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“This resort goes from strength to strength”

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Hotel Riu Palace St Martin
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Anse Marcel
Reviewed June 1, 2010

The Radisson St Martin Resort at Anse Marcel on the French side of St Martin never fails to impress us. We stayed there again in April 2010. It is hidden away over the hill from the hurly burly of the rest of the island, but the restaurants of Grand Case are easily accessible. The situation is superb with a rainbow of floral colour in the well maintained grounds. The 93m long pool is innovatively laid out, nearby to the well protected beach; however there is little to see snorkelling offshore.

The rooms are well presented with good internet access. The self service Breakfast at Le Marche was the usual sumptuous feast provided by a Radisson. We found no queues but they do occur at busy times. In the evening there was good dining at Le C Restaurant with some interesting dishes including lamb and snapper. We were disappointed that the evening self service at Le Marche was closed; however there was a good selection of other restaurants at Anse Marcel and Grand Case, notably Le Calypso and Le Tastevin. We found the La Locanda restaurant to be poor value

All the staff were very welcoming and friendly; nothing was too much trouble.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Chilternman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 13, 2010

We stayed for 10 days in a Marina DeLuxe Suite. Rooms are a bit less comfortable than e.g. Radisson Aruba, hence this is a 4 star resort. Very quiet place, and remote. If you want to go out every day, make sure you get a rental car, or this may not be your place to go to. Hertz rents cars straight from the lobby but you get a slightly better deal off the airport, and you can save yourself roughly 80-90 US$ on the roundtrip cab ride from the airport. Due to low-season we bargained the price down with 20%, with very few efforts. Rental went smooth, the cars are loaded with scratches & bumps, so just make sure the inspection form is loaded with annotations. This makes the return check even more smooth..... We never had any issues with Hertz.

Breakfast buffet is very complete, the only thing we found lacking is yoghurt (for our 5 year old). Breakfast was included in the package. We had dinner in Le C restaurant. We can only say that it was very good, and we are used to upscale kitchen, incl. Michelin star restaurants. Specifically compared to what one usually gets in the US, the service in Le C and Le Marche may come across slow, as per some other reviews below. This is just the Caribbean, not the US, remember that. Service is as fast or as slow as one gets in the French Cote d'Azur. So they do not expect tips and do not check in with you for a refill already when you are at 49,99% of your drink. They also do not throw a cheque in front of you along with the dessert, and they do not expect to generate more revenue from the same table after you leave. Expect to pay 80-90 euros for 2 persons for a 2 course dinner, very similar to dinner in Grand Case. Obviously the choice of wine will also influence this heavily. Also the Caribbean buffet in Le Marche was very good, fresh, tasty. The buffet lacked ice cream for dessert, but when asked, they brought it made to order for our 5 year old. No charge. The resort is very child friendly, all restaurants have kids menus, with health choices, and at very affordable price (e.g. dinner at 15 euros for main course, dessert and a drink).

On our arrival evening we had dinner at the Italian place across the street. We were not impressed at all, and we found the price/quality way off. Two adults + kid: 62 euros (main course pasta dish + water). We were served a few slices of bread of which one was blackened. Staff was very uninterested in our business.

The room was serviced twice a day. The turn down service in the evening included clean towels, refills for our espresso machine as well as emptying our trash baskets.

What did we not like about the Radisson?
- Nickel and diming ... they charged us 20 euros for our stay for a fridge in our suite. It took one full day to get it, after three phone calls to the front desk. And, they charge a resort fee of 10 euros per room per day. They did indicate this at time of booking, but I still do not understand what this entails. I suspect for cleaning & towels. We spend over 4000 euros for activities (went with ScoobiToo twice), F&B and room, hence, we found these additional charges a bit over the top.
- We never found the DVD player in our room, despite advertised in the room description
- Only wired internet in our room. We used our Airport Express from Apple to workaround that. The wireless at the pool .... never got it to work. And the in-room internet was really slow.

