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Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa Reviews

Caribbean | St. Maarten/St. Martin Our Rating rating Details
InfoCustomer ReviewsQuestions & Answers
Customer Rating 155 Reviews
Value
 
3.8
Service
 
3.8
Beaches & Pools
 
4.1
Dining Options
 
3.5
Room Comfort
 
3.6
3.8 out of 5
"Nice pool, beautiful beach, but a high middle-aged/elderly demographic and no live tables in their casino" – Monty2247
132 out of 179 (74%) customers would recommend this product to a friend.
From our room 3rd floor View from room balcony with retention pond View from Room 625 Happy Birthday Night view Lobby View from room our view View from the lobby Beautiful view Rainbow on beach Panorama from the road just above the hotel Shopping downtown View from lobby View from lobby

All Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa Customer Reviews

1-10 of 155 reviews. Sort by
February 23, 2012
Great swimming beach in walking distance of town

The Sonesta is an older hotel with a great location on a calm, sandy, deep swimming beach. There is a one step down cliff a half a foot off the water's edge, which can be seen if you watch the tide go out. i found it easier to float out than walk out, and the water is over your head almost immediately so you should know how to swim. However the water is very calm and clear. There beach is beautiful and they keep it scrupulously clean, however there are not enough beach umbrellas. The food is fine, and better in the buffet than at the restaurants. I purchased the all inclusive package, and was disappointed to find that they only had cheap off brand alcohol and that it was impossible to get a bottle of water. Small bottles were available for purchase from the gift store which was not open at night. You had to walk to town to get a large bottle of water. If you needed a drink of water to take nightly or morning pill, you had to go downstairs to one of the bars where they only option was to get a small cup of water and take it back to your room, or drink from the bathroom faucet as I was advised by hotel staff. The rooms were clean and the beds comfortable, but the first room I was in smelled strongly of mildew. The hotel was very acomodating and changed my room after I complained.


60 of 62 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 3
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
2.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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From: New York City, NY
Age: 55-64
Travel: 3-6 trips/year

May 1, 2013
We would def go again!!!

All the people with negative reviews are clearly very picky!!! You get what you pay for and this is an all inclusive report for a great price. The room was great and the air conditioning was freezing (in a good way) all week! We brought our own towels based on the other reviews, but they ended up being a waste of space in my suitcase. Towels were available all the time, and if for some reason they were out (due to rain) they had them filled up again immediately. Remember, your on island time so NO, things don't always move as fast as you'd like it, but thats what vacation is all about. Take a breath and enjoy yourself...have some patience!!! The restaurants were great and the food selection was awesome. Def check out the lunch time pizza place...Andy makes the most amazing pizza!! I have been to other all inclusives with more restaurants, so just be aware of what they offer when you book. We had no complaints! The infinity pool is awesome with the swim up bar that you can walk rite up to from the beach. The views are breathtaking and every morning when we walked in to the lobby, it literally was just so beautiful! Very cool to watch the cruise ships come in to the dock in town. If you want to walk to town to shop (which I highly recommend) do so on a day with less or no ships as you will be able to negotiate and get better deals. For Jewelry, def go to the jewelry store (or the sister store in town) at the resort. They will by far give you the best quality and deal. My boyfriend, who is not a fan of the sun and beach (only went because I paid and needed a vaca) LOVED it and enjoyed himself. The first day we got there he said "wow, we probably won't even leave the resort!!" With this coming from a man who prefers the air conditioning, I think its rite for anyone :) Again, you get what you pay for, so if your super picky, pay more money and go somewhere else! Otherwise, enjoy! We would def go again!!


46 of 47 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
4.0
Dining Options
 
4.0
Room Comfort
 
5.0
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From: Boston Ma
Age: 25-34
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

January 20, 2017
Our best vacation in our life!!!

