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“Fantastic low-season Experience, Affordable and Beautiful”

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Hotel Riu Palace St Martin
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Anse Marcel
Edina, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Fantastic low-season Experience, Affordable and Beautiful”
Reviewed October 30, 2012

We took our honeymoon in St. Martin and stayed for the entire week at the absolutely beautiful, secluded Radisson Blu. Here, on the elegant French side of the island, you are hidden on the far side of a large hill, with a beach and bay practically to yourself (there is one other resort next door.) But in the low-season the guest count is so low that you have REAL privacy and relaxation. We had beautiful weather (no hurricanes) and had, at most, six other people sharing the beach with us. We could never have afforded that kind of luxury and peace and quiet during the regular season. The staff was friendly and very attentive -- the one time it rained and we were caught on the beach, a kind staff member came down with two umbrellas and helped us get back inside with our things. The house rum is delicious and the lobby is a relaxing place to take a cocktail and read a book. The rooms were clean and very comfortable, with bright colored chairs and pillows that remind you that you're in the Caribbean. When you visit during the low-season there are some downsides -- most of the restaurants on Grand Case (the busy restaurant capital of the Caribbean) are closed for the season, but the one we went to Bistrot Carribe was fantastic and very French. It depends what kind of vacationer you are. But for us, the peace and quiet, and near-private beach, were unexpected and pleasant surprises. The Spa was a wonderful way to de-stress and relax, and the hotel gave us a free ride to the nearby ferry to experience the incredible Pinel Island (which, like our beach, was far less crowded in the low-season, I imagine people are fighting for chairs during the winter.) We couldn't have asked for a happier place to spend our honeymoon. For young newlyweds or vacationers without deep pockets, I highly recommend a stay in the low-season. Just keep an eye on that weather report!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Cate H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jean-marc J, General Manager at Hotel Riu Palace St Martin, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Thank you very much for this nice review. We are so happy that you spent a memorable honeymoon thanks to us. We would be delighted to welcoming you again next year…
Cordialement,
Jean-marc Jalbert – General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (430)
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

We stayed at this resort for a long weekend. This is more like a 3 star place. The grounds are nice, but I was surprised to see how far the rooms are from the beach. There is no water view rooms, maybe the suites have a view of the marina inlet, but I am not positive.

The staff can be quite rude at times, being the low season you would think they would be more helpful b/c there are fewer guests..A few moments to comment on. Walking to the front desk.."Hi, I would like a new hair dryer, ours is broken..Response.."your hair looks dry" Seriously? what kind of place talks to the guests that way..Another moment at the bar asking the BARTENDER what red wine he would recommend.."I don't know, I don't drink that"..They need to desperately refresh the staff on manners and customer service.

The concierge was great..Charlene..A bright spot.

This hotel has a small, but clean beach..It is located down a very steep road though and you will need a car or a cab to get anywhere..It is very isolated. The rooms are fine, clean, balcony overlooking the grounds. The lighting at night is not great, very dark..The stairways need to be better lit.

Overall, I would not go back..Could not imagine spending the higher prices in the winter months.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 3ny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jean-marc J, General Manager at Hotel Riu Palace St Martin, responded to this review, October 29, 2012
Dear Guest,
Thank you for posting a review on Trip Advisor. We cannot apologize enough for the situation you described in your review. We will share your comments with the team to make sure that such situations do not happen again. We are glad that the concierge was great and that you liked the room. We hope you will give us a chance to welcome you back at the Resort in the future and give you another insight of our property.
Cordialement,
Jean-Marc Jalbert – General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2012

We just got back from Radisson Blu at St. Martin from a family vacation. The resort itself if newly renovated and all rooms have are nicely appointed with comfortable beds , espresso machine, flat TVs and any other amenities you might think of. The rooms have free cable internet, but they were putting in wireless as we stayed there. We traveled with friends and together we were 4 adults and 4 children under 5, the hotel staff was great at accommodating our requests when it came to serving kids dinner early or sometimes have it brought our right onto the beach.

Beach.
The beach is just like you see it on the pictures, beautiful. My only complain is that it's fairly small, so if you'd like to go for a walk it's going to be a 5 minute excursion. Since it was low season the beach had never more than 30 people on it, which made looking out after the kids great. It also didn't get too deep right away which gave us some peace of mind watching them play in the water.

Food.
As this was low season only one restaurant was open and we were on a European plan (breakfast only) The breakfast got boring pretty quickly as it was the same thing each day. We had dinner in the hotel restaurant once as the menu seemed to be geared towards the North American pallet. We went to Le Calypso and La table du Marché multiple times which are walking distance from the hotel. Both serve a great variety of food and have better service.

Secluded.
If you don't have a car you're stuck, so if you want to go anywhere you have to get a taxi or car rental. We ended up renting a car for a couple of days and visited few other beaches and towns. It's well worth to do so to get the island experience as opposed to being cooped up in the resort for the period of your stay.

