Gay Nagle Myers
Gay Nagle Myers

InsightThe Radisson Blu Resort, Marina & Spa St. Martin is having a very good year, according to Jean-Marc Jalbert, general manager.

The 252-room property in Anse Marcel in the northwest corner of St. Martin (on the French side of the Dutch-French island) reopened last winter after a seven-month, $10 million renovation.

“Numbers have steadily increased since the reopening. We’re seeing the return of regular guests, European business is doing well this summer, our group business is growing with the reopening of our 7,000-square-foot ballroom and meeting complex, and our wedding business is booming,” Jalbert said.

The resort hosts a wedding or two every weekend, which has prompted the Radisson to convert two of its suites to honeymoon accommodations. The conversion will take place in September, when other projects are taking place.

“The resort is not closing, but we will be doing some upgrades in specific parts of the resort,” Jalbert said.

The 50,000-gallon pool will be emptied for its annual maintenance check required by French law.

“Guests will have access to the beach during this time. We’re also adding handicapped facilities in the restaurant bathrooms,” Jalbert said.

The resort, which does not charge for in-room Internet access, will install WiFi in all guestrooms this summer as well as at the pool and beach areas.

Radisson Blu St. MartinGuided tours of the resort’s gardens also will be added.

Advance bookings for the winter season are 20% ahead of last year, although Jalbert noted that the trend toward close-in bookings continues this summer.

“Bookings used to be a month out, now it’s a week out, especially because of the fare sales in the summer. Consumers are constantly shopping for the best deal,” he said.

Despite its size, the Radisson positions itself as a high-end boutique property.

“We’ve invested heavily in staff training and are constantly fine-tuning the guest experience. Our employees are focused on providing the French joie de vivre spirit combined with efficient, speedy service, especially for our U.S. guests,” he said.

The Radisson offers an optional all-inclusive meal and beverage plan, although no more than 10% of the guests purchase it.

“Groups like it, especially those on a fixed budget,” Jalbert said.

All room rates include a buffet-style breakfast, “and we believe in big breakfasts with many different items,” according to Jalbert.

Restaurant theme nights are offered in the summer, along with entertainment.

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