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“Pleasantly surprised...” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Palm Beach Resort

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Royal Palm Beach Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   115 Welfare Road, Cole Bay 3035, St Maarten-St Martin   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Cole Bay
New Jersey
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Pleasantly surprised...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2009

We spent Christmas and New Year's weeks at The Royal Palm. We normally stay at Royal Islander & La Terrase at Maho and were a little nervous to try something else. We were so pleasantly surprised. The rooms (while smaller than La Plage and much nicer) are very nicely appointed with a full, updated kitchen, comfortable living room furniture and great beds/linens. Like most timeshares, maid service is available on a daily/semi daily (your choice) basis for a fee. We chose every other day (with two small kids!). There are two free cleanings per week as well. We did not have any problems with the hot water but we often showered earlier when our kids did. While the windows do open completely in the living room to give you an outside feel, there are no screens and mosquitos are a problem at times. We did, however, have a screen on the master bdrm door. The views are really nice and the resort is much quieter than Maho. Our front door (if you are on the bridge side) overlooked the bridge where all the mega-yachts come in and out of Simpson Bay. It is so much fun to watch them and the kids constantly asked if it was 4:30p or 5:30p so they could see them. Parking there is also much easier and there is no fee. The pool is a little small but it was never really a problem. The beach is great especially for young kids as it is really calm and flat. You definitely need water shoes as it is rocky but great shell collecting! Shoes can be purchased in the stores on site. The elevators were under repair but we never waited long for the one that was working. We often used the stairs as well. The 2nd floor bar is great for watching boats and getting online using WiFi. Last we heard they were working on a wireless system for the units. The staff was very friendly and really went out of their way on occasion. We would definitely go back as we are seasoned timeshare people. But, we always remember that if we want a first class luxurious resort, we head for a Four Seasons etc. This is not that but a great place for a family vacation with condo-type living...

  • Liked — updated units and beach, location was great and yacht watching
  • Disliked — mosquitos, small pool, traffic
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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556 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (194)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
san diego
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2009

This is a timeshare that was once owned by Sunterra and now owned by Diamond Resorts. Upon check-in we were told we had a top floor which we later found out had a 3 bedroom penthouse above us that partied until 5:30 a.m. every morning. There was NO hot water in our 2 bedroom condo for 6 days. No shower or dishwasher! 2 power outages in our resort alone. There was a broken elevator and a gym that was closed on weekends and when it was open a lot of equipment was broken, filthy and used by locals that were weight training. The place was not even close to my expectation. The owners are very upset with the resort. and voiced it by the pool. They had the nerve to charge me a $50 resort fee upon departure. For what??? They should have waived the fee based on our horrible experience that we had and discussed with the resort manager. Diamond Resorts has failed to address our complaints. We received an email from one of the executives in Vegas acknowledging our unhappiness yet he's never taken the time to call me back and hear my complaint. I would never purchase one of their properties based on their lack of response. I also visited their other property next door, The Flamingo . It was also under construction and they were shocked to hear about my experience. You would have thought that The Royal Palm would have suggested we relocate to their sister resort so we could at least take a shower! The nerve to charge us......Not recommended due to lack of respect or interest from management.
***The positives: great location, good restaurants nearby, beautiful beaches and great views.

  • Liked — location and views
  • Disliked — horrible customer service. no hot water for a week, small pool, terrible gym, broken elevator, loud neighbors
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Evanston Ill
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2009

The best way to summarize our experience at the Royal Palm Beach Resort was the good, the bad and the ugly. The good: location, accomdations and view. The bad: the uncompleted maintenance and repairs, and the small, rocky beach near the hotel. The ugly: the mosquitos, the roaches and the unpleasant odor in our room.

The hotel was in an excellent location; we walked almost everywhere. We found two grocery stores and there were plenty of choices for resturants. We used the bus service to go to Phillipsburg to shop. The bus was very convenient and a unigue experience. What they called a bus was really a van. There was no problem locating a bus stop because it appeared to stop almost anywhere. For $4 US, we went to Phillipsburg and back. It was a very personal but not unpleasant experience if you can imagine riding in a crowded van with a group of strangers.

We had a pleasant view of the beach front. Our accomodations were spacious. I loved the bed linen. The apartment had everything we needed for a week's stay. The staff was friendly and helpful although we did not have very much interaction with them.

The hotel elevator did not work. We also were warned by the management that here was a problem with the hot water; especially during certain hours. We felt anxious after this warning message, but we did not experience any problems with the hot water.

Apparently the hotel is still recovering from the effects of a hurrincane. There appeared to be ongoing work on the beach near the hotel resturant. The beach was also very rocky. I did not feel comfortable walking in my bare feet.

When we walked into our condo space, we were hit by a very unpleasant odor. At first we thought it was something the maid was using to clean the room since she was finishing as we entered. To remove the odor we opened the screenless windows. This was a big mistake. Yes we had a nice balcony with an oceanview, but the only screen in the place seemed to have holes in it. We fought mosquitos every night. We were disappointed not to be able to enjoy the sound of the ocean as we slept, but we did not want to be eaten alive by mosquitos.

Finally, we saw a few roaches in the condo. This was very unpleasant especially when I killed one on the smooth silky sheets. The odor seemed to be coming from the air conditioner. We used candles and air freshener. This helped, but I found I needed to spray everytime I walked back in becasue the smell creeped in again.

