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“Perfect location ... Great for relaxing and activity”

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Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 16, 2014

Sonesta Great Bay was an excellent choice over Maho. Fabulous beach was a beautiful view of the water.. Almost a jewel turquoise blue. Miss Vicky at the front desk was great and friendly. Made sure our needs we're met. Cleopatra was super friendly.. Loved her vibe. Germaine was a fabulous hostess for our romantic dinner as well as in the Italian restaurant.. She was fun. I know I'm forgetting some but overall the staff was friendly. Philipsburg was walking distance up the beach. Friendly people, great shopping. We were there to see the pre-carnival parade... Overall great time. My only criticism is that dinner service in restaurant was a little slow. Same for housekeeping..great staff just a little slow most days. I would go back.....

Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
5  Thank MissTLC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 16, 2014

We stayed at the Great Bay from April 6 to April 13, 2014. Beautiful place, wonderful beach and the staff couldn't be friendlier or more helpful. There were activities through the day and entertainment at night. It's a short walk into town from the hotel for shopping, etc. Make sure to visit the Guava Berry shop in town! We extend our special thanks to Patrizia, June, Sterling, Preston and the Spa for taking good care of us!!

You won't regret booking your vacation here.

Room Tip: We emailed the Great Bay before our trip about getting an Oceanview room if possible and they made i...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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4  Thank Heather K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2014

me and my girlfriend stayed at sonesta great bay from march 27th to april 3. it was a small resort but had everything you needed at your disposal. We have never taken a vacation this late into the winter so the resort wasn't overly crowded which was nice. Was able to get shade under the sun easily on most days. usually when we go away we try to have foods that are distinctive to the island but great bay was more americanized with its menus. not taking anything away from them, the food was good, just wished they had more caribbean dishes then there once a week caribbean night meal plan. my room was on the 3rd floor at the end of the green building and was quite large in size. ocean view is definitely worth the extra money. Denroy the animation supervisor was great in spirit, always had a smile and tried to get you involved in the daily activities. great employee to have on your team. overall we had a great time at the bay and after we finish our rounds around the caribbean we would def consider revisiting sonesta great bay beach resort.

Room Tip: pay extra for ocean view room
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank dtran2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2014

Took a girl's trip with one of my girlfriends to this resort in mid-March. We had a BLAST!!! Originally wanted to go to a different island, but found a great Groupon deal for this place and took a chance. Boy did we win!!!! The resort is beautiful, the staff was AMAZING (one afternoon a young lady at the front desk had someone bring me fresh Aloe to soothe an onslaught of sunburn), the private beach perfect and in a great location. It is one of the few all inclusives on the island, and boy was the food really good. I am usually skeptical, but the buffet at breakfast and dinner had great variety. The Pizza place was yummy and the seafood restaurant onsite was excellent. Not to mention there was live entertainment every night. Just all around great amenities and great experience. We walked in to town for great shopping (avoid the rush of cruise ship dockings if you can), and learned how to catch the $2 local bus over to the French side of the island. We ventured over there twice, once for lunch and shopping, and once for the ferry to Anguilla. We felt the resort was perfectly located to give us those options, and provide easy access to the airport. We are totally considering making this an annual trip! There's also an on property spa and casino though we had so much fun enjoying the other amenities, we never tried either.

Room Tip: Try to get one of the recently remodeled rooms, I hear they are really nice. Mine wasn't remodel...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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10  Thank Morgan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2014

I traveled solo and had the opportunity to spend 6 days at the resort and met lot of wonderful people from various parts of the world that really made the vacation memorable. I’d like to give a shout out to Gayle and her mom who I dined with and spent time soaking up the sun with at the pool. Just Wonderful folks !!

The resort is small, consisting of 2 small pools, a very small fitness center that is ridiculous and four areas to dine. There is nothing really breath taking about the property and this is definitely not a 5 star resort if that is what you are looking for. This is a fairly old property (maybe a Hilton at one time) that looks worn but it attracts a lot of adults ( mostly 40 and older) because it is one of only a few resorts in St Maarten that cater to adults only. The resorts proximity to the Phillipsburg is no more than a 15-minute walk, which also makes it a very attractive place to stay if you don't want to rent a car.

