Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino Reviews

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Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino  

19 Little Bay Rd, Philipsburg, St. Maarten

"leonardito and Marti in Sonesta Great Bay."
Posted by: leonardito  on Jun 18, 2015
see all reviews

Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino Reviews
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino Pictures and Information
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino Sint Maarten Sint Maarten

of 13 Hotels in Sint Maarten

User rating 3.7

Based on 3 reviews

Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino Information

Overlooking beautiful Great Bay Harbor and a short, 10-minute walk from the exciting capital of Philipsburg,

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Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino Reviews

Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino Review: 3.7 of 5 3 reviews
Very good
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"leonardito and Marti in Sonesta Great Bay."

Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino
User Rating:  Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  leonardito  on Jun 18, 2015  >  30 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jun, 2015 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
499 people found this review helpful

Sonesta Great Bay in St. Maarten.

We stayed at the Great Bay for two weeks during the month of June. We flew with Sunwing and had a very comfortable flight. Before the landing we were able to observe the beautiful landscape of St-Maarten. It was spectacular. At the airport we were quickly transferred to our Hotel. We were overwhelmed when we saw the view on the Bay where the Cruise Ships were docked and surrounded by a lovely turquoise water.
When we entered the lobby, we observed that it was very nicely decorated and freshly renovated. Checking in was previously done and we were immediately escorted to our Grande Deluxe Room ocean view number 723 located on the 7th floor. It was a large room. Our mini fridge was replenished everyday and if requested you had a turn down service at night. Wi-Fi in our suite worked well, A/C was keeping us cool, and the view from our room was just unbelievable, The many different blue colors of the ocean, the giant cruise ships docked for a day in front of the mountain. There was so much beauty around us. We were more than happy with our suite.
The food was very good. The main buffet had a excellent choice of fresh and cooked dishes. There was no reservation for the
A La Carte restaurants . Our favorite was the Pescatore where they had both Italian nights and Seafood nights. Everything was simply delicious with a good variety of meat, fish and pasta dishes that were complimented with an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon. The service was always efficient and friendly.

The Great Bay has 3 pools . They were very clean and the water was warm. It was not needed to get up early to reserve a place. All day long at the beach or pools there were chairs and shades available. There was a large jacuzzi and it was kept hot and was so relaxing. The sea was warm, turquoise and inviting. The view on the Bay was paradisiac.
One morning, we visited the Philipsburg shopping area. It was only a 15 minutes pleasant walk from the Hotel. There were so many shops to visit and places to see. The stores had a very friendly setting and you were welcome to explore the goods. We also visited the Sonesta Maho Beach and had a good view of the planes taking off at the nearby airport. It was very impressing especially the big KLM. There were lots of families with kids at the Maho Resort. For couple the Great Bay was a better choice.
The staff was very helpful in all the locations of the resort.We would also recommend the Great Bay to all the vacationers. Thanks to all the staff for the great time we had.

Room Number:

Room Block:


room with great view

Restaurants and Bars:
delicious food

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:


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"Nice smaller hotel"

Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino
User Rating:  Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  Debbie and Pat  on Dec 10, 2011  >  10 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
840 people found this review helpful

Booked through Sunwing Vacations for a one week all-inclusive stay at the Sonesta Great Bay Resort and Casino in St. Maarten.

The flight down was somewhat of a nightmare. We took off from Toronto around 6:30 a.m. and were supposed to be in St. Maarten at 11:40 a.m. their time. Unfortunately there was a bad storm over St. Maarten and we were unable to land, and had to fly to Punta Cana to refuel. There we spent over 3 hours on the plane and another 2 plus hours in the airport. Finally they loaded us back up on the plane and we got to St. Maarten at 8:15 p.m., so a very long day.

Room Number:

Once we arrived in St. Maarten everything went quickly, and were were checked into our room by 9 p.m. We had booked an oceanview room, which I would recommend – 5th floor or higher. We had a great view of the beach/pool area, and the cruise ships and could see all the way to Philipsburg.

This is a smaller hotel, just over 200 rooms. The lobby is actually on the 3rd floor, so our 5th floor room was just 2 flights of stairs up. There is a small elevator, but it only holds 4 people and is quite slow, so easiest to take the stairs.

The rooms in the hotel are a little dated (bathroom and furnishings), but very clean and comfortable, with everything we needed. We had a fridge in the room stocked with beer, water, and pop, and 3 bottles of liquor (I think this is exclusive for Sunwing/Signature guests). There was also a flat-screen TV, inroom safe, ironing board and iron, coffeemaker, hairdryer and clock/radio. There is wifi available for $18.99 US a day or $55.00 US for the week. We purchased it for the week, but reception in our room was quite spotty, usually had to go out on the balcony and even there the connection was sporadic and we’d end up going down to the lobby.

