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“Great Trip although few problems” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino

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Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   1 Rhine Road, Maho Beach, St Maarten-St Martin   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ancaster, ON
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great Trip although few problems”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

Just back from a 2 week stay Nov 22nd-Dec 6th. Yes a few problems did occur, a/c out for a few days, power outage one night but this can happen anywhere! People need to chill out!
Resort is very nice, rooms very clean, beds very comfortable. Mini bar stocked with water, pop and a few beers daily. Most staff very friendly! Very large and clean pool, great service by Cherly at Pool bar! Food overall very good, always something to find; pizza exceptional! Staff tried to keep premises very clean and beautiful; even though some guests continued to throw cans/glasses in bushes; unreal! Surroundings very good and very safe during walks & runs.
Casino good, free drinks while playing. Very beautiful Island! Great trip, we can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: Floors above the sixth have been renovated!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,928 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (752)
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English first
Montreal, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

Just returned from a 2 week vacation at the Sonesta, we were there from Nov 22 to Dec 6th, 2012. The hotel did have a problem with the A/C for a few days, however we did not let this ruin our time there. It did make sleeping a little tough, but problem was corrected.
We have been going to this hotel since 2006 and there had never been a problem with A/C before !

We have always found the staff to be GREAT !! Nicoy at front desk is terrific, the bartenders, Falica, Ditto, Raymond, Fernando all happy to chat a little and make us feel welcome. The Maids also greet us with nice smiles and do a Great Job, rooms are always VERY CLEAN !!

The servers, just to name a few, Wendy, Paula, Maxima, Rosemary, Steven.....Thank You so much, we love chatting with you guys and really appreciate all you do. The food is very good, so do not understand criticism ? The pizza is excellent. Wednesday nights there is a beach Bar B Q, there was lobster, ribs, chicken , just to name a couple of things, so basically something for everyone. The service is also very good.....we are always greeted warmly.

Over the years we have recomended this hotel to family who have been to the Sonesta and all LOVED it. We have also met many really nice people there, most who return again and again.

Thank you also to Denis, the new chef, who was very friendly and open to suggestions and or requests. This made us feel special.

If staying there, it is a short walk to Mullet bay which is really beautiful and has a nice beach to take a long walk, and good place to swim.

Pinel Island ( on french side ) has very calm water and another great place to spend a day, you can rent a car, take a bus or go by taxi. Nice way to spend a day.

There are the day trips to Prickly Pear and Anguilla, I suggest taking the Lambada ( leaves from Simpson Bay ) the hotel takes you and then returns you back to the hotel at the end of the day., The Lambada has a terrific crew and really wants to see everyone have a pleasant day. They serve a good meal too.

Orient Bay is another place to see, lots of restaurants on the beach, so easy to spend day.

Cheri's Cafe is a must, it is right beside the casino and has good singers and a FUN way to spend an evening. If you do not laugh while there, there is no hope.

There are so many beaches and things to do. The locals are very friendly and helpful.

Room Tip: The higher floors are perferable.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodbury, CT
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
144 helpful votes 144 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

I've been going to the Sonesta Maho over Thanksgiving for the past 3 years. It's an OK hotel. Everything is OK, not great but not bad. Just put your mind on "Island Time". Things happen slowly, check in, check out, getting towels at the pool, renting a car, etc. The reason I go here is the location, there is alot to do in the area, good restaruants, shopping, beaches, plane watching, and it's a 5 minute cab ride from the airport. There are nicer places on the island but nothing beats the location. If you go, be sure to get a room in the main building where you check in. The rooms away from the main building are not as nice and it's a long walk back to the pool, main building.

Room Tip: get a room in the main building
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

Stayed for a week in dec 2012 the hotel rooms are as to expect in a 4 star hotel big and clean. The view of the airport and its landing and departing plains is cool however the hotel needs some updating its a bit shabby here en there but nothing too get really worried about. Go to bamboo for sushi really good!!
Good travels and stay out of the casino :)

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

This place is as bad as the worst reviews make it out to be. I have stayed in many hotels, and many of those have not been high-end. I set my expectations realistically, and don't ask a Courtyard by Marriott to be an Intercontinental. I had read many of the tepid to negative reviews about this property but agreed to stay here at my companion's request, based on location above all. It is near the airport, has a large casino across the street, and a small row of shops and restaurants that you can stroll around off-property, giving it a more "urban" feel than other resorts. However, it proved to be worse than even my low expectations. It is cheaply run, poorly managed, and in dismal condition.

