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“Idyllic Setting for a Relaxing Vacation” 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 #2 of 5 Hotels in Anse Marcel
New York City, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Idyllic Setting for a Relaxing Vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2010

My husband and I just returned from a week at this resort and it was the perfect relaxing get-away. The location is on the French side of the island and you drive over some very high hills to arrive at a horseshoe shaped bay where all you see around you are green hills and no other buildings. It feels as if you have discovered this place before anyone else has.
The beach is beautiful. There is a wonderful open-air restaurant right on the beach that is open for lunch, cocktails and dinner. The food is wonderful and the service is very good. At cocktail time, they have a divine guitarist/singer a la Carlos Jobbim singing sexy Brazilian songs as the sun sets...very romantic!
There is nothing to do at night but if you feel the need to leave the resort, the town of Grand Casse is about 15 minutes away and is filled with bars and restaurants...very crowded and fun.
The staff is very friendly and really can't do enough for you.
We can't wait to go back next year.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,030 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (184)
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English first
Midlands, U.K.
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2010

The hotel seems to get mixed reviews according to when you stay. We've just returned at the end of April, so it was low season I guess. The (very large) poolside and beach areas were practically empty so we had no problems with crowds. I appreciated the fresh fruit they brought round in the morning for free, eating juicy melon whilst ladies were doing a keep fit class in the pool - very energetic.

We didn't experience any unpleasant staff (see other reviews) - quite the opposite, each and every one was friendly and helpful. We had to search for someone to bring us tea & coffee a couple of mornings at breakfast. Yes, they seemed to need more staff to clear away the breakfast tables, so I can imagine if they have the same staffing levels during high season then that could be a problem.

Our room was on the top floor on the corner, so we had a lovely view of the grounds, pool & sea from the balcony. It was clean, comfortable and bright. The hotel was thoroughly modernized last year, so I don't see how it can be described as "outdated" (see previous trip advisor comments). The bed was huge and adjustable, internet is free in the room (wifi is free but only available in certain areas) and the bathroom was a good size (it's smaller in the suites). We had our own laptop so didn't need to queue for the hotel's computers.

The spa uses top quality French products and you can choose what colour lighting you'd like in your room during treatment.

You need a car hire to get around the island - the hotel's up a steep road, then down the other side towards the beach, with lovely views over the hotel and its marina and back towards Pinel Island (avoid there on a Sunday, by the way, it gets packed). The local people are pretty chilled out generally, but put them behind a wheel and they convert into fast, impatient drivers who drive up close behind. Our hire car was scraped all over to the point where you couldn't note down all the scratches & bumps, but luckily we didn't add to them. At the end of the day, we've known worse driving elsewhere. Hire car is easy from Hertz in the hotel. If you can, use the boat shuttle between the airport & hotel for your arrival/departure (30E pp each way), a lovely half hour trip.

Grand Case and its many excellent restaurants are only 10 mins away from the hotel. We ate at Le Shore, L'Escapade and el Nettuno - all very good. We were also recommended to try the shacks roasting ribs, etc on the bbqs but didn't get a chance to try them. I'd also recommend Waikiki at Ocean Bay at lunchtime, good cuisine including Japanese, in a large beach shack. Men - enjoy the fashion show with scimpily clad ladies in bikinis! We were disappointed with the hotel's buffet meal in Le Marche in the evening, it was expensive for what it was. Also, we weren't impressed with the Italian restaurant opposite the hotel .

I'd recommend this hotel to most people, although teenagers would be bored outside of peak season.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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DC
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2010

Stayed at the hotel over Spring break with Wife and kids 6 & 8. We stayed at the Westin last year and decided to stay on the French side this time. Would highly recommend this for people looking for a home base or simply want to relax and be left alone, but less so if you want to stay on the resort and expect great service.

