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“The Best Hotel on the Island”

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Hotel Riu Palace St Martin
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Anse Marcel
Chicago
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The Best Hotel on the Island”
Reviewed March 16, 2010

The Radisson is an absolutely fantastic hotel. We spent 7 nights and 8 days there as a getaway from the snow in the USA. The hotel is beautiful, clean, friendly, and allows one to relax without worrying about anything. It's absolutely secure and well appointed. It must be said that in all my travels I have not seen a fitness center that is as new, clean, and functional as the Radisson's. The pool is a sight to see - often quiet, with plenty of chairs, tables, and umbrellas for use. The beach is also quiet, without vendors, and calm beautiful waters.
This was our first time at the Radisson; however, we took the time to drive by and in some cases explore other hotels on the island that are often recommended, especially those on the Dutch side and the Westin. The Radisson simply doesn't compare. We will be back next year for another week in the hands of this delightful staff.
Definitely recommended.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank BornlnChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Cleveland, OH
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2010

This is such a shame. The hotel is in beautiful location, beach and water is gorgeous, pool is one of the best I have been in, but the service is beyond horrible.

We traveled with our 3 year old son. We arrived around 6:30PM The suite consisted of living room with large pullout sofa, which I loved since our child has a history of rolling off of the bed. Bedroom was large and spacious. Bathroom fully remodeled with both bathtub and shower. Both rooms had large flat screen TVs and it seamed very very clean. Bottled water was complimentary and ice machine was close in the hallway. When we looked at the room we were told that someone will come and make the bed for the little one. No one came. So I pulled out sofa and discovered that it already has a sheet. looked in closets and found two additional pillows. All I needed was a blanket. Went to reception and asked for blanket. First time, second time, third time at 9:30 to be told that they don't have any blankets. You can't tell a mother of a three year old that you don't have any kind of blanket for her child in the whole hotel !!!! Thirty minutes after me yelling in desperation I received 2 sheets and I was told I'll get the blanket tomorrow. Next day we mentioned it to the maid and went back to reception, but no luck. On the third day my husband went to talk to someone on reception and finally we got a blanked. We got couple of mosquito bites since we kept air conditioning low, oh did I mention the lack of blankets.

The beach is beautiful, it is a bit narrow, but I did not mind it at all. The water was warm and calm, the sand soft , perfect for kids and adults alike. It was not overcrowded or overwhelmed with children. Umbrellas and kayaks were complimentary. There was no food or drink service on the beach. The pool was great too, with deep infinity area, and shallow zero entry. We also liked a hot tub, even though it was too hot for hot tub during the day, it was great after sun disappeared behind the mountains. The biggest issue on the beach and around the pool was again the lack of service. At the pool the best thing you can get is a ice cream and water, forget about any other type of food. The restaurant served lunch, where the first day we were told that there were too many guests and that we should come in couple of hours. The second day we got to lunch early, just to experience hour and a half long ordeal to get a salad with grilled chicken. I had to ask 4 times again for ice cream. Fortunately right next door there is Le Domaine hotel with wonderful beach bar serving lunches on the couches with beautiful view of the bay. The service was fast, the food, very good, very French.

We did not even think about eating in the hotel except for breakfast. Grand Case in my opinion has wonderful cuisine. It would be a crime to eat anywhere else. La Cottage, Bistrot caraibes, just to mention some. It is foodlover's heaven. It surely justifies that hair rising, goosebump causing, head spinning drive up and down the mountain every night. Fortunately my husband was driving and after second time he claimed it was a breeze.

The breakfast at the hotel was OK, as long you don't ask for coffee or refills, you are OK since you can get everything your self. I have been to may islands and I know what people mean when they say that you need to adjust to "island time" except this anomaly in space time continuum called "Raddison St.Martin island time" is much much slower than anything I ever experience in Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, St.Thomas or Aruba.

I hope one day we will back to St. Martin, but not this hotel.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Babytravel15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, NC
Level 6 Contributor
128 reviews
108 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2010

Ignore the last review.
The hotel looks brand new, it is usually quiet and when busy the guests are refined and gracious.
The staff are brilliant. Elise the manager is super friendly.
We stayed on our honeymoon and were given a bottle of wine in our room and many more little extras that really count.
The rooms are comfortable/luxurious and are carribean themed but without being overbord. The beach is probably one of the best I have ever been too (and I used to visit Thailand and Malaysia and Indonesia a lot) the bay is beautiful and the water nice.
The restaurants, while expensive (all food is costly in st.martin/st. maarten) are delicious.
This place feels like a piece of France in paridise. I would not hesitate to return.
I loved it here.
Stop looking in St.Martin, this place is the best.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank RichardCLT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2010

