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“Recently Rennovated & Service to Match”

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Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Dhaka City, Bangladesh
Level Contributor
39 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Recently Rennovated & Service to Match”
Reviewed 22 June 2014

I stayed at the Sonesta Great Bay for 6 nights over the Memorial Day weekend. After our arrival to the airport, the ride and views to the hotel were very smooth and scenic. The roads leading close to the resort look over the bay so you can see boats, beautiful houses and even cruise ships.

Lobby:
The hotel lobby was much like many other Caribbean and South American resorts in that it was very airy. They have large windows that look over onto the bay that are closed during inclement weather but open during beautiful days. The welcoming staff (bellmen and front desk agents) were happy to receive us with smiles.

Room:
I opted to stay in the Apartments which are more spacious, have kitchenettes and have access to private patios and a private pool. Most come with butler service as well. This experience, although it adds time to your walk back to the room, was great. The service I received was wonderful and there was plenty of attention to detail.
The room was equipped with alcohol bottles. However, I think they were watered down. Tip - A tip and smile goes a long way. Get friendly with your butler and/or room service agent and they can deliver un-opened bottles of liquor to ensure they are not watered down.
Housekeeping service was up to par. There was not one time where I returned to the room and the room had not been made. I am always appreciative of this.

Food and Beverage:
I recall there being a few options but we mostly ate at the buffet and grill during the day and one night we went to the seafood restaurant right off of the main lobby. The food at the buffet always seemed fresh and different. It did not feel like they used scraps or left-overs from the prior meal to create something "new". The seafood restaurant experience was great. However, remember that everything is not included. They have white or red generic wines offered unless you pay for a bottle of your preferred grape.

Area & St Maarten:
I really spent time exploring this trip. There is a great rental company right across the street that rents cars, Jeeps and ATVs. I opted for the ATVs with a few friends. For $90 we were able to take them for 24 hours! Great deal! This allowed us to literally explore the entire island. We visited Orient Bay, Palm Beach, Princess Juliana Airport (where planes fly right overhead) and a few local restaurants both on the Dutch and French sides.
One day, we took a ferry to Anguilla and spent the day exploring their beaches and visited Sandy Island, a private beach with a beautiful restaurant. The following day, we took a ferry to St. Barths and visited their beaches and did a bit of shopping and had a great meal on the beach of Nikki Beach, St Barths. The final day, we got passes to go to the port where the cruise ships let off. The district is full of jewelry shops. They advertise sales and deep discounts with strike-through marks on all of the tags but honestly, you can go much lower as long as you are buying multiple pieces or have a very good knack for negotiating.

The weather was perfect the entire time we were there (70s- mid 80s) with low humidity, the people were friendly and the food outside in the town was wonderful.

If you go, I really suggest you explore, don't just stay on the Dutch or French side, Visit both and Anguilla and St. Barths for day excursions.

Room Tip: Consider the price difference for the Apartments.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank FastCheckIn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Staten Island, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2014

Hi my husband and I along with 4 other couples stayed here June 8 thru the 15 most of the staff was excellent, food very good rooms were average it was very hard getting in and out of the shower it was way to tall! Denroy the activity director was awesome as was Nigel the pool bartender and the staff in restaurants and buffet were all excellent ! We had a great time and will definetly return but rooms do need an upgrade!

Room Tip: We booked ocean view and the first room they gave us had a terrible view but they did move us the ne...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank 107regina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2014

6 of us girls booked Sonesta Great Bay resort and Casino for a 50th birthday. Have to say loved pretty much everything about the resort except for a couple of things: the crushed shell beach which was hard on your feet. It was supposed to be an adult only resort..and during the week we were there (April 24th - May 2nd 2014) , there were kids in the pool , on the beach and in the restaurants. I wrote to Sunwing and have not heard back anything from them..not impressed :-(

The staff are super helpful, friendly and accommodating (except for Jose at the bar, who should get himself a job not dealing with the public) lol Some amazing staff: Marcia (butler) Mauritzio and company at the bar; the waiters at all restaurants were really great. My room was always spic and span, I have no complaints.
Best food I've had at an all inclusive and I would go again..if they had softer sand lol
Entertainment ended at 11pm sharp every night - so if you're looking for the nightlife..this isn't the hotel that has it..I'm sure you could walk into town to find it (15 min)
Saw the 45th Caribana festival - which was amazing !
We rented a jeep for the day to see St Martin and had a great time !
Weather all week was 28c-32c - fabulous !!