My wife and I upgraded to the Butler Suite, SHE wasn't happy with me at first. Due to age and health, we may never take another vacation like this one, so I said I would like the whole enchilada baby and she said OK, let's give it a try. Two days into our vacation, SHE looked at me and said Honey, this is the best vacation we have ever been on in our lifetime and I said I totally agree. We were at Sonesta Great Bay on St. Martin for one week with the Butler Suite and let me tell you it is totally worth the money!!! You are treated like Royalty! It is a team of Butlers and they do it right. We had a lot of fun and they were great to us and we became friends with them and just totally enjoyed our experience on St. Martin. We will be back! By the way, we had breakfast in our room, then hit the beach, then did what we had planned for the big "thing" for the day. Our butler made reservations for our tables for all our meals and we had special table settings with flowers etc such a fun time.

Our best vacation in our life!!!
17 of 18 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 5
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
5.0
Room Comfort
 
5.0
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From: MISSOURI
Age: Over 65

November 9, 2012
Pleasantly Surprised

We just stayed here for 12 nights for our honeymoon. I'm an avid cruiser and this was my first all inclusive resort experience. There were a few things that I prefer on cruises pertaining to food and accomodations but this place was pretty good. Breakfast was always the same but it was very good. The variety of food served throughout the week was always interesting and pretty good. The infinity pool with bar was the highlight I would say. We even had fun playing in the casino. We walked to Phillipsburg several times for shopping. The location was great. We rented a car which you MUST do on the island. There are so many beaches to see. The beach here was pretty bad. I would say that was the worst feature at the resort. But we were happy to drive to Mullet Bay or Orient Bay. The island is so small and exploring it was fun. I would reccomend it.


16 of 17 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 5
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
3.0
Dining Options
 
4.0
Room Comfort
 
4.0
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From: Chicago, IL
Age: 25-34
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

February 4, 2012
Fantastic time!

I visited Sonesta Great Bay Resort in 2007 with a group and was impressed with everything about the resort. I got married last summer, and convinced my bride it would be a beautiful honeymoon vacation. We booked through CheapCaribbeam.com. They noted that I was a returning customer and it was our honeymoon. Sonesta Great Bay Resort upgraded our room to a suite. The location, the room, the view, the service, the food, and everything else was fantastic. We walked daily down the beach into town to shop and enjoy the sun and local culture. We are already planning to return next year.

Rainbow on beach Shopping downtown
30 of 35 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 5
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
5.0
Room Comfort
 
5.0
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From: Midwest
Age: 55-64

January 8, 2016
Three star

Every criticism I have of this hotel would go away if it were billed as a three star hotel rather than a four star resort. The only thing four star is the staff, who are very attentive and friendly. As far as specifics - Food - mostly very good, nothing special. Three restaurants, with the third converting to a burger/pizza/salad place in the afternoon and late night. Plenty of choice at the buffets. Menus at the italian and fish restaurants didn't change. Rooms - big and clean. definitely go for the higher floors for the views - spectacular with balconies overlooking harbor and cruise ships. very pretty at night when the ships and town are lit up. Subpar furnishings. Pools - infinity pool is pretty. main pool very 70s looking. both surprisingly cold when the temperature was quite hot. hot tub was broken. Beach - big enough, with security at the far end to try and keep locals out. WARNING - there is a steep drop to get into the ocean which creates a very strong undertow. manageable with "noodles", but there aren't enough of them, nor are they for sale at the resort. short sighted. many people fell or were pulled under. you must be a strong swimmer to manage. Plenty of beach lounges and umbrellas, wait staff very good about beach service. Activities - rather hit or miss, and limited at that. no one used the kayaks, again, it would be tough in these waters. guests rented jet skis or were pulled on banana boats behind. beach volleyball was occasionally used. never saw anyone playing shuffleboard. water aerobics were held in the pool most mornings. bingo. balloon darts. Entertainment - something every night at the pool deck. usually live entertainment, various levels of quality. some very good, some painful. one night they showed Home Alone 2 on an outdoor screen. Crowd - mostly 40s-50s couples, heavy Canadian contingency. Nice, quiet adult group, with a handful of late teens/young twenties offspring. Very pleasant. Take away - if you just want to sit in the sun by a pool or a beach with a drink in your hand at an affordable price, there's nothing wrong with this hotel. if you're looking for a high end resort, keep looking.


