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Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
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Reviews (4,342)
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3,689 - 3,694 of 4,342 reviews
Reviewed October 15, 2005

We have just returned from one week at the Great Bay Hotel and will not be going to this hotel or to any other hotel (Sonesta) that is run by the same owner. Overall the hotel is very old and run down..........I certainly don't know where the supposed "Millions of dollars" were spent on recent renovations??? The beach is a sewer and the sewage actually empties into a space adjacent to the hotel. One hotel patron has pictures of a person releasing all of this sewage directly into this space beside the hotel and it feeds directly into the beach area where the hotel guests are expected to swim. DISGUSTING!!!!

We were quite lucky with our room....it was on the 7th floor and did not have any mold. Others in our group were not so lucky and their rooms were moldy and had mold all around the air conditioning unit and mildew in other areas of their bathroom. We had a "mountain view" which was really a view of the street and parking lot in front of the hotel with a mountain in the background. We were at the end of the floor so did have a view of the "downtown" area and a small inland bay. The shower did not always have hot water (typical of the Caribbean though).

The front desk staff were very courteous and friendly............other employees of the hotel were not as friendly. The casino staff were horrific and resembled "hit men" from some TV program........not one of them could smile. I understand the casino was robbed a couple of months ago so perhaps this has had some influence. Security at the hotel was certainly questionable at best and one evening there was some guy running around the bar and the lobby area asking the guests for money............security was called and asked the guy to leave but he kept coming back and the hotel didn't seem too concerned about it.

FOOD...........it was passable and this is all I can say. Very bland and no imagination at all. The staff at the buffet area on the main level was friendly but the dining room called Molasses was something else! We were treated like a BIG NUISANCE and the person serving us was actually quite rude. This hotel only has these 2 dining areas and the Molasses room was only open for 2 nights during our week at the hotel. The breakfast buffet was okay, lunch seemed to be re-cycled food...............likely from the night before, and dinner was again tasteless and very bland.

The 2 pools were fine and there were new deck chairs. The pool bar was rather strange and the bar tender was not even remotely interesting in serving drinks. More often than not, he wasn't even there. I ordered a drink and the bar tender argued with me about the drink contents. He told me that this drink didn't contain the ingredients I asked for. I guess this hotel doesn't mix drinks like any other bar?? The pool bar only had about 5 plastic stools. The lounge bar was okay and Michael was VERY friendly and honest. My friend forgot her purse in the bar one afternoon and when she returned about an hour later he had it for her..................everything intact. Kudos to Michael!

There were virtually no organized activities at the hotel. There was shuffleboard, table tennis, pool table but that's about it. There were a few kayaks on the "sewer beach".

Phillipsburg was about a 10 minute walk from the hotel along a very poor and dirty area. We walked once but took a taxi after that and always took a taxi at night..............it didn't seem safe at all.

We would return to the island but never to this hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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12  Thank DivaOakville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2005

My husband and I just returned from the Great Bay Hotel in St. Maarten. The Great Bay has changed so much in the two years since we were there. Most of the staff has changed but most are still friendly. The pools were really dirty while we were there and we had to ask that they be cleaned. The spa/whirlpool was filthy with people going in with suntan oils etc. and it had a brown ring around the edge.

The food is still great with a real good variety to choose from. We ate way too much but enjoyed all of the different theme dinners.

The rooms have a real bad smell due to the teak furniture and musty airconditioning, but leaving the balcony doors open for a period of time and turning the air off definitely helped.

Watch out for the beach area. Lots of dogs running the beach and they are scratching with fleas. Many of us ending up with terrible flea bites on arms and legs from the dogs burrowing into the sand. Don't know what the solution is other than taking lots of bug spray with you.

Shopping in Phillipsburg is amazing and bargains are plentiful. Be sure to go to Mr. Tablecloth if you are looking for linens. Beautiful tablecloths, table runners, placemats etc.

If you are looking for a 5 star hotel don't go to the Great Bay because you will be disappointed. But if you are looking for good food, lots of free time, and great shopping within walking distance the Great Bay is a bargain.

10  Thank lizgordaneer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
St. Louis, MO
110
Reviewed October 5, 2005

I was very nervous about this hotel and even tried to change to The Little Divi Resort right before we left. I am very happy that I didn't go through with it. After reading the reviews on here it almost feels like some of the reviewers stayed in a different hotel. I didn't notice dirty rooms, rude staff or a bad beach. We had an ocean view which was clean. There was a musty smell but that was about all that was wrong with it. Our room was made up twice in one day and the staff was always friendly and eager to please us. The food at the hotel was below average, so I would suggest going elsewhere for food. The pools were nice, the beach was decent (the island has better so explore). My suggestion is if you absolutely MUST stay on the dutch side, stay at Great Bay. But if you are looking for a better area with better beaches and food, the French side is much better.
Overall I thought St. Martin did not make a good vacation spot. It feels wrong to be vacationing where there is so much poverty. If you are still researching places to vacation and you'd like an island, I'd recommend St. Thomas.

  • Stayed: September 2005
    • Value
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10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2005

Four of us travelled to this resort this past September and all of us have nothing but praise for the time we spent there. After reading the reviews previous we were a little skeptical but the resort , the food and the people could not have been better suited to our week away! I am beginning to think people expect too much when travelling. We always take a vacation South at this time of the year,so we are seasoned travellers.My sister and her husband had been to Great Bay before and they did miss the ribs at the babrb-que each afternoon ,but the buffet restaurant was just fantastic and our server.was a wonderful woman, full of smiles and that laughter that was infectious.We spent most of our time in the newer pool with the swim up bar and the bartenders did their best to please us !! There is one liquor there called Alexandra, and it puts Bailey' to shame !! The close proximity to town is a plus, the bargains are fantastic ,so make sure you check them out. I am sure we will go back again in the future. Make sure you book an oceanview room as the view of the cruise ships coming into harbour is great too !!

  • Stayed: September 2005
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10  Thank Pgrogy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Macclesfield, UK
110
Reviewed September 30, 2005

We have just returned from 2 weeks at Great Bay. Like many others who have read the reviews we were not entirely looking forward to it - however we had a great time.
We had a mountain view room which was a good size (one king size bed and still plenty of room), new furniture and a great big walk-in shower (enough space for 2 !!).
Food - nothing exceptional but on a par with other all-inclusive resorts with the second week being a repetition of the first. There are themed evenings and on the seafood night I was able to get a juicy steak due to me not liking what was on offer. They dont overly advertise that you can get alternatives to what is on the buffet and that there are bar snacks in the afternoon.
Drinks - plenty and a good variety.
Staff - very helpful, polite and friendly.
Pools - infinity pool with swim-up bar is ace which means that the other pool is hardly used. Jacuzzi is good too.

You can see that the hotel has been refurbished but the standard of the finishes are not what we are used to in the UK - a bit of rustic charm !

I think we picked the right time to go (low season, fewer people) because according to the staff high season gets extremely busy with queues for the restaurant. However they are still working on the hotel. Another restaurant is needed.

Out and about - short walk to Philipsburg for shopping, eating and drinking. Dont miss the free island tour. Maho beach is a must, just to see how close the planes come when landing and the Sunset Beach Bar does great cheap food.

  • Stayed: September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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