Overall it was a great vacation, if you're looking for a quiet resort, that is on a small but beautiful beach and don't mind the limited mobility this is the place. I can't speak how it looks in high season, but they were less than half full, so I imagine the beach gets quite busy.

Room Tip: As for an upgrade to garden view, the basic room faces a service road. Ground floor would be my pref...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank krawczynski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jean-marc J, General Manager at Hotel Riu Palace St Martin, responded to this review, October 29, 2012
Thank you for your great review. We are thrilled that you enjoyed your vacations with your family and friends. We will share comments about the food with the team to improve our service and offer. We hope to see you again soon!
Cordialement
Jean-Marc Jalbert – General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boise, Idaho
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2012

The Radisson Blue Resort has been a great experience. We had been informed timely that the (huge) pool was under maintenance, but that has not been a problem since the beach is beautiful. We were upgraded to a Marina Suite and definitely we could not have asked for anything more. In September there are in average 20 people and, also for this reason, we received a royal treatment on each day of out staying. Staff is superb, we enjoyed the two events that we could attend: aperitif with the General Manager and his staff one day and an introduction to the creole tapas and the different rums an other. If I have to think about some minor issues, these are the limited dining offer ( only Le Marche' was open with a limited menu ) and the absence of WiFi in the room. Beside that, anything else has been perfect. The property is immaculate, the garden rivals the best ones we have seen around the world. I forgot my iPhone in the room and the staff promptly promised to send it back to my address with the only request to cover for the expenses. The breakfast, because of the limited amount of customers, is a la carte but w/o limitations and with a great variety. We plan to go back one day. We went to the restaurant of the nearby hotel and we found its menu a more intriguing, but, again, this is because the real gourmet restaurant of the Radisson was not open this time of the year. For sure we suggest to try one of the many great Restaurants in Grand Case. We found Bistrot Caraibes to be a great choice ( we are from Italy and pretty knowledgeable about European food in general and French one in particular ).

Room Tip: We stayed in one of the Marina Suites and definitely these are great rooms. Some of our ( few ) neig...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Pibba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jean-marc J, General Manager at Hotel Riu Palace St Martin, responded to this review, October 29, 2012
Thank you very much for this really nice review. We are very happy that you had a great experience at the Radisson Blu. We hope you will be back to visit us again very soon!
Cordialement
Jean-Marc Jalbert – General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morristown, NJ
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2012

It's been a month since a friend and I visited for 5 days. It's definitely a "tale of two visits"...but the resort itself is beautiful and the staff superb. Since it was off-season, the over-all experience wasn't totally great, but the value was worth it. First, the positives...it's beautiful, clean, well-run, picturesque, and the staff were very pleasant and helpful. The pool is amazing, and while we're no connoisseurs of fine food, we really enjoyed everything we ate there, from the amazing breakfast to really good food both at the restaurant and with room service in the evenings (being off-season, we had a hard time finding any place else to eat nearby, the places were either closed or totally deserted, so we just ate at the Radisson).

The shared beach is in a nice-sized cove and it's very close to Orient Beach, one of the most beautiful I've ever been to. But there is a down-side that I think it fair to point out to potential visitors; the location. The French (north) side of St Martin/St Maarten isn't very appealing to those who like to drive around and explore. It's run down, with lots of graffiti-covered shipping containers all along the roadside. The roads are in horrible condition and if you can find a short spot of smooth road, there will most likely be a French officer with a radar-gun standing there to make sure that it takes you forever to get where you're going. I highly recommend taking water-taxis or regular taxis if you stay at Radisson Blu. It's EXTREMELY hilly and traffic is horrible, and this was off-season. It's easy to miss the last left turn that leads you on the semi-private road to Radisson, and that's not the nicest neighborhood. The Dutch side is so much more modern-feeling and enjoyable to drive around. Certainly not Radisson's fault.

I also had a big problem with the watercraft rental people that Radisson uses (only choice there at that beach). The older gentleman was good the first time we rented a wave-runner, but when I paid $160 Euro for the ADVERTISED TWO-HOUR excursion, but being off-season, it wound up being a rude young Frenchman and apparently a group of some people he knew just racing around/horsing around and leaving me behind with no guidance or direction (up to 1.5 miles out to sea in 3-foot waves when I was only experienced in calm-conditions with a wave-runner). After dealing with this rude person adn his group zooming off at 30+mph (I was indicating 22-27 and they weren't even in sight) loudly, I brought it to the hotel's attention and they did a decent job for me, getting 50% refunded, but I'm not at all satisfied. The sign clearly says "2 hour excursion" and yet the hotel told me that "in fairness, it's only supposed to be 1.5 hours so they have to go fast". This to me is clearly untrue, as I have a photograph of the posted sign saying "2 hour - 160 Euro", so on that alone I have issues with Radisson's treatment of a customer. I simply wanted to "sightsee" around this gorgeous island on a wave-runner, but was treated horribly (no "safety briefing, no explanation of where we were or where we were going, etc), the guy just kept coming back to me every 20 minutes or so and saying "Sir, you must keep up". Let's just say, our "discussion" afterwards resolved nothing. He also refused to let me wear my sport shoes (had a touch of sunburn on tops of feet as this was our last day there) saying that it would "Scratch the watercraft" when the older gentleman the day before said "of course you may, no problem" when we did a half-hour on the wave-runner. The watercraft do have non-skid areas by your feet, so again, I feel this younger person was simply rude and not the one who should have been running this "excursion".

