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“Fantastic again!!!”

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Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 21, 2006

Well Pam and I are home now and what a fantastic time we had at this Hotel!!!
This was trip #7 for us to the same place(that speaks volumes)
The food is great(I eat to live,not live to eat)
We eat breakfast,lunch and a few dinners there,and go out to a few awesome eateries on the Island.
The Hotel is "Dutch Clean" and the "room refurbishment staff" make sure you are taken care of!!
Check in is quick and efficient, and you are on the beach before you know it!!
Try for an Ocean view room as they change the ships daily...and the view of the Bay is beautiful!!
I notice that a few people complain about the musty smell...well I have spoken to Mother Nature and she insures me there will be no more humidity!!LOL
That's just part of Island life(bye the bye...I did not notice it)can't wait for next year....if you want some fun...ask Jose at the bar to make you a Goombay Smash!!Tell him double D sent you!!Have a Blast!!!

  • Stayed: February 2006
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8  Thank danandpam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,664 - 3,670 of 4,336 reviews

Reviewed February 20, 2006

Stayed for 10 nights 8th Feb 06. As we brits say it does exactly what it says on the tin. The rooms had been refurbished our 6th floor room was smart/clean/modern and housekeeping was second to none. New towels twice a day bed turned down. Staff were helpfull and friendly. We travelled with a six year old and would suggest that hotel is best for couples or groups rather than families. The food did become boring but after 10 days you would expect that, however food was well presented and plenty of it.
Excellent selection of beers and drinks at the bars.
Just 1 tip. Dont get in the glass lift with no shoes on, the floors rather hot by the end of the day. Beach and pool areas very clean and tidy.
Satisfied Guests. Folkestone Kent England

  • Stayed: February 2006
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4  Thank SIMONGBRA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2006

My best girlfriend of 16 years and I just returned from our very first just-us, no-boyfriends 8-day stay on St Maarten at the Great Bay Resort...and we can't stop talking about what a fabulous vacation it was! We had a very large, deluxe, oceanfront room that came complete with a couch, two sitting chairs, coffee table, another small table with two chairs, huge bathroom with shower + jacuzzi tub. Our room had no smell of mildew that the other reviewers mention. The decorating style of the rooms was rather basic, but we weren't on the island to enjoy the looks of the room...it was what I expected for a 3-star rating. We had hot water for showers all of the time, with the exception of late in the afternoon on a Thursday...but the cold water there is not like the cold water I get up here in Connecticut, so it was certainly bearable. The staff there was absolutely great! The maid service was ever-present. JJ, the activities coordinator, was a sheer delight! He taught us how to salsa dance one afternoon on the pool deck, and then took a large group of us out to dance that night! What fun!! JJ was the perfect source for nightclub info - there seems to be one "in" place to go for each designated night. We went dancing to island music at The Greenhouse, Bamboo Bernies, Bliss, Q Club, and Boo Boo Jam. All absolutely fun and wonderful - if that is the type of vacation you are looking for. Days spent on the beach, nights spent shaking our booties! We highly recommend utilizing the services at the spa. We both had Indian Massages that were decadent. The bartenders outside could have been a bit friendlier, but the bartender inside at the Lobby Bar, Michael, has eyes that you could dive into, and his smile is worth having more than a drink or two bellied up to his bar in the evening. The Bay View restaurant was such a treat: breakfast every morning staring at the blue water. Ahhhhhh! The waitstaff was very friendly, especially a little cutie named Troy. The manager there was ever-vigilent over his staff to ensure they provided proper service. The food at the resort, however, was unremarkable. It was food you could get anywhere. But that was fine by me and my girlfriend. We went all-inclusive and decided to stick to the plan and eat at the resort. It was fine. But I do hear that St Maarten restaurants offer some of the best eating in the world, so if you don't go the all-inclusive route, I would definitely venture to off the resort to dine on both the Dutch and French sides of the island. The Jet Ski rental is very near on the beach, which made it quite convenient. Ahmid Michele works there and his smile will melt your heart! It was absolutely lovely, as well, to be able to lounge on the beach and watch the activity out in the bay: cruise ships coming and going, jet skis, banana boats, etc. We heard NONE of the noise from the airplanes, as many complain about at places nearer the airport (Sonesta). It was quiet and relaxing in every way. Okay...so here goes...my ONLY complaint about this resort: slamming doors. Each and every time someone entered their room or exited their room, the doors slammed and echoed down the tiled hallways. I have no idea how one would prevent such a thing since there is no carpetting to absorb the sound, but it was terrible to be awakened in the very early morning by the mega-early risers slamming their doors. I think it's just a matter of respect. My girlfriend and I were very conscious to close our door quietly. Others were not so respectful. Overall, our time spent at Great Bay was outstanding. Lovely 3-star hotel, great staff, lots to see and do...or very easy to do nothing at all. Ahhhhhhh. Perfect. Just perfect.