For starters, it isn't a beach resort - don't be fooled if you are looking for one. The beach - the famous beach under the runway approach which is in a million Youtube videos - is small and can only be reached by taking an inconvenient walk through the adjacent time-share property (which by the way is under the same ownership and has a great beachfront pool and location but Sonesta guests are not welcome to use it!). This is in fact a "beach" resort which isn't directly on the beach. It has no staff to assist you should you make your way down there, and the only available lounge chairs are up at the top of the stairs at the timeshare property, though access is past the signs that warn you that it is for timeshare owners and their invited guests only.

The hotel has set its sights on a high-volume, low-end crowd, filling itself with package and charter groups, largely Canadian the week we were there, all doing an all-inclusive option. Entire charter flights from Toronto and Montreal land at the airport and every single passenger is en route to the Sonesta. While it has non-all-inclusive pricing options, it has absolutely no apparent dining or drinking facilities for anyone who chooses room-only. While many in management (let me single out Kevin, the Director of Sales, as a particularly egregious example of rudeness who clearly failed Customer Service 101, don't even waste your time speaking to him if you need anything) choose to justify and get defensive on the basis that "we are trying" and "we're fixing what we can" and "we don't pretend to be a 4-star hotel", the service staff tell a different story. They talk openly about how new management has let them down, basically because they are so cheap they won't spend money on anything. Even my taxi driver couldn't wait to tell me how badly the Sonesta has fallen down, and told me how the hotel tried to negotiate a regular taxi/shuttle service to the Great Bay property, but offered the drivers such low fees that they refused to take it. (Taxi fees are high in St Maarten, but are set by the government and are non-negotiable for individual passengers.) To quote this driver, "They came from running hotels in Jamaica, where costs are lower, and are trying to run their business in St Maarten on a Jamaica budget. But we aren't Jamaica!". Kevin, I don't expect you to be La Samanna - but I do expect that in the course of a six-day stay I will have my toiletries replaced at least once. We had to call the front desk for soap to take a shower by day six of no new soaps or shampoos; as well as calling for bath towels which were removed but not replaced. Even Motel 6 does better than that.

Our stay was during the now-infamous week when the AC went out for 5 days, and we were lucky enough to be in the unrenovated wing where the AC still worked (huh?) but some guests in the main building actually slept on lounge chairs around the pool because it was too hot to be in their rooms! But our room, despite being a junior suite, was still clearly unrenovated in at least the past 30 years, with cracks, stains, inadequate lighting, a safe that required a lock and key (only available on request from the front desk) and discolored acoustical tile ceiling. Furthermore, the one thing that was "renovated" - the electronic key card system - kept failing, leaving us with a bunch of dead key cards piling up in the room as we kept going to the lobby to get new ones. Plus, although we had an oceanfront terrace, although there was a great sea view from within the room, when you stepped out onto it, the view (and smell) to the immediate right was of the crud described in so many reviews - the "back" of the hotel facing storage, sewage, service areas, and a bleakly ugly quasi-industrial landscape.

The sewage smell speaks for itself, and is obvious anywhere you have access to the back of the property, including along the main pool and in the lobby of the older wing, which is also where the buffet is. Nice combination.

Despite the all-inclusive focus, there is only one sit-down restaurant, The Point, which is not open every night and which DOES NOT TAKE RESERVATIONS. So your choices for dinner are 1) the mediocre buffet; 2) waiting endlessly for a table in the tiny restaurant; or 3) saying the hell with having paid for all-in and going somewhere else entirely.

The main pool is a mob scene with insufficient chairs, which in any event get marked and held first thing every day; and replacing your one (!) allotted pool towel is impossible as the pool hut attendant is either not there, or there are no more towels left. This pool is surrounded by buildings and so has no view of the ocean or even of the famous planes landing next door, just a swim-up bar serving tasteless frozen drinks which are really just colored slushies. There is a nicer and quieter pool out by the point, which does have a view, albeit very little shade, and this is where we spent most of our time. However, there is no pool service either - if you want a drink, you walk to the bar, and sometimes there is no bartender when you get there either. In fact the commonest phrase heard at this hotel is: "He/she/they went to lunch". And even at that pool, with its lower traffic, we would see dirty glasses and ashtrays sitting around from the day before, still waiting to be picked up. Apparently the clean-up fairy is out to lunch a lot too at the Sonesta.

