This was our second time to this resort. Both times were 2 weeks in November & the weather was excellent. I must first say that they are trying to improve many aspects of the resort. They have hired some new staff and they make a huge difference with their friendliness and good customer service. I will name a few in my review. They are also renovating the buffet area as well as other parts of the hotel. Carpets are being removed in the hallways of the main tower. They have purchased new chairs for both pool areas as well as
the Palms Grill restaurant. While we were there, they were working on the grounds/gardens and adding many flowering shrubs. They also renovated the area by the Point restaurant & the bar there.
Sunwing: We flew Sunwing from Montreal. Because the plane was not full, they added a stop in Punta Cana in order to drop people off. No big deal, but it did make our travelling day longer as they made us get off & then back on the plane. Please be sure to verify the Sunwing information about carry-on luggage as we are now only allowed 5 kgs (11 lbs.) compared to other carriers who allow 10 kgs (22 lbs.).
Check-In: Check-In was very quick. We had requested a renovated room in the main tower on a higher floor, and this is what we got. Some people in our group did not, thus, one couple was able to switch rooms the next day while the other couple opted to stay in the non-renovated room but had a gorgeous view.
Room: Rooms are kept very clean and the mini-fridge was stocked regularly. We left notes requesting more water and the person doing the re-stocking complied. The beds and pillows are extremely comfortable compared to many other resorts/hotels. We had no issues with the air conditioning. Our room was facing the pool/ocean on the 7th floor. Be sure to request a higher floor if you want a view. Never saw one bug in our room.
Beach: Some of the beach close to the hotel was unusable due to the high tide and huge rocks being exposed. From our chairs, we had a great view of the ocean. It was not an issue for us to walk over to the Royal Highlander next door and to access the beach from there. Some days the ocean was pretty rough. We have travelled throughout the Caribbean and we found the color of the water to be beautiful here. One good thing is that it was never an issue to find chairs and an umbrella and we were a group of 8. No need to get up early in the morning in order to reserve a spot like at other resorts.
Plane watching: This was an absolute thrill and in 2 weeks, we never got tired of it. A quick walk over to the Sunset Bar will give you a schedule of planes arriving every day. We were most excited to see Air France and the KLM land. It is quite the thrill to see it go over your head either on the beach or while swimming in the ocean. The take-off is another story and nice to see from afar…not such a great idea to stand behind it & get the sand-storm but great to watch.
Pools: Both pools are very nice. The one closest to the resort is the large one & has a pool bar. It usually has loud music blaring. The other one is a more quiet pool on top of The Point restaurant. We are beach people but when we wanted to spend time @ the pool, we chose this one. The view is beautiful from up there (mountains, sea, airport, etc.).
Food: The food is great! We were there 2 weeks and nobody in our group of 8 ever complained about the food. The breakfast buffet includes everything that you could possibly dream of for breakfast. We mostly ordered a la carte at the Palms Grill for lunch although some opted for the buffet on some days. Lots of people raved about the pizza. Our favourite waiter @ the Palms Grill was Fevry, he provided excellent service with a smile at all times. Wendy was also quite friendly. They have also hired a new Supervisor @ the Palms Grill (I forget her name, she is just a tiny little thing) and this seems to have improved the customer service. As for dinner, we were pleasantly surprised that we were able to eat at the a la carte restaurant whenever it was open and needed no reservations. The food there was excellent! Sasha would always take good care of us and made sure that our table was ready for us. Gibson also provided excellent service at The Point as well as most workers who served us there. Thank You everyone for the great service! The gentlemen in our group were especially pleased that they were allowed to wear shorts at this restaurant. On Wednesday nights (weather permitting), they usually have a Beach BBQ. This was awesome and the atmosphere was great but the workers worked all day in order to get this ready. It requires a LOT of preparation.
**Given that I have food intolerances (gluten/celiac, dairy and eggs), I again needed to make sure that I did not get sick during my vacation. The Executive Chef, Mr. Iwan Pennings made sure of that. He and his Sous-Chef (Dennis) were of great service to me. They always made sure that my food was prepared separately and avoided the possibility of cross-contamination. The food was absolutely delicious. These guys are the BEST! Thank you so much for your dedicated attention. I know that you went above and beyond your duties to serve me and thanks to you, I did not get sick once! I doubt that I will get such service at other resorts, thus, will be returning to the Sonesta Maho for sure.
Drinks: I only had wine and wine spritzers and both were very good. My friends drank Coors Light,Carib and Heineken beer. Some enjoyed the fancier drinks and raved about them, especially the mango drink, etc. Frederico, the bartender by the Point restaurant always provided great service!
Mullet Bay Beach and Cupecoy: Mullet Bay is a short walk over to the left of the hotel. It is a beautiful beach. It is $5 for a chair and $5 for an umbrella. Please note that they pick up the chairs around 4:00 pm. The food there is good and inexpensive. The beer is about $2. If you walk further down through the golf course, you will get to Cupecoy. Across from the Blue Mall, you will find a path that takes you to the cliffs of Cupecoy where you will see about 3 secluded beaches down below. We did not go down but some other people did.
Visiting the island. We went shopping for one day in Phillipsburg and made sure it was not a busy “Cruise ship day”. From the Phillipsburg boardwalk we walked over to the Sonesta Great Bay (sister resort) & were able to have lunch and drinks there. Again, food was great! We took a bus back to the resort. We rented 2 Jeep’s and visited the island. We visisted beaches and most tourist attractions (Marigot market, etc.). In the end, we found that the Mullet Bay beach, closest to our resort was one of our favourites as well as Karakter Beach which is parallel to the airport and a good walk over.
Shopping around the hotel: There are great places to shop for souvenirs and especially jewellery on the Maho strip. We especially liked shopping at Jewels & Linens and received great service from Anil. I bought a ring there last year & they cleaned it for me this year. They truly have beautiful jewellery on this island and so many stores to choose from.
As mentioned earlier, I will return to this hotel as St-Maarten and the Sonesta Maho have become one of our favourite destinations. I was especially happy to see that Chef Iwan was still there as well as Carlo. Hope you guys stick around for a long time…
Areas where things could improve:
Pool on top of the Point restaurant: This pool should be scrubbed and cleaned more often or perhaps the pool liner needs to be changed (?).
Cappuccinos: These were not available until 11:00 am at the resort but we noticed that there is a new machine at the bar by the Point restaurant. Perhaps once it is ready, it will be available earlier.
Bar by the Point Restaurant: Last year, the bar was situated at a place where people could sit all around the bar. This new bar is beautiful but people cannot sit at the bar. When it got busy, it became congested as people simply stood there to hang around + there were line-ups. It would be great if there were more sitting areas there so to accommodate, especially given that other than the lobby bar, this is the only place to get drinks at night. It may also be helpful to have some servers during the busy season.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- St. Maarten's only all-inclusive resort for families, singles and couples, the 520-room beachfront Sonesta Maho is located on 10 acres with expansive tropical gardens, stunning ocean vistas, 5 restaurants, 5 bars, the island's largest Casino, Kids Club, 2 swimming pools, day and night entertainment and much more. Duty-free shopping and nightlife is all within walking distance in the Maho Village. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sonesta Maho Beach Hotel
- St Martin Sonesta
- Sonesta St. Maarten/St. Martin
- St Maarten Sonesta
- Maho Beach Hotel
- St. Maarten/St. Martin Sonesta