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“A beautiful hotel, beach and service”

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Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A beautiful hotel, beach and service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2014

Went to the sonesta great bay with my daughter from December 19th to December 29th . 2013. A wonderful hotel with ridiculous views, freindly staff and great food with lots of variety. I will diffenitly be returning

  • Stayed December 2013
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    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank joey6679
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,044 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,531)
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English first
Albany, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2014

We stayed at the Sonesta Great Bay from 02/08 - 02/15 and had a very nice time. The greeting in the lobby was great, its a short ride from the airport. We had the "Butler Service" and we would like to thank and recognize Marcia, Taro and Ricardo for all of their hard work and making our vacation very enjoyable. Overall, it was a very good vacation. The highlights are friendly staff, food was good, close to downtown area, clean/bug free rooms. We had the ocean view and it was well worth it. The low lights would be the ocean is a little rough and a steep drop off from shore. I was hoping to do some body surfing, but it is not possible. The activities are limited and the pizza oven during lunch was a joke. Put aside an hour to sit and wait a half hour while they bake one pizza at a time. It some times felt awkward regarding the tipping. At meals? After getting a drink at the bar? It was not a cheap place to stay but a friendly atmosphere and an older crowd that was pretty mellow. We would recommend the Rhino Safari down at Pineapple Pete's, a great way to see the shoreline and do some snorkeling.

Room Tip: Rooms closer to the lobby pick up the noise from night time activities and the rooms facing the ocea...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Neil7674
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orangeville, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2014

We returned on Sunday from a 2 week stay at Sonesta Great Bay. From start to finish our stay was fantastic. Staff in all aspects were wonderful and went above and beyond the call of duty for us. We had an oceanview room, number 401, which afforded us a perfect view and just high enough to clear the tops of the palm trees but low enough to make walking the stairs easy as opposed to taking an elevator.Definitely worth paying the little extra for oceanview. You can sit on your balcony and watch the sunrise over the mountains and see the cruise ships come and go. Staff was out of this world. Too many to mention them all here but there were a few standouts. To our lovely server in the buffet, Virginia, thank you, we felt like family by the time we left. Virginia is a warm and wonderful lady who says she loves her job and it is evident in the way she treats everybody. The hostess at the buffet, Florita, was always welcoming and added something special to our stay. She was always so friendly and accommodating. Kim, our beach and poolside server was a charming girl who took a lot of good natured ribbing from my husband and always with a smile on her face. We felt the food was excellent, lots of variety and well prepared. Never did bother with the a la carte restaurant because there was usually a lineup and the food at the buffet was so good we didn't even want to bother. Another restaurant, beachside, offered really good pizza that we ate often at lunch time. There were lots of beach chairs but sometimes one had to get out early to get one with an umbrella. Towels were available from early morning to evening and I can't say enough about our towel man. I believe Innocent is a man of many talents, not the least of which is engaging everybody with his brilliant smile and his hilarious and often charming ways. I know Innocent...you always gave ME the BEST towel! Our room was lovely and spotlessly clean thanks to Julia. We felt the entire premises were very clean and well kept. There were some bands playing in the evenings or other forms of entertainment but on the whole it was fairly quiet day and evening. The hotel is in a great location. Lovely long white sand beach to Philipsburg, an easy 10 minute walk and a fun place to browse around. Try to avoid town when there are a lot of cruise ships in. It gets very busy. Take a few minutes to relax with a gelato on the boardwalk in Philipsburg while people watching or watching the boats come and go. We took a day trip over to St. Barts on a boat called the Edge. It was an extremely rough and frankly frightening trip. There were very high seas and apparently they don't cancel no matter what the weather. I wouldn't recommend it unless you keep close watch of the weather conditions around the time you plan to go. Overall our vacation experience was fantastic and I would recommend this resort to anyone.

