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“Love it here” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Islander Club La Plage

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Royal Islander Club La Plage
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Rhine Road #1, Maho, St Maarten-St Martin   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Maho
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Love it here”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

The only place to stay in st.maarten great location and excellent staff. Clean comfortable rooms and super cold air conditioning. Pool is beautiful and watching the planes fly over is amazing. Activity desk staff have excellent recommendations

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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214 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (74)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
North Carolina
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

Royal Islander Review October 13, 2012

My wife and I have traveled to St. Maarten six times. We have stayed in six different resorts. The Royal Islander is located in the Maho area. In the past, we have stayed away from this area because of the airport. The airport is right beside the resort. After our one week vacation, I think it's a great place to stay and it's pretty cool to watch the planes fly in for the landing and take off's. The planes maybe land one an hour and you have a very unique view from the beach watching them fly over you. It wasn't a distraction, but the big jets were pretty loud for about 5 seconds on take off's. They stop landing before 10pm and we didn't really hear them in the room.
The resort location is excellent. Right outside the front entrance of the resort, you can visit several restaurants, stores for shopping, grocery store and the casino. It's all located within walking distance right here in Maho! You don't need car because all of this is only a few minutes away.
We do rent car on our visits because we like to visit downtown Philipsburg, Orient Beach, Mullet Bay Beach, Friar's Bay Beach and downtown Marigot on the French side. We rented our car from "Best Deal" rental cars. Good local company. They will pick you up right outside the terminal doors and it's about a two minute drive to their office. You can't pick up a car right at the airport. All rental companies have an off site office location. You can get a compact car with liability insurance (mandatory) and taxes/fees for $170.00 a week. I rent my car with my VISA card, so visa covers my Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). This will save you some money, so you don't have to rent this insurance from the rental car company.
The resort has a pool, outside bar and restaurant beside the pool and a beach right in front of the resort. It's a great location if you would like to just relax around the pool and beach or party all night long right outside the front doors of the resort!
A couple of notes: If you rent a car, you must park your car across the street in a parking garage. The cost is $5.00 a day. It's safe and secure and easy to get your car out. The front desk at the Royal Islander will give you a key card that allows you to raise and lower the security gate.
The internet at the hotel is not free. $50.00 a week with unlimited access. You can purchase smaller blocks of time. When you log onto your computer at the hotel, you will see all your options. Enjoy your vacation!

Room Tip: All the rooms face the ocean. Not a bad view in the entire resort. You will hear some early morning...
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  • Stayed October 2012, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

