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“What I expected based upon previous reviews” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Royal Palm Beach Resort

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Royal Palm Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Cole Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Hilmar, California
Level Contributor
83 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“What I expected based upon previous reviews”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2010

We just returned from a stay at the Royal Palm Beach Resort and we had a great time. I would say that the resort was exactly what I expected based upon the general consensus of the reviews I read in advance. The rooms are very roomy and comfortable and our view was spectacular. We loved the close proximity to the many restaurants and the casinos and we were able to park our car and do a lot of walking. We felt very safe walking to dinner in the evenings. You just need to be aware of traffic and stay off the road. When we wanted to cross the street, drivers were very polite and would stop to let uscross. We especially liked Lee's and Saratoga's and if you like lamb you can't leave without trying the braised lamb shank at Pineapple Pete's The sister site Flamingo is within walking distance and there are excursions and activities offered at the Marina there. We had a blast doing the Rock 'N Roll Snorkel through Aqua Mania. We also really enjoyed watching the luxury yachts pass by our resort to go through the bridge. I did check for evidence of bed bugs based upon prior warnings but I saw none and we had no mysterious bites. The bedding was actually surprizingly soft and clean. As others have said our room appeared to have been fairly recently refurbished and there were no maintenance problems. We had a light in the restroom go out and it was quickly replaced. We spent most of our stay out and about, but our interactions with the staff were pleasant. The service wasn't cruise ship exhuberant but the staff was accomodating when we asked for directions or recommendations. We had drinks at the pool but never ate at the resort and we found the service to be quick and the drink prices were reasonable. The little touches that I missed were a washer and dryer and a jacuzzi tub in the room and a hot tub at the resort and I would have liked a slighlty bigger balcony to enjoy the amazing view, but all in all we were happy with the accommodations. We will be returning to this beautiful island and this would be my preferred area to stay in on my next visit and I would stay at the Royal Palm again.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank desal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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901 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (323)
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English first
Cincinnati, Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 2010

Wow, where do I start? I have traveled immensely and never felt compelled to write a review until now. We had a 2 week stay (late Sept '10-early Nov '10). The resort is old, the common areas unkept and tiny... and no landscaping (unless you consider a half dead palm tree in a pot full of cigarette butts and other crap landscaping). The room looked as though it had been redecorated within the past couple years. It was spacious and had a really nice view. The staff (with the exception of bellmen) are LESS than friendly and have a "could care less" attitude...considering we never complained I didn't understand what they were all so "lackluster" about; but after spending some time on the island it seems most of the locals have a laissez-faire attitude, so much for "The Friendly Island". I mean have you ever called a Domino's Pizza 2 blocks away and were told," 2 hours delivery time" "were out of pizza crust"?!? Back to the hotel, the Restaurant/Bar combo (there is only one) is a joke. The food is horrible and the menu limited (we ate their the first night and never again) The bar was ok, a little swim up with stool seating on the opposite side, however if Michael is not there you can forget getting a drink is less than 15 minutes...and God forbid the bartender calls off because then you have the cook from the restaurant coming over to make the drinks while trying to handle kitchen orders, she did bring her kids in to help?!? You also can not charge anything to your room at this place and pay when you leave (like every other resort I have been to) you have to carry your cc's or cash with you (no AMEX either). The satellite is totally bootleg and delivers an error message every 45 minutes that you need to call a number and PAY THE BILL, yes....it's true. If you are traveling during hurricane season, the windows that offer a great panoramic view are not sealed and will offer gallons of fresh rainwater right inside your room! Bowls and pots are provided in the well equipped kitchen! As mentioned earlier, I didn't bother complaining I already "got the memo" from other guests that no one seemed to care. Speaking of "not caring" the lady that operates Royal Palm DVD & Cell Phones (in the small strip center connected to the hotel) maybe the most wicked person I have ever come across. "Fearing Sharon" became a running joke during our stay. Typically we don't "do" DVD's on vaycay but considering we had a hurricane and the satellite was out for 4 days and the entire island on curfew we had no choice. Sharon has issues and elevates being condesending to an art form! Even though we returned the dvds in a timely fashion she still found something to yell at you about! Her meticulous recordkeeping and carbon copies of every receipt provides her proof of deposits so she can return it to you at the end of your rental. Unfortunately (for me) I had thrown out my copy. Of course, she still found reason to yell at me and tell me "you'd better pray" as she waved her hands maniacly holding the very reciept that proved she got her $20 deposit from me....I just wanted it back. I even got the evil eye as I left. We did get to see Karate Kid 2 weeks before it came out, it was subtitled in japanese and like all of Sharon's DVD's in violation of the FCC. haha. Around day 9 there was a cockroach crawling on me IN BED, we had 2 bedrooms so we moved to the other but I was freaked and everything felt like a bug from there on out. This was no palmetto bug that snuck in (which would have been equally if not more terrifying), this was a german cockroach. Anyone that knows about bugs know these come from filthy environments. ugh. Activities are hit or miss (rarely happening as advertised on the chalkboard in the lobby). As far as the island goes it was my 2nd trip to St. Marteen (about my 20th to the Caribbean) this whole place is a dump, nothing of any architectural interest and generally ugly and dirty, chickens running around, half dead dogs, everything is crumbling, bars on the windows, totally impoverished and depressing <just keep staring at the ocean> is a great mantra to assist you during your stay. If you do decide to go WAIT and book your car there (you can haggle with the rental agency "representatives" that attack you as you leave the terminal), no one wears a uniform so this is interesting to say the least! Oh, be sure to lock your car! If you forget the security guard is nice enough to go around and do it for you which is great IF YOUR KEY WORKS! I will say SKIPJACK'S restaurant (across the street) IS AMAZING and has the best service on the whole island. Pineapple Pete's down the road has a great cazuela. That being said, I will never go back to St. Marteen. If you feel the need to hit the Caribbean do yourself a favor and go to St. Thomas or Grand Cayman...I'll be in Maui. Maholo

Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
7 Thank gypsie71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Galena, IL
Level Contributor
45 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 23, 2010

Four of us spent the week of November 14-21 at the Royal Palms. We're all in our sixties. The resort is not new, but the rooms seem to have been updated recently. Located on the beach, all rooms are a stone's throw from the bay and face the water-a huge plus for me! I'll use categories to better organize this.

STAFF: the front desk staff was cordial and generally efficient and reliable. Encountered nobody with surly attitudes, though some bartenders were indifferent. Housekeepers were cordial as well. The bar and restaurant are independent of the resort, so drinks and meals must be paid in cash or credit card.

LOCATION: On the main road that circles the island. The good: you can walk to the grocery and several restaurants, though there are no sidewalks. The resort is in a busy stretch, but not in either major city on the island. The bad: there is a lot of noise from across the street in the form of loud music. It does calm down by 10:30, thankfully! You also hear the sirens and the airplanes, as the airport is about five minutes away.

BEACH: As others have said-mediocre. The sand has lots of shell fragments, though walking barefoot is safe. There are many rocks just a few feet into the water, though we discovered this at other beaches as well. There are good lounge chairs and umbrella-like structures are abundant for shade lovers. You are only allowed one beach towel per day, and losing it will cost $50!! I don't know if this is a laundry issue, but it is an annoyance. One day there were no clean beach towels all day.

ROOM: Our two bedroom was clean and spacious with a very private lanai facing the bay. Each bedroom had a private bath with a large shower and the kitchen was well-stocked with dishes, etc. Furniture was uninteresting and dull, but clean. TV sets were small and dated, but who goes to St. Maarten to watch tv??? There were three in the unit. Appliances were very good, if a bit dated.


POOL/LOBBY, ETC: The pool was a big disappointment. The pictures make it look large, but it is the smallest outdoor resort pool I have ever seen. There was no hot tub either. The lobby is tiny and drab. This is the only place you can use your computer for wi-fi. There is a fitness center, but it was closed for renovations. There are several small souvenier shops and a small convenience/grocery store just off the lobby. Splash jewelers, known for good prices, is in the lobby.

THE PEOPLE: The islanders we encountered were generally quite pleasant. You will be visited by people if you are on any beach offering to sell you dresses, hats, etc. or to give you an aloe massage. They are not pushy and a "no thank you" sends them on their way. There is obvious poverty, but not the desparate kind found on poorer islands. Personal safety never seemed an issue, but basic precautions are still advised. Once we were lost at night in the car and a man drove his car twenty minutes out of his way to lead us back to the resort. Tourists were made to feel welcome.

ACTIVITIES: We had a car and drove the island. You don't need to in most cases. Small buses (vans actually), taxis and water taxis. We enjoy snorkeling and found the Pinel Island reef to be the best of the four places we went. Dawn Beach, Creole Rock and the point by Pelican Resorts were the others. The fish and coral were the usual, more abundant species and we saw nothing notable or memorable at any of the places.

