We stayed at this resort for 7 nights all inclusive. We found it to be a good value for the price (we booked 4 days ahead of travel date for a great price with air inclusie). It is about a 10 minute walk to downtown Phillipsburg via the beach however on hot, sunny days the walk can feel blistering. Phillipsburg is a decent town, not a lot of bother from the locals, if you say no they do not follow you or keep bothering you.
The Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort and Casino was very clean with open air lobby. Check in was pretty quick and we were greeted with a rum punch and lots of assistance with luggage. We found the staff was polite and friendly but not always fast with service.
The pool bar was at the infinity pool between the ocean and hotel had the swim up bar and was the most popular bar. Service was a bit slow at this bar though. Beer we noted was Heineken, Coors Light, Budweiser, Carib and Presidente (last 2 are not local but Caribbean brewed). Mixed drinks were good as well. There were plenty of beach chairs available but pick your spot early as the umbrellas and shaded areas are the first to go. Believe us, you need some shade to escape to.
Be very careful walking by the pools, VER slippery. Take some pool shoes or flip flops as this will help keep you from falling. We observed at least 2 falls while there.
Restaurants were pretty good for the a la carte, not a huge selection but a nice change from the buffetts. You need a reservation for the restaurants. At this time the restaurants opened every other day from 6-10p. Service very good in restaurants.
Buffett was pretty good - breakfast from 630a-1030a, good food, service pretty good. Lunch from 12p-230p had good food, service okay. Everyday there were burgers and dogs on the grill at lunch (big burgers and good too). Supper from 6p-10p, food good, service okay. The one thing we noticed was the staff would come out and get their plates of food from the buffett (take it to the kitchen to eat thought) while our glasses of water of wine were empty so sometimes made us feel like WE were in the way (just in the buffet area). Lots of veggies and salad on the lunch and dinner buffetts and lots of fruit on breakfast. No snacks or 24 hour or room service so we felt like we had to grab a bite when we could, so we brought home a few extra pounds. My suggestion is to take a snack back to your room (rolls or fruit that will last a few hours).
Rooms were nice. Get an ocean view, killer views of the bay, Phillipsburg and the cruise ships. Worth the extra. Rooms were clean and they brought plenty of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shower gel and soap (your room amenities). No mini frig in rooms but they do have hair dryers and iron/ironing board.
We went jet skiing thru the resort. What fun and negioated a better deal than advertised with the guys with a tip. It was rough that day so we got our money's worth.
No need to take extra booze as it is free flowing at the hotel from 9a until 3a everyday and so cheap to buy in town. Cigarettes are $2.50 a pack at resort (limited brands - Marlboro, Salem B&H) and about $2.00 in town (anywhere from 15.00 to 17.00 a carton) so buy them there. Tshirts tended to run $10-$20.
Fun time would go back.
- 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 Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg