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Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino

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Overview

The Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino is a serene Caribbean haven - and St. Maarten's premier, limitless all-inclusive, adults-only resort. Overlooking the beautiful Great Bay Harbour and resting on a glorious stretch of white sand beach, the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino is only a short 10 minute walk from the island's capital of Philipsburg. Guests can enjoy the best of both worlds with a prime beachfront location and easy access to a quaint downtown, which offers great shopping, excellent restaurants, and exciting entertainment and nightlife.

 
Location: On the Dutch side of the island, directly on a beach with palm trees. Only a short walk from Philipsburg, and approximately 30 minutes by car from the airport.

tripadvisor Traveler Reviews
  • DimsBodnis : Kiev
Absolute must do (or must stay))))

I've been on Sint Maarten for 7 nights and stayed mainly on French side as wanted to avoid big crowds and as well Netherlands part is more for fun and party, not calm relaxation. Btw, usually do not stay in 5* and all-inclusive as there is an opinion - if everything is already paid - then the service will not be ideal. But this case - is perfect. Should say that rates are rather very high - we've paid USD 750 per 2 nights for a room in high building between 4 and 7 floor, ocean view (take into account that there are as well rooms to the mountain and roads, no ocean view and the most expensive rooms in new building which is only 3 storeyed and rooms like are hanging above the water). So, the personnel is very welcoming and attentive (read that local staff usually is not so helpful, but in my case - this is not true), we were upgraded to a new building rooms and got a large room with living area. Quite in all rooms you'll find 3 bottles for your fun - vodka, gin and Caribbean rum. With regards to the meals: breakfast is nice, but nothing extra special, good choice of meals; brunch - for it you can have some fish or pizza - we've used the option to eat in a restaurant of Sonesta Maho while visiting the beach in another part of the island - this is as well included. For dinner you have choice of 3 restaurants: a) mixed cuisine food, b) fish restaurant and c) restaurant on pre-booking only where you have some kind of fun roasting fish or meat on very hot rock bricks. We've visited fish restaurant and as well tried various fish roasting it on hot lava rocks. Delicious. Pools: nice 2 or 3 pools with bar, one pool with hydromassage. Room - adorable, great bed and full-height windows with balconies faced to the ocean and sin-rise side, nice toiletries, the only downside- the main building itself is quite old and 2 hangers in bathroom were broken. As well there is a casino, but I haven't visited. Taxi to the airport - USD 20, shuttle to Maho beach - USD 2-2.5, you should just walk to the center of Phillipsburg. Definitely I will be beck here and the photos explain why)))

