Sea Palace Hotel
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Travel Blogs from Philipsburg
... island, 60% Dutch and 40% French with a border line and distinct differences - even the spelling of the name. The Dutch side is very neat and presentable, the French side not so. Most of the major tourist attractions are also on the Dutch side - the airport, casinos, discos, major shops, government buildings etc. Makes one wonder why the French bothered, and didn't just choose another island to claim - it's not like there's a shortage of them ...
Woke up this morning and breakfast was delivered by 8:30am. We had to eat and shower quickly because we had the bridge tour at 9am. The bridge tour was really cool – the bridge is huge, and they have separate rooms for the safety command center. Pretty neat.
After the tour, we went to deck 15 for Rob to smoke, and we ran into my mom. We told her to grab Tish and then come to our room while we got ...
... Eventually, my feet worked and I stepped off - it only went for a short time but it was fun! John refused to take a turn. David had been on the Flow Rider 8 times during the cruise which he loved as well. It was always busy and people were always standing around watching. He found it difficult - 'no comment' he says, except for 'I was doing well by the end'.
... back to Europe.
Today the island is split in half between France and the Netherlands. We landed in Philipsburg, which as far as we know is Dutch.
At St. Martins we did a scuba diving trip
that was disappointing in that we had waves 6-8 feet high and down under the surge was very strong. We did see some pretty fishes though, so that part was fun.
... in this area and they must have found me amusing yelling and swimming at the same time. Joanne didn't seem to be worried at all.
While swimming and yelling, a man on one of the boats anchored asked us if we needed help and said we could come on his boat to rest. The man spoke French so Joanne was able to have a nice little conversation with him on his gigantic boat.
I thought I saw the boat again ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Sea Palace Hotel Philipsburg
we spent 9 days there and loved it its true if you do not enjoy local flavor and prefer pristine mall type atmospheres then go to that sort of a resort we loved that we could walk to anything we enjoyed the numerous restaurants on the beach including the beach bars the shopping was great and the people were wonderful we had a rental car and left it parked for days no problem you just have to park where it is allowed we were cautious about never leaving anything in the car we drove all over the island and visited many beaches but the beach there was wonderful chairs are provided and set up withumbrellas for the guests free of charge we did not eat in the chinese restaurant we are not big chinese food lovers the restaurants were all good and about the same price as it is here in ny we will return the constant 80 degree plus and no bugs with always a breeze was the perfect winter cure for us
On the main street of Phillipsburg
The Sea Palace provided a large, newly decorated apartment for much less than a room at most St. Maarten hotels. We used the kitchen every day. Each unit had a balcony on the water side... incredibly nice! When in our unit we lived on the balcony... coffee, drinks, breakfast, sunning. There's a hot tub on one of the upper floors, ASK.
The Phillipsburg beach was clean... small shells, not sand... but we enjoyed a different beach each day. We used the Sea Palace beach to relax with a drink before dinner.
The staff was extremely helpful. They had researched reasonably priced fun and food options ... even arranged for French pastries to be available in the lobby twice... they were inexpensive and sinfully delicious.
Since Sea Palace is a small operation, it felt more like family than a glitzy, pushy, pricy resort. The nearby restaurants were good, but we tried to try out different places each day. (Never ate in the Sea Palace.)
Parking is a hassle, but it's free on the streets, and we never walked too far. Sea Palace staff had good ideas for us about parking spots.
We tried to add on a few days on the French side and found it to be the "in" side, but extremely expensive for food or hotels. Lunch there was over $50 for two. We LOVED the French side capital, Marigot, and its market!
There are hookers and drug dealers there all the police that we talked to said it was extremly dangerous it was like putting a hotel in a ghetto with all the worst people you can think of. There is a terrible stealing problem. And the rooms are gross and staff is terrible!
Thank God We're Still Alive !!!
Save your $$ and stay on French side-no matter what the cost! Beaches are better-so are restaurants.Only thing Dutch side has better is CRIME. Our auto was broken into/BATTERY stolen/ while parked on the FRONT STEPS of Sea Palace. This place is anything put a Palace - try showering w/ no water pressure in a shower smaller than the closet.
When on the balcony of our Palace we felt guilty for not paying for the Ganga we were getting HIGH on from the alley and rooms below us. We are from Chicago and would classify the street people at home choir-boys compared to the seedy lot of pond scum that walk the streets of Philipsburg.The DUTCH have allowed this side of the island to destroy itself.Too bad-doesn't have to be this way. I know one thing -I'll never go back!!!
