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“Nicest Hotel on Island, but a few shortcomings”

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Hotel Riu Palace St Martin
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Anse Marcel
Reviewed March 25, 2010

The St. Martin Radisson is a very nice hotel but as with all god things, there are a few negatives. There are plenty of cabs available at the airport to take you to the hotel - distance is short but it will take you about 40 minutes and cost about $40 to get to the hotel.

We were on the first floor but I asked if they could upgrade us. Unfortunately, they couldn't because all of the Radisson executives were coming in the following day for important meetings. They moved us up to the 3rd floor though, which we were able to see a little of the ocean from our room, facing the marina. All rooms have a balcony. Friendly staff and good hospitality, free internet and the fitness center was clean and nice. A lot of people would refill their water bottles (including us once we caught on) from the distilled water dispenser in the fitness center so we didn't have to pay for bottled water. We were very pleased with the pool too ...it was all very nice but nothing to deserve the "wow factor."

The beach was very nice even though the water was a little murky the first day. It was crystal clear and very warm for the rest of our trip. If you rent kayaks (free), you can see straight to the bottom once you're away from shore which is really neat (warning: water gets a little choppy about 100 ft from shore). You can see Antigua across the water. We were able to snorkel too and found some amazingly big shells!

The hotel has a few restaurants and be prepared to pay. Breakfast was included and the food was very good, served buffet style with omlete station. We never ate lunch and just snacks on granola we made at home. The restaurant at the hotel on the beach had the best food by far. We went to Lolo's like other reviews suggested ($10 cab ride), but I was least than impressed. We are not picky or super classy people, but for the amount everyone bragged about the ribs, we found the best food to be at the Radisson itself.

The hotel did not play any Carribean music nor have much "life" during the day. We were a little disappointed and even thought about switching hotels. We rented a car the second day and drove to the other beaches and tourist areas. After that, we knew we were at the nicest hotel, tucked away in own little cove. I do not think a car for the entire weeek is needed, plus driving everyday takes away from the vacation mode (traffic can be hectic!!) It would be a good idea to rent a car for a day or two (available at the hotel and thru your cab driver if you ask him) and definitely go to Sunset Beach near the airport (on the Dutch side). The waters are crystal clear there and the planes flying right over you are simply amazing to watch! Take advantage of having the vehicle since you cannot just walk to the next town- you will need a cab (always available at the hotel) or a car to leave the resort. Once we realized we were at the nicest hotel, we enjoyed it so much more and were able to relax and take it all in.

Just to note, we went in November which is one month before the busy season. I do not know if I would have liked it had it been more crowded. All in all, it is a nice place to relax especially for the value! We are very glad we chose this island at hotel, but would probably not revisit and try a different island next time.

We read so many reviews that helped us out so hopefully this helps you. It's not the place to go if you're looking for wild nights, but it's definitely the place to go to get away from it all...especially if you don't plan on leaving the resort.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank soconn8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 24, 2010

Spent two nights at this resort in lovely Anse Marcel. It is located on a gorgeous cove next to a marina and really was a nice get away weekend. The rooms were very clean and spacious with a large bathroom and an outdoor patio with two chairs and a table. The finishes were high end and the property was well maintained. My only gripe with the room was the sleep number bed, which I can never get quite right anywhere. The AC unit also sprung a leak the morning we were leaving so there was water everywhere. We ate at both Le C (lunch and dinner one night) and the Marche (breakfast buffet) and were not blown away. Lunch was better than dinner. The fish I had was very dry and the menu did not strike us as particularly inspired. Best off to hit nearby Grand Case, but if you are lazy Le C will get you fed. The beach was terrific, and the pool is huge, if not very deep. I don't there is food or beverage service on the beach, at least we never saw any. Not particularly friendly at the front desk, but not necessarily rude. We did have a nice valet that later helped us with checking bags while we waited for our room. Overall it was a nice weekend, but Anse Marcel is a little isolated compared with some other spots you could stay at, so depending what you are looking for this may not be the spot for you.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Brock L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2010

This is your generic american style hotel which may appeal to families or groups but not couples. I felt isolated here in what is referred to as the "Cul de sac", since you drive over a small mountain on narrow roads to get here. You feel locked in and have few choices for any restaurants or for any shopping. This is a stay put kind of place and given its very remote location is a very good value compared to other places on the island. You will need a car if you want to experience everything St. Martin has to offer. The rooms are updated but none have any view of the water. The pool area is nice but can get crowded with kids. There is absolutely nothing to do in the evenings. The gym and spa are nice . The breakfasts, which are included in the price, are very nice with fresh fruits, homemade breads, and eggs. Overall a good value but uninspiring at best.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Adams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2010

My husband and I love St. Martin. The beaches are beautiful, the people are friendly, and the restaurants and wine are amazing compared to other Caribbean islands. This was our first time staying at the Radisson. We chose it because of the location- It's located in a cove. Although it was on the French side (which is very French), it is relatively close to Cul De Sac, and Oyster Pond which we really enjoy for dinner. The high-end restaurant "C" was excellent for lunch and dinner as well as the French and Italian restaurants within walking distance.

Since it is on the French side- everything you purchase is in Euros, compared to the Dutch side. This can become pricey. The hotel was very nice- the pool and beach were absolutely beautiful- plenty of room. The rooms were nicer than the pictures showed on their website, and "Le Spa" was actually better than the spa at the Ritz Carlton in St. Thomas! The only 'downside' for the Radisson is that you need to rent a car. Since it is so far from the airport and cities- it's better to have a car. There are great beaches to explore in between the hotel and airport. And don't forget to have lunch at the Sunset Beach Bar before your flight home! So much fun!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JPVDV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank BornlnChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank Babytravel15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank RichardCLT
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

Address: BP 581, Anse Marcel 97056, St Martin / St Maarten
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St Martin / St Maarten > 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: $309 - $602 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 Martin / St Maarten/Anse Marcel

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