|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|Eric and Colette |
|Nov 2005 Dec 2006 and Nov/Dec 2007
Yes that’s right – 3 years in a row and we are heading for our 4th in a couple months. We have been to many islands/all inclusives and haven’t found a better island than St. Maarten to keep us occupied for two weeks. The Maho is perfect. We chose the all inclusive package. Even if you just had one meal a day there it was well worth it. We stayed in the Sky Tower – the rooms were extremely clean and the upgraded renovated suites (2007) were well worth it. The rooms are large and the amenities luxurious. Large bathrooms too. Maid service was very efficient.
The resort is very well cared for – grounds are clean and welcoming and very lush and tropical. This resort is all inclusive or not – many people are overnighters. The restaurants don’t feel like the typical all-inclusive. Meals are excellent and the Pointe is one of the best restaurants we have ever been to. There are many other restaurants in the Maho complex. You get vouchers to go to them so the variety is there. We really liked the outdoor Palms Grill for most of our meals. Bar service was very good – quick and very good cocktails/beers/wines and of course the signature “BBC” (you gotta have one and then you can’t stop!!). The pools are very clean – we liked the smaller one where we could watch the planes land and take off. The noise didn’t bother us at all. The swim up bar (Ramon) was always a treat to watch the activities at. We prefer the beaches which are unbelievable. Mullet Beach is a 10 minute walk from the Resort if you don’t want to stay on Maho. Most of the beaches have services (food/umbrella’s/chairs for reasonable fees). Some of the other beaches are a bit off the beaten track and well worth the time to find them. Many times we are the only people on the beach. Brochures are available everywhere with very good maps of the island. Check at the airport when you arrive as they are on the wall where you get your luggage. A car is the best way to see this island. Driving is very easy. Maho has a secure parking lot. Book your car rental online as the rates are better.
The resort itself has little in the way of entertainment, however right across the street there is more than enough. Maho is the only place on the island where the stores stay open in the evening. There are some pretty “unique” bars all within walking distance of the hotel. On 4 or 5 nights of the week there is a street show right in front of the Maho. They stop the traffic – great show and dancing – around 9PM – perfect way to start your evening of fun. We found the prices in Maho better than anywhere on the island and the sales people are easier to deal with than in Philipsburg and Marigot. But Philipsburg is where to go for selection – especially watches and diamonds!!!! We prefer Philipsburg to Marigot – they have a gorgeous boardwalk in Philipsburg. Just don’t go on Wednesday when there are up to 5 cruise ships docked.
There are many islands that are a day trip away – we hiked up the volcano on Saba and into the volcano at St. Eustatius. Breathtaking!!! We have done the snorkeling at Prickly Pear by catamaran – highly recommend that adventure. Our favourite is to take the little ferry boat ($6 US) across to Isle Pinel on the French side and hike around for a bit and then settle in for a lobster lunch, hand picked fresh from the water, at Karibouni restaurant. There is no electricity on this island – all is cooked over a grill.
St. Maarten is a busy island – lots of condos being built, lots of time share people, (they leave you alone if you tell them you are Canadian). It is an amazing island, it is truly half French and half Dutch and 200% Caribbean. But in seconds you can be away from all the busy-ness and find your own little piece of paradise. We highly recommend Sonesta Maho, for its location, services, food and its staff.
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
| We just returned from our vacation at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort. 2 couples in their late 20's went.
|The hotel is pretty small compared to the other resorts we have been to in the past. Overall it was clean. The room we stayed in was in SkyTower and it had an ocean/airport view. The noise didn't bother us too much. The room itself was clean and had an iron, blow dryer, etc. Our door didn't feel too secure and there was no peephole to see when someone knocked. The main pool is very small. It was low season so it didn't get too packed. I couldn't imagine how chaotic it would be if it was full. Also watch out of those annoying time share people. To avoid them say you are under 28 and if you are with your significant other just say you are friends. 6.5/10.
|what entertainment? They would post all these activities but none ever fell through: scuba, workout, volleyball? Pathetic. No one would even show up to say it is cancelled. I guess because it was cancelled everyday. 0/10
|We were very happy with the food. As stated there is a buffet and 1 a la carte as the main restaurants. Other hotels we have been to had 7-11 restaurants so I was a bit skeptical of the choices.
