We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Got married here”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 9 more sites!
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Philipsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“Got married here”
Reviewed June 21, 2010

We got married here in 2008 because my aunt works there and she was able to help us organize everything. When we got here I was expecting more but eventually I fell in love with the place. The first room they gave us, the door wouldn't unlock with the key they gave us so after several trips back and forth to the front desk to exchange keys I was able to talk Jacques??(I think that was his name) that we need a better room because I didn't like where that one was located. We were able to get an even better oceanview room down the hallway by the casino where the time share properties were. Our room was beautiful with breathtaking views. We loved to watch the cruise ships come in and out. Our wedding there was fabulous and everyone was super nice. The food was average, nothing to rave about. The beach was a little rough for us none swimmers. There is a really steep drop off at one part. Not sure that I would stay there again but our wedding guests are still raving about our wedding and the good time they had there so it was probably the company that made it great. Being close to downtown was great for shopping. We were able to walk to downtown either by walking on the beach or taking the street. Getting there by the beach was more fun though.
We were able to take the ferry over to Anguilla for a day trip and that was really great. You need to go to the French side to get the boat and you will need your passport when you get to Anguilla.
If you're not a particularly fussy person and just want to get away you may not mind some of the minor things about the place. Like the fact that the hotel could use some updating eventhough they say they recently updated it. It really depends on what you're looking for.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tabby80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gmgreatbay19, General Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, June 25, 2010
Thank you for your review, we share this reviews with our team members. Jack will be very happy to see his name mentioned for a wonderful job. We are happy to make such a positive memory in your life. We look forward to seeing on St. Maarten and visiting Sonesta Great Bay Resort another time. Once again, Thank you for your business and the opportunity to be a part of a special moment in your lives.
Juan Fernandez- General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

4,114 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,344
    1,594
    655
    299
    222
See reviews for
614
2,095
134
91
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,563)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hungarian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Edinburg, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2010

I would recommend to anyone even thinking about going to St. Maarten or staying at the Sonest Great Bay Beach Resort to save your money and stay elsewhere. The people at the hotel were rude except for Nevil...he was the only one that was nice and very helpful! The entire island is rude, no one is friendly and I heard this from more t han one person when I was traveling. Everyone on the plane was saying the same thing...that the people on the island are rude and its not worth wastng money to go. I will never return or give another dime of my hard earned money to St. Maarten. The hotel staff are rude and they act like you are an inconvenience to them. I will NEVER go back!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank soprissi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delray Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2010

If your plan is to vacation at this hotel, it would be an average hotel, not good but not bad. The hotel itself is very dated and could do well with an upgrade. It is well situated close to the Philipsburg Center and front road, although there is a short walk past some derelict houses which might be off-putting for some. The Bay view restaurant is very nice and had most of my meals there.

The rooms were so-so and it is recommeded to take an oceanview room, unless you don't literally want to wake up with the chickens.

The beds are a little lumpy, but still ok.

All rooms are smoking and tend to hold the smell, so keep this in mind if your allergies bother you.

Now for the business part, if you are a business guest, aaargh, the hotel is terrible, internet is overpriced ($55 per week or $18 per day), this would be fine, although, it never worked properly, dropped signal and connection continuously. Eventually they gave me a refund. As I spent most of my time at night working, the TV service was just as bad. TV probably worked properly about an hour a day.

All things said and done, they should replace the IT/Technology staff.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TheWearyTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gmgreatbay19, General Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, June 25, 2010
We appreciate your opinion and value the business you brought to our resort and island. Our business clientele are very important, we will be sure to discuss the IT related issues and resolve our internet & Sat. TV. We have made several upgrades to our equipment for both areas and monitor very closely. In regards to our resort, we have spent in excess of 15 million over the past 5 years to make continouse improvements to our resort. We look forward to your next visit and making a positive difference in your next stay.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TORONTO, ONTARIO
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2010

