We stayed at Royal Palm Beach Resort between Dec. 23 and Jan. 1st. at a 2 bedroom apartment. The weather was perfect, but the water was extremely cold (not sure if it is like that during the rest of the year, since it was our first time in St. Maarten). A serious and disgusting problem on all the beaches was that many people took their dogs to the ocean, even at beaches with signs saying that dogs were not allowed. It seems that all the apartments have ocean view, which is really beautiful, and we could not stop admiring it. The staff was just OK, but the "entertainers" at the pool area were very funny and nice. The housekeepers were nice too, but they cleaned the apartment only once during our 9 day stay, and it would have been much better if they could have come every 2 or 3 days. Our kids had lots of fun, got tired and slept comfortably. We loved the food all over the island, especially the sea and creole food. Note that most of the restaurants already charge 15 percent service on your bill. Restaurants and supermarkets are very expensive, so be sure you will pay much much much more for everything than in the US. One thing that really disappointed us at this hotel was that almost all the time all the palapas were reserved and the guests just disappeared for hours. There were signs on the tables or umbrellas saying that after one hour their pesonal items would be taken by the staff (which would be fair), but as the staff actually never did that, people ignored the signs and reserved the chairs and umbrellas during all day, everyday. The location of the hotel is great, you can walk to a lot of good restaurants or take a bus ($ 1.50 per person) to Phillipsburg to shop. We rented a car for only 3 days to visit other beaches (I recommend Mullet Bay and Friars for calm waters and Baie Rouge for a gorgeous view) and it was good enough for us.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.