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“Not for beach lovers” 3 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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Butler Suite Sale-40%
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in Philipsburg
Middletown, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Not for beach lovers”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

My husband and I stayed for 7 days and was not able to take our loved long walks on the beach, the sand was like walking in quick sand you sunk in about 3 to 4 inches with each step. SEAWEED problem everyday and they are not kidding with the sigh that says there is a big drop off in the ocean it goes from ankles to neck in a few steps. The resort needs more help, two older men cleaning seaweed every other day we did give them water very hard job with nothing to drink. Setting for 400 people at the beach bar-B-Q with 5 servers working waited 30 minutes for ice cream. Ocean view room was very average nothing special. NO HOT water on 4 different occasions. The good was the view from our room on the 3rd floor ocean view, the view from the pool and I also enjoyed the food. Have been to 10 different island vacations and the Sonesta Great Bay is a the bottom of our list.

Room Tip: Ocean view
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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2,396 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 (855)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Okay so we stayed at Sonesta Maho for my partners birthday (in our late 20s if it helps) and we came to Sonesta Great Bay for a day to check the grounds as I was conflicted between the two originally. I have also written a review for Sonesta Maho in case anyone wants more details.

Grounds:
So since we did not stay there I will only comment on the grounds we saw. We came here by 11am from the other resort. They have 2 pools one is a regular pool closer to the rooms and the other is an infinity pool which is gorgeous. We went into the infinity pool, it had a great swim up bar with very friendly staff. They were super attentive and made sure you had drinks in your hand before you asked. The music was great they played top 40s with reggae and danceHall hits. The beach wasn't as good as sonesta maho at allll. It was all full of seaweed they had their staff constantly cleaning it but it just kept resurfacing. The beach was pretty lame to be honest. Besides the infinity pool in terms of grounds nothing else really stood out in comparing two resorts. The main entrance is pretty small compared to maho. Not that maho was anymore spectacular but this was definitely smaller. The grounds were super clean and we'll maintained. The resort is a bit dated like the other sonesta. The color of the resort is beautiful it is a nice green and it looks really nice seeing how consistent that theme is.

Food:
We had the chance to try the buffet, and it was great a good change from the other resort, great variety of dishes meat and veggie. The pizza was really good just like the other resort, you neeeeeddddd to try period!!!!!!

Crowd:
So it all depends on what your looking for in your trip. If your looking for a quiet spot with less things going on and need relaxation without kids this is a great spot. We're in our 20s we wanted a relaxing trip but we found this to be a bit tooooo quiet for our liking. The crowd was super fun but on the older side. It seemed quiet that's all again nothing wrong with it just not what we were looking for so in that we were glad we picked sonesta maho, just because it had a lot more going on and the crowd was a mix.

Stayed May 2015, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port of Spain, Trinidad
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

My parents celebrated their 42nd Wedding Anniversary at Sonesta Great Bay Resort on April 18th for four nights. Their accommodation was at a butler’s suite.
They have been on many vacations including cruises and resorts but have said this was their best vacation experience they ever had. Thanks to Richard the Head Butler and his team… The staff went out of their way to make sure their stay was the best it could be.
My parents were treated like Royalty from the moment they arrived to their very last minute.
From welcome champagne, priority check-in, reserved tables and chairs with drinks and ice on the beach every day for them and a private romantic candle-lit dinner on the beach to celebrate their milestone of 42 years. Not to mention, champagne on ice and bath drawn with roses upon return to their room.
The resort was very clean and food fantastic. My parents said they would not hesitate to come back to Sonesta Great Bay. It was truly a magical and memorable stay.
Thanks again to Richard and his team ….

Room Tip: Choose a Butler's Suite.... its well worth it...
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Four of us went on a girls trip from April 27-May 1. We had two ocean view rooms. One room you could walk out to a large balcony and that was really nice, however the room was outdated. The second room was near by and had a tiny balcony. This room was also out dated and the minibar/fridge wasnt stocked when we got to our room. Almost everyday we went to take a shower between 4-5, neither room had hot water. We called the front desk and they said they would send maintenance. They showed up around 9pm. So that was super annoying everyday. Also, the drains from the sink and bathtub took awhile to drain. You cant even find the number for the front desk in the room. Thought that was odd.

The ocean water is beautiful, however the beach at the resort was so diappointing. There was a ton of brown seaweed looking stuff all over the sand and in the water. I think on our third day we saw ppl trying to rake it up. Ppl still went in the ocean but you get stuck in that nasty stuff. The sand is rough as well.

The food was good! Pizza is really good. Drinks were really good, esp the bob marley and dirty monkey. The seafood restaurant is only open certain days so be aware of that. It was nice that every night was a different themed buffet and you can eat overlooking the water. I was disappointed there wasnt a menu in the room for room service. You cant order food for snacks sitting at the pool or beach like other resorts. Loved Nigel from the bar! He was very nice, hard working, and always happy!

We did head over to the sister resort for a day. You take a " bus " that is actually a van. 2$ a person. You need to find a van with " maho" in the window to get there then one that says " philipsburg" for the way back. If you walk around maho a street or two away from the resort you can buy souvineers a lot cheaper. Maho was cool bc you can go to the beach where the airplanes fly over you! It was about a 20 min ride there. The resort looked nicer than great bay but the people and staff were not friendly at all. If you want wifi at maho you gotta go to the front desk and they will connect your phone for you. The beach is beautiful!! So much nicer than great bay and the waves are awesome! Definitely recommend a day there!

Also, just take a cab from the airport to the resort. $9 a person. We didnt have to wait at all.

Overall we had a nice time. The resort could definitely use some upgrades. The people were nice but I dont think I would return to this resort.

Set towels out by the pool at 7 bc their wont be any available if you wait until after breakfast!

Stayed May 2015, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bohemia, New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We just came back from a great trip at Sonest Bay Resort. The staff went out of their way to make sure our stay was the best it could be. I want send out special thank you to Vicky at the front desk who was so pleasant alway greeted us with a warm smile and went beyond our expectations to help us with our needs, she actually lent us her cell phone so we could call home. Thank you Vicky. The staff out front were awesome we traveled around the island by cab and they were always able to get us a cab within minutes. Nigel at the pool bar was great and so were the drinks he served. Nice touch with chocolate night the brownies and chocolate cover fruit was great. Beautiful beach and pools with plenty of lounge chairs around. The dining areas all have an amazing views and great atmosphere. The service was great special thanks to Vernike and Derwin. We look forward to coming back again

Room Tip: We loved the Oceanview
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Lindsay, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Enjoyed our stay in an Oceanview room (327) during April 19-26.

Staff was welcoming and engaging. Food was excellent at all venues. Room was clean and fridge was stocked everyday.

Pools were refreshing. Resort was spotless and clean. Views from room and resort breathtaking. Shopping was amazing.

Hats off to Karl Bourne, GM who is approachable and engaging with all the guests. My fifth time at resort and I'm booked for November.

Steve B. VIEWLAKE, ON CANADA

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

If you have a voucher from Living Social they will charge you double. I made reservations online for a reasonable price but when I tried to apply my voucher they said the actual room rate for me was $2,000 more. It did not make sense to me. I should have been able to get their normal room rate and apply my voucher. I enjoyed my stay, the food was incredible and the pool area is very nice. Nigel the bartender was awesome and made me feel very welcome. Very little night time entertainment,...spotty. It's quiet and peaceful. The place is clean and the people who work there are awesome and polite. Customer oriented. Not being allowed to use my voucher towards their normal room rates put a bad taste in my mouth.

Room Tip: ask to be higher up to enjoy view; ask for balcony
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  • Stayed February 2015, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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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