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.

“great vacation”

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 10 more sites!
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“great vacation”
Reviewed July 9, 2013

I bought a groupon for an all inclusive deal at this hotel. I found the hotel to be nice, a little dated, but we were only in our room at night to sleep! Great deal. Food was ok. All inclusive drinks made the experience a ton of fun. Loved the swim up bar. The staff was very friendly. They really do go out of their way to make sure you're having fun.

Room Tip: ocean view
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank laurenk0910
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

4,117 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,345
    1,595
    656
    299
    222
See reviews for
614
2,097
134
91
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,564)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hungarian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Mtl
1 review
Reviewed July 9, 2013

Patricia J is the best waitress ever she made ever breakfast and lunch such a pleasure.
Patricia J is the best waitress ever she made ever breakfast and lunch such a pleasure.
Patricia J is the best waitress ever she made ever breakfast and lunch such a pleasure.
Patricia J is the best waitress ever she made ever breakfast and lunch such a pleasure.
Patricia J is the best waitress ever she made ever breakfast and lunch such a pleasure.
Patricia J is the best waitress ever she made ever breakfast and lunch such a pleasure.
Patricia J is the best waitress ever she made ever breakfast and lunch such a pleasure.
Patricia J is the best waitress ever she made ever breakfast and lunch such a pleasure.
Patricia J is the best waitress ever she made ever breakfast and lunch such a pleasure.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stephanie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East York
2 reviews
Reviewed July 9, 2013

This is just a note to thank Vicky for the GREAT service and making our vacation very special. We asked for a special request and she did it for us.Vicky has a warm, friendly smile ( that says helo, come talk to me ), and is very knowledgable and personable.
So when you stay at the Sonesta Great Bay , ASK FOR VICKY, and say helo from me.
Thanks again Vicky

Room Tip: Just ask Vicky for room 713. It faces the ocean and you can see the pool, beach, the carribean, and...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bruce B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oshawa, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013

The waiters Giberto and Rafine are very personable and friendly and certainly knows what drinks you have once you have them waiting on your table. This last trip in Jun, Giberto went out of his way to get a dessert for us when he found out that is what my husband wanted. We have always enjoyed their friendliness whenever we come. This year has been our 3rd year
Other waitresses are June, and Charlene. The menu at the Molasses restaurant should have a different menu. It was the same for both times in the same week and the food/beverage manager was not at all hospitable one night when we were there. In addition, during breakfast. she was not speaking to guests or even a good morning will do..

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TrinCan600
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed July 8, 2013

The first time someone asked me about my week long vacation to Sint Maarten, I found myself at a loss for words. Since this was my first international trip and staying at an all inclusive location, I didn't really didn't know how to review this place. Were my expectations too high or too low? After almost a month of waiting to make this review on the resort, my final conclusion is that the experience could have been better.

Do not get me wrong--most of the people on staff are friendly and sweet. After awhile, the waitresses and representatives for the property knew our faces and would ask about my Mom or about me when we were not together. That made me feel that they paid attention to detail.
Another example of this is when we asked to switch rooms to get two beds instead of one King, BUT the wall was all marked up from people throwing luggage down. I didn't want to be charged for damages to the room, so I immediately went to the front desk to report it. I was brushed off at first with a card to make a review on Tripadvisor about the concern, but one she understood that I wanted nothing done I just wanted to report it, she told me that the resort does not do damage reports and that it was okay. That didn't sit well with me, but excuse me I'm on vacation and just spent most of the day hopping planes, so I was done with it and dared to see charges upon check out. However, I was surprised to hear knocks on the door later on that evening to check on the damage. Eventually, the marks were painted over to make our stay less of an eye soar, but having the head of house keeping contact me personally and check on the resolution of the situation did show me that they care about their patrons.
Unfortunately, there were a few other missteps in the housekeeping department such as not leaving enough towels or not even coming to our room to clean it at all that just expectations that anyone shouldn't have to deal with when you're on vacation. Of course, I made it be known when things were not done to my expectation and it was rectified as quickly, but again, receiving housekeeping when we were out of the room the entire day should not have been an issue that I have to bring to someone's attention-that's a requirement that cannot be overlooked.

As far as the inclusive draw of the resort, which is unlimited drinks and food, it's hit and miss on the food. I will say that breakfast is solid! Lot's of variety to start your day. Dinner had somewhat of a draw because each night had a theme such as Caribbean, International, or Mexican night. Lunch, however, was my least favorite and seemed to feature items recycled from last night's dinner. Not many choices compared to breakfast and dinner. If I was a heavy drinker, the unlimited liqueur might be the best value, but there were so many restaurants that I wanted to check out, I think I would have been better off just getting breakfast at the resort and making my day scoping out the local cuisine. Also note that there is usually some place to dine at from 7:00 til 9:30-10:30. During the day between lunch and dinner, there is grill that serves pizza, burgers, hot dogs, and fries, but it was closed at times during our visit. However, the friends we made on the trip informed us it was not very appetizing. I believe them because I usually saw remnants of food left on the table.

