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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline, Odigeo, TravelUp, Ebookers, Traveltool, S.L.U., TripOnline SA, Cancelon, getaroom.com, Hotel.de and HotelQuickly so you can book your Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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