Room Tip: we had rooms on the other side (not ocean view) - we were kept up a lot of nights by barking puppies...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mur1elle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lewes, Delaware
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2014

My wife and I spent a week at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort in mid-June for our 46th wedding anniversary. Let me say up front that if you are expecting a USA 5-star accommodation like Marriott or Double Tree, you will not find it here. What you will find is a quintessential, laid-back, true island type resort with beautiful vistas, outstanding food, and extremely friendly staff who go out of their way to insure that you have a wonderful, relaxing experience. The rooms are a bit dated, but they are clean and everything in our room was functional. As others have noted, be sure to get a Grande Ocean View Room which puts you on the 4th floor or above for gorgeous panoramic views of the resort, lagoon, and visiting cruise ships from your balcony. The real benefit of this Sonesta is the "Adults Only" venue. (If you have small children and/or are into night life, the Sonesta sister resort at Maho Bay is the place to be). At Great Bay it is easy to strike up conversations and become friends due to the commonality of only couples being there. There were couples on their honeymoon to those celebrating 50th anniversaries and everyone melded nicely. Every night 2 of the 3 restaurants were open with an outstanding variety of well-prepared food and each evening was a different theme (Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean, Beef BBQ, etc.). If you can't find something to fill you up, you are just too picky an eater!. Drinks flowed freely from morning to night, all major brands, and the bartenders were friendly. Each evening there was a band for listening and dancing (just don't plan on falling asleep before 11:00 PM if you have a room overlooking the pools, as this is where the bands play). We highly recommend the EcoTour catamaran cruise around the entire island for sightseeing, snorkeling, and a stop for lunch at a restaurant on the French side of the island. We also rented a car at the airport for flexibility to explore Orient Beach, Cupecoy, Philipsburg, the island interior, and to/from the airport at our own pace. (The roads are not well marked, but you can't get too lost!). One final item - if you want to see the sport of airplane landings at Princess Julianna Airport, go to the Sonesta sister resort ... it is just on the other side of the runway from the Sunset Grill and drinks and food are "free" because of your stay at Great Bay.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Charles F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 June 2014

I spent 8 days/7 nights (5/24-5/31) at this resort. From the moment we arrived there was nothing but warmth. We were welcomed with a cold glass of champagne. Our bags were taken to our room. We immediately went for dinner in Pescatore, which was always delicious. The room was quaint and comfortable. The cleaning staff REALLY CLEANED and restocked it everyday! All of the restaurants had a variety of meals to choose from. The pools were the perfect temperature and the beach was FABULOUS. My husband and I enjoyed the nightly entertainment and the daytime poolside games. We both participated daily and we both won prizes! We took time to have a couples massage that was out of this world!! I look forward to coming back very soon. We might even have our 25 anniversary here in two years!!! I would like to give special acknowledgements to: Kiaya, Nigel, Rosalie and Andrewlyn. All of the staff were great but these 4 people I had alot of interaction with. Keep up the great work everyone! Hope to see you soon!!!!!

Room Tip: Stay on the floors from 4 and above. Better views and less noise
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Natasha G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2014

Visited this resort Memorial Weekend with 150+ friends and I have to say the staff was very well prepared to take care of such a large group. Not only was the staff accommodating but very friendly.

I had the ocean view room which was perfect! Hearing the ocean at night was peaceful and relaxing.

The food was good as well and included healthy options, lots of fish, veggies, etc.

Room Tip: Ocean view is AMAZING!!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Aja D
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 review, 19 June 2014
Hello Aja D,

Thank you for writing a review about your "Amazing Vacation".

We are happy that our friendly and accommodating team was able to exceed your expectations.
it was a great pleasure and experience hosting this amazing group of 150 fun people. We do hope that you all will return in the near future for an even more amazing experience!

Thank you,

Team Sonesta Great Bay
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas, Nevada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2014

Denroy the entertainment sup made the vacation fun and made us want to come back every year. We had so much fun day after day. wish we didn't have to leave. Gonna save more money and plan another trip with my family this time.

Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Joleen D
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 review, 19 June 2014
Hello Joleen D,

We are grateful that you took the time out to write this review.

It is always exciting news to hear that our employees make positive impact on our guests. Please note that we will share your kind mention with Denroy, the entertainment supervisor and congratulate him on a job well done.

We look forward to welcoming you and your family to this beautiful Island and resort soon.

Thank you for choosing Sonesat Great Bay
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa

Property: Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Address: 19 Little Bay Road, Philipsburg, St. Maarten-St. Martin
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > St. Maarten-St. Martin > 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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
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. Maarten-St. Martin/Philipsburg

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