Just got back from Mercure Simson yesterday (Jan 20/07) and happy to answer questions. I will be posting a review later...
Just got back from Mercure Simson yesterday (Jan 20/07) and happy to answer questions. I will be posting a review later...
We are planning to go to the Mercure Simson, and have a few questions?
1 do you have to pay to play tennis?
2 do all rooms have a little fridge?
3 what was your rm #, in which bldg, and did it have a view and did any could any be adjoining as we are a double group?
4did a bus take your tour for free fromthe airport to the resort? or did yoiu have to find a ride ourself? and how long is this trip?
5do the rooms have safes?
I'll answer the questions as listed...
1. I'm not sure if you have to pay for the tennis or not. I really don't think so, but can't say for sure.
2. My room had a kitchenette on the balcony with a mini fridge. I believe all rooms have the mini firdge, but not the kitenette.
3. My room number was 257 and was directly next to the lobby and was street-facing. Certainly not a great view. There are many rooms with pool/lagoon views but they are at a cost of 30 Euros per night to upgrade. ALL standard rooms are street facing, or at least this is what we were told. I don't know if there are any adjoining rooms, but there are "duplex suites" that I believe have 2 bedrooms. That would be something you can ask the resort about. You can contact Dagi at H1100-RE@accor.com she is the reservations manager.
4. I flew with Air Transat and they shuttle you from the airport to the hotel at no charge. The trip is only about 10-15 min.
5. There are safes in each room. No key is required...you make your own punch # to access the safe.
Hope this helps...if you have any other questions, ask away.
Did you go all-inclusive? If so, were there restrictions? As posted, some people said you were only allowed 4 drinks/per day or 8/per day.
How far was the walk from the resort to a "nice" beach?
Did you get the 3 free day car rental? If so, what were the hidden charges (how did it actually cost)?
Was there any night life that you could walk to? If not, did you take a cab to a disco/casino .. how much was it?
Thanks for your help.
I did do the "all-inclusive". There are restrictions on the drinks. You're allowed all the drinks you want through the day (no limit as to how many). However, the advertised international drinks is not true...there are no international brands (ie. Absolut, Tanguery, Canadian Club, etc) They have them, but charge extra. There are no mixed drinks except for the first 3 on the menu. The bar stock consists of vodka, rum, gin, and beer. Wine is only served at lunch and dinner...you have to be seated at a dinner table to get wine. When getting drinks at the bar, there is a 2 drink allowance at one time.....more than that, another person has to be with you. When we arrived there, it was one per person so it changed during the week. There is also different rules to what can be mixed with alcohol as well...some juices are not available for some reason. There are a lot of rules when it comes to the drinks...too many for my taste. There is a large coffee machine at breakfast with expresso, coffee, cappacino, etc that is "help yourself", but forget about getting a cappacino with dinner....not included at dinner. Anyway...I digress....again...too many rules.
The beach at the resort is great for sunbathing, but no swimming. You can swim, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it. Baie Rouge is about a 10 min walk and is not that bad once you do it a couple times. It's not as dangerous as some have said....just be careful of the traffice as they do speed through there. Stick to the right going up as there's a larger shoulder and you'll be fine. The beach and water are amazing....well worth the walk. I would also check out Mullet Bay and Maho Beach where the jets come in about 100 feet over your head....a MUST see.
We chose to get the car rental to tour the island. We were there 3 years ago and had some favorite beaches to visit. There are no hidden costs....25 Euros per day for 3 days. You are not able to rent it for 1 or 2 days...it's the same price. 25 Euros translates to approximately $41 Canadian per day. It's a great deal and a MUST in my opinion. There are also buses and taxis. Buses are cheap...about a couple bucks but can be a pain to catch and take awhile as they stop everywhere. Taxis can get pricey, but take you to where you want to go. I highly suggest the rental. You can take them on Sundays and Wednesdays....we took the later and planned ahead of time where we wanted to go so no time was wasted.
There is definately no nightlife at the resort. Not sure if there's anything in Marigot for clubs or casinos. We drove into Maho to the casino and Sunset Beach Bar with no problems. The Casino Royale offers unlimited drinks to all players...so if you're not the driver, enjoy! Mercure also has a nightly shuttle to the Atlantis Casino. It leaves at 8pm...not sure what it's like, but it's free. The activities director also plans trips to Bliss in the Maho area. Bamboo Bernies is next to it as well. They take you there, get you in and you have 1 free drink...I think it's 10 Euros. Not sure how you get back though. I assume a taxi. The buses don't run at night and taxis are hard to get after midnight. We opted not to go.
I hope I answered all your questions...anything else, let me know.
Just to let you know...I would never recommend this place to anyone. It has the worst service I have ever encountered. I LOVE St Martin, but would NEVER go back to this place...there were a lot of unhappy people the week I was there.
We are going to the Mercure Simson on February 3rd for a week. We reserved in October when the reviews were pretty good, now they seemed to have gone downhill. But it's too late to change.
Do you have any suggestions on how to improve our stay at the Mercure Simpson given the situation we are reading about?
I still had a great experience in St Martin aside from the Mercure. The resort, in general, is a good place if you can overlook A LOT of smaller annoying things.
You are able to change resorts if you choose to. I assume you're flying Air Transat. They will change you, but there is a considerable cost involved and is probably not worth it (I tried prior to leaving).
That aside...my suggestions would be....
