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Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
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Reviews (4,342)
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Reviewed June 20, 2013

Sonesta Great Bay sits on the beautiful bay and beach of Phillipsburg, St. Maarten. The resort has a marvelous island feel. The lobby is open air with large openings that allow a beautiful panoramic view of the pools, beach and the ocean. A grand staircase sweeps down to the pool deck. The pools include a forever pool with swimup bar and a more traditional pool area. The beach is beautiful white sand area with a cordoned off swim area that protects the swimmers from the ever present jet skis. The room was a standard hotel like room with a beautiful balcony overlooking the water. The tub in the bathroom was a bit of a challenge to enter as it was raised off the bathroom floor by several inches. The staff was very friendly and efficient. The food was excellent at all three venues - the open air buffet was delightful, the food in the formal dining room was first rate, and the pizza/burger place was a nice change of pace. One of the huge benefits of this resort is that staying here also allows the tourist to use the sister resort at Maho Beach, swim in their beautiful pools, eat at their restaurants, park for $1 an hour and watch the jets coming into Princess Julianna Airport dive over the beach area.

Room Tip: Choose the ocean view rooms not the mountain view rooms. The view is worth the difference in price.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JHHaight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2013

Nine of us stayed at the Sonesta Great Bay Resort and had a very relaxing and enjoyable time. We were warmly received by Vicky at the front desk and Edrick serving us drinks. Our rooms were clean and the view from the small balconies on the ocean front side were amazing. The food appealed to our entire group, there was always fresh fruit, salad, fish and other healthy foods. The infinity pool bar and bar upstairs (which we would liked to have been open on more days) were always staffed with friendly individuals.

It is an easy walk to town where one can get anything!

If I had to complain, it would be that there was no snorkeling directly from the beach, the bed could have been a little more padded and there was a daily charge for use of internet.

I would not recommend this resort if you are young and want a lot of night life and clubs and bars near by. There were also not a lot of young children around, but there is no kids club advertised. Our group was satisfied as we were not looking for a busy week.

We would go back again if we go to Sint Maarten. Thank you to all at Sonesta Great Bay, we had a great time!!

Room Tip: Get and oceanfront room, worth the cost.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank anteater84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2013

Our vacation was great! Thanks Denroy!
First time to Saint Maarten and would definitely go back to this resort. Staff were great, especially Denroy, Entertainment Supervisor. He was great in motivating all the guests to get involved in the activities during the day; always had a smile. He knows how to make the guests feel special. Thanks Denroy. Sonesta is lucky to have you. The entertainment was good, disco with Dj Ferone. The location was great as we walked the beach to town most days and did some great jewelry shopping. We enjoyed the close proximity to the pool and beach. The food was good; however the rooms were a little dated. The bathroom definitely needed a renovation. We had a great vacation and will visit again.
Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank traveelbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2013

I have waited almost 3 months before writing this review, because I did not want to write a review right away after this experience as it would not have been nice.

This hotel, or "resort" as they choose to call it, is run down, and in dire need of a huge makeover. Their website is not a fair representation of what you are getting. In fact, the pictures on their website are not recent.

Booking on-line, we booked the suite, that overlooked the bay, or water. It showed a large balcony with lawnchairs, a big room with modern furnishings and what you would expect according to the description and pictures on their web site. After a delayed flight and late arrival, we arrived in the evening. Upon entering the lobby, we were shocked to see clearly intoxicated people, of all ages, in and around. Some were passed out on chairs in the lobby. These were not young adults, these were adults in their 40's and 50's.

At the reception desk, we were booked in and given the keys to our suite. Besides the drunks in the lobby, the other thing that should have tipped us off that something was not right, was the reception desk itself. Have you ever been in an old bar, where the wooden bar itself is well worn down, with marks and gouges? Well welcome to this resort.

So we walked down a long, poorly lit, musty, ratty carpeted, stained yellow wall, cigarette smoked filled and dingy hallway to our room. Upon entering the room, we were GOBSMACKED! What a dump! The ratty, musty, smoke stained hallway continued into the room. I am kicking myself for not taking pictures of this dump. The furniture was from the 70's, the curtains were sagged and threadbare, the bed was a rock and the bathroom was not well cleaned. There were 2 floor lamps in the room and both had lamp shades that were cracked, torn and peeling. How much effort does it take to go to WalMart, spend 10 bucks and get a new lamp shade? Obviously to this resort, they don't care what it looks like.

To make matters worse, the balcony was perhaps 2 to 3 feet wide and did not have any furniture whatsoever, and if it had, there was no room for it. The view was of boulders and garbage. In retrospect, I should have asked what room was used to take the pictures posted on their website.

We returned to the front desk and asked if there had been a mistake. Their answer said it all. "No, you reserved and have the best room". Right then and there, I was tempted to return to the airport and take the next flight out of town. Instead, we returned the keys to our room, cancelled the weeks reservation and took a cab to another resort that we had called just minutes earlier.

Our total time spent at this resort was approximately 60 minutes. During that time we used, what I think they called their business centre, which amounted to 2 desktop computers that were slower than a commador 64. We walked past a fitness centre that was an absolute joke. Jack Lalanne would not have been amused. I also believe that this resort subscribes to the fact that cigarette smoke must be a cure for cancer because everyone smoked everywhere and anytime.

So we did not partake in any of the food, drink or beach area. I can only imagine what that would have been. If based on the realities that we saw, then 1 out of 5 is my guess. Too bad I could not choose 0 out of 5, otherwise I would.

We found another resort, that I will write a seperate review, that made our St. Marteen experience amazing. The people of this island, the food, sand and surf were wonderful.

Thank you

Room Tip: A room anywhere but this place is best. :-)
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank RogerfromOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

70% of the staff at this resort are either very unhappy wit their job or they hate tourists. Most acted as if they were being inconvenienced if you asked something. We had an ocean view room. Room was outdated and the bathroom was dirty. Dirty spots on the walls and back of the door. On a scale of 1 to 10 the food is about a 4. The eggs benedict they served at almost every breakfast was impossible to cut. Either the English muffins are old and rock hard or they were frozen. The French toast was raw and soggy, sausage was strange tasting and if you had a make your own omelet it was ALWAYS overcooked. All of the beverages are watered down. The milk is horrible! I don't think there is any type of quality control and the management is not tasting the food! The very worst thing was I received numerous what I thought were mosquito bites on my arms and legs and back of my neck. I never saw any mosquitos and kept complaining to my husband about it. I did look in the bed the first morning and I did not see anything. Now in reading the comments I see that others had bug bites and then found bugs in their bed!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank KimberlyinMaui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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