9 of 9 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 3
Value
 
3.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
2.0
Dining Options
 
3.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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From: Connecticut
Age: 55-64
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

August 4, 2014
One of My Favorite Vacations

I went to Trip Advisor prior to booking the trip and was a little apprehensive due to the negative comments. I took a chance and went, and so glad I did. Yes there was a delay when I checked in (which is the case in most Resorts when you arrived before 3:00 PM). They took my luggage, encouraged me to have a drink, lunch or hit the beach and they would get me when the room was available. My room was available within 45 minutes. I opted to upgrade based on the comments for a Ocean View higher floors, and it was amazing. I had Champaign sent to my room for my birthday. I found out it was sent by the Food & Beverage Manager Cleopatra. I take single vacations and often feel like it's a problem to be seated, or noticed, and I never felt that way... I was always greeted with a smile and complimented. Another shout out to Nigel the bartender, and the young lady who was over the activities. I will be back. it is all inclusive - adult only.. There were a few teens there who were a part of the time share option and 1 baby but I only saw them occasionally and it did not disturb my vacation.


7 of 7 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
4.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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From: Atlanta, GA
Age: 35-44
Travel: 3-6 trips/year

March 11, 2015
Going Back!

We only had 5 days to get away for our 25th wedding anniversary, so we wanted something special. We read the reviews on the Sonesta Great Bay Resort. We wanted an Ocean front room, which wasn't available at the time on Cheap Caribbean, but It turned out fine. Cheap Caribbean had great all inclusive/adult only package price with the air fare, so we booked the room that they had - then called the hotel and upgraded our room to the Ocean Front Butler Apartment. We were treated very well on the phone by both companies. Thank you to Maria at CC and Rollicia at Sonesta GB, who went out of their way to make our reservation absolutely what we wanted! The hotel isn't fancy, but it is beautiful, clean and welcoming. All of the new people checking in were welcomed with a glass of champagne at sign-in. When we gave our name they called the butler, and we didn't know what to expect. Jordaine came and escorted us to our room. He then explained the hotel, restaurants, services, etc. Our reservations for restaurants were set by them as well as our beach chairs etc. The mornings were covered by Marcia. She always had our breakfast table ready and took us to our beach chairs and brought us a cooler with whatever drinks we would like. She also set up an excursion dinner to the French side one evening. The butler service is more expensive, but worth the extra in our opinion. Thank you to both Jordaine and Marcia!!! They were as helpful or as absent as you wanted them to be. We felt pampered for our time there - going home was difficult. We enjoyed the all inclusive/adult only aspects of the hotel. No one was ever waiting long for a drink at the bar and they made everything. Our room was well stocked with alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. Bottles of water were also everywhere to be had as well. Thank you to Nigel and Akeem at the pool side bar. They were really very fun! We ate most of our meals at the hotel. I agree that the Pescatore restaurant was only okay. We thought that all of the other food was really very good. The pizza and sandwiches at the pizzeria sea side café were terrific. We also had a lot of fun dancing poolside to local bands when they had dinners around the pool. The island and beach are beautiful! You did have to watch the undertow getting into and out of the ocean. Once you were in you could swim or float easily. We walked to the boardwalk/Philipsburg several times. There are a lot of fun places there too. Try Taloula Mango. The people in town were friendly. The next time we go we may rent a car to see more of the island. There are also some excursions that we would like to try with more time.

our view
7 of 7 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 5
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
4.0
Room Comfort
 
5.0
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From: Pennsylvania
Age: 45-54
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

March 23, 2016
My Vacay to St Maarten

There is nothing bad to say people!!! I travel every 3-4 months, this all-inclusive adults only resort is truly a great choice!!! Beach front property and VERY clean all around. The staff goes all out and I mean all out for all of you!!! The entertainment could be better but not bad at all, I scoped out the entire island and the night life is a total green light GO on the Dutch side. Loved the nude beach on the French side. Do NOT go in the summer months, horrible traffic throughout the island!!! Go on the Rhino excursion with snorkeling tons of FUN. Took a ferry out to Anguilla Island gosh I wish I was back there now!!!! Just click yes because this is a very awesome resort!!!!! Enjoy life everyone, you only live once, live it all out humans!!!!


