We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Amazing Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa

Save Saved
You added Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 12 more sites!
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   19 Little Bay Rd, Philipsburg, St Maarten-St Martin   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Offers & Announcements
40% off All Inclusive
Ranked #3 of 13 hotels in Philipsburg
Toronto, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Amazing Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

I stayed at Sonesta Great Bay from Dec 13th- Dec 20 and it was by far the best vacation I have ever been on! We were welcomed to the hotel by the great employees and it gave us a taste of what was to come. The rooms were spotless and the beds were very comfortable, everything was working fine in the room, and the mini fridge was always stocked and the cleaning staff were fantastic. The size of the Resort is perfect and they have everything you could possibly need for a great vacation. The food was fantastic, we usually went to the buffet for breakfast lunch and dinner and they would have different events like "mexican night" and "international night". There were also 2 other great restaurants to go to. The Beach was great and the views were amazing. The entertainment was also fantastic, the animators Denroy and Kevin were such great people and were good at what they do. They coordinated many different activities for us like volleyball during the day, and flip cup tournaments, they also coordinated the dance parties at night, and we always had such a great time. Denroy and Kevin were definately very important in making our trip fun, and helped us to meet other great people. They're such enthusiastic guys that always got us in the mood for fun, they even scheduled a trip to Tantra Night Club which was great.They also arranged for the Silver Birds steel drum band to come play and I was blown away, everyone was out of their seats dancing, and it was just such a great time. The beach is amazing, the view is spectacular and picture perfect, nothing to complain about, the only downside was the fact that the beach dropped off right away which didn't effect us, but it would for people who aren't strong swimmers or for small children. Overall the trip was fantastic, I would go back to Sonesta Great Bay in a heartbeat, the staff are so helpful and great and the animators are fantastic and you can tell that they are so passionate about what they do. Even the bartenders like Owen and Anne Marie were great, and so enthusiastic and definitely helped to make our trip great. We did the Eco tour island catamaran tour, which i would highly recommend. Thanks to everyone at Sonesta Great Bay for the great vacation!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Write a Review

1,966 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    497
    772
    342
    201
    154
See reviews for
339
828
63
46
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
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (651)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

Stayed from Dec 13 to the 21st. We have been to Cuba/Dominican/Nassau/Mexico and St. Maartens was one of the best vacations we have had. I found the hotel to be clean and the beds were comfortable. We stayed on the seventh floor with an ocean view balcony with a fully stocked bar of beer/water/soda/vodka/rum/and coconut rum which was replenished daily. It helps some if you tip your maid on the first day. It is a small resort and not a small city where you have to walk miles just to get to the pool or the dining room. We did not do a la carte as we found the food to be good and the pizza restaurant served a great pizza or burger for lunch. There was plently of beach chairs to be had, two very clean pools and a lovely white beach that stretched forever. 10 minute walk on the beach and you are in town. If you go on vacation with the highest expectations then you are bound to be disappointed with something. Customer service is lacking in some areas, especially the girl at reception during the day. People like Anne Marie at the Beach Bar and Patricia at the night buffet make up for what the others are lacking. But the rep from sunwing is a total ditz. Most of the time she is nowhere to be found and if you do find her she doesnt seem to know what is available for tours or entertainment in Phillipsburg. We did see the most entertaining steel band called the silver birds the night before we left. Best entertaining band we have ever seen. There is also live bands each night during dinner. Casino is great but didn't pay out much. Great vacation, we would go there again, the view is spectacular.

Room Tip: ocean view is spectacular, you can watch cruise ships come and go.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Caledon, Ontario
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

I stayed at Sonesta Great Bay in April 2012. Carnival was on nearby in Phillipsburg, and the city was pretty busy. I have no complaints about the trip or food. I would certainly recommend renting a car in advance or at the airport for $110 a week as daily rentals are expensive and staying at the resort would otherwise be boring.
Having been to other "south " destinations, I can say that I did not get sick nor anyone near me.
This was my second trip to St Martin and I always felt safe althought I think theres a bit of drunk driving and Ive seen some serious accidents. ( Umm...I still dont think I would wander around at night. ) Marigot / Orient Beach / sunset beach are great places to visit. Im a diver and the visibility is great ( depending on surf ) with sharks, shipwrecks, lionfish and some coral at about $40 per dive.
I would go back to the island but perhaps explore some of the B&Bs in Marigot as a different experience.

Room Tip: someone mentioned that you get a free bottle of booze with ocean view rooms, but thats only $6....
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

Stayed at the Sonesta Nov 29-Dec 6. Was a little worried after reading reviews but our travel agent recommended it so decided to give it a try.
The hotel was decent, very no frills and could definitely use a facelift. Rooms were clean, bed was definitely not comfortable though. We were in a mountain view room, they face into the main road. And there is no alcohol in the mini fridge (only on ocean side).
We were told WiFi was free in the lobby - it's not. $16 a day was a little ridiculous, walk down the beach to Philipsburg and you can get free WiFi in most bars with a $1 beer. Lots of good food in Philipsburg, 10 minute walk from the resort.
Beach is beautiful, never had any problem getting a chair. There is a pretty big drop off in the water and an undertow.
Food on resort was okay, not great. Service in the a la carte restaurants was pretty horrendous. Long waits and one very rude older waitress at the Italian restaurant. Best thing - the Italian restaurant does pizza at lunch. Some of the best pizza we've ever eaten!
Staff were hit and miss, some great, some not so much. Marissa at the lobby bar, Owen at the buffet bar and Nigel at the beach bar were fantastic.
You have privileges at the Sonesta Maho, went there for lunch one day. If the could put that hotel at the Great Bay location it would be perfect.
There is not a lot of entertainment at the hotel. Animation team tries, but it is an older crowd. And after dinner there really isn't anything to do. If you want nightlife, stay at the Maho.
All in all, we had a fantastic vacation, St Maarten is gorgeous. We will be back to St Maarten, but unless there are some significant upgrades, we'll be staying at another hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ind
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

We stayed Dec.9 to Dec. 16 under the all-inclusive Groupon option. After reading reviews, I was somewhat skeptical about the property. Overall, for the value, it was a great place to stay. The location and views are fantastic. It is not what you think of as a "resort" with landscaped, gated grounds, however, it is a nice lobby and great views.

