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“GREAT” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino

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Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   1 Rhine Road | Maho Beach, Maho, St Maarten-St Martin   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
35% off room rate
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Maho
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“GREAT”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

This was my first time visiting St Marteen n I have to say staying at the sonesta maho made it more memorable. The hotel was beautiful n customer service was excellent. The waiter that served us was very polite never had us waiting n ensured that we were comfortable with our food n service. I enjoyed my stay n will be coming back for my next birthday. ( waiter Martiko)

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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2,421 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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (952)
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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

Our family of 4, including 2 teenagers, stayed over spring break March 2013. We had stayed at the Sonesta Maho in 2007 and nothing has really changed. We read online that the main building has been remodeled, but the part we stayed in Ocean Terrace was really dated; pink bathroom fixtures, pastel bedding, worn-out wicker furniture, bathroom door didn't shut properly, missing robe hook, small hole in the door. We heard that the remodeled building was pretty nice though, so you could ask for that building. Although it was dated, it really didn't matter that much because the views from our balcony were great- could see planes landing, partial view of pool, and a great view of Caribbean sea. Out the front door could see Mullet Bay. We weren't in our room that much, so once you get over it being outdated, it didn't affect us much. The room was very clean and beds were comfy. Small balcony with 2 chairs and a little side table. If you are in Ocean Terrace part of hotel, you have to request a key at front desk for the the safe in the room. . You don't have to pay for the key/safe, but if you lose the key it's $100 replacement.Safe worked fine and didn't have any issues. This part of hotel is a bit of a walk to front desk, but you have good views if you stay on the top (4th floor). The main building-you would want 6th floor or higher. The lower floor's views would be partially blocked by palm trees. We chose to stay here because it had all-inclusive option and was close to Mullet Bay. We didn't rent a car. We took a taxi from airport ($20 for 4 ppl with bags). It's very short ride, but can't walk it b/c no sidewalks and narrow road. Not sure we would do all inclusive again. Breakfast buffet 7-10:30am was great, lots of variety. Supper buffet changes each night; Mexican, Italian, International, outdoor beach buffet on Weds. Not that great, just okay. Palms Grill was very good and great staff, especially Wendy. Good choice for lunch but it's only open 12-6. Italian place The Point was mediocre.There is also an Irish pub/sports bar located just outside the entrance that is now inlcuded on all-inclusive. We ate supper there one night. Very "cheesy" decor but food was good. We figured it was about $200 day to include all-inclusive. We think we could have walked to and eaten at restaurants in the Maho area for less than that and had a better selection. Everyone at the resort was wearing the "red" inlcusive wristbands, that's what Sonesta promotes as part of package. There are several restaurant choices(not included) that you can walk to in Maho area. We booked through orbitz in November for and ocean-view room and didn't have any issues with check-in. Front desk staff was friendly. The "casino" on site is about 15 slot machines and a few machines at the bar, but there is a large casino across the street. Pool areas are nice. Maho beach is cool to watch the big planes land from about 1-3 pm, but very small beach with no chairs and can't really swim because it's too rough. Red flags out the whole week we were there. Definitely walk 12 minutes to Mullet Bay Beach. It is one of the best beaches on the island. We like it better than Orient Beach, which is really commercial now. Mullet Bay is beautiful and laid back with no crowds. Great food at Rosies shack at Mullet. $5chairs/umbrellas. $2 beer. Worth it. Hotel lobby bar staff was great. Pool bar staff was fine too. We knew that it would be laid back, and we made a point to be very friendly and greet staff and the friendliness was returned. We didn't have any issues with staff, especially if you give a small tip at the bars when getting beverages. A couple of bucks or a $5 with a friendly hello goes a long way. You can tell that the hotel was once pretty great, it's like they are trying, but just can't get to the next level. Only saw one other family with teenagers- most of the customers are older, saw some families with young children. Also, part of the resort is time-share or condos on the end toward Maho beach and you have to walk through this part to get to the beach-kind of weird.They also need to cover or move the area behind the Ocean Terrace section. There was a lot of junk and landscaping materials just thrown all over the place which doesn't make for a pleasant view out your window. Overall, okay, friendly place to stay, just no bells/whistles.