All in all, we loved our stay and will be back.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with family
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Thank DutchB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2010

Loved the Radisson, even with a few quirks it was amazing! The road in is steep, I thought people were exaggerating, but it's a little unnerving at times. The location is isolated but also so close to everything you need to reach, definitely get a car. The French side of the island is beautiful and serene and much cleaner than the Dutch side which is very commercialized (Burgerking and KFC)

The room - After our first night there we woke up to a burst hot water pipe that was slowly seeping into the guest rooms, so the staff was nice enough to move us to a new room. Our 1st room was the basic superior room, and they upgraded us to a top floor suite, which was great since we were traveling with our 15 month old daughter. They even upgraded my mother-in-law so that she would be in the room next to us upon her arrival a few days later. Later in the day after switching rooms, we returned to find a complimentary bottle of champagne chilling in our room with a note apologizing for the inconvenience. They brought a crib for the baby (although we did have to ask twice) and a small fridge so that we could have milk and snacks in the room for her, which cost us $20 for the two weeks. The rooms are nice, tile floors could use an update, beds are super comfy sleep number beds, bathrooms are gorgeous and the view of the courtyard in really nice since there aren't any ocean view rooms are far as we could tell, also the AC is powerful!

Pool - stunning and never fully occupied, usually a dozen or less people there or at the beach. Several staired entrances, and a graduated exit that leads to a sandy tanning location, depth of the pool is 5ft max. They have floating rafts for you if you'd like them, they even offered floaties for our daughter and loaned us a life jacket for a boat trip later. Some days there would be a staff member taking drink orders, and they would bring around fresh fruit like grapes for you.

Activities - wine and cheese tasting was ok, not really educational but fun don't be afraid to ask for seconds, daily yoga, dance classes, water aerobics, croquet, and the fitness center is open 24 hours with really nice Nautilus equipment. Also on Thursdays they had various artisans in the lobby with jewelry (gorgeous) soap, art, etc. Booked a boat trip from the lobby, Scoobifree, a large catamaran was so much fun for the day. My husband also ordered flowers to be delivered for our anniversary, which were beautiful.

Dining - We had breakfast at the Le Marche open air buffet restaurant every day since it was included in our package, and it was great. Huge continental assortment, plus extras, omelette station, coffee carafes at the tables and yes they have highchairs. Room service was a little pricey but the kids menu was a great value, 8 euro for an entree, dessert or fruit and beverage. Bartender in the lobby made some of the best pina coladas I have ever had! Also they'll give you generous samples of rum to help make your drink selection.

Extras - the ATM outside the entrance gives you the option of euros or USD, there are about 3 checkpoints to get into the resort at night by car which makes you feel safe, the staff is exceptional and very friendly, great with kids, kids club in for kids age 4-12, the man who runs the boutique downstairs however is a little snobby.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank chrismrs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2010

My husband and I just returned from a week at this resort and it was the perfect relaxing get-away. The location is on the French side of the island and you drive over some very high hills to arrive at a horseshoe shaped bay where all you see around you are green hills and no other buildings. It feels as if you have discovered this place before anyone else has.
The beach is beautiful. There is a wonderful open-air restaurant right on the beach that is open for lunch, cocktails and dinner. The food is wonderful and the service is very good. At cocktail time, they have a divine guitarist/singer a la Carlos Jobbim singing sexy Brazilian songs as the sun sets...very romantic!
There is nothing to do at night but if you feel the need to leave the resort, the town of Grand Casse is about 15 minutes away and is filled with bars and restaurants...very crowded and fun.
The staff is very friendly and really can't do enough for you.
We can't wait to go back next year.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank andread_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2010

The hotel seems to get mixed reviews according to when you stay. We've just returned at the end of April, so it was low season I guess. The (very large) poolside and beach areas were practically empty so we had no problems with crowds. I appreciated the fresh fruit they brought round in the morning for free, eating juicy melon whilst ladies were doing a keep fit class in the pool - very energetic.

We didn't experience any unpleasant staff (see other reviews) - quite the opposite, each and every one was friendly and helpful. We had to search for someone to bring us tea & coffee a couple of mornings at breakfast. Yes, they seemed to need more staff to clear away the breakfast tables, so I can imagine if they have the same staffing levels during high season then that could be a problem.

Our room was on the top floor on the corner, so we had a lovely view of the grounds, pool & sea from the balcony. It was clean, comfortable and bright. The hotel was thoroughly modernized last year, so I don't see how it can be described as "outdated" (see previous trip advisor comments). The bed was huge and adjustable, internet is free in the room (wifi is free but only available in certain areas) and the bathroom was a good size (it's smaller in the suites). We had our own laptop so didn't need to queue for the hotel's computers.

The spa uses top quality French products and you can choose what colour lighting you'd like in your room during treatment.