Stayed: February 2006
6  Thank MichelleSmiles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
London, Ontario
19
Reviewed February 15, 2006

We just got back from a week's stay at Great Bay-what a wonderful time! The staff-especially JJ, Jesica, Virginia, Lucy & Felix were superb! All the staff made you feel very welcome, everyone would bid you the time of day. Every day there was always something to do, or if you chose not to participate-well there were hiding spots for quiet times. The beach is great, very handy having the jet ski rental very close to the resort. The food is average, the rooms clean-the musty smell is to be expected due to the climate. We have no complaints and would definately stay there again. Compared to the Maho-the looks of the Maho is wonderful but compared to the atmosphere at Great Bay would put this hotel at a 5 star rating-due to the staff. We were so glad that we never listened to the negative reviews regarding this hotel-if we did, we would have missed out on a great time.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Detroit
17
Reviewed February 7, 2006

I recently somewhat enjoyed my 8th stay at the hotel, the second since it's recent renovation. As usual the staff was great! In addition to a great staff, the visitors to the hotel are warm and friendly.

My complaint on this particular trip has to do with maintenance! My room smelled of mildew, the washroom door was broken and would not shut and the hot water in the shower was come & go. Not too impressive for a $10 million dollar renovation.

Yes, I'll keep going back, but it isn't due to the luxury of the building, but for the great staff and awsome view!

  • Stayed: February 2006
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7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2006

I stayed at the hotel from the 28t of Jan. to the 4th of Feb.

This hotel has an open air concept and doesn't have that new feeling when you walk in....and though this hotel has had a renovation recently, you won't notice it when you walk in because they seem to have spent it on the rooms and not the lobby . But don't worry it's all good.

This hotel had 2 great advantages ...# 1 the view is sensational....the bay is beautiful, the water is dark blue on the horizon, light blue in the middle of the bay and turquoise near the shore..add in the cruise ships on the side and it is very picturesque. You must take an oceanview room because if you don't you will be lookin at a hill and you just lost 50% of the hotels benefits. Request to be on the higher floors as your view will be cut off on the 1st or 2nd floors.

#2 the location near phillipsburg, you are a short walk away from the shopping area and front street is very pretty and clean.


The renovations that I noticed were that each room had new sinks...new patio door and was recently painted.

Note: St-martin has great restaurants so I wouldn't recommand the All Inclusive unless you have trouble moving around... the food at the hotel was very average..and i hated the buffets.

So this hotel gives you a great view, great location, st-martin gives you great weather and great food...what more do you need.

The only thing that bothered me was a smell that emmenated from the town next door (like a burnt type smell). It was there all day saturday but the it went away for the rest of the week, but it came back the following saturday , the day we were leaving, so you might smell that but it is temporary.

On a side note: the casino is small but who cares, at least it's in the hotel; the beach has a section where the sand is full of shells but only in a small radius in front of the hotel no biggie; the beach is steep but just go to Pinel if you want to swim in a great beach for a full day; one pool was old but the other is new and real nice; Marigot is the place to be for great restaurants; taxis are expensive; sheets in the room did have a humid feeling but that's cause the island is humid, this is a very minor point, rooms are clean; there are stray dogs on the beach, not an issue, they don't even approach you. Also to walk to Phillipsburg you must go through a local section which isn't dangerous but very unpleasant solution: walk on the beach till you pass the pink appartment like building then hang a left anywhere after that and your on front street.

I've seen a lot of complaints about this hotel but all I can say is some people shouldn't travel to the carribeans... one lady made a huge fit because when she went to the bar there were no bartenders at that exact point in time and it took a couple of minutes for someone to show up..I mean cmon, she was still talkin about it to everyone a couple of days later LOL. If you want a 5 star experience go downtown where u live and stay in a hotel there....if you want a superb view , warm weather and some fun come to St-Martin..some people complain no matter what


Note: I visited the Sonesta at Maho beach, this hotel is definately a superior hotel vs the great bay, but it doesn't have the great bays view and to me I wasn't ready to give up that view.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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13  Thank alexmach1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2006

I see a few VERY negative feedbacks on this hotel. We stayed there in dec.2005 4 nights because we had to wait for our current apartment to be available. (We live on St.Maarten)
We had a suite which was superb!
Breakfast buffet was far above average and personell was very friendly.
The only big minus was the babycot we had for our 8 month old daughter. It STANK of mildew and had a plastic mattress.
Nice pools and beautiful beach and perfect location in Ph.burg makes this a good 3 star hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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8  Thank Elin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa

Address: 19 Little Bay Road, Philipsburg, St Martin / St Maarten
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
Price Range: $362 - $698 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — 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
Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa St Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg

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