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“It is an oasis on a busy/fun island.”

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Hotel Riu Palace St Martin
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Anse Marcel
Certificate of Excellence
San Carlos, CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“It is an oasis on a busy/fun island.”
Reviewed July 10, 2010

We just returned from 7 nights at the Radisson Blu. Overall, I would describe this resort as elegant, chic, very french, extremely clean, on a beautiful piece of property. Yes, it is about 30 minutes from the airport, and you have to drive up and down a hilly road (very well maintained) to get there, but each time we entered the road, I felt like we entered our own private sanctuary. Once on the property, you are surrounded by gorgeous hills and water. The beach is a pretty, medium size cresent beach and the water is calm (and so warm!) because it is a protected cove. If you like waves, Orient Beach is 10-15 minutes away - beautiful long stretch of beach with good surf. The pool at Radisson is incredible - long, clean, deep and shallow ends, great chairs, umbrellas, palm trees - you will never feel that it's too crowded. The grounds of the hotel are perfect - palm trees trees throughout (including tall potted palms in the lobby and restaurant) and flowering shrubs - always very clean. The rooms are pretty, pastel colors - you pay slightly more for a room that faces the inner courtyard, but it's a nice feature to sit on the balcony and look over the property. The beds are extremely comfortable, very nice linens. The bathrooms are newly renovated and beautiful - dark wood, long granite (or corian?) counter, glass enclosed shower. The only refrigerator is a stocked bar, but we brought a small collapsible cooler and filled it with ice, to keep water and a few sodas cold. There is a "boutique" on site that sells snacks/drinks, and also has fashionable clothes from around the world.

We had breakfast included in our rate - I would highly recommend it. It is served in Le Marche - a beautiful open air room with high ceilings and potted palms. The breakfast is french, american, and caribbean - everything you could want - a great way to start the day. We ate a good breakfast, snacked during the day, and ate out for dinner - this helped make the food more affordable. We also ate a few times at the more casual side of the hotel's dinner restaurant - big tables with oversized cushions - you can get a great burger and fries there for an affordable price. Overall the food on the island is fantastic - great thin pizza that can be shared by two, wonderful pastas. We didn't go to any expensive, french restaurants, but there are many good ones. Our favorite restaurants were La Belle Epoque (Marina Royale in Marigot) and Le Piment (Place du Village - Orient Bay). We also had a great lunch at Au Petit Cafe Francais in Philipsburg on a picturesque little street.

We ventured out alot on the island - my idea was to have a nice comfotable place to stay but to go out and expose my teenager to the local culture - there are plenty of places to do that - Marigot, Philipsburg, Orient Beach, Pinel Island, etc. St. Martin is such an interesting mix of Dutch, French and Caribbean culture. One thing that the island doesn't seem to have is great snorkeling. We went on a two-hour snorkel trip and the fish variety and amount is limited - nothing like I've seen in Hawaii and other caribbean islands.

Back to the Radisson, in summary I would say that if you are looking for a place with beautiful facilities, quiet, elegant, this is your place. If you like things luxuries like swim-up bars, or a singles-scene, then this probably isn't for you. The clientele there is mixed - americans, french, spanish, families, girlfriends vacationing together - etc. This is what we liked most about it......enjoy!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank gloriajean618
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Baltimore
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2010

Radisson was wondeful. Great pool, great beach, rooms very nice. Breakfast buffet was nice, with separate omelet station, all fruits, juices, sides, etc you could want. I would recommend taking water taxi on Scoobi with Stefan from airport in Phillipsburg. Great way to see island and sights and get oriented and avoid hassle of driving. Once at Radisson can rent a car. Getting back to airport was a breeze with the water taxi, again avoiding traffic and stress

Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank DonHBaltimore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2010

We stayed at the Radisson both in March 2009 and March 2010 for 10 days. We went back because we had a nice stay but mainly because of the price promotion that they were offering for our 2010 vacation. The hotel was newly renovated in March 2009 and was beautiful. It was becoming run down by this March's visit.

