St Martin does not have a wide range of well-known hotels on the island, and I was keen that we stayed on the French side so when I was researching the trip I was drawn to the Mercure St Martin Marina and Spa.
I have a Le Club Accor Gold card through this little trick which offers some status perks which may include an upgrade. It also provides access to the sales before they’re open to the general public. I knew that Accor tend to have fairly regular sales, so when I was planning the holiday I booked a flexible rate in a superior room.
A few months later, in around October, they had a sale and were offering about 30% off and free breakfast. And therefore cancelled my initial booking and rebooked on to and nonflexible sale rate. Having said that I was still able to book into a higher category for a lower price.
One thing I have learnt is that unless you are desperate for the features of the upgrade room, there is little point in paying for it if you have status that means you might be upgraded into it. If you are in the highest category of room then there is no if you to go. With this in mind, I’ve booked into the second highest category in the knowledge that I may be eligible for an upgrade. Even so, I still saved money on my original booking and had the addition of free breakfast so I was happy.
We had pre-booked transfers through the hotel, and so had a driver waiting for us on our arrival to the island. Check-in was efficient, but we were not upgraded. We did, however, receive a voucher for free welcome drinks, as well as the code for free Wi-Fi throughout our stay.
The room was not luxurious but it was perfect for what we wanted. The downstairs area consisted of two day beds, a fridge and a desk, a wardrobe plenty of storage and a bathroom.
It was also a small terrace with a washing line and outdoor table.
We had a view across the road and towards the Caribbean Sea side of the sand bar. Upstairs was another bathroom and a large comfortable bed. All of the fixtures and fittings were very comfortable, but they were certainly not luxurious.
Breakfast was served in the restaurant and was buffet style. I think if we wanted to pay for it separately it would have been about €20 per head. They did also offer a breakfast formula of bread, pastries, juice and coffee for about nine euros which was good value.
The hotel restaurant was very good, and the meals that we had there were better than we had expected. We only had a drink in the bar on one night, which was the three drinks that we were given on check-in. They did advertise entertainment every night, but this was not something that we took advantage of.
The hotel was surrounded by works of art, and they were murals and homages to various famous artists all around.
It was a very tranquil setting, no more so than on the beach. I love that there was a variety of places to sit in hammocks, sun loungers and chairs, in both sunlight and shade. The variety of palm trees on the beach made it a very special place.
The hotel is on the lagoon side of the sand the bar which meant that the water was much calmer than on the sea side so was perfect for swimming.
There was also a nice freshwater pool in the centre of the hotel which was surrounded by some managers. This was excellent place to spend the late afternoon before the sun went down.
The hotel was also very close to a number of amenities. We took advantage of restaurants which were only a couple of minutes walk away, including Le Sands, Ma Ti Beach and Mezza Luna. It was also a patisserie and a takeaway pizza shop as well as an incredibly well-stocked Monoprix French supermarket. On a couple of occasions we bought drinks from there and had takeaway pizza on our balcony for dinner. This meant that we were able to bring the cost down and have a slightly more relaxed evening.
At every point the hotel was quiet, comfortable and well appointed. We never felt it was too busy and we were all surprised that we saw so many people at breakfast, but not during the day.
As I have booked the hotel through TopCashback, I received over £135 as a rebate.
I also earns over 4000 points in my account, which is worth at least €80 against the cost of a night in an Accor hotel.
I would definitely go back to the Mercure and would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of going to St Martin. I think that the only thing that I would do differently, would be to think about a self catering apartment in the same area. We met A retired Canadian couple who were renting a place in the development next door. They have access to their own pools, the same beach and all of the restaurants and facilities that we did, but they had the option of cooking for themselves if they didn’t fancy eating out all getting takeaway. Certainly if you are away for a few days then this is always a nice option, even if you don’t take advantage of it!