We just returned from The Riu Palace/St Marteen. The trip overall ,was excellent, however there are some things that I feel are fair to share. Compared to other Riu Palace properties, this one was not a true palace in our opinion. Although we knew that there were no ocean front rooms, I did not realize the the buildings that house the guest rooms are set very far back and you cannot see or hear the ocean from your room. The grounds are truly beautiful but I like to see or hear the ocean when on a tropical vacation. The room service choices are minimal at best. The do not offer coffee/tea in the dinner dining room. We enjoy coffee with our dessert so this The pool was large but does need some work and does not have a swim up bar. Again we did know this based on the description, however we did not realize the negative impact of not having a swim up bar. The pool area was dull as people were not hanging out in the pool, again this is in comparison to other Riu properties. On a positive note the food here is excellent as well the drinks and all of the staff!! Top shelf liquor and plenty of it. This cove area is truly beautiful and provided what we were looking for on this trip which was a beautiful beach and an opportunity to "de-stress" I would not recommend this area for younger people and/or those looking for lively night life. Cheap Caribbean came thru as always with our package. Flights, transfers etc were perfect. We will be booking another trip thru Cheap Caribbean
A great place to spent a vacation. Very friendly staff and very good food. My only complaint is the reservation system for eating at their different restaurants. You have to show up everyday at 6:30pm to sign up for the first of second sitting of the restaurant, except for the one which offers a buffet. I wish we could sign up in the morning and a day in advance at the reception desk and choose the exact time of your reservation. In their present system you have to eat either at 6:30pm (first sitting) or 8:30pm (second sitting).
My wife and I recently stayed at the subject resort, as part of an all inclusive vacation arranged through Cheap Caribbean. We had a great time at the RIU Palace and sightseeing on St. Martin. The resort is very attractive, with well manicured grounds, a nice pool and beach and some free water sports stuff. The room was clean and well kept, however, a few times the housekeeper forgot to leave fresh water and face cloths and towels. There were several restaurants, all of which provided very good food and excellent service. The servers and other staff members at the restaurants were very friendly and attentive. The bars were also good, and provided excellent, efficient and friendly service. Lobby and bell staff members were also attentive and generally excellent. The only issue we had was in getting time with the concierge. Also, there is a very good exercise room. All in all, we had a very nice stay and recommend the resort as a great place to stay. A few things to be aware of are that the water from the tap in the rooms is for bathing only, not for drinking; to compensate, the hotel provides ample drinking water in the form of bottled water (large and small bottles) which are renewed daily. Also, no decaf coffee was provided in the rooms. The best way to travel to other locations outside the resort is via taxi. We had thought of getting a rental car but are glad we didn't, as many roads are narrow and would be pretty challenging and perhaps dangerous for those unfamiliar with them. Lastly, it was fun to take an island tour and see towns like Grand Case, Marigot and Phillipsburg. Be prepared though, for the many people hawking goods (clothes, jewelry, knick nacs) to you in the towns; they can get a little pushy at times, and also you can often do some haggling to get a price break. And be ready to pay for lounge charis and umbrellas if you go to any beaches outside the resort. Have fun!
Wonderful vacation destination! The resort's facilities and food are great, the staff is wonderful, the rooms lovely, the pool and the beach FABULOUS, and the prices extremely reasonable especially considering what you get! Go for it!
We loved our stay and only wish we could have been there longer. Everyone went out of their way to make it a wonderful experience. It's a gorgeous setting and there are nature reserves right there for hiking and snorkeling, etc. The all-inclusive aspect is awesome. In the evening you walk down curved paths with palm trees illuminated and the silvery glowing ocean and balmy air. Thank you Cheap Caribbean!
