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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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Special Price
25% off room rate
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in Philipsburg
Ottawa, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Good Time!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This was a very nice resort. We landed on Oct.2 2014 first day back open sense they finished there renovations. Rooms were quite nice. Only problem they were having a problem with the hot water. Considering they just reopened there is going to be a few things go wrong. Wasn't a problem for us. Showered when you could. I think we went one day without being able to shower the other days we would have hot water either morning or night. Hopefully this problem has been fixed.
Oro Jewelers is located right in the hotel wonderful staff Peter is the name of the gentleman that help me with my setting. Very trustworthy. We had my Canadian Diamond ring with us and we had them do a whole new setting beautiful. He told us it would be worth 50 to 60% more when we would have it appraised at home. Sure enough is was. We had 7000 into in. Appraised at 15,000 at home. If I new I would of brought some of my other keepsake rings and had a ring make with those stones. He also made sure to show me every time he took my ring away and brought it back the laser print on my diamond. I always new I had my diamond.
The food was amazing they had outdoor barbeques a couple of the evenings will worth going to delicious. This is a quieter resort but very nice met a lot of great people. You can walk right down the beach into town.
We rented a car from across the road not at the resort. Resort is more expensive. We had it for the day drove all over St.Maartens great day. Easy driving there. Nice car no problems. I would definitely go back here again.
The staff were all very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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2,221 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (774)
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English first
Tarrytown, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Some people have these reviews organized, I tend to ramble, sorry.
We arrived on 2/19 from NY JFK on time. Immigration was pretty quick, and customs was almost non-existent. We were met with a sign and then taken to a minivan to be transferred to the Sonesta. I had read when you arrive there is a person greeting you with a cold towel and champagne, it was not immediately offered but when I saw others getting it I asked and we did receive it from a very pleasant gentlemen. The lobby is a bit drab and outdated. Nice views of the beach and the large ships in Philipsburg. Check-in was quick. We were on the 7th floor, top floor, facing the parking lot and a hill. Tip: ask for an odd numbered room in the main building, the odd numbers face the beach, water and large ships arriving. Our view was lousy. We asked for a room change but they told us they were sold out and could not accommodate us. Bummer. The room: old and outdated. The smallest flat screen tv I have ever seen, we used it maybe once and the reception was bad, but you did not come to St. Maarten to watch tv. The bathrooms were a bit more modern but the shower was lousy. It is what I call a "pissy" shower. Also the shampoos, conditioner and body get and in large pump containers, not individual small bottles, I thought that was weird.
Limited entertainment, a band played at night they were good on some nights, not so on others. The food: was above average. We drank only the bottled water, I have a concern about the purification of the water on these islands, better to be safe then sorry. My wife got sick one day and spent the entire day in bed, had a fever and tossed her cookies all night. I can't say it was the food because we ate the same thing, but she was OK a day later, perhaps a virus. Lots of travelers on the plane were sick. Oh great! They had some bar-b-cues, on the pool deck, they were good. Breakfast was in the same dining room each day, buffet style. There is a French restaurant, nothing great. Lunch is off the side of the pool deck. They have slices of pizza from 12 noon to 5pm if you get the munchies. The room was stocked with water and soft drinks. Plenty of alcohol drinks at the bars if you want it. Swim up bar had a bar of course and was busy. We are not drinkers so can't really comment much on this. The beach: beautiful beach and long for walking. You can walk off the beach premise right into town. So the hotel is very convenient to walk into town. Shopping is very good, if you want this kind of stuff. Lots of jewelry/diamond store. They claim duty free best prices, not so. I bought a Mont Blanc pen at a dealer in town, after I saw it the first day I checked the price on Amazon, went back the next day and they matched the price. So if you are coming from the US and want to buy a watch or jewelry know your prices in the US so you can buy sharp. Goldfinger's was the Rolex AD in both Philipsburg and Marigot on the French side. Hearts on Fire diamonds were in a few stores, they are spectacular and pricey. Back to the beach, nice sand and yes the beach does take a good dip when you wade in, but the water is warm and turquoise blue, so what is not to like? One negative of the beach and pool area, is what I call the "towel game". People come out at the crack of dawn and reserve lounges with umbrellas, they do not have enough for all guests, so if you want one each day, you have to go out early and reserve one, I hate this game. Also, smoking. Yes, smoking is allowed, not in the dining room, but every where else. We are non smokers and the smoking and yes cigars were intense, I did not like it, had to move a few times.
Bottom line: the place needs a renovation. If you have been to Sandals, that is a resort that was built to be an all inclusive, the Sonesta was first a hotel and then converted to be an all inclusive, so it lacks some things. Would we come back: no.

Room Tip: pick an odd number room in the main hotel, those face the water.
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Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Piedmont
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We had a wonderful day at the Great Bay Resort, Casino & Spa in Feb 2015. The view from the Infinity Pool is very relaxing. Yes, this hotel is situated on a mile-long white-sand beach, overlooking Great Bay and the sparkling sea. The buffet lunch was good and the wait staff was very friendly. We arrived a little late and could not find any umbrellas. But as we stayed for only few hours it was not a problem for most of us. All of us enjoyed our day at this property. It is a very nice Adults only property.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with friends
    • 4 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.
Amanda F, Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, 3 days ago
Dear Jessica R,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review about your time with us. We're happy you had a wonderful day with us and that you enjoyed relaxing by the infinity pool, the food and friendly staff. We hope to see you back again soon.

