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“Best Honeymoon” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa

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Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best Honeymoon”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2014

Jessica Zimmerman & Joseph Maldonado

My husband and I chose Sonesta Great Bay because of it's great price and fantastic views. We thought it was a great price for an all inclusive resort and were looking forward to our 9 day stay. We were not disappointed! Cleo- the dining and food manager- was very gracious and accommodating. We were greeted with champagne in our room along with a nice note welcoming us. Denroy and Tevin were very fun animators and made sure people were having fun. They initiated beach volleyball, pool volleyball, flip cup, beach bingo and other games to keep guests entertained, the prizes were a great bonus.
The food from the 4 restaurants was above what we expected. I especially loved the bbq buffet on Mondays. At the buffet there were different planned food nights (ex. Mondays-BBQ, Tuesdays-Caribbean, Wednesdays- International etc). I was very happy with the meals and we mostly ate at the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner most of the time we were there. They also had specialty drinks each night like Monday-BLue Monday Tuesday-Killer Koolaid etc. I enjoyed their Guava Berry Coolatta (the island is known for this type of Rum).
During our stay it was also my birthday so my husband spoke to Cleo who made sue we had champagne and chocolate covered strawberries waiting for me when we came back from the pool along with a lovely note wishing me a happy birthday.

My husband and I will definitely be returning to The Friendly Island and to Sonesta Great Bay. It was the perfect honeymoon and we couldn't have been more happy.

Room Tip: We had an ocean view room which came with a balcony. The views from it were stunning, you could see...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Joe M
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 review, 28 July 2014
Dear Joe M,

First of all congratulations on getting married, we are so happy that you spent your special occasion with us and we thank you for writing us such a positive review.

We are so glad that you both enjoyed your vacation with us. Thank you for highlighting our staff, food, views and entertainment. We'll make sure to let Denroy, Tevin and Cleo know about the kind words you said about them.

We hope you will come back to see us again soon...we'll make sure to have a Guava Better Coolatta waiting for you!

Best regards,
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,936 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,489)
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English first
Wantagh, New York
Level Contributor
38 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2014

The hotel advertises 3 restaurants. However, all 3 were not open every night. The Bay View (buffet) was opened daily. We were told upon check-in that the water was being worked on & it might come out brown-"Just let it run for a minute". This was true. What they NEVER told us, was that at times there would be no water in the shower. EVERY DAY I had to call the front desk & ask for water. The clerk always acted surprised. Ten minutes later the water flowed. This happened at various times throughout the week. I even requested the manager come to my room. She did & acted shocked. One day I had no water & no towels! I was never compensated for this daily absurdity!
The furniture in the lobby was stained & needed to be replaced. Perhaps once a day a waiter came around the beach taking drink orders. Dirty glasses remained around the Infinity pool.
I heard this property is being renovated in September. It certainly needs it!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FranP1216
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 review, 28 July 2014
Dear FranP1216,

Thank you for writing your review about your time with us.

We apologize for the experience you mentioned in your review and we will most definitely look into your comments with the appropriate department heads, so that we can prevent any further occurrences in the future. We can assure you that this does not represent the efforts and consistency that our team strives to provide to our guests.

We do hope that you will return to see us, so we can show you what a real vacation at our Resort should feel like.

Best regards,
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Management
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2014

I just come back from Sonesta great Bay Hotel .Very nice ,clean and quiet Hotel I can said its a paradise.Everything was very good ,food ,room,beach and all Staff.Thank you Darvin for a very good service also Patricia, Ella and rest off the staff - thank you very much ,was excellent vac.I come back very Happy and for sure I can come back again in this Hotel, its adult only and really relax .Never read a bad review ,This Hotel Its very nice and I have Ocean view room on a 7th.floor was beautiful breathtaking!!!!!!!Thank you once again and see you next year:):):)

Room Tip: choose room with ocean view ,its beautiful and worth it !!!
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Olivia185
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2014

From the time I stepped on the island of St. Maarten I was greeted with such warmth, friendliness and efficiency andllowed through the five days I spent on the island. The dutch side is the best side to stay.

Sonesta Great Bay would be considered a 5 star if the resort was renovated especially the rooms. The rooms are spacious and so is the bathroom with an adequate terrace which had a great view of the ocean. It was wonderful seeing the cruise ships come in the morning and leave in the evening.
The food ws a 10 no matter where you dined and the service was beyond. My husband who only looks at 4 stars stated this resort went beyond expectations and he totally enjoyed and relaxed at the resort.

We ate at a very loca; restaurant called Chestefield and the food was delicious and although we were hesitant to go there this also was much more than we expected.