This resort is absolutely beautiful! Our room was amazing & large with TWO balconies; one facing the marina with a backdrop of hills behind it and the second one of the picturesque landscaped resort. It felt like we were staying at a private park on an island. Plenty of walkways leading around the resort. This provided us with an opportunity for a walk after breakfast or lunch or an evening stroll after dinner. Much needed as the food at this resort was delicious!! The staff were always friendly, helpful and always willing to do their best and accommodate any requests. We have booked our vacations with Cheap Caribbean for several years and have never been disappointed as they always deliver on what they advertise. Gotta tell you this time it surpassed our expectations. Looking forward to next year, while savoring wonderful memories of St. Martin
Fantastic stay with great accommodations and service. However, I spoke to a ton of people who also booked through Cheap Caribbean and I was clearly the one who paid the most. Many paid half of what i did. Traveling on 4th of July weekend (return,) a marina suite, and traveling Sat to Sat were all things that cost me a lot of money. Be sure to let them know if you are there for a special reason. They treated us to Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for our anniversary. The best dinner options come with reservations and those are taken 2 days in advance. They run out of space quickly and you are going to be stuck with the buffet option if you don't have a reservation. It was difficult to get reservations because we were busy with other activities but we still managed to get 1 night in each of the 3 dinner restaurants. A word on the Buffet, the dinner and breakfast was excellent. The lunch became boring after a couple of days. Still I would rate the food as very good. If you are an American, be sure to bring a plug converter or you'll be limited on things like curling irons and charger space. They did have a desk with (2) 110v outlets but it is only good for cell phones, tablets and laptops. We had 4 of those, so you had to wait your turn. We had a request in for a converter the whole stay but never receive one. The living and bedroom thermostats are set to 23 degrees C.. If that is not to your liking the front desk can adjust. Bring mask, snorkel and fins if you have them. I didn't see where the resort had any to provide. They could be rented but I felt that the Scuba company on the beach was charging way too much for everything. We rented a car and went around the island which turned out to be a mistake. My wife was overwhelmed by the poverty and stray animals (some starving). The room was quite nice. The only complaints on that would be that the shower curtain was not mounted securely and that made the curved rod droop a bit. The result was that the curtain had trouble staying fully closed which led to a bit of water splashing out. Also the TV in the living room had a problem which required turning off and on several times.
The food at the buffet was excellent and the service was great. Personnel were friendly and helpful. The Krystal food was disappointing for both of us as well as for people at the next table. So we decided to stick with the buffet and were extremely happy with that. The setting was wonderful, the pool was great and the cove made the resort seem secluded which was very nice. On the negative side, our first room was smelling so much of mold that we had to get a different room. The new room was much better, but once in a while it still smelled off. The carpet on the floor was very dirty and may have been the source of the mildew smell. Tile floor would be a huge improvement. Also, we were disappointed that there was not more entertainment. We have been to three other Riu resorts and there was a piano player in the lobby, a singer after dinner and a show after that. We expected that at this Riu but there was none of that. The lobby and hallways were boring compared to other Riu's and were not kept up with. The food, setting and service made the trip enjoyable but we would probably not return to this location. We will, however try another Riu resort somewhere else.
I was traveling alone and they made sure I was accommodated every step of the way! Beautiful resort and amazing staff!
The Riu Palace St Martin was overall a pretty nice property. The grounds were relatively well kept (as others mention, there's an issue with cigarette butts). The grounds are very pretty and you get some good walking in as you move about. There are giant iguanas everywhere and a host of other lizards zipping around. All the staff say the iguanas are scared of us, but two ran after our group, and we witnessed one chase another guest up onto a patio chair. Some of these iguanas are probably 4' long. The buffet has to be the best buffet food I've had, and I like all inclusive resorts. I also lived in Las Vegas (the land of casino buffets). They have people cooking fresh food right there, so you can't go wrong. Definitely a great place to enjoy breakfast and lunch - with a beautiful view. Now for the rest of the dining... terrible. The "fusion" restaurant Krystal was the biggest joke I've ever been to. They don't accept reservations and seating is extremely limited. There wasn't even anyone we could talk to at the restaurant to inquire the process. We waited in line for 1 hour 45 minutes (it's very hot!). We finally get seated after 8:00 (they close at 9:00). The staff rushed us through so they could close, and the food was terrible. This is also the restaurant that requires you to dress up and for men to wear slacks. Don't bother - it isn't worth it. The steakhouse and French were not much better, although there was no wait. Room service really needs to up their game. They ONLY serve cold food.... nothing hot, ever. If you order nachos, be prepared for a cold lump of canned cheese sauce and stale chips, because that's what's coming. The first couple of days we would order wine to our room (note, only by the glass, they won't allow you to order a bottle). One evening we ordered wine and they just never brought it. After that, we walked to Calypso to get. Calypso is a fun little bar nightclub type with nighttime activities. The guys working there are awesome - Frandy, Laurent, and another gentleman who's name is escaping me. The service here was also hit or miss. There were some fantastic people, some just whatever, and some rude. Alfred at the pool was very nice, as were Anna Marie and Alexander. The bartenders mentioned above.. Hotel wifi - you have good access throughout the property, so that is nice. Beware that it is not a secure connection. I logged on to my online banking via the wifi and the next day my account was hacked. Valuable lesson, if you're in a foreign country, don't log onto your banking through wifi unless you know it's secure. As some have mentioned the beach is a bit small but the water is nice and pretty. It's a cove so there are no waves. I wish the smokers wouldn't drop their butts - very gross walking on the sand and stepping on a nasty cigarette butt. It's disrespectful to the environment and the other guests. Lastly, there are no beach view rooms. We paid to upgrade to a superior marina view room. It looks out over a small marina that is overall unimpressive. The room had a king bed and a pullout, and a spacious bath. Neither the sink nor the tub plugged, so washing swimwear was hard. The rooms are in need of an update.