The new Customer Service Manager, Carmen, is very nice but utterly frazzled, by her own admission, as her work day is simply a hell of trying to make good to angry guests, and I'm sure that she will be looking for a new job before this season is out if only to preserve her blood pressure and her sanity. Management won't issue any kind of credit for compensation, but will offer some number of free nights for a future stay - because what people really want is the chance to come back and spend another few precious vacation days in this hellhole.

If you want a well-located dump on the beach with all-inclusive options, then you can at least go to Great Bay which actually is right on a nice beach and within walking distance to town, or to the Divi. Otherwise, unless proximity to the airport and the Casino Royale, all the heat lamp food you can eat, and 10 sad little shops next door are enough for you, stay away from this place. What a stinker - pun intended. But there's no extra charge for the smell...it's all included.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Jersey, NJ
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

Stayed at the Sonesta Maho beach from 11/24-29. All the bad reviews are unfortunately true. We had A/C for only about 10 hours during a 5 night stay. And when it was on, it was not forceful.
At check in, we were given a room with no A/C, no working safe, and a toilet that filled with dirty water. We immediately went to the front desk and were told, “no rooms were available today, maybe tomorrow”. The next day, after much discussion, we were finally switched to another room but still no A/C. We complained again about the A/C. At this point, the front desk was aware of the A/C issue in the resort but did not disclose that there was a problem. They should have just owned the issue and apologized for the inconvenience instead of pleading ignorant. I would have much more appreciated the honesty instead of the lying which only fueled the fire. The front desk staff had a poor attitude. Maybe its because they were sweating in the lobby like the rest of us but that is no excuse.
Sleeping with no A/C for 5 nights is a challenge in 80+ degree weather. It got worse. On our last night, we experienced no electricity or running water.

This was not a relaxing vacation. It was very stressful dealing with the front desk and trying not to get heat stroke in your hotel room. I cannot recommend this resort.

Room Tip: Pick another resort.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weston, Florida, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

I stayed at this hotel last week. The hotel, even thou is a bit dated, it's location and amenities makes you want to go back, HOWEVER, the hotel's air conditioning system was broken. All the way from the lobby to the rooms, the temperature was very uncomfortable. But don't get me wrong; the issue was not the temperature. The biggest problem was the lack of interest of the staff and management to make things right. It is understandable that sometimes things go wrong and that it cannot be fixed overnight, but at least show some concern. Not a fan, no complementary drink or voucher to the casino, not anything, not even a bottle of water as a gesture of appreciation for putting up for the conditions. The staff just completely ignore you. I asked if at least the could comp for the $16 a day for internet access but got nowhere with them. The manager was hiding from the complaining guest the entire week. I asked if they would at least offer a discount on the stay but was again completely ignored and was charged the entire fee. They knew that all the hotels in the island were booked so you had no choice but to pay them or leave the island.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino

Address: 1 Rhine Road, Maho Beach, St Maarten-St Martin
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St Maarten-St Martin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Casino Hotel in St Maarten-St Martin
#11 Top resorts Hotel in St Maarten-St Martin
#11 Spa Hotel in St Maarten-St Martin
#23 On the Beach Hotel in St Maarten-St Martin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino 3.5*
Number of rooms: 395
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
St. Maarten's only all-inclusive resort for families, singles and couples, the 520-room beachfront Sonesta Maho is located on 10 acres with expansive tropical gardens, stunning ocean vistas, 5 restaurants, 5 bars, the island's largest Casino, Kids Club, 2 swimming pools, day and night entertainment and much more. Duty-free shopping and nightlife is all within walking distance in the Maho Village. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sonesta Maho Beach Hotel
St Martin Sonesta
Sonesta St. Maarten/St. Martin
St Maarten Sonesta
Maho Beach Hotel
St. Maarten/St. Martin Sonesta
Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino St Maarten-St Martin, Caribbean

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