Finally found a moment to complete my review so here it is (and I will not repeat the details provided by the previous reviewer). We are a family of 4, with 2 boys ages 11 and 13, and we stayed at the Radisson from Mar 7 to 14. We chose the Radisson because of its location (off the beaten track) and the fact that it was newly renovated (which meant lots of mature trees). For the most part we were not disappointed. As previous reviewers have said, the location is fabulous - the Radisson shares the small cove beach with only one other hotel. Being on the French side it also adheres to the building code requirement of only being 3 stories tall so it has that wonderful Caribbean feel. Most of the trees on the property are older having been there from the previous Meridien hotel.
Where to start. The reception area is a lovely open space and the staff are very attentive. Our check in was effortless and we were escorted to our Marina Suite (they gave us an upgrade to a Deluxe Suite which was on the 2nd floor and made me feel a bit more secure given the kids were sleeping in a separate room) within 1/2 hour of our arriving at the resort. My patience was rewarded after several calls to the front desk for our requested rollaway bed (there is a pullout couch, which I was kindly reminded of several times by the staff, but my 13 year old is a spread eagle sleeper and its impossible to share a bed with him) so we could settle the boys in the living room. Our bedroom had the much advertised sleepcomfort (??) bed. We played with it several times, don't know if I slept better because of it. The A/C worked great, but we did have an issue with the placement of the units, at least in the Marina Suites which cause them to blow on the bed so you have to pull the blankets up to your chin to avoid a draft (which my husband got the worst of being on that side of the bed). I gave my list of "fixes" to the front desk (a plexiglass diverter would solve the draft issue). I'm no diva but I know they will be annoyed at having to use the plug in the living room to dry their hair or use a curling iron since there was no plug in the bathroom (on my fix list too :)). Other than not having a place to hang wet bathing suite (fix list again), that is the extent of my grips about the room. We settled in nicely and enjoyed our 2 balconies (one out front, one out the back along the canal to the marina). There are mosquitoes and wee little flies which will find their way into your room should you leave the doors open which we did often since there was such a lovely breeze and next to no humidity. Nightly turn down service brought chocolates on the pillows (much to my oldest's delight).
Work is still being done around the property, including on some of the rooms. With 252 rooms, I don't think the hotel was more than 1/2 full when we were there. The spa is only just getting worked on so don't expect anything luxurious for at least 3 months( spa services are available in the "temporary" spa, located in about 6 rooms in wing 2 of the hotel). We did listen to jack hammers while at the pool but learned to tune it out. Likewise, the fitness centre is currently located in 2 rooms in wing 2.
The pool - what can I say here but IT'S MASSIVE! Lots, and lots of loungers and tables and chairs are available. I don't expect you will have to play the towel game here even when the hotel is full (though there might be a shortage of umbrellas with a full hotel). Lots of loungers at the beach as well, with umbrellas too. The cabanas are available to rent (didn't ask how much) and there is also a minimum food/beverage order you are required to spend when using the cabanas. There is also a hot tub which is HOT located near the pool. This is the first pool I have encountered in the Caribbean or Mexico with a fence and gates around it - liability issues being an American hotel maybe??
Since we weren't traveling with friends this year my boys had to entertain themselves which they usually do anyway. There is a foosball table which I hope finds a home NOT inside in a games room and it would be nice if there was also a pingpong table. There are 2 bocce (sp?) courts and a volleyball court on the grassy area, and a sad set of croquette mallets available for your use. We didn't use any of the water sports equipment (which you have to pay to use), and although I saw jet skiis, I don't recall seeing canoes, kayaks or sailboats down by the water. The ocean is lovely here, I went in once but since the wind was blowing like stink when we arrived (they cancelled the last race of the regatta due to high winds) there was a fair bit of seaweed in the water. It did clear up when the wind settled down and the beach was raked daily.
There is a kids club on the property but it is geared to 4 to 10 year olds so we didn't bother checking it out since our boys were older. Is this a new trend or am I just spoiled by all inclusives, but there wasa fee to use the kids club. When I spend a pretty penny to go on a vacation and a hotel has advertised it has certain ammenties I assume they are INCLUDED in my room rate. I've noticed the Radisson website is advertising "Free" kids club for the mornings during the summer months. Anyway, we brought a cheap mini football to use in the pool and some shovels to use at the beach and the boys were happy.
The food was good at both restaurants and we did eat at the Italian one across the road but found the service very slow (slower because we were freezing from the wind) which might have been because we didn't order wine? The food was good but we didn't return due to the service.
We went into Marigot to visit the vendors market - take lots of cash, and the vendors seem to prefer US $ over Euros. Don't forget to stash your taxi money for the return trip (we forgot to account for that so didn't have as much to spend in the market). Lots of souvenirs to be had. We had lunch at Rosemary's LoLo and then moved on to Sarafina's for a decedent dessert.
As other reviewers have said, the staff are wonderful (particularly Sunshine the service manager at the pool hut). He arranged for our taxi to and from Marigot .I had brought a suitcase full of our boys old clothes and toys which he also arranged to have picked up by the lady who looks after no less than 22 children who aren't able to be with their parents for various reasons. The staff even pitched in and arranged a bag of things for her to take for the kids.
We had a wonderful time and I wish we could have stayed longer - 1 week was not enough. I would definitely return to the Radisson.
- 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 Martin / St Maarten/Anse Marcel