We spent almost a week there and it was very very relaxing. If being in a quiet environment, without a hussle and bustle of ton of tourists, with plenty of space available and not loudness - this is the place for you. Perfect beach lounging vacation.
Radisson is small and cute. Super quiet there, night and day, so, if live music and nightly entertainment you're looking for, this is not the place for you. It is spacious, clean, well maintained with beautiful beach and an equally beautiful pool. Lobby is airy and pleasant. Rooms are nice and spacious. There are 2 restaurants and 2 bars (one beach, one lobby).
It's in Anse Martel which is a little enclave surrounded by tall hills at the very end of French St. Martin. To get there from the airport, we took a taxi, which was a van (shared with other drop-offs), so for two of us, we paid $40. Once you're on the French part of the island, all in euros. If you carry them in cash, you'll be able to get 1:1 exchange, like in a lot of Grand Case places. But I digress...the ride is about 40-45 min and it's up and down. If you're lucky, you'll get to go thru other parts of the island (Dutch, as well as other French ones), so kind of a tour.
There are maybe 2-3 resorts and all tiny in Anse Martel. So, I personally liked that. Totally isolated. Radisson itself is on the little plaza, which has a couple of shops and a couple of restaurants (Victoria's Lounge is cute).
Check in was easy but can't really check in until 4pm. Check out is @ 12. Room is nice and large, cool bathroom without a border between a large shower area, but that made it look modern. Free wi-fi everywhere but the lawn area - ask for the marina code or use your room and last name. There is a nespresso machine in each room, which is really cool if you want to brew a nice cup. Everyone has a balcony. We stayed on the lawn, on the east side and it's super quiet, so even though it's not on marina side, it's really nice nevertheless. Cable tv with premium channels is also in the room.
Room service is ok, but that's it. On more than one occassion, I had to leave little notes to the stuff, to bring more soap and tea, but doable.
Breakfast is free and it's abundant, complete with french press coffee. Ton of stations - American/Continental - anything and everything - really good.
Lunch you can have (inside the resort) at either beach bar or at the beach restaurants. Lunch at the restaurant is adequate and expensive. Beach bar is better if sandwiches is all you want.
Dinner at the beach restaurant is good a la carte. Buffet was ok. They do have nightly specials themes, but we only did the nightly special theme 1st night there, opting to dining outside of the resort and even Anse Martel.
Services at all restaurants leaves something to be desired. Breakfast is the worse. They can't or don't want to keep up with the clientele, so it takes some time to either find a clean table or find an empty table and then hunt down stuff to clean and set it up. Tables are never set up preliminary for breakfast. Then you have to hunt them down for coffee and/or tea. Beach bar service is also slow. Sometimes, you just sit and stare at the bar tender willing him/her to give you menu and then to pay attention to you afterwords. Restaurant services at other meals is equally slow. But that is the case in ALL dining establishments on the island, as they're on their own non-hurried time. As a New Yorker, that was tough. :)
Gym is small but adequate. Spa we never utilized, so wouldn't know.
Beach is small but beatiful, idyllic, clean - all good things. Pool is large and also all the same things. Plenty of space to lounge anywhere you want, as as least when we went, was not super busy. Totally chill experience hanging out at the water the whole day w/t anyone bothering you. Get your towels and relax with the book!
Clientele is largely French speaking, but also Americans, Eastern Europeans, and Portugese - at least was when we were there. So, pretty international, which is cool.
You can certainly rent a car if you want to venture out, but we didn't, as didn't feel like dealing with sketchy roads and even sketchier parking. We took taxi and used Gus. His email is email@example.com and he's a great guy and super reliable. But folks, it is expensive to cab back and forth. For example: Grand Case round trip is 30 euros; Oyster Pond is 60 euros; I think Margot would be 40.
To dine out - we went to Grand Case 2 nights and the place is rather sketchy. It was liveliesque on Tuesday when they have street fair and then the carnival. Marigot is cute. Oyster Pond is all condos/time shares but decent restaurants and is cute.
All places, including Anse Martel have own marinas, so all very pleasant. Anguilla is a hand-wave away, so that's cool.
Overall, apart from a slow island service, it was all very nice and enjoyable.
- 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