The friendly island? I think not. Our demographics: 28 yrs old, married African-Americans, both engineers on our honeymoon. First let me preface this by saying I tend to be low maintenance when traveling. But there is a certain level of basic things that need to be met.
Check-in. First off my experience was everyone in St Maarten is too serious and not very friendly. The other thing I noticed is no one knows jack. You ask them for a recommendation, they always say "I don't know". You live on an island that you can travel in it's entirety in 1 hr and you can't recommend a place? Anyway...the front desk chic was bland and didn't smile. She wasn't rude but wasn't like the US where business try to greet you with a smile. No biggie. I can live with that.
The room: First off, the bed was king size and the sheets were queen size. The sheets constantly came off while sleeping because you couldn't tuck them in since they were too small. That wouldn't be a problem in your own home but god only knows what sorts of things happen on that bed...I don't want my body touching the mattress without a sheet. At least I know (or I think) the sheets get washed.
The bed was hard as a rock. We're still fairly young so the amount of old people that stayed at the hotel (which looked more like a senior assisted living joint) I don't know how they slept on the bed. Luckily since there's sufficient alcohol all over the island if you get drunk enough you might be able to sleep on the bed. :)
The toilet: The toilet was disgusting. The bowl was clean on the outside but the inside (where you normally take a toilet bowl scrubber and scrub) was brown. It was nasty. But as I said before....I'm low maintenance, I took the toilet bowl scrubber and just scrubbed it. Then I flushed the toilet...and you know what? Brown stuff ran down the side (of the inside) of the toilet. It was like the water inside the toilet had some sort of brown water in it...so everytime you flushed the toilet the bowl would turn brown again. What the hell? I've heard of a self cleaning oven, and even seen self cleaning toilets but a self-dirtying toilet? That was a new one.
The bath tub: I understand we Americans are already arrogant as it is, we walk around acting like we're gods gift to the universe and pretend we do things the right way. So again I noticed this but didn't complain. The tile was dingy. Clearly they've never heard of tilex mold remover. It wasn't horrible but it wasn't sparkly either. In general it seemed as though the Atrium didn't take pride in making their hotel shine. It seemed they just did the bare minimum.
The water pressure was extremely low in the shower and sinks. The tile was dingy in the tub, and the tile floor.
The handles to adjust the hot and cold water were so screwed up my wife had to call me to get it just right everytime she took a shower or she'd either end up an ice cube or with 3rd degree burns (that's when the hot water actually worked).
I thought I spotted a roach in the kitchenette but I def. saw ants (I can live with ants to an extent, but roaches? Ghetto!
Speaking of ghetto, there was a decent flat screen TV, it was probably 22 inches. Unfortunately you could only see 19 inches of it. The pictures was as if someone had shrunk it. A few adjustments and I corrected that.
But the real ghetto part was apparently the Atrium uses DirectTV every hour of watching TV this notice would pop up for about 3 mins and say something about PAY YOUR DIRECT TV BILL. Something like that. Clearly it was between the Atrium and DirectTV. How annoying. But hey we should be out exploring the island (and we did) before the hurricane.
So this brings me to the one positive thing I can think of. When hurrican Omar passed us it left some damage in it's wake but nothing significant. The island was without power for approx 1.5 days maybe 2 but the Atrium and other resorts kept on ticking. We never lost power! They got something right!
Overall I wouldn't stay here again. We would have liked to have found a more hip upbeat place to stay but then again, the island in general didn't have too many hip or upbeat people.
PS: I do want to mention we never complained about the room because we pretty much assumed they would all be the same way. Maybe that was our fault. Maybe there were better rooms.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Atrium Resort & Spa by Festiva Resorts is your getaway in paradise. The smallest island in the world to be shared by two sovereign powers (The Netherlands and France), St. Maarten provides a winning blend of Caribbean hospitality and European sophistication. Rolling hillsides, blue lagoons and breathtaking views are just a few reasons why so many visitors return every year to this island. With its half mile of natural beach and an array of nearby water sports, the Atrium is practically paradise. This quiet, beachfront resort overlooks the calm Caribbean Sea and is minutes from the glamorous nightlife and duty-free shopping of both the Dutch and French sides of the island.Adjoining the resort's pool area is a Spanish tapas bar, Picante. In addition to light and delicious fare, Picante also features a jazz club. If tranquility, luxury and a full-service staff are what you want, the Atrium is the place for you. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Atrium Resort & Spa By Festiva Hotel Simpson Bay
- Atrium Resort And Spa By Festiva Resorts
- Atrium Hotel Simpson Bay
- Atrium St Maarten
- Atrium Beach Resort And Spa St. Maarten-St. Martin/Simpson Bay