When we arrived, there was no acknowledgement that we were a repeat customer even though when we made our reservation, we were told that to expect a perk or two. We were then put in a room overlooking the parking lot. The room was in bad shape. The veneer on the funiture was coming off and it had the feeling of an old room needing renovation. When we spoke to the front desk we were allowed to move but not until the next day. By the way the hotel was far from full!

For the first couple of days the hotel was virtually empty. Then the masses showed up and they were totally unprepared for the amount of people. There were lines at breakfast with staff looking very, very stressed. There were lines in the health center so we did not use it after that point. They had a "special" evening at the dining room on the beach where there were long lines and the food was terrible. In fact, we were served RAW chicken. Everyone was talking about it.

They also ran out of towels.

Only after the masses arrived did they offer anything for children. So it was difficult for kids to make friends.

The service was spotty. Sometimes they offered fruit at the pool but never reached the beach. Sometimes they offered games for the kids but did not tell anyone unless you were in shouting distance. It wasn't actually announced on their activites board.

We wrote to the Radisson about this and we were offered a coupon for 3 days free at a Radisson. That was in April and we have not received anything. It is now almost July.

Havine said all of this, the professionals at the front desk and at the beach were fantastic.

So, its a mixed bag but dispite this, we had a great vacation on the Island.

Debra Thorman, NYC

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank nycfamily1997
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn
1 review
Reviewed June 11, 2010

Fabulous resort hotel, free scuba lessons in the pool, yoga classes, poolside book cart. Friendly, helpful staff who are constantly cleaning. Ask for a hotel room with a terrace facing the back garden instead of the interior courtyard for more privacy. Pay attention if you dine at the (unaffiliated with hotel but within walking distance) Calypso restaurant where the waitress "accidentally " doubled our bill on 2 separate occasions.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Feetolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
46 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2010

Hubby and I stayed at the Radisson for 7 nights in May for our anniversary. We thought about this review for a few days to be as objective as possible. Here is why we gave the hotel an overall rating of 3 stars.

Check In:
We booked through an online travel agency whose room descriptions/categories were different from what the Radisson listed on their website, making it difficult to know what room we’d be getting. So when we were checked in by Christian, I asked what view we would have. His smart-alek response was “Well, what category did you book?” He could see that his response rubbed me the wrong way, and he offered for us to view the room before we checked in. Our room was in what he called ‘building 1’, which overlooked Le Domain next door. I asked if he had a room in the other building that we could change to for a view of the courtyard. He told me “Building 2 is closed”. Two days later, after a very loud (and large) wedding party descended on the hotel, we asked to be moved to a more quiet room, and guess what? We were moved to building 2; it wasn’t closed after all. We were actually downgraded from the category we booked and paid for, but they could not give us the difference back, because it was prepaid to the online travel agency. I was glad just to get away from the ruckus of the people below us.

Rooms:
Decorated in what I would call “Country Chic”. Our original room was on the 3rd floor of Building 1 facing Le Domain. It was a king-sized bed, which I booked. It had a flat panel TV, a DVD player and an iPod clock radio. There was a drip-style coffee maker with two packets of caffeinated coffee, and one packet of decaf. We were moved to a double bed room in Building 2 after a few nights. It’s décor and amenities were the same as the first.

The bathroom had barn-style doors, where two doors slid together to shut the bathroom off from the bedroom. However, there was a 1 inch gap (or bigger) between the door and the walls, so as you were sitting on the toilet, you could see right into the bedroom, and whomever was in the bedroom could see and hear you. Not very private.

Their showers leaked all over the floor due to the torn gasket around the shower shield. So even though you were given 3 large bath towels, you had to use one to sop up the huge puddle on the floor that was making its way into the bedroom. Otherwise, the bathroom was very aesthetically pleasing, and pretty.

Housekeeping:
My biggest gripe is how nasty the housekeeping gals were. We would say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and still get a nasty look in return, or a rude grunt of some sort. They left our door open one day, completely unlocked and unsecure. We reported it to the front desk, and they offered to replace anything that had been taken. Fortunately, nothing had.

