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“Beautiful Beach!”

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Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 August 2017

The location of this resort was fantastic. The beach and pools were beautiful. The resort itself is a little dated but the location makes up for it. The food was very good plenty of healthy choices and the views were amazing. Ms. Virginia made sure our dining experience was great and she made sure we had well prepared entrees a relaxing dining experience. The front desk staff were very helpful and made us feel like honored guests. The service at the bar was terrible because they were not staffed appropriately. No shows or entertainment to speak of but if you are going for the beach, views, and a relaxing time, with a friendly staff this is the place.

Room Tip: Ocean view sooo worth it!
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank kristind396
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LiveMaho, Guest Relations Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2017

Dear Guest,

First of all thank you for selecting our all-inclusive beach resort in St. Maarten for your stay. Secondly thank you for the kind review, we are very pleased to learn that you deem our location fantastic. Wonderful that Virginia assisted you with a relaxing dinner experience.

Thank you,
Martha

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Reviewed 15 August 2017

Being this was our fourth trip to this location we knew what to expect. What we did not except was the amount of changes in staff. Very few staff members from previous years. The few we did know remembered us. There have been changes here and only time will tell if they are good or bad changes. I must say it was a pleasure to James (cook), St Clair (cook), Smiley (waiter) and Jardin (spa manager) again. Did met some new folks and Suzanna (buffet worker) was by the far the best. The main thing this time was the new activities folks could not speak English very well and it was hard to understand them. The crowd this time was the biggest issue. Normally a slighter older crowd (45ish and up) that just wanted to relax and have a good time. This time it was a younger crowd (35 and younger) that only cared about themselves. It was a bit vulgar and rude and they did not care about anyone else. Most of them left by Wednesday but at that point vacation was almost over. I did say something to the GM and he did admit they had received some complaints. So they staff was aware of the issue but I did not see anything being done about it. The pools do have an hours of operation but that was not enforced. So if you wanted to have a nice dinner there was normally someone yelling and hollering still in the pool after the pool closing time of 6pm. Dinner starts at 6:30 so this should have never been issue but it was most nights. Again nothing done about it. The dress code was enforced in the restaurants but only to a minor degree. If you are not going to totally enforce the rules why have them.

Room Tip: Get what you pay for.
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank samuelmckinzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LiveMaho, Guest Relations Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2017

Dear Guest,

First of all thank you for selecting our all-inclusive beach resort in St. Maarten for your stay. Secondly thank you the valuable insights you have mentioned pertaining your particular experience, we regret to hear about a few unfortunate circumstances, we have taken notice and we will be working towards improvements.

Thank you,
Martha

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2017

First of all "Not Our First Rodeo or trip".

We arrived at the airport and customs was great/ fast. Bus ride was 30 minutes also great. Then the hotel, listen if this is your FIRST all inclusive, Sint Maarteen trip, you want an extremely laid back vacation, and Duty Free shopping a quick walk down the beach.. THIS IS A GREAT PLACE FOR YOU, if you do not mind the dated (50 YR old) building. I think it was built as a timeshare with small rooms as well. Areas not air conditioned.

The building is not a modern resort, but the view is GREAT. Small place, not crowded in summer time. If you are planning the Butler suite, I highly recommend it, great view, we had 2 private balconies, and the butler staff is wonderful (they work so you don't have to). The wait staff is excellent and want you to be happy, bartenders as well.

The buffets are good, not extravagant and oversized due to the smaller resort, but you can still blow the diet. They have different "theme" nights ( french, italian, latino) at dinner which was very good. They rotate between the outside deck and the inside upper level restaurants, outside does a lava rock cooking method (tasty, good) , and the italian/ seafood restaurant (also good). Two lunch choices, buffet or deck area.

The "nightly" entertainment was short, "3 plus 1 band" is excellent, do not miss them. The Show team is very professional and well rehearsed, this resort does not have a "Club", it is done on the pool deck ( not bad), but thankfully the weather was good. This proves it's dated. There is NO nightlife at the boardwalk in the summer.

The pools are Ok, main pool needs some up keep as well as the Jacuzzi, Infinity pool is very active and noisy so you want to relax on the beach as far down as you can go, it's not that big. The water access can be tricky, steep 30 degree angle into the water, but it is great, no snorkeling here nothing to see.

So if you want a vacation that is not all go go go , want to keep yourself in check, not over indulge and you wanted a quick 3 day get away from the east coast of the US, then this could be the place for you.
I recommend this Island for vacation, LOVED IT!!

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank Doug F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LiveMaho, Guest Relations Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2017

Dear Guest,

First of all thank you for selecting our all-inclusive beach resort in St. Maarten for your stay. Secondly thank you the valuable insights you have mentioned pertaining your particular experience, we regret to hear about a few unfortunate circumstances, we have taken notice and we will be working towards improvements.

