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“We loved this place!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace St Martin

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Hotel Riu Palace St Martin
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   BP 581, Anse Marcel 97056, St Maarten-St Martin (Formerly Radisson Blu Resort, Marina & Spa St. Martin)   |  
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Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Anse Marcel
Detroit, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“We loved this place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

We just came back from a week at the Radisson Blu and I would say it is the best hotel experience we've ever had. Our kids (ages 10 and 12) would agree that this place was fantastic. The hotel is beautiful and the surroundings are gorgeous. The beautiful pool overlooks an even more beautiful sandy cove with boats bobbing in the gentle waves - I could sit there for hours. The staff was very friendly and welcoming and had fun teaching our kids some French words and phrases. ("Merci, Ramboud!") The buffet breakfast has a very nice selection with something for everyone in our family - made to order omelettes and french press coffee suit me perfectly.

The location of the hotel is good too. At first we wondered if we would be a bit isolated, but nothing on the island is far away. The Dutch part of the island is very congested and crowded and the French side seems more laid back. Grand Case is only 10 minutes away by car and Marigot is 20-25.

The only negative of the Radisson Blu would be C Le Restaurant along the beach - overpriced, small portions, and mediocre quality. You are better off going to the restaurants out the front of the hotel, or better yet, driving in to Grand Case.

I would highly recommend the Radisson Blu, you'll love it.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jean-marc J, General Manager at Hotel Riu Palace St Martin, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Thank you for this great review. We are delighted that all your family had a wonderful time with us. However, we are sorry that C Le Restaurant did not meet your expectations, we will work to improve the quality of this Restaurant.
Again, merci beaucoup et à bientôt!
Best regards,
Jean-marc Jalbert - General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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944 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (167)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Enterprise, Oregon
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

What an incredible experience!

We arrived (pretty wiped out from 3 days of travel) to be checked in at the front desk. The bell hop (very friendly and helpful) was ready and waiting to take our baggage up to our room, and a friendly staff member introduced herself (Beatrice) and offered us a free drink. THAT was just the beginning of our amazing time at the Raddison Blu.

Staff: Wherever we went at the Radisson, staff members greeted us, were available for questions, courteous and helpful with suggestions. We felt like royalty. We enjoyed the Hotel Manager, Lena, the concierge (especially Alain), the front desk helpers, (especially Jeanelle!) the hostess at breakfast, Marguerite, the beach boys (ones that help you find a lounge chair, table and umbrella). The rooms were clean and on our arrival day we had a bottle of champagne chilling in our room. The ladies that cleaned the rooms were very professional and kind also.

Cleanliness and atmosphere: Everyday our room was cleaned beautifully. The bath amenities were wonderful and the rooms were very up to date. In the bath/shower was a string to hang up your wet things. Along with an espresso machine, (You get one bottle of water upon arrival) so we purchased bottled water for the machine. There are lots of baskets and drawers and closet space. The grounds were kept up and were welcoming in how the outdoor furniture was set up. Our room faced a trail to the beach, so we didn't spend much time on our balcony. Instead we opted for sitting in one of the many areas designed for guests to enjoy the outdoors. We loved spending the evenings there watching the stars and listening to the sweet night time song of the birds. There were many water features and the swimming pool was fantastic. We mostly stayed on the beach because, well...we live in the mountains.

Eating within walking distance of the hotel: There are two restaurants that we enjoyed across the way from the Radisson. It seemed like they were a part of the hotel, but are not, there is a little street (which seems more like a driveway) that separates the two. One restaurant was Victoria's; French cuisine. The food was fantastic and Victoria is a doll, along with all her staff, kind courteous and helpful. The other restaurant is Da Tony, Italian food. Fresh and delicious, with the staff very interesting to watch how they interact with each other and customers. Haha! There is also a little grocery store there with alcohol, pop, sunscreen, hats...along with a few other little clothing stores.

Then there is Scuba Zen.

Snorkeling/Scuba Diving: We LOVE to scuba and snorkel. Unfortunately my husband dove and hurt his ears. So we had to snorkel. Scuba Zen is not out to rip you off. They just LOVE their job and you get to hang out with them wherever they go. We have been to the Hawaiian Islands and experienced snorkeling by paying out the nose and jumping in the water and (seemed like) immediately being asked to come back in. But Scuba Zen dropped us off on one side of an island and left to scuba while we snorkeled all around, with one of their interns. They asked if we would like to hang out with them on the following Friday for the day. I thought. "Oh boy, this is gonna cost". And they did it for the SAME price. We got to go to a deserted island where we snorkeled, explored and sunbathed all day! They are very laid back and are great fun to be with! We just had to
bring our own lunches.

