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“Unbeatable Location”

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Hotel Riu Palace St Martin
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Anse Marcel
Certificate of Excellence
Bayside, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Unbeatable Location”
Reviewed April 11, 2011

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.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank RheaTG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (406)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
cml79
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2011

My husband and I traveled here for our "babymoon" and had a terrific time. I was a little hesitant after reading some of the reviews about it being secluded, however we never felt that way at all. I guess it depends on what you are looking for in your vacation. If you want somewhere that is walking distance from night clubs and the "scene," then don't go here - stay on the Dutch side of the island near the airport. If you want to relax in a private little ocean paradise, close to all necessary amenities, then stay here.

The hotel is set on a private cove with one other luxury hotel and some cute little restaurants, so there are no annoying peddlers trying to sell you trinkets, and you feel completely safe even leaving your stuff at your beach chair while you have lunch. Despite being late-risers, we were also always able to find chairs on the beach - even with shade! This was a necessity for me with my fair skin.

The hotel staff is nice - except for the restaurant staff who weren't the warmest. The only downfall I would say is the food at the hotel was a bit overpriced for what it was. The included hotel breakfast, however, was GREAT and very extensive. We were able to eat a big, full breakfast each day and wouldn't have to worry about lunch for a while. We ate lunch & dinner at the hotel a few times out of convenience, but with so many amazing French and Caribbean restaurants in Grand Case - a 5-10 min drive - I would definitely recommend eating out most of the time. The Italian and French restaurants behind the hotel are also good and easy, especially for lunch.

A couple of tips:
*DEFINITELY rent a car. We got a midsize for ~$180 US for the whole week, which was soooo worth it, and would have been cheaper than a taxi. You may have to shop around online to find the best price, but you can find it.
*There is a grocery store about 5 min from the hotel - take advantage and stock up on water and snacks so that you don't have to pay outrageous mini bar prices.
*Check out the butterfly farm near Orient Beach. It's quaint but nice for a little day out.
*Orient Beach is not all it's cracked up to be. The beach is PACKED, very touristy, and surprisingly windy! The water is much nicer at the hotel's private cove. You may want to check it out just to say you did, or if you want to try out some of their water sports - looks like good windsurfing - but you probably won't stay long.
*If you want a great meal for cheap, check out Villa Pizza - right at the intersection as you turn onto the hotel road. Recommended by locals and A+!
*If you want a special night out, try Auberge Gourmande in Grand Case - W.O.W.
*The hotel has free wireless in the lobby, but don't rely on it too much - it was up and down a couple of times while we were there. Turned out being good for us, though. ;-)
*The hotel spa is very nice if you're into that.
*Worth mentioning that there are no ocean view rooms, however this never bothered us as the ocean is right there and the gardens and landscaping at the hotel are beautiful.
*There really is NO nightlife at the hotel, so if that's important to you, I wouldn't recommend this place. There is, however, 5-10 min cab ride in Grand Case or Orient Beach.
*Have an amazing time, and bring your camera! This place is gorgeous.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank cml79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
30 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2011

Our third time in St. Maartin , our first time to Raddison Blu..very european/french..which we enjoyed.. We are a couple in our 50's and enjoyed the quiet calm surroundings as well as all the beautiful beaches that St. Maartin offers..Orient beach, dawn beach, frier's as well as the market in Margot. and shopping in Phillipsburg..Our highlight was Pinel Island...Just beautiful. We would definitely recommend this hotel but I do not feel it is a 5 star.. No refridgerator..or fan in bathroom.. to name just a few...The beds were extremely comfortable and a great nights sleep..No ocean view rooms ... Not much to do in evening at the hotel

Room Tip: Most rooms overlook a central palm tree lined area
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank getmeoutofhere14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska
1 review
Reviewed March 31, 2011

The staff was VERY hospitable and friendly. The rooms were very clean and comfortable. I wish they faced the ocean. The grounds and beach were well maintained and quiet. Great place to take a family. The road to the hotel is a bit of a goat trek. There are great places to eat in Grand Case, but expensive. The breakfast and bar food at the hotel are great. The dinner buffet was ok, but expensive. I would suggest you stop at a grocery store to buy drinks and snack food. Prices at the shops and resort are very high.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank BlueWater1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2011

This property had it all, amazing views, great beaches, no crowds, top notch pool, and stand-out service. I would recommend it to anyone. The location is perfect for those who want to get away from it all. It is situated in a valley of two large park reserves, which add to its beauty. I was absolutely blow away at the property.