Thank you,
Martha

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2017 via mobile

My wife and I went to Sonesta Great Bay for our 10 year anniversary. The hotel was clean and the food was ok. I was most impressed with the beach. It's a private beach with no vendors walking up and down trying to sell crap you don't need. The water felt great and was crystal clear. We would definitely stay here just for that. I would recommend renting a car and driving around the island. We did that and saw most everything in a day. Mullet Bay Beach was our favorite place outside of the hotel ground. I would definitely recommend if you are ok with not staying at a 5 star resort.

Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Cray428
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LiveMaho, Guest Relations Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2017

Dear Guest,

First of all thank you for selecting our all-inclusive beach resort in St. Maarten for your stay. Secondly thank you for the kind review, we are very pleased to learn that your stay was enjoyable and loved the beach. How wonderful that you recommend us as well.

Thank you,
Martha

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2017

Paradisiac location, great infrastructure, serviable and friendly staff.
The room I was in double regular, was clean but a little outdated and wifi was hardly receivable in the room ...
Nice array of choice for breakfast and dinner, chauffeur & valet service and info about the surroundings by clerk was very helpful !

  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank ccapitaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LiveMaho, Guest Relations Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2017

Dear Guest,

First of all thank you for selecting our all-inclusive beach resort in St. Maarten for your stay. Secondly thank you the review.

Thank you,
Martha

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2017 via mobile

We had a wonderful time. Sonesta Great Bay met my recreation needs very well. The beach is beautiful and very clean and well kept plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas. There were lots of noodles for everyone to use at the beach or pools. Every morning Leslie was ready to help with setting up the umbrellas for everyone. Breakfast buffet was always wonderful with a mimosa station setup best mimosas I've ever had. Millissa always greeted me with a beautiful smile each day. All of the young ladies and young men in charge of the activities during the day were great fun. The music was fun that was played at the pool bar. We never made it to the lunch buffet we ate lunch at the Pizzeria Capri or La La's Beach Club the food was good and the drinks were great.
The dinner buffet was some what disappointing for several nights. Which we had to eat at because of the reservations were full at the kiosk. The kiosk is the most inconvenient impersonal thing to use. We were trying to make the reservations for the entire week, but the machine would NOT let us make them into the next week and then after we went back on Sunday to make the reservations for the rest of week it then would not let us make them because it would not let us go past the 31st of July. We finally were able to get one reservation at Maho the sister resort and then late reservations for a few of the nights. Which made us miss some of the nights entertainment. We had to make due at the buffet for supper which were not to most exciting. The Kiosk and buffet is the only complaints I have.
We stayed in the Cabana Rooms which we loved. Just so you know you really don't have a view unless you are in one of the higher numbered rooms. We were in 105 and couldn't see the water BUT we were extremely convenient to the pool deck, the spa, the restaurants and the beach just a few steps to any of them.
Room was always clean fridg was restocked everyday but one but we had forgotten to unlock the deadbolt. But even after calling it didn't get restocked.
The pools were always cleaned very well each morning the beach was always cleaned and raked each morning.
The spa was great •••••. I had 2 sessions. Sunday I had the head neck and back massage and the Serenity massage without the hot stones on Monday. The young man did a great job just the right amount of pressure. I am trying to remember his name I think it was Volvo. Yes like the car. He had a most refreshing drink waiting on me when I came out of the room.
They have a small gift shop and they do have stamps to mail postcards. I mail myself and few others just to see how long it takes to get them. The staff were all extremely helpful and very happy to do so. From giving ideas for a drink to directions to the bus stop. Taxi drivers were a fountain of great information about St Maartin.
The walk to downtown is very easy. You can walk the beach or the street. If you walk the street the shops closer to the resort are less expensive and have a little better deals than ones downtown.
Don't expect a brand new building remember where you are going to an island out in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. These buildings were built in the 1960's and 70's and are withstanding salt, sand and storms regularly. I found the whole resort very quaint and tropical. And always clean from top to bottom and again the staff were the most beautiful part of the trip. Thank you Sonesta Great Bay Resort for such a wonderful and relaxing fun vacation.

Stayed: July 2017, travelled with friends
8  Thank Brenda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LiveMaho, Guest Relations Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2017

Dear Brenda,

First of all thank you for selecting our all-inclusive beach resort in St. Maarten for your stay. Secondly thank you for the kind review, we are very pleased to learn that you had a wonderful and relaxing vacation.

Thank you,
Martha

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2017

My biggest complaint about the resort was the noise. At about 3am every night, drunkards ran up and down the hallways yelling and then slamming their doors. Staff was not helpful in correcting the problem.

Overall resort: common areas were nice, entertainment was good but it was noisy throughout the night.
Staff: hit and miss with friendliness, helpfulness. Some waiters/waitresses were rude, slow and not helpful; others were great.
Room: out-dated, in need of renovations and repairs.

Room Tip: Go to a different resort
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank Scott G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LiveMaho, Guest Relations Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2017

Dear Guest,

First of all thank you for selecting our all-inclusive beach resort in St. Maarten for your stay. Secondly thank you the valuable insights you have mentioned pertaining your particular experience, we regret to hear about a few unfortunate circumstances, we have taken notice, we will be looking into this and we will be working towards improvements.

Thank you,
Martha

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

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: $343 - $793 (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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