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“Great adult only all inclusive resort! Going back in 6 weeks!”

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Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Kitchener, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great adult only all inclusive resort! Going back in 6 weeks!”
Reviewed August 22, 2014

Girls Get-A-Way 8/14/14-8/21/14. Upon arriving we were greeted with champagne and cold towels. Check in was relatively easy through Sunwing. Our room was not quite ready so we sat and relaxed, enjoying the beautiful view of the beach, pools and the bay. The staff at the front desk were absolutely awesome all week. Quick service, friendly, helpful. Always smiling. And for me that was extremely important. This is an Adult Only resort although the Time Share section had a family there. Not sure how that happened. If you are looking for a relaxing get-a-way from noisy crowds this resort is perfect. You have the beautiful beach that goes straight into Phillipsburg - a 10 minute walk. The food was very good. A large variety for all meals. For the most part service was good. Buffet meals service was slower than we liked at times in clearing our dirty plates or getting refills on our drinks but at all meals we were never rushed to leave our table to make room for other guests. This allowed us the ability to have a very relaxed meal. Our room was on the 4th floor. Ocean view. It was absolutely beautiful. Note: at night the ocean view rooms could hear the live entertainment from the pool patio. With our sliding door closed it was noticeable but over by 11:00pm. It didn't bother us at all. Ocean view rooms see the sunrise, the ships come into port, Phillipsburg and the pool decks of the resort. What a beautiful view to wake up to. It's well worth taking that side of the resort. 4th floor also meant we didn't have to use the elevators. One small flight of 6 steps to get to the wide open lobby before taking the steps down to pool deck and the restaurants. For us it was perfect. The rooms were kept clean every day. Note: the bathroom did not have a tub but a tile shower with glass. The water pooled at the shower entrance making it a bit slippery getting in if you took a second shower before the room was cleaned. The floor was levelled the wrong direction. For me the bed was extremely comfortable. Note: slept with the extra blanket on every night due to the air conditioning blowing directly on me. Even with the temperature turned up so the air was not as cold the fact the air was blowing directly on me kept me too cold. Couldn't turn the fan off while we slept as the room would get too warm. We did keep it off most of the time we were just sitting in the room. Overall this was the best resort I have stayed in on any of my Caribbean travels. I was at Maho last October and I wouldn't go back there. This week it was extremely relaxing to be on the beach and not have the local women hounding you to give you a massage on the beach. Also when ships come in Great Bay resort beach is not affected by the visitors from the ships. At Maho even though the beach chairs belong to the guests you still get the visitors from the ships on the beach with you. We loved walking into Phillipsburg daily....morning, afternoon and evening. Not once did we ever feel unsafe. Especially at night. If you are looking for great night time entertainment this is not going to happen at this resort. The town during off season is pretty dead at night, however, it's a quick trip to other towns for nightlife entertainment. I was disappointed in the Sunwing representative for excursions. We could not get a straight consistent answer about costs to travel the island. We were told they don't take credit cards for excursions so being cash. We found it was safe and cheaper to grab the local bus in town to go to Maho and Marigol. If you go to Mairgol being your passport. Only on tours can you leave it at the hotel. Overall we enjoyed our stay. It had the right amount of quiet we needed. I plan on going back in 6 weeks with my husband,

Room Tip: If you can - take an ocean view room. The view is spectacular. Be aware however you will hear the ni...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank missy3nld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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SUDBURY
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2014

What a great place.
We went for our 30th wedding anniversary and loved it.
The people are friendly and Cleopatra is an angel. She sent us champagne and choc strawberries to our room. great shopping and a jewelers on site.
Thank you all so much

Room Tip: We had an ocean view room that was great.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank alsation131965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amanda F, Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, August 29, 2014
Dear alsation131965,

First of all, Happy Anniversary and thank you for choosing to spend your 30 year anniversary with us and for writing your review about your time with us. We'll make sure to pass on your kind messages to Cleopatra. We hope you will come back to see us soon!