You need a car hire to get around the island - the hotel's up a steep road, then down the other side towards the beach, with lovely views over the hotel and its marina and back towards Pinel Island (avoid there on a Sunday, by the way, it gets packed). The local people are pretty chilled out generally, but put them behind a wheel and they convert into fast, impatient drivers who drive up close behind. Our hire car was scraped all over to the point where you couldn't note down all the scratches & bumps, but luckily we didn't add to them. At the end of the day, we've known worse driving elsewhere. Hire car is easy from Hertz in the hotel. If you can, use the boat shuttle between the airport & hotel for your arrival/departure (30E pp each way), a lovely half hour trip.

Grand Case and its many excellent restaurants are only 10 mins away from the hotel. We ate at Le Shore, L'Escapade and el Nettuno - all very good. We were also recommended to try the shacks roasting ribs, etc on the bbqs but didn't get a chance to try them. I'd also recommend Waikiki at Ocean Bay at lunchtime, good cuisine including Japanese, in a large beach shack. Men - enjoy the fashion show with scimpily clad ladies in bikinis! We were disappointed with the hotel's buffet meal in Le Marche in the evening, it was expensive for what it was. Also, we weren't impressed with the Italian restaurant opposite the hotel .

I'd recommend this hotel to most people, although teenagers would be bored outside of peak season.

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

Stayed at the hotel over Spring break with Wife and kids 6 & 8. We stayed at the Westin last year and decided to stay on the French side this time. Would highly recommend this for people looking for a home base or simply want to relax and be left alone, but less so if you want to stay on the resort and expect great service.

Positives
- Hotel common areas were better than expected. The lobby, grounds, pool and beach were all very nice. The lobby and grounds were immaculate and felt caribbean (in contrast to the Westin). The beach is long and hared with Le Domaine, but very narrow. Rooms were quiet which may be due to being on the 3rd floor (highest). Lots of shade at the pool and they will bring extra umbrellas as needed.
- Hotel location, yes you have to drive over a steep hill, but you quickly get used to it. The hotel is 10 minutes from Grand Case and Orient Beach. Renting a car is a must.
- Breakfast was very good. Traditional buffet with everything you could want. One section was eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes; omelet station made to order, various pastries, baguettes, fresh fruit and more. Yes, you need to flag a waitress to get coffee, tea or hot chocolate; but otherwise excellent. Service until 10:30 I think, but less crowded the earlier you get there.

Negatives
- Service is non-existent. I don't usually require or want much service, but there literally were very few people to serve. When asked people were helpful, but they didn't go out of the way to be friendly.
- Pool Bar. From the reviews I didn't expect much service, but the bar food and selection is very minimal. The pool bar is connected to the towel shed and has very very limited offerings. Daquiries, etc. were served from slushy machines and really only had hot dogs and such to eat. I would recommend walking down the beach to Le Domaine's beach bar.

Miscellaneous
- The hotel offers various experiences for small fees (wine/cheese, pizza making for kids, mixology class).
- Nightly entertainment off the lobby was not very good, but lobby bar service was the best. It was nice to sit outside in the beautiful weather staring up at the stars.
- Highly recommend Ti Bouchon. The owner Momo is great. Also had good experiences at California and Tastevin (concierge can reserve water views) and L'Auberge. I don't remember the name, but the italian restaurant across the street was also very good if you don't feel like going out. Also liked the small gem/jewelry store in the same shopping strip mall across the street.
- No gambling on the french side, if that matters to you.
- The hotel has two computes for guest use off the main lobby. Generally has a wait with kids on Facebook.
- Loterie farm is a different experience if you want to get out of the heat. Zip lines were fun and they have Tarzan track for younger kids.

Overall I would say the resort is a good value and we had a good time. I would definitely go back for the right price, but would not pay rack rate to stay here again.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank Hawkeye2DC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2010

I did not enjoy my stay at this hotel.

The hotel is beautiful. As for the grounds, they are lovely and the beach is nice. There are water sports on the beach which are convenient. The pool is also very nice. The positives end there.

The hotel is very far from civilization. If you stay at this hotel, a rental car is necessary if you plan to leave the resort BUT I only recommend this if you are a brave driver. The roads there are no joke and I am a New York City driver!

The restaurant at the hotel isn't good at all.

As for the rooms, the bed was comfortable but there were ants and the air conditioner didn't get very cold at all.

I would not stay at this hotel again!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank MoDiva
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: $347 - $482 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace St Martin 4*
Number of rooms: 258
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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