  • Rok67 : London, Canada
Great Location, Great Staff, Reasonable Facilities/Food

This was our first visit to St. Maarten. Before I start I am a self-admitted food snob so this resort falls right smack in line with all others I have been to date. The buffet is quite good, the seafood restaurant is forgettable, the hot stone restaurant was good and the pizza bar was good. You won't go hungry but I like a la cartes that you are fighting to get into. I didn't find that here. Mexico still takes the prize for best restaurants for me over Dominican and Jamaica. I won't even mention Cuba. You can eat in the hot stone restaurant and buffet overlooking the ocean which is great. They had themes nightly and the bbq on the patio was quite good.As far as rooms go they are again comparable to any other resort. I highly recommend getting the ocean view upgrade. The other side of the hotel faces the main roadway and it is quite busy and very close to the hotel. If you are bothered at all by traffic noise you will want to be on the ocean side and you won't get much of a view from the "mountain view" unless you are higher up (at least on the 3rd floor).The staff were excellent. I regret not getting the name of the front desk manager. She was there everyday and exceptional with service. The resort is small so they go out of their way to be helpful. The cleaning staff greeted us with a hello and smiles daily. One of the security guards made a point to wish us well on our way home.The beach is very nice but has a steep drop-off if you are not a great swimmer. I'm not but it was fine. Beach chairs are plentiful and the pools are nice. It is all within 100 yards of the hotel beach entrance. I found the bar service on the beach a little slow (where isn't it for a Canadian) but the bar itself is right there. The nightly entertainment was ok. It consisted of live acts on the outside square. It was nothing that kept me up past my bedtime. The room was quiet except for your typical rude guest that feels the need to talk/yell in the hallways at 2 am and slam room doors.You can walk the beach right into Philipsburg in about 5 minutes and bring your drink with you. If you are into shopping, like buying a Michael Kohrs bag like my wife, everything you want is right there. There was even a live music show on a patio which was great. We ate at one of the little pubs on the beach and the food was really good and the beers cold and cheap. The area can get a bit busy when the cruise ships are in but we didn't wait for anything or fight crowds.With the vendors and shops catering to the cruise ship crowd you get people inviting you into the shops but it is in no way pushy. We felt very safe and the locals were very nice. It was a nice walk into town now and again as the resort is small.We rented a car and toured the island (car rental right at the hotel). It was a distraction and there were some quaint little towns but unless you have a destination away from the resort we didn't find much that interested us. In hindsight I would have stayed on the resort. Traffic can get pretty bad in the area. The shuttle to and from the airport was only about 20 minutes with the light traffic and very well organized.The ultimate test: would you go back? Yes. However, we have yet to find our forever destination. We've never been to the same resort twice. We got a really good deal on Sunwing. I always thought St. Maarten was a class above places like the Dominican or even Jamaica but I don't think it is. So what would take me back to St. Maarten over and above the Dominican or Jamaica would be price. I would go with the better deal but have no problem going back to Sonesta.

  • summersnow1961 : Strafford, New Hampshire
Awesome Beach and Service

My husband and I went the week of April 28th to May 5th. The rooms are fine enough. You don't spend a lot of time in the room, any way. I would definitely upgrade if you can for the ocean view. We had the junior suite. It was a nice big room and a very large bathroom.The overall staff was great! There were a few that we really enjoyed their company and their service. The service that we received at the pool side bar from Rehanna and Yolanda was awesome. They are very pleasant and fun to be around!! We had Owen as our bar server on night after dinner and he was a lot of fun.The beach is by far one of best that we had been to in our travels. Our beach server, Roxanne, was great as well! How she walks around that beach all day in the hot sun, serve drinks and still be pleasant is beyond me! Every so often we would have Kerry, as our server at lunch or dinner. He is a very pleasant, kind and attentive person. Our last night he was working the dinner buffet and we specifically asked for him!Also the week that we were there, it was carnival. It was a lot fun to go and check it out in Phillipsburg. It was a huge parade with so many colorful costumes! It is just a walk into Phillipsburg either on the road or down the length of the beach.We also like the adults only part of the hotel.We did not eat at the 2 reservation only restaurants. We kept hearing people say that you had go stand in line to make your reservations and would be booked solid by the time they got up there. The buffet was good. They had a different theme each night.The beach is real nice. Most times, you cannot get a chair by the pool. We were told that guests go down at 5 am and place towels on the chairs to reserve them. The beach is the same. But there are a lot of chairs to choose from as long as you get down there by 9 to 10. We never had an issue with getting chairs with an umbrella at the beach. I believe most of the front row of chairs on the beach are for the guests with butler service. They are usually marked.In all the travels that we have done with all inclusives, we have never gone back to a resort twice until now. We will definitely be going back next year!