I have to preface this review with the fact we landed in the middle of Tropical Strom Rafael. And everything at the hotel was WET! The furniture, the tile floors, the bedding, all WET. They never really dried! The rooms are outdated and could use an upgrade but everything was clean. The wi-fi went out and the TV was static during the storms but otherwise was ok. Oh and the AC in the unit on its lowest setting was still freezing. When we did turn it off, the condensation in the room contributed to everything being wet. That is about all I have to say that’s negative…. I read some of the reviews saying the staff was rude. I didn’t find it to be true. I did notice that culturally they react different then Americans but that’s ok. They probably think Americans are rude as well. 
Royal Islander la Plage is a perfect getaway! It is perfectly located in Maho which is ideal for those who love to sightsee, gamble, wander around, relax and eat & drink. There is a supermarket in walking distance and they let you steal the cart as long as you bring in back.
The pool was gorgeous and you have super easy access to the beach (just go down a few steps). Plenty of lounges and umbrellas.
We had two new flat screens in our One Bedroom unit.
Wi-Fi at La Plage is $50 for the week, $60 for the month. It says only for one device, but I found that if I logged out of one iDevice and logged in on a different one, I had no issues. It also works by the pool, the bar, in the lobby, and laying up by the Ocean. So not really a bad deal when you think about it.
The employees we spoke to said February is their busiest month and end of October (which is when we were there) is the end of Hurricane season. November is also very popular.
There is no reason to rent a car if you stay here. The airport is a stone’s throw away and the cab costs $8.00 from the airport to the timeshare. Plus cabs are easily accessible from the front desk. Being so close to the airport is great. My husband & I loved watching and snapping pics and video of the planes landing.
The front desk runs two shuttle trips per week normally. We took the free shuttle into Phillipsburg for some shopping. We also grabbed lunch there at the Blue B***itch Bar and had some afternoon drinks at the Hard Rock Cafe. I wasn’t too thrilled with the gypsies on the street trying to get us into their shops so we left the shopping and went right to the beach and the restaurants. We also took the other shuttle into Orient Beach. It was $20pp for the shuttle and well worth it. We rented two lounge chairs and an umbrella for $15… again, well worth it. The drive was about 40 minutes and we got to see a lot of the local sights, the roads are curvy and dangerous so that’s another reason not to rent a car on your first trip till you know the layout.
The Casino Royale is practically right next door as are other following restaurants in walking distance
• Tortuga (Pool bar at La Plage) Kelvin and Mary are fantastic!! Lots of fun. We met tons of great people who are owners at the timeshare there and they gave us some real great tips and tricks to navigate the rest of our time. Some of these folks have been coming for 20 years…. So that says a lot about this place. $2.00 beers all day long which is great coming from NYC area. Food/snacks are tasty and reasonably priced. If you drink liquor or frozen drinks, those are about $6.00 each but very delicious too! Highly recommend a stop in here daily to see what’s going on. Daily Happy Hour – What’s not to love...
• Hotel bar in the lobby opens at 6pm every night. Nice place to regroup and decide where to have dinner.
• Pizza Pasta – Walkable. Best Pizza. Thin Crust. Also had the Chicken parm. Reasonable prices, great portion size. Food was great. The group we were with loved their meals.
• Sopranos Piano Bar – Walkable. Expensive. Watch the bartenders as they hit you with a pretty big bill at the end of the night. Beers are not $2.00 as you get at La Plage. They are more like $5 or $6. And if the bartenders do shots with you, they will charge you for theirs! Be careful at this place. I was not happy. Although Barry from Boston playing the piano is a lot of fun. They also have free Wi-Fi.
• Cheri’s Café – Walkable. Food is good! Nightly show which has a Caribbean flair and lots of laughs. Go with a group if possible and sit right in front of the stage. Shows start at 8pm. They also have free Wi-Fi, just ask for the password.
• Sunset Bar & Grill – Walkable. This place is great. Open for Breakfast, lunch & dinner. Walkable. They list the airport schedule at the front so you can be ready with a camera when the planes land. Food was great. Near Dunes Casino if you wanted to walk there. Be careful though the cars are on a tiny one lane road and might not see you in the dark.
• Le Moulin Fou – Walkable. This was a French restaurant. It was a bit stuffy for our beach getaway week but the food was good. A little bit pricey compared to the others but food was good.
• Bamboo Bernie’s – Walkable. We never made it there but I heard great things from others that did
• Pizza from the Van – Walkable. We never made it there but I heard great things from others that did especially the Hawaiian pizza.
• Also was recommended that we go to Driftwood Bar, Buccaneer and Boat House but we never got that far.

Things to make sure you have handy: Cash. A lot of the places we went to either only took cash, said their credit card machine wasn’t working or charged an extra 8% if you used a card. Sunblock is amust have; was about $15 in the market. A pen to fill out your customs documentation, nobody at SXM airport would give you one. And bug spray. I guess because of the storm my legs and ankles got eaten alive. They were even mosquitos in my room some nights.

Room Tip: Request a high room facing the ocean
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

We have just arrived home after a lovely stay at La Plage. The hotel is extremely clean neat and tidy right down to the beach being swept every day. Try out the Guavacoladas at happy hour, they are something else, absolutely lovely. We hired a car for a few days to explore the island, finding some lovely beaches. Try Baye Rouge for snorkelling. You can hire umbrellas and loungers, and there is a bar/cafe which does nice food.
We stayed in room 2208,second floor up and had a great view not only of the pool and beach, but also the aircraft, which were fun to watch. The pool was very large and had the benefit of lots and lots of sun loungers and chairs, so plenty for everyone. The hotel had only the one restaurant but there were plenty of eating houses in Maho to try out. The hotel staff were very pleasant. We arrived really early in the morning, and whilst our room wasn't ready we could store our luggage, were given towel vouchers so as we could use the pool and the staff stored our valuables in their safe as well as looked after our iPads. A small downside was that WiFi was only available in the lobby or adjacent rooms. However we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and would happily come back to La Plage.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

I don't know how you feel about very cold airconditioning that you can't shut off without the room defrosting and soaking the floors, just like an old time freezer, but I HATED it.

There was FROST on the walls in the bedroom closet! I turned down the airconditioning and the closet flooded.

When I turned the airconditioning off the maids turned me in to the front desk and they called from the lobby and yelled at me to turn it back on immediately. I had to sleep out on the balcony because I didn't bring a winter coat to wear inside. I didn't go to the caribbean to freeze. Terrible, horrible, awful, if you can think of a better word for a miserable week that's it.

No pretty view or nice looking rooms can make up for absolute misery when your teeth are chattering. I HATED it!

There is absoloutely nothing to do at that part of the island. It's like a back lot on a stage set, one half street with a few stores and that's it. Most of the little shops were out of business because there just isn't enough going on there to support their businesses. Because it's right next to the airport it's noisy. After you've seen a few planes looking like they will land on the roof that experience loses it's charm.