was there with my family in late May...no line_ups.....always got chairs by the ocean and the pool....staff was incredible! if you laugh...and talk with them...they will respond in a good way... people have to remember these people have little..and work very hard...we thoroughly enjoyed our stay....the cleaning staff were adorable...the waiters and waitresses were all so cute! the girls at the activities desk were very helpful! the managers and all the staff were awesome! the island was very fun.....and being so close to town was amazing! watching the cruise ships come in --well..that was just something to see......the food was delicious! one of the best we"ve had--and we"ve travelled to alot of islands in the caribbean.....the hotel was renovated..and the restaurants that overlooked the ocean---you just couldn't beat it! the ocean is stunning....and not too rough......my boys swam in it everyday.......we love this island...we have been before....but enjoyed staying on the dutch side more than the french side! so dont listen to negative people....this isnt a vegas hotel with vegas hotel rooms...they were very clean....and with nice sized balconies.......we cannot wait to return....we loved it!!! this island has become one of our top favourites!!! ENJOY!!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ANNVICTORIA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gmgreatbay19, General Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, June 8, 2010
Thank you very much for your business and your positive feedback on Sonesta Great Bay resort and the island of St. Maarten. We share our guest opinions with our teams in our training and assist with a positive influence on the "friendly island." We appreciate everything and the details of informing guests to visit the island and enjoy all of its features. We look forward to your next visit to our resort.
with hospitality,
Juan- GM @ Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2010

We saw te pictures on the interent and expected something special. We sesned it was going to turn into an unpleasant experience as soon as we walked throught he door. The staff really cold and indifferent. Did not even look at you in the eyes or say a proper welcome. There was little service anywhere in the hotel and no atmosphere. The food mediocre at best. What else was there to enjoy? Not much more except the sun and for that we could be spending much less. We left earlier than planed.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank peteC-funtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
44 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2010

The resort is small and wasn't full so we never had a problem finding a chair at the pool or beach. All staff were great. Alli & Destine served us amazing mudslides, bushwackers & mohitos. David provided a great walking tour of Fort Amsterdam and treated us to cactus berries. The girl at the Activities desk was very helpful, honest and tries to help you find the right tour to make you happiest. She drove the shuttle one day to Orient and gave us a great description of the area. We found that the housekeepers didn't speak unless you spoke first but then would be very friendly. All staff this past week (April 30 - May 8) went out of their way to make us feel welcome.
The hallways had a musty smell but everything is clean and we really only noticed the first day... what wouldn't smell when it is always HOT and humid here!
The rooms were basic but clean! We had a mountainside but could still see the ocean. I only rated the sleep quality 3* b/c I'm picky about my pillow and mattress. All was fine here, no complaints at all, but not absolutely fantastic to rate higher. Remember to close the black out curtains b/c the roosters will provide you with numerous wake-up calls starting very early.
TOURS:We went on the cigarette boat that toured the island stopping at Tintamere and Pinel islands and then snorkelling at Creole rock. It was 10 - 4 and $112 including all drinks and lunch. It was worth the money although snorkelling was limited and old gear but we saw great views.
We also booked Joyce Prince (online, not through hotel) to give us a private personalized tour of the island on our first day. She was amazing and very reasonable!
The hotel provides, for a small fee, shuttles and tours to Orient Beach and Marigot.... both neat places to check out.
As other readers have commented... this hotel is NOT a huge super all-inclusive resort and doesn't try to be one. The guests this week were generally older (not 20s) but there some young families. It was perfect for us to swim, catch some sun & drinks, eat breakfast and supper (we were usually out touring around during lunch) and have calm evenings (a few beverages at the lounge). The island is meant to be explored and you can easily get around via taxi, tour, bus, shuttle or walking from this hotel. Note: a bus costs $2 one way and will take you from Phillipsburg to Maho to Mullet to Marigot.
Our Canadian cell phones didn't work here, some phones though worked in sporadic spots around the island... if you NEED your phone, it is possible to rent a cell for the week (not through hotel).

