, but the signage by the bathroom states that a 30 foot boat costs $200 a month. $400 more per month for ten more feet? Not sure if that math works out. This place does have redeeming qualities. As mentioned previously, the people on the dock are awesome. Very friendly and they take care of each other so well. We’ll miss them. The parking is great. It’s quiet. It is close to all of the amenities you may need including supermarkets, liquor stores and coffee shops. A car is necessary, though. Hopefully all of this information is helpful to folks like us looking for what we needed. In the end, we went north to Georgetown Yacht Basin because for just a little more money, they provide spotless facilities, friendly service, a full ship’s store, a pool, a beach and more awesome things to even list here. Blue Water Yacht Center in Hampton VA is also excellent if you want to be closer to the mouth of the Chesapeake. Life is short. Skip this marina and go somewhere good. Happy sailing!
Holiday Hill Marina is one of those places that we will remember with great fondness, and always consider to be home when in that part of the world. The owner, Ralph, was refreshingly easy to do business with after the hard nosed cash hungry marinas of Annaplois. Here at Holiday Hill, we met some of the people that made our stay in the USA really worthwhile, and were treated with great generosity and kindness by all. Marlene's cook outs, Mik's superior canvas work and the wealth of knowledge and local information imparted to us from all helped ease our way and made life so much more enjoyable.
This marina is the best by far on the Chesapeake! Granted there isn't a restaurant on site, but, the super friendly people and the management makes this facility great. This is what makes HHM a stand-out above all marinas: -Whitemarsh Creek is a hurricane hole, so it's protected from foul weather. -It is clean and well maintained. -There's adequate laundry and shower facility -Ice is delivered weekly -A cabin club house is climate controlled with cable TV. -Free Wifi throughout the marina. -Pet friendly. -There's always someone willing to drive transients to town to re-supply/re-ration. -The marina is in a residential area on a dead end road, so I have no problem allowing my kids to ride their bikes around the neighborhood. -Management definitely concerned about customer satisfaction, so if anything is amiss with your slip or the property, the issue is quickly remedied. Happy boating, Marlene