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“Excellent vacation - great service & food”

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Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 June 2014

We really enjoyed our stay. Upon arrival at Great Bay we had a few requests that were immediately looked after by the front desk clerk - (whom I think was the manager). It was our 25th anniversary and we received in our room, a welcome card + champagne & chocolate strawberries (for a small fee). The resort is older but clean, with good food, service, & is in an excellent location.
On our third night we asked the same front desk clerk if we could transfer to Sonesta Maho, as we had spent the day there & enjoyed it. It seemed newer, had more clubs/activities and was in an area that had more things to do. We were told to check back in the morning to see if we could transfer to Maho. The next day we were told we had a transfer to Maho to an equivalent ocean view room for no extra charge. We rented a car at the Great Bay resort, travelled the island for the day then returned the rental car to the Maho resort. It was a fun day to see the island & allowed us an easy transfer to the Maho resort.
At Sonesta Mayo check-in was easy & we went to our room (#950). It was a pleasant surprise. We had a newer (upgraded) room, with an excellent view. The airport is beside the resort & seeing the planes land & take-off is a must. It also has a lot of bars & nightlife outside the front door. The Palm Grill is the beach restaurant & we received (above) excellent service there. The Host (Fevry) was great - he welcomed us & made sure we had what we wanted. I commented on the excellent Buffalo wings and Fevry brought out the chef to meet us.
The chef (Joseph) was so good to meet. He told us the wing sauce was a "special recipe" & also offered to cook us a "made to order" nacho dish that my wife enjoyed. All this & the waitress (Liaurie) was there to keep us happy & the bartender @ Palm Grill was always pleasant. On our last night the Maho resort had a beach BBQ & party. They announced our 25th anniversary & allowed us a dance on the beach.
We cant say anything bad about our stay @ both Sonesta resorts. We were always satisfied with the service & food.

Great Bay is a great relaxing resort in a excellent location for adults only. Its a little older but clean & with excellent service.

Maho is a newer resort (at least the area we stayed) & found it had more activity & nightlife. We were lucky that they had room to allow us to make a transfer so we had a stay @ both resorts. They said that a transfer may not always be possible, but we want to thank Great Bay for making that possible & our 25th anniversary a great memory.

Room Tip: At Great Bay pay for the ocean view - floors 5-7 At Maho get a premium pool/ocean view room in the...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Heather S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda F, Manager at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2014

Dear Heather S,

First of all, thank you for choosing to spend your 25th Anniversary with us and thank you for sharing your comments about your recent stay at our Resort.

We’re glad to see that your requests were taken care of immediately and that you had were able to transfer to our Sister Resort to enjoy the nightlife and activity over in Maho, after a few nights with us. Thank you for highlighting our excellent location, food and customer service.

We hope to see you back again soon!

Best regards,
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Management

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Reviewed 6 June 2014

My girlfriend & I stayed at this resort for a week and had such a wonderful experience. We stayed there from May 29th to June 5th. During this week we really bonded with a lot of great people who were travellers but most importantly the staff at this resort. We felt that because the resort was a lot smaller than other resorts we have visited in the past, this is why we made such strong bonds with people. It was very easy to find your way around right from the first day we arrived. We are not very picky when it comes to eating so we were quite content with the food for the most part of this trip. Our biggest thing we look at when we go on vacation is customer service. Jackson (waiter) was amazing every morning in the breakfast buffet always making sure we had everything we needed and always knew we started our morning with a cappuccino lol. When it came to lunch on the lower level pizzeria/bar, Jonathan was excellent! He always had a big smile on his face, which we find is a great quality to have. He was very friendly and by the second day he already knew our order as soon as he saw us take our seats. Big shout out to him for his excellent service. All the staff at the pescatore a la carte was also very good, especially Janice. The swimming pool bartenders were also very friendly and would always have smiles on their faces. Nigel and Akeem were who we dealt with the most and hats off to them because it was a pleasure having them taking care of our drinks. Everyday there was always plenty of activities to do around the pool and beach area, never a dull moment thanks to the amazing animators crew who we really missed at the end of our vacation because they felt like family to us during our stay at this resort. I'd like to give special shout outs to Tevin, Denroy, Kiaya, Nasmarie, Joash, and Amanda. Thank you guys so much for making our stay such a funfilled experience and when we visit St. Maarten again, this resort will once again be our first choice.

Room Tip: Higher floor ocean view is a must
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Nick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Karl B, General Manager at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2014

Hello Nick!

We are happy to hear that you and your girlfriend had a great experience at our luxurious, All-Inclusive, adults only resort. The team here at Sonesta Great Bay is pleased to know that we were able to exceed your expectations and made you feel at home. Thank you for taking the time out to write this review and we will share your kind mentions with our friendly and courteous employees.

We cannot wait for you to return to St. Maarten and thank you for making us your #1 vacation spot!

