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Saving money while staying at Radisson Blu in Anse Marcel, St. Martin

Saving money while staying at Radisson Blu in Anse Marcel, St. Martin

May 15th, 2012, 06:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 222
Saving money while staying at Radisson Blu in Anse Marcel, St. Martin

My husband and I (and our infant son) are headed to the Radisson for a week at the end of the month. We splurged a little and so I'm hoping to stay on a bit better budget once we arrive. Past experience tells me, however, that at a more remote, expensive hotel, the dining options are usually more costly, too. And I don't know how much exploring we'll do on this visit to the island--with the baby taking two naps a day, we're going to be staying relatively close to the hotel most days.

So: any tips? Are there any markets close by? Any restaurants besides those belonging to the hotel to seek out on foot? How much should we expect to pay for taxis to Lolos on Grand Case or elsewhere--is it better to look into car rental if we head out?

Any suggestions are appreciated!
All best and thank you,
alovesa is offline  
May 16th, 2012, 03:13 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 433
Hi Ashley

The Radisson is very pretty, but personally I prefer the ambiance of Le Domaine, the other 4 star hotel right next door.

I was there yesterday, and though the Radisson has the largest pool in the Caribbean, the beach chairs and the bar staff are better at Le Domaine !

There are very few - almost zero - eating alternatives in Anse Marcel, so your best closest bets are either Grand Case - expensive restaurants but inexpensive LoLos - or the Orient Bay beach bars or restaurants in the cute 'village' square there.

You really do need a rental car - presumably with a baby seat ordered in advance - otherwise you are pretty much confined to Anse Marcel, which is lovely, but with VERY limited options.

I think that the Radisson can organize baby sitting services if you want to 'escape' in the evening, but do be VERY careful driving home after a boozy night out, as the drive back to Anse Marcel can be pretty challenging even when stone cold sober and knowing the road well as I do, and worse still if you have spent too much time somewhere at 'Happy Hour' and beyond !

Taxis on the French side of the island - apart from in 'downtown' Marigot - usually have to be ordered, and are really an expensive option. Car rental gives you a lot more freedom anyway, but beware of the maniacs on motorcycles, most of whom seem to have a death wish !
DavidSXM is offline  
May 16th, 2012, 05:33 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,140
It's been almost 3 years since we stayed at the Radisson and we were there for just 1 night.

We didn't rent a car but I think for a longer stay it's probably your best bet as taxis are expensive.

We ate at La Locanda, a popular Italian restaurant across from the hotel.
I checked my trip report and it cost $120 for dinner for the four of us (inc. 2 children).
I know we didn't have any dessert and probably just one glass of wine as my husband doesn't drink.
The food was good but maybe a little overpriced. I was very happy with my vegetarian pasta dish and it was the least expensive main course available.

I hope your rate includes breakfast at the hotel, if not call and ask what that rate would be and consider if that might help with food costs.

There was a little convenience store right by the hotel that sold basic snacks and juice but if you have a car then it would be cheaper to make one visit to a larger grocery store to buy some lunch essentials/picnic if you wished.
sassy_cat is offline  
May 16th, 2012, 01:50 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 433
Hi again

Since 'sassy_cat' was at the Radisson 3 years ago, a lot has changed in the area surrounding the marina.

The marina itself is still as beautiful, but almost all of the boutiques and restaurants in the close vicinity have closed down and, frankly, it looks like a disaster area !

The restaurant where she and her family ate may be the ONLY one still open (there is ONE) but my guess is that the Radisson people - who now own the entire area - have increased the rents of the small number of commercial properties there to the point where they have become non-viable for anyone to operate, thus creating a sort of 'captive audience' for the facilities of the hotel, which are not cheap.

I may be wrong, but that's the way it appears to me, so don't be surprised when you see what has, unfortunately, happened to the formally charming area around the marina.

Just another reason for renting a car !
DavidSXM is offline  
May 17th, 2012, 06:23 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,140
Yes, 3 years is a long time!
I did check restaurant reviews on Tripadvisor and La Locanda is getting some very good recent reviews so it may be helpful if you like Italian.

Yes, renting a car may be your best option for a weeks stay but the drive to and from the Radisson is not for the faint hearted after dark as it twists and turns over the hills.

sassy_cat is offline  
May 18th, 2012, 04:20 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 433
Hi sassy_cat

I guess that this must be the restaurant that IS open there, though I didn't note the name.

That's fine if you like Italian food, but the only other 'local' options are the Radisson or Le Domaine, neither of which are inexpensive.

You are absolutely correct about the drive to Anse Marcel once you leave the village of Cul de Sac - the French one of course, not to be confused with the place on the Dutch side of the island which - for some reason - has the same name !

It is very twisty and hilly, but the views in daylight are some of the best on this island. Just be VERY careful at night if you have had a skinfull of booze !
DavidSXM is offline  
May 22nd, 2012, 04:37 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 222
Thank you both so much for your responses! We have decided to rent a car and will be sure to take car on those roads. I have a feeling, with a baby that goes to bed at 7:30pm, that the dark won't be too much of a problem! We had already booked the Radisson Blu, so thank you for the alternative suggestion, but we're hoping we're happy there.

What's the best market to go to to pick up supplies? I wonder if the room will have much in terms of self-catering options. Not usually likely with mini-bar fridges...

Fortunately, our stay does include breakfast!

Last time we visited, we loved Friar's Bay. Is there another calm bay (with shade) that we should investigate?

Thank you again!
All best,

P.S. Our previous visits were on cruises. Here are our trip reports, from 2009 and 2011:
alovesa is offline  
May 23rd, 2012, 01:59 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 433
Hi again Ashley

Regarding food supplies - though, as far as I am aware, there are no self catering facilities in the rooms at the Radisson (they want you to use the hotel restraunts !) - there is a 'convenience store' in Cul de Sac on your right on the hill coming out of the village after you have made the descent from Anse Marcel and are heading towards the main road.

It, frankly, is the sort of place where I would prefer to buy only items in cans or bottles, as it certainly gives the impression of not being any too clean !

I suggest that you coninue to head towards the main road, and when you arrive at the big roundabout turn right, then after the next curve (about 50 yards down the road) pull over IMMEDIATELY to the center of the road in preparation to turning left into Hope Estate where you will find, to your right, the large (by local standards !) well stocked 'US Market'.

There the quality and variety is excellent - but, as everything is obviously PRICED in Euros (Dollars and credit cards are readilly accepted) - it is quite a bit more expensive than the supermarkets on the Dutch side of the island, though it is of course much closer.

If you are looking for a beach which is similar to Friars Bay, you might want to try the one to the right of the bar/restaurant at the Grand Case Beach Club - most people think that it's a private beach belonging to the hotel, but it isn't, and the water there is nearly always calm. Plus it's a lot closer than Friars Bay to where you are staying.

I usually park in the hotel complex parking area, which can be accessed via the electronic gate to the hotel - just press the button and, provided that you look civilized, they will let you into the complex, then the beach is on your right !

I hope the above helps.

Have fun.
DavidSXM is offline  
May 23rd, 2012, 02:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,936
Hi Ashley. My information isn't exactly current as we stayed at the Radisson a few years ago, but at that time they had an excellent breakfast buffet: omelet station, fresh fruit, meats and cheeses. It was enough to fill you up for several hours. So with grocery store snacks and the huge breakfast buffet you may be able to get away with two meals a day. If possible you should stop at one of the Dutch side grocery stores on arrival day on the drive to the airport. I can't remember if the room had a mini-fridge but if it doesn't you should inquire if any are available. Often hotels have them available if you ask.

You'll be happy you rented a car. You certainly don't want to be stuck at the Radisson with such great dining options not far away.
sharona is offline  
May 23rd, 2012, 02:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,936
Oops. That should be on the drive FROM the airport.
sharona is offline  
May 26th, 2012, 04:32 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 222
Thank you all so much for your help! We're off to the airport early tomorrow morning!
All best...
alovesa is offline  

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