1. take the rental car deal with your package. I would book it for Wednesday morning (you can book for Sunday or Wednesday). This way, you have a few days to figure out where you would like to go, etc. You can tour the island, go to the various beaches, go watch the planes, shop in Philipsburg, etc at your own pace. The island is easy to drive around with no worries.
2. If drinks are a problem, take a bus or taxi into Marigot and get some booze of your own. I picked up a couple bottles of wine for pre-dinner drinks in the room. I also picked up some mixed cheese, crackers, etc. Also pick up bottled water if that's an issue as it was for me. 18 - 1.5L bottles was 7.99 Euros. The liquor is cheap. I love a Spanish coffee or what have you after dinner. There is no such thing here. I bought a bottle of Amarula at duty free. After dinner, I got a coffee and a dark rum, went to my room with a plastic cup and got some Amarula and mixed them at the restaurant...very good....a pain, but still good.
3. Take the 10 min walk to Baie Rouge....well worth the walk. Don't stay at Mercure for the beach. A short walk makes all the difference in the world. Be sure to go to other beaches with the car rental.
4. As far as service goes....not sure how to get around that. It is the worst I've ever encountered. If you speak French, you may have a better time with it than I. Money doesn't even make a difference. I still stuck to my usual "please and thank you" and ignored it.
5. Take some face clothes...there are none in the hotel. Not sure if it's an issue, but just a head's up.
As I said, I had a GREAT trip, the Mercure was just a sour note...it did not ruin the trip. If you can go with an open mind and let things go, you'll be fine. Be sure to catch the live music on Friday night. I'm not sure if they have the same singer each week, but CJ was AMAZING. I bought her CD and love her voice. She wrote or co-wrote the entire album.
One last suggestion....be sure to get the FIRST bus to the resort after landing and you should be able to get checked in before the all-inclusive bar ends. Check in can be very confusing so the sooner you get there, the better.
I second all of the suggestions mentioned and will add a few.
The lunch BBQ is great (I think it was on Sunday). Go on time to all the buffets because I found their restocking to be slow or sometimes non-existent.
When they have the raspberry chou pastry dessert definitely have it . It was the best dessert all week, fresh raspberrys, real cream and puff pastry. I also didn't mind the shrimp fettucine at lunch.
If you like boiled eggs, soft boiled take 5 minutes and you must stand and guard your eggs and toast or they will disappear (people just don't get the system)
Royal foods is a short walk towards Marigot and you can pick up snacks, wine etc... for your room.
In Marigot the drinks and food are most in-expensive at the local places near the market.
The chicken and ribs at the lolo at Mullet Bay were good and I thought and the beach was nice. We walked to the Sunset bar from here (we actually took the bus to Mullet Bay for a buck I think).
I think they said Thursdays are the best day to see 747's land. Margaritas at the Sunset bar are $7 american each.
Bring a portable DVD player, there are cables on the TV that make hooking it up and watching a movie easy. I burned some movies before we went and it made for an enjoyable evening when we wanted to chill out. The TV channel selection is limited. I also would bring batteries for the remote for the TV, I think that is the main problem. You set the TV on 60 not 3 to get the channels, that is the other issue we had.
Thats all I can think of for now. We had room 132 and it was freshly painted and in pretty good shape. It faced the pool and we weren't charged extra, it was just the room we got.
First thank you for all the info.
Could you tell us about the rooms (are they clean), service (friendly)and the food (just ok, good or bad) is there plently? My husband would also like to know about the beer.
We were in St. Martin last year and loved it. (not at the mercure simson).
The rooms are reasonably clean. Ours was cleaned daily gefore noon and was cleaned to a "passable" standard...certainly no attention to detail. There is a removable glass top to the dressers and it was quite dirty underneath with a few ants. We told our Transat rep as the front desk are useless and it was cleaned and sprayed the next day. The rooms are definately worn and tired looking and in much need of updating. From what I understand, there are more updated rooms that are "superior" and lagoon/pool facing. We booked standard that are all street facing and were unable to change.
The srevice (sorry to say) is some of the worst I've ever encountered in 10 years of traveling. There were a select few that were friendly and pleasant. The front desk staff are terrible and could care less.
The food ranged from ok to excellent. The breakfast is the same everyday with no variation of buffet. There are hard-boiled eggs you do yourself and some version of scrambled eggs. They looked like powdered eggs or something...not appetizing at all. There are the standards...toast, bacon, sauasage, croissant, juices, fruit, etc...fine for breakfast. Lunch is bugget BBQ 2-3 times/week and VERY good. The chicken is absolutely delicious with lots of salads, fries, burgers, steak, fish, etc. The other days is a la carte with 2 choices and was good. There's not a lot off food depending on how hungry you are. Dinners are mainly a la carte and tended to be very good. You have 2 choices of appetizers, main meal and a dessert. All were good and quite filling. If you are a larger eater, you may have to fill up on bread, but we never had a problem. This is not the type of resort where there is food everywhere all the time....definately no snacks here! I would take some with you or take a walk up the street to the grocery store and pick some up.
The beer is plenitfull and available from 10:30 am to 10pm. I'm not a huge beer drinker, but from what I remember, they had Heineken (sp?) and Presidente on tap. They have Heineken in the bottle but that was a mystery as sometimes they would give the bottle and sometimes not. They have very odd rules when it comes to drinks. As a side note....many people travel with thermal mugs for drinks.....they won't fill them up here. You are allowed 2 drinks at once per visit to the bar.
I hope I've answered your questions...any others, let me know and I'd be happy to help.
What I found interesting is, when you read the responses from the management after a bad review, the management is condescending and rude. Like that is going to entice people to stay there?