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“Great Bay Sonesta Resort - an oldie but goodie”

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Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 February 2016

The lobby and entrance areas were recently updated and were very welcoming. Vicky at the front desk is always very helpful. We are three sisters who are TimeShare guests and come back repeatedly. During this stay we talked to some Canadian hotel guests who felt the staff as not as friendly as they've experienced elsewhere but they said their all-inclusive package was a good value. We always enjoy our stays here and love the residence side of the facility. The 2 bedroom units are spacious and comfortable.

Room Tip: On the residence side I would ask not to be booked on the 2nd floor
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  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Debonair58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LiveMaho, Guest Engagement Coordinator at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 February 2016

Dear Debonair58

Thank you for noticing our updates and helpful team members. Pretty cool that 3 sister manage to vacation together repeatedly, I guess I should fly my sister in for a visit soon ;-) We appreciate your loyality and of course the lovely review as well!

Kindly,
Martha
Guest Engagement Coordinator

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1,196 - 1,202 of 4,335 reviews

Reviewed 8 February 2016

would go again and the people were so friendly would recommend for family or like me going solo my room was very comfortable and the staff were all very helpful the casino was small but had a lot of fun and meeting other people there from different parts of the country was sometimes very funny the outside landscape when you first drove up to the hotel was very pleasing and there was always a snack in the lobby as if you really needed a snack after all the food that I ate so I really recommend this hotel for everyone

Room Tip: very quiet in the rooms you did not hear noise any time you were in ;your room
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  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Janice F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LiveMaho, Guest Engagement Coordinator at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 February 2016

Dear Janice F,

Thank you for noticing the comfort we provide at Great Bay Beach Resort! We do appreciate the lovely review and recommend to other solo travelers. It seems you did not check out the Maho Beach Resort, there is a fun Pool bar there and other solo travelers as well. Next time!

Kindly,
Martha
Guest Engagement Coordinator

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Reviewed 7 February 2016

Don't get me wrong we had a great time and we would go back again
the hotel staff was very professional they couldn't do enough for you Alexander meet us by the taxi with a smile and took care of our luggage Vickey at the front desk always had a smile on her face and willing to help if needed the lobby needs updating fresh flowers would be nice. Our room was clean and the room maid did a good job. The pool area was always clean and kept up with. Service in the restaurants was very good the menu could of been better outside the webbed chairs were worn

Room Tip: best views would be on the ocean side the garden side was looking at a parking lot
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  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank joe j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LiveMaho, Guest Engagement Coordinator at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 February 2016

Dear joe j.

Thank you for noticing the professional team members and good service at Great Bay Beach Resort! We do appreciate the nice review and hope you do make a return visit soon!

Kindly,
Martha
Guest Engagement Coordinator

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Reviewed 6 February 2016

Overall staff were hit or miss some very nice, helpful but others were just indifferent and didn't seem to enjoy their job or want to be there.
A very dangerous beach which we were totally unaware of until arrival. The strongest undercurrents we have ever encountered because the slope is so steep at one point you literally drop 4' instantly. Not a beach for weak swimmers or for those who like to walk along the water's edge. We saw 3 people almost drown.
Draught beer (Heineken) seemed to be a constant challenge to obtain, problems with a new keg system daily. The only other options were Coors/Miller Light in cans (not beer!!)
Food was good - great burgers/fries, pizza by the water. The variety/quantity of restaurants was disappointing for the amount we paid to stay here. One night half of the buffett was closed for a large private party 80+ people and only one other restaurant was open. We ended up eating in town twice during the week which was a great experience.
Rooms were very plain. We had mould in the bathroom, no tub and the bathroom was quite small. You had to close the door to get into the shower. Nice view on the balcony watching the cruise ships.
All in all this was our most expensive vacation (we travel to all inclusive resorts twice a year) and it was average at best. I wouldn't rate it 4 star at all.

  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank BeerandWine2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LiveMaho, Guest Engagement Coordinator at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing Sonesta St. Maarten and for sharing your thoughts about your stay in this review. We like to hear all about it and value your time and input.
.
Thank you,
Martha
Guest Engagement Coordinator

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2016

For 21 years, my husband and I have been vacationing at Sonesta Great Bay. There are a bunch of couples we all meet here and hang out for two weeks. Until this year, we've always enjoyed our stay. It's not the best resort, but the good people who work in the restaurants and hotel plus our friends, keeps us coming back.
BUT.... this year there were major changes and not good ones! They've let go all the bus people and the young group of new servers cannot provide good or proper service because they are stretched way too thin.
The Chef needs to go back to culinary school. Not only is the variety, terrible, theres so much fish offered but only one or two meats. The salad bar is fine if you only like fish and lettuce. Can't eat seafood, so my choices were very limited. lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. The diningroom upstairs was no better! The chicken was so hard, we couldn't cut it and sent it back. Had steak the two other times we were up there and they were tough and stringy.

All the "cutbacks" the brilliant minds of Great Bay made, have shown in the service. Youre a resort! Service is what you need to do right!

