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.
Message from TripAdvisor:
This place is temporarily closed.

“Great time at Sonesta Great Bay”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 4, 2012

We just came back from a wonder week in Saint Maarten!!! We loved our suite at Sonesta in the apartments room 366. We also visted the Sonesta Maho (near airport)which has a lot more to do and the food was so much better staff was very friendly the bad thing is the airplanes fly over you!! Both places were great!! Rented a car from Micheal at Unity which was wonderful. Beware of the driving there they will hit you and keep going. Taxis there are VERY expensive for example for a 15 mile ride is $50 one way for 2 people any additional person or child is $20 per person. Make sure you stay at an all inclusive it's very expensive!! For example a package of Oreo cookies is $10.00. The water and island is breathe taking.
My husband and I celebrated our 20th yr anniversity. We thought about bringing our 3 boys but they would be bored!! There really isn't much to do but go to the beach and shop!! The shopping there is very over priced. I couldn't believe what they was charging people. Don't forget everything is shipped there so thats why it's expensive!! The best advice I can give you take lots of sunblock and Rent a Car!!. Your Visa or Master Card covers the insurance, but make sure you take pictures of your car and all the scratches before you leave the lot, don't ask for a new one. A lady hit us the last day in the back and keep going. I hope this helped!!

Michelle

Room Tip: Stay in the apartment side
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank cmajb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (4,328)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

3,205 - 3,211 of 4,328 reviews

Reviewed March 3, 2012

Pros - beach and water are beautiful; clean; good A/C and beds in room. Location is good if you want to be on the beach but at the same time be near Philipsburg. Staff was helpful in helping to arrange services such as rental cell phone and island tour. St. Maarten is a beautiful island; great shops, friendly people, and an overall feeling of safety. Unfortunately we did the all inclusive package so we did not get to sample many of the restaurants.

Cons - Facilities are old and need updating and better maintenance. Comments on room: very small; vent cover in bathroom hanging loose; stopper in bathroom sink would not stay up; shower diverter was loose and came off easily; very skimpy and insufficient number of towels; view was not of mountains as advertised but rather of the street. Comments on common areas: pool and beach towels skimpy and not enough - only one per person and sometimes they ran out and did not even have one per person. Restaurants are not all open at once so you really do not have a choice of 3 restaurants (and this was during peak travel season); Italian Restaurant had no windows and was completely undecorated. Beverages although included in an all inclusive package are the most inexpensive brands of wine and the mixed drinks are virtually nonalcoholic. There is no fitness center - there is a room with two treadmills. There is no spa. The casino is very small and smoking is permitted.

Room Tip: If you are going to go definitely get ocean view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank DFTraveler2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2012

We were at the Sonesta Great Bay from Feb 19-26 with a group of family and friends. We research our resorts and destinations very very well. Yes we read the reviews for this resort and saw that the staff were very unfriendly and rude. Given the price, compared to others on the island, thought "what do we have to lose"???? Let me tell you ~ beleive the reviews,the staff are really that unfriendly and rude! Do not waste your money and vacation on this resort you will be disappointed.
When checking in,we had the pleasure of being served by the one and only Giovani! When we were assigned our room and I noticed it was located on the 1st floor I requested to be moved to a higher floor due to the reviews stating the smell on the first floor was bad( and it was never unpacked due to the smell) his response was ~NO HOTEL FULL~. We took the elevator to our room as we had our luggage to only realize that the elevator doesn't go all the way down to the basement which we were not told at check in or even offered for someone to help us with our bags due to this fact. Once in our room we noticed that the Fridge was not stocked with the promissed water, soda and beer. When we asked the front desk to have someone stocked our fridge we were greated not with a smile but a sigh and a roll of the eyes only to be told that it wasn't part of our package. After arguing with the receptionist I was asked which company I had booked with. Being that we were travelling with Sunwing I was made aware that unfortunaly my fridge can only be stocked once daily. Given the fact that I had just arrived, my fridge was stocked at some pointn that day.
The Bartenders and servers were very rude and unwilling to provide you with 'service with a smile, or even service at that". Yes there were a few that were friendly, but unfortunately the bad ones outweigh the good ones.
The entertainment staff was great~ Kevin and Maria would make our day with their great personalities and yes "smile"
I could go on and on and on with bad things about this resort...........but they've wasted enough of my time! Take my advice~ stay away!!!
and Juan, I'm really looking forward to your reply, at least I'll get a good laugh out of something from the Sonesta Great Bay!

Enter at your own risk travelers!!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank Tam14_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2012