Luckily the food was good and there was enough choices to satisfy the appetite. The salmon and strip steak at the a la carte was really good. You get vouchers also to go to 3 other restaurants. We chose the Sopranos, which was a very good Italian restaurant and IMO had an authentic taste and feel. And the steak house on the same side of the casino. Don't recall the name. Last we checked out the Point. Very nice restaurant. Paid for the lobster and beef tenderloin upgrade.
Portions were small but the food was delicious. 9/10
|great smoothies. Beer: coronoa, heineken, carib, coors light, presidente. Ramon at the Pool Bar and Alex at the Lobby Bar ruled. 9/10
|Best beaches by far from all the trips I went to. Went to Orient Bay 2x. Soft white sand and torquoise water. No waves so easy to relax in. Around Maho you had Mullet bay which I wasn't too fond of as others and the beach where the planes fly overhead. Interesting to watch locals "ride the fence" when a 747is taking off. Also rented a car and visited Friar's Bay, Great Bay and others. 10/10
|The Airport -|
|Didn't bother us much. Never got bored watching them fly close to the beach.
|Night Life -|
|Was pretty dead because of low season. Ventured to Q club a few times, Bernies on Weds was rocking. Best club we found was Mambo Cafe a latin joint. We were a bit biased because we salsa, but the staff and DJ were friendly and always made us feel at home and gave us some killer drinks. There was a lively bar across the street beside Club Q with live entertainment. that we went to before the
night supposedly started (Sheri's I think was the name). 6/10
|Although tips were not mandatory it felt necessary otherwise you wouldn't get fair service. Not the poorest island in the caribbean so it felt as if the employees didn't need to go the extra mile to make you happy. It was our friends' 1 year wedding anniversary so they did deliver flowers we bought and complimentary champagne. 6/10
|Nice workout facilities if you want to burn off some calories for all the feasting you are doing. The card reader was a bit tricky so it may be frustrating at first. 8/10
|Nice place. Boardwalk and lots of shops. At night it comes alive and restaurants and bars are lively. Reminded me of Miami (Ocean Blvd). 8/10
|not as nice as Phillipsburg in my opinion. Was expecting much more in terms of shopping but was disappointed. 6/10
|Also checked out Anguilla (north of SXM) and St. Barths (south of SXM). A boat ride away. If you can try and depart from Marigot when going to Anguilla and from Pelican Bay or Phillipsburg when going to St Barths otherwise you will be adding an extra 45 mins to your boat ride. Our Transat agent failed to tell us this and it wastes a lot of time.
In Anguilla went to Shoal Bay (rated top 10 beach on someone's list?).
Didn't do much else because the boat ride took so long to get there (we left from Phillipsburg and had to sail around SXM before even going north to Anguilla). 7/10
In St. Barths, beware of the boat ride if you have a weak stomach.
When they say rough ride, think of roller coaster rough. Island is nice. Loved the european ambiance and flavor. Checked out Saint Jean beach and walked around Gustavia. Everything is quite pricey though.