Room Tip: do an ocean view. It was well worth it. We liked 401 because it cleared the tree tops but was only o...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank nancycary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laval, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2014

We just returned from spending two weeks in St.Maarten. The staff at the Sonesta Great Bay is amazing from the front desk, buffet restaurant, bars , towel desk and pool bars, cleaning service staff. Rooms always very clean, food was great. I would return back to Sonesta Great Bay. I would like thank, Denroy, Patrizia, Miss June, Innocent for there hospitality and kindness. Our friends, my daughter and mother travelled with us the first week and loved it. This is my second time in St.Maarten and its not my last.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
5 Thank Mary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2014

The service was great, we chose the Butler package and are glad we did, the staff was outstanding. I highly recommend the Butler package if you want to be spoiled. The full staff was very accommodating and as an all inclusive resort, the food was better than average and at times very very good. The views were great and watching the cruise ships depart and arrive was more enjoyable than we had thought.The facility is with-in walking distance to Philipsburg and that was an added plus. We would recommend this spot for a great get away, great Butler service and staff. The rooms were accommodating, though not recently updated, we had no complaints.

Room Tip: Highly recommend the Butler package, well worth it. The Miramar wing was secluded from the rest of t...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank D O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dade City, Florida
Level Contributor
31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2014

We arrived on 2/19 staying through 2/26/14. Had a little difficulity at check in, we were 2 couples traveling together and had requested rooms by each other and king size beds. They said they were only able to accomodate 1 of the 2 requests. Just beware of the garden rooms, ours on 2nd floor was nice as it walks out directly to the pool but just a view of garden/street. Other couple was located on 1st floor and basically in the basement unless you were on the other side. They did get up on 3rd floor after requesting. No upgrades were available on request so if you want ocean view get it! Be sure and ask for a safe key, they aren't in room or provided unless you ask. There was a shortage of them to but be persistant, they seem to find them. Mini bars only are stocked with sodas and water. They have Coors Light and Miller light and draft Heinken beer so you can take beer from bars and put in your mini bar refrig. We even asked for a bottle of wine at bar and they obliged!
We had a couple days where we didn't get our room cleaned. They were coming as we were coming in for the evening and we told them to forget it. Left small daily tip and that didn't even seem to help. Never was there any towel art left.
The pools were great, they had a large one on ground level and it was warm, infinity pool was down a few steps which went into the swim up bar. That pool was always cooler but very good to sit by all day and watch the ocean and ships coming and going. If you want to get a good seat, take your towels down about 6:30am or so to reserve as that's all you saw was reserved chairs even the beach filled up that way to.
Beach was nice, it slopes down so makes it hard to get in and out of. Get a noodle from towel shack for beach. Sand is great and no issues on walking. It's a short walk into town which is nice with all the shops and bars/restaurants around. Just beware on cruise ship days and go before/after them. Prices do change with the ships, show them your band and that your here all week, better price.
Food was okay, we were never hungry but can't say it was anything special. Bartenders were so-so unless you were a young cute girl. They seemed to get noticed quickly for orders. Tips here didn't really even make a difference. Best thing was Mimosas every day set out by breakfast buffet.
All in all, we were pleased but not sure it's a go back to place. The best thing was the location. If you want a good Island Tour go down to Sea Palace Hotel and ask for Happy Howard and they will give you a card. This was our 2nd tour and we requested him again so other couple could get first tour. $30 per person for about 4-5 hours and good lunch on your own at a stop.
Take a tour and eat over at the Sister resort and then you can walk to the Sunset Beach Bar and enjoy the planes and a drink!

Room Tip: Ask for a room high up and ocean view, they are the best!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TXtravlerGrapevine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kemptville, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2014

Just returned from Sonesta Great Bay, we had a wonderful week, the ocean view room was the best looking out at the cruise ships coming and going all week was stunning, the water with its aqua blue color and the hot sun was just what we asked for. The beach was great for swimming in the ocean and walking down to Phillipsburg for great restaurants and lots of action as tons of people from the ships were every where, we like the hustle and bustle and people watching. The food at the hotel was good, not nearly as much selection as most all inclusive resorts, but a good selection. The staff were very friendly and helpful every where, the hotel was always clean and tidy but very dated, the bathroom was in great need of a redo. The best was the view and the location as I said, we will visit again in the future but hopefully they update soon. Oh bye the way, don't miss the Sunset Bar at Maho beach to watch the planes, unbelievable!!! St Maarten is fabulous. Lots of fun! Enjoy

Room Tip: Try to get your room on 3rd floor and up facing the ocean, great view of the beach, bay and cruise s...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ron H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 On the Beach Hotel in Philipsburg
#3 Family 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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