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“Wouldn't stay here!!”
Review of Sea Palace Resort

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Sea Palace Resort
Ranked #6 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Reviewed 24 July 2005

I stayed at the great bay but walked past this hotel and even went into in and walked around, talked to the front desk person and took a peek in the bar.

This place is a dump! It's in a good location if you want to shop but if you have a car, forget it! More headaches as there is NO place to park. At least at the Great Bay Beach hotel, they have parking section across the street and have a security guard watching the lot at night since there is an increase in breakin's lately.

This place is dead. There was 1 man in the bar with his head down on the counter. That's about the most action I noticed in this place. Hotel looked OLD and I'm not eggagerating. Don't stay here....doesn't feel like you are on a vacation, feels like you got stuck inside an old model temporarily until your real hotel room is ready. This place is terrible..that's all I can say.

  • Stayed: July 2005
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8  Thank generalinq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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199 - 205 of 228 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Boston, Ma
Reviewed 21 July 2005

My wife and I visited this resort for our honeymoon. We stayed 1 week here and then spent another week at the Atrium which is on the Dutch side closer to the airport. We had a two bedroom unit located on the 6th floor. The view was fantastic, overlooking Great Bay. The Sea Palace is located right on the border between a somewhat shady neighborhood, and nice shopping on Front Street. If you rent a car, you will have to park in the somewhat shady area on the street. There is no off-street parking. The "shady" area was not that bad, you just should keep your wits about you and park as close to the Sea Palace as possible. There is a great restaurant Antonio's that is right on the beach near the Sea Palace and there are a lot of great shops right near the Palace. Overall this is an ok place to stay. Could use some repairs and more cleanliness...

  • Stayed: August 2004
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9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Ft Lauderdale,Florida
Reviewed 18 July 2005

We stayed at the SEA Palace from June 4 - June 11, 2005. We were a little leary after reading some of the reviews listed here. The bad reviews had to be from visitors used to compound type resorts where everything is quite artificial. We have stayed in those over the years but prefer being around the real people. We had a very clean room overlooking the Great Bay. The beach was immaculate and the personnel at the hotel were very helpful and polite. We really enjoyed walking out the front door turning right and being at the start of about 1/2 mile of great shopping and restaurants. This is the street where all the visitors from the cruise ships come to shop.
We didn't see any drug dealings anywhere and parked on the street every night within a block or two with no problems.
We really enjoyed the Greentree Cafe down at the end of the shopping district, great food, 2 for 1 drinks and 1/2 price appetizers every day until 7PM. Most of the day boat trips go out of the Marina just up from the Greentree, very convenient. We did the day trip to St Barth but wouldn't do it again. It was OK but boring other than the snorkling on the way back. I wish now we had taken the trip to Saba instead. Went riding at the Lucky Stables. The ride was very picturesque once we got past the filtration plant. The ride ends with a swim in the ocean with your horse, quite refreshing for both rider and horse. The beaches were wonderful all around the island. Prices on the French side were a lot higher than the Dutch side. All and all we had a great time and would recommend the Sea Palace to anyone.

Stayed: June 2005
17  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2005

People are extremely friendly (dutch side); don't know about french side.

CAR- Rent one when you get there because the agencies will bargain with you when you walk out from baggage claim. $125 final total for a week; Dollar Rental. It is worth it to have a car as taxis can be expensive.

Sint Maarten (separate airport) - Dutch side (Phillipsburg) was fine for a relaxing vacation and shopping for my sister and me. Hotel is on the beach and next door/up the street are all the shops.
Saint Martin (separate airport) - French side is remote

The front, back, left or right side of hotel makes a huge difference on the recommendation of the The Sea Palace Hotel. We paid $200 a week from auction site so very hard to complain but here is the scoop and decide yourself.
The first 2 nights we had a 1 bedroom (no kitchen) and on the right side of hotel (when facing hotel from street). We had a balcony and good view of ocean, mountains, town, etc. but also overlooking a few abandon buildings (due to past hurricanes). On sat night only, we saw a few drug exchanges in the empty buildings. We could see everything from the balcony - lots of entertainment - tourists, locals, crazy drivers, etc. My sister and I were skeptical about straying too far from the hotel but Sunday and forward it all quieted down.
The 3rd day we asked if any available rooms with kitchens and moved to front of building overlooking the street/shops and side view of the ocean. The room was twice as big and nicer. We could not see any of the abandon buildings. It was as if we were staying at a COMPLETELY different hotel. We ventured out at night - walking to end of town - to the boardwalk and "Greenhouse" restaurant/bar. We went to 2 great french restaurants just 1 block down the road - escargot and antoine. Hotel's chinese restaurant was great.
The hotel is on a great beach and not a lot of people. The beachchairs and umbrellas are set up every morning 9ish on the beach. The outside bar and bar service to beachchair is also available each day. We didn't want to pack up and go to different beaches every day because we just wanted sun and relaxation. We did check out a few beaches in late afternoon - Dawn Beach and Orient Beach - OK beaches but not worth packing up, driving, etc. when you could just run up to room as needed from hotel beach. Note: Orient Beach has two entrances - 1st one is bumpy dirt road and is local beach. Go to the 2nd Sign/Entrance which is 1/2 + mile up the road. Be warned that it is optional clothing beach.
The Divi Resort is close by (can see from beach). I heard mixed reviews on it from people returning to airport from car rental shuttle bus. However, if given a choice I would stay at Divi because it has own beach, shops, restaurants, more people and not in the middle of town but close enough for cab ride to town.
Car - If renting a car, you can circle the whole island in 1-1.5 hours depending on traffic. You can't pump your own gas. Watch the gas attendant to ensure you get right amount$ of gas. Parking at Sea Palace is a little tricky. You can park on street before the hotel/shops otherwise you block hotel/shops.
Shopping - Bargain on everything! My sister bargained on cigarrettes and got carton for $12 -other types of cigs are cheaper; you can bring 10 cartons back to states. Alcohol is cheap - 1 litter vodka, rum, etc. - $7. In most stores you will find "look a like" designer purses and watches - dior, gucci, channel, burberry, kate spade, etc. purses avg $40 and watches $15.
Airport - BE THERE early! It was a mess on Sat morning. FLight at 3pm and we got there at 11:00 am. Make sure you each have $37 cash departure tax and be ready to stand in several lines.
I would definitely recommend Sint Maarten.