Best regards,
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Management
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San Diego
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2014

My husband and I just came back from St. Maarten and we stayed here! We transferred from the Sonesta Maho the 2nd day into our trip! We were there Aug 10-18! Agatha offered us cold towels and Jonathan served us Champagne upon entry! Vicky was also very nice! As you can see we knew their names! Daniel was wonderful! My husband threw his back out and Daniel called his doctor for an apt, gave me directions and called in the morning to see how he was doing!!! The food was awesome! My husband and I love variety with sauces!!! From Lamb, to stews, to Mahi Mahi with lemon butter sauce to clam chowder! We didn't a meal!!! Ella was one of our servers and each time we entered the dining area they were happy to see us! They made us feel welcomed! The bartenders were great, also they made sure our fridge was always stocked with beer, soda and water. And Gin and Vodka too! Amazing! Each night was live music!! The burgers and pizza were good too! Since we bought a premium package at the Sonesta Maho they transferred us and gave us a room in their timeshare area! The service was top notch! There was no charge for parking! internet was free! They were always asking if we needed anything and enjoy your stay! We will totally come back, stay here and see our friends! Agatha, Vicky, Daniel, Jonathan, Ella, the Bartenders, Pool DJ who even played music from my Ipod! If there were more circles to click on I would! If you are thinking about going to St. Maartin and want All Inclusive and no kids, this is definitely the place! We loved it! Thank you too everyone who made our vacation a pleasant and memorable one!

Room Tip: Philipsburg is walking distance, where the shops are. Buy a package where you wake up to the Ocean...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank ErikaandGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Hempstead, NY
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2014

Just got back from a great vacation at Sonesta Great bay in Sint Maarten. The entire stay was wonderful. The staff were very hospitable and made you feel very comfortable.

Vicky who helped us with our accommodations couldn't do enough for us. She was pleasant every time she saw us. Very personable!

Jonathan (Smiley) Puento our waiter was a joy to be around. Very friendly and courteous. Always looking to do more for the Guest. His service was outstanding!

Edrick the Bellman... What a gentleman! Supplied everyone with great courteous service whether it was hailing a Taxi or asking him questions to getting our bags the day that we left. Always approached you with a smile on his face.

I (we) would definitely recommend Sonesta Great bay to all our friends for a great vacation!

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pbruno106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roseland, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2014

Just came back from a great stay at the Sonesta Great Bay (Aug 11 - Aug 19) with my family, husband and 2 daughters (18 & 21). Very quick transfer to the hotel and also into our room. The rooms were very nice and clean and had the best view of the pools and ocean. I can't say enough about the staff, especially Maritza and Denroy. They were always very friendly and had a great sense of humor. Also the guests we met during our trip made our vacation that much more special. The restaurants and buffet were great! Can't wait to visit again.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Cindy R
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, August 21, 2014
Hello Cindy!

Thank you for taking the time out to write this fantastic review.

We are delighted to know that you had a "Great vacation with the family". It is pretty great news to hear that you loved our beautiful rooms, breath taking views, exquisite pools, high quality restaurants and our fun employees Denroy & Maritza. It was a great experience accommodating you and your amazing family.

We invite you to visit again soon. Please feel free to bring along the entire family and some friends next time. :)

Until then, thank you all for choosing Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Casino & Spa.
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Westfield, New Jersey
Level Contributor
60 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2014

Upon arrival we were greeted with champagne and cold towels. Everything seemed to off to a great start. The room was decent, not amazing. It was a fairly nice size, but was very humid (towels never dried) and the bed was very hard. The walls were very thin too. Our neighbors kept us awake quite often. Service was good for the most part with a few exceptions. Michael the bartender was great as was much of the front desk. Most of the waitresses were nice aside from one. The girl in the gift shop was AWFUL. No smile, so thank you. Just miserable. The food was pretty good, though the restaurants are not all open every night so you do have limited choices. The buffets were actually great, as was the breakfast. I did not care for the Italian place, but the seafood place was terrific. The pool by the beach is amazing with the swim up bar. Spectacular views. We found it easy to get drinks, despite some other reviews I read. There wasn't any do not disturb tag for the door so we were constantly annoyed by staff knocking on the door. The nightlife at the hotel is also a bit boring and nothing in the area is open. They also says it is adults only but I saw children there, thankfully they were not annoying. Also no ATM at the hotel so be bring cash!!

