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

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Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   19 Little Bay Rd, Philipsburg, St Maarten-St Martin   |  
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Ranked #3 of 13 hotels in Philipsburg
Katonah, New York
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Sonesta Great Bay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

The room, facilities and food were very good.

The hotel is on the beach and there is a diving center right there, which we used.

The gym was adequate.

The hotel could use a few pool tables, in addition to a ping pong table, for evening activities.

The hotel made special arrangements for NFL playoff games, which was appreciated.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
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1,752 people have reviewed this hotel

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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
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (546)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
montreal
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

i will start by saying i spent two months here last year and this year im here from november till may, and i find 20pluses about the place, everything is positive and good about the place i dont have any complaints at all....i recommended this place to 16 people last year and they all came and they say the will be coming back...they all loved it.

PEOPLE I MET: the staff shelly at the buffet, is positive, pleasant and always helpful, Maria and Moraliey from entertainment are very helpful , i got and injury and they took care of me, theses girls are very nice and went above and beyond to ensure that i am safe and taken care of. the entertainment is great , and the manager Devon is helpful and always polite, i requested the NFL game to be aired as i did not have the channel in my room and the activities team arranged for me to get it done and thats great service.

FOOD: the food is excellent, i dot eat a lot but its great.

ROOMS: room is always clean and stocked....simply comfortable.


SERVICE: the service is good, im an easy going guy so idont have a lot a problems

overall: the overall resort is excellent and the views are amazing!!! i feel comfortable and relaxed , the beach is great!!! this place keeps me coming back!!!!

i have no regrets coming here it is simply paradise!!!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oshawa, Canada
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We had a great time here - the pools and beach were close to everything - no problems getting chairs everyday. Water was beautiful.
The food was excellent - lots to choose from - did not have to make reservations at the a la carts - The staff were friendly and helpful
Our oceanview room was well worth the extra -(no roosters crowing at 5 in the morning)
Was cleaned and fridge restocked everyday - asked for extra towels - no problem!
The staff at the front desk (yes Vicki this is for you) went above and beyond what was expected of them. Vicki was the best!!!! (still looking pretty)
Overall I plan to return here very soon - one of the better places I have stayed!!!

Have to take a taxi over the the sister hotel to see the planes land - cost is about 7 - 8 dollars a person

Able to walk to town - lots of stores - crowded when the cruise ships are in.
VIsited the French side - found people over there not to friendly - and quite rude! even in the restaurants -
The Dutch side was the better of the two sides for friendliness and helpfullness people.

Room Tip: Definitately an ocean view room - above 4th floor to see the cruise ships and the ocean
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Just back from 2 weeks at Great Bay. Nothing but good things to say about this resort. Firstly, keep things in perspective. This is a 40 something year old resort so if you are expecting shiny marble and fancy- you will be disapointed. Smaller resort, you actually see the same faces more than once. I prefer small resorts over ones you take a tram car to the beach!!! This resort offers clean room, comfortable bed, great beach, great food, perfect location, amazing view from ocean front rooms, nice people, great weather and much much more. Little bit of an older crowd. Younger crowd can wander to town as it is so close. For all those complainers out there. Book something at the 5.5 star if you want fancy. For the price, SGB can't be beat. We had a nice chat with the GM of the resort "Carl" who is working hard at improving the resort. The workers where everywhere/all the time. My only complaint to Carl was the disposable plastic cups on the beach and he explained the situation and was already trying to find an alternative for the future. We have traveled to many islands in the Carrib. and SXM is by far our favorite now. There is a reason we net so many people who were returning to Sonesta Great Bay for their 15 th and 16th year in a row. We will definitely be back. We visited Sonesta Maho a couple of times and yes, it is bigger and fancier but no beach and planes are cool for about an hour. Sonesta Great Bay over Maho any day. Loved every min. of our vacation.

Room Tip: Best rooms are 5th floor Ocean view. Mountain view is noisy. Spend the extra.
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
S.C.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

The good: This resort has a great location with a beautiful beach. The front desk and activities staff were friendly and helpful. The room was clean, comfortable and It was nice to have a balcony with a view. The service in the bars was fast and friendly. It was a nice place to have a quiet and relaxing vacation with the option of off-site activities close at hand.

