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“Good hotel and locatiom” 4 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 #2 of 15 Hotels in Philipsburg
Wall Township, New Jersey
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Good hotel and locatiom”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2011

Just came back from spending 8 days at this place. It was the 2nd time we went there. Price was fair-1800. + 1k airfare. Got $ 50. vouchers each day to spend in the casino-shops.I like that its a few minutes walk to town and quiet. Not like its sister hotel by Mahu beach-that doesn't have a beach! Some glitches like the tv reception and bathroom drains which you can expect in the carribean. We had a couple quick showers but temps were in the 80s the whole time. This hotel seems to have an older crowd which was fine as this is school time. Place had 3 pools and a hot tub which worked when it felt like. Booze and cigarettes very cheap-load up!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gmgreatbay19, General Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, February 8, 2011
We value our guest travel opinions, thank you for the review. We will share with our staff. It is nice to see you used the Sint Maarten promotion to your liking and spent the credit dollars to it full use. We look forward to seeing you again at Sonesta Great Bay and the island of Sint Maarten.

with hospitality,
Juan G.M
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2,106 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 (718)
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English first
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2011

My wife and I had the occasion to stay at this hotel late January to early February 2011. The property offers many amenities plus convenient walking access to Philipsburg and car access to the rest of the island. We were appreciative of the room upgrade offered by Guest Services Manager Rosalie from a standard hotel room to a one bedroom apartment. The apartments were afforded a private pool and sun deck area along with attendtive and outstanding housekeeping services. Only downside to our visit was extremely limited rental car parking at the hotel lot which required that I either find street parking or move the car following late night activities at the hotel. Would stay again!

  • Stayed February 2011, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gmgreatbay19, General Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, February 8, 2011
Thank you for the review, it is appreciated. We will pass along the remarks for Rosalie and her outstanding job. We value our guest feedback and utilize these opinions in training to consistently improve our hospitality standards.

Juan- G.M
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Canada
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2011

Although we enjoyed our stay, I was appalled that a friendly, little local dog named Bingo was allowed to slowly die before all of our eyes! He was in obvious distress and although the front desk assured us that someone would get him help, nothing was done and myself and some other guests that had befriended little Bingo found him dead in the bushes beside the pool Friday morning,! What a nice ending to all of our vacations! Whether he was a stray or not, no one wants to witness that on their vacation! I visit St. Maarten annually and I'm sorry to say that I won't be returning to this resort next year. Its shameful...... but other than this incident we had a nice time and would like to thank the staff for their efforts!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gmgreatbay19, General Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, February 1, 2011
Thank you for your travel opinion, it is much appreciated, yes we made our efforts the following morning to reach the Vet for the dog rescue. Unfortunately, we were all too late. We do our best as a resort in handling the abandon and stray animals. We place water & food and do our best to give comfort to the animals. This was a unfortunate situation, the staff our animal owners/lovers and contribute to Sint Maarten Animal rescue, Human Society of America & ASPCA. We are sorry to hear you will not return to Sint Maarten.
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2011

My husband and I spent 8 nights at Sonesta Great Bay. It is a very old facility. The rooms are bare bones--the appartments are filled with mildew--I could not breathe and had to move to a small room. It took 6 keys sto get 32 that worked and then they sometimes failed to work. There was no one ever at the concierge desk. The amenities in the room were lacking. They never replaced shampoo, soap, coffee, etc. They did not provide any extras. It was impossible to get a third towel and the towels were very small. They claim to have remodeled, but it was not attractive at all outside of the view. The desk staff were very rude. The drinks were extremely expensive as were the buffets.

It is walking distance to Philipsburg which was great, but never again. There is a Radisson being built on the other side of Philipsburg which will make this hotel obsolete.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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St. Thomas ON Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2011

Wow we just returned on Jan 21/11. Ignore all the negative reviews. It is such a nice place. The service was great, thanks to Virginia at the Buffet, Vicki at check in, and the food & drink manager what a friendly fantastic bunch. They couldn't do enough to help you out. The bartenders were great, no problems getting a drink and I don't know what people are talking about at the Lobby bar the bartenders there were great. Food was fantastic I think this is the first time I have gained weight on an island vacation and the drinks someone had mentioned they were weak, but we didn't encounter that they were great and you could drink the water which is a big deal to us. The resort is older but the rooms are clean and bright and the staff are great, so if you are looking for a nice relaxing holiday this is the place to stay.