Restaurants and Bars:
There is a buffet restaurant and two a la carte restaurants for dinner. When we were there, there was only 1 a la carte open at a time. I would guess when they’re full they have them both open. You make your reservation in the morning at the buffet restaurant.
Monday nights is the beach barbecue. They moved it inside because of cloudy weather, but it was pretty good, lots of selection. The buffet breakfast was good, you could get omelettes and eggs cooked to order, and they had lots of fresh fruit. Lunches were good too, you had a choice of buffet or you could order a sandwich or a pizza from a menu. They also had hamburgs and hotdogs available. Dinners weren’t my favourite there, they had a different theme each night, but not a huge variety and somewhat repetitive.

We went to each a la carte once. The Italian was a little disappointing, the restaurant is actually in a banquet room, felt like we were at a wedding reception. No atmosphere. The tiramisu for desert was excellent though.

The Molasses Restaurant had a variety of menu items. We had the Caesar salad and steak and it was excellent.

Both restaurants had a guitar player, who was very good.


There are several bars – one in the lobby, one in a room behind the lobby, one downstairs by the buffet restaurant, and one at the beach.

Pools and Beach

There are two pools and a whirlpool (hot). One is an activities pool and one is an infinity pool.

The beach itself is lovely. The sand is actually shells, but soft, the consistency of oatmeal. The water drops off quite quickly and is a little rocky getting in, so if you have beach shoes take them. Water clarity wasn’t the greatest because of the sand, no snorkeling here.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:

Kind of low-key, they have aerobics, bingo, a few other things during the day. Karaoke one night, music in the Living Room bar in the evenings.


There is a small casino off the lobby. We went in a couple of times, but quickly lost our money 


The best thing about this hotel is its location. It’s just a 10 minute walk into Philipsburg, either by road or along the beach. Here you will find dozens and dozens of stores, from high end jewellery and clothing stores to souvenir shops. The cruise ships dock here and it is bustling with tourists. We went into town a couple of times and always felt perfectly safe. Lots of bargains to be had in quality jewellery. Generally I thought prices on everything were quite reasonable. There is no tax so the price on the sticker is what you pay, and you can negotiate on some items. US currency is accepted everywhere on the island. There are also numerous restaurants in town if you get tired of the hotel restaurants.

Getting around the island

Taxis are not metered here. There is a set fare to each location. You can also take a local bus for a couple of dollars and go pretty much anywhere on the island. Car rentals are available, but there is a lot of road construction going on, it’s very hilly, and it’s hard to find a place to park, so we decided against that. We saw Marigot on the French side of the island where they have a market (same stuff you see in Philipsburg), and also went to the other Sonesta hotel at Maho, where guests have exchange privileges. This hotel has a much more impressive lobby and beautiful landscaped gardens around the pools, and at first we thought gee we should have stayed here. But the beach isn’t as big or as nice, and the food (at the buffet anyway) was the same as the other hotel. Also louder music. I preferred the softer music played at our hotel. The water there is clearer, though, and we could see fish swimming around the rocks from shore, so better for snorkeling. Also had a chance to look at the rooms and they are pretty much identical, maybe a couple of feet wider and longer, and looked a little fresher because they had been redone more recently.

Other Comments:
Weather wasn’t too bad. Of course the day we arrived they had a bad storm, and the next day was overcast but the sun shone through a bit. The rest of the week was good until Saturday, when it was overcast and rained a bit during the day off and on.


Service was good for the most part, a couple of dinners where staff seemed overwhelmed and items weren’t refilled as quickly as they should have been. We liked this hotel, though, I think because it was smaller, and because of its location. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

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"Nice place for relaxing"

Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino
User Rating:  Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  Jeff  on Dec 1, 2009  >  7 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
896 people found this review helpful

Royal Islander Great Bay (at Sonesta Great Bay Resort & Casino)
Arrival: Feb 3 - 10
Check in was smooth, easy and painless. We found the staff at the hotel's front desk to be very friendly.

We stayed in a one-bedroom "apartment" which we booked through RCI using our points. Our 2 young daughters slept in a very comfortable murphy bed located in the living area. The unit included a kitchen that came fully equipped -- except for an oven.

Restaurants and Bars:
As we stayed in an apartment, we cooked most of our meals ourselves or went outside the hotel. There are 3 bars in the hotel - in the lobby, on the pool deck and a swim up at the end of the infinity pool. They make a great Guavaberry island specialty.

There were 3 pools at the hotel -- 2 located on the main deck (including the infinity pool) and one located close to the apartments. The beach is made from crushed shells, so it is not as nice as a sand beach.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The hotel is located a short 10 minute walk from downtown Philipsburg...where you'll find great duty-free shopping.

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