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“La Plage ok... location great!” 3 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
Chicago, IL.
1 review
“La Plage ok... location great!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2007

Location: Great! I will say that this is the big plus about this timeshare. It is centrally located and even without a rental car (which we had) there is plenty to do around the hotel. Including a casino across the street, plenty of restaurants, shopping, etc.

The room: We stayed on the ground/pool level. Which for us was just steps away from the pool (that was nice). However, as a result (we speculated) we had some "locals" drop by our room.. I don't mean people. Can you say cockroach?.. Yes you heard me roaches!! We saw three the week we were there, which freaked my friend and I out a bit. Not to mention we also had a centipede looking thing crawling around one day too. There are also cats roaming around the grounds. So if your on the ground level don't leave your bathing suit, towels, etc on the chairs outside on the patio (which we did and learned the hard way), cuz the male cat(s) will pee on it marking his territory and it will stink like feline urine! Yuk!! Oh yeah, the bathrooms don't have exaust fans.. need I say more!

Other than that, the maid only came one time, which I guess is standard for time share people.. don't know why? The kitchen is nicely stocked and if you do cook or keep left overs from dinner you have what you need to re-heat, etc.

The Hotel: The grounds are nice and seemed clean enough. The beach is nice, but due to the location of the airport and runway you will see many airplanes zipping by all day.. Which gets pretty loud. So if your looking for peace and quite your not going to get that here. The lobby is open air... meaning NO air conditioning. It gets pretty hot when your standing around waiting for service. The activities desk seemed to never have people around when we wanted to ask questions or plan a trip. So we would go to the hotel next door, the "Sonesta", literally a few yards from the front door. It's a lot nicer (your gonna wish you stayed there) and they have a Fabulous activities desk and people who are so helpful! Plan all your stuff with them!

The people/staff: Most of the staff was nice and tried to be cordial. However, we did get the feeling when we would call the front desk to ask a question, etc. like we were bothering them.

The Island Food: Great! There are a lot of restaurants to choose from on St. Maarten/St. Martin. That's one of the things which excited us about the island. We expected that Grand Case due to our research was the place to go for good food. But we went to an Italian Restaurant in Grand Case and it was way over rated.. not to mention expensive. Which all the nicer restaurants are on the island.. very, very expensive!! Be prepared to spend some cash, especially on the French side of the island. Do try Temptations and Raw both on the Dutch side, awesome! Whenever possible, eat at local places for good food, at good prices. Fashion Cafe for breakfast in the morning $12 included tip!

In conclusion the place was not what we imagined a gold crown resort should be.

  • Liked — central location
  • Disliked — old diggs and roaches!
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2007

A friend and I went as her "before I have to start teaching again" summer farewell/girls weekend trip. We had a one bedroom suite that was on the third floor with views of the ocean. The suite more than adequately sleeps 2-4 people (more than two if everyone doesn't mind doubling up). Since it was a timeshare that was "gifted" to her for our use, my expectations were somewhat limited/low with regards to what to expect.

The staff: for the most part, pretty friendly and very helpful. As with any island, things aren't exactly on schedule or as listed in literature (i.e., they had to hunt down someone for the rental car desk when we wanted to get a car to do some exploring for the day - about 1 hour & 1/2 later he showed up although the sign clearly states the desk opens at 9 am - it was 10:30am when we initially stopped by). Definitely keep this in mind and be flexible and you'll enjoy your trip.

This is not a luxury resort so the lobby isn't very fancy, nor will you be greated with a cool cloth or cocktail, but it isn't a dump or dive either. The lobby has large class that allows you to see out to the pool area and see the ocean. Additionally, I'd say it is more of a family resort as most of the people have had their timeshares there for 10+ year and come every year w/ the kids and/or grandkids etc....The pool looks better than it actually is. Its cool and pretty well maintained. However, it is not tiled...it only has the blue vinyl like lining that typically is under the tile work.

The happy hour that was supposed to take place in the lobby wasn't what we expected, but the bartender was pretty nice and served pretty good, yet strong drinks even when we showed up a few minutes before it was supposed to be over (she even extended it for us on one occassion). The activity coordinator who leads the aqua aerobics is excellent and really gets the heart and sweat going even while in the cool water! My only "complaint" (if you can call it that) was some overzealous and extremely unwanted attention we received from one of the bartenders that worked at the outdoor bar & grill. This one "negative" was completely countered by the warmth and professionalism of "Happy", one of the waiters there. He's excellent and really goes out of his way - even brought drinks and food to me by the pool.

The suite: very clean and pretty spacious; maid service is very prompt (if not a little too much so - one morning we had an issue with her coming in eventhough we had the "do not disturb sign" on our door). When we asked her about it, she said she didn't see it. We dropped the issue. I loved the shower...very hot water and great water pressure...the only thing is ventilation is bad so if you like steamy showers like I do, it's tough to get the mirror to clear up so you can use it. Also, it causes heavy condensation on the floors and walls making for some slippery conditions in there at times.