Best regards,

Team Sonesta

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Reviewed 5 June 2014

Me & my husband stayed at this resort for 2 weeks for our honeymoon :) we stayed there from may 22nd to june 5th 2014. Everything was great. We stayed at maho resort last year and it was as great!!! We are very Happy we got little extras because of our honeymoon. Every staff takes very good care of you ; they treat you like you're family :)

The hotel was pretty full when we got here and i got a 2nd floor room. They told me as soon as they can they will switch me to another room (higher floor). Like promise, they did switch me 3 days after, as soon as they had some avalibility. ROY (front desk) did everything to keep us happy all the during of our stay. Roy was really nice and really wants to help the clients to keep thème happy. Another great front desk clerk : Vicky. Always smiling and making sure you're fine.

Some other staff that i loooooooved : georgio (lobby concierge) is so nice and always happy and smiling to clients. Edrick (bellman) very nice too
At bay view restaurant: charlene is the best waitress !! And Patricia (supervisor) always make sure you are satisfed. Jonathan (waiter) is great also. He work at a la carte lunch restaurant and his smile is captivating. Always happy!
The BEST bartender of all the hotel is without a doubt DESTIN !!!! So nice and always smiling and always a pleasure to serve you. You have to go see him next to the restaurant and to the animation office. DESTINE is always happy and he loves serving drinks everything you ask he can make for you. He was the best !!!!

All the animation team is wonderfull they are very nice with everyone. My favorite was Thomas :) he brings me luck when i played bingo haha!!! All the games are fun & original and are for all kind of ages.

The great thing too is that you can visit the sister resort which is maho resort. You can go there and eat at the different restaurants without charge. You can also go Check out the airplanes landing.

St-maarten is the best Island ever !!! My husband has been here 6th time and is planning to go again !!!!

Location of sonesta great bay is awesome ; about 10 to 15 min walk on the boardwalk and you're right in downtown philipsburg !! Another great thing about this hotel : wifi if FREE !!!!!!!! :)

Sansary (the sunwing representative) is always at his desk and always ready to answer your questions. Thats what i love about that ; if you have any question you always know where to find him (not like some other resorts in carabeans where you're always looking for you representative) sansary was even there at the airport with us to make sure everything was fine.

I recommand this hotel to everyone !!!! I went to many many resorts and this one is wonderfull !!!



-Marie & Charles, the newly weds :)

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Marie-Hélène B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda F, Manager at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 6 June 2014

Dear Marie-Hélène B,

First of all, thank you for choosing to have celebrate your Honeymoon with us, and Congratulations! We appreciate you taking the time out to write a review about your time spent at Great Bay Beach Resort.

We are glad to see that you liked the little extras we prepared for you to help with your Celebrations and all the positive feedback regarding our rooms, views, food and staff. We have relayed your kind messaged to each of the staff members you have mentioned and they were all very pleased when we told them.

It’s great that you had a chance to visit our sister Resort, to see the airplanes coming and going; it's a site that everyone should see when visiting the Island.

We look forward to seeing you and your husband soon and Congratulations again!

Best regards,
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Management

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Reviewed 4 June 2014

We had a wonderful time during our week stay. Kendy the bartender at the pool/beach was always friendly and greeted me with a cold drink. Michael the bartender at the dining room bar was very friendly and efficient with his drinks and a bit of chit chat. Gregory the chef at the seafood a la carte restaurant was outstanding with his preparations and when he ran out of specials...he did up a special dinner for us the next night. The beautiful tall ex-model lady that managed there was outstanding!!! (and a great dancer). Florika the manager in the buffet restaurant was such a nice lady and tried her best to please. But my favourite person there had to be Jonathon the bell hop at the front...this is a very special guy with a friendly smile every time you saw him and he is hilarious!!! I enjoyed our chats. Sorry to have to leave.
The only problem that we had was that we asked to be on a higher level and they put us on the second floor and my parents on the first floor (no ocean view). This was disappointing but they switched rooms 3 days in to the second floor (still not what they asked for but they took it).
This was a great small resort that is in excellent proximity to Philipsburg, literally 5-10 minute walk either by beach or sidewalk. It is very safe there. The shopping and bars dotted along the boardwalk are fantastic!
We enjoyed the pools, however the ocean had a large drop off so our elderly parents could not go in, something to consider if you are not a swimmer or are disabled.
Rooms were comfortable. Lounge chairs by the pool were comfortable too, but some of the beach chairs might need to be replaced.
The a la carte dining was wonderful and the food was truly 5 star, but wondering if they should change the menu halfway through the week to add some variety. Just a suggestion. The buffet always had fish on it...which was wonderful!
Overall we had a wonderful experience with our elderly parents, everyone was sooooo kind and helpful. We would go back, but I would hope that a higher floor would be on the order, especially when asking for it in the first place.
Thank you so much for the memories Sonesta Great Bay....I will be back! :)

Room Tip: Rooms above the 4th floor will get a better view of the ocean, we were on the second floor which was...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank hijk4rock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda F, Manager at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 6 June 2014

Dear hijk4rock,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a positive review about your time spent with us.

We’re happy to see we got to move your parents up a floor, to give them a better view; but we’re sorry we were unable to put you on a higher floor. We would have loved to and always look to accommodate our guests, when we can. The reason we were unable to in this case, was because we had no other rooms available on the higher floors at the time.

It’s great to see that you have rated our food as 5-Star. The Kitchen staff will be pleased to hear that, and thank you for your feedback regarding the food variety, we will make sure to pass that on to our Kitchen staff as well.

It’s always a pleasure when we hear our guests got to relax on their vacation and that they received amazing customer service from our entire staff. We hope to see you and your family back again soon, and we’ll make sure to do everything we can to get you an even higher room next time!

Best regards,
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Management

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Reviewed 4 June 2014

We travel regularly with our friends and have enjoyed some of the most beautiful islands in the world. St. Maarten has some of the most beautiful water we have seen but the attraction to this island has more to do with the culture of the locals. Every single person we met offered a hello and a smile and were more friendly than anywhere we have been before. Ok, I can understand if there is a tyrant in the back room telling the workers be nice OR ELSE, but that was never the case, they are truly just that friendly. At the resort, we were greeted initially by Jonathon who had us smiling and laughing from the start. While at the bar and pools, Kevin and Kiaya both kept us entertained during the day and were terrific company sitting and talking with us. One of our group had a birthday and Chef Neal was quick to bake him a special cake and provide Syndi her chocolate chip cookies.

There was nothing the staff wouldn't do to make our stay memorable and that is exactly what they did.

The areas for improvement would be in the entertainment arena. The nightlife was a bit quiet and could have used more music that would get people up and dancing rather than sitting listening to the bands play slower music.

Another improvement is the pool music. During the entertainment events by the pool, music would be playing and people would be enjoying, but when the event ended, the music was turned off. Many people requested the music be played all the time but the manager said there were complaints that the music was too loud. You want quiet, stay at a convent. This is a vacation, enjoy.

Room Tip: Get the grand ocean view room. We were on the 6th floor (of 7) and could sit on our balcony and enj...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Chuck T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda F, Manager at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 6 June 2014

Dear Chuck T,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a positive review about your time spent with us.

It’s great to see you enjoyed our beautiful views and received amazing customer service; our staff really takes pride in their job, because we want to do everything we can to make each and every one of our guests leave with a big smile on their face and everlasting memories. So it’s nice to see you left that way.

Thank you for your feedback regarding our entertainment arena and the music out by the pool, we’ll make sure to pass on your comments to the appropriate departments.

We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Best regards,
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Management

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Reviewed 3 June 2014 via mobile

I travel often and I have to say for an all inclusive resort the food here was the best! Variety and fresh every meal! The Staff was lovely and patient with our very large group. You are also permitted to use the sister resort as well.

  • Stayed: May 2014
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3  Thank Sareelny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda F, Manager at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 5 June 2014

Dear Sareelny,

Thank you for writing your review about your time at our property.

We are happy to see you enjoyed everything about your stay with us, and that you got to visit our sister Resort. Since you travel so often, we hope you'll make sure to stop by and see us again very soon!

Best regards,
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Management

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Reviewed 3 June 2014

This was our first time to St. Maarten and we absolutely LOVED it!! Vicky at the front desk was so helpful with anything and everything we needed. And Jonathan AKA Smiley always had cold beer on ice waiting for us at the Waterfront eating area. he took great care of us all week!! All of the staff was so friendly! We stayed in one of the Apartments and we had a beautiful view from our balcony of the bay and a different cruise ship everyday. They dock right across the bay from the resort. Adult only and I beleive the liquor was all premium brands. The fridge was stocked daily with about 4 beers, soda and several bottles of water daily. Not to mention that our room also had a bottle of Smirnoff, Gordon's and Jumbie Coconut Splash Rum (St. Maarten brand which I highly recommend, I drink this all week and bought a bottle for $9 US to bring home). I highly recommend St. Maarten & Sonesta Great Bay Resort!! We can't wait to go back!!

Room Tip: The apartment we had was nice. I beleive when our travel agent booked this for us it was a Jr Suite...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Maria M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda F, Manager at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 5 June 2014

Dear Maria M,

Thank you so kindly for writing such a positive review about your time at our Resort.

As a first timer to the Island, we are so pleased to hear that you absolutely enjoyed every second of your vacation. It's so beautiful to gaze out of your balcony and see the cruise ships coming in and out of St. Maarten, along with the many other we have through-out our property.

You sure did have a good idea to bring back a few bottles of Rum with you; the Coconut Splash Rum is very traditional to the island and every time you make a drink out of it back home, we hope you will remember your time spent with us!

Best regards,
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Management

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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
Price Range: £264 - £528 (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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