I waited for almost a year to write a review because I was so dissatisfied with La Plage. Did you miss that I said I hated it? If there was a stronger word I'd use it. I HATED it!

Fortunately I spent the first week in St. Petersburg where I had a lovely time at a place that didn't look so 'polished' but was quaint, friendly and there were things to do within walking distance. If I ever to back to St. Maarten I'd stay anywhere but La Plage.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis, MO
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Taking the advice of another traveler to this property, my wife asked for a room change wnen we were first given a room in the 2000 room number series. They are ground level and don't have ocean views. We were moved to room 4109 and the pictures show what the result was; great view of the pool and ocean! The staff were all very nice and helpful. This property is real close to the airport runway but we were surprised that the airplanes didn't bother us at all. In fact, we ran outside to watch when we could hear one because we were close to the end of the runway. The landings were quiet; it was the take-offs that started at our end of the runway that were loud if it was a big plane. Don't let the proximity to the airport keep you away-it's great fun to watch them coming in. No plane landings and takeoffs at night anyway (that we could hear). Rooms were very clean This was a one bedroom unit with overall dimensions of 15' wide by 36' long plus a 5' x 15' deck.Bathroom had a large shower and plenty of hot water always but there was no bathtub. One dangerous setup was the small oven. When the door is opened, it is at about the 4' level. A short person is likely to burn their arms trying to take something out.Should have been installed under the microwave instead of on top. Room safe was only about 12' deep by 5" x 5" (opening was a little smaller) so don't plan on putting your notebook computer or SLR in it. TV seemed like it had at least 40 channels, excellent reception, all but one were English-speaking, U.S. stations. Speaking of language, everyone really does speak English and dollars are taken everywhere, Dutch and French sides. To get an idea of how much English is spoken, when we arrived at the airport and were walking through the terminal, the announcements were in English only. We don't get English only at Walmart at home! Fitness center was closed for renovation since this was off-season and that was a big disapointment. Pool was very clean and few vacationers meant quite too. WIFI is $50/week. We rented a car for the week but don't forget to fill the tank before you return it. There's only 1 stoplight on the island; everything else is roundabouts. Get the GPS with the car but don't count on it being exact. Get a map too. Also, stay away from Marigot and Simpson Bay during the 5:00pm-7:00pm period. Terrible traffic and this was off season. Parking charge of $30.00/week and garage was below the sister property acrosss the street. Lots of places to eat within walking distance and plan on paying $45-$60 for 2 without alcoholic beverages .A small grocery is across the street also.

We would definitely go back!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
127 helpful votes 127 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

I stayed for 2 weeks in St Maarten in September 2012. My 2nd week would be at theRoyal Islander Club La Plage which is on Maho Beach while the 1st week was at a different location near Philipsburg. I had made arrangements to stay in a 1 bedroom unit at the Royal Islander.

1st of all, this is the closest hotel to the Maho Beach area where you can watch planes land and take off. You don't even need to further then the pool deck to see the planes land. They're right there in front of you. If you walk about 100 feet, you can be in the "Danger Jet Blast" Area. Watching planes take off and land was a great novelty of this hotel. Also it's location on Maho Beach made for easy walking to several shops, restaurants, a supermarket and casinos.

I had opted to rent a vehicle. Parking is available across the street underground with a 24hr security guard. Cost to park is an additional $30 USD for the week or $5 a day. Both are with in and out privileges. This is also where the Maho Supermarket is located. It's a normal supermarket. It's not the biggest on the island, but it is really, really close.

The Royal Islander is primarily a Time Share location. If for some reason you're spending anything other then a week and arriving on another day other then a saturday then you are doing something strange.

I was in room 2204 which is on the same floor as the lobby. Saturday is the main day where everyone checks out and everyone checks in and I mean EVERYONE on the island! It's a crazy busy day for all the hotel staff on the entire island.

As all other locations on the island, check-in is at 4:00PM and it was around 11:00AM when I arrived. I stepped up to the registration desk and gave them my reservation information, passport and credit card. They gave me my parking card to access the parking garage. While my room wasn't ready yet, I went out to check out the area. I think I ended up spending the majority of my time watching the planes take off and land. I went for lunch at Soprano's which was right next door and they have a surprisingly good lunch special for only $10. Also included is WiFi. Brother Jimmy's BBQ also located next door was closed for September as this is the low season.

I think sometime around 1:00PM (after lunch) I walked back in to the Lobby of the Royal Islander and the people at the front desk said my room was ready and I could complete my check-in. They gave me my information package, beach towel tickets, as well as the cover to my safety deposit box and key for my room. The safety deposit box was very 80's feeling but hey it worked. It's rectangular with the long side facing down. You can't really put a laptop inside of it, but it works for passports and wallets.