  • Stayed: June 2005
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25  Thank Lovetotravel2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
New York City
Reviewed 23 June 2005

We booked a week at this hotel off Sky Auction and basically won a seven night stay for a total of $200 (not per night but for the whole 7 nights). We figured, given the bad reviews, if we got there and it was horrible we'd write off the $200 and go somewhere else. Instead, we were farily pleased with the place. The unit was clean and right on the beach. Nice view from the balcony. The beach stunk of chinese food so we'd spend $10 to go down the beach to another resort. Staff was very nice. The town was a little sketchy at night. We stayed for 3 of the nights then boogied over to the French side and spent $300 a night at Le Meridian!

  • Stayed: April 2005
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7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Akron, Ohio
Reviewed 17 April 2005

After reading the reviews of the Sea Palace, and the island in general, on this website, I wasn't sure what to expect on our vacation. I visited the island from 4/02/05-4/09/05, and it was the one of the best vacation experiences I have ever had. Yes...the hotel is pink, but it is typical for many carribean islands. Actually, it made it very easy to locate the building from a distance. Everything was very clean and the staff were very helpful. They helped us book a sailing trip, called us a cab whenever we needed one, and were always very pleasant. The cleaning staff did the dishes, supplied us with plenty of towels, and even washed my personal beach towel. The room had a complete kitchen and the convenience store was only a block away. If you choose to shop at one of the smaller stores as opposed to a bigger grocery store, be sure to check the expiration dates on food.

That said, if you are one that prefers a resort-type atmosphere, I could understand some dissatisfaction with the Sea Palace as it doesn't have a pool and only has one restaurant, and it located downtown as opposed to a remote oasis. However, the beach is beautiful and even if there would have been a pool, I don't think I would have spent any time there. It was fun to see the ships pull in and out of port, the jet skiers, and sailboats.

It was also nice that we were in the heart of a duty-free shopping area, as we didn't rent a car. Everything was within walking distance. Just a note, as we spoke to many of the locals, we were told that shopping when cruise ships are docked can be pricier than when they are not in port.

The Pink Pearl was a pleasant experience, the food was good and average in price. Away from the hotel, The Greenhouse, which is at the marina, was very good-serving large portions and excellent quality for the price. The Harbor View was pretty good, but didn't have many items on the menu, so be flexible. There is also a McDonald's near by.

If you are one to frequent the club scene, the places to go are Tuesdays at the Greenhouse, Wednesdays at Bamboo Bernies, Thursdays at Bliss, and Fridays at the Lady C-most of which are by the airport.

To touch on safety issues, I am a female and went there with one of my girlfriends. We traveled very freely at night with no problem. All of the people we were approached by were very nice and full of information about the island. The only thing to be cautious of are taking cabs at night-make sure that they are marked. The last night we were there, I went out alone and took what I thought was a cab, but realized after in the car that it wasn't marked and in the end the guy driving charged me $25 for a fairly short ride. I was pretty conviced that he was just driving people around for the cash.

Despite that mishap, I loved the island so much, I am considering moving there next year.

13  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2005

Stayed in a 1 bedroom unit, room 502 at the Sea Palace from Feb 5-11. The place is old but it was clean, and the view was beautiful to be able to watch the cruise ships come in. They set up umbrellas and beach chairs everyday on the beach in front of the hotel. Never had any problems parking on the side streets, but would definitely take the extra insurance. Get shopping on jewelry (Ballerina), liquors, etc. Bakery is only a couple blocks away (Carl & Sons) make sure you check it out. We were able to walk to the grocery store which is on the same road the cruise ship is on but in the opposite direction. They have a nice selection, with good prices. Make sure you take plenty of cash, if you charge the $50 condo fee and $35 utility fee they charge you 3.5% to put it on Visa. Went to the Greenhouse, Sunset Beach Bar, Marks Place, Lee’s, Talk of the Town, and Zee Best. Beaches visited: Mullet Bay, Cupecoy, Orient, Friar, Happy, and Dawn Beach. Took the ferry over to Anguilla for the day. Did an island tour, drop off at Shoal Bay and pick up and return to the ferry cost $56. Forget the island tour and just go to Shoal Bay. Just go to the beach and back would cost $32. We flew on WinAir ($58) to Statia so my husband could dive. A cab met us at the airport and took us to Golden Rock Dive Shop. He dived and I hung out at the Old Gin Inn. The beaches are not that great on the island but it’s a pretty island to tour. It’s very safe to walk around by yourself.

  • Stayed: February 2005
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16  Thank vacationlady1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sea Palace Resort

Address: Front St 147, Philipsburg, St Martin / St Maarten
Region: Caribbean > St Martin / St Maarten > Sint Maarten > Philipsburg
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Price Range: £55 - £172 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sea Palace Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 51
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Also Known As:
Sea Palace Philipsburg
Hotel Sea Palace
Sea Palace Resort St Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg

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