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“New owner Riu won't refund my unused deposit”

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Hotel Riu Palace St Martin
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Anse Marcel
Bellevue, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“New owner Riu won't refund my unused deposit”
Reviewed 8 August 2014

My wife and I stayed in the Riu Palace St. Martin from 8 July 2014 until 18 July. I had a deposit of 349.44 Euros taken out of my bank account by the hotel's then-owner Radisson when I made the reservation in May. Since the hotel was taken over by Riu shortly after, I had concerns about this deposit possibly being lost. I was contacted by Ingrid Mathurin, reservation manager of the Riu Palace St. Martin a few days before we arrived. She assured me that my deposit was not lost and would be applied against against any additional charges during my stay. (I had already prepaid $1980.00 to Riu for the room cost of our 10-day stay.) This is not what happened. We incurred 585.16 Euros in additional charges while we were there; Riu took the entire amount out of my bank account without applying the 349.44 Euro credit I had with them. Since they didn't use this credit, they owe me a refund in this amount. I have contacted Ms. Mathurin twice via email and have had no response from her or anyone else at the Riu Palace St. Martin. I sent a message through Riu's website but have not heard from them either. If there is no response by next week, I'm handing the matter to my attorney.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
5 Thank Ray W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
48 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2014

First of all, you must know that the first 900 reviews for this hotel refer to the Radisson Blue Anse Marcel and not the RIU Palace St Martin.
The Radisson Blue was purchased by RIU June 1, 2014.
It is anomalous that Tripadvisor suggests that 800 positive ratings are for the RIU Palace.
I sent them an email about it ... but no response ...

I went two times in the Radisson Blue Anse Marcel and my opinion was positive, not perfect but clearly positive.

We made ​​a reservation for the Radisson before June and no one warned us of the change of ownership or the quality of services.

Between RIU and Radisson, it remains only the paradise hotel park vegetation and the Anse Marcel.
The staff is generally very friendly (however you have to accept the islands style) except the two new directors who are incompetent, rude and unsympathetic and do not care about customers.
We see and hear from the staff is tired of the decline of quality and means as well as the incompetent direction.
We spoke with several families and couples of regulars and they will not put again the feet at this hotel

It should already avoid this place until November or later: we were treated to three weeks of jackhammer (20m of the pool) with the work continued until sometimes 8:45 p.m. (20m of the restaurant) including Sundays.

I'll start with the two new Directors ... totally unacceptable (that is thanks to them that my assessment goes to poor)
There is one who refuses to see its clients ... when he is forced to come down from his office, he then rough with his staff and said they have to solve the problems by themselves and he does not want to be disturbed ... And when spoken it is clear that what he thinks is "But f..k you dear customer you can talk, I do not care what you say ..."

The second is a "nice little Director" who clearly has no the skills... he's afraid of customers and has no "commercial"manners: at lunch, he cuts client priority in front of the plate stack and says nothing...not even a hello (which may seem a detail but it shows the standard of the hotel Riu PALACE).

The pool was completely degraded: hole in the bottom, faience removed over large areas.
A animal poop remained on the way to the pool several days before disappearing while Directors took this way several times a day

The room is quiet and comfortable, clean with a good mattress. There aren't any more minibar, Nespresso machine will certainly disappear when the stock of capsule will be spent. Color retouch on the wall is made with a slightly different color (Riu PALACE) ...

regarding until November (after it's all inclusive):
Lunch has improved, fresh fruit cut in the breakfast room, French loaf better cooked, dishes offered a little warmer.
But, contrariwise, there has less attention with the cleaning: At the breakfast, I had twice dirty plates (a huge chewing-gum stuck under the plate and another day a big fat crust under the base) and once, the table was set with a napkin stained by coffee.

For buffets: good quality products but often annealed and dry because of the buffet.

For speaking with staff, it is clearly expected a decrease in the quality of products, wines and spirits proposed when the hotel will go to "all inclusive" in November

The quality of the spa is always excellent ... very friendly and knowledgeable.

To conclude: this is no longer the Radisson (which was already not a Great Radisson) and this RIU has nothing of a Palace ...
Managers should go to the dictionary to learn about Palace definition ...

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15 Thank 11release
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
45 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2014

The Riu was formerly a Radisson and they are transitioning to an all inclusive resort. During our stay only breakfast was included.

The rooms are large with very large bathrooms and showers. All rooms have air conditioning. Rooms on the ground floor have sliding doors that open on to the property. The rooms were clean and had minimal decoration. There was also a coffee maker, mini-bar, and safe in our room.

The bathroom was very large and open with sliding pockets doors. The design was a bit limiting as the entire bathroom had to be shut off to use the toilet. If there was a separate door on the toilet it would have been much more functional. Also the shower was very open. There was a glass door that covered about half of the shower space and we got water all over the bathroom floor every time we showered no matter how much we tried to not get water all over.

The pool area was very nice and one day there was live Caribbean music by the pool and another day there was music piped in from the speakers. The pool had a deeper side with an infinity edge and a more shallow side that had a beach kind of walk in area. The pool temperature was warm and felt great every time you walked in the water. There was a towel hut that provided towels for the pool area. There was one bar by the pool area. The bartenders were friendly. Prices at the bar were high, 5 EUR for a beer and 8 EUR for a cocktail. We did eat lunch at the pool bar one day. We had a delicious Croque Madame, it was really a great sandwich but also pricey at 15 EUR. The pool also had a large hot tub which usually wasn't very crowded.

