Historical Traveller Reviews of Royal Palm Beach Resort Hotel
Just back from a refreshing mid-winter getaway at Royal Palm. Family of 5 down for a week, 2 kids 6 and 4 thought it was a GREAT location. The units could use a little refurbishing but all in all they were pretty good. The full kitchen was great with little kids, the beach not super but the pool area was fine. Highly rec. rental vehicle for other beaches. Marius at St. Louis rentals was super and HIGHLY recommended. The view is outstanding. Great eating spots are within walking distance! Halsey's, Lee's, Bananas, Rick'ss for breakfast, etc... The lady C across the street was great for drinks and Colin the bartender is a great guy! Definite recommendation for this spot!!
t Stay Here
The hotel room I stayed in had bugs crawling on the wall, visible dust layers on the mattress, old food stuck to the phone, and things were broken or leaking in the room. View of bay was beautiful. Gym downstairs often too crowded, internet cafe downstairs overcharges. The bar, front desk, and welcome desk are all run by different management which makes good service difficult. If you have never been to St. Martin before, don't even bother going. Hit another island. I could not go hiking alone, the people at the hotel told me tourists are mugged, you can't leave anything in your car or the natives steal it, for a place called 'the friendly island' this surely is not. A place that receives its number one income for toursim does not want tourists. If you want a relaxing vacation where you are wanted and it is safe - I hear bahamas and aruba fit that bill. St. Martin is not relaxing and it is overpriced. Unless you go to La Semana or another all-inclusive resort and don't leave that resort - then you will be fine and happy here.
Welching on our vouchers
from A TripAdvisor Member
We are RCI timeshare holders who recently tried to use a 2 week voucher from the Royal Palms. This voucher was given to us by Royal Palms for buying a timeshare in Royal Palms. Although the voucher was from many years ago, it was extended, in writing, by the Royal Palms sales manager, Alejandra Padin. However, Royal Palms "Management" has refused to honor it as good, but cannot show us any written policy to back their decision. The on-site customer service representatives have refused to give us their corporate headquarters contact personnel names and addressess so we may continue to pursue this matter. Be careful when buying into Royal Palms timeshare or Sun Terra Group. Management apparently does not make good on it's written word.
Sunterra Royal Palm Beach Club
from A TripAdvisor Member
Stayed at Sunterras Royal Palm Beach from Sept. 4th-18th. 2004.
Being a Sunterra points owner I was expecting a great deal from this resort but was relatively disappointed. The accommodation, although spacious, was not up to usual standards that we have had in European resorts. The first week we were in an apartment (2 bedroom) that was in dire need of remedial work and decorating. The air conditioning was leaking too and never fixed. For our second week we did get moved due to the leaking a/c. This apartment, although exactly the same, was in a better condition decor wise.
The resort itself is nicely situated; right on the beach. Plenty of sun loungers around the pool and on said beach.
Rip off with the beer at resort. $3.00 for a small bottle. Most other places charge $2.00 and some even less.
We found a good eating place to be the 'Cappuccino Diner' (turn right when leaving the resort), also in the same direction 'Pineapple Pete's' and Lees, just accross the road.
Simpson Bay: Sunterra Royal Palm Beach Club
from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed here from 7/31/04 through 8/7/04 and it was very nice. We had a clean and spacious two bedroom, two bath suite with a kitchen and a fantastic view of Simpson Bay.
Even the restaurant by the pool was pretty good great steak sandwich)
OK down to the nitty gritty, Great Food....
Goto the Turtle Reef (across from airport)
GREAT LOBSTER ON WED NITE, (Big Al, the 11 pounder is still there is great for pictures cause nobody will beleive YOUR story on how BIG HE REALLY IS!!!!
The Boathouse is fantastic for lunch and Dinner. Peg Leg pub and bar also great for Dinner. Lee's Pub and Grill? i think it's called, is great for dinner, ribs and lobster are tasty and they have live music too.
Orient beach has a lot of great beach restaurants
Most notable the one at the southern-most tip (can't remember the name..arrgg) Yellow buildings are the key and it has a few shops next to it bikinis, towels and such, . Great Lamb chops and ribs.
Since Orient bay is on the French side there are alot of French places to eat besides the pretty French girls!!!! ooooo la la!!! ;)
Kon Tiki on the beach is also another one to try, Great Spring Roll appetisers and fantastic desserts French style and not too pricy...
Paris Bistro next to the Casino Royal, too expen$ive small portions (Real French portions)
Lobster was the size of a small rat and dry and the French onion soup was like dirty salt water. Please miss this spot!!!
Pizza Galley is ok but I'm a NY crust kinda guy.
The French side is more established and upscale kinda like Hawaii on Maui so if your looking for a more refined place to shop French is it..
The Dutch side Philipsburg is where the Cruise ships dock so you get a lot of people on tue/wed but the deals lie there where you can bargin on Front/Back Street the major drag for shopping from $$$jewelry to cheap Island made alcohol
IF you LOVE chocolate then The Belgian Chocolate Shoppe between Front/Back street on Old Street is to DIE FOR. I bought $15 box and finished it before I left the store!!! mmmmm good!!!!!!
Scuba Diving was very nice on SABA (one of the best sites in the world) but you gotta suffer the 1hr trip over on the Edge boat that was a ROUGH RIDE 7 ft swells at times (aka. barf city tours)... Dont eat before you go!!! I mean it..... though this was their winter season Hurricanes and all...
Didn't goto Angilla, I hear it's a pretty wild time during Holiday (party time like Marti Gras)
All in all a great trip, 85 degrees all the time some humidity so shorts are manditory so Don't bring pants.
I would go back tomorrow.
It's the island you can relax and be forced to do nothing or do a little while not being rushed to schedule trips cause theres always an opening!!!
Take a few steps from your room and you are on the beach!
Our kids rate this our best vacation: July 17-24, 2004. Why? Ground floor room allowed us to open door and be right on the beach, very few bugs, ocean water so warm, activities right outside on the beach, live music at night at resort bar/cafe. Bring: umbrella, air matress for calm water at your resort beach, water container for beach (great tasting water at resort), lots of sun lotion, extra money for braiding hair on beach ($50-$100), ziplock bags, shampoo. Dining: across the street at Lee's grill: ribs - $6.50 and wahoo - $8.00; Jonny under the Tree: ribs, lobster. Best lamb at Pineapple Pete's. Best pastries at Zee Best (behind Top Carrot), Dawn beach for snorkling. Very good pizza at several restaurants!
The only thing wrong with our vacation at Royal Palm is that we didn't book a second week....flight is expensive from California...and you can get great prices on Royal Palm!
liked the condo but encountered some problems
from A TripAdvisor Member
We rented a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo for 9 nights. The condo had three tv's--1 in each bedroom and 1 in the living room, tile floors, a glass table with 6 chairs, and a full kitchen with utensils, cookware, dishes, and glassware. We enjoyed the view of the Simpson Bay Marina and rented waverunners a few times there. The furniture needs updating, but it was adequate. Whatever you do, however, make sure that if you are using an AT&T calling card that you dial the 800 number that is in the hotel directory and SPEAK TO AN OPERATOR!!!! The directory does not tell you to speak to an operator in order to activate your card, so after you dial the 800 number and try to punch in your number, it will disconnect. Our daughter's friend racked up over $600 worth of phone charges because he used a 300 number to connect to a long distance operator before activating his phone card. In a nutshell, he was charged $2.00 per minute, plus his minutes were deducted from his card. There should have been just a $1.00 connection fee per call. We asked the front desk about using the AT&T card, but we were not told the correct procedure to use it. Apparently, this problem occurs frequently because the front desk clerk said that a woman who had checked out before us had a similar problem. You will get little help or information about anything at the front desk (i.e. directions, places to go, etc.). The Boathouse Restaurant on the same road as Royal Palm (Welfare Rd.) is excellent! The seafood is great at an affordable price. The appetizers were great at the Peg Leg Pub (also on Welfare Rd.), and they are half price during happy hour. We were not impressed with Hot Tomatoes (the food was average, the service was lousy, and the prices were inflated). Little Bay(enter at Divi Resort in Phillipsburg) was a beautiful beach with plenty of watersports and ok snorkeling. Don't go on Wednesdays: cruise ships dock on Great Bay next door. It gets crowded. Friars Bay in Marigot is a local well-kept secret. It's a beautiful bay with gorgeous water and great snorkeling. For a multi-cultural experience that you'll never forget, go to Orient Bay! It's an absolutely stunning beach with white sand, water sports (try the parasailing), and lots of people--many who are topless. You may see a few totally nude people from the Orient Bay Resort located at the end of the beach. There are many good restaurants right on the beach, and a waiter will bring you food and drinks all day long. It's the place to see and to be seen. You will not pay any taxes on the island. We really saved a lot of money by shopping at the supermarket and cooking most of our meals. We shopped many times at Le Grand Marche in Phillipsburg. It's the nicest supermarket on the island, and the prices are very affordable. Cigarettes and liquor are dirt cheap everywhere, but the supermarket is a good 3 dollars cheaper on a bottle of liquor than in smaller stores like 7 Alive on Welfare Rd. I don't recommend luxury shopping at all on the island. Marigot's shops were ridiculously expensive. I didn't try Front St. in Phillipsburg. The best place to hang out at night is Maho. You'll find casinos, restaurants, and live entertainment at Cheri's Cafe. The Paris Bistro is a great little open-air restaurant there. There are dozens of souvenir shops: don't be afraid to barter. The Sunset Cafe at Maho Beach is a great place to hang out--not for the beach but for the airplanes! Across from the airport, it supplies a front seat to spectacular