A mix of Pro’s and Cons:

I purchased a stay in a Jr. Suite and unfortunately my check in was not very quick like some of those who commented. I arrived about 1:15pm and had to wait approximately two hours for the room to be prepared by housekeeping. I was informed that I could go and eat lunch while I waited for the room to be prepared, and I did so. Once I was given the key(s) to the room by the polite male front desk clerk I was also given a small packet of the resort dining restaurants and times to dine and two towel cards. Unfortunately, there was no further information offered by the same front desk clerk regarding the Island, it’s tourist attractions, currency or anything else. The male front desk clerk gave me my checked luggage and he didn’t even inform me where the room was located and I had to ask him which building? He also made no offer to have someone bring my luggage to my room unlike the Riu or any of the Inclusive resorts I have stayed at. I got the impression that they are short staffed, the front desk staff has a difficult time multi- tasking and I felt that I was a bothersome.

I stayed in room 130, a Jr. Suite. The room was quite large, simply furnished and located on the first floor facing the street with no city view other than a view of the air conditioning system outside and a few shrubs and plants. So if you want a beach view do not stay in a room on the first floor or any room facing the street.

The bed was a king size bed that was extremely worn and tired with a stained white duvet. One side of the bed was completely worn out while the other side was firm. The furniture consisted of a mix match of dark wood, light wood and wicker chairs, a stained futon, a small brown refrigerator, stained yellow chair cushions, stained drapery and a 32 inch flat screen TV with about 15 satellite stations. The bathroom was big but dated with stained ceiling tiles and unfortunately I found strands of long hair all over floor and sink area. The Jacuzzi did not work and it was difficult to enter the shower, which was adjacent to the Jacuzzi tub. (I did not complain to the front desk and I probably should have, but realistically no guest should ever have to complain)

The housekeeping staff was very nice, consisting mostly of mature woman that appeared to be tired and overworked (just my observation). My suite was never cleaned and ready before 2:pm with the exception of one day. There were 3 days I had two washcloths left after cleaning and two days I was given one. They need better housekeeping supervisors and need to be consistent. (FYI I tipped housekeeping everyday).

I dined at the Bay View Restaurant (buffet) my entire stay as well as Tre assi Pizzeria that offered pizza, burgers and hotdogs and fries only during the lunch time hours. I am not picky about food so I did not find any complaints about the food served. It was all pretty good! The buffet had a different theme daily for dinner and breakfast and lunch gave a variety of choices like most inclusive resort buffets. The restaurant service was good and there was never a wait for a table. The staffs did their best to accommodate you and were friendly. The drinks were fine for me but the service was a bit slow at the pool and it was not the fault of the bartenders at the pool. There were not enough bartenders at the pool bar. (Another management problem, trying to save money and cut costs)

The beach was alright, have walked on nicer beaches. The sand is not powdery and has a consistency of crushed shells and small pebbles and also be aware when you are walking into the water, it’s the equivalent of walking down a incline when entering the water and walking up an incline when exiting the water. You can’t snorkel in the immediate area but you can sun bathe on the beach in the chairs provided by the resort which were plentiful and nice. You can also conveniently walk into Philipsburg from the beach or street and it’s only a 10 or 15-minute walk into to town if you want to dine elsewhere, buy jewelry, clothing or trinkets

Overall, I met wonderful people at the resort, which made my stay memorable and the majority of the hotel staff were very nice, but I highly doubt that I would stay at this resort again. Sonesta can do better for its guests and I hope they do some wonderful things to property in the future.
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I did upload some photo's of room 130 which surprisingly show a nice room and did so because I thought it would be unfair to post photo's of every stain or crack in the wall. But I do hope the Management team inspects the room regarding my comments.

Room Tip: Do not select a first floor room if you want a view and higher floors are the best rooms
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled solo
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4  Thank Taurian34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2014

My girlfriend and I were at Great Bay from april 3 to 10 and found it to be one of our favorite places to stay! I had been there 9 yrs ago and I found it to have improved a lot. Many of the same great staff still there . The room was wonderful , love the ocean view and the food is fabulous !
We will be back soon!!

Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
3  Thank travelgirl039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2014

First girls trip with my best friend and I must say it was amazing. The island, the people the resort, the food where great. I could not have asked for a better place. There was something to do every night. Daniel the front desk agent was great from the minute we walked in, Deroy the animation supervisor provided great intertainment day and night. Kendi and the rest of the bartenders were great and made some awesome drinks. Again awesome food, people and resort, would recommend it 98%. I would advice for island music to be played during the day.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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6  Thank Soby_l
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

Address: 19 Little Bay Road, Philipsburg, St Martin / St Maarten
Phone Number:
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
#3 Family Hotel in Philipsburg
Price Range: $337 - $691 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg

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