Boat ride back was much better. 7/10
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|Resort was ok for the price we paid - glad I didn't pay full price - was pleasantly surprised at the end when West Jet picked up airport departure tax of $30 X2..more money to shop, ha - it was clean, food was better than most but it was noisy..side where our room was - Casino across street - most nites it was 4 or 5 o'clock before it got quiet - roads too busy - no sidewalks so we walked around the golf course early morning when it wasn't too busy..and less chance of getting a golf ball in the head...resort is old (25 or 30 years) so it needs renovations - furniture was torn & worn down in rooms & lobby..we had a problem with free vouchers that we were supposed to get for "a la carte" restaurants - they wouldn't give it to us until air transat rep came with me..they also automatically charge you for some kind of environment/education tourism thing at the end (but you can have it taken off your bill)..I found staff not as willing to help compared to D.R. or Cuba..we rented a car & saw some of the island - of course it's poor but what we hated the most was how garbage is thrown & not picked up - even on their nice beaches, I realize we're not in Canada but you'd think with tourism being their livelihood that they would take better care (of course, the tourist are partly to blame)..took a bus to Philipsburg - I felt quite safe - very busy with cruise ships - Marigot was better - not so crowded..
Probably wouldn't go back to that island in a while - I think it might have been a great place years ago but there's a lot of torn down places - I think some since the hurricane of mid-90's and it's so too bad that none of it is re-done...all in all for the price we paid - I'd give it a 3 ½ star..
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|My wife and I just returned from a great week (Jan.14-20) in St. Martin at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort. I had read quite a few bad reviews about this resort before we left, and was getting a little worried. None of the complaints I had read about seemed justified, except possibly the loud music coming from across the bay at night, (thurs-sat) however we did have the option of changing rooms. Rooms were pretty standard, but clean. The hotel and grounds are beautiful. Never seen so many large and comfortable lounge areas filled with really nice furniture. No problem finding a quiet place to curl up with a book. Pool area is clean with lots of lounge chairs. Right after we got into our room after checking in, we found that our room safe lock didn't work. I called front desk, and within 5 minutes we had someone show up with a replacement. Service in general was great.
The Beach is a lot smaller than the last time I was in St. Martin but still a small beach available and if you love to watch planes this is the place. Also, Mullett beach is a 5 minute walk and since St. Martin is known for it's beautiful beaches, you'll want to rent a car (we got one for $90.00 U.S for 3 full days everything included) and visit as many different beaches as you can.
**Happy Beach is a beautiful, not well known beach. You have to drive to Friars Beach, then hike for around 10 minutes over a small hill but it's worth the walk. There were only about 8 other people on this beach.
The food was excellent. In addition to the buffet there was the Palm Grill just off the pool area which offered lunch and dinner, and the hotel offered dinner vouchers for a number of very good restaurants on the strip just outside the hotel. Most people I know that travel to the caribeen find St. Martin to be one of their favourite islands, myself included. I highly recommend you visit St. Martin, and I have nothing but good things to say about the Sonesta Maho Beach resort.
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|We spent a week in Feb. 2005. Now get this: We payed 2000$ tax in CDN for a week at a 4 1/2 star hotel. We had spent this much to go to Jamaica ( RIU NEGRIL 5 STAR) but our travelling company didnt BOOK us and the resort was already full by the time they realized it. SO they sent us to St. Maarten. We were ok with that.... UNTILL WE GOT THERE! Our room was facing a SESPOOL (where the stuff from your toilet goes). The food was OK, not a great variety though, STAFF WAS HORRIBLE! I mean some were nice, but most were very mean and moody. We wanted another room ( as we payed 2000$ a head) We were told by the manager that we had payed for a SUPERSAVER room and that we couldnt move. THEN get this:.. THE MANAGER TOLD US IT WASNT HIS PROBLEM THAT WE HAD PAYED THIS MUCH. AND HE WOULDNT RATE HIS OWN HOTEL MORE THAN A 3 1/2 STAR HOTEL. HE SAID WE COULD RATE HIM ALL THE STARS IN THE WORLD.. HE DIDNT CARE! haha we tried to get him to write this down and sign it. but he refused. Chairs by! the pool ( as there was NO BEACH) were all broken, and MOLDY!!!, Landscaping needed upgrades. BIG TIME! Rooms werent clean untill after dinner some days. Beds were horrible. DRINKS WERE AMAZING THOUGH!!!!. SO thats what we did.. we drank our problems away. We were 8. 2 Families of 4. This was our 2 kids (18-21) first trip, so we didnt want to ruin it for them, and they didnt know any better. It got soo bad one day.. we called back home to talk to our agents who told us they would fly us back home FREE! But we figured we would stay for the kids. WE NAMED THIS PLACE THE MAHO CAHCAH ( because of the big view of the crap pool from our hotel room). NOW, for a 3 and a half star hotel.. it was fine, BUT for a 4 and half rated, where we payed 2000$ a person, thats 16 000$ that WE SPENT for this horrible place.