Vacation In Hell
As other reviewers have mentioned, the Sea Palace is more a seedy hotel than a resort. The Chinese restaurant smell that traveled to your room mixed with a blend of mold and mildew made sitting around to enjoy the view unbearable. The bed was as hard as cement, making for a bad night's rest. Service is a word that is unknown here, especially from the front desk. The lobby was frequented by what seem to be local drug dealers and thugs appartently living in the hotel. Beach furniture was meager and broken. We had to tie a rope around the umbrella pole so it would stay up. When I did get to rest on the beach a local druggie stopped in front of the restaurant, mumbled something incoherent, and then proceded to the side of the hotel to urinate. How is that for ambience? Two guests were robbed of their purses, one as she exited a cab in front of the hotel, and the local police seem to do very little when the thefts were reported. The cleaning ladies informed me that the street beside the hotel was a well known hangout for drug dealers and thieves. The French side was great; they have every right to be snooty.
Needless to say, this place is off our vacation list!
sept 28, just returned from a week. stayed at time share Sea Palace. large and clean, slept six. beautiful views from every room of our unit, and I do mean every room. balconies front and side. our unit was beach side on fourth floor. so we could see all of great bay. we also could walk to grocery store and shopping without a cab. cabs tend to be approx. $15 every time you go somewhere. best restuarant, Chesterfields,( after our champagne sunset cruise,ran out of champagne). everyone was friendly, shops do bargain, more on the edges of phillipsburg than center. try rum tasting by kangaroo court, he may be one dollar more. but lets you have tasting on everything. snorkled at dawn beach, worth the drive, again bargain for chairs, better price , for chairs down front entrance to beach. St maarten was beautiful but expensive
A second rate hotel masquerading as a resort. Our jaws dropped in horror as we first saw it, an ugly, pink monstrosity in one of the seedier areas of town. There was no off-street parking, so we had to leave our rental car parked on the street. Sure enough, when we came out the next morning, it had sustained $500 in damage. The interior was barren, aside from the Pepto-Mismol color. Our room smelled musty.
Several lights had no bulbs and we were unsuccessful in our attempts to get new ones. The town, including most restaurants, rolled up the sidewalk around 6:00. No pool. Water activities consisted of throwing out 10-11 beat-up lounges on the beach (Grab one early, or you are out of luck). If you can't get one, it's OK; the wind-blown sand will tear your skin off anyway. Never again.
Loved the Sea Palace!!
We were at the Sea Palace April 5th to April 12th, 2003. We were on our honeymoon. It was our first time to Sint Maarten. The staff at the SeaPalace(SP) were so gracious and treated us like royalty. This resort is by no means a 5 star resort, Meaning no room service, etc. But the place is clean, pretty, charming, right on the beach which happens to be a very nice beach, and close to everything. Never had a problem parking. If you have a rental car, you just need to park a few blocks away which is no big deal. At night, the streets are a little quiet but I imagine it's like that elsewhere, too. They do have a security guard on duty at night at the SP. If you take a cab, you can have the driver drop you right in front of the door, especially if you feel uncomfortable at night. The SP is close to everything.....great restaurants, casinos, shopping, supermarket, etc. There is also a restaurant located inside the SP called the Pink Pearl Chinese Restaurant and Bar. Very good chinese food...better than we've ever had back here in the new york, new jersey area!! As for the rooms......they were very clean and I believe they all have kitchens with all the items you need to cook and a coffee pot. On Monday, there is an island orientation in the lobby. Very informative and fun. They even have a raffle in which they give away prizes. Very fun staff!!!! Very accomodating!!! We are definately going back soon and wouldn't think of staying anywhere else!!!!
Had a great time
We had a great time and can't wait to go back this year. The rooms were bright and clean, had everyting we needed. The view from the balcony was spectacular and you walk out the back door right on to the beach. The staff was friendly and accomodating. Of course, you are right on the main street of a city so to expect the kind of walled in, secure, pay with bead, never leave the compound atmosphere of an all inclusive resort would be a mistake. You can make arrangements to park your rental car in a safe spot. Shopping is right outside the front door and you can walk to a number of really great restaurants which we did every night and never encountered a problem. Again, though, if you want a Disney-like, everything taken care of for you vacation where you never have to come into contact with people who actually LIVE there, this is not the place for you.
Far less than expected
I stayed there with my girlfriend for one week. The hotel itself is not so bad...The problem is its location (in the "Geto") and Total lack of security. There is no place to park, so you have to park on the street at your own risk. The week we were there, 3 rental cars of other guest were broken into on the street in front of the hotel. There were drug dealers propositioning you on the street when you walk to and from the car and hotel. We lost much sleep always checking on safety of the car, not to mention the general concern of safety in the room. Also a few bums (or vagrants) wandering the streets and beach at all hours of the day & night. Not a very "touristy" atmosphere; Hard to relax and enjoy the island. All the resort needs to do is add a secure parking lot, and add a few security guards to monitor the premisses 24 hours a day! That would make a huge difference.