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“Family Vacation”

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Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 31, 2013

The three of us spent 6 days there and upon arrival were greeted with a refreshing drink. The check in went smoothly, and although we arrived early, we only waited 45 minutes before our room was ready. The room was clean and the staff was friendly. Just a note about the bath tub/showers, at least in our room. The tub was rather narrow and at least six to eight inches higher than normal. That made getting in and out a bit tricky. Food variety and preparation was very good and there were plenty of daytime activities to keep our teenager happy! One note about the pool area though, watch your step! When the tile in that area is wet, it can be very slippery. Shopping was about a 10 minute walk down the beach or the street, depending on what you preferred. Although the shops closed early (between 5 and 7pm), there was plenty of time to go shopping with a wide variety of items to choose from and if you were willing to haggle, a bargain or two. Every evening had a different theme which ranged from a poolside BBQ to Mexican night, as well as live entertainment and/or a DJ until midnight. Overall we found the facilities and rooms in need of a minor face lift. And as I understand it, renovations to this property will begin in September of this year. All in all, a good place to spend some family time. Would be interested to see how things turn out after the renovations are complete....

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank JOHN A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 30, 2013

We shared this trip with another couple, celebrating anniversaries and using a timeshare exchange. If you are looking for a 4 or 5 star resort, this is not the place for you. Our room was always clean; sheets/towels exchanged as requested. It is important to note that we stayed in a 2 bedroom/3 bathroom suite with terrace in the Miramar Wing which is the timeshare section of this property. The elevator did not work the two weeks we were there. The timeshare pool was very clean, but there were exposed sections where small tiles had come off the inside of the pool. This was an easy walk into Philipsburg. The beach was nice, the waves quite powerful, so be careful bringing little ones into the water. We saw many beaches in Sint Maarten and Saint Martin and this was the only one where guests wore their full swimwear. I say this for those of you considering partial nudity an issue. I loved the service provided by the door/bell men and Rosalie and her team at the front desk. Most of our time was spent touring the island. This was a great place to enjoy an afternoon beverage looking out over the bay. We enjoyed both sides of this incredible island with so many places to see, and have just completed another timeshare exchange to stay here again in April 2014.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MickeySavage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Love this hotel...spent just about a week at Great Bay, got there before check in time and was welcomed with a refreshing glass of fruit punch, the desk attendants were not really too friendly nor were they unpleasant either, was invited to go have lunch, went to the buffet restaurant, the food was good. Checked back the front desk at 3pm for check in and was given room key (room 624) with a complimentary sonesta gift bag with toiletries. The room was clean and had a fridge with complimentary water and beverages which were re-stocked every day. The room had big plasma tv also and smelled clean, the bathroom was also clean and had complimentary toiletries.

The elevator to and from the rooms are glass so you can see the lovely sites and beaches to and from your room, there are pools on the compound and a Jacuzzi, the beach is right the too and is lovely, there are many bars to choose from including swim up and there are pizzas and fries available throughout the day until 6pm, i didnt have any so i cannot say if this was tasty or not...the bars have a variety of premium drinks and the attendants can make you any drink you so desire. A casino is also close to the lobby area for those wishing to gamble.


Food wise, breakfast was always a bit better and had more variety than lunch and dinner, which i found were repeated a lot and also I didnt find the waitresses to be friendly this is the only displeasure I had here,( I did however, had dinner at the italian restaurant and this I found the food here much better) otherwise, I love everything about this hotel and would definitely stay again if am ever in Sint Maarten again.

Thank you Great Bay for a lovely stay

Room Tip: the garden view room is perfect esp if you wont be spending much time in the room..save some money...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Coryy20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

Great dive shop, well seasoned experienced dive team. We loved our stay, this is a nice quiet resort with a great beach. We went for the diving and was very impressed. Great entertainment in the evenings. Rooms were very clean with great service.

Room Tip: Upper floors have a great view, ocean or mountain are both good. Great proximity to shopping and t...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank IslandTreasureHunter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

I made the wrong decision when choosing between Sonesta Great Bay and Maho beach.. Great Bay was too quiet for me. You couldnt order food for lunch, only buffet (yuck) or hamburgers/hotdogs. We visited the sister hotel one day and they had a sit down menu with lots of options and delicious food. The sister hotel also had more activity. I avoided that one because reviews said the planes overhead were loud and annoying but it didnt seem bad at all. Plus there was Sunset bar and a boat bar right next to this hotel on the beach. The boardwalk next to Great Bay was extreamly quiet and closed by 7 pm every night, making it impossible to eat. Only ate breakfast and 1 night for dinner at the hotel, which was good, but very small meals. By 11 pm we were starving and the only option for food was Dominos, so we ordered it to the room (call the front desk they will connect you) St Martin was nice but I dont see myself returning, theres so many other places I want to see. If you go, make sure you do ZIP-LINING at Lotiere Farms (30 min away) none of the people at hotel knew much about it, but it was amazing if you like adventures. Food there amazing as well. TRy restaurant MARIOS on the French side, expensive but delicious food. SkipJacks on Dutch side was nice sitting by water and eating seafood.

Room Tip: Had mountain view, it was first floor street view, double beds even though we were a couple. Looked...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank A D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

We just got back - had a great time. The rooms are a little dated, but you're never in them. The casino is a little weak - no table games, just slots and video, but there are bigger ones in Philipsburg if that's your interest. So that's the downside (not a big deal in our estimation).

Get the ocean view - well worth it (the other side looks out on a road). This was our first AI, and we were really impressed with the food selection. It was great to have the beverages at the pool, and the beach is just steps away. The people are really friendly, and if you tip for good service ($5 is all it takes..) they really appreciate it and look out for you.

Definitely rent a car (we used Empress and we were "impressed"). Check out Lotterie farm zip line and hike - but do it on line before you go. We found no literature anywhere (they're closed Monday BTW - found that out the hard way).

Historically, we never go to the same place twice, and we're already planning to go back next year!

Room Tip: First floor ocean side is too low to get a good view of the ocean - but you can walk out to the beac...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank PA_JEB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

By husband and I decided to celebrate our 40th Birthdays this year with a trip to St. Martins and chose Sonesta Great Bay. We had the best time and everyone was extremely friendly and the room was spotless! All the employees were eager to help us, and the food was fine. Would definitely do it again!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Gretchen H
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 - $771 (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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