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|April 18th 2005. We are just back from a wonderful two weeks at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort in St-Marteen. Here is the review:
|Typical hotel found anywhere in Canada or USA. Not opened air as usual in the Carribean. Overall good looking. We had an all inclusive package with Air Transat. Our room was on the first floor with garden view. Room of a very decent size with King Bed. Everything was in good working condition and clean. We had room 150. On a scale of 10 would give a 7.0 rating due to some tiles cracked in bathroom floor and to the fact that if you forgot to tip the maid well you would miss Kleenex, toilet paper and clean drinking glasses.
|We found a well manicured ground with decorative lamps in abundance. Good variety of plants and tree. Everything is in excellent condition and employees are working hard to keep the place clean. RATING 8 out of 10
|There are two pools. On is on top of the point restaurant and enjoys a stunning view of the ocean. It has a small waterslide that kids will enjoy. The pool water is crystal clear. However bring a lot of suntan lotion with high SPF because there is absolutely no shade around that pool. At the garden level there is another pool with bar and waterfall. Again crystal clear water and lots of chair. You can manage to find some shade around the pool. RATING 8 out of 10
|Some will say it is the low point of this resort. It is rather small and the sea can be pretty rough. However if you can swim there should not be any problem. In two weeks we found the waves to be rough for 4 days but it didn't stop us to go in. Water was amazingly warm (28C or 82 F) and clear. Be careful however about departing plane. The thrust of their engine can provide you with a free peeling. We were not bothered by the planes noise as our agent had already advised us. In fact we enjoyed swimming and looking at these monsters flying some 25 ft above our head. We found that on Saturday the busiest day,there was a heavy smell of fuel in the air. Not sure that this is very good for our health. RATING 6 out of 10
| NOW this is the strength of this Hotel. You have the Palm grill with a la carte menu, ask for Marylin and you will get an excellent service, the Ocean terrace with the Buffet and the Point which is the gourmet restaurant. If you have the all inclusive package you have also access to 2 restaurants a week outside the complex. I strongly recommend the Paris Bistrot. RATING 9 out of 10
|At first you will probably find them uninterested and slow. However if you take the time to talk with them about their job, how is their day going and so on you will see an immediate change of attitude. Remember that in that kind of weather, you will not be any faster than they are. Be kind to them and they will be generous with you. Remember to move at the carribean time and everything will be more enjoyable. Do not forget to tip and smile. At the a la carte restaurant you should leave about 10% of what it would have cost you. At the buffet $2 will do the job. And at the bar you will see that $1 will bring you a long way. RATING 9 out of 10
|The Sonestra Maho is a true 4½ stars and We have no hesitation to recommend. Shirley Anne & Guy (Montreal-Quebec)
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|Tanya & Ron |
|We just returned from our honeymoon at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort.
|The hotel and property was clean, modern and well maintained. The
gardens were lush with flowers and beautiful palm trees and it truly felt
like a tropical paradise. There were 3 sparkling pools with lots of room
and chairs for sunbathing and tanning. The view was spectacular facing
beach/poolside - definitely worth the upgrade, but also ok if you were
facing the golfcourse - not so great if you were facing the street/casino.
|We were pleased with the quality and variety of food. Basically
there are 2 main restaurants - one is buffet style with a different theme
everyday and the other has a set menu. Both have adequate seating and
fanatastic views overlooking the beach/sea. Additionally, there are several
other restaurants included at no charge where you may dine once by using a
hotel voucher. We highly recommend The Point for presentation and delicious
steak/seafood and the Italian restaurant Tirimisu for authentic cuisine and
first class service. Keep in mind that you should bring one set of dress
clothes as these spots frown against shorts and sandels. Besides, you'll
want to dress up anyway!
|The hurricane from the 90's wiped out a lot of the beachfront, but
having said that..... there was still ample beach to walk, sunbathe and have
fun in the water. Most of the guests stayed by the pools anyway - close to
towels, washrooms and free drinks! Furthermore, Mullet Bay - a fantastic
beach - is only a 5 minute walk up the road. Plus, there are compimentary
shuttles to Orient Beach - a must see - and don't forget to spend some time
at Great Bay beach when you visit Phillipsburg. We have to mention Cupecoy
beach as well. This tranquil and picturesque beach has been carved out of a
rockface with caves and unique nooks and crannies. The water is a much
rougher and there is nudity, so not a family spot for sure.
| The Mullet Bay Golf Course is adjacent to the Maho Resort and about
a 5 minute walk to the 1st hole. Unfortunately, the course is not well
maintained and very, very dry. We paid $98 including a cart for 18 holes
which was worth every penny for the scenery alone, but don't expect lush
fairways and manicured greens.
|The Airport -|
|Worth mentioning since it is RIGHT BESIDE the resort. Many reviews complain about the noise of the jets landing and taking off. Our feedback is much the opposite - we had a blast watching the planes come
in and out. The beach at the end of the runway is the closest place in the
world - no kidding - that you'll ever come to commercial aircraft. The buzz around the resort was all about which plane was coming in when. Everyone wanted to see the Air France jet or the KLM jumbo jet lumber in
across the sea and seemingly land right on top of you! We have some awesome
pics - the kids wil love it.
|Night Life -|
| There's lots and lots to do at night. Maho Beach is right in
the middle of clubs and casinos. Club Q is right across the street. Bliss
and Bamboo Bernie's is a 5 minute walk away. Casino Royale is across the
street and the Atlantis casino is a 10 minute walk away. We have to mention
that it's not exactly quiet at night. The bass from the clubs carries
across the water and light sleepers might be annoyed. We didn't have any
complaints, but it's not a tranquil setting at night.
|Overall, not the friendliest service in the Caribbean. We weren't
exactly disappointed, but a few more smiles and a bit more conversation
would have went a long way. In all fairness..... the hotel staff did send
champagne to our room and surprised us with a scrumpcious cake at The Point
to celebrate our honeymoon.
|The Good Life Spa on the 3rd floor was quite impressive. The
treatments were reasonably priced and definitely worthwhile. Check it out
and pamper yourself.
|Definitely go for the shopping - especially watches and
jewellery. Pick a good day and you'll see a few cruise ships in port. Much
better than Marigot which has a few stores and an outdoor market, but is
mostly for night life.
So, as you can tell..... we had a great vacation in St. Maarten. The island
has so much to offer - we certainly would go back again and recommend the
Sonesta Maho Beach Resort.
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
| Disregard the previous negative reviews of this resort. You have to come to the caribbean with a positive attitude and a caribbean time mode.
The breakfast buffet had much more than previous reviewers stated. First of all the spoons for the cereal were located in a basket just above the cereal boxes and the buffet also included rolls, bread(toaster provided),french toast,pancakes and bagels.
When we went to Mullet Bay we took beach towels and paid just $3 for an umbrella.
Orient Beach was the highlight of the trip as we like to walk the beach (wife topless, me au-natural).
Also recommend the Golden Eagle cruise around the island on Fridays.
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|Kari & Les |
Halifax Nova Scotia
| We stayed at the resort from Feb 14-28/05. This was the first time I had been away for two weeks. I wish that we had done it last year in the Mayan! While we didn't have a horrible vacation, it wasn't the greatest. This resort definetly is NOT a 41/2 star. 3 1/2 is closer to the truth. If we had paid for a 3 1/2 we would have been much happier.
