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“Pleasently surprised” 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 #2 of 5 Hotels in Maho
Westminster, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Pleasently surprised”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013

We just returned from our week stay on Sunday. We booked this resort on one of RCI's special "sales" so I was a bit concerned, but almost everything turned out excellent. We checked in the day it opened after the two week closure for maintenance. Our room was wonderful. It was very clean and everything was in working order except for the stove. It turned out to be nothing more than a breaker and they fixed it right away.

The pool is very nice, but 3/4 of it is 8 feet deep, so it isn't a real kid friendly resort. As we are empty nesters that was fine with us, but families might want to look elsewhere.

As everyone else mentioned, it has a great location as long as you enjoy the planes. They don't take off or land during the night so that's not an issue, but when the big planes come in (about 6-8 flights a day) it is loud.

The only disappointment with this resort is the Concierge. He doesn't seem to care much if you go on an excursion, don't go, or whatever. In fact he was kind of rude at times. WARNING: Don't take the Anguilla Shoal Bay excursion. It was one of the most expensive excursions that I've ever been on ($120 per person) and by far the worst. I will go into detail on my review on their website (www.touranguilla.com). We complained to the Concierge after, and he got very defensive and of course did nothing to compensate us. Come to find out his son (or son in law) is the owner. They put us on the boat, then in a van to the beach, then basically didn't care about us after that. It was terrible. Take a catamaran trip if you want to go to Anguilla.

Other than that, I highly recommend this resort.

Room Tip: We asked at the desk when we checked in for a nice room and they put us on the 4th floor. The Sones...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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207 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 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 (71)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
California
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

My wife and I were surprised at the overall experience at the La Plage. We found the accommodations were clean, while the euro style kitchen was a little confusing . It was location was convenient to the beach, shopping, a the perfect pool ( without a bar) keeps the clean and more sanitized. There are casinos, restaurants and a nice grocery in this community of Maho. Plans to return within a few months.More water aerobics would be our request.

Room Tip: Rooms on the 4th and 5th floors with a view of the sea and airplane landings are breath taking and n...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapin, South Carolina
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

My husban and I have been many many times to the Royal Islander La Plage. St Maarten is one of our favorite places to stay. We love watching the aircraft land right outside our view and the area has everything you need. We traveled here since 1987 on and off.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Nashvillle
Top Contributor
377 reviews 377 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 94 cities Reviews in 94 cities
226 helpful votes 226 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

As we booked this hotel as an Interval Exchange swap with our much nicer unit in Palm Springs, we were very disappointed in the quality, service and general upkeep of hotel. I think the best way to review is to list what I liked and what I didn't like.

Like:
Proximity and walking distance to many restaurants, bars and piano bars
Near airport but that's also something I don't like
Large pool and many chairs
Housekeeping staff very friendly
Hotel security very friendly

Dislike:
NOISY - you know exactly what time each large plane leaves (they start at 7am) and you feel like you are on the runway as you actually almost are....
Rude staff upon check-in
Check-in took 30 minutes (waited 20 to begin)
Sometimes rude service at poolside bar/restaurant
Lobby bar that never appears to be open
Small elevators

Room Tip: Higher floors have better views
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 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.
Dallas, Texas
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

This is a GREAT place to stay!!! Two couples spent the week of May 11th through the 18th. It is in a great location, within walking distance to just about everything you need, groceries, liquor, casino, nightclubs, restaurants and shopping, but I still recommend getting a car to get around the island. We stayed in a two bedroom/two bathroom unit on the 4th floor (Unit 4105, fairly close to elevator, close to ice machine). The unit was very clean and fairly recently remodeled; the A/C worked amazingly well, the rooms are all nicely sized, the kitchen was well stocked (we had no problems making breakfasts, lunches and snacks in the room); the beds were okay, comfort-wise. There were plenty of towels and storage space in the unit. The ocean and pool views and grounds of the resort were absolutely BEAUTIFUL. With the exception of the Front Desk Staff, the staff is very accommodating. Can't wait to go back, we made several new friends.