Positives
- Hotel common areas were better than expected. The lobby, grounds, pool and beach were all very nice. The lobby and grounds were immaculate and felt caribbean (in contrast to the Westin). The beach is long and hared with Le Domaine, but very narrow. Rooms were quiet which may be due to being on the 3rd floor (highest). Lots of shade at the pool and they will bring extra umbrellas as needed.
- Hotel location, yes you have to drive over a steep hill, but you quickly get used to it. The hotel is 10 minutes from Grand Case and Orient Beach. Renting a car is a must.
- Breakfast was very good. Traditional buffet with everything you could want. One section was eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes; omelet station made to order, various pastries, baguettes, fresh fruit and more. Yes, you need to flag a waitress to get coffee, tea or hot chocolate; but otherwise excellent. Service until 10:30 I think, but less crowded the earlier you get there.

Negatives
- Service is non-existent. I don't usually require or want much service, but there literally were very few people to serve. When asked people were helpful, but they didn't go out of the way to be friendly.
- Pool Bar. From the reviews I didn't expect much service, but the bar food and selection is very minimal. The pool bar is connected to the towel shed and has very very limited offerings. Daquiries, etc. were served from slushy machines and really only had hot dogs and such to eat. I would recommend walking down the beach to Le Domaine's beach bar.

Miscellaneous
- The hotel offers various experiences for small fees (wine/cheese, pizza making for kids, mixology class).
- Nightly entertainment off the lobby was not very good, but lobby bar service was the best. It was nice to sit outside in the beautiful weather staring up at the stars.
- Highly recommend Ti Bouchon. The owner Momo is great. Also had good experiences at California and Tastevin (concierge can reserve water views) and L'Auberge. I don't remember the name, but the italian restaurant across the street was also very good if you don't feel like going out. Also liked the small gem/jewelry store in the same shopping strip mall across the street.
- No gambling on the french side, if that matters to you.
- The hotel has two computes for guest use off the main lobby. Generally has a wait with kids on Facebook.
- Loterie farm is a different experience if you want to get out of the heat. Zip lines were fun and they have Tarzan track for younger kids.

Overall I would say the resort is a good value and we had a good time. I would definitely go back for the right price, but would not pay rack rate to stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Piscataway, New Jersey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2010

I did not enjoy my stay at this hotel.

The hotel is beautiful. As for the grounds, they are lovely and the beach is nice. There are water sports on the beach which are convenient. The pool is also very nice. The positives end there.

The hotel is very far from civilization. If you stay at this hotel, a rental car is necessary if you plan to leave the resort BUT I only recommend this if you are a brave driver. The roads there are no joke and I am a New York City driver!

The restaurant at the hotel isn't good at all.

As for the rooms, the bed was comfortable but there were ants and the air conditioner didn't get very cold at all.

I would not stay at this hotel again!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Seattle
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2010

This was a four day stop on our honeymoon in the Caribbean, and our experience at this resort was so negative that the General Manager gave us a voucher for three free nights at another Radisson of our choice.

We did not have any assistance upon arrival, and the problems started from there. We reserved a nice marina suite, thinking that for the price per night, it should be fairly nice. However, after going back and forth to the lobby to get a key card that works, we discovered the following in our suite: stained sheets, cracked tile floors, number bed that didn't adjust, and a shower with mold.

Aside from our room, the included breakfast lacked any service. My husband and I waited for a service person to bring us coffee each morning, but each morning my husband ended up flagging a service person down and eventually getting the coffee himself form the service station. The food is generic and dried out, and the tables around us remained uncleared during our three mornings at breakfast.

We tried to have dinner at C down by the water, but did not get seated. There were staff persons around, and they just glanced at us and stood around. Other family members came in after us and they did not get seated either. After waiting for about five to seven minutes, we left and went elsewhere.

The towel hut service person was beyond rude to guests. She tossed the towel tokens at my husband instead of handing it to him -- the tokens landed on the ground.

Aside from the front desk person who checked us out and the concierge service lady, the remaining housekeeping, waitstaff, and waterfront service persons were very unmotivated and rude. We got the impression that they just wanted guests to leave so they can continue socializing.

The pool itself looked very nice. We did not spend time there because it was very crowded with families. The beachfront area is nice, but not very large, so it also got very crowded.

The online pictures of the resort looks very nice, but in person, the resort looked dated.

We did enjoy our wine and cheese tasting, but even getting to the event was arduous b/c the person at the restaurant told us that it was free and payment was requested when we arrived. The cheeses were good, but the wines left a lot to be desired.

