We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Trying to decide on an all inclusive package. Any...

Brampton, On
Level Contributor
39 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Trying to decide on an all inclusive package. Any...

We are planning our first vacation to St Martin and have decided on an all inclusive for budget reasons. Our main criteria for accomadations is that it must be clean, food must be decent, and we like to be located near small towns or villages. Has anyone stayed at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort or the Great Bay Beach Resort? Which would be the better choice?

We heard that the people from the Dutch side of the Island are much more friendly than those from the French side. Does anyone know if this is the case? We do travel quite frequently and really have not had any problems with locals in the past. We are wondering if the perceived behaviours of the french locals are more cultural in nature as opposed to rudeness or unfriendliness?

Port Saint Lucie...
Level Contributor
11 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
11. Re: Trying to decide on an all inclusive package. Any...

Thanks, Garfra! I'll look forward to hearing how it goes. I'm a little nervous about being in the same port for a week. We usually split our time ashore between shopping,a taxi tour of the island and the majority at the beach or on a sail excursion.That's alot for around 8 hours.We love the water and snorkaling. But we have had times when we would have liked to stayed longer. We've rented cars in Cozumel, Curacao and Puerto Rico and had so much fun exploring. Boy, talking about is giving me "blue water fever"! Can't wait to go back.

Shreveport, LA
Level Contributor
108 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
12. Re: Trying to decide on an all inclusive package. Any...

Hi, Anni'shere, what can you tell me about the flex-plan? What resorts offer it?

I like your shoes!

The Beach
13 posts
Save Reply
13. Re: Trying to decide on an all inclusive package. Any...

You can ask your Travel Agent about the flex plan.

Or if you're booking yourself - ask the hotel directly!

It's breakfast and all drinks !

Good deal!!

Level Contributor
75 posts
Save Reply
14. Re: Trying to decide on an all inclusive package. Any...

I think you should really rethink the AL for your trip to St. Martin. Part of the experience of St.Martin is the fabulous food. If you were to say at the Maho you paying at extra $100-$125 a day more for Al. You could eat wonderfully and drink for the same amount if you wanted to. There is great food on the beaches or bring a cooler with some pastry and water. There are numerous restaurants with different price points depending on what you feel like eating. If you decide not to do the Al, may I suggest the Pelican Resort or The Flamingo they are both lovely, clean and Marcos makes the best food down on the beach. Hope I was helpful and enjoy your trip!

Gatineau, Quebec
1 post
Save Reply
15. Re: Trying to decide on an all inclusive package. Any...

We just came back from visiting St. Martin for Christmas.

We tried the all inclusive package at the Mercure Simpson Beach Hotel (on the Lagoon in Simpson's Bay on the French side) and the food was not very good and the beds uncomfortable. If we went back to the island we would definitely stay on the ocean in a nicer hotel. The happiest people seem to be the ones who eat at the local restaurants or buy their own food and cook. It does get very expensive though so it depends how important good food is to you.

We speak both French and English and I found the Dutch side much cleaner and friendlier - activities seem to be much better organized and up to a North American Standard, however some of the nicer beaches are on the French side. Simpson Bay is good for shopping, eating and activities (I liked it better than Philipsburg) but you definitely don't want to get wet there - the boats dump their sewage and the locals will warn you not to fall in.

Orient Bay is on the French side and pretty nice and you will have shops and restos you can walk to but it is really busy because the beach is nice and the waves and surf are great for body surfing. We got bored at the Mercure Simpson - you always have to drive to go somewhere else for a nice beach, shopping or restos - driving at night is not a good idea. Avoid the Island Tour in the rented jeeps. It is very expensive and you will drive slowly in a long caravan mostly through the slums on the French side just to get to Orient Bay. Better to just rent a car and take a direct route to this beach if you go.

We didn't find it worthwhile to visit Marigot although the wonderful catamaran trip we took launched from there and we got some really nice photos from the port. It is more relaxed but was just a bit too slumy for us.

