My stay at the Sonesta Great Bay Resort has ensured that I never return to St. Maarten again! This was by far the WORST run hotel I have ever had the displeasure to stay at. The staff were completely unmotivated and the supervisors remained hidden so that they would not have to deal with any of the complaints, and let me tell you they were coming in fast and furious while we were there.
Upon booking, we made sure we had a bathtub; a necessesity when travelling with small children. We were also told that ajoing rooms would be available. This was a must for use being we were visiting with 4 children. Neither of these ameneties were provided and we were given a constant run-around for the first three days of our vacation when trying to rectify this problem. After wasting hours or our time, we were informed that the resort would compensate us by allowing us to move to their sister hotel by the airport. Anyone travelling with small children knows that this is not really an option. You do everything in your power to reduce the amount of travelling chaos, not double that torture for the young ones. Although three other families were unhappy enough to take the resort up on this offer and left during our stay.
The state of the pool was atrocious. Green algae covered the walls and debrise was regularly floating on the surface. We were told that it is very difficult to keep the chlorine levels blanced. Funny, as a pool owner myself, I never seem to have that trouble!
All inclusive guests (wearing an identifiable wrist band) were treated like lepers by the staff. It was all too evident that the guests making a short trip from neighbouring islands such as Puerto Rico, and Curacao were given preferential treatment over the All Inclusive guests. This effectively negated the All Inclusivity of the trip, instead making this high paying group of tourists feel like a burden on the staff. For instance, whenever I went to the bar for a refrshment, I would ask for a tropical drink for my kids. This was often met with excuses, even though the bartender would go on to make an adult guest a drink using the same ingredients. And if one of my children tried to order a refreshment themselves, they were treated as an annoyance. I tried increasing the size of my tips, but that had zero influence on our service.
After a major rainfall, a backhoe was brought to the beach to release the drain water into the ocean. All of the water from the dirty resevoir was released about 100 feet from the resorts beach. With the pools teeming with algae, and now the beach churning with sewage water, that ensured no swimming for the day.
The security guards are merely locals who walk around in white shirts. Twice I tried to get their assistance and both times the guards did less than nothing. The first time an adolescent soccer team was running through the downstairs lobby and around the pool area naked. This had been going on for three days before I complained. Nothing was done. Second, there was a young local man who sat down beside us and decided to smoke a bag of marijuana. Now I'm as liberal as the next guy, but having my 5 and 3 year old daughters asking me what the funny smell was became a bit much. The security guard walked over to the young man, and then walked away, not to be seen again.
My wife and I visited the island 18 years ago and felt like we were in paradise. Now, I wouldn't send my worst enemy there. It is so sad to see such a beautiful spot become so run down. And it is ALL due to mismanagement. This hotel would not last one day in North America the way it operates.
And what were we given for our troubles? Nothing. If you value your money you will not spend it at this resort.
- 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, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotwire and HotelQuickly 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