This is not our first visit to this property. My husband stayed here many times under previous ownership (L'Habitacion & Le Meridian) and I stayed here when it was Le Meridian. We loved this property. The beach is private and beautiful and the staff and food used to be wonderful. Previously this was a charming French style hotel where we could count on a wonderful vacation and excellent service.
Sadly, the new owners, The Radisson, have dragged the quality of this hotel down so far that we will never return while it is in their hands. It no longer rates 4 stars, perhaps not even 3 stars.
The advertised renovations are a joke. The new pool is lovely (I assume all of the reno money went into it), but it lacks a bar and food service (okay, you can get a terrible hot dog, but that's about it). There are no staff to wait on you poolside or beachside. We spoke to the manager about this who shared with us that there is not enough money in the budget to provide waitstaff!
We stayed in a suite as we have in the past. Except for (overly slippery and dangerous) new tiles in the bathroom and improved beds, nothing has been renovated in the suites. During our stay we never saw a washcloth and often lacked hand towels.
We loved the beachside restaurant under the previous owners. The food used to be French and fresh. The salads now consist of boring ingredients and bland flavours. The fish was terrible, frozen, overcooked and poorly flavoured.
The service is not so much bad, as hurried. There is not enough staff employed so they no longer have time to smile, chat and take care of guests properly. We loved the charming French staff under previous ownership; they always made our stay special and could never do enough for our children. We were appalled this time to see tables go uncleared for ages (on several occasions we stood with our five year old for over 15 minutes before tables were cleared) and to have to ask for coffee with breakfast up to 6 times. The breakfast managers (both of them) are so unbelievably rude that we were shocked. When my husband asked to be seated away from the very smelly egg bar, the manager snapped rudely at him "Maybe you better go back to your room and get room service if you don't like the smell"! We also overheard him making sexist remarks to another hotel guest about women drivers.
This property has lost the charming French flavour it used to have. Radisson have tried to turn it into an American hotel, but it lacks the amenities of a good American hotel. They have the right to do this and it may make more sense economically, but they have not been successful in creating a good American style hotel. It is just an all round, bad hotel now. We will miss Anse Marcel, but we will find other charming places to stay on this lovely island.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank TheyTravelAndEat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, PA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 8, 2010

We traveled over the US President's Day weekend and stayed at the Radisson for 5 nights. There were 8 in our party, 4 adults (2 grandparents, 2 parents) and 4 children
(ages 4, 8, 12, 12 -twins). We stayed in two Marina suites that were side-by-side.

All eight of us loved the resort...from the food to the pool...to the beach..to the kids activities...we felt like every day was a piece of heaven. When deciding on where to stay, we spent hours and hours on the computer to find the right place. We wanted a place to relax, to spend time together, to "get away from it all"...in a family friendly environment.

The Towel Hut by the pool has many supplies for kids: sand pails and shovels, noodles for the pool, ball for the pool, and fishing poles(we didn't use but I did see them there). Close-by in the building by the beach, we borrowed blue pool mats, they are the heavier duty mats to float on at the pool or beach. These mats provided hours and hours of fun in the water.

We loved Le Marche for our family---while not as fancy or exciting as going to Grand Case---it sure was easy after a day in the sun. Children under 5 ate free and for children 12 and under, the buffet was 12 EU including drinks. The cheapest adult buffet was 15 EU and that was for pizza and salads. We went to the Italian restaurant across the street from the hotel and also to C Le Restaurant but my kids all preferred LeMarche.

We spent one day taking a tour of the island, had lunch at Sunset Beach, stopped at Orient Beach and Rima's and I would highly recommend all three of these places.

One evening, the hotel offered an outdoor movie w/popcorn by the pool. They showed Ice Age II and it was in French with English subtitles, a great way for us to learn a little bit of french.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pthappy6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2010

We stayed at this resort for 3 nights - our first trip and experience in St. Martin. The drive there was adventurous - kind of shocked we found it with little trouble - but as the car rental place guy said - "How lost can you get? It's an island...". Once you take the round-about at Cul-de-Sac and start heading up the steep hill to the resort - the "reveal" is pretty amazing - a lovely, secluded area on a beautiful bay, tucked between lush green mountains. There are a few resorts pushed together in Anse Marcel - Radisson likely the largest. The resort decor overall is casual elegant...not crisp and modern, but cottage-like. At first I was disappointed that our unit faced the courtyard - but then realized that all of them face that or the mountains - I didn't see any beach-view units (or very few)...Everything at the resort with within easy walking distance - pool, beach, restaurants. Pool is lovely, but no in-pool bar (a quaint shack is available for cocktails, etc.). Beach is breathtaking - calm, warm water and visits from pelicans. Sleep Number beds in rooms was a surprise!
Only concerns to share:
- Staff is friendly but a bit slow (kind of an island thing, to be expected I suppose) and not overly communicative
- Biggest beef is that power was out for over 1/4 of our stay - in the evening (no AC makes for a pretty sleepless night there) - and then again the next day (no pool drinks, using the public restroom by dim candlelight, etc.). Worse part was - no communication from hotel re: this...no note under door, no voicemail - and absolutely no apology or offer of a credit (room, spa, food or otherwise) for the inconvenience. This really surprised me. Be warned if you are someone you are traveling with really needs the AC, or is confined to the room and wants TV, etc.
- Food overall was fair to poor (disappointing given French side!) - both breakfast buffet and lunch at le C - due to the latter, didn't bother with dinner.

So again - location, location. Have to go to Grand Case (I recommend for any meal you can) for dining...but it's very close.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank HappyHalleday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lido Beach, New York
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2010

We are not newcomers to Anse Marcel. We just went back for the 18th year.Formerly the Meridien, closed for 2 years( we stayed at the hotel next door) Radisson has done a remarkable job with an already fabulous property. The rooms are completely renovated and lovely. The A/C which was always a problem, is now perfect. The beach, the staff, the grounds are wonderful. The breakfast regardless of the reviews is still the best buffet in the Caribbean. Fresh fruit, cheese, meat, eggs how ever you want them, and pain au chocolat. The restaurants in Grand Case are always a treat. Our favorite is Bistrot Caribe. We were so happy with our stay 1/27- 2/4, that we are gointo return at the end of March for 2 weeks.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pandg27
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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