Before I mention the entertainment or activities that the resort offers, I must mention a few factors. First, I think the location of the resort is more for those who just want to relax, shop, lay on the beach, eat, drink, and go to bed. They do not need much to enjoy themselves. To be quite honest, it's more for an older crowd. There were some pretty decent live music and dancing acts that should make you want to dance, but the one night I got up and started dancing people just looked at me. You're suppossed to dance when music is on right? So if you're looking for more nightlife within walking distance, then this Sonesta property is not the one for you; Maho would be a better choice which is near the restaurants, movie theater, casino, and other local attractions. Beach is not as spectacular as Great Bay, but I like to look at the water versus getting into it. That being said, the entertainment and activities that the resort provides are trying to appease both crowds, but it's not working. Those who want to participate and socialize don't have many (if at all any) people who want to do more than just lay around all day and drink. With little to no involvement by other vacationers, the entertainment and activities are nonexistent because the ones who actually want to do something eventually figure out that they have to find other means outside the resort. Only problem with that is that renting your own transportation might be a problem because there are very few traffic lights and signs on the island. It's every driver for themselves. Traffic easily stakes up around the island as well--not my idea of being in vacation. Taxis are not regulated here so you are subject to being overcharged, and the bus system is slow. Therefore, your best bet it to be on the side of the island that is going to give you what you desire. If shopping is your thing. then, Great Bay is your best bet to get the cheapest duty free items within walking distance of the resort. Anything outside that, and this is not the location for you--at least to stay for a week!

Casino--ummm it's definitely not Vegas so don't be surprised by it's size and the size of your winnings, which for me was nothing! I only went because my Mom wanted to check it out.

The gym is pretty standard with a few treadmills and an elliptical. The bicycle was out of commission when I came to the resort. They also have dumbbells and weights and another weight machine to at least keep up your workout routine. Since most people don't usually exercise on vacation, it was pretty clean and its free of charge to use.

Miscommunication is disorganization is prevalent at this resort. When I initially booked this trip, I noticed that I would receive $200 worth of resort credits upon check in and a $10 casino match play. Well, it wasn't mentioned when we checked in and I forgot about it until I was getting ready to check in online to the airport the day before our departure. I was looking over the documents and wondered what this meant, so I called the front desk and told me they would have it prepared for me to pick up. When I did find my way to the front desk to pick up the resort credit, which were coupons, I was told that they needed a copy of my document because it was not in their computer. Now, I don't know who would make up getting resort credit coupons, but I had to inconvenience myself to get the paperwork to receive these coupons in which I only used one since 1 coupon was for dining in the Molasses Restaurant that is only open 2 times a week (and we would be departing before it would be open again); one of the credits was for the photo shop at the sister resort that you have to find your own way to get to; and the other was for the spa that we once again would not get to use because we would be leaving for the airport before it opened. I'm also sorry to say that I missed out on dining at the Molasses Restaurant twice because no one informed us that during low season, it's not required for people to make reservations. If I had known, we would have gladly turned around and went there since it was all the rave from our new friends. In fact, they were told about choosing to dine there when they arrived at the Bay View Restaurant, but we were not given the same consideration.

Despite my lengthy critique, I think it's still worth it just to come to the resort because of the views and breezes. Getting up in the morning and seeing this view is a must for anyone.

Room Tip: Top floor is always a good choice. Mountain side view is adequate if you won't be in the room th...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TXTradeMark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
2 reviews
Reviewed July 8, 2013

We had a GREAT TIME at the resort. All the staff very friendly from time we got there till we left 8 days later!!! Staff at Front desk was great but one person stood out, that was an Angel!! Mrs. Vicky at the front desk was always friendly and helped us with whatever we needed!! Would stay there again and would recommend to friends and family. Thanks Mrs. Vicky!!!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Manny C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey City, New Jersey
1 review
Reviewed July 7, 2013

We had a great time at the resort for our honeymoon. The place is very clean and the food was great. Above all, the staff is friendly. Vicky at the reception desk is excellent. she is very friendly and caring. She even called me the next day I got back home to ask how was my flight, etc......Thank you again Vicky for being so thoughtful. I highly recommend this resort for vacation, honeymoon, and business trips.

Room Tip: beach view is excellent
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank newlywed6221979
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
#3 of 8 in Grand Case
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,766 reviews
4.9 mi away
Alamanda Resort
Alamanda Resort
#4 of 8 in Orient Bay
4.0 of 5 bubbles 500 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
4.4 mi away
Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
4.5 mi away
Sonesta Ocean Point Resort
6.3 mi away
Hotel Riu Palace St Martin
Hotel Riu Palace St Martin
#2 of 3 in Anse Marcel
4.0 of 5 bubbles 2,256 reviews
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

Property: Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Address: 19 Little Bay Road, Philipsburg, St. Maarten-St. Martin
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Maarten-St. Martin > 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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 BookIt.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Hotwire, TravelUp, Cheap Tickets, getaroom.com, TripOnline SA, Cancelon, HotelQuickly and Hotel.de 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. Maarten-St. Martin/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