So overall the positives of this hotel outweigh the negatives. The location is absolutely amazing. It's located in Anse Marcel Cove, so it's quiet and the beach is gorgeous. Calm, clean, clear water and plenty of privacy. We stayed there right after the end of the high season in St. Martin, so maybe that also accounted for the quietness. We had a pretty good buffet breakfast included. There is also another restaurant in the hotel; however with the city of Grand Case a 10 minute drive away, there's no need to eat at the hotel. The pool at the hotel is beautiful, although we spent most of our time at the beach (since it's so gorgeous). The gym, although not large, is adequate and the equipment up to date.
The rooms were clean and comfortable. The bathroom looked newly renovated. However, the tub/shower is a little weird in that there's only 1 door, so you tend to get water all over the floor (not that big of a deal). The rooms actually look newly painted as well, but the tiling on the floor and the furniture look old and so it makes the entire room look old (again not a big deal). Refrigerators are provided for a fee.
A rental car is definitely a must; you have to navigate over this winding hill to get to the hotel, but after doing the drive 2x, my husband was driving like a local. A smaller car is actually better for the island because the roads are narrow and the parking spaces are also narrow; a smaller car enables you to squeeze into any little space you find!
Because we arrived in the afternoon, we decided to book the water ferry for transport to the hotel. It would have been perfect, except that we had to wait an hr for the ferry (apparently the party that arrived before us was late and therefore delayed us). The water ferry does cut the trip from 45-60 minutes (depending on traffic) to 30 mins. On our trip home, we drove to the airport and it only took us about 40 mins. My husband found another way to Maho Beach (where we stopped for lunch) which cut out a lot of traffic. Also, we left to return home on a Sunday and many of the local stores are closed on Sunday, so that also accounted for no traffic.
As mentioned before, the hotel is about a 10 min drive to the town of Grand Case; we had dinner there almost every night! The food is amazing; the top rated restaurants average about $125-$150 for dinner for 2 (this includes a shared appetizer, 2 entrees, a shared dessert, and 1-2 drinks). We splurged on dinner every night, since there's plenty of cheap eats for lunch and our breakfast was included. Some restaurants do $1 equals 1 Euro, so that's a plus.
Overall, we absolutely loved where we stayed. The resort is secluded and private, so if that's what you're looking for it's perfect. It's also close to Grand Case. We visited Orient Bay and thought it was too overdeveloped and touristy; same with Phillipsburg. Marigot's a cute little town to walk around and have lunch/dinner. You can also take day trips from Marigot to Anguilla and St. Barth's.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the Hotel The Hotel Riu Palace St. Martin, situated at the beachfront on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, is the perfect place for a dream vacation and it's ready for you to enjoy all the amenities and services RIU offers to its guests. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Radisson Blu Resort, Marina & Spa St. Martin Hotel Anse Marcel
- Radisson Blu Resort, Marina And Spa St. Martin
- Radisson Anse Marcel
- Anse Marcel Radisson
- Hotel Riu Palace St Martin St. Maarten-St. Martin/Anse Marcel