Also, people booking in July and August to go in January, were treated terribly!! Many of the couples we go down with every year, didn't get the rooms they paid for and were basically ignored until the fourth and fifth day in, when they were finally given ocean view rooms. Still not the ones they requested. Some people got garden view rooms and paid for ocean view rooms. They were NOT reimbursed the difference!!

For 21 years, we have called Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort home. FIFTEEN couples are now looking at another resort to go to. IF we were to go back to Great Bay next year, we'd have to be assured, the rooms we paid for, much better food both in taste and variety. A new Chef upstairs and in the main buffet, Proper service in the buffet restaurant with busboys/girls to clean the tables while servers are looking after guests the way they should. My husband had to get our coffee several times because no one serviced our table. Guests come on vacation to have fun, good food and relax. With the exception of two or three servers, the rest looked miserable! They didn't look happy at all. Also, Carl, the General Manager, did nothing to rectify the room complaints from so many people! He hid in his office!!

None of us can believe, Great Bay has gone downhill so fast in just one year!! It onloy got worse when Violet retired.

Overall, I would not recommend this resort at this time.

  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank pitahuxhold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LiveMaho, Guest Engagement Coordinator at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 February 2016

Dear pitahuxhold,

Wow 21 years! First off congrats on so many years together and also thank you for choosing Sonesta St. Maarten! We do appreciate your feedback especially yours a s such a loyal repeat guest. The team members to try the best to sort out each particular case and sometimes the solution is just a matter of time. Basically the morning wait for the checked out room to be straighten out and then becoming available to shift people around to satisfy their request, upgrades and particular needs. Luckily there are the pool and beaches in which the wait can be enjoyed in a vacation style while things get sorted out. It is a large operation and as you can imagine the GM is certainly busy. Perhaps if you return to SXM another year, your wife and you would enjoy our 5 star resort, Ocean Point Resort in which there is butler service and further amenities to provide even more comforts!

Kindly,
Martha
(Please feel free to contact me directly).
mmarsden@sonestastmaarten.com
Guest Engagement Coordinator

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Reviewed 4 February 2016

The beachfront is beautiful although treacherous. Two steps into the surf and there is a steep shelf. Quite a few times my husband and I, and others, had to help other (older) guests out of the surf because they couldn't make the steep climb and were swept off their feet. Thankfully, the beach bar drinks were well-poured and cold, and the beach wait staff were prompt and friendly. Vicky took especially good care of us.

American-style breakfast was good; however lunch was below standard, as was dinner (all three restaurants). And the wait staff need training and discipline. Very few were organized (starters, desserts, and beverages were forgotten), and/or polite. Several times our server shouted across the table and tossed items across the table. The food was nondescript and generally overcooked. The desserts lacked care, flavor, and imagination. A Hostess cupcake has more. Wendy, the breakfast manager, genuinely seemed to care - she always was polite and friendly.

My husband and I were in a junior suite which over-looked a drainage ditch. There was no chance we would ever use the over-sized, jetted tub when not only was there no water pressure (and no water several times!), there was only lukewarm water. Showers consisted of barely-a-trickle into an ancient shower with an up-dated shower head. And the provided soaps/shampoos need upgrading.

The greatest asset of the resort was the house-keeping service. Our housekeeper Laverne treated us like cherished guests. Our towels were always clean, white and fluffy; our sheets (on a perfectly-firm mattress with fluffy pillows) were fresh, crisp and clean daily; our bathroom and bedroom were spotless. And she made sure we were supplied with plenty of beverages of our choice.

There is little entertainment in the evenings; the casino is only slot-machines, and there is no free shuttle to the sister property at Maho where there is a casino with tables. On the plus side, Philipsburg is only a 20-minute walk away, and a taxi to Grand Case and Marigot is a $20 cab ride away.

Word of caution: should you need a cash advance, the resort/staff are little help. Thankfully, Renee (from Cleveland whose desk is next to the casino and is super-friendly and wonderfully helpful) told us about quick cash in the Philipsburg casinos.

Would we stay there again? Maybe, but I definitely would see if there is a breakfast and beverage only option. There are too many good restaurants and outdoor dining establishments on the island to settle.

Room Tip: DEFINITELY request ocean-front. Ocean-view and breeze are spectacular. Loved watching the cruise s...
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  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank travelingk9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LiveMaho, Guest Engagement Coordinator at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing Sonesta St. Maarten and for sharing your thoughts about your stay in this review. We like to hear all about it and value your time and input.
.
Thank you,
Martha
Guest Engagement Coordinator

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2016 via mobile

Hotel : good staff, the roam are bit squeeze, bed ok
Surrounding: good to go out and visit area
Restaurant : seriously was not a best but ok
Poor snorkelling but great dive
If you looking for a luxe you will bit disappointed
I will return tryout somewhere else if I return st Maarten
Overall a great time with my family !! That a must for us!

Stayed: January 2016, travelled with family
Thank AlexandreG803
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LiveMaho, Guest Engagement Coordinator at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2016

Dear AlexandreG803,

Thank you for choosing Sonesta St. Maarten and for sharing your thoughts about your stay in this review. We like to hear all about it and value your time and input.
.
Thank you,
Martha
Guest Engagement Coordinator

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 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: $503 - $884 (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 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
Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa St Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg

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