The beach at the Riu wasn't great and one of the reasons I wouldn't stay there again. It was small and didn't have the beautiful turquoise water that other beaches in St. Martin have. There were really no waves at their beach either, it just wasn't what I wanted in a tropical beach.

There was one restaurant on property. We never ate there. The menu looked good, but again the prices were high.

Breakfast was delicious. The French pastries were amazing and the fresh croissants something I looked forward too every morning. There were interesting hot dishes including rice and beans, bacon, sausage, and local items. There was a fresh omelette station. I had the omelette chef cook me fresh scrambled eggs or fried eggs instead of a full omelette and they were always accommodating. Breakfast also included an array of cereal, granola, fresh fruit, fresh fruit juices, cheese, sliced meat, and hard boiled eggs. It was a great way to start the day.

The resort is isolated and we rented a car on property to explore other parts of the island. (For a fee of 25 EUR we returned the car at the airport and saved the expensive cab fare.) The road getting in and out of the Riu resort area is a steep, winding, two lane road and it always seemed to be raining on that hill. It was easy to navigate around St. Martin, we didn't see a single traffic light on the island, just traffic circles. Traffic gets really backed up in the big cities, so plan extra time if you are going thru Marigot or in to see the airplanes land. Parking rules seemed pretty loose, we just parked where we found a space and that seemed to work OK but we were always a little nervous about getting a ticket. We ate in Grand Case most of the time. There are many wonderful restaurants and lolas (barbeques).

The landscaping at the Riu was lush and tropical and the reception area was well decorated with lovely outdoor seating areas. While I did enjoy my stay, the next time I visit St. Martin I would rather stay somewhere with access to a better beach (maybe Orient Bay) and a place that is a little less isolated. I would prefer more places to eat and not the feeling that you had to drive each night for dinner.

And for those that want night life, there is none at this hotel. We were fine with the quiet but after dinner we wanted a nightcap and this hotel just didn't really accommodate what we were looking for. The pool bar closed at 7pm and while the lobby bar was open it was just void of any other customers or music.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
9 Thank 90thandKO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2014 via mobile

It took forever to get to the hotel. We rented a car at the airport and that took a long while. This got us into rush hour: we were stuck in traffic for a few hours. The hotel is a good drive from the ap, the road to the hotel is quite steep, and you need to be a savvy driver to negotiate it in the dark. Let's just say that it was an ordeal to her there. We arrived after 8:00pm. The reception was not ready to check us in, we had to wait for about an hour for someone to do the check in. We were tired and our then 2 year old really needed to get to bed. Strangely
we were made to feel that we are somehow inconsiderate having to wait so long. That was quite odd. The room that we were given had stairs and it was not convenient with a toddler. We were offered an upgrade but had to wait for room service to clean the room, that took another hour or so. By 10:00pm we checked into the suite. It was very spacious, clean, the balcony overlooked the pretty marine. The next day, we could see how beautiful the resort is. Truly amazing views. Well maintained and carefully manicured. The infinity pool is amazing and there were plenty of seatings. The staff was very accommodating. The breakfast had good variety and served in a pretty gazebo like overlooking the landscaping. Service there was slow and inconsistent and there was a long line for some of the stations. There is not much to eat in the resort besides a poolside eatery that's rather minimal, and they close early. You will need a car to tour the area and enjoy local restaurants (plenty options with great views). Otherwise the island is not much to write home about, but the resort is very beautiful and truly relaxing. We may go again.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank Funnfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2014

This was an overall great experience staying in this hotel. The entire staff was friendly and accommodating. The Manager, Concierge, bartender, wait staff and the associates on the beach all made the visit comfortable and memorable. The landscaping are well kept and manicured, beach is secluded and beautiful. Even Gastone, the largest iguana I have ever seen in my life, who hangs out near the kitchen facing the Marina with his friends is friendly. The food was great. The location of the hotel is great, quiet but not to far from the excitement on the Dutch side. Renting a car was the best way to get around. There is a great pizza restaurant at the bottom of the hill who even delivers. I definitely recommend staying at this hotel for an overall great experience.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank Plinss73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quebec, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2014

I had excellent experience at this place with great location, great staff, great food. However, I would like to suggest management to take off the carpets from their rooms,corridors and change their air conditioning units. That's all I would suggest. Everything else should stay the same :))
Keep up the good job

Tips: Rent a car and explore beautiful Saint Martin from coast to coast, amazing beaches and very kind locals you will encounter.

Room Tip: Any room you get, you won't go wrong with it except as mentioned before the carpet and air condi...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6 Thank D K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2014

Just came back from my stay, July 2-8th.
The hotel is not a five star, I would say 3 or. 3.5. The rooms are old, and nothing special. The restaurant has the worst service you can imagine.
The pool is nice, and the beach is very nice.

Construction going on as well, not pleasant.

Crazy road to get into hotel, far away from everything!!! You need a car, or expect very expensive taxi rides. Would never stay here again.
The staff was pleasant.

It's located on the far north side of island.

Room Tip: If your in the marina portion of hotel, ask for second floor. Rooms don't have beach views, an...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10 Thank sheltienm
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:
Region: Caribbean > St. Maarten-St. Martin > Saint-Martin > Anse Marcel
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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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