ROADS: There is one narrow road, poorly marked that circles the island. It is narrow and its condition varies as you travel. It is always crowded, though the traffic is patient. Few horns are honked in anger. Motorcyclists weave in and out of traffic, taking the six inches between the lanes of traffic. It's amazing many aren't killed with such reckless driving habits! Watch out for them, they will startle you and could cause you to swerve and take out a pedestrian or two! Side roads are little more than one land paths that are generally unmarked. Driving is for the patient (lots of waiting in dead stop lines) and adventurous (unmarked streets, huge potholes in places, tight spots everywhere. I wouldn't rent a car unless you want to explore the out of the way places on the island.

THE ISLAND: Wonderfully tropical with tall hills inland. Many beaches, though they are not easy to find. Few road signs point them out. Mullet Bay beach was the best for avoiding rocks in the water. The island is only 37 square miles and 77,000 people live there! That's over 2,000 /square mile. Very crowded! Mosquitoes are aggressive in the evening-bring spray!

PHILLIPSBURG: An interesting Dutch city known for shopping. Cruise ships dock here. It is generally clean, busy and worth a part of a day. Go early!! There is a water taxi you can take from the resort area (see the conceirge) or take a bus. For a truly weird experience go to McDonalds. They serve beer!!!!!!!!!!!! Heinekens and Amstel in bottles. It doesn't go well with egg McMuffins.

MARIGOT: the French capital. Quite scenic along the waterfront, with an open air market. Fresh fish, fruits and all the clothing and jewelry you can imagine. The rest of the town has been rather neglected and is decaying. There is evidence of attempts to restore the town. For a great view, go to the fort. Signs are available and the narrow lanes will take you within a five minute climb up stairs. The view is remarkable, though only parts of walls remain of the fort.

OVERALL: Having been to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Aruba, this island and Jamaica are the most scenic. Prices are surprisingly reasonable-even in restaurants. There are timeshares everywhere, but, thankfully, few high rise hotels. The main drawbacks are the crowding and traffic. Given the choice, I would return to this island before any of the four above.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Harry187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheadle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 19, 2010

stayed on 4th floor overlooking pool,had a great view of the beach and ocean,rooms are fair sized with full cooking facilities but we ate out every night as the location had many restaurants on doorstep.overall the hotel catered pretty well for us as there was only 2 people so we had enough towels. as diamond members we felt a bit let down by the amount of cleaning done in the rooms (3 times in 2 weeks)also the amount of staff on duty the pool bar and restaurant had 1 server at lunch time which had a lot of people leaving.the pool is not supervised so the rules are not heeded people drinking from glass bottles instead of using plastic.the free wi-fi in the pool area is good.in general we enjoyed the hotel would recommend the waterfront restaurant,skipjacks. the belmar has brilliant lobster lees diner does tasty grills

Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank rayharney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockville Centre, New York
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2010

We just got back from a week at the Royal Palm and loved it! The RP is much better than the Flamingo and Pelican resorts, where we have also stayed. We had a 2 BR suite on the first floor, which was ideal access to the beach. The suite was excellent - top quality amenities and very clean. The patio was private and a great place to read and hang out. We loved the beach as it was much more relaxed than the Flamingo/Pelican beach. This was worth being at the RP in itself! Yes, there are rocks in the water, but go on the left side and it is fine. We didn't go to the restaurant as it had Karaoke when we went, but we enjoyed Lee's, Jimbo's (great food!) and Skip Jack's. Too bad Lotterie Farm was closed the week we were there. I say skip Maho, but others in our group liked it. Marigot was fun for breakfast crepes and shopping. Also loved L'aqualigne Spa at the Pelican.

The only detraction, as others have mentioned, is the unfriendly/unhelpful front desk help. The one young girl, in particular, should find a job that she enjoys at least a little bit! Wi-fi in the room would also be welcomed.

But this did not affect our enjoyment of the RP! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves there and wil be going back.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NYgal826
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville KY
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2010