The beach is not very big, but it is nice and there are lounge chairs and umbrellas for the guests’ use; if you prefer a pool, the pool is wonderfully spotless and well-maintained. Although it is very close to the airport noise really is not an issue and it was fun to watch planes come in for a landing. Parking is extra ($30/week) in a garage at the Royal Islander La Terrasse across the street but having a car is nice so you can explore the island. Nothing is really more than 30 minutes away. Wi-Fi is also extra ($50/week, through a third-party provider) but worked really well in all the rooms and on both balconies, the entire week.

I recommend the Sunset Bar, Bamboo Bernie’s, Soprano’s Pizza and Cheri's right in Maho; or Pineapple Pete's and Jimbo’s in Simpson Bay for good food reasonably priced, there is also the Tortuga Cafe on the property that is good. I never paid more than $22 for a meal at these places, usually cheaper.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the side that runs parallel to the beach, better views - also ask for the second f...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

This review will have a number of comments. Pay close attention. One important comment. We visited the first week of September just before the peak hurricane season. Many of the islands' restaurants, hotels and attractions close for a couple of weeks and the number of tourists during he first week of September is not very high. So, bar noise wasn't a big problem. We had hot and humid weather with a few lightning shows at night and a couple of daytime showers. Fortunately, no hurricanes.

This hotel (a time share resort) is on a beautiful sandy (but someone steep) beach shared with the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort. The beach faces the south into the Caribbean Sea. The prevailing wind is east which is important as you will read. The sand drops off immediately into deeper water so you have to be careful about undertow while swimming. The resort(s) put up red flags when the risk is higher, but beware... it is a public beach with no lifeguards. We did note a few daring women who decided to sunbathe topless but not many. The pool is well kept and clean and with many umbrellas and a some tropical trees for shade is quite enjoyable. During the day, air craft land into the East wind on nearby Princess Juliana International Airport. This makes for quite a seen when the BIG KLH liner comes in for a landing. It is almost like having it land next to you...well... IT is landing next to you. That nice beach also supports a few bars: the hotel's Tortuga Beach Café, the "driftwood boat bar" and the "Sunset Bar and Grill on the other side of the runway. The end of the runway and beach next to the runway is a place where daring (and crazy) people stand when the when the big jets rev up their engines just before take-off. The sand blast is quite painful and can cause injury. The bigger jets actually push water 100 yards away from shore.

The rooms in the hotel as spacious and surprisingly quiet considering the noise of the nearby jet engines and the surrounding bars (the Sonesta has one facing the opposite side of the hotel). The jets stop taking off and landing at a reasonable hour, but the bar scene goes on until late at night. I didn't have any problems sleeping through either of the noise makers and the sound insulation was not perfect but pretty good. The beds were comfortable and the rooms were clean. We didn't cook much except to make toast and coffee (Dunkin Donuts 12 oz bag was $13.35 across the street). The grocery store across the street is island expensive. Another hint... if you plan on doing quite a bit of food shopping The Royal Islander has a few shopping carts just around the corner from the front desk to make it easier to shop and bring the stuff back to your room (the grocery store won't let you use theirs). We never turned on the burners or used the cookware so we can't comment on that. Hint: the bedrooms facing the Sonesta may be quieter than the bedroom facing the beach. Seems the bar noise from the Bliss nightclub next to the Sunset Bar and Grill gets going very late at night especially on weekends.

The air conditioning inside the room was outstanding! Our suite had tile flooring and the floors remained cool and even cold on your bare feet... suggest some slippers! One negative comment: the warmer cooler knobs on the A/C controls didn't seem to do anything. If you want it warmer, shut the units off for a while. The rooms stay cool for a surprisingly long time.

Another hint: Load up your ice bucket with ice and stick it in the freezer. It is a lot easier than making ice with a couple of ice trays.

