We were moved from the Mercure Simson (French side) to the Sonesta Great Bay (Dutch side) on November 18. Our vacation dates were Nov 15- 22, 2008. The reason was our sincere displeasure with the first resort. This one was such a welcomed relief.
Sonesta Great Bay, Oceanview room. The Sonesta is amazing. We were greeted in a sunny, open lobby with a genuine smile! We were given a welcome package which included maps and books and free gifts from local stores. Our room was beautiful. The oceanview was AMAZING! we would not normally bother with this upgrade, but this hotel is worth it. Breathtaking. The food: Breakfast was Buffet style, but included an omelette bar, fresh fruit and baked goods. Great coffee too. A great way to start the day. Lunch is also buffet, but we were never disappointed. Dinner you could do buffet or sit down, there were two restaurants with menu service. They were fabulous; excellent food, nice menus, good choices, well prepared, great service! the Lobster was extra charge, but we did not have any. We were very satisfied about the meals, great job Sonesta!
There were two great pools and a hot tub, right on the beach. There were several bars and everything they served was included in the package - even the grapefruit juice (not included at Mercure). Towels were on the card system, you give them a card, you get a towel, you give them a towel, you get a card. Perfect.
We were a 10 minute walk up the beach to Philipsburg, what a treat! We returned the car and walked everywhere we wanted to go, but we did not mind paying a cab to Maho, since we no longer felt gauged at every point :-0 we walked and listened and talked and watched and ate and drank and had the time of our lives for those last four days!
To sum it up: The rooms were bright and clean, the food was fabulous, the people were friendly and helpful, the pools were great, the hot tub clean, the bars stocked, the location was perfect and we had loved it so much we're planning a group tour in fall of 2010.
PS, This review has been cut in half, since it was written to compare one to another. All the obvious things (towels, juice) were not available at the Mercure. Upon our return we contacted Transat about our experience and also discovered that Mercure had been higher priced and Sonesta, even with the room upgrade. We asked for the difference back as well as the Insurance Euros to be re-funded on the basis that they were running a bait & switch, but Transat sent us a letter saying sorry. That's it. So, we're planning our return with a different carrier, because that's not cool.
- 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