Best regards,
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Our vacation at the Sonesta Great Bay Resort and Casino was wonderful. The accommodation was excellent, the food was always great with many selections and most of all the staff were superb. Jonathan a waiter was always smiling and eager to assist. There were too many kind and helpful staff to name but suffice to say we are already looking forward to our next vacation at the Sonesta Great Bay Resort. We had fun!

Rick & Ginny Beauchamp

Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

i love the hotel i love the staff most of all i love Ruby and at the Spa addie.
i love the food and the bartender hes awesome job he dose a great job and he loves what hes doing. And the beach is beautiful breath taking i just don't like is that the step that people keep falling on to its to dangerous.

  • Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Amanda F, Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, 3 days ago
Dear smith p,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us. We're glad you had a wonderful time with us and that you enjoyed the food, staff and beautiful beach areas. We hope to see you back soon!

Best regards,
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rhossili, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Booked this hotel to chill after 3 weeks sailing in the BVI's and the hotel delivered perfectly.
The all inclusive package works well and the staff are more than generous with measures.
The restaurants are satisfactory our preference being the Pescatore.
Our grand ocean view room was fine with enormous balcony and imposing view over the bay.
The location is perfect being far enough away from the cruise liners not to be bothered by the hordes disembarking. As I write this review there are four liners in the bay circa 12000 passengers.
We will almost certainly return after our annual sailing trip next year.
I think that the hotel merits 4 stars!

Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amanda F, Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, 3 days ago
Dear Anagada,

Thank you for taking the time to share your review with us. We're so happy to see we exceeded your expectations! Thank you for highlighting our all-inclusive package, great staff, restaurants, ocean views and location. We look forward to your return next year!

Best regards,
Sonseta Great Bay Beach Resort Management
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Annandale, VA
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We spent two nights at the Sonesta Great Bay before embarking on a Windstar cruise, opting for the all-inclusive package. Like almost everywhere on St. Maarten, the hotel is only a $10 cab ride from the airport. However, the congested traffic can result in a 30 minute ride.

Much to our delight, on arrival at the hotel we were greeted at the reception desk by a glass of sparkling wine, and also informed that our Deluxe Ocean View room reservation had been upgraded to a suite. And what a suite --- two bedrooms, three baths, nice kitchenette, private lanai with a large table, chairs & umbrella, and a semi-private pool! Within minutes after settling in to the suite, we also received a nice ice bucket, with a full bottle of chilled sparkling wine. What a treat! The view from the room was delightful, as we could see across Great Bay to view the cruise ships coming and going, as well as all the jet skiers, sailors, and other water sports enthusiasts.

We experienced a minor plumbing issue right away, when one of the shower drains backed up. A maintenance man arrived within minutes, and fixed the problem immediately. This response was typical of the service we received throughout our stay --- outstanding.

The main restaurant was quite nice, open-air with a great view. Translucent screens can be lowered to shield guests from rain, strong breezes, or glare from the sun, as needed. At peak service times, especially in the morning, there can be a short waiting line to be seated. However, there is also a table by the entrance with cold Mimosas, and a serving cart with coffee and tea to make the wait more tolerable. The food is served buffet style, with overall good quality, lots of fresh fruit and juices, freshly grilled fish, and tasty desserts. Occasionally the staff was a little slow to replenish popular dishes, such as the calamari, but overall the staff is very experienced and personable.

With the all-inclusive package, all meals come with complimentary wine, but with only a choice or red or white, of average quality. However, I was astonished when my waitress asked if I would like my red wine at room temperature, or slightly chilled. I have eaten in many 5-star restaurants where they served the red wine far too warm, which is one of my pet peeves. Again, this attention to detail was very impressive.

We ate one night in the Il Pescatore seafood restaurant, which was quite nice, with good food and service. We learned it is important to go early (even before opening time) to be seated, as it is quite popular.

The waterfront area offers two pools, two bars, and a nice (but crowded) beach with lots of parasols and lounge chairs. Fantastic view, beautiful water, what could be nicer? In the evening there is live entertainment, usually a guitarist/vocalist combo.

The only downside to our entire stay was the free internet service, which was very spotty. Best solution was to log in from the lobby, or upgrade the service to a higher-speed option.

Overall, a great stay. I would not hesitate to recommend it highly.

Room Tip: Almost all the rooms face the ocean. Some areas on the lowest floor can be a bit musty, but this is...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Amanda F, Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, 3 days ago
Dear Hitman99,,

Thank you for taking the time to share your review with us. We're so pleased to see you had a great two night stay with us and that you enjoyed being greeted with some sparkling wine and that you even got upgraded! Thank you for highlighting our beautiful views, restaurants, location and wines. We hope to see you again soon!

Best regards,
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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