The resort is close to Grand Case, so we had fun nights out. Ultimately, we were both very happy to end our stay at the resort. Perhaps the resort during the low and shoulder seasons, but definitely not during the high season.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
chicago
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2010

My husband, 12 year old daughter and I stayed at the Radisson for a week over my daughter's spring break. We very much enjoyed our stay at the Radisson. Our room was nice, clean and comfortable with Sleep Number beds. The hotel grounds, including the very large pool and lovely beach on a small cove, were beautfiul - both very kid friendly given the large shallow area of the pool and the not too-big waves at the beach. The service was friendly and prompt. The breakfast buffet that was included with the price of the hotel was extensive and good, including a made-to-order omelet station, bacon, sausage, plantains, pancakes, lots of fresh fruit and fruit juices, pasteries and great coffee. The hotel's other restaurant was pricey and the quality of the food inconstant - lunch one day of grilled fish was very good but a "beach barbeque buffet" another night was only fair. An upside and downside of the hotel is its location - it is at the end of a crazy steep up and down road with lots of hairpin turns, but the sort of off-the-beaten path location made the resort quieter and more private. We loved St. Martin - the residents we met were welcoming and helpful. We stayed on the French side, visiting Grand Case (which is about 15 minutes from the hotel), as well as Marigot and Oysterpond. There are lots of great restaurants in Grand Case. I suggest renting a car if you visit St. Martin - I'm not sure how people who don't rent cars get around, I assume by taxi, but we drove everywhere, which was a bit of a challenge (given the steep, narrow and curvy roads) but the car rental was very economical (we bargained at the airport once we arrived - there are line of rental car stations at the airport similar to what you would find in any U.S. airport, and were pleased with the price, car and service we got from Empress Rent-A-Car). The French side uses euros but you can pay with dollars as well, although the dollar/euro exchange rate made things pricier for us. Merchants in St. Martin (at least the French side) prefer cash and, having gotten used in the U.S. to using a credit/debit card to pay for everything, big and small, we had to get used to the reluctance to accept a credit card for purchases of less than approximately $25.00. Cash stations were availalbe but not as omnipresent as in the US.

  • Stayed April 2010, 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
    • 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.
New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2010

Stayed for one week with my family including two kids 12 and 9. The resort is a beautiful spot located between Grand Case and Orient beach on the French side. The location requires negotiating a steep, winding, road that finds you isolated from the rest of the island a bit. Can slow you down if you like to move freely about the island.
• Good things about the resort...
Beautiful grounds
Nice room, (Marina Suite)
Great beach and pool, (oldest loved the beach, youngest the pool)
Nice gym
Large euro cooking/american style breakfast buffet
Friendly staff
• Things that were not so great
Food was fair at best considering elsewhere on the island reside some of the caribbean's best restaurants
Expensive, (blame the dollar/euro conversion)
Overall very nice vacation. My observation is this is a great place for those who want to spend a good amount of time at the resort as moving freely about the island is more difficult from their location. My previous vacations on St. Marteen always involved moving from beach to beach and town to town. Found it much harder this time to get around the island because of traffic and our location.
The island has changed over the years... found Marigot, one of our favorite spots to be quieter and a bit uncomfortable at night. Never used to see so many "securite"... must be a reason, no?
Still loved Orient beach and their restaurants/beach bars... have the nicose salad and a Caribe or three at Kekoa beach. Grand Case still a great place at night and make sure to visit the Gerard Butler look a like at Calmos Cafe! A shout out to Michael, the sweetest waiter in all of St. Maarten at Escapade in GC and thanks for a great dinner at Spiga, again in GC.
Did not make it to the Dutch side so cant comment on their attractions.
Overall a great vacation, thanks Radisson.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Anse Marcel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace St Martin 4*
Number of rooms: 252
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 & Spa St. Martin Hotel Anse Marcel
Radisson Blu Resort, Marina And Spa St. Martin
Radisson Anse Marcel
Anse Marcel Radisson
Hotel Riu Palace St Martin St Maarten-St Martin/Anse Marcel

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