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a beach view.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jennifer L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amanda F, Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, November 24, 2014
Dear Jennifer L,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us. We are so happy that you enjoyed your vacation with us. Thank you for highlighting our food, spectacular views and swim up bar at our pool. We have noted each of your comments and went over them with the appropriate departments.

We hope to see you again soon.

Best regards,
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Management
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New Orleans
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2014

Vacation trip 8/9 - 8/16/14 to Sint Maarten and a same-day trip to Anguilla.
The process through customs/immigration at the Princess Juliana Airport was very smooth and didn't take more than 30 minutes to reach our waiting transportation representative. Transportation to the hotel was fast & efficient, only taking approx. 15 minutes to arrive.
We stayed at Sonesta Great Bay Resort - ocean view room (# 413).
We were greeted at check-in with a cool towel and glass of champagne and was quickly escorted to our room and given a brief orientation to our room.
We were welcomed in our room with a bottle of chilled champagne and chocolate covered strawberries with a note from the food and beverage manager welcoming us to the resort and congratulating us on our 24th Anniversary.
The views from our room were excellent of the beach/ocean and pools from the room.
The room had adequate space for the two of us and our belongings and only a few minor things that weren't so perfect but by far didn't ruin our vacation (the knob to the cabinet door to the minibar kept coming off, the bathroom had a light/fan combination that was a bit noisy, the shower staff had a partial glass wall and water tended to accumulate at the opening while showering, easily mopped up with towels provided). Maid service was available everyday, although we did choose to hang the "privacy please" sign one of the days and just asked for towels from the maid later in the day and had no problems getting what we needed.
The room was stocked with a mini bar that had ample bottled waters, beer (coors light & Heineken), and soda (pepsi, diet pepsi & 7 up).
We left a note and a few dollars requesting some additional coors lights and had our request fulfilled.

Overall, the resort is on the smaller side, but very clean and we had a wonderful stay. The beach, ocean and infinity pool are great and really all you need to have a great time! The sand is very grainy, almost like dry oatmeal. There are some broken shells but not enough to cause problems with walking barefoot. There is a slope to the beach and then once you enter the ocean there is an approx. 2 foot drop off. The water is clear enough that you can see where the drop off .is. There were a good amount of waves, but not really enough for boogy boarding


There were a total of 3 restaurants, although only open for breakfast and two were open at a time for lunch & dinner each day. Breakfast was a nice buffet with a good variety of foods including omelet/egg station, pancake & waffle station. Plenty of choices of fruit, breakfast meats, cereal, breads & pastries.
For lunch options, either the open air buffet or the outdoor water's edge grill offered burgers, hotdogs, jerk chicken wrap, salads, and made to order pizza (or choose from what was available). Salads were very tasty, as well as the pizza. You could dine there or take food to go to your room or chair/beachside. The water's edge was opened "late night" from 11pm - 1am, offering burgers/hotdogs & pizza.
For dinner options, either the indoor (air conditioned), upstairs restaurant was open or the downstairs open air buffet. On alternating days, the outdoor water's edge restaurant was open.
All (buffet, water's edge & upstairs) restaurants offered a variety of food options and we were never disappointed with the taste of the food.
We did tip frequently along the way. The bartenders and bartender staff/assistants were very appreciative of the tips and made an extra effort the next time we were around to get a drink. There wasn't much reaction from the wait staff in the restaurants and didn't seem to make a difference in the service the next time we had them as our server.
The staff in general were very friendly. You do have to remember that you are "on island time" and there is no hustle. In a way that is good, because this "island time" thinking also helps you to just relax and chill too and not be in a hurry....it's vacation, time to relax and have a good time!

