I had read other comments on Trip Advisor and generally tend to take the reviews with a pinch of salt - boy had I wish I had paid more attention to them!
My husband and I had stayed a week in Grenada and were due to spend the second week of our honeymoon in St Maarten. We were so excited until we got there.
The island was far from the 'Caribbean' we expected. The hotel too was very disappointing. We arrived a bit early to check in so our luggage was put in storage - the bar next to the restaurant unattended and unsecured. We went to have lunch - bland and very much aimed at the American tourist market. After lunch we were able to check in the room. The corridors were almost clinical and the room was awful. When it was time to check in, my husband went to get the luggage where no one questioned if it was his to take (thank god no one stole it in the mean time). He asked the bell hop to help where he was told he was too busy (too busy playing on his mobile phone) so we struggled to get it up ourselves.
As honeymooners, we had been given a twin room. The net curtains were discoloured and dirty. We found a glass chip in one bed. The "mountain view" consisted of a cliff face with a dilapidated shed, hotel and a landfill just to the right. There was also a very busy road outside where at night it seemed was a popular spot to race up and down the street. The night sounds were further complimented by the barking of no less that 3 digs and a cockerel crowing - certainly not the best night sleep I ever had.
The beach is as described elsewhere awful. The sand is not sand at all. It is very roughly crushed shells which physically hurt to walk on. The beach I assume was man made as it seemed to sit on a yellow concrete block (if you looked across the harbour you could see a huge mound of this sand). Part way down it parted to reveal what I think was sewage or drainage of some kind. The pool was on the beach front and didn't really offer much privacy if you wanted that option.
Internet access was charged at $8 us for 30 minutes and the speed is ever so slow so you don't really get much for your money. We made one single phone call within the Caribbean for under 10 minutes and were charged almost $200 us for it. We only lasted 24 hours on this island before we wanted to get out. The island didn't really have anything genuinely Caribbean about it - we could have saved thousands and gone to Europe for what we saw - pure tourist tack. Such a shame as the rest of the Caribbean had been so beautiful. Speaking to locals it seems not many have a high opinion of St Maarten.
When we were checking out the service was terrible. The lady serving was slow and didn't speak at all. I only needed to hand back keys, settle the bill and leave - this took 30 minutes! She kept leaving me to deal with other customers and staff and seemed quite clueless as to what was actually going on. I got quite upset and frustrated by this point and started to cry only to hear 2 staff members mocking me! The manager was also behind the counter and when she saw me cry she turned and walked away - GREAT SERVICE!!! Never before have I felt so disgusted but such unprofessional behaviour as this. In the end we did get out and managed to catch our flight in time (no thanks to the slow service) and we managed to enjoy the end of our honeymoon but it is a real shame that this episode had to happen at all and tainted what was a holiday of a lifetime for us.
I wouldn't wish this place on my worst enemy.
- 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 Hotels.com, Hotwire, Travelocity, Orbitz, TripOnline SA, Cancelon, HotelQuickly and getaroom.com so you can book your 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
- Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa St Martin / St Maarten/Philipsburg