Location: VERY centrally located - there's a grocery mart directly across the street as well as some shops. It's a very short ride (15 min if that) from the airport. There are also several shops, restaraunts and a casino all within a few feet of the property.

Beach: rather rocky, especially compared to Orient Beach and some of the others on the French Side but w/ aqua sox, it isn't anything life ending....As stated by other reviewers, yes the planes do come in over your head - we thought it more cool/amusing than anything else. Occassionally, we smelled heavy exhaust fumes but it's few and far between.

I read comments before going about vendors bothering you but really didn't experience this. If anything, we encountered many when we went to some of the beaches on the French Side.

Money: the Dutch side is definitely cheaper than the French but in either case, it was no more expensive than one would spend in NYC. On average, we either ate toast or bagles that we'd stocked up on from the grocery mart or had breakfast at the bar & grill by the pool - @$10 - 20/person depending on what you ordered ofcourse (we generally had omlets w/ toast and/or waffles or pancakes, meat and either a glass of champagne or mimosas)...Lunch/afternoon snacks here avg @$12-25/person and sometimes they'd have a rep from one of the local liquor companies there making complimentary drinks (i.e, Guavaberry). We went out for dinner and that typically ranged between $25-55/person (including a bottle or two of wine and/or cocktails). On the occasions that we had lunch on the French Side, we only found a price difference by @ $5 if that. Maybe it was b/c it was during the cruise ship slow season but most of the places offerend $1 = 1 EUR instead of going on the on the actual exchange rate or a slightly inflated one. Either way, be sure to check for this before ordering or making purchases or you could get a shocker.

Shopping: found some excellent jewelry buys (i.e, a $750 Effie blue sapphire and diamond band for $225). I definitely suggest shopping around to see what the various jewelry stores have (I found most didn't have very good quality items but was very pleased with the items in the Effie store). I later found out this bargain was primarily a result of the being in the midst of the slow cruise season - very few cruise ships stopping by.

All in all we really enjoyed our time there and highly recommend visiting St. Maarten as it is very beautiful with tons of scenic vistas as well as close proximity to other islands. Island hopping is pretty convenient and somewhat reasonably priced.

  • Liked — Central location and proximity to airport, casino and restaurants
  • Disliked — Rocky beach
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Collins, CO
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2007

I would recommend this hotel for its location and fantastic beach. It's near shopping, grocery store, and nightlife. Just the right mix of things to do: beach life, shopping, touring, fun bars, restaurants, and watching planes come in and take off.

The best feature is the clean beach and the water--absolutely warm and wonderful. And it wasn't overcrowded. The pool was nice as well. There was some snorkeling a short distance to the south. The beaches at a lot of hotels further north seemed relatively small or rocky.

The room itself was a bit rundown, but the kitchenette was stocked with a wonderful array of cooking items and dishes. The housekeepers did a fine job, and the maintenance folks were good, too.

June is an "off" month and a lot of the businesses were closed. But there were more than enough restaurants and bars and the casino across the street to keep a person occupied at night.

We enjoyed a bus tour around the Dutch and French sides of the island, and there are some fun spots to visit, but I don't think I'd rent a car here. Traffic was hectic and drivers in a hurry.

Stayed June 2006
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chesterton IN
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2007

We are frequent visitors to St Maarten and we love it. But sometimes the resorts are just OK. This year in December we had a few extra days to stay on the Island so we reserved 3 nights at the Royal Islander La Plage. This was just perfect. First, the grounds, the view, and the location were just great! In addition, the staff was one of the friendly and nicest to deal with of any resort on the Island.

Some of the activities we enjoyed there were the happy hour at the bar/restaurant with the view of the planes coming in the early evening over the carribean sea at sunset. The walk to nearby resorts, small shops, and Cheri's! Our room was super. And we really enjoyed the large pool with its beautiful layout and sandy beach.

Before we left we took a dip in the sea off their beach. This was exciting yet tranquil. Exciting because the shore drops off pretty quickly so we did not know if we wanted to venture out in it, but we watch someone just wade in and it looked fun, so in we went! The buoyant sea water keeps you atop the biggest of waves and you just float! So tranquil!

Since we are such big fans of the Orient Beach, this resort must be something for us to enjoy it as well. Anyway we would highly recommend this resort and St Maarten!