There were a very staff members that stood out - Michael at the downstairs bar; At the pool bar: Nigel, Akeem, "Toronto" - we called him that because he wore a Toronto hat and "Brooklyn - we called him that because he wore a Brooklyn hat and also Giovanni (a trainee). Thank you all for making us laugh and for helping to make our vacation a great one!

The daytime entertainment staff was very friendly and there were several activities to participate in if you desired. It would be nice to play a variety of music at the pool area so that it appeals to all. At the request of another traveler, the request was accommodated.

The entertainment at night was excellent on Saturday, with a full band that played a variety of music with a singer that was very good and got the crowd involved. However, the entertainment for the rest of the week was more low key and didn't bring the same energy to the crowd.

We visited the "sister" resort - Sonesta Maho Beach briefly - to have a quick lunch and see the planes fly overhead. The beach area where the plans fly overhead and where people line up along the fence to the airport is a popular spot and it was a bit crowded. It was neat to see the planes fly overhead and it seemed that you could almost jump up and touch and to feel the jet blast from the outbound planes was interesting but the area where this occurs in right next to a fairly busy two lane road and the beach area is not very large, sloped & rocky. This experience was a little unnerving because of the crowds and traffic in the area - perhaps visiting the beachside restaurant/bar there would have been the thing to do.

We took the ferry to Anguilla from Marigot (approx. 15-20 minute ferry ride, a bit on the rough side but at least it was short). From the port at Anguilla we took a taxi to Shoal Bay Beach. I must say, this is probably one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to. The beach is very wide, sand is powdery and just a slight slope to enter the ocean. The ocean is a gorgeous turquois color, very clear and on the calmer side (compared to Great Bay). There are only a few restaurants on Shoal Bay, but all offer plenty of great beverages and food. Beach chairs and umbrellas are also available for rent. A very relaxing beach atmosphere here!
We had a beer at Hank's and had a nice time talking with Hank about Anguilla. We had drinks and some very delicious food at Madeariman - fisherman's salad, goat cheese in phyllo dough and grilled crayfish (which are more like mini rock lobsters instead of crawfish like you get in Louisiana). The staff at Madeariman were super friendly and made the taxi & ferry rides well worth it!

We also visited Grand Case for dinner at one of the Lolo's on the beach (a local open air BBQ type restaurant). We ate at the Rib Shack (beachfront Lolo next to pier in Grand Case). The grilled lobster and conch creole were very tasty and the breeze and sunset couldn't have been better. There are plenty of "higher end" dining options in Grand Case, but we wanted the more local experience.

The casino was actually larger than I expected, offering slots, video poker, virtual blackjack, three card poker and roulette. The casino was also air conditioned, so it offered a nice relief from the open air environment that the hotel has.

We did not use the spa, so I cannot comment on that. I did look at the "menu" and pricing was what you would expect from a resort.

The gift shop was small, but had an assortment of souvenir options and personal items.

We only briefly browsed the onsite jewelry store to retrieve the earrings that I won as a prize for bingo.

In closing, we had a VERY GOOD vacation and celebration for our 24th anniversary.
Thank you to Sonesta Great Bay for a nice experience!

Room Tip: Highly recommend paying the extra money for Ocean view.
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank NOLALUVSVACATION
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, August 19, 2014
Hello Nolaluvsvacation

Congratulations again on your 24th Anniversary! We are happy to hear that you and your partner enjoyed the chocolate covered strawberries and chilled champagne, specially prepared for you by or Food & Beverage Manager.

Thank you for taking the time out to share your great comments with us.

We have read through your review and we are happy you had such an amazing experience with us. At Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Casino & Spa, our aim is to create memorable experience that will last a lifetime, and it brings us great pleasure knowing we did just that for you. Thank you for highlighting our beautiful rooms, restaurants, entertainment, service and overall amenities. Also special congratulations will be sent to our fun employees; Michael, Nigel, Akeem and Giovanni. Please note that we are constantly upgrading our facilities and training & developing our amazing employees. Therefore, we take this opportunity to invite you back in the near future for another great experience!

Thank you for choosing us

Team Sonesta Great Bay
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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 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

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