We met my parents on the 2nd week of their 2 week rental at Royal Palm Beach. They had been moved next door from their original room mid stay, apparently in quite a rush with no warning. They were told that there were 3 levels of importance at this resort- owners, time sharers and renters. Since they were time sharers and owners (not quite sure what this means as you are a fractional owner as a time sharer) were coming in, they had to move NOW. Turns out the people in their original place were renters. The condos were identical and next door to each other so no idea why the move was necessary. The condo layout was nice and it was decorated "island tasteful". Bathrooms nice, beds comfortable. We paid for an extra cleaning mid week. The kitchen has a skillet, a dutch oven and a tiny sauce pan- no broiler pan, no cookie sheet, nothing to use in the oven. The refridgerator stopped working 3 times. The resort was timely in it's repairs but these places need an appliance upgrade and quick. We had to buy ice and throw out some food. Also odd was an ongoing message from the satallite TV service telling us to pay our bill within 48 hours and a nightly phone call from security around 7 pm telling us to lock up and pull the drapes. I never saw any sign of vandelism but anxiety after those nightly phone calls made enjoying the patio or beach after sunset impossible.
No sign of bedbugs whatsoever. The location is wonderful- great restaurants across the stree or within an easy walk. A slot and sports book casino that we walked to several times. The casino offered free grilled cheese sandwiches in the afternoon which I found amusing. Our condo was ground floor and just stepping out to the beach was great. The beach itself is a bit rocky, not terrible and great shell searching. It was VERY calm- great location for little kids. Very nice grocery just down the street. Yes groceries were more expensive than at home but I fully expected that on an island. Also, the island is VERY sleepy on Sunday. The grocery store was open however and we ate in.
All in all, I would recommend this resort but would mention all of the above. The location is ideal, the staff was ok with good attitudes (issues were with resort bureaucracy), appliances need replacing this year.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jane V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2010

I read many reviews posted here and on several other websites pertaining to this resort. I found them helpful, but I also try to keep an open mind. Upon arriving, I was pleasantly surprised. The outside of the resort looked to be very well maintained. The front desk is in an open-air lobby and the staff operates on island time, so be patient. The process wasn't extraordinarily long, but it did take some time to get checked in. One writer complained of mosquitoes... of course there are mosquitoes (and no-seeums), take some bug spray (we did). I am leery of bedbugs which I saw mentioned in several reviews, so we went in checking for them and found none. The rooms were newly renovated and both beds (and the sleep sofa) were very comfortable. The kitchen was stocked with very beautiful Cuisinart appliances and contained some of the best cookware/ dinnerware/ silverware I've ever seen at a resort. The icemaker in the freezer was a welcomed surprise. We packed and shipped over our breakfast and lunch foods (including eggs and bread) and bought dinner out every night. This worked out great for our group of six. Grocery store food costs are ridiculous! One bag of Lays potato chips which cost $2.50 here cost $5.69 there. One $.99 dozen eggs here cost $3.00. The food bar in the grocery store was over $10.00/lb., but cigarettes were only $2.50/pack and 1 liter of Patron was only $39 (CRAZY!!!)

The pool is very small and became very crowded so I passed on it. The beach is fine for sunbathing and is a shell collector’s dream! The water however, is full of very VERY large rocks. You should wear aqua-shoes and step very carefully when entering/exiting the water. There are better beaches nearby, so don’t let this discourage you from staying at RP.

I love St. Maarten and I loved this resort until the tropical storm blew in. I know it’s their rainy month, but I’d been there same time before and never had any problems with the weather. This storm had not been forecast prior to my arrival and when it came, it sat on the island for 2.5 days so we were stuck at the resort. Just to get a break from the room, we stopped by the jewelry store in the lobby and learned that the govt. had ordered a complete shut-down of the island at 3:00! I found it alarming that the resort apparently has no plan for disseminating emergency information. If we had been told in advance, we could've purchased groceries and prepared dinner in our room, instead, we had nothing but snacks that evening. It would've also been nice if the resort had offered some sort of activities just to get our attention off the storm and keep us from being trapped in our rooms. Fortunately I was traveling with people I like a lot (lol)! To make bad things worse, my room flooded (I was on the 3rd flr.!). I was told by the front desk that all rooms were flooded and to just put down towels. So for 2.5 days we contained the mini-flood with towels. I looked closely at the windows and discovered sizeable gaps that should've been calked a long time ago to prevent this from happening (I'll post pics when I find my cord (lol)). RP uses DirecTV which sucked on a good day and only brings in news from the NY area, no matter, the satellite went out, so we couldn't get that either… boy how I missed Al Roker!

So, all things considered, would I stay there again, yes, definitely. The housekeeping staff was wonderful and very friendly. It’s a resort, so they only provide cleaning once a week unless you pay for it. We were able to get extra towels and coffee with no problem at all. A tip and a smile go a long way (smile). We simply asked the housekeeping staff directly when we saw them in the hall, and they brought up extra towels when our room flooded. Aside from the weather, our trip was wonderful and we’re looking forward to returning and staying at RP.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank phynally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Palm Beach Resort

Property: Royal Palm Beach Resort
Address: 115 Welfare Road, Cole Bay 3035, St. Maarten-St. Martin
Location: Caribbean > St. Maarten-St. Martin > Sint Maarten > Cole Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Cole Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Royal Palm Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 140
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal Palm Beach Hotel Simpson Bay
Royal Palm St Maarten
Royal Palm Beach Club St Maarten

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