  • Liked — The view, the layout, the location and the people.
  • Tips/Secrets — Explore the Island but if you are left behind at the resort you will have lots to enjoy!
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2006

This is a very basic property at best, I would give it a 2 1/2 star rating. The hotel is pretty much right where the planes land and take off. Yes, it is fun to look at once or twice, but when you are sitting on the beach and here 747's taking off and landing every 20 minutes, it kind of puts a damper on what is supposed to be a relaxting trip. It was so loud, you could hear the planes engine with the door was closed in the room. St. Maarten itself is nice, the water is beautiful and restaurants are good. If you do end up going, visit the Fish Pot on the French Side and Lee's on the dutch side. Lee's doesn't have the greatest ambience, but the fish is excellent. All in all, the Royal Islander Club La Page, was not the place for me. We usually stay at Marriott's and Hyatt's, if you stay at Holiday Inn's and Motel 6, you will find this property acceptable. If you do stay, you have been warned about the plane noise.

  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2006

Location: This resort is located literally at the end of the runway of the all new Julianna Airport, an 87 million dollar airport.

Car Rental: Until the new airport is completely finished, probably 2 months or so, all rental car agencies have a shuttle. All cars are within one mile of the airport and are extremely easy to locate. I rented a car for 4 days and drove all over the island with ease. If are wanting to get out and see the island, then rent a car. The Royal Islander even has Hertz rental cars on site.

Accomodations: The resort itself was in great shape. The interior of our unit was very clean and spacious. The A/C was awesome. Beds were comfortable and TV had a nice amount of stations to choose from.

Restaurants: In the Maho Bay area, where Royal Islander is located, there are a number of restaurants. I enjoyed breakfast across the street at the Fashion Restaurant, and dinner at Paris, was excellent. Also know if you eat at Paris you get to watch the free street dancers every night, except Tuesday, at 9PM. This little show last nearly 15 minutes.

Casinos: There is a large casino right across the street from the Royal Islander.

Before I forget, when I say something is across the street, I am talking about a street maybe 30 feet wide. I'm not talking about a large 4 lane expressway. While this road is the main road through the country, you can simply walk to the curb, wait for traffic to slow, then cross. In the whole country the highest speed limit is only 80KM or 48MPH. Most times you will not go over 30MPH and believe me, that is fast enough.

Ferry to Anguilla: The ferry ride to Anguilla is 18 minutes over and 28 minutes back. With tax and ferry charges the ride over and back totals 30.00. We grabbed a cab, 22.00 each way, to Shoal Bay. Trust me, in all my travels I have never seen such snorkeling. The water was crystal clear and the formations and fishlife were awesome. I'd go back to this area just for the snorkeling.

Nightlife: There are is a place called Sherri's across the street. I see many people went there. Kind of reminded me of a cruise ship run aground as that seemed to be more of the entertainment style. There is some shopping in Maho Bay but not a lot. Phillipsburg is only a 10 minute drive away and there you can find tons of shopping. I have read in some resorts where people complained about the noise. Trust me, there was little if any noise to contend with. Watching the jets land and take off was an awesome thing. In fact the Sunset Beach Bar is there for that reason.

Orient Beach: If you want to go to a large beach with shops and small cafes/restaurants, then this is your place. Here, as with all beaches, some ladies do go topless. At the far end of Orient Beach is Orient Resort which is a clothing optional sort of place. Yes, there were maybe 2 people who could pass for going naked, otherwise, please, get your clothes on. Nothing worse than seeing fat and plump people going naked.

Dutch side verses French side: I do not think there is a great deal of difference betweens sides. In fact you probably would not know the difference. You can use American money just like here in the states. Just take cash or your credit cards. I did see some places that did not accept American Express. Make sure to call your credit card company and tell them you're going to St Martin before going. That way they do not freeze your card for fear of it being stolen.

In conclusion, it all depends on what you want in a resort. If you want a resort close to the airport that has a nice beach, pool, restaurants, grocery store, casino, etc, then this is a great place. If you want a totally exclusive out-of-the-way place, then this isn't your place. There are so many things to do in this area and it's so handy to drive to many places.

Would I stay here again, certainly. The Sonesto Hotel, which is right beside this resort has a nice pool area with a swim-up bar that was open till 6 this time of year.

I hope you find this review helpful. I myself tend to take 4 or 5 trips a year from the Caribbean to Africa and beyond. I give the Royal Islander Resort, Two Thumbs Up!!!

  • Liked — Location to airport and all destinations.
  • Disliked — No Internet
  • Tips/Secrets — If you're going to do a lot of drinking at the sunset beach bar, buy the 50.00 membership and get 50% off all drinks and food
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Danville, Virginia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2006

My daughter, a friend, and I stayed at the Royal Islander La Plage in May and loved it. In September we went back with family members, six of us. We had three units. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We cooked breakfast every day, but went out for lunch and dinner. The beach is beautiful and there are always plenty of chairs and umbrellas. Everything around the hotel is so convenient; good restaurants within walking distance, a grocery store, a little market on the premises. We particularly enjoyed watching the planes land and take off. It's the perfect place to completely relax.

  • Liked — the beach
  • Disliked — can't think of anything
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
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 On the Beach Hotel in Maho
#1 Casino Hotel in Maho
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Maho
#1 Spa 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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