Exploring outside of St. Martin: We took a ferry to Anguilla one day to check it out. That was a wonderful island. The beaches are INCREDIBLE! IF I ever get a chance to go back, I would stay there for a bit. We rented a car there with no problems.

Beaches: They were wonderful. The water was amazing and the sand was incredible. The only struggle I had, (not being European) was that even when the beach was not supposed to be topless, someone inevitably was. That would be the only struggle we had there.

Shopping: We went into Phillipsburg a few times. We aren't big shoppers, but really the prices were so good we actually bought a lot of gifts for family and friends. It is pretty wild getting there. The streets on the island are pretty narrow most of the time and don't expect to get there quickly during the peak season. There is a lot of traffic. Phillipsburg is really set up for the cruise ships and there is a lot of activity when they are in port. Once the business owners find out you are actually not on a cruise ship they become less aggressive and more conversational, which made all the more fun to temporarily be a local.

Driving: Most tourists are afraid to drive while visiting. We really didn't have a problem. The road to and from the Radisson is steep and narrow, but we are used to that from where we live. The drivers honk a fair amount, but for the good and the bad. So we just went at the pace we were comfortable with. It got dicey a few times when a large vehicle was coming at us, I just slowed down and got to the edge as close as I could. I recommend renting a car. There is way more freedom in that to come and go as you please. We had a blast exploring the island. You can rent from Hertz right there at the Hotel or rent through Alain's wife (the concierge) at Auto Cruise Car Rental. Carin is wonderful. We got to know them both and enjoyed them very much. We got a better deal with the car and no hassles at all. She even rescued us when we were forgotten at the ferry from a sightseeing company we had received a free deal from through Costco.

Eating: Breakfast is AAAAmazing! So much food and different things to choose from. Plus they have a section of meat and cheese and of course a section of special breads that we just piled our plate with enough for a sandwich each for lunch most days. (we rented a small refrigerator for $20 a week) The staff at breakfast work hard and are very courteous. We tried to remember to tip them each day. If you really like a certain staff you are to hand them the tip. If you want them to share, just leave it at the table. The young man who made me an omelet everyday was such a sweetie. I think his name was Jean Ruy. We purchased our own pop and water for each day from their local french grocery store on the way to Grand Case. We ate out at nice restaurants every night. Doing it that way costs about $100 USD for two. It was worth it for us. We love to try new things. Our favorite restaurants away from the hotel were: L'Estaminet and L'Auberge for really nice dinners. L'Estaminet was hands down THE best and most unique. (I have a review on Trip Advisor for them) Calmos is a local favorite with less expensive food right on the beach. We found that if you go around 5:30 or 6 to Grand Case it is easy to park in the (free) public parking lot. (And the old guy that trys to take your money for
parking there, hasn't arrived yet.) AND the restaurants are empty! However, if you don't have a reservation, getting a table is still difficult. They reserve tables and how they do it is very different than the NW part of USA. Your reservation is for the night. There is NO pushing to fill your table. Relax, and enjoy a drink, an appetizer, the main course and then some dessert. Many of the restaurants finish your dinner with a bit of rum on the house. It is quite a different experience to dine there.

I would TOTALLY stay there again. I just wished Radisson Blu was on Anguilla, (no topless bathing there). Haha! It is to me and my husband a special place that felt like a 5 star hotel. We are very thankful for the opportunity we had to go. We will never forget the people on St. Martin and ESPECIALLY our home away from home. The Raddisson Blu and their employees.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jean-marc J, General Manager at Hotel Riu Palace St Martin, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Thank you so much for this amazing (and very detailed!) review. We cannot be happier than to read such good comments from our guests. We will always be "Your home away from home"!
See you soon!
Best regards,
Jean-marc Jalbert - General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roma
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