  • Liked — Good location close to the airport and resturants.
  • Disliked — The area need infrastructure as does the hotel.
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
chicago, IL
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2008

We returned last Sunday from a week at the Royal Palm Beach in St Maarten. The location was key for us as it was not even a ten minute ride from the airport which allowed us to get to the resort and check in quickly and begin enjoying our vacation. As others have mentioned there is only one elevator working, and it is very dirty/old, looks like a freight elevator so that was a bit disappointing.

The rooms are 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths, newly remodeled with a full kitchen, and new linens which were 4 star hotel quality. The view was beautiful, we could watch the sunset nightly, and the big yachts enter into the bay.

The staff was friendly and informative and responded quickly when we had a problem with one of our TV's.

The swim up bar, 2nd floor bar, and on site restaurant were all a plus as it made it nice to hang out poolside if you just wanted to relax, or if you felt like staying in, you had options for food/cocktails.

The resort is centrally located in Simpson Bay and walking distance to many excellent restaurants: Lee's Roadside grill for great local seafood and ribs, Halseys for a more upscale meal, the Boathouse and SkipJacks for great seafood, and the Tijiuana Yacht club for some margaritas and fajitas. Don's forget Zee's Bakery for the best French toast ever and The Bagel House for breakfast. The grocery store was also fairly close to the resort which gave us the opportunity to pick up a few things for our room.

The resort has a little deli/conveinent store, a video store, a place to rent international cell phones-Sharon was great, a gift shop, jewelry shop, salon, and internet cafe.

As others stated, the negative is the lack of hot water, you never knew if you were going to get a cold shower or a hot shower, or some days any water. That needs to be fixed and really is a huge negative.

Others have mentioned the resort being dirty, I disagree, I think that if you travel anywhere in the Caribeean where, you have external entries, you are going to have debris from the palm trees, sand from the beach, water, etc. Also not to mention the fact that the resort had some damage from the Hurricane Omar, I think the resort was in pretty good shape considering.

All in All, I enjoyed the resort, the island, and especially the island people-they were the friendliest people I have ever met!!

Stayed December 2008
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upstate NY
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2008

I just came home from a week in St Maarten and stayed in the the Royal Palm. Had a wonderful time. The resort was clean, rooms large & spacious, service good, but with a few drawbacks. No hot water. Only one elevator working. Small pool. All were bearable but the biggest problem is its location. The back side (or ocean side) is beautiful with a small secluded beach. The front side is the main drag from the airport to Phillipsburg. Noisey, dirty but full of restuarants & bars. If you want the :spring Break" atmosphere, this is for you. traffic is stop & go, sirens all the time & generally chaos. You must rent a car & get away from here to really experience the island. Despite many false impresions brought with me, the French side is the place to go. The roads are better, it is cleaner & the beaches are great It is more expensive, but worth it.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OBX, NC
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2008

Liked-The ocean is right in your face. All units are two bedroom suites with full kitchens. They have a full sliding glass window across the entire front of the unit, that retracts, allowing the entire front of the unit to be opened up. The views are to die for both out the front and the back of the units.

Dislikes- As others have written: The hotel is very dirty, especially the floors. There is only one elevator as the other one has been broken down for about 4 months now. The one working elevator is so dirty and so run down looking (it looks like a freight elevator), that we did the stairs, even when we were carring heavy groceries. There has been no hot water for about 3 or 4 months now, so we heated water on the stove to bathe and wash our hair with. There is no internet available, unless you go into the bar and order a drink between 4pm and midnight, even though the resort advertises that there is wireless. The 4 outdoor grills are not gas grills, and are so rusted that you would never want to use them.

Dislikes of the area in general-Filthy, but noone seems to care. Roads are a mess and there are no sidewalks. The people or government need to do something to clean up the place.

Conclusion: Given all of the negatives stated, if these type of things don't bother you, go for it. The views are worth the frustrations. Just be prepared. I would recommend this resort to a friend, only after telling them about all the negatives.

  • Liked — The views
  • Disliked — No internet or hot water. Filthy floors.
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
COMMACK, NY
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2008

Four of us girls stayed at Royal Palm the week before Thanksgiving.
We had a privately owned ground floor unit which was unbeatable. Steps to the beach, and a palapa was right out in front of our unit.
The back bedroom is kind of small, but sufficed. The front br has a lovely patio, accessible via a sliding glass door. Two nice size bathrooms with walk in shower and plenty of storage space.
We stayed at the Flamingo last year and had to take cabs everywhere. From the Royal Palm, you can walk to numerous restaurants and bars.
The pool is rather small and seemed to never get a breeze.
The restaurant was not yet open, due to some kind of labor dispute.
We walked to ZeeBest most mornings for breakfast. Excellent eggs benedict.
Other great meals: Halsey's, Lee's, The Wharf, Pineapple Pete's (the best lobster thermidor I've ever had)
Not so great meals: The Stone (a steak that was comparable to the "Sizzler") breakfast at the Yacht Club, not so good.
The front desk staff was very polite. We didn't really interact with any other staff since the rest. and bar were closed. The pool bar did open a few days before we left, but we had so much booze and beer in our unit that we never even ordered one drink there.
There is a nice bar on the second floor that opens for happy hour and overlooks the bridge. Oscar was a charming bartender. There is also free wifi there. Our unit had it's own router.
We all hope to return same time next year!

  • Liked — Easy to walk to restaurants
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Palm Beach Resort

Address: 115 Welfare Road, Cole Bay 3035, St Maarten-St Martin
Location: Caribbean > St Maarten-St Martin > Sint Maarten > Cole Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Cole Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Palm Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 140
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal Palm Beach Hotel Simpson Bay
Royal Palm St Maarten
Royal Palm Beach Club St Maarten

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