Room Tip: High floor in remodeled building, but make sure it's ocean view- or ask for corner room 4th floo...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013 via mobile

After ready some of the reviews on here I have to admit I was a little worried, a piece of advice.... Go and make up your own mind. A little bit about my group that went, 5 girls between 33 and 35 years old. Location was great 5 min from airport, right in the town of Maho and had a nice area with shops to look and shop in, casino right across the street and a variety of restaurants if you so choose. The hotel was very clean, our rooms were spotless and well taken care of. All the employees we ran into were extremely nice! Maybe those people that found them rude should look at how they spoke to the employees! Food in the buffet resturant was good, a verity everyday for both breakfast and dinner, nice fresh pizza's made in pizza stove on patio. We ate at the Maho grill for lunch most days, food was always fresh and service was great. We also ate at the Italian resturant twice, both times excellent food and service. The girls even brought over a special desert for one of the girls who was celebrating her birthday. The airplanes coming and going we're NOT bothersome but quite amazing to see. You may not want to lay on the beach right there but take a walk over cause its pretty neat to see. Mullet beach is a 10 min walk and is beautiful but yes you do rent chairs. We chose to take the $2 bus ride into Phillipsburge instead of the $20 plus cab ride and it worked well, busses run often during the day. Tantra night club was a nice place to go dancing and with our all inclusive we drank for free until midnight the two nights we went. We also rented a jeep to drive around the island, car rental right in the lobby. Beautiful resort, friendly people, great experience for all if us! We would go back in a heart beat! Thank you!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Clairsville, Ohio
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

March 28, 2013 to April , 20123 there was a group of 6 of us that went and I have to say it was not my favorite vacation. The Hotel staff was not very friendly at all with the exeption of Orien at the Palms Grill Bar and Cheryl was awesome at the pool bar!! The pool bar was small and they had a volleyball net strung across right where you sat at the bar so you kept getting hit with the ball. There was barely any entertainment at the resort the whole time we were there. Our rooms were never stocked with towels or drinks and we had to call everyday and wait which was a hassel. They never had a stock of any beers. They were out of Bud light everyday after only an hour of having it, they always ran out of Corona and usually only had Presidente and Coors light. One good thing is that the food was great!! Never tasted anything bad!! The last day 4 out of 6 of our group got very sick with nauea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and chills. We talked to a group that 20 members in their group had the same thing. Not sure what it was they are saying a virus was spreading around the resort, but I dont know. I know that I probably will never return to the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino again. I want to relax and expect excellent service and care when I am on vacation and pay what I do and did not receive that here.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Town of Arima, Arima, Trinidad and Tobago
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

Just got back from a four night stay at Sonesta Maho, I had the all inclusive option which was very disappointing. The food was the same everyday, leftovers was the name of the game. The majority of the staff is very unfriendly especially at the front desk. Although check in is at 3.00pm the room was not ready at that time.Nice grounds and good location that's all this hotel has going for it. Will not recommend.

Room Tip: rooms with ocean/pool view 5th floor and up
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Brooklyn NY
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

Just got back from my 11 day stay at the Sonesta Maho. I am a travel agent, so my reviews have some details that might be over the top, but should be taken seriously when you are deciding.

I was looking for an all-inclusive option because we are traveling in a large party with kids. There is only 3 hotels that offer an All-Inclusive option and when i booked it in September of 2012, based on all the reviews i felt it was the best option.

In summary, after my experience, and reviews over the past few months, i would not have chosen this hotel for my stay. Allot more negative points then positive.

You also can't compare AI resorts in St.Maarten vs DR, Mexico, Jamaica. All-Inclusives there are much stronger.


The Good Points:

- the hotel did complete a partial renovations. So, if you get a newer room, thats a plus. But, you might need to play a musical rooms game before getting what you want. I saw many people do that and that included us. We got a really bad room when we checked in. I had to grease the manager and we got upgraded to really nice rooms.

- The grounds are nice

- The restaurants are decent, though do see my negative point. Food has good flavor. The Palms Grill restaurant is a nice option for lunch. And the itallian is good for dinner.

- For kids they setup an X-box to play

- The pool is ok but again has issues, so see the negative points.

- They have the sister resort Sonesta Great Bay. Went there several times for their beach and its good because you get free chairs, umbrellas, and can eat and drink without a bill or a worry.

- There is a free shuttle 3 times a week to take you for shopping to Philipsburg. Take advantage of it. But you need to sign up for it and it is limited to the first 29 people and it is 10-2 on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.

The Negative Points, this list is very long unfortunately:

- NO BEACH. Yes, you are reading it correctly. The hotel used to be on the end of the Maho beach but it is gone after Sandy. You need to walk through a neighboring property to access the Maho beach. And this beach is not for the kids. Strong undertow (stronger then in Cancun) and waves. The better part of the Maho beach is right below the planes landing. We went there once. With small planes, all nice, but when jets are landing or especially taking off, you don't want to be there. The sand blast hurts. The noise scared my kids and after the first day we never came back. We did visit the Mullet Bay on the other side of the hotel. Its a 15 min walk and again a challenge for kids as at time you have to walk on the driving road. The beach is nice but need to rent umbrella and chairs. Spoke with deputy manager who gave me many excuses but did say that they are working on it.