With price in mind my wife and I managed our expectations of a 3.5 star resort. You must keep in mind how star ratings are granted and this varies from destination to destination. Here are the coles notes: Feb 25-March 1st
- best beach and water color we've experienced....and we've been to many.
- hotel is dated but kept very clean.
- rooms are the average in decor, cleanliness and size.
- food is on par for a 3.5 star. Buffet is standard for breakfast (omelets, bacon, sausage, potato, fruits, eggs Benedict, fresh juices) and lunch( pizza, hamburg, hotdogs off the menu and buffet). Good beach BBQ on Wednesdays
- dinners were good-not terrible... but not blown away. Two restaurants. 1 international and one Italian themed.
-Not sure if this was an off week but the staff were not just unfriendly but very rude at times. Several couples we met and talked with shared similar stories.
- Yes all inclusive and tips (To Insure Prompt Service) were and are optional but many staff in the restaurants went out of their way to state that tips were not included.
- For most of our traveling experience, you tip at the beginning to get the ball rolling and establish relationships with the staff for the week in anticipation that you get the little "extra" service/attention and continue the tipping...but not excessively...not the case here. It was a clear expectation that you tipped. That pissed a lot of people off and when you didn't tip, a few of the employees definitely let you know!
- Night life at the resort ended about 8:30 and was very limited.
- Day trips and shopping in Phillipsburg were in abundance. Good deals and broad selection of restaurants and bars.
-Went to the sister hotel for dinner one evening (Sonesta Maho). Much better quality of food, service and general conditions of the resort.
- We would not go back to this resort again but definitely Saint Maarten as it is a beautiful place.
- Jet boat tour with PirateTours out of the marina in Phillipsburg was the best excursion my wife and I have been on and we've been on many in our travels. Tyrell was simply amazing and what you see in the day trip of the island cannot be replaced by a car rental.

Room Tip: ocean views are exceptional if you choose to pay the premium. we weren't in our rooms enough to...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank ChefboyrdToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2012

To begin, I would recommend St. Maarten/St.Martin to my friends. The laid back friendly people, beautiful beaches, sunny weather and great shopping/restaurants make the "Friendly Island" an easy place to recommend. I could easily see myself returning every year for a winter get away.
Now for the pros and cons of the Sonesta.

PROS--the view from the pool/beach was beautiful, food was adequate and the hotel's restaurant have convenient hours, the price of the all inclusive package is competitive, drinks were truly free and we never had a problem ordering drinks, the staff was by and large extremely helpful and friendly, there was never a problem procuring a lounge chair at the beach, the customer service person at the excursion desk was great and gave good advice on booking off resort activities, the swim up infinity pool was a highlight of the resort

CONS--the area around the hotel was fairly isolated, after 6:00 pm when the cruise ships left, downtown Phillipsburg closed down and we did not feel safe walking around after dark, our hotel room was "mountain view" a more accurate description would have been "street view" --pay the extra money for a beach view,-- in addition our room looked liked it was last updated in the 1970s, our a/c was extremely loud, the casino was small and most resort customers ignored it, our description of our resort promised us a nightclub and spa which apparently are located at the Sonesta Maho Bay not at our resort, the staff gamely tried to have nightly activities but they were sparsely attended and generally lackluster, the was a lack of water sports, our description promised ocean kayaks and there was actually only one working kayak for the whole resort, by 4:00 pm the resort frequently ran out of beach towels and we had to wait 2 hours for towels.

In summation if you obtain a good deal on the resort, use it as jumping off point for daily trips to different places around the island, but if you are a person who just wants to stay in one place at a beautiful modern resort with amazing food you might want to try another resort

Room Tip: pay extra for a beach view resort
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Davester P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2012

After reading some negative opinions here, I was a bit nervous about choosing this hotel. Once we arrived and took a look around I felt a lot better. The location can't be beat, it's on the beach, has 3 pools (crystal clear) 2 restaurants, several shops, and is minutes to Phillipsburg by beach or street and a casino where I won a few times. We didn't do the all inclusive because we have some favorite restaurants but did eat at the hotel two nights and enjoyed both meals (loved the pasta bar cooked to order on prime rib night). We also had a rental car which if you just want to hang at the beach and relax is not necessry. I found the staff very accomodating and friendly. The rooms show that it is an older hotel but it was very clean and we didn't spend so much time there that it bothered us. Loved our stay here and would stay again. Thanks Sonesta for a wonderful visit for our 25th Anniversary.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank clirange
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 29, 2012

We were suppose to be at Sonesta Maho beach resort and casino but they over booked so they put us here at thier sister hotel and it has been horrible. We got here and they stuck us on the 1st floor because they said thats all they had which is like the basement the lobby is on the 4th floor. The room is small and crowded and its not exactly dirty but its not clean either. There is nothing to do around here we layed on the beach for a lil while this afternoon but thats it they have a few activities but no options the activities that are booked are spaced throughout the day. The casino only has slot machines, 1 roullette table, 2 carribean stud tables, 1 3-card poker table, and 3 black jack tables. No craps tables, poker tables, or texas hold'em tables. Some of the staff has been nice and friendly but not enough to make up for the rest of the negative things about the resort. I created an account just to post this....I hope that Maho turns around our trip...

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Emily G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Philipsburg
3.1 mi away
The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten
5.8 mi away
Grand Case Beach Club
Grand Case Beach Club
#2 of 8 in Grand Case
1,816 reviews
2.5 mi away
Simpson Bay Resort & Marina
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
4.9 mi away
Alamanda Resort
Alamanda Resort
#5 of 8 in Orient Bay
510 reviews
4.4 mi away
Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
4.5 mi away
Sonesta Ocean Point Resort
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa

Address: 19 Little Bay Road, Philipsburg, St Martin / St Maarten
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St Martin / St Maarten > Sint Maarten > Philipsburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Philipsburg
#3 Family Hotel in Philipsburg
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Philipsburg
Price Range: $331 - $693 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotwire, Cancelon, Cheap Tickets, getaroom.com, TripOnline SA and HotelQuickly so you can book your Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort And Casino
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel Philipsburg
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 Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing