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“Best view on the Island!”

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Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
Massena, NY
18
Reviewed 14 March 2006

This is the 2nd year that my husband and I have stayed at the Great Bay. The views are awesome and worth the stay!
The rooms are clean, but smell musty when you first arrive. After a few days, we didn't notice it much as we burned candles and sprayed lysol! The buffet meals are okay, nothing spectacular. We ate several dinners at some of the great restaurants on the island, especially Peg Leg's, Mark's, and The Greenhouse. The pools at the hotel are great, especially the new infinity pool. The drinks were plentiful, but they ran out of strawberry daiquiri mix!!! The staff is very friendly and accommodating. A few complaints: We had to ask several times for towels because they ran out; people slamming their doors at all hours of the day & night (very loud because of tiled floors); and the traffic on the Dutch side of the island is horrendous. Other than that, we had a marvelous time and look forward to going back next year when our timeshare is ready!

  • Stayed: February 2006
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8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,654 - 3,660 of 4,327 reviews

Reviewed 13 March 2006

Returned Mar.11,2006 from Great Bay. Had a wonderful time. Found the food, service, rooms very good. Stayed on the sixth floor, no bad odors in the room. Did hear the lower rooms smelled musty. Was very impressed with the buffet, food was always good and staff were attentive. If you didn't like what was there you can always order a burger and fries. Pools were nice and clean. Ocean beach was nice but the quick drop from knee deep to shoulder deep may be a concern for little ones. Orient beach on the French side is a great beach with lots happening. Cab is about $40.00 return but worth it for the day. Philipsburg is about a ten minute walk along the beach or a boardwalk is competed about half way. A great place to shop for jewellry. Price are very good and bartering is a must. Best prices are when there are only a few cruise ships in port. Wednesday is the worst day for shopping. Friday probably best. All in all a great holiday. Would recommend, would go back

  • Stayed: March 2006
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9  Thank plattsvillenomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Ontario Canada
111
Reviewed 6 March 2006

We just returned from two wonderful weeks at Great Bay. I reviewed comments before we left and I was a little concened but we found this facility, service, room, beach, pools and everything else I missed all to be excellent. I certainly reccomend the ocean view if you can get it. Great seeing the cruise ships come and go. This was our first visit and we would definatley go back. We have traveled a fair amount and rate this high on the list.
Don't miss this one!!

  • Stayed: February 2006
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11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
1093
Reviewed 26 February 2006

I just returned yesterday from a week at Great Bay and wanted to reiterate a few of the comments already posted on this site.

First and foremost, the lower floors of this hotel are MUSTY! I travelled with a group of 15 people and we had rooms on all floors of the hotel. Floors one and two were almost unliveable the smell was so bad. Two people in our group had to move off of floor two because they were getting headaches from the smell. The higher floors were fine, so request a room on a high floor when you book and then insist on it when you check in. (as information, I have stayed at two other hotels on St. Maarten and neither had musty smells; this is not typical of the island)

The food was fine; nothing exciting, but not bad either. The entertainment is very basic and put on by the hotel workers, who are all in their 20s. Some things that might be entertaining for teens and 20 somethings were a bit offensive for my group (all in our 50s).

The sand at Great Bay is very grainy, almost like coarse salt. Remember to bring beach footwear that you can take into the water with you.

The hotel is still being renovated, so one wing is closed. The new infinity pool is nice and very pretty. The older pool (not yet renovated) has peeling paint and stains.

I will return to Great Bay and recommend it, but do recommend you stay on a higher floor.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2006

Well Pam and I are home now and what a fantastic time we had at this Hotel!!!
This was trip #7 for us to the same place(that speaks volumes)
The food is great(I eat to live,not live to eat)
We eat breakfast,lunch and a few dinners there,and go out to a few awesome eateries on the Island.
The Hotel is "Dutch Clean" and the "room refurbishment staff" make sure you are taken care of!!
Check in is quick and efficient, and you are on the beach before you know it!!
Try for an Ocean view room as they change the ships daily...and the view of the Bay is beautiful!!
I notice that a few people complain about the musty smell...well I have spoken to Mother Nature and she insures me there will be no more humidity!!LOL
That's just part of Island life(bye the bye...I did not notice it)can't wait for next year....if you want some fun...ask Jose at the bar to make you a Goombay Smash!!Tell him double D sent you!!Have a Blast!!!

  • Stayed: February 2006
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8  Thank danandpam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2006

Stayed for 10 nights 8th Feb 06. As we brits say it does exactly what it says on the tin. The rooms had been refurbished our 6th floor room was smart/clean/modern and housekeeping was second to none. New towels twice a day bed turned down. Staff were helpfull and friendly. We travelled with a six year old and would suggest that hotel is best for couples or groups rather than families. The food did become boring but after 10 days you would expect that, however food was well presented and plenty of it.
Excellent selection of beers and drinks at the bars.
Just 1 tip. Dont get in the glass lift with no shoes on, the floors rather hot by the end of the day. Beach and pool areas very clean and tidy.
Satisfied Guests. Folkestone Kent England

  • Stayed: February 2006
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4  Thank SIMONGBRA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2006

My best girlfriend of 16 years and I just returned from our very first just-us, no-boyfriends 8-day stay on St Maarten at the Great Bay Resort...and we can't stop talking about what a fabulous vacation it was! We had a very large, deluxe, oceanfront room that came complete with a couch, two sitting chairs, coffee table, another small table with two chairs, huge bathroom with shower + jacuzzi tub. Our room had no smell of mildew that the other reviewers mention. The decorating style of the rooms was rather basic, but we weren't on the island to enjoy the looks of the room...it was what I expected for a 3-star rating. We had hot water for showers all of the time, with the exception of late in the afternoon on a Thursday...but the cold water there is not like the cold water I get up here in Connecticut, so it was certainly bearable. The staff there was absolutely great! The maid service was ever-present. JJ, the activities coordinator, was a sheer delight! He taught us how to salsa dance one afternoon on the pool deck, and then took a large group of us out to dance that night! What fun!! JJ was the perfect source for nightclub info - there seems to be one "in" place to go for each designated night. We went dancing to island music at The Greenhouse, Bamboo Bernies, Bliss, Q Club, and Boo Boo Jam. All absolutely fun and wonderful - if that is the type of vacation you are looking for. Days spent on the beach, nights spent shaking our booties! We highly recommend utilizing the services at the spa. We both had Indian Massages that were decadent. The bartenders outside could have been a bit friendlier, but the bartender inside at the Lobby Bar, Michael, has eyes that you could dive into, and his smile is worth having more than a drink or two bellied up to his bar in the evening. The Bay View restaurant was such a treat: breakfast every morning staring at the blue water. Ahhhhhh! The waitstaff was very friendly, especially a little cutie named Troy. The manager there was ever-vigilent over his staff to ensure they provided proper service. The food at the resort, however, was unremarkable. It was food you could get anywhere. But that was fine by me and my girlfriend. We went all-inclusive and decided to stick to the plan and eat at the resort. It was fine. But I do hear that St Maarten restaurants offer some of the best eating in the world, so if you don't go the all-inclusive route, I would definitely venture to off the resort to dine on both the Dutch and French sides of the island. The Jet Ski rental is very near on the beach, which made it quite convenient. Ahmid Michele works there and his smile will melt your heart! It was absolutely lovely, as well, to be able to lounge on the beach and watch the activity out in the bay: cruise ships coming and going, jet skis, banana boats, etc. We heard NONE of the noise from the airplanes, as many complain about at places nearer the airport (Sonesta). It was quiet and relaxing in every way. Okay...so here goes...my ONLY complaint about this resort: slamming doors. Each and every time someone entered their room or exited their room, the doors slammed and echoed down the tiled hallways. I have no idea how one would prevent such a thing since there is no carpetting to absorb the sound, but it was terrible to be awakened in the very early morning by the mega-early risers slamming their doors. I think it's just a matter of respect. My girlfriend and I were very conscious to close our door quietly. Others were not so respectful. Overall, our time spent at Great Bay was outstanding. Lovely 3-star hotel, great staff, lots to see and do...or very easy to do nothing at all. Ahhhhhhh. Perfect. Just perfect.

Stayed: February 2006
6  Thank MichelleSmiles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 Family Hotel in Philipsburg
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Philipsburg
Price Range: £249 - £521 (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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