My husband and I just got back from St. Maarten and a week long stay at the Sea Palace in Philipsburg. We were given a condo overlooking the beach and it was the most amazing view! The beach along Great Bay is in my opinion the best strip of beach in St. Maarten. We spent a lot of time on our deck, because the view was so spectacular. We had a one bedroom condo that was a lock off. We kept the A/C on in this room and closed the curtains and slept better than we have in a very long time (super comfortable)! We had a rental car that was not the nicest car I have ever had, but ran fine. We had been told that parking near the Sea Palace was difficult. We however, did not experience any problems parking at any time. The condo's are older and a "little" run down (older TV and a few cracked tiles), but still very acceptable. All of the supplies we needed were in the condo. The location is ideal. Several restaurants and tons of shopping. The town is fairly quiet until a cruise ship comes in, then it's booming. I would highly recommend staying on the Dutch side. The French were not that friendly and they pay in Euros, not a good bang for the buck. The Dutch side uses US dollars and it's very simple to understand the exchange. Do bring cash because they prefer that and some places only take cash. PLEASE NOTE: if paying by credit card, they do not xxx out your credit card number, so we crossed out with a pen, part of the numbers for safety and everyone was fine with this. If you are going to a restaurant, NOTE: most of the restaurants will tack on an automatic 15% service fee, so keep a close eye on your bill. Some of the restaurants share this with the waiter and some don't so please ask. We tipped a few additional waiters that weren't given part of the fee. RENTAL CAR ADVICE: The people of St. Maarten are wild drivers. You will have mopeds, motorcycles and cars pass you from the left and right, so you need to be comprehensive while driving. Lot's of speed bumps. The roads are bad on the Dutch side, but improve on the French side. We found the people of St. Maarten to be really wonderful. We will be back again as soon as we can. We recommend the Sea Palace and the Restaurant in the Sea Palace (really good food). OVERALL EXPERIENCE WONDERFUL!!!
Ask for a beach view... ;)
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.