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“Would definitely go back and recommend!”

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Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 9, 2012

My husband and I spent a week at Great Bay Beach from November 28 - December 6. We had read other people's reviews prior to booking and based on what we read we were concerned about the food quality. We are both foodies and found the food to be excellent. The quality of the buffet was a great deal better than what we've experienced in Jamaica, Cuba or the Dominican Republic. The new Italian restaurant served a nice variety of well prepared dishes. The jewel of the restaurants at this resort is the a la carte restaurant, Molasses. The food and service was impeccable. Special mention must go to both Ruffino and Gilberto who made our dining experiences at Molasses something we won't be forgetting. Both are extremely friendly, knowledgeable and a credit to this resort.

We had requested a room with a bathtub and when we checked in found that our assigned room had a shower only. We brought this to the attention of the front counter supervisor, Julian, who found us another room without delay. We ended up staying in the apartment section of the resort.

The beach and pool areas are well kept and the ocean swimming is fabulous.

We flew Sunwing and our rep, Martha, advised at the orientation that a taxi into Phillipsburg would cost $4 per couple. We took a taxi into town the first day we were there and were charged $10. We did get the taxi drivers name, Ash, and took that back to Martha to let her know. She said she knew the driver and then changed her story about telling us it would be $4. We booked 2 excursions through Martha, the island bus tour and the catamaran tour. The bus driver for the island tour was 20 minutes late, the air conditioning didn't work well and the van was packed with 12 people plus the driver, the loud speaker didn't work so half the passengers could not hear the island descriptions and he took us to Orient beach for 45 minutes when none of us had our bathing suits. This tour was only $45/head but I'm not certain if I would recommend it. The catamaran trip was the best excursion we have ever been on ... bar none.

All in all a great trip. We would definitely go back and recommend this resort.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Digbyduck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,943 - 2,949 of 4,333 reviews

Reviewed December 9, 2012

my wife and i were at sonesta great bay for a week , and i must say , it was the nicest place we have ever been , the people were so freindly ( staff & guests ) . we are already planning are 3rd anniversary for next year at sonesta . great place to visit .

Room Tip: any room is good . we were on the 3rd floor and had no problems at all .
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank joeyc22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2012

Having gone on numerous vacations throughout the Caribbean, my daughter and I were both impressed with the Island of St. Maarten. The natural beauty of the Island with it's mountainous terrain, many bays, harbours and beaches is truly a delight. My daughter found shopping in nearby Phillipsburg to be excellent in its choices of high end stores. It is a short walk from the resort to Phillipsburg by both the main street, or along the beach which is great to walk along without any plans for shopping.
We both found the Animators to be great fun and made our trip truly amazing! They organized great & entertaining events - loved the water arobics, poolside Bingo, Name that tune and of course the exciting (and our favorite) "Flip cup" championships!! Kudos to our fav animators Kevin and Denroy who made our vacation truly memorable. Marie was great get involved with the dancing / Kareokee in the disco. Michael at the lobby bar is a lot of fun and an excellent tour guide. Our fav poolside bartenders Nigel and newcomer AnnMarie straight from Amsterdam were super friendly and looked after us very well. Best open oven pizza in the oceanside Italian restaurant for lunch and great spot for dinner.
Not the most luxurious hotel we've stayed in, but the warmth, friendliess and good vibes made it a destinaion of choice for us
Great staff, great fun, great memories - we'll defiinitely be back!
Mrs Jones & Nicole

Room Tip: Delux Oceanview rooms well worth choosing. High floors give exceptional view of Great Bay, the pools...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank MrsJonesCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2012 via mobile

I was nervous having booked this trip through wagjag because I read mixed reviews on here. Let me start with positives. It is easy walk to town where I took the bus everywhere around the island. The ocean view was beautiful from my room and I loved watching the boats from the pool. Bartenders and entertainment staff were great at their jobs. As a single traveller I liked that the resort was small enough I could meet people easily. The food at buffet changed nightly and was great. Especially caribbean night. I liked the upstairs a la carte restaurant.Now for negatives- the Italian restaurant at night was not good. Too many people left and went to buffet. The only good thing on that menu was lasagna. The service at restaurants was slow. The flooring in one elevator needs to be replaced. Did any of the negatives have an effect on my vacation absolutely not. I will be back in a second if I find a good deal.

  • Stayed: November 2012
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2  Thank francine_16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2012

My husband and I chose St.Maarten, Great Bay Resort and Casino as our Honeymoon destination. We chose to go to St. Maarten because of the great reviews from colleagues and friends. However, the reason we will go back is because of the friendly, knowledgeable staff. In particular Denroy. We not only enjoyed the rest and relaxation, but the fun events put on by the Animators. Everyday was filled with games, entertainment and lasting, unforgettable memories.

A huge Thank you to Denroy and his staff for the amazing vacation. We hope to see you next year!!!!

J.I.H.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Izabela B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2012

I recently returned from Great Bay (November 2012) and found my experience wonderful. I traveled with my husband and son (20 months), as well as other family members. This property was extremely clean and well kept. There were some struggles with rooms such that we had pre-booked our rooms however the hotel did not provide us those rooms however it did not ruin our holiday! My little one loved the pool, the playground and the beach. The dining staff were fabulous with all the little ones (three children under age 4) and would cook us different foods when the foods that were being served were not child friendly. Specifically the chef and sous chef always checked in to make sure we were taken care of. Our wait staff was fabulous- always having our table ready when we came for meals! The Animators were amazing with the children (Kevin and Denroy) were always around with a smile and being playful with the children.

My husband and I were at this same resort in 2009 and we found that they have worked hard to maintain the facility and have actually improved their food.

We will return soon!!

Room Tip: Make sure you get an ocean view room.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank amsch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2012

After having stayed at this resort several times in the past, my latest visit there in December 2012 was a bit of a disappointment. Although several of the older staff were great, many of the new and younger staff were not as friendly as expected. The cleanliness in the common areas left something to be desired. The rooms themselves were fine. The meals were OK with a welcome addition of a pizza bar (pizza was great!). Food could have been hotter, even in Molasses restaurant. The activity fellows were fun, encouraging us all to participate in a friendly manner. Frequent management changeover might have something to do with overall decrease in standards since my last visit in 2010. Probably won't be returning that quickly.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms are the only way to go.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank GRIT22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa

Address: 19 Little Bay Road, Philipsburg, St Martin / St Maarten
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 On the Beach Hotel in Philipsburg
Price Range: $546 - $770 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — 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 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
Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa St Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg

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