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“Great Island and Classic Resort” 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 15 Hotels in Philipsburg
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Great Island and Classic Resort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Visited this resort middle to end of July. It may not be as fancy as some of the other big name resorts but in my opinion a far nicer real experience.Good food and drinks along with great entertainment.Denroy in animation and others that worked the bars were excellent employees. You can also walk off the property for outstanding nearby Philipsburg shops in relative safety. Something you can't do in Dominican Republic or Jamaica for example. To sum it up, its excellent value on a more upscale island at a great price. I've also seen bad reviews for Sunwing and having flown them a few times I found they are excellent.Delayed once and the pilot apologized as well as cabin crew supplied no charge drinks for the hassle with excellent service. They are no more delayed than any of the bigger airlines with large fleets I have been on many times .I would not hesitate using Sunwing to return here or any other destination.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2,402 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
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (858)
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English first
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

The staff are ALL pleasant and friendly. The food was good for all inclusive, better than some places I have stayed in Mexico. The beach itself was nice but the water at the beach was deeper than we would have liked, no shallow entry. The pool was kind of small but we went to the upper pool on the condo side and had it to ourselves. We also spent two afternoons at the Maho and enjoyed the pool and lunch there .

Room Tip: Pay the extra for the water view
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Juan, Puerto Rico
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

The hotel is very clean and quiet. Nice view. Beautiful pool. Food was ok, need to improve the buffet variety. Near the shops but they are closed on Sunday. Room was great. Beach is beautiful. They need to improve the nightlife.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Columbia, Maryland
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

Recently had a business trip to Saint Maarten--We stayed and met at this hotel--Excellent service from Julian and the meeting team, good food, good hospitality, excellent help with tour arrangements within a very limited amount of time by Patrice Zahore at the tour desk...

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 5 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.
Oakville, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

We have stayed at SGB four times and will definitely return. Vicky on the front desk was very helpful and friendly. This is a nice hotel in the perfect location on a great island. You can do as much or as little as you want. There is a good variety of food to choose from at the buffets with daily themes for dinners. Philipsburg is a short walk along the beach with lots of duty-free stores (jewellery, booze, smokes ...). Driving on the island is no problem but you must be assertive - like driving in Montreal. As with other Caribbean islands, the beaches are beautiful. We enjoy taking a day trip to Pinel island - like going to Wasaga beach except 10x better. Looking forward to seeing the hotel after the scheduled fall renovations.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

Normally St. Marteen is pricey but our group got an amazing deal and decided to head to the "friendly island". We had a great time overall. It was the off season and the resort was getting ready to shut down to complete some renovations. (It's thirty yrs old and needs a facelift). Everything was clean and the staff were pretty friendly too. For ocean view rooms you need four or higher, even on the front side, not an overly interesting view, you need three or higher just because of the noise. There seemed to be issues with leaving towels. We were told they only make up the rooms for two....after a week there, they finally got it right after daily chase downs for a few more towels. This is the better resort if you're going for the beach. Maho beach was so tiny, smelled of jet fuel constantly and the waves were very rough. I can't imagine either of these resorts at peak time...it would be a fight for a spot and for sure an umbrella, long wait for a drink... Our beach was very safe and clean, we could walk to Philipsburg along the water wich was much cooler than the street! Food was average, but nobody starved or got sick. The room was ok, just dated but very clean. Elevator is super slow and only holds four people if you're going to the lobby. Checking in and out was the fastest and most organized I've experienced at any all inclusive. Vicky at the front desk is amazing! If you're looking to arrange transportation or just information talk to her! She knows it all and is super friendly! She helped us out a few times, love you Vicky!! Taxis are expensive and the price rises in the night. We also took a tour of the island wich got complicated for payments. The hotel wanted 20% down payment, and the balance went to the driver...payable in cash only, bring lots!! We had children with us and there was no option in the computer to select a kids rate, blah blah, it just got confusing...but very worth it! This truly is the friendly island. Shopping in Philipsburg is great and the cheepest, especially if you walk down the side street off Front Street. Example, tee shirts were 3 for 10 bucks and on Front St. They got as high as 3 for 25. Jewellery is truly amazing with fantastic prices, it's everywhere! I would go back again and recommend this resort to anyone looking for a low key, relaxing holiday. The nightly entertainment is usually just a live band and there is no disco or club close by so things get quiet early. If you're looking for nightlife then you need to stay at Maho!....or take a taxi over! Bliss nightclub is beautiful!

Room Tip: Ocean view floors four or higher, front side three or higher due to the noise from the street. Any...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

we recently returned from a ten day vacation at this resort where we were on an all inclusive package. We had an ocean view room with a small balcony which had a wonderful view of the pools, ocean and the cruise ships coming into Philipsburg. The food was better than expected as most all inclusive places are weak in this area. We truly enjoyed the buffet meals as well as the beach bar for an occasional lunch! We loved the Italian restaurant and went there twice during our stay. The service was outstanding. All the wait staff were friendly, courteous and couldn't do enough for you. The resort was very clean although somewhat tired as a renovation is beginning in September. However, the pools were immaculate as well as the restaurants and rooms. For older guests it tends to be a little dangerous when walking on so many tile areas; pool decks, lobby, restaurants and rooms! Caution is the word here. Entertainment each night even though it was off season was a real plus! The best part was the beautiful beach and refreshing water. There were plenty of umbrellas and lounge chairs so no one had to get up too early! It was a great vacation and I would not hesitate to return.

Room Tip: Rooms on the ocean are bright and have a great view!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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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 Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Philipsburg
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Philipsburg
#3 Romantic Hotel in Philipsburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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 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

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