  • Stayed January 2011, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gmgreatbay19, General Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, January 25, 2011
Thank you for the review, we share these with our teams. All team members you mention will be happy to see their names! You are correct in you travel opinion, it is our staff that make our resort a wonderful place for vacations. Our resort did complete a 15 million renovation in 2006, but it's our staffs that make the difference to go above & beyond. We appreciate the review and business to our resort and the island of Sint Maarten.

with hospitality,
Juan-G.M
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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2011

I would definitely go back to St Maarten, but not this hotel unless I was certain it has undergone changes.
Pros: The one good thing it has going for it is its location. It is near enough to the very nice town of Phillipsburg that it is an enjoyable walk to get there, but not too close that one is bothered by town commotion. The hotel is right on the beach and has a beautiful view of the bay. There are two small, but nice pools- one being an infinity pool looking out to the ocean. The maids were pleasant and polite, the one security guard was very nice and personable, a few of the bar tenders were efficient and friendly, and the activity people were helpful. The rooms were acceptably clean.
Cons: When we arrived, the check in clerks had attitudes. They confused our information and told us they didn't have to follow the arrangements that the travel agent made in regard to us having an adjoining room to our undr 18 children. They gave us a room quite a distance away and refused to switch it. Fortunately, we were able to exchange our room on our own with another guest who just checked in. As we looked around, we saw that the hotel was probably very nice 20 years ago. It was in bad need of updating. We had to return to the front desk a number of times because they had not given us all our check in things. Throughout our stay, we had trouble getting towels and washcloths. We had to continuously ask for them. Even at the beach towel desk by the pool we were often told that they were washing towels and there were none available. The beach in front of the hotel was nice, but there was broken green glass (beer bottle) strewn throughout the beach- just in front of the hotel. I saw guests picking it up as pieces got churned up, but no staff. Many of the food service staff and a few of the bartenders had attitude- they really left you know they did not want to be there working. Most times one could find something good to eat, but much of the food was not great. The salad was just leaf, there was no toppings except dehydrated bacon and dehydrated parmesean cheese. In the morning, there was an omelet bar, however the women had a bad attitude and she did not cook the eggs completely and the veggies were hard. The pool BBQ evening was very good, but they only did that one night. The chicken wings and pizza was good at lunch time - when you could get someone to take an order for it. We had an all inclusive plan, however they charged us for bottled water! They were constantly running out of pina colada mix- this was very popular with people by the pool. Hotel room doors didn't close unless they were slammed. So, long into the night people were slamming doors. The noise level in the hall was too loud in our room. It was hard to sleep until about 3am when people were settling down. The shower water continuously went from freezing to burning, however the pressure was good and the drainage was good. Their website said that the rooms have refrigerators, but they did not. Some local people we talked to said they would not recommend this hotel and gave us other suggestions. Its a shame because the location was great!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gmgreatbay19, General Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, January 24, 2011
Thank you for your opinion. We will utilize your comments with our teams to improve service and overall resort quality. In reading the comments on service, we will monitor and work with our teams on training. We have spent over the past 5 years in excess of 15 million to renovate the resort. In the past year of 2010 we have spent over $700,000 in recent upgrades to the rooms, pools and other areas. It was interesting to read your last comment on locals referring guests elsewhere. Our resort has a strong local cleintele in the Caribbean, in addition we have multiple repeat guest who fequent the resort each year and multiple times in a year. Our resort features refrigerators in certain room types on the deluxe level and suites. All other guest rooms a refrigerator can be rented for a nominal fee per week.

with hospitality,
Juan-GM
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Rodney, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2011

After reading a lot of negative reviews I really didn't know what to expect. We went with a group of thirty five for a wedding and had a fabulous time. The Sonesta was clean, the service was great, the staff was friendly. We met some great people like Rofini, Shelton, and Jose. The rooms were just fine; sound proof and comfortable. Knowing what just a flight to St. Maarten can cost, the price of our all-inclusive was a great value. The food was excellent, especially the a la cartes. It was easy to grab a taxi to go places or just walk uptown for shopping. We would definitely return!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 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.
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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:
#1 Family Hotel in Philipsburg
#2 On the Beach 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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