  • johnny99 : Barrie, Ont
Back for a Third Visit

We have visited this resort in 2014 and 2015 and obviously enjoyed it as we returned again May 2017. Our room was on the 7th floor facing the street and appeared to be recently renovated. We never experienced a lack of water nor any problems with not having hot water. As mentioned in many reviews, the location of this property is great, being within a 15 minute walk along the beach/boardwalk to Phillipsburg. With regards to the restaurants, reservations are now required for both a la cartes. We were told by the Nexus representative in our orientation meeting that reservations could be made for that day only, either by speaking to someone in the lobby or at the newly installed electronic kiosk. However, on the afternoon of our arrival we were able to use the kiosk to make our reservations for the whole week that we were there . As many have commented, the staff at this resort are generally very friendly and helpful. Three that come to mind are Virginia, Innocent and Anthony. One negative that I want to mention.There appears to be no regulation of smoking around the pools and on the beach. People would light up next to you with no regard as to where their second hand smoke was travelling. If you want a 5 minute tour of the resort, check out a video I have uploaded by searching "johnny cgc sonesta great bay" on Youtube.

  • _n1cki1216 :
Nice place but needs renos

Resort was small which was nice. The food was good however felt that it was the same thing at the buffet everyday. Beautiful beach however be careful as there is a drop in the water very quickly and if you cant swim ; the current will pull you. The waves can be intense at times the drop makes it worse. The sand is rocky as well. We stayed on the 5th fl facing the street.. BEWARE! If you stay on that side it gets quite loud. There are roosters that start making noise at 5am and dont stop. You can hear people and cars as well around that time so if you are looking to sleep in.. dont stay on the street side of the resort. The al a carte restaurants were good however the wait is terrible and the portions are small. The rooms are clean but very dated. Our room had a musty smell to it and the door kept getting stuck. It is a 10 min walk to the shopping as well but that is all thats around there. One disappointment though was Sunwing excursions booked through resprt... be cautious when booking excursions and do your own research. We booked 2 excursions and we were misled as to what was involved in the excursions which if we were given accurate info we would not have gone.

Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).

If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.

Items not included:

  • Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
  • Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
  • Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
  • Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
  • Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
  • Items of a personal nature

  • Champagne check-in
  • Cold towel service
  • Daily Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Unlimited a la Carte dining
  • BBQ Dinner on the beach (once per week)
  • Daily snacks
  • Unlimited premium drinks
  • $10 USD per person per stay Match Play casino vouchers
  • Selected non-motorized watersports (one hour per person/per day)
  • Cart by the pool with towels & books
  • Daily sunset cocktail hour
  • Daily organized activities for all clients
  • Mini-bar stocked daily (water & soft drinks)
  • Deluxe Oceanview Rooms will be stocked daily with beer and spirits
  • 257 rooms in two 4 and 7-storey buildings with elevators
  • 4 Restaurants  
  • 4 Bars 
  • Casino 
  • Pools 
  • Lounge chairs and towels(pool/beach)
  • Water aerobics 
  • Snorkeling 
  • Windsurfing 
  • Sailing 
  • Kayaking 
  • Volleyball 
  • Tennis court(day/night) 
  • Exercise room 
  • Game room 
  • Safety deposit box at reception 
  • Parking 
    For a fee:
  • Scuba-diving 
  • Sailing lessons 
  • Spa
  • Boutique
  • Currency exchange 
  • Car rental 
  • Laundry service 
  • Medical services

Deluxe Island view guest room:

  • air-conditioning
  • 1 king-size bed or 2 double beds
  • full bathroom
  • hairdryer
  • flat screen television
  • telephone
  • iPod dock
  • WiFi
  • in-room safe (fee)
  • balcony or terrace

Deluxe Oceanview guest room: same as above but with an ocean view

Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.

Resort Location Map


  • Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino
    Saint Martin,Saint Martin

  • Hotel Contacts
  • Extra Info
  • Disclaimer
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
19 Little Bay Road, Philipsburg St. Maarten-St. Martin

Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.

Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.

Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.

Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.

Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.

Hotels do not condone unruly behavior, parties in rooms, excessive noise or any other actions that violate the hotels terms of use. Guests may be removed from the property at their own expense in the event of any disturbance or complaint from other guests or hotel staff. Escapes.ca cannot be held responsible for any guests who may be removed from the hotel due to a violation of rules.

Escapes.ca makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice. Escapes.ca is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.