Washcloths (as many others have said) aren’t replaced. You’re given 2 at the beginning of your stay, but they’re not replaced. We brought our own in a different color other than white, so they didn’t think the washcloths were theirs. This hotel has a sign hanging in the bathroom about how they want to help protect the planet, “so please help us by re-using your towels.” They didn’t honor that sign. We would hang our towels up, but they were still exchanged daily. I have stayed in only a couple of hotels where they actually honored the concept they claim to follow.

The coffee/creamer/sugar wasn’t replenished for two days, and on the second day, we went to the front desk to ask for housekeeping to please provide some. The clerk called housekeeping, and the housekeeping gal arrived within minutes, but she tossed the coffee at my husband when he answered the door. Classy, eh?

Staff:
Overall, this hotel’s staff are indifferent at best; many staff were blatantly rude, while a few were great. The gals at the breakfast buffet ignored you or were rude; we only had one gal treat us nicely. The omelet guy was nice.

Beatrice in the Fitness Center was great. Very sweet, chatty, happy to give advice. Jeremy in room service was always polite and professional. Jean Roscar at the front desk was great. He helped us straighten out problems with our bill.  The shift manager at the front desk helped to move us when some folks with the wedding party had gotten out of hand on the floor below us (though, I forget her name, it was something like Margaret).

Fitness Room:
Good quality Nautilus-brand machines, though many of the weight machines were grinding and were not operating as they should. Three treadmills, and two elliptical runners, one upright bike and one recumbent bike (that was broken), two weight benches and dumb bells (that only went up to 25 pounds). No bar bells. There was a water cooler in the corner and some kind of anti-bacterial spray (but no wipes to clean the equipment, so I used a towel with the spray to clean the machines I was using). Two dirty yoga mats were also supplied in the corner. Bring headsets, as the cardio machines had television built-in.

Restaurants:
Le Marche was where we had breakfast each morning. Their fare never changed: scrambled egg substitute, frozen/re-heated home fries (baked with garlic salt, onion and parsley), sausages, bacon and pancakes. There was an omelet station where you could get eggs the way you wanted them. Cold cereals, cold cuts, sliced cheese, cream cheese. Bagels, toast, pastries, croissants and baguettes. Juices and sliced fruits. The quality was mediocre at best. While I agree with other reviewers that you wouldn’t leave hungry, it wasn’t an appetizing meal to eat 7 days in a row, so some mornings we ate elsewhere.

We only ate at C le Restaurant for happy hour once. We had the same frozen/re-heated French fries and salted fish balls. It was so-so. Service here was much better than at Le Marche.

The pool bar service was spotty; we received a warm welcome a few times, other times we were ignored.

Spa:
We did the 80 minute couples massage one day and I enjoyed the quality very much. Though, their professionalism was somewhat lacking. The two masseuses snickered back and forth with each other periodically, which I found disturbing … any time you’re naked getting a massage, snickering makes you, well …. a little uneasy.

Location:
Anse Marcel is a secluded part of St. Martin, with only a few boutique hotels and a few privately owned condos. The beach area is nicely groomed with beach chairs and umbrellas available for hotel guests. I recommend going down to the far end of the beach (furthest from the Radisson) for great clear water. The water quality in front of the Radisson was somewhat murky in comparison to the other beaches on the island (such as Orient Bay). There were up to 8 boats and catamarans docked within the bay at Anse Marcel in very close proximity to the shore. One of them was the Scoobie Too. Others were private boats.

Outside the hotel:
Restaurants we went to in Anse Marcel were La Laconda which was an overpriced, mediocre Italian place run by what looked like two sisters; one grumpy and one lovely. We had 3 glasses of wine, caprese salad and two entrees, and it was €99. WAY too much for what you got.

We tried Calypso in the same shopping plaza, whose menu was more varied and had some nice salads. With a carafe of wine, a liter of water, an appetizer, and two entrees, it was €50.

There is also a mini market in which we bought a fifth of rum €9, and a bottle of wine €7. The gals in the mini market were real nice and helpful.

I really enjoyed our time on St. Martin and I would like to return. But next time, I’d like to stay in a different hotel on another beach.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank JBien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdon
Level Contributor
61 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Chilternman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Netherlands
Level Contributor
38 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DutchB
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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