I have been to this resort unfortunately only for a day.
The resort is in a beautiful cove with a beautiful sea.
Superb hotel, the service and friendliness of the staff is excellent.
Very nice rooms and spacious.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jean-marc J, General Manager at Hotel Riu Palace St Martin, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
Thank you for this really nice review. We hope you will be back soon and that you will stay longer with us!
Best regards,
Jean-marc Jalbert - General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We spent almost a week there and it was very very relaxing. If being in a quiet environment, without a hussle and bustle of ton of tourists, with plenty of space available and not loudness - this is the place for you. Perfect beach lounging vacation.
Radisson is small and cute. Super quiet there, night and day, so, if live music and nightly entertainment you're looking for, this is not the place for you. It is spacious, clean, well maintained with beautiful beach and an equally beautiful pool. Lobby is airy and pleasant. Rooms are nice and spacious. There are 2 restaurants and 2 bars (one beach, one lobby).
It's in Anse Martel which is a little enclave surrounded by tall hills at the very end of French St. Martin. To get there from the airport, we took a taxi, which was a van (shared with other drop-offs), so for two of us, we paid $40. Once you're on the French part of the island, all in euros. If you carry them in cash, you'll be able to get 1:1 exchange, like in a lot of Grand Case places. But I digress...the ride is about 40-45 min and it's up and down. If you're lucky, you'll get to go thru other parts of the island (Dutch, as well as other French ones), so kind of a tour.
There are maybe 2-3 resorts and all tiny in Anse Martel. So, I personally liked that. Totally isolated. Radisson itself is on the little plaza, which has a couple of shops and a couple of restaurants (Victoria's Lounge is cute).
Check in was easy but can't really check in until 4pm. Check out is @ 12. Room is nice and large, cool bathroom without a border between a large shower area, but that made it look modern. Free wi-fi everywhere but the lawn area - ask for the marina code or use your room and last name. There is a nespresso machine in each room, which is really cool if you want to brew a nice cup. Everyone has a balcony. We stayed on the lawn, on the east side and it's super quiet, so even though it's not on marina side, it's really nice nevertheless. Cable tv with premium channels is also in the room.
Room service is ok, but that's it. On more than one occassion, I had to leave little notes to the stuff, to bring more soap and tea, but doable.
Breakfast is free and it's abundant, complete with french press coffee. Ton of stations - American/Continental - anything and everything - really good.
Lunch you can have (inside the resort) at either beach bar or at the beach restaurants. Lunch at the restaurant is adequate and expensive. Beach bar is better if sandwiches is all you want.
Dinner at the beach restaurant is good a la carte. Buffet was ok. They do have nightly specials themes, but we only did the nightly special theme 1st night there, opting to dining outside of the resort and even Anse Martel.
Services at all restaurants leaves something to be desired. Breakfast is the worse. They can't or don't want to keep up with the clientele, so it takes some time to either find a clean table or find an empty table and then hunt down stuff to clean and set it up. Tables are never set up preliminary for breakfast. Then you have to hunt them down for coffee and/or tea. Beach bar service is also slow. Sometimes, you just sit and stare at the bar tender willing him/her to give you menu and then to pay attention to you afterwords. Restaurant services at other meals is equally slow. But that is the case in ALL dining establishments on the island, as they're on their own non-hurried time. As a New Yorker, that was tough. :)
Gym is small but adequate. Spa we never utilized, so wouldn't know.
Beach is small but beatiful, idyllic, clean - all good things. Pool is large and also all the same things. Plenty of space to lounge anywhere you want, as as least when we went, was not super busy. Totally chill experience hanging out at the water the whole day w/t anyone bothering you. Get your towels and relax with the book!
Clientele is largely French speaking, but also Americans, Eastern Europeans, and Portugese - at least was when we were there. So, pretty international, which is cool.
You can certainly rent a car if you want to venture out, but we didn't, as didn't feel like dealing with sketchy roads and even sketchier parking. We took taxi and used Gus. His email is gus-cab@hotmail.com and he's a great guy and super reliable. But folks, it is expensive to cab back and forth. For example: Grand Case round trip is 30 euros; Oyster Pond is 60 euros; I think Margot would be 40.
To dine out - we went to Grand Case 2 nights and the place is rather sketchy. It was liveliesque on Tuesday when they have street fair and then the carnival. Marigot is cute. Oyster Pond is all condos/time shares but decent restaurants and is cute.
All places, including Anse Martel have own marinas, so all very pleasant. Anguilla is a hand-wave away, so that's cool.
Overall, apart from a slow island service, it was all very nice and enjoyable.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jean-marc J, General Manager at Hotel Riu Palace St Martin, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your recent stay with us. We are glad that you liked the quietness of the Resort that gave you the opportunity to relax and enjoy the beach and the pool!We are, nevertheless, sorry about the slowness of the service, we took the necessary actions to be better in this area.
We hope you will be back to the Resort soon!
Best regards,
Jean-marc Jalbert - General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olomouc, Czech Republic
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013 via mobile

We are now on our second week in Ance Marcel Radisson. This is probably the best place on the island. We have been to some other parts of the island and we were everytime happy to come back to our hotel. Great pool, beach, room, food, service... If we come back to St Martin it will be at the Radisson.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jean-marc J, General Manager at Hotel Riu Palace St Martin, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Thank you so much for this excellent review. We are very delighted that you enjoyed our Resort and we look forward to welcoming you again very soon.
Best regards,
Jean-marc Jalbert - General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Our room was lovely, the grounds are gorgeous, the beach and view are stupendous. The front desk staff however leaves much to be desired. We were part of the "My Time" 'club' and were supposed to receive extra perks. We did not. I asked and basically got a shrug. I also have a food allergy and emailed the hotel in advance, asking if the chefs could accommodate me. The hotel emailed back that someone would be in touch. Nothing. I emailed again 2 days before we left and got no response. I asked at check in and said there was a note and the chef would call me. No one ever did.

When we arrived there was no bellman. I parked my car at the front door and went in to check in. While doing so, a bellman came and asked for my keys. He moved my car, took some of our belongings out of the car (not all) and did not tell me where I could find my car or give me a valet ticket. The next morning we had to hunt through the lot full of nearly identical rental cars to find ours.

The breakfast buffet becomes tiresome - same things every day with only one "plat du jour" that changes.

I appreciated the fact that our room was cleaned before noon each day. The sleep number beds are nice. We were supposed to have a marina view and instead we had a view of some trees through which you could maybe make out a boat or two.

The place is beautiful and comfortable and it has probably the best pool I've ever been in, so I do highly recommend it. It is very close to Grand Case where the best restaurants are.

If you are uncomfortable driving up and down steep hills with hairpin turns you won't want to stay here. The drive is a bit harrowing.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jean-marc J, General Manager at Hotel Riu Palace St Martin, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Thank you for giving us your feedback on TripAdvisor. We are happy that you appreciated the comfort of the room. However, we would like to apologize for the fact that our employees were not as helpful as they should have been. We have shared your comments with the team and we have worked to avoid this situation to happen again.
We hope you will give us another opportunity to show you the improvements we made.
Best regards,
Jean-marc Jalbert - General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Portugal
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

The room had good ateas, very clean and glpbally everything worked
The breakfast ws nice nt specyaculat very simple but ok
The rest of the meals were uninteresting more of the sam
I thought of going with a meal paid, thank god i didn't
We ata at la grande case that has grest restaurant we went t la villa and one in front ocean 82
W reallly at wel
The all exerience was very nice

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jean-marc J, General Manager at Hotel Riu Palace St Martin, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
Thank you for posting a review on TripAdvisor. We are glad that you had a great experience at the Radisson Blu St Martin and we look forward to welcoming you again.
Best regards
Jean-marc Jalbert - General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace St Martin

Address: BP 581, Anse Marcel 97056, St Maarten-St Martin (Formerly Radisson Blu Resort, Marina & Spa St. Martin)
Location: Caribbean > St Maarten-St Martin > Saint-Martin > Anse Marcel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Anse Marcel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace St Martin 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
New opening. The Hotel Riu Palace St. Martin, situated at the beachfront on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, is the perfect place for a dream vacation and it's ready for you to enjoy all the amenities and services RIU offers to its guests. Located in the beautiful cove of Anse Marcel brings the opportunity to enjoy a natural reserve with its unique flora and fauna and also sandy white beaches with dream-like turquoise waters, ideal for relaxing and practicing water sports. Rooms , restaurants , bars, pools and spa are at your complete disposal as part of the exclusive hotel facilities. The hotel restaurants will delight you with a wide variety of flavors from the rich and colorful Caribbean cuisine to the international dishes prepared daily by chefs. A perfect destination for travelers who want a few days of relax, beach and sun, offering tranquility and fun alike. You'll find the most diverse activities and sports that enliven your stay, and at night you can enjoy the best entertainment. Undoubtedly the small island of St Martin, in its 88 Km2, offers the perfect holiday destination: beautiful beaches, warm weather, and local friendliness. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Radisson Blu Resort, Marina And Spa St. Martin
Radisson Blu Resort, Marina & Spa St. Martin Hotel Anse Marcel
Radisson Anse Marcel
Anse Marcel Radisson
Hotel Riu Palace St Martin St Maarten-St Martin/Anse Marcel

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