7 of 7 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 5
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
3.0
Room Comfort
 
5.0
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From: Chicago, IL
Age: 35-44
Travel: 3-6 trips/year

May 9, 2016
Shady Business

Should we start with the good? OK! The vacation was relatively cheap. -The hotel looked nice and had a cool layout, with three "restaurants" on different level(s), and all had nice views of the ocean/bay. -Some staff were nice. Jeanine the hostess and Alexander the bellman were very nice. There was one wonderful waitress and I'm sad to say that neither myself nor my girlfriend remember her name. But she would always say, "Hello my love," or "Hello my Queen," to my girlfriend. Very pleasant! We would often look to sit in her area because she was that delightful. -We stayed in the "Great Bay" in which large cruise ships dock. It was cool to see the ships daily. -Being a "Great Bay," the beach was long, and although the hotel's chairs and umbrellas only occupied a relatively small portion of the total beach, there were no people on most of the beach! -We stayed in an ocean view room, and the beach starts about 15 feel from the building. Now the bad... -Check-in was late. We were scheduled to check-in at 12:00, and when we arrived at 12:00 we were told the room wouldn't be ready until three. -When we got into the room we were given a letter which stated that the Sonesta sister hotel (there are three total, but the one they referenced was the hotel at the airport) had a stomach virus going around, and that it was "coming to this hotel." We later found out while on an excursion, that they gave a similar letter to guests at the airport hotel, stating that the virus originated at the hotel we were staying at! Furthermore, we met people from all three hotels (while on excursions and at the airport), who all had become ill during their times at their respective hotels. One couple, the man had gotten sick multiple times ("24-hour stomach virus") and the hotel did not do anything to compensate him for his illness, besides bringing gatorade to their room. We also found out that the illness has been spreading around the hotel chain since November, and the hotels have chosen not to shut down for a period of time to ensure elimination of the virus. -Roaches: At our first dinner, which we ate at their "best" restaurant on the top floor, we saw a little roach buddy scramble across the floor next to us. I called over a waiter and inconspicuously alerted him to the bug's presence. Without hesitation he responded fast and acted as if he was used to this occurrence and was used to killing them while having dinners unaware. Throughout the rest of the week, we saw a few more roaches at each different dining location, i.e. the outside grill and the buffet. We even had one almost fall on our heads while in the gift shop (Note: the gift shop is not near the kitchens, nor dining locations which is alarming). -Most staff were not as friendly as you would hope or expect. They would not offer any small talk, and/or were not very welcoming. They often seemed annoyed by questions and/or having to do anything for their guests, -All inclusive's usually do not have the top of line food, and this one for sure did not. Food was so-so and on a couple different occasions, food had to be sent back because meat was not cooked well and basically raw. (Only two meals out of all the meals we had during our 7 day trip, were delicious). -Room was beautiful and spacious, however the balcony did not have a sliding screen door. Therefor, you wouldn't be able to leave it open often to listen to the waves, as many mosquitoes would fly in. Also, the room had a musty smell and everything often felt damp (Especially the sheets on the bed!) Overall, if the hotel was not on a beautiful island with gorgeous water and weather and we did not do a couple of cool excursions, this vacation would not had been desirable. But we aren't here to rate the island or the weather!


7 of 7 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 2
Value
 
1.0
Service
 
1.0
Beaches & Pools
 
3.0
Dining Options
 
2.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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From: New York
Age: 25-34