Aside from that, our only problem was being a bit disappointed that we were ignored when we asked about a possible upgrade upon arrival. We did a travelocity deal, which was very worthwhile, but when we first inquired, we got a rather short "this is your room" from the gentleman, (who did turn out to be a great guy). Still, it looked as though the place was about 30% capacity being off-season, so I think they could have at least given us a room that had more view, as we just had a view of the walking path between Radisson and the other resort there. The one other thing is that smoking is allowed both on the beach and at the poolside beach, and I do find cigarette butts all over a beach to be unsightly to say the least. They raked the beach in the morning, but didn't pay much attention to the butts.

Overall, I'd say that if you don't mind the little things I spoke of on a vacation, this place is gorgeous and worth it, especially if you're on a romantic get-away and want a bit more seclusion than the crowded beaches of the Dutch side. Dolores, the activities director, was wonderful in giving us great ideas, maps, and contacts to do all we did (para-sailing, zip-lining, sight-seeing, shopping, etc), and Christian and the rest of the staff were very nice also. I probably would return there on season, but spend less time at the beach at the Radisson Blu. The rooms were really nice, the large flat screen TVs had TONS of available channels (all the NY stations, ironically were available to us), and the shop next door had all kinds of things we needed, like waterproof cameras, hats, etc. On a scale of 1-10, I'd give this resort a 9. There's a large area for outdoor activities such as croquet and volleyball too, so this place has just about everything.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NJ-RichardJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jean-marc J, General Manager at Hotel Riu Palace St Martin, responded to this review, October 29, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to post a review on Trip Advisor. We are glad that you liked our beautiful Resort and that you enjoyed the pool, the beach and the food. Nevertheless we would like to apologize for the situation you faced with the water sport activity; we have discussed this situation with the manager so the service is now much better.
We look forward to welcoming you again very soon
Cordialement
Jean-Marc Jalbert – General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
anguilla, bwi
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2012

It's off season so our rate was about $175US for the night, so I felt that at that price the hotel deserved 5*. the room was completely remodeled (and they did a really nice job) as was the lobby area. grounds were well maintained, pool area looked very nice and relaxing (it was closed for renovations since it's off season), beach was nice and calm. Staff was extremely nice, genuinely interested in making our stay a good experience. Very relaxed atmosphere, not stuffy. My opinion is that this is a great place to stay as a family. we stayed without our kids, and it was great for that too, but it looked like a place that families would be comfortable, I saw a little playground for kids and a kids club. There were a few things that were not perfect, but I couldn't count them as actual faults at this price. one was the electrical outlet situation in the bathroom - none, lol. had to blow dry my hair at the mini bar mirror, which was fine but weird. Also, the bathroom was clean, but I am an absolute clean freak and I felt it could have been just a tad cleaner (the floor specifically). we ate at the restaurant which was just fine, and on the islands in off season you may or may not realize that even the fact that they remain open is amazing, let alone serve a decent meal. The hotel only had about 10 rooms rented the night we stayed, so they were definitely losing money by staying open, so I dont fault them for having a very sparse breakfast buffet (which was included in the price anyway, so no big deal)...So...would i stay here in season and pay full price? yes, I will give it a try. I have paid well over $300 for a room at another resort on island that doesn't even compare. In fact, I have stayed at the only true 5* resort on St Martin and I thought Radisson Blu was quite comparable on many levels.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ingipg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jean-marc J, General Manager at Hotel Riu Palace St Martin, responded to this review, October 29, 2012
Thank you very much for your nice comments about our Resort and for giving us a 5*!! We are very happy that you and your family had a wonderful time with us.
We hope to see you very soon for another great experience!
Cordialement
Jean-Marc Jalbert – General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2012

Me and my wife stayed in Radisson Blu St.Martin in July and were very satisfied. The hotel is secluded in a beautiful lagoon with crystal clear and calm water. We stayed in the Marina Suite and it was very quiet and spacious.
The beach was amazing and one of the best I've been to in the Caribbean. It is however a thin beach with not much distance between where it starts and the water, but that was not an issue for me.
Service was impeccable with everyone being very courteous and professional in everything that they do.
There are some food options by the beach and right outside the lobby. We opted to dine in Grand Case most of the time.
We will definitely be looking to come back.

Room Tip: Get a marina room it's worth it and closer to the beach.
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Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank Mark S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jean-marc J, General Manager at Hotel Riu Palace St Martin, responded to this review, October 29, 2012
Thank you for your very nice review on Trip Advisor. We are so happy that you really like the beach, the Marina Suite and above all the service. We look forward to welcoming you very soon!
Cordialement
Jean-Marc Jalbert – General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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