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“"Hello We are here too,I'm Sorry Sonesta Great Bay this is our first time!"”

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Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 November 2012

I titled this review "sorry this is our first time" because if you were not a returning guest, your treatment by most staff members were very different. We found out that most guests have been coming to this location for many years so the staff knew them and were very attentive which was obvious to our group.
This was an eight day seven night girlfriend all-inclusive getaway and our first time to St. Maarten . Upon arrival, we were given a cold wet towel to help cool off but did not receive a welcome drink. We noticed later some guest received the drink along with their towel. I was told later by hotel manager every guest should have received the same welcome, however he could not explain why it didn't happen when we arrived.
We had two rooms, in one room we received two complimentary bottles of alcohol, the other room did not. When we mentioned it to the front desk, we were told it should have been three bottles in each room. The correction was made in both rooms two days later. Nice touch also had refrigerator with sodas,beer and water.
Complained about the air conditioner in one room. Maintenance would correct it but by the next day it would be on the fritz again.

CONS: One major complaint was garbage cans around the beach area were not emptied on a regular bases. All cans overflowed and it took days and several complaints before they were emptied.
-Staff needs more training on customer service - hardly ever greeted with a good morning or an hello. This went all the way up to some of the management staff.
-Restaurant needs more versatility in the menu since its the only sit down restaurant at the resort. After you dine there once or twice during your stay, you basically had the entire menu selection.
-Online it states the hotel has wifi but it fails to mention that it costs $16 a day with no guarantee that it will work.
-Need more "Animators" - Denroy was trying to run an activity and hand out and collect towels all at the same time.
-Overall appeared to be understaffed
-Security needs to be more diligent with controlling guests that have obviously had to much to drink. A guest became obnoxious during a couple of the evening activities. (Reggae band set drunken guest kept grabbing the mic trying to sing initially thought it was karaoke with live band).
-Service elevator was broken most of our stay.


People to remember:
-Sharon, manager of the Maho resort restaurants however she was filling in at this resort was very helpful. Gave us an excellent tour of the Sonesta Maho.
-Rosa, Gregory,and Olga of the front desk were very helpful
Nigel, Maritza and Michael the bartenders
Kevin and Denroy, Animators
Edrick, Kay- Ann, Jerry and Patricia

Overall the stay was okay resort is going through a transition with its management staff. They have aggressive changes they wish to make which will probably take a few years to see results. Once it receives a facelift and more customer service training this may be the four or five star resort the management is striving for. Hopefully with the renovations, a spa as nice as the spa at Maho will be added.

St. Maarten is a nice island I would go back, however I would not stay at this resort.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms have the better view.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank retiredjerseygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,956 - 2,962 of 4,331 reviews

Reviewed 23 November 2012

after reading some pretty negative reviews on here, I was really unsure what to expect. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this resort, everyone was very accomodating, and our room was beautiful. We had a fantastic 10 days and were never at a loss for things to do. Apart from the beauty of the island and the friendliness of the people, the main reason that I would come back is for the staff. Never have I ever had such a kind group of peole ready to go out of their way to be so accomodating. The staff were amazing!!! I really do not understand how anyone could possibly have a single complaint about the staff in their reviews...... Kevin, Denroy & Maria were fantastic at making sure everyone from children to elderly guests were having an amazing time, and they succeded. Bartenders Mariza and Michael were amazing and among 2 of the kindest people I have ever met!!! Nigel at the pool bar and Destine at the downstairs bar were amazing too!!!! I would definitely return here, as we were treated like family!!! Thank you to all the staff, even the ones I haven't mentioned.... you are all the reason I will be returning..

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Danab0bana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2012

First time in St Martin. The hotel was nice average clean housekeeping was fine . where I saw the disappointment is with the food and the service areas. They didn't seem prepared or go out of their way, where it was a smile or talk to you. Bartenders gave you a oh my..! look when you asked for a specialty drink... On several occasion they would run out of beer ..before they would replenish it... staff look after themselves before they looked at you.
HOWEVER ...
The beach and Shopping AMAZING .. 15 minute walk to town excellent..

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Evan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2012

I flew with Sunwing on a package I got from Tripcentral.com, going to St. Maarten everything went great. Very organized at the airport for pick up and drop off. And getting started at the resort was good and easy.

We traveled two guys and two girls. And we had asked that the rooms be side by side if possible. This was not done, we were told the rooms next to the rooms assigned were already occupied, however two ladies party of our plane group, we checked into the room next to the girls. Not impressed. Also we were in a Mountain View room, which was really a tree and car rental lot. The girls were very close to the ramp at the front and where very uncomfortable with that as there was easy accuse for someone to climb onto the balcony and into the room. We spoke to the front desk the next day, who then upgraded them to a ocean view across the hall from us. I was happy with that, although be prepared to stand at the front desk with out being noticed for at least 10 minutes by the front desk staff.