The maids come in once during he middle of the week and also at the end (start) of the week. They did an excellent job.

Check in and out was fairly quick. Be advised of the $50 tax slapped on your bill at week's end. Also watch for "optional" charges like $1 per day for a "Aids" charity. They didn't ask about it they just added it. We had them take it off (perhaps I might have paid it if I knew anything about the charity). Some of the front desk personnel were VERY friendly, helpful and great to get to know. On the other hand, the supervisor of the front desk seemed the opposite. Even though the hotel was not at all full the week before it shut down for two weeks, she only allowed us 1 extra hour at check out (normal check out is 10AM). Our flight out was at 4 PM so we wanted to hang around the pool until about 1:30 before getting ready to go to the airport 5 minutes away.

The hotel uses a towel card to allow you to borrow pool and beach towels out at the pool area. The beach towel building next to the pool gives you a towel and keeps the towel card. When you turn in your towel, it gives you the card back. If you don't turn the towel card in at check out the charge is $20. Remember that is for every towel card! If you lose them or lose a towel it can become a major check out item. One good note, after you check out, you can give the people in the towel building your name / room number and borrow a towel for that period of time between check out and leaving the hotel. The hotel also has about a half-dozen well equipped shower / changing rooms located near the pool and a luggage storage room near the front desk. So you can use the pool for that middle period between check out and flying out!

One really negative thing was the absolutely atrocious performance of the concierge. We came in a day late due to flight problems and missed the Monday "tour the island" activity. We asked the concierge if he could arrange a trip for us and he said "no, try one of the taxi's". Basically, your on your own! Later in the week we asked him if he could find a sunset cruise for us (which were offered by a number of small sailing vessels bus some were closed for a few weeks). Again, he said all he had was a couple of sunset dinner cruises and nothing else. We happened upon a flier for a square rigged sunset cruise which was open. DO NOT TRUST the Concierge to help you find the best deals or even any activities unless it is in the activity flier. HE WAS USELESS!

The restaurant (Tortuga Beach Café) was quite decent giving good lunch and breakfasts at "island - fare" prices. Happy hour also gave nice drinks. Get to know the bartenders they were pretty friendly. Note that the food quality, although reasonable, wasn't gourmet. If you like a big breakfast, the $18 buffet at the Sonesta is pretty good....and has mimosas and boozed up coffee to go with what ever you want for breakfast (including omelets). The non-buffet Tortuga Beach Café is priced a bit lower but you get less. Remember... some of the local restaurants serving breakfasts were closed during my visit.

Room Tip: the bedrooms on our 3rd floor suite faced two directions. The master bedroom faced the beach and th...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Matthews, North Carolina
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

As a Hilton/RCI member, and savy discerning travelers. DO NOT GO THERE! Rooms haven't been renovated in 25 years. The reps told us the club was close to the Airport, no its like being on the runway of the airport. The air is so polluted from plane engine exhaust,burning rubber from plane tires braking, and noise pollution you can't enjoy being outside in the pool, the beach, and couldn't possilbly eat at their only outside cafe. Their hot tub was small and out of service while we were there.The water there was not filtered it had a light brown color. The lobby was small, displeasing and hot-no ac. When we arrived our phone was out of order, some lights in the room were burned out. On da. 3 our toilet wouldn't flush.Day 5 our rm safe stuck,it took over an hr.to open- excuse-they were new. Clean towels are kept on BR floor in a plastic basket next to basket of dirty ones.All our clothes, towels, sheets were almost wet each day. We complained to Joe the asst. Mang.he was uncouth & could care less. Even Debbie the mang. was deeming, acted like we were wasting her time.We later recvd a dehumidifier.Couldn't wait to leave!!



The asst mag

Room Tip: Unless you are desparate do not come to the La Plage! If you must, request a rm away from noisey air...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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 Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Casino Hotel in Maho
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Maho
#2 Spa Hotel in Maho
#2 On the Beach 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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