The average: The food and service in the restaurants was at best average. We tried all three options in the evening and the best that could be said of any of them was that they weren't bad. During meals in the buffet restaurant we watched many people reduced to finding their own silverware and glassware and serving themselves water,coffee, and wine due to inattentive servers.

The leaky: There were several blankets on the floor in the hallway to our room for our entire stay. They were there to attempt to soak up the leaking ceiling. Beyond this the property and our room had many areas in need of repair or updating. Nothing major, but the cumulative impression was that they were neglecting the details.

Conclusion: We had a nice stay and the resort has some positive things to offer but it could be much better with just a little more effort on their part.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Iowa City, Iowa
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

I can be as “snooty” as the next person and have enjoyed my share of 5 star Fairmont experiences, but the safety concerns at this resort need to be addressed regardless of the expectations for the price. My husband and I arrived with a group of 90 for a scientific meeting on January 30. The night arrival was not conducive to providing the breath taking view, so the group checked in to the resort knowing these annual gatherings have a limited budget. The age and state of disrepair of the rooms and bath facilities was obvious and became the daily chuckle among the group. Interacting with the front desk to try and remedy the concerns was met with polite ears but little action. The situation that warranted this review was when my husband was injured by a collapsing balcony chair that collapsed in two. As the chair gave way, the sharp edge of the broken plastic scraped up the side of his torso and began to bleed. The 4 X 4 inch abrasion was painful and I immediately called the front desk to report the incident. NO ONE FOLLOWED UP! In fact, my husband went down to the gift shop to get some Band-Aids and antibiotic cream, and the shop that was in operation the day before, was completely cleaned out and closed up. My husband did encounter a nervous manager who offered up a few small Band-Aids and a previously used (YUK!) and expired tube of Neosporin and was asked to return it. The next day the group shared stories of how they were missing plastic deck chairs after their room was serviced. Apparently, snapping plastic and wooden chair was something that was not uncommon on this visit.

Unsafe pool ladders, caution tape at the point of beach access, and exposed electrical where an elevator button should be are unacceptable hazards that potential guests should be aware of. Watered down drinks, shortage of towels, and slow internet may be annoyances, but they do not require medical treatment. Unfortunately, the very fine breakfast buffet, lack of attention to red vs yellow banded guests (resulting in lots of free drinks) and the great live music in the evenings does not excuse the lack of respect for safety that this resort represents.

Room Tip: Please do not stay here.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Montreal, Canada
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

I'll start by saying, if your looking for a party you won't find it here. This is great for families, and couples looking for a romantic peaceful getaway. Great value for your money.

The Good:

-Location: 5-10 min walk from Philipsburg. (Great if you plan on shopping downtown).
-Staff: Friendly, thoughtful and always smiling.
-Infinity pool: This makes the resort. There is a bar in the pool as well. Great view of the bay.
-Beach: The sand has a granola texture, but still soft. The beach & ocean are beautiful.
-Food: Good buffet food for an all inclusive.
-Shopping: St.Maarten is a tax haven & is known for huge discounts in jewellery and watches.
-Rooms: You get what you pay for. Spacious and comfortable. Ocean view is worth the extra.
-BBQ Night: 1 word, WOW... (I'm very picky)
-Jacuzzi & Pools open at night.

The Bad:

-A La Carte Restaurants: Nothing worth remembering.
-Bars: Although this is a smaller type resort, i still feel a bar on the beach is needed.
-Nightlife: I wish there was more of a party atmosphere at night in the resort.


I highly recommend this resort as it truly is a paradise. If your young and want to have fun, you should still consider this place as the clubs and party places are a 10$ cab ride away. A great hotel, that gives you an affordable chance to enjoy the beauty of St. Maarten.

Room Tip: Ocean view is highly recommended. Must visit the french side to enjoy affordable high end cuisine.
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  • Stayed May 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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

Also Known As:
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel Philipsburg
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort And Casino
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel
Great Bay Beach
St Martin Great Bay Hotel
Sonesta Philipsburg
Great Bay Beach Hotel
Sonesta Great Bay
Philipsburg Sonesta
St Maarten Great Bay Hotel
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa St Maarten-St Martin/Philipsburg
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 Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Philipsburg
#3 On the Beach Hotel 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 
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