Flight: A Normal Transat flight. Please book club class when traveling here… the flight was 4 hours and 55 minutes from Toronto.
Arrival Into St. Martin: The transfer service was great and they have one bus for each hotel.. so just one stop.
Arrival at Mercure Simson Beach Hotel: Well… what can I say. We arrived at the hotel and left our bags out front to check in. The men asked for tips to take care of our bags. Not a problem as we were all tired and were in no mood to carry our bags. So we go into the very small and dark lobby. We check in and go out to tell the bell boys which room we were in. They looked at us like we had 10 heads and told us they wanted the tip to watch the luggage… not bring the luggage. So I dragged my suit case up to the third floor and 6 flights of stairs. No elevators at this property. Once we went into our rooms we went down to get a drink and we could not do this. Not water, pop, alcohol… nothing. We had to wait until the next morning to eat or drink. The snack machines only take Euros and the front desk do not change money into any currency or break bills.
Rooms: Humm…. not impressed. We had the best room in the whole hotel. Beautiful view of the lagoon and pool. Tiny tiny room, Two single beds…. and they must have been two European single beds because they were tiny, ceiling fan that are only in the 3rd floor rooms. Mini Bar… Transat lost the contract to stock the mini bars with anything. No water, no beer… nothing. They are simply there to put what you like in them. Satellite TV…. not quite. You get 10 channels and 6 are in French. The other channels only play movies and it’s the same 5 movies repeated for the whole week.
Maid Service: One word… LAZY. The cleaning staff don’t change your bed sheets. They are changed the day you arrive and the day you leave. Also, if you are lucky, you will get one shampoo, one bar of soap that is for the whole week. They do not give you more and if you ask, you are told to go to the market and buy your own. The maids are the ones who told me that they don’t change the sheets, mop the floors or clean the toilets/showers while you are there. They simply make your beds and take out the garbage (sometimes).
Food: Do you like fish? If so… you will be in heaven. Fish fish and more fish. This is how the all inclusive meals work for this property.
Breakfast Every morning from 7:30am – 10am- scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs in which you make yourself, toast, croissants (DELICIOUS), bacon, sausages, limited fruit.
Lunch Everyday from 12pm – 2:30 – Salad. The end. That’s it… salad but one day you can have burgers or steak. Other than that it was Salad or Fish Pate Sandwich. No dessert. Only allowed to have either 1 beer, 1 bottle of water or 1 glass of wine. Anything over and above is changed to your room.
Dinner everyday from 7:00pm – 9:00pm – Choice of 1 of 2 appetizers (fish is guaranteed in a soup) Choice of 1 of two main courses which was guaranteed fish and something else (lamb, chicken, steak, pork) and a dessert. Presentation is outstanding but quantities are small. Only allowed to have either 1 beer, 1 bottle of water or 1 glass of wine. Anything over and above is changed to your room.
Drinks – The all inclusive plan consists of the following: These drinks are from 10:30am – 10pm
- 5 brands of beer
- House wine only
- Bottled water (only at lunch and dinner and one bottle per table… can not get during the day)
- 1 brand of Whiskey (if you request a certain type it will be charged to your room… very expensive)
- 1 brand of Rum (if you request a certain type it will be charged to your room… very expensive)
- Rum Fruit punch
- And a "Drink of the Day"
Beach: Well it’s actually on a Lagoon. Not really sand more like crunched up sea shells. The lagoon is actually where the sewer is dumped and they make a joke about it and show you were the pipes dump the sewer. Right in front of where the restaurant it. An "interesting" smell for dining. The beach across the street is breath taking. You must visit.
Transat Rep at the property: ****** was there faithfully when her times were posted. Usually later to be honest. You could always track her down if you needed her. She was bombarded with guests complaints. I would walk by in the morning and there were always a line of people waiting to see her. She proceeded to tell us that Transat has had overwhelming complaints and may not be keeping it’s contract with the Mercure Simson Beach… I found that rather interesting.
Staff: Not helpful or courteous. To go over and above…. apparently not. You were lucky if you didn’t have to wait around for 10 or 15 minutes until someone came along… in the AFTERNOON.
Car Rental: FANTASTIC!! You have to rent for 3 days. Not one or two days. Either from Sunday to Wednesday or Wednesday to Saturday. You have to take advantage of this. It was $102.00 USD for the insurance. The rental part was already included. Watch out for those speed bumps though…. I wouldn’t recommend driving on the Dutch side in the dark.. too many speed bumps and doing 60kmh makes it interesting. Also, the roads are very small and the people drive like it’s NASCAR… LOL. The speed limits change every few minutes, so it’s easy to get a speeding ticket.. LOL. Trust me, personal experience…. LOL. I got out of it though 🙂 The police there are very nice and understanding. It went from a 50 zone to a 30 zone and the police just wait for you to speed thru.
Major complaints from Other Guests: Not suited for people with special needs. Not wheelchair friendly, 2 guests were hospitalized for severe mold in the room in which the hotel charged the 30 Euro to upgrade per person per night. Quite a bit of mold in the rooms in which you can smell.
Food quality…. the hotel lost their award winning chef a few months back and food quality is lacking. This property is great for Europeans. If you don’t speak French, they don’t go out of their way to understand you or try to understand. It was like a game of charades when you went to the front desk.
Positives and Must Visit: The Pool at the Mercure… really nice. The beaches, Maho Strip, Cheri’s Bar (on Maho Strip), the car rental, The Casino’s (Royal Casino and Atlantis), Bliss (Night club)