I'm a 29 year old gay male and i traveled with two of my other gay friends. We were very pleased that the hotel was gay friendly.

The only bad thing I can say is the location is a bit far from the airport and Dutch side night life (45 minutes), so rent a car.

Great restaurants are:
Le Santal in Sandy Ground - Great romantic place to have dinner and watch the sunset
L'Estaminet in Grand Case - Cool French Restaurant w/ innovative food preparations
Calmos Cafe in Grand Case - Casual, on the beach, feet in the sand dining

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bruston M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
105 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2011

We stayed for a week at this resort. The rooms were lovely, the grounds well maintained, the pool and beach very nice. It is in a remote area of the island, at the north tip, and quite private. All of this was overshadowed by the ridiculously priced dining options. A wonderful breakfast buffet was included in the price of the room, and we saw many guests loading their bags with fruit and bread - we assume to keep from having to buy lunch.
From the $7 US hot dog and small $5 bag of popcorn by the pool, to the dinner buffet at around $40 US per person [not including salad, drinks or dessert], the food, which was average, left a very sour taste!
We did find a small restaurant across the driveway, Le Calypso, which offered baguette sandwiches at lunch for around $8 US, but aside from an equally expensive Italian restaurant on the property, that was our only other option.
We ended up renting a car for a couple of days, and then we took a cab [$30 round trip] to Grand Case - where there were fabulous restaurants - for dinner each night.
The spa at the hotel was very nice, and the staff was excellent. We had several massages and enjoyed them immensely. My husband was particularly fond of the Indian chavuti massage, 80 minutes long with the masseuse walking on you for much of it. Once again, however, we thought these prices were very high.
We are experienced travelers, and we don't look for bargain sites, but the combination of the exceptionally high dining prices and the lack of nearby options, was a real damper on this trip.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank somanybooks523
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new jersey
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2011

All the positive reviews about this resort are true! We were greeted with a complimentary drink upon arrival and upgraded to a Marina Suite, which was absolutely beautiful. The breakfast buffet was good for the most part, but I would suggest going early or late, as it get crowded during peak hours (around 9am). We found the staff to be mixed - some were not overly accommodating, but others were very pleasant. The food at the beach restaurant was delicious for both lunch and dinner, but a bit pricey (125 EURO for two for dinner, lunch ran 35-80 EURO for two people). The resort is definitely quiet and relaxing, not a great place if you are looking for crazy night life, but definitely a perfect place to unwind.

Other than that, the resort, beach, and pool are absolutely beautiful. For the more adventurous people, there is a nature trail nearby. If you hike for about 1/2 hour you will come to a remote rock beach that is stunning (and you will have it to yourself). If you hike about an hour you will come to a beautiful remote sand beach, which you will also have to yourself.

We rented a car to see the island and often ate off the resort to save money. Grand Case, about 10 minutes away, had great food at fair prices. We often ate at the outdoor bbq huts (lolos), which cost 25-40 dollars for two people for dinner (and they offer a $ = Euro conversion rate, which helps if you are from the US).

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank parks1084
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace St Martin

Property: Hotel Riu Palace St Martin
Address: BP 581, Anse Marcel 97056, St. Maarten-St. Martin
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Maarten-St. Martin > Saint-Martin > Anse Marcel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Anse Marcel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace St Martin 4*
Number of rooms: 252
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

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