landings and take-offs. The take-offs are hilarious: some of the brave hang on to a fence at the end of the runway where the jets rev up their engines before takeoff. Sand blows everywhere, and you'll see people's hats, sunglasses, etc., fly down the beach. Do not be deceived by a ferry trip to St. Barth's. It leaves at 9:00 AM and returns at 5:00 PM. The trip takes an hour each way. Therefore, by the time you rent a car and go to a beach (unless you're a jet setter, you won't be doing any shopping, and you wouldn't be reading this anyway), you only have 4 hours and 45 minutes before you have to be back at the dock. We were traveling with 6, so we had to rent a van for $144, thank you. You take your life in your hands when you drive on the island. To say it's hilly is an understatement. I delivered a full-throated scream while my husband negotiated a hairpin turn at the bottom of a hill while several cars flew around the corner, and at one point, we went up a hill but our van couldn't make it!!!! Luckily, no one was behind us. Need I tell you that if I had been driving, I wouldn't be writing this review? 1000 foot drop-offs are the norm!! We went to St. Jean beach where we did some pretty good snorkeling, ate in a little bistro, and returned to the dock at 3:45. A French woman at the Divi Resort in Sint Maarten told us to go to Governeur's Beach, but we didn't have time. To give you another perspective, a woman on the ferry said that she took a taxi to a beach and had a cup of coffee for a cool $100. In retrospect, we should have gone to Saba for the spectacular snorkeling and diving, but I had to see the land of the rich and famous. In Sint Maarten, We rented a truck from United at the airport for $50.00 a day (of course, cars are cheaper). Do not take taxis! They are super expensive. We attended a timeshare presentation at Divi resort to save $80.00 on the rental. To sum up the trip, the island is beautiful with stunning beaches and plenty of things to do. Just do your homework and avoid wasting money.
A great place to stay
from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed here from 7/3/04 through 7/10/04 and were very pleased. We had a clean and spacious two bedroom, two bath condo with a complete kitchen and a fantastic Ocean view. The staff was friendly and effecient. There is a full service GYM free to all hotel guests adjacent to the lobby and an Internet Cafe that cost us $30 for the week. The hotel is located right in Simpson Bay and was within 2 minutes to quite a bit of resturaunts and nightlife. The hotel was very safe and we experienced no power outages.
The only negatives that we had were that the room had showers only (no biggee) and the pool was rather small (for the number of guests). Also, the beach is man made and is really not all that nice however, there are awsome beaches within a 10 minute drive. We would definetly stay here again and think anyone else would enjoy it as well.
Good hotel at a great price
from A TripAdvisor Member
Four of my friends and I stayed at the Royal Palm Beach from 6/14/04 to 6/21/04. We all had a great time. Our 2 bedroom / 2 bath suite was spacious and clean, and came at a a very affordable price. The bathroom and shower were very good, an important thing for me because I'm a big fan of a good shower. The hotel is located right on the beach, close to the airport as well, and not too far from all the action. Service in the hotel was helpful and friendly. You can arrange all your outdoor water activities and boating trips from the advisor in the hotel lobby area. My only complaints were the few power outtages we had (usually at night or when we weren't in the room) and on our last day, we lost hot water and air conditioning for the better part of the day. Besides that, we all had a fantastic time at the hotel and on the island. I would definitely consider staying here again.
First RCI Exchange that Worked!
After exchanging our time share many times this was the first time we didn't feel ripped off by our exchange. The Royal Palm has great facilities and a spectacular view out over Simpson's Bay. The rooms were great. You could slide the floor to ceiling windows all the way back and really open yourself up to the outside. The staff was extremely friendly. The Manager, Marcel, sought me out at the pool bar the first day to check how I liked the room. They do seem to have a problem with their room allocation/reservation process. We had booked an extra day and were told we would be able to keep the same room but then had to move. This seemed to happen to a lot of people. Although initially annoying they moved everything and we actually liked our second room a lot more. Our first room was on the first floor and opened right out onto the beach BUT it had misquetoes. My other minor annoyance was they added a 15% service charge onto the room rate and a $7 safe fee
Top Local Tips for Simpson Bay
Don't miss this!
Do the Celine pub crawl, departing from Skip Jack's in Simpson Bay.
You really do not need to rent a car in the Simpson Bay area
We debated up until a week prior to our trip as whether to rent a car or not. The decision we made not to rent a car was extremely wise. Traffic is extremely congested and you can walk to most places. Public transporation and taxis were better than advertised and much cheaper than we were led to believe. As an observer if you do not know the terrain or where to park you can encounter some major headaches, costs and frustrations in renting a vehicle in the Simpson Bay area.
Avoid renting a car
Driving and especially parking is difficult. Public transportation is cheap and easy.