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“Great Holiday on Great Bay.”

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Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 June 2014

This hotel is one of the best ones I have stayed at, not only because of the nice room with ocean view, great food, and wonderful property but the staff were so helpful and polite!
I was there with my elderly parents and staff and visitors alike were helpful at all times. I never encountered any angry or complaining staff the whole time I was there.
They did overbook the hotel, so the first 2 nights, my parents were in a first floor room without ocean view, which they had paid for. They were moved when the room was available and then all was well. I would like to mention Jonathan who has the best smile at all times, was great at the hotel entrance, helping us with luggage and directions, . Kendy, at the Beach/Pool Bar, who was always helpful and smiling and making us special concoctions to try. The MaitreD of the a la carte restaurant, tall and gorgeous and great dancer could not have been better if she had tried. Gregory, the chef at the a la carte restaurant went out of his way to cook us a special meal when the special had been sold out the night before! Florita who always seemed to be at the buffet , making sure things ran smoothly.
Thank you to everyone for making this a really special holiday.

Room Tip: If you don't want to have to use the elevator to get outside, ask for 2nd floor room. (ocean vie...
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank Linda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,176 - 2,182 of 4,321 reviews

Reviewed 2 June 2014

Nice resort, friendly staff, food is good....what more can you ask for. I would definitely make a return trip to the island and the resort. Close to everything you need. If you don't go here you are missing out on a great experience.

Room Tip: ocean view
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank nobles717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2014

I traveled in a group trip with 162 other people (The Big O group) and Sonesta Great Bay was excellent! They helped us with any and everything that we needed. Response time was sharp and they were ridiculously friendly. Their staff was very welcoming and polite. The food was delicious, the rooms always clean and the view was amazing. I would definitely go back to Sonesta Great Bay if I ever go to Sint Maarten again. Thank you!!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Betty Michelle B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2014

Thank you Kaiya (in charge of entertainment) for being incredibly helpful, fun and upbeat! The entertaintainment you coordinated/ participated in helped to make my vacation extremely enjoyable. You, as well as the rest of wonderful staff at Sonesta Great Bay, answered every question (no matter how foolish lol) and were eager to provide my group with whatever we needed to make our stay a pleasnt one. The food was so good. The menu was not only tasty but also unique! Thank again Sonesta Great Bay!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Spoken W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda F, Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2014

Dear Spoken W,

Thank for you writing a review about your time at our Resort.

We're happy to see you enjoyed your overall stay with us, and thank for you highlighting the quality of our food and menu. We're also, happy to see that Kaiya and the Entertainment team helped make your stay extra fun!

We hope you'll come back again soon to enjoy our Resort some more.

