Housed in an 18th-century building overlooking Orange Bay, the Old Gin House is a truly atmospheric place for a St. Eustatius dive vacation. It was originally established as a public guesthouse in 1760 before being used as a cotton gin (from which it takes its name) and still retains charming elements of its old-world feel.
The Old Gin House offers prime access to the coral-covered wrecks, underwater lava flows and macro dive sites of the St. Eustatius National Marine Park, which encompasses the entire island across an area of 25,500 hectares. Spend your days exploring the diverse dive sites of this marine wonderland, then relax surrounded by the colonial elegance of the Old Gin House.
There are 20 rooms to select from at the Old Gin House, each of which is decorated in a warm, island style that accentuates the building’s architecture. Mahogany beds are among the colonial furnishings while modern conveniences include air-conditioning, cable TV and mini refrigerators.
Garden View Rooms There are 14 Garden View Rooms which are connected by a balcony offering magnificent views of the lush, tropical gardens and pool. Select from a king or two twin beds while taking advantage of the 40-inch flat screen TV and recently renovated bathroom.
Ocean View Rooms There are two Ocean View Rooms connected to a balcony, with gorgeous views across Oranjestad Bay. You can opt for a king bed or two twin beds and both rooms feature an en-suite bathroom and 40-inch flat screen TV.
Junior Suites There are two Junior Suites connected by an outside terrace and with direct access to the tropical garden and pool area. Each suite can be arranged with either a king bed or two twin colonial beds and come with a large, flat screen TV.
Ocean View Suites The two Ocean View Suites feature a living room and kitchenette, as well as a separate bedroom with either a king or two twin colonial beds. There’s also a separate working space that’s complemented by stunning views of the Caribbean Sea from the balcony.
Adjacent to the lobby of the Old Gin House is a beautifully restored, historic bar where you can mingle with other guests at the end of a long day’s diving. The balcony boasts a telescope that guests are welcome to use while the oceanfront deck of the restaurant is the best place to settle in for an unforgettable sunset.
Nestled in the tropical gardens is a sparkling pool and there are beach chairs and umbrellas available if you want to spend a day on the sand. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel, including in all of the guest rooms and suites.
The Old Gin House is home to an oceanfront restaurant that boasts gorgeous views over the Caribbean Sea and the neighbouring island of Saba. Begin the day with a hearty breakfast of eggs cooked to order, bread, fruit and yogurt, as well as freshly brewed coffee and tea.
The dinner menu at this St. Eustatius dive resort features fresh seafood, prime steaks, ribs and chicken, with Caribbean-style lobster a specialty. There’s also an inspiring selection of soups and salads available, not to mention delicious desserts and espresso coffee to complete your meal.
The Old Gin House is situated adjacent to Statia’s only two dive shops – Scubaqua and the Golden Rock Dive Center – which both access the stunning waters of St. Eustatius’ protected marine park. There are more than 30 dive spots around the island, combining spectacular walls with pristine reefs and exciting wreck, pinnacle and volcanic fissure dives. There are sites to suit all levels just a short boat ride away, with the option to also dive from the shore.
Both dive shops are run by highly-trained staff who are passionate about the island’s marine life. Safety is of utmost priority, with both shops equipped with high-quality rental equipment. In addition to low guest-to-guide ratios on daily dive trips, they also offer a range of certifications and courses. Up to four boat trips are offered each day (depending on weather conditions), as well as night dives, and surface intervals are held back at the dive centers due to their close proximity to diving sites.
Statia experiences warm, tropical weather throughout the year, with waters generally ranging from 79-82°F (26-28°C). The dry season extends from January to June and there is an increased chance of rain and hurricanes between July and December. Visibility is variable throughout the marine park and depends on the site and weather conditions.
Aside from its renowned scuba diving, St. Eustatius is drenched in history and a guided tour offers a unique insight into its storied past. Discover the island’s beautifully preserved architecture with the help of a local professional while learning about the people and events that have shaped the island. Alternatively, head to the St. Eustatius Historical Museum, which is home to antique furnishings and ceramics that date back to the 18th century.
Non-divers can stretch their legs on a hike to the top of the dormant volcano, “The Quill”. Soak up the spectacular views across the neighbouring islands and peer into its crater that’s been taken over by tropical rainforest. St. Eustatius is also an exceptional snorkelling destination, with black sand beaches and crystal clear water that’s teeming with marine life. If you want a day above the water, you can opt to hire a boat to explore the island’s hidden coves and beaches or rejuvenate during a yoga class or meditation session.