The rooms and hallways are the down fall of the hotel. We stayed in an ocean view room and similar to the lobby, the views were good. Try to stay on a higher floor and higher numbered room so that you are not blocked by the pool/volleyball court. The shower has some mold in the caulk and some rust, but it is not terrible. The room does have a musty smell, but I've noticed this is fairly common in the Caribbean. I brought a Renuzit room deodorizer, Febreeze and Damprid, which helped a lot. The room included a mini-fridge with soda, water, and beer.

The food was very good. The options are: Breakfast - Buffet; Lunch - Buffet or Pizza/Burger/Hot Dogs grill; Dinner - Caribbean themed restaurant, Buffet, or Italian (sometimes only the buffet and one of these is open for dinner). The buffet is excellent with rotating themes (Italian, Mexican, pub food, etc.) for dinner. Breakfast and lunch are similar menus daily, but is also very good. We did not try the Italian restaurant. The Caribbean theme restaurant was good, but not great. The drinks from the bar are small (10 oz.) and a little weak, which is kind of a pain for refills, but you can always ask for a double. The service was hit or miss, some waitresses were very good, some were not. We noticed the more you asked about your server, they would open up and pay more attention to the table.

Overall, this is a nice place to stay. It is not a five star resort and does have some issues, but I would stay again if we had a deal similar to the Groupon deal.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Ontario, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

We have been to St. Maarten many times; however it has been 5 or 6 years since we stayed at Great Bay. We had booked an apartment and were pleased to find there was a huge terrace outside for relaxing. The resort was kept very clean; we had no maintenace issues but our friends did and it was corrected promptly.
The buffet breakfast was quite good but we weren't keen on the buffet lunch.
We loved Molasses, the a la carte restaurant although we only had 2 meals there as there are so many incredibly good restaurants on the island.
We chose the Great Bay resort for its proximity to Phillipsburg and were pleasantly surprised at how happy we were with the choice. I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again. All of the staff were very pleasant other than one bartender in the lobby bar who was consistently grumpy.
My only criticism is that wi-fi is so expensive; $80/week. It would go a long way in extending a more hospitable atmosphere to provide it free in the rooms.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampton, ON
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

Visited Sonesta Great Bay for the 4th time and was disappointed with the changes that "new management" has inplace. When I asked for a customer service survey I was directed to write it on Trip Advisor. The Italian restaurant has been closed so now there is only one a la carte restaurant. The food in Molasses is very good, but new management has decided that reservations are no longer required, so its show up and wait for a table for two, even though there may be tables available, but only for groups of four, additionally there doesn't appear to be a dress code anymore, its okay to show up in shorts and muscle shirts. The waitresses work very hard,and seem to be running all of the time as they are required to clear the tables as well as serve and take orders. There isn't enough staff we discovered this was the same at the buffet restaurant as well. We often had to wait for tables to be cleared, and then there wouldn't be silverware, and plates available. We did bring this to the managements attention, but nothing changed during our vacation. We observed a newly hired bartender Anne Marie, working for hours with no relief, breaks or assistance even when there were lineups on both sides of the bar. Its a real shame that the management doesn't recognize the need for more staff in the bar area. Heads up to the guests, recently a special voucher was made available to one of the cruise lines, where the vacationers from the ship can come to the resort for the day, no extra staff are brought in for this influx of people to the resort which means larger line ups at the bar and the buffett
The hotel offers sharing of the Maho Resort, but doesn't educate the staff on what the amenities are and timelines ie what days the restaurants are closed. The front desk staff directed us to go to our rooms and dial the other resort, of course admin fees would be added to your bill. We attempted two times to have dinner at "The Point" only to find it was closed after we arrived, even though we had staff tell us it was open. The sharing of the other property is great, but its up to you to find your own way there. We were told that a shuttle was available, but when we inquired management had changed their minds and we were told to take a cab. Its a shame that this hotel chain doesn't recognize that people want to see the other properties, enjoy the amenties in and around the hotels. A conceirge would be an asset. Lastly the Sunwing Rep Martha, messed up the timelines that we were to be picked up and many of the guests were running around because the buses were waiting for us at 930 not 1055 like was posted on the wall. The resort is tired and needs some updating, but the location is amazing if you are a shopper, its walking distance to Phillipsburg. Night life is pretty limited, the town shuts down after the dinner hour.

Room Tip: We have stayed in both the ocean front and mountain view both were fine as far as noise levels, The...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa

Address: 19 Little Bay Rd, Philipsburg, St Maarten-St Martin
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St Maarten-St Martin > Sint Maarten > Philipsburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 hotels in Philipsburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa 4*
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Orbitz, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Tingo, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Sabre Hospitality Solutions , BookingOdigeoWL, Despegar.com, HotelsClick, Venere, Agoda and Otel so you can book your Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa St Maarten-St Martin/Philipsburg

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.