Best regards,
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2014

Sonesta Great Bay Resort and casino (May 22 – 29, 2014) Sunwing Airlines.
We started off in Toronto, take off was for 630am and we were off the ground at 6.34am. Great flight, we landed at 10.40am. St Martens customs took about 30 minutes to clear, and get luggage. Was put into a small Sprinter Style van, and our luggage was put into a pick up truck with cap. After we were all loaded, a rep from Sunwing got onto the van and asked for 3 names. Once they found them, they were informed about being bumped from the resort. Told the resort was full. Told they would have to stay at the Sonesta Mayo. Rep wanted them to come to the Great Bay, then get there luggage and take a cab back to the Mayo. Not acceptable to the 3 couples, told if they did not want to comply, then get back onto the plane and fly back to Canada. No remorse, no emotions from the rep, she was like a stone, we were a hastle and she was taking no crap from us. So it was made that they would empty the truck till the luggage was found and the 3 couples were sent to the other resort.
Once we got to the resort, we were met with a cocktail. This would be around noon hour. Took about 30 minutes to get the wrist bands, were told the rooms were not ready yet , go get some food and drink and come back at 3pm. At 3 we went back, still no room, told to come back in 30 minutes. So back at 3.45pm and still no room ready. Know this is becoming a long day. So we sat down in the lobby area. Finally a bus boy came by and asked what was up, told him what was going on, he went behind the counter and poof, there was our room cards. Asked for 5th floor or higher ocean view, got 3rd floor ocean view. We were tired so no argument from us. Got into some comfortable clothes and went down to pool area to relax. Called it early this night. Room is an average size, king size bed but very soft mattress. No tub just shower, mini fridge, 2 cans of coke, 2 cans of Pepsi, 2 Heinekens, and 2 cans of Coors Light. Nice flat screen TV, about a 30 inch screen, and you get 20 English speaking channels. GMA every morning.Left $3.00 every morning on illows to get an extra cleaning of room.
Meals are buffet style, you want fried eggs you have to ask, they do not promote them, looks like they only make omelets. Good French toast, and waffles. We are Tea drinkers, lots of flavors, just water needs to be warmer. Not sure about coffee, but it seemed people were drinking it. Always fruit to be found, oatmeal, cereal, English muffins, commercial toaster, bacon, hash brown patties, muffins, and pastries.
Lunch was buffet style also, but below the buffet is a bbq style patio, ate there every day, Hamburg’s, hot dogs, fries, and brick oven pizza. Ceasar salad. A great small meal. The lemonade is great, just make sure you get lots of ice.
Dinner had a different them every night. Just watch the spices, they like things hot and spicy.
Food is average, nothing really stood out, however there ala carts, the Italian had a steak on it, (Filet) my wife said it was fantastic and she knows her steak. Never did the Seafood restaurant. Checked out the menu but nothing caught our eye.
The staff is a hit and miss. Some of them treat you well, some of them hate their jobs and it passes on to the guests. If you hate your job, don’t work in that field. The bar tenders, put it this way, if you are a young women with a great body, then you always got served fast, if you were older, a little heavier, (male and female) you had to work a little harder to get a drink or be noticed.
We hooked up with a pizza server named Smiley, you’ll know him when you see him, fantastic guy, has no ignorance towards anyone, a real asset towards this resort, people could learn from this guy. 2 thumbs up Smiley if you get this, you made the trip great just being there.
The resort is run down, maybe a 3+ in our eyes. The upper pool has tiles missing, the hot tub was dirty, we never got into the pool bar. Water was 10 degrees warmer if you get my drift. In one week there we only saw the pool cleaned once.
The walk to Philipburg is about 10 minutes, great little town, not to many people bugging you to come and buy there junk. Lots of Jewelry stores. Make sure you barter, savings are about 50%.
Scuba diving, I went to Scuba Fun, 2-2 Tank dives were $180.00 a pretty good price, the other shop wanted 210.00. If you go to Scuba Fun, Ashley will help you out a great deal. Make sure you buy through them, the guy at the resort bumps the price for his commission. Water was 80 degrees at 65 feet. Saw reef shark, barracuda, Stingray and lots of Lobster. Well worth the dives. Boat leaves at 9am and comes back in around noon hour. Each dive lasts 50 minutes. Water is clear. Lots of ship wrecks.
Every morning you wake up, if you have an ocean view, you’ll see the cruise ships docked at the port.
In 8 days saw a total of 2 hours of rain. Temp was in the 30,s every day. Only down fall is there is a mountain on the west side of the resort, so it gets dark there around 7pm every night. There is a small store on the resort, along with a jewelry store and a massage and spa place. We got a couples massage, cost was $190.00 for 55 minutes. Was a good rub down?
Final Notes:
1. Resort might say a 4 but I would say 3.5
2. Try to tip $3.00 for the maid service, you get a cleaner room
3. The shower water pressure is not the greatest but it was hot
4. Wi-Fi is a hit and miss
5. Don’t drink the tap water
6. If you eat at the BBQ, hunt down Smiley
7. Never saw any ice cream, ask for it, but the look on the waiters face, told us not to try
8. Also have a look at the sister resort, Sonesta Bay by the airport, we were there, we think they got it wrong, it is way nicer then the Great Bay.
9. No shuttle service between the 2 resorts, take the bus, its $2.00 each, beats paying a cabby $25.00 each way.
Enjoy you trip, it’s a great small island, any questions I'm willing to help out

Room Tip: Ocean View 4th floor and up
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Scott A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Karl B, General Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 2 June 2014

Hello Scott,

Thank you for taking the time out to write a review, we will definitely congratulate our amazing employee “Smiley” on a job well done.

On behalf of the management here at Sonesta Great Bay we sincerely apologize for not meeting your expectations based on your described experience. Delighting our guests is a goal we take seriously. We will carefully review the feedback given as a team and we will take all corrective measures.