We went to Ocean 82 on the French side and the food and service was wonderful but very pricey and to add to the cost of the dinner is the $40+tip cab ride.

I don't know if this goes to all cab drivers but when we used the cab driver for the first time he gave us he card and he was so accommodating.

Definitely will go back again. this fo

Room Tip: Stay on 5 or above facing the ocean
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 359
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Curacao
Level Contributor
74 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 July 2014 via mobile

This hotel is ok. Parking after sunset is always an issue. Due to its location you can walk to the shops at front street. Beautiful beach and nice pool. The room are a bit outdated and the island view rooms are not nice at all. Ain't that cheap either.

Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank BVLC1
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 review, 28 July 2014
Dear BVLC1,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review about your stay with us.

We are happy to see you thought our beaches and pool area were beautiful, but we strive for our guests to have a better than just an "ok" time with us. In regards to your parking issues, we have a very big lot located directly next to the Resort, which has ample room for cars. We are closing the Resort for the month of September in order to give it the upgrades and improvements necessary, so we do hope that you will come back to see the changes.

Best regards,
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014

First time in St Maarten, me and my friend traveled together and decided to go to this resort because it was adult only.

The hotel is good, the room that we were assigned was on the first floor. It was bellow ground level. We had no problems switching the rooms and were on the 6th floor which was much better. I would say spend the extra money and get the ocean view. We walked over to Philipsburg and did some shopping there. There is a place that delivers bought alcohol right to your hotel, very convenient. Now this hotel has a sister resort next to the airport, which we visited and I personally would not stay there. The plains land every 30 min and they are super loud. I love enjoying the sound of the ocean not the sound of the plains landing. The only good thing about the sister resort is that its close to the clubs.

The food, I personally loved the food they had a lot of variety and I always found something good to eat. Now the lines to the buffet are something I found to be annoying only because the servers would take a long time to seat people when there were free tables available, its a buffet not a restaurant. The restaurants serve an absolutely amazing sword fish steak I recommend it! It is so delicious!

The entertainment, the hotel has an entertainment team. Since me and my girlfriend were by ourselves we enjoyed the company of Enroy, Tevin and Joash who spend time with us and kept us entertained. Amazing team they would also have fun games during the day. In the evening it would get really dead, and for us it became very boring. When I traveled before the hotels had a little club in the hotel itself that people could go and dance. Here the music was outside and when it rained (which was 4 out of 7 evenings there) it was not working.

My one downside is that there are no clubs near the hotel. They are actually near the sister resort. One night we took the cab there it cost us $30 one way and then there is a catch after 12 am the price goes up to $60. So I would suggest getting a few people to go.

Now some tips. Renting a car from the hotel is expensive $100 for one day, we found out that you can rent a small car from the airport and its a $150 for the whole week. Be careful driving at night if it rains small rocks fall on the road and hit the cars (this is normal for the island). Lastly definitely drive around the island its safe and a good way to see everything.

I would definitely come back to this hotel. It has been 4 month and I miss the amazing view and the sound of the ocean.

Room Tip: request rooms on higher floors, the rooms on the first floor are older.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Lucy Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
56 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014

Pic traveled on July with my husband and my daughter to this resort and we had a blast. We can not complain about nothing. Vicky from the front desk is amazing. She goes beyond to please you. She makes sure that you enjoy every second from the time you spend on this place. There are a lot of people from Sonesta that make my family to go back to this place, for example Nagel the bartender from the pool make you the best drink ever. Jonathan from the pizzeria always make sure you have the best pizza ever, you even can choose your own ingredients for your pizza and they be happy to do it. The guys from the pizzeria are hard workers . The guys from the buffet. From the casino. What else can we say?? The even treat my husband with the bottle of champaign for his coming birthday . The animation team Denroy and Nasmarie help your to make your vacation more enjoyable . A giant applause to them. Last but not least, this resort share their facility with Maho and you can go there and have fun too. We come back to this resort and we want to thank every person from this resort from making our vacation very enjoyable.

Room Tip: Ocean view is the best
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank melanie16
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 review, 24 July 2014
Dear melanie 16,

Thank you for taking the time out to write about your stay with us.

We're so glad to see that you, your husband and daughter had a great time with us! Thank you for highlighting our friendly and hard-working staff, we will make sure to let each of the members you mentioned, your kind words.

We look forward to seeing you and your family again very soon. We'll make sure to have a hot slice of pizza waiting for you with a delicious drink made by Nagel, when you return!

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
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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 Hotel Philipsburg
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort And Casino
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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