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.
- 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