The Resort was not great, the staff for the most part looks miserable and don’t service well at all unless you tip them right away, I tip based on service and they lacked it A LOT!! Also had one of the staff in the casino, make a comment about how Canadians don’t tip, to which I replied, when you learn how to serve they will. I did have this one lady who was amazing. She serviced us one night in the restaurant and she had the best service so we tipped very well since she was the one of the only people who did a good job. The next day for lunch she saw us and took us to her section and she was our service the rest of the trip.

Food was good, had a pretty good selection, but over the week a lot of it was the same. The pools were great and the outside space was very nice, and the beach was like shells, but I didn’t mind it was good. Mullet Beach is a must if you are staying in St.Maaten, as well as Orient Bay.

Excursions: We did 3. The H20 scuba diving was an amazing experience. Definitely recommend this one. We also did the day trip to Anguilla, besides the beach it wasn’t great. The beach was amazing and the water beautiful but you spent 8 hours on the beach with 1 bottle of water, and lunch that was appetizer portion, and the café there was very expensive, all for the price of $130 US, and lastly the Sunset Cruise, which was the best $120 I’ve ever spent. You are taken around the whole island and you go to beaches on small islands of the main one, and it was just amazing. Definitely do that one.

Cleanliness of the hotel is average, not what I was expecting, and the Maho resorts customer service is even worse, had dinner there and was ignored by the waiter completely and we had to go and grab glasses and water of their station, never seen customer service this bad in my life. But that location is good for shopping and better for night life.

Room Tip: if you can afford it stay in a villa!
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Mr-Travel21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2012

Just returned from 2 weeks at Great Bay. The people are why we continue to return to this resort. There were 9 in our party and we were treated like queens. I like the new addition of alcohol in our rooms, cold beers in the fridge as well as water and pop. The view from my oceanview balcony is the best ever. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. Kevin is the best animator on the island. He went out of his way to take care of us. Finding umbrellas for us when it was too hot, getting people involved in games and when I got sick on the second day, he brought me fresh lemongrass for tea. I was better in no time. Virginia, Marcia and Gilberto were wonderful, as well as Jonathon and our favorite bartenders Michael and Maritsa! Everyone makes us feel like family. The new Italian eatery was wonderful, pizza so thin and crispy and homemade pasta with fresh pesto sauce. Can't wait to come back. Thank you also to the management, Carl, the administration people and front desk personnel for taking care of any special needs we had. It was a wonderful way to spend my 50th birthday, thank you!

Room Tip: Higher floors give a better view of Great Bay.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank SXMRoseQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2012

My husband and I just got back from a week at the resort. What a great time!!!!~ We had great weather and great service. We arrived with a cold towel and a friendly reception from Rosa at the Front desk!! Thank you for that!!~~
Our room was Ocean view and and it was Ocean view, with a fully stock refrigator and cozy bed!!
We headed down to the pool and to the Bar to see Nigel!! What a great asset to the resort! So much fun and full of life!!
We had dinner at Molasses, and was very pleased with the service and food( oh, and the wine)!!

This was repeated throughout the week!! We never, ever experience anything more than wonderful, friendly and warm people! We had soooooo much fun! No wonder so many people return 2 to 3 times a year!! We may be one of these couples!! So look out!! Thanks again to everyone for making our trip a relaxing and fun time!!

Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Bigmoe222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2012

We loved this resort. Close to the airport. Great views of the cruise ships. We stayed in an apartment and it was so nice. Bed was great. Working safe and nice big bathroom.
Nice pools and best of all WALKING distance to fantastic shopping. Will go back again.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank VickiLy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa

Address: 19 Little Bay Road, Philipsburg, St Martin / St Maarten
Region: Caribbean > St Martin / St Maarten > Sint Maarten > Philipsburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Philipsburg
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Philipsburg
#3 Family Hotel in Philipsburg
Price Range: £264 - £525 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 257
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa is a serene Caribbean haven - and St. Maarten’s premier, limitless all-inclusive, adults-only resort. Delivering a new level of sophistication and style, the elegant destination hotel is situated on a mile-long white-sand beach, overlooking Great Bay and the sparkling sea. With endless amenities and personalized service, the resort invites guests to unwind at three swimming pools, four restaurants, four bars, a spa and the Golden Casino for the ultimate vacation experience complimented by stellar service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort And Casino
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel Philipsburg
St Martin Great Bay Hotel
Sonesta Philipsburg
Great Bay Beach Hotel
Philipsburg Sonesta
St Maarten Great Bay Hotel
Hotel Sonesta Great Bay Beach
Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa St Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg

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