Find out how close the hotel is to the airport. Some of the nicer hotels in Simpson Bay are very close to the airport - and there are planes coming and going all day and night! It is a very busy airport but very new and very nice. Have fun - the weather was absolutely perfect. We really enjoyed our day-long catamaran trip and snorkelingl


Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
211 posts
1 review
Save Reply
16. Re: Trying to decide on an all inclusive package. Any...

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Sonesta Maho in July and did the AI package. It is definitely worth it, even for the drinks alone (if you drink). Also, as it was mentioned, you can always go elsewhere to eat which is what we did. But for all the drinks and snacks we had during the day, the AI was worth it for us.

Campbellton, Canada
Level Contributor
50 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
17. Re: Trying to decide on an all inclusive package. Any...

hi, we were in Great Bay Beach Resort two years ago, it was a fabulous trip. We enjoyed ourselves immensely. If you go to Great Bay make sure you ask for Ocean View, it is definately worth the extra price to see each and every morning the view of cruiseships docking in an aqua blue bay. I have a picture of cruise ships in a rainy squal surrounded by a rainbow....just beautiful). It is very close to the town of Phillisburg, and we loved the shopping bit, being three women on a 2-week holiday.

We rented a car four days out of the two weeks, and had a great time. Visited Pinel Island, which was good, a must is to go see the jumbo jets at Sunset Beach Bar in Maho, we went three times, that was great. Visited all little beaches here and there, including the ever popular Orient Beach. But we found that for beaches we were quite comfortable with what Great Bay had in store. The sand is not the finest, but the waves are low and if you like to swim in deep water, this is it. It's not dangerous like some beaches we visited on the island, plus you have to pay 20$ for chair and umbrella, which you have free at Great Bay.

The food was okay, and the drinks were great....especially the Guavaberry Colada....will never forget those. You can bring wine in your room, beer, they are very flush with their liquor. This was an all inclusive, and it was well worth it. Although I know St-Martin has other things to offer, it was quite expensive and we really never spent anywhere else but the shopping. On Pinel Island we ordered the caribbean lobster and ended up paying 125US for one. So all inclusive didn't seem so bad then.

It's a quiet resort, so if you look for partying, this is not a resort for you, but we enjoyed our little evenings at the lobby bar, where both Mikael and Richard were very nice and entertaining.

We visited the French side, it was okay, and definately some places were very beautiful. The view of Orient Beach and its surroundings was gorgeous, but we found it was too expensive, way too expensive, cost me 8 dollars for a lip balm. A good evening out at a restaurant in Grand Case is difinately a must.

Great Bay is not the fanciest of resorts, but it's clean, has a quaint atmosphere, and relaxing environment. The view is great and if you get bored, you walk into town in about 10 minutes. I recommend this place to anyone, and would love to go back, but too many places to see.

Northeast USA
13 posts
Save Reply
18. Re: Trying to decide on an all inclusive package. Any...

Sorry garfra, but you've got it all wrong. I GUARANTEE you could eat much better food, have plenty to drink and STILL pay less than some overpriced, mediocre AI ! And SXM is simply not the place for AI. There are sooo many wonderful beaches and to not see them is truly missing out. None of the resorts doing AI have a beach that's worth anything but a passing glance compared to others on the island. AI is a great deal on some islands, but not SXM.

Ontario, Canada
1 post
1 review
Save Reply
19. Re: Trying to decide on an all inclusive package. Any...

We have stayed at both places and each offer a great stay (after all you are in Sint Maarten and that in itself is good enough!) We prefer the entertainment at the Maho meaning the airport. It is awesome. From the first sight of a plane landing on my first day there to the last one landing on the day of my return home it is always an incredible sight. Sunset beach bar is great, the beach is good, Mullet bay beach is good, the shopping at Maho is good, the food is good. The Maho Beach resort is a good bet. Great Bay beach resort is also good. the food, location to Philipsburg and the great shopping, the beach. It is all good. Regardless of where you decide to stay make sure you rent a car for a couple of days to tour the island. It is cheap and fun. This way you can check out a couple of other beaches on the island. And yes, in my opinion I prefer the Dutch side as they seem just a little bit more relaxed and friendly. Have fun

20. Re: Trying to decide on an all inclusive package. Any...

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 5:18 pm, August 22, 2009