The unit opens up to the main hallway with the entrance to the master bedroom to the side. There was an air conditioning zone which provides AC to the master bedroom, and then another zone in the kitchen which is for the rest of the unit. There is a closet in the hallway which contained a broom, dust pan, a iron and ironing board, plus other general cleaning supplies. Next room down was a spacious bathroom which had a shower but no bath tub. Then the hallway reached the kitchen and living room, and lastly the balcony. While it looks like the the places was constructed in the early 80's the equipment and was decorations were fairly modern. Actually they changed all the lamps within an hour of my arrival. Present in the kitchen were a range, electric oven, dishwasher, microwave, and fridge. There were plates, and both cooking and dining utensils. The AC unit for the kitchen area and dining room I would say worked at about 60% efficiency, but the bedroom AC worked at 100% efficiency so I didn't mind. The only thing that I didn't really like was there were no free electrical outlets. Each outlet had something already plugged in to it (mostly lamps and 1 alarm clock). There were no free outlets to plug a iPod or a cell phone in to, so something had to be disconnected in order for something to be connected.

There is a small mini-mart/souvenir on the premises on the ground floor near the other hotel but there is also a Super Market "Maho Market" located across the street. The restaurant near the mini mart belongs to the other hotel. While it looks like it should belong to the Royal Islander, it actually is associated to the other hotel. You can still dine there as they will still take your money. You just can't charge it to your room.

There is WiFi available at this location but their prices for it were something like $10 for the day or $50 for the week. I didn't opt for it instead I'd use the free Wifi available from Soprano's which is given for free with purchase of anything. Alternatively is the Free password protected Diamonds International Wifi in their VIP area on the 2nd for of the location in between the courthouse and the dock in Phillipsburg. They have an open bar, and computers to use too. I only learned about the VIP area my 2nd week on St Martin. While I think you can just walk up to the VIP without a VIP card you can get a Diamonds International VIP card from a few upscale hotels. Just look in their things to do cards area but again I don't think you really need a card to get in to this area. The bartender at the location has the WiFi password. It was better to first try this when there was a cruise ship in town rather then when there wasn't as i kinda just blended in when there was a cruise ship in town.

I believe Diamond's International offers a free shuttle from the Royal Islander to Philipsburg and back on Tuesday, but since I was renting a car and had stayed near Philipsburg the previous week I decided to explore the island on my own.

As with the rest of the island, the TV had local programming from NYC (Fox, NBC, ABC, WPIX & CBS). They were the same channel that was being broadcast in NYC. This was the way the entire island was wired for broadcast.

Housekeeping is done on Wednesday, when towels are replaced and bed linens are changed.

The Royal Islander itself was a very nice complex. Security was very good. Given the proximity to the airport runway and other hotels in the area security stopped me to ask if I was staying at the Royal Islander. In this case it's the color of the towels that identify where a person is staying and belongs. I wasn't walking with a towel at the time. While there are only 1 bar/restaurants on the complex, there are numerous restaurants, shops and casinos within a short walk. Monday is the meet and greet BBQ night at the Tortuga Beach Cafe/Bar ($19 if you sign up before Sunday or $21 if you just go) and you should at least go to the meet and mingle too as they do raffle off some pretty great gifts certificates. Many of which are discounts that can be used at locations both inside and outside of the facility.

At night or when it's dark, there are birds! The birds sing through out the entire night! They may drive some people crazy but I don't think there is anything that can be done about it.

Nearest ATM was at the RBC Bank located across the street. They can dispense USD (In $20 increments), Euros (didn't try and you won't need on St Martin) and the local currency (in 25 increments) which you'll need for gas stations.

Since I had rented a car and since I had stayed near Philipsburg the previous week I spent the majority of my time exploring the western part of this island. I got one of those styrofoam coolers and filled it with ice daily and then added beverages. Across the street where the parking garage is, is the La Terrasse Resort. From the lobby you can take the elevator or stairs down to the parking garage. There is an also an ice machine at the end of the hall on the 4th floor that I used to fill my cooler with ice.

You can also book excursions at the tour desk which is next to the front desk.

The location of this hotel to the airport runway is what made the Royal Islander ideal for my stay. It was a nice change of pace from Philipsburg but you should get out and explore the island. I'm not one to just sit on the beach as there is always plenty to see and do.

Room Tip: The higher floor room the better the view. While this location had elevators I was on the ground flo...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Islander Club La Plage

Address: Rhine Road #1, Maho, St Maarten-St Martin
Location: Caribbean > St Maarten-St Martin > Sint Maarten > Maho
Amenities:
Beach Casino and Gambling Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Spa
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Maho
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Maho
#1 Casino Hotel in Maho
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Maho
Number of rooms: 111
Also Known As:
Royal Islander Club La Plage Hotel St. Maarten/St. Martin
Royal Islander Hotel La Plage
Royal Islander Resort La Plage

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