Thank you for bringing these concerns to our attention and we hope you will give us another opportunity to serve you.

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Reviewed 31 May 2014

Friendly and helpful staff from front door to dining and bars. The meals were wonderful and multiple selections at every sitting made all in our party amply full. It was difficult at times to get quick service from the bars due to the high volume of guests who frequented them. Sometimes I felt sorry for the bartenders as they did their best to keep up with the thirsty crowds. We made sure to tip them well for their constant smile and quick service. They went out of their way to make sure we had a great time. If there was any disappointment it would be from other guests who didn't know how to respect that others were on vacation and expecting a great experience also and that rudeness is still rude and no matter where you go. Showing consideration to all staff and guests alike speaks volumes. I commend the staff for listening to and trying to rectify guest complaints with an issue that wasn't really their fault. We enjoyed the activities they provided daily and also just laying about relaxing and rejuvenating tired souls. We never felt uncomfortable coming and going from the hotel and noted that security patrolled routinely so that all guests and their belongings were safe. We left our room unlocked many times and left possessions out on the deck table without concern or loss. From arrival to checkout the staff at The Sontesa Beach Resort took care of all our wants. We never got over to their sister resort Maho on the French side but If given the opportunity again, I would most certainly go back to either of their resorts.

Room Tip: We stayed in one of the apartments and it was clean and spacious. Not that we used them but there wa...
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank Jackie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Karl B, General Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 1 June 2014

Hello Jackie G

Thank you for sharing this memorable experience with us.

The Sonesta Great Bay team is pleased to know that we are continuously achieving our goals and we are happy you chose us for this your 33RD year’s getaway!

As the best and only all-inclusive, adults only resort in Philipsburg, we are always pleased when reminded that we have the most professional and outstanding employees. Thank you for choosing this absolutely amazing, safe and convenient location. We look forward to seeing you on your “34th YEAR GETAWAY”!

Thank you, happy travels!

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Reviewed 31 May 2014

Although the view was great, our stay here was not enjoyable.
We booked May 22-29th at the Sonesta Great Bay (with Sunwing). However, when we arrived at the airport pickup, we were told that we were 'bumped' and would have to go to the Sonesta Maho Beach (its 'sister' hotel) or we would be refunded and would have to find our way home (back to Canada). I have a paper that states this. Of course, we had not choice and went to the Sonesta Maho Beach for 3 days. I was told we would be refunded the 3 days - but, OF COURSE, this did not happen. I received a certificate that said I could come back within the year for 3 nights at the Sonesta Great Bay! (Who is going to pay the flight??)
Anyway, we did get an ocean view room at the Sonesta Maho Beach (read my review) and found that to be a superb experience.
However, after 3 days we were transported to the Sonesta Great Bay. What a horrendous experience! We were told we had an apartment - not so - it was a small hotel room (I think it was a 'lock out' of a timeshare). We had to walk to the other end of the hotel and the elevator was not operable. In addition, my asthma began with the odors. The next day, when asked by a lady, I indicated what had happened. She spoke with "Roy" and we were able to move to an ocean view on the 6th floor - a great room - spacious, comfortable beds)
Other comments -
-some 'sharp' and insensitive staff (Some were fine -Kudos to the lady who arranged the room change!)
-Buffet was not open all day; we did not enjoy the food.
-no free lobby computer for use
-charged $84 US for my toll free calls (Have travelled the world and used this card without a charge - not even charged at the Sonesta Maho Beach).
-do NOT recommend this place!

Room Tip: If you do come here, be sure that you get an ocean view room, fourth floor or higher) in the resort...
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank roamingprofessor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Karl B, General Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 1 June 2014

Hello Roamingprofessor,

We are pleased to know that you enjoyed the great view. At Sonesta Great Bay we always strive for excellence and valuable feedback such as yours is always welcome. We thank you for bringing the few concerns to our attention and we will immediately put plans in place to resolve them.

We apologize for the inconvenience caused and assure you that our management team will address the concerns, so that future guests will not encounter the same challenges.

Thank you for taking the time out to write this review

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Additional Information about Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa

Address: 19 Little Bay Road, Philipsburg, St Martin / St Maarten
Phone Number:
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: £206 - £469 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sonesta 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
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa St Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg

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