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank real-deal-mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gmgreatbay19, General Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, May 11, 2010
We thank you for your business and the travel opinion of our resort and the island. We do share this with our staff, you mention Ali & Destine and we will be sure they read this personally. We appreciate the wonderful and the suggestions you post for all to read. It is an absolute must to all guests to get out and explore our island and see the multiple beaches, shop and even dine at other restaurants. Once again, thank you very much! We look forward to seeing you on your next visit to Sonesta Great Bay and the island of St. Maarten.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pittsburgh
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2010

My husband and I stayed at the Sonesta for a week in January of 2010. What we love (apparently some reviews hate) is that Philipsburg is not a large commercial town just to please the tourist. If you want a fake island feel go else where like Porto Rico. There are no high rises, just quaint shops, homes and restaurants. We go on vacations to experience the local culture not to compare it to our culture. Yes it is safe during the day, but I would not go into town at night.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION The Sonesta is within a easy 10 min walk into Philipsburg. We loved the shopping, but like any where you have to know your prices. I came home with a beautiful blue diamond. We went all inclusive, and glad we did. Food is expensive on the island compared to Pittsburgh, PA. The food at the hotel was varied and tasty. We tried all 3 of there restaurants and was pleased with the service and food. Personally we enjoyed the buffet the best because it is an open air restaurant next to the ocean. Monday nights they have a special grill night. They set up the pool area for dinner it is very romantic, tablecloths- candle light- and a drum band. We had only one bartender that was not very friendly. We were not cheap and tipped the maid, bartender and wait staff and were treated wonderful. In fact the wait staff would save us the best table and the bartenders would have our drinks ready as soon as we needed a refill. The bartenders will mix you anything you desire. You get what you pay for! Our room was clean, well stocked, quiet and comfortable. The maid came twice a day to check our room. I see in the review that if was rated high for families. I find that the opposite. It is defiantly for adults. There is about a 3 foot drop off as soon as you walk into the ocean. It is great for adults because you don't have to walk and walk to get into deep water, but I would not of liked it for children. In fact there was an very obese man who my husband had to help up the drop off. There are no activity's for children, no kiddy poll, playground, or no bath tub in the room. The pool area is also slippery when wet. I hope they don't change it. It was nice not have other peoples screaming kids bothering you while the parents sit there and think their children can do what ever they want. We meet many people at the hotel that go there year after year because it is a enjoyable place to stay. As far as the negative reviews they were probable wrote by people who go on vacation thinking the staff should kiss their --- their whole stay. The only thing I wish they would open up the spa. I would of loved a massage. There was 2 local gals doing massages on the beach, but they were not very good. We loved it at the Sonesta and are going back again next year.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank averagejoe53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gmgreatbay19, Juan Fernandez- General Manager at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, responded to this review, May 3, 2010
Thank you for your opinion. We use these reviews to re-enforce training for our staff. Your reviews is very accurate and honest reflection of our resort and the island of St. Maarten. Our staff really works hard to please all guests, we are happy you felt the service, food and overall experience of the resort was wonderful. We do have plans for a new spa, but it most likely will not be ready until 2011. We are making upgrades to our rooms, beach side restaurant and lobby this fall to make our resort even better! We look forward to your next visit to St. Maarten and Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Philipsburg
3.1 mi away
The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten
5.8 mi away
Grand Case Beach Club
Grand Case Beach Club
#3 of 8 in Grand Case
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,765 reviews
4.9 mi away
Alamanda Resort
Alamanda Resort
#4 of 8 in Orient Bay
4.0 of 5 bubbles 500 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
4.4 mi away
Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
4.5 mi away
Sonesta Ocean Point Resort
6.3 mi away
Hotel Riu Palace St Martin
Hotel Riu Palace St Martin
#2 of 3 in Anse Marcel
4.0 of 5 bubbles 2,252 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, BookIt.com, Expedia, Hotwire, TravelUp, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, Cancelon, getaroom.com, HotelQuickly and Hotel.de so you can book your Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing