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“Good location, friednly staff”

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Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Rauma, Finland
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Good location, friednly staff”
Reviewed November 5, 2013

We really liked the location of the hotel: on the beach, a nice walking distance to Philipsburg. The hotel had just been refurbished and all the public areas and facilities as well as our room were fresh-looking and nice. The staff is probably the friendliest we've met anywhere in the Caribbean. Some minor hiccups with e.g. key cards and the TV, which could have been dealt with quicker, but nothing major. Food was also good, seafood quite excellent. And the barmen made nice drinks with a smile. The only but (in addition to weather, which was quite cloudy and even stormy at this time of the year) were the other guests. At least during our stay there were large groups of Canadians, who were loud, liked to drink quite heavily (and doing "funny" pranks to each other, with of course the staff having to clean up after them) and e.g. blocked access to the swim-up bar for other guests. We don't mind drinking as such and enjoy a few every day ourselves, but large groups tend to get a bit too rowdy. All in all we enjoyed our vacation, but I think if we want to go there again I'll do some research first as to what season would be the best as regards both the weather and the clientele.

Room Tip: Seaview is nice of course, but we thought the extra you had to pay for it was too much. After all, y...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TLH-KYO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alexlynch, Guest Relations Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Dear Guests,

Thank you for taking the time out to post your review. We acknowledge that we did have a few hiccups at reopening day, some were within our control and some not, but all have since been addressed and restored. Everyone enjoys themselves in a variety of ways, and we are unable to control this unless they get totally out of of hand requiring the assistance of Security. The place for you would've been by the pool located at the apartment section of the resort. I am not sure if you were aware of this option. Since you have plans to return please take this into consideration as we provide bar service wherever you choose to relax. The season quiets down from mid-May - September and the weather is at its best. All in all we are still glad that you had an enjoyable vacation, and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Kind regards,

Alejandra Lynch
Guest Relations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Hamilton, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2013

Just returned from a two week vacation in St Maarten. Spent a great week at the Sonesta Maho and then transfered to our favourite Great Bay on the 24th of October when the reno was complete. The hotel looks amazing. The service was remarkable. Edrick, Marcia, Marissa, June, Geneva, Destine, Micheal,Sharlene, the service you gave was fantastic. I was impressed with a young lady named Kim who worked hard in the heat serving drinks at the beach and around the pool with an eternal smile . The Animators Michael, David and Maria worked hard to entertain the guests and keep them engaged. The new Chef did an amazing job. All of the meals were delicious. Lobster tails two of the evenings. Wow. It was truly a pleasue to have a conversation with Karl Bourne the hotel manager. You and your staff have done a spectacular job . It was one of our better stays at the Great Bay Hotel and we look forward to returning same time next year.

Room Tip: Choose an Oceanview on the fifth or sixth floor. The view is breathtaking.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank patmat55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alexlynch, Guest Relations Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, November 6, 2013
Dear Guests,

What a two week experience! You had the best of both. Thank you sincerely for your great comments. They truly are valuable to us. It is important for the world to see what our guests are saying about us, and we are grateful. Thank you for mentioning so many of our team members. Mr, Bourne has done and is doing all within his power to make the Resort into what it should be. We are still smiling, especially after reading your comments. We look forward to welcoming you back the same time next year.

Kind regards,

Alejandra Lynch
Guest Relations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stoney Creek, Canada
Level Contributor
85 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2013

Went Oct 24-31st. Had a great time at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach and Casino. I was there about 2 years ago. It was pretty decent then but with the new reno's I think it's really a lot better now. They have freshened it up. It's really quite clean. To me the food was better too. The Service was pretty up to par and good as well.

Kim the Pool/Beach waitress was AWESOME! She's such a sweetheart and new to the hotel but she did an amazing job!
Denroy was the top in Animation and he was great too. Always making sure everyone had fun and a great time while there.
Waitstaff was great too that we had all week. Claudine was a great bar tender!

When we got there we were greeted VERY good. Everyone was clapping and smiling all the staff was so happy there and seemed to be really happy that they were re opening.

I would go back again for sure. Probably another few years or so though.

Room Tip: Spend the extra and book an oceanview
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Candice265
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alexlynch, Guest Relations Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, November 6, 2013
Dear Guests,

Thank you for taking the time to commend our Resort, your comments are very important to us. Our staff Kim, Denroy and Claudine will appreciate seeing the mention of their names along with the wait staff. Glad to know that you will be back and we look forward to being of even better service to you in the near future.

Kind regards,

Alejandra Lynch
Guest Relations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roanoke, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2013 via mobile


my partner and I booked a 4 night stay at this hotel...the photos looked great, it had been "renovated"...this was not the case. we got to the hotel, no one helped with our bags, we walked into the lobby and looked at each other and asked, what was renovated. we got into our room which smelled like mold, and decided we had to leave. I sat on the bed to use the phone, it made an awful noise every time you moved and was hard as a rock. needless to say we checked out 20 mins later and checked into the Westin which was the best decision we ever made. vacation saved! Do NOT stay at this resort you will be disappointed.

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank dcarr027
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karl B, General Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, November 5, 2013
Dear DCarr027
We are disappointed we were unable to meet your expectations upon your arrival at our resort, even though your stay with us was only 20 minutes; I was informed upon your check our by our front desk agent our hotel did not meet your criteria of the caliber of hotel you were accustomed to, and there was nothing we could do to make it up to you.....Please note even though we were unable to meet your criteria...we are happy you enjoyed your stay on Sint Maarten and hope you would return in the future to our beautiful Island.
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Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2013

Stayed at Great Bay Oct 24-31/2013. Was worried prior to arriving that the hotel would not be ready due to renos but luckily they were done the day we arrived. I will give a break down of the areas. I write very thorough reviews!!!

Flight:
Travelled sunwing, flight was about 4 1/2 hrs there and about 5 hrs way back in Oct. Travel to and from resort is about 1/2 hour, with sunwing you receive a shuttle bus.

Check in:
Welcomed with mimosas and everyone was so friendly. Our information was not there upon check in but it was no hassle, the front desk got us our room key and safe key quick enough. No towel cards, you get beach towels whenever you want, some days we had extra because they were on our beach chairs for us in the morning.

Room:
Simple and is a 3 1/2 star for sure. Was on the 5th floor. Had mountain view and had no complaints. We were at the beach at 8am every morning anyways, so save a buck. The bed was hard but comfy, amazing pillows, the room was very very clean. Our hot water was a light brown all week, cold water was clear. The tub is deep and narrow, no jets. TV was fuzzy,,didn't care though. I used bottle water to brush my teeth, even though they say you can drink the water. Our room keys did not work for 2 1/2 days, apparently hasn't happened before. Taro at the desk was extremely helpful in escorting us to our room every time we needed in.

Ground/Hotel itself:
Small and simple but nice. No lush greenery or flowers though. I have been to 3 other resorts that were huge and this was a nice change. Everything in the resort you find quick. All the pools are together, wonderful infinity pool and great hot tub. If you walk a bit further past the barbeque area you will find another pool and hot tub, very private. The infinity pool was deep enough. Pool temp was nice.Casino in the building, open apparently until 3am, never went though.

Ocean:
Nice, but be careful as there is a huge drop into the ocean from the sand. There can be waves depending on the wind that day. Water was refreshing, found it the warmest water of the resorts I've been to. The sand looks like granola and has a lot of seashells crushed. Plenty of sun shelters and chairs, huge beach!

Weather:
Amazing hot everyday. Only rained once that I know of at breakfast and was sunny right after

Food:
Excellent, a la carte breakfast 3 times, can't complain. Watched the ships pull in. Wonderful a la carte dinners, Seafood and Italian, open at different nights of the week, just look at the entertainment board daily to see. Never had to wait or prebook an a la carte. Food was very tasty and there were never any line ups and food was replenished quickly at the buffet. Lots of lobster nights! Service was good too.

Drinks:
Amazing, served quick, never any line ups at the swim up or main bar, located just outside the buffet restaurant. Nice fancy glasses too. They made ceasars and had coors/ miller lite in a can. First place I've been to that had this.

Entertainment:
Plenty, during the day you can play volleyball, aerobics, bingo, jenga, fish for a bottle of booze and more. It was great and the animators take no for an answer. At night they had different entertainment, karoke, bands.

The majority of the age at this resort was older, which I enjoyed greatly. My husband and I are in our late 20's and had no issues with it. Like I said this is our 3rd trip in a short time, so we wanted quiet.
We went over to Maho for about an hour only. Had to walk into the town to catch the "city" bus. Wasn't thrilled with that. The cost was $2 each there and back. You do get dropped off right in front of Maho. The resort there is much bigger, lobby was nicer. Ocean was less wavy and you can see your feet in the ocean but the beach was tiny and rocky if you go closer to where the planes come in. Age was much younger, had topless women. The planes we saw were small, so it wasn't worth us going over, that's why we left after an hour. There is a board in the lobby at Maho to say when the planes come and go. Much preferred Great Bay resort!

All the staff at Great Bay were helpful, friendly and smiling. They all speak great English, which is a first for me.

Room Tip: Go to beach early everyday and save a buck on a room, mountain view is fine
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank pam2890
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alexlynch, Guest Relations Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, November 5, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time out to post your comments on your stay at the Sonesta Great Bay. The issues at reopening day with the hot water being brown, the room key not working and the TV being fuzzy were challenges that we addressed and have since been fixed.

While at the time of your stay our guests seemed to be older, have no fear, we do cater for all ages and there is something for all ages to do to have an enjoyable time during their vacation. I agree, our entertainment team do not take no for an answer, they are here to interract with our guests and ensure that they have a great time. We try our best to please everyone.

To sum it all up, we are glad that you enjoyed your stay here at the Sonesta Great Bay, where we provide service with a smile, and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Best regards,

Alejandra Lynch
Guest Relations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2013

We just returned home from a spectacular week at Great Bay! We have stayed at the Sonesta Maho twice before but this was our first time at Great Bay. We were concerned that the resort was reported closed for renovations just days prior to our scheduled vacation. Much to our pleasure we arrived the day of the grand reopening, greeted by staff, with lots of excitement and celebration. As with most grand reopenings there was some teething pains but the staff, which was pleasant and plentifull, went out of their way to ensure that any issue was corrected quickly keeping Customer Satisfaction at the forefront. The staff were amazing from the reception desk to the waitress's (June, Audrey, Cleopatra etc), the bartenders and the activity staff (Denroy) went out of their way to make sure our stay was that much more enjoyable. The food was great, tasty and fresh, with beautiful settings and scenic views from the dining areas. The drinks were plentiful and delicious throughout our stay, which were most enjoyable around the infinity pool and during the nightly entertainment. Being a relatively small resort we were fortunate to meet and bond with many great people, sharing a lot of laughs together. Hats off to the leadership of Karl Bourne, the GM of the resort, who has guided his staff towards ensuring everyone having a great time at the Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino. ....we sure did.....and would return in a heart beat!
John & Deb from Toronto

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank John D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alexlynch, Guest Relations Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, November 4, 2013
Dear John & Deb,

We thank you for choosing to stayat the Sonesta Great Bay this time around and we are truly happy that you enjoyed your time with us. The staff, Denroy, June, Audrey, Cleopatra will be informed of your mention of their names and this will motivate them to provide even better service to our guests. Glad you noticed that our GM Karl Bourne is doing his best in leading his team to excellence. We thank you once again from the bottom of our hearts and look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Alejandra Lynch
Guest Relations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stoney Creek
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2013

Just back from the newly renovated Great Bay Hotel, what a way to start our holiday, greeted with clapping, singing and more smiles than I have seen in a while for the grand reopening of our favorite resort. It felt like we were coming home, we have had the pleasure of staying at Great Bay several times before, so when our long time friends (who are world travellers) and us decided to do a trip together, I knew they would like this resort, so what started as 4 ended up with 18. Eight had been before and 10 of our group it was there first visit. From start to finish we all had a fabulous time, the rooms were fresh and clean, the buffet I always enjoyed but the new and improved was so nice, all food was fresh and creative home style, the new bar with the green and white glass tiles. We enjoyed the 2 ala cart restaurants, one indoors and the other outside with the water and warm breeze right next to us. I hesitate to mention names of the fabulous staff, for fear of missing some very important and good staff, but here I go, Weezie and Michael at the bars with all their smiles, June and the rest of the staff in the restaurants could not do enough for us all. The first smiling face I saw was Gilberto with a warm hug and a cold drink. All the management came around daily to see if everything was going well. How can you not enjoy the most superb view of any Island I have been to from your ocean view room to start your day. We all loved that we could go over to the Maho for the day, have lunch and a beverage and float in the water and watch the planes come in, that is a big plus for us and a must to see in person. The nightly entertainment was fun and casual, just what we wanted, and with everything being so great we met a great number of very happy people who all seemed to be having a great time. We danced, sang, laughed and were entertained by some lovely dancers.
I wish I could have some criticism, but for any little thing that might have not been great, everything else was so great, I can't remember. I know we all will make the trip again, and I highly recommend Great Bay.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Corrine T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alexlynch, Guest Relations Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, November 4, 2013
Dear Coco,

What a fantastic group of people you were. If the 4 of you did not enjoy your stay, you wouldn't have brought along more to end up to 18. All I can say is, we are anxiously awaiting your next visit. You have become our ambassadors. Glad you noticed and liked all the improvements to our facilities and the food. The smiles will only increase when we inform Weezie, Michael, June and Gilberto of your mention of their service. Please convey our sincere thanks to the rest of the group and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Best regards
Alejandra Lynch
Guest Relations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 
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Also Known As:
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel Philipsburg
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort And Casino
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

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