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“good but few buts...”

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Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 April 2010

We stayed at the resort from March28 to April 11. Good food, choices limited, room ok but noisy hallway, beach super, chairs not so confo, .
We paid for an ocean view and had room 227 with a large palm blocking the view and a long row of jetskis. Whem I came to the front desk to ask for a real ocean view, the personnel was non cooperative. One told me: "If you are not happy, call the manager!" Finally it took 4 days before we got a real view on the 5th floor through the Transat agent.

Our major problem was with the staff: unfriendly, rude. Ladies at the buffet(except Madame Yvonne) should get a job somewhere else if they do not like working there.

Overall, nice holidays. If Sonesta want our patronage, they should work on their staff"attitude.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank voyageur5453
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gmgreatbay19, General Manager at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 13 April 2010

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We appreciate everyone's opinion and utilize them in training with our staff. Our oceanview rooms are a mixture of sights & scenery, the 2nd floor is above the ground and oceanview and cruise port is visable. Now what you can't see is guest entering the water, which the beach has a natural slope into the ocean. We will share the remarks with our Food and Beverage director on the restaurant staff. Once again we appreciate the opinion and business you have given us at Sonesta Great Bay

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3,432 - 3,438 of 4,333 reviews

Reviewed 11 April 2010

We loved the island and found the natives to be very friendly. The staff at Great Bay were also very friendly. The food was lousy! Very repetitive, boring! We had the all inclusive pkg. so we did not dine out except twice. If I did not have to eat I would of skipped every meal! Night life is zero on this side of Island. Very boring for my teens. The room was okay . The bathroom could of been cleaner...hair etc. when we arrived. Very noisy hotel. Bring a sound machine or you will be woken at ALL hours! We had our 2 teens with us and requested rooms side by side when we booked months ago...we were at first 5 rooms apart and the closest they could get us was 2. we even emailed a few weeks ahead to confirm that we wanted to be next door. 3 of us got the stomach bug and half the hotel had it! No notice about it and when asked at front desk they would not talk about it. We met more people like us that spent part of the time in their room getting sick. I would not recomend this hotel to anyone.Little entertainment, lousy food.
Also if you go do not buy CDs from anyone! The hotel has vendors come and my son paid $10 for a CD and it was a blank! A lesson learned on trusting others! The only good thing I can say once again is that the people that work there are very friendly!

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank dogbyte3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gmgreatbay19, General Manager at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 12 April 2010

We value your opinion and taking the time to post. We appreciate the insight on correcting our errors. We plan to make some room changes to accomodate connecting rooms that need 4 beds instead of 3. Our side of island near Phillipsburg has always been the "quiet" side at night and the major nightlife is located on the airport. This is a nice change of pace for the island and allows both sides to have something to enjoy. We apologize if you felt our food was subpar. We have won many culinary awards and have several compliments on our food. Once again, thank you for the opinion. We always share these with our staff in training to do better in the work.

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Reviewed 6 April 2010

We stayed here the last week of March 2010. Everything from arrival to departure was perfect. I would definitely rate this as a 4 star hotel by all western standards. The hotel is extremely clean, we were happy to smell bleach on the floors and see the disinfectant spray being used in rooms and in dining room! The AC is very quite and doesn't blow right in your face (unlike in so many other hotels).

STAFF: very friendly and approachable, you don't need to wave money in order to be served (unlike in some other destinations we've been to).

FOOD: was AMAZING, the buffet was so good, we didn't even want to go to the A la carte. The food is VERY TASTY AND HEALTHY, fresh fruit, veggies, fish, chicken, steak, potatoes, egg white omlettes. All products are imported quality (bottled wiine and beer, packaged cereal and yogurt).

ACCESS: The hotel is right on the beach which is beautiful, and has 2 pools and swim up bar. Walk to Phillipsburg is 10 min via town or beach. You can rent a car right at the hotel and drive around the whole island.

Room for improvement: our mattress was not new, I hope the hotel will replace those soon. Also, the safe requires that you carry the key with you at all times, a code safe would make things easier.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Traveler2010Canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gmgreatbay19, General Manager at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2010

We appreciate the positive opinion and review. We will share this with our staff and they really enjoy reading their names from guest who had a wonderful time. We thank you fro your business and look forward to seeing in St. Maarten!

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Reviewed 5 April 2010

We stayed one week & enjoved ourselves !!!! We had great service in the Bayview restaurant everyday Am & Pm Charlene was our great server for breakfast & lunch.Fresh fruit every am ,Great omlettes. Lunch buffet always had good choice, lunch menu also avalible ,burgers , fresh pizza etc!!! Evening dining was just as great in the Bayview the Monday BBq is Awesome!!!!! Mrs Palmer took Great care of us !! A la Carte service & food we're great Mercila & Dawn did a Excellent job of serving our every need!!!! Yes we tipped these people but they we're awesome !!!!!! Our Room was kept very clean, with towel service @ night & turndown, amenitties cofeemaker Lcd Tv & lot of room for clothing & luggage. Great bay is a short walk to downtown Phillipsburg Great jewellery shopping ,Great little chocolate store on Old Main Street very busy store but worth it!!! Our overall experience was great for the price we paid & the service we got it is right on the mark !! We would return to Great Bay!!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank bigjoe10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gmgreatbay19, General Manager at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2010

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We read these often and appreciate the suggestions to future guests. We will share this with our staff on a wonderful job they have been doing. We look forward to seeing on St. Maarten for another trip.

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Reviewed 3 April 2010

My husband and I spent 5 nights here on a mini-vacation (all-inclusive). We had visited St. Maarten on a cruise a few years ago, and were looking forward to spending more time on the island. We rented a car so that we would be able to freely travel about. I would highly recommend this as there are fairly limited options on the property. (Although, to be fair, the hotel did sponsor a number of activities that we did not take part in). I was nervous about the reviews complaining about the service, and I have to say we couldn't disagree more. When we went to the room we were assigned, it had a musty smell to it. This was in the apartment section. I returned to the front desk, and the clerk spent quite a bit of time trying to find a room that would meet all my requests (we wanted a deluxe ocean-view room). He reassigned us to a newly-renovated room in the apartment section, which was wonderful. The housekeeping staff did a wonderful job throughout the hotel. Our balcony overlooked the bay, and we thoroughly enjoyed watching the cruise ships arrive and depart from the port. A short ten minute walk brought us to downtown Philipsburg, where we were able to shop to our hearts' content (although it was a bit painful to our wallets). The waitstaff were always friendly and willing to do whatever it took to make our stay better. I wish I had gotten the name of one of the female bartenders. I usually drink white zinfandel wine, which was not available as part of the all-inclusive. Once I told her that, she concocted a special recipe to create a drink that tasted just like a high-quality white zinfandel! For breakfast every morning there was a good selection of typical breakfast fare, including incredible fresh fruit and an omelet station. We didn't usually eat lunch, but there was a luncheon buffet as well as a typical lunch menu available. I have to say dinners were incredible! Two nights we ate at Molasses, and the food was as good if not better than food we have eaten during cruises (we have been on 10 with Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Princess). We also ate at the Italian restaurant on site one evening - again, a wonderful dining experience. The buffets were similar to cruise line buffets - good food with a good variety. The only negative experience we had was in the casino. My husband played blackjack two nights, both for short periods of time as he was made to feel very uncomfortable. The dealer knew some of the players, and they basically talked only to each other (including the dealer joining other players talking about a betting mistake he made. They spoke as though he weren't present - and he was sitting right there!). He went back the second night, hoping the first night was an anomaly. Unfortunately, despite being on a great winning streak, he cashed out and left after only about 15 minutes the second night. The cashier was rude to both of us on separate occasions - and even shortchanged my husband $5 when he cashed in. He realized it half-way back to the room, but felt the aggravation he would face wouldn't be worth it. To sum up our experience, it was wonderful and we would definitely return. We would simply spend our money in a different casino.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank cstav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2010

Rooms were clean , beach was nice but better beaches around the island,2 pools and 1 Jacuzzi, hotel staff very friendly but casino staff beyond rude except Timothy(Roulette dealer). Buffet was very good but got repetitive, Unlimited A la Carte Restaurants were Amazing, Bar closes at Midnite but Casino bar open til 3am ,, All bars have Bottled Heineken, Coors Light and Presidente. Location was great for seeing Cruise ships and Hotel nestled between mountains, view was spectacular. 5 min walk from Philisburg(Great shopping but close at 6pm) Not much entertainment at night besides Monday night(BBQ outdoors, band & Dancers) Special thx to Steven (Food&Bev Manager), Jean-Baptiste, Gregory(Reception) Maid Rm 716, All Security, Dawn, Tania, Alberto, Stanley,Audrey,Patricia H(Wait Staff) Everyone at Activity Center. I rate this hotel 4* and was generally satisfied as were the majority of people

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank vaccouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gmgreatbay19, General Manager at Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2010

Thank you for the review. We enjoy receiving the feedback and share our guests opinions with the staff. We are happy to read you enjoyed the resort and island of St. Maarten. We look forward to seeing you on your next visit.

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Reviewed 18 March 2010

great food, quiet place, very clean, poor beach, ocean view great.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank goodguyMontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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: $682 - $962 (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 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
Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa St Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg

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