- We used the pools when we didn't go to the beach. There are two major issues. First, the tiles used around the pool area are bad. And by that i mean, when when is very slippery. Saw a number of people & kids slip really badly. My kids slipped multiple times too. The second issue is the smell from their water treatment unit. We usually stayed by the pool in the mornings so didn't notice it. But the last two days (morning and evening) the smell was just bad, blowing to the pool area. We just couldn't be around the pool.

- I like food and restaurants atmosphere is important. So, here are the issues here. First, the Sonesta web site is miss-leading. It states that there are 5 restaurants. That's false. They had 3 and just recently added the 4th one. For breakfast you have one option, the buffet. It is also available for lunch and dinner. For Lunch and afternoon, your option is the Palms Grill. The dinner adds the itallian specialty and the "new" ascott pub. The cuisine stated is irish and scottish, but all they are offering is burgers, hotdogs. While the food did taste good, i found major unforgiving flaws. I paid attention to it everyday. I am not extremely picky, so i am ok that for most of the time the options are the same. However, i noticed for some of the items, like desert, that it was left overs. So they carry the same from lunch, to dinner, to next day. And you can see that because as it is finished they replace it with other option that is no longer the same. Again, very noticeable and not smart. My bigger issue was that they were constantly running out of food. Fruits, fish station, meat station, eggs, people had to wait for 10-15 min at times. Fruit, was an issue overall, as we were told that because its imported they don't know what they will have and when. I had to complain several times to get things moving. The hotel is busy and they are trying to buy just enough. And again u see this because they had one type of fish and they replace it with another. same went for salads. More noticeable at the Palms grill because everyday some of the things on the menu, they were out off. That was the case EVERYDAY.

- We are not a drinking group, but the bars seems to be hopping. I do know that on a few occasions we asked for a drinks, if they dont know how to make it or what it is, they said that they dont have the right liquor and they will look for it. But for kids, there is no milk shake and the only option we could order for them is pina colada, mango or strawberry daiquiri without alcohol.

- Majority of the staff is not very pleasant. Found just a few people, that had that smile and nice attitude everyday. Buffet supervisor Sharon was just a darling thank God, otherwise, i would have went crazy. The front desk staff is always overwhelmed with arrivals and departures, but you can see that its not staffed properly. The staff in the restaurants is money focused. What i mean is that you can see that you are treated differently as an AI vs not. Where there is a chargeable meal, they were a bit quicker, nicer. And considering that i tipped during all my meals, still that was the case.

- The kids club sounds nice, but you come here to spend your time with kids and once in a while they might want to go to the kids club for a few hours. So, the trick here is that you have to register them every day for the next day. and because of that option the kids club was closed. The animation team was also understaffed.
- This one point was just something that i wanted to bring up. On Thursdays they have the "Magical Maho". The animation person told me that it will be fun for kids and that they will be giving out cotton candy, popcorn, there will be dancing. We went there. This was just on a side of the street and they way that they set it up, was hard for many to see. My kids went to get cotton candy and one of the two animation crew guys there said in a joking matter that it will be $2 per candy cone. The second guys said that it was just a joke. Interesting enough is when we got the 5 candy cones they said that, it is not $2 but $1 and we have to pay. I asked them why as this was part of the hotel, but they said that they are doing this separately and we have to pay. Paid, went to the hotel front desk to comment and all they said, is that its not organized by them and they have nothing to do with it. But they will take it under consideration.

- Towels in the room and by the pool was always an issue. In the room i resolved this by good tipping. By the pool, we had issues through out the day, and forget getting a towel after 5 pm.

- I signed up for the Sonesta travel pass. Its free, and supposedly should give you some benefits, like free internet. Though it does say that overseas, it is only an hour a day. That would have been plenty. But when i asked in the hotel, they said that it only applies if you book the room only through the Sonesta web site. That was not stated anywhere when i looked.

- There used to be a free shuttle to sister resort but its no longer available. Taxi each way is $20 for 2. Spoke with the manager at the Great Bay property and they are looking into bringing it back.


Overall, i think that i will pass on this resort next time. If you have kids or are a beach person, i suggest for you to find another property to stay at.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

Staying at this resort was an experience i will never forget . My friends and I had an amazing time. The rooms were always cleaned, the staff was amazing especially the bartender Matthew for takin care of us everytime we needed a drink. He was the best bartender we could have asked for on our stay there. He was also very helpful with letting us know where all the good parties were and great attractions we should go visit.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 Maho Beach Resort & Casino

Address: 1 Rhine Road | Maho Beach, Maho, St Maarten-St Martin
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St Maarten-St Martin > Sint Maarten > Maho
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Maho
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Maho
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Maho
#3 Casino Hotel in Maho
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino 3.5*
Number of rooms: 395
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

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