The flight (Westjet) was fine, it was raining when we arrived. Our room wasn't ready so we went down to eat. The food at the Maho is fine. I don't think we had a bad meal while we were there, but we didn't have a great one either - pub food is the best description. There are two options: the buffet or the Palms Grill (a la carte). We had breakfast every day at the buffet. It was the same every day and limited choices, but the food was good (the best fresh fruit I have had at any resort) and the french toast was good as well. Service was another matter. We rarely got a spoon (and I eat cereal) and it was a daily battle to get decaf coffee. We would sit there politely waiting for someone to offer it. Some days we got it early, others we left without any. If you sought someone out to request it, you were guaranteed a dirty look and one staff member even yelled at my husband and chased him back to his seat. There were some staff that were great (two young girls who always smiled and chatted) but they were the exception, not the rule.
We had lunch everyday at the Palms. The lunch at the buffet were too heavy for us. There weren't a lot of healthy options at either- though there is a small salad bar at the Palms and some days they had cooked chicken breasts to put on your salad. The hamburgers are really good and everything else was ok. The pineapple (ony healthy choice on the menu) came with canned fruit, which I found very disappointing as the buffet had such good fresh fruit.
For supper we tried a few "dine around" choices. Tiramisu was pretty good (italian food) - the chicken parm was pretty yummy. We were impressed with the service the first time, but the second week it wasn't nearly as good. The steakhouse wasn't very good. My husband paid extra to get a steak (with the dine around you get a very limited menu and have to pay extra if you want anything from the regular menu) and I tried it. The steak at the Palms was just as good if not better. We also felt like second class citizens here as they told us there were only certain tables we could sit at- one was in the path of the exhaust and the other was inside where the air conditioning was freezing. We also ate at the Point- I didn't like it much, though the ambiance and service were great.
Our room was horrible. We were in the main building on the fifth floor at the end of the hallway (if they give you room 561, don't even bother going upstairs, just ask to change it). It was smoking (we requested non-smoking) and there was a pile of butts on the floor (and yes we had waited 90 minutes while it was being cleaned). There was mold on the ceiling outside the bathroom and mold on the shower curtain. There were huge chips out of the tub. The sliding door to the balcony wouldn't lock (they did fix it) and our view was of a rotting rooftop with rotting buildings from an old resort that was not rebuilt after the hurricane. There were two double beds (our 16 year old daughter came for the first week). When you sat on them you almost hit the floor. It took two nights before I was exhausted enough to sleep. The one good thing was that it was pretty quite. We could see the casino, but we were on the far side of the hotel- so we only heard the loud music at 9pm every night. There was a parade down the main street at that time to entice everyone to the casino. We spoke to someone at the bar who told us they had been moved 4 times- they were now overlooking the same view as us but had been close to the casino and kept up to 5am, overlooking a cesspool and other such marvels. We decided to stay where we were- sticking with the devil we knew - as we didn't want to spend our vacation changing rooms.
The pool is very nice. They have these green mats at the towel booth that you can use to float on. Just get there early to sign them out (they are free). We really enjoyed them and they made nice pads for the chairs as well. Mullet Bay was a 5 minute walk from the resort. What a beautiful beach. The only downfall is that it is $15 US to rent two chairs and an umbrella for the day and the public bathrooms are a bit scary. We went once the first week and once the second. We also went to Orient Bay on the hotel shuttle. You have to sign up at the towel hut the morning before. This beach is nice too (about a 40 minute bus ride). I would recommend taking the hotel shuttle there, but take a cab or local bus back so you can stay later. They didn't arrive until 10am or so and left at 1pm. Much too nice a beach to leave that soon. Note that both beaches have nude people sunbathing. Orient Bay they are fully nude and Mullet mostly just topless women.
We also did two excursions. The first week we went to Anguilla. I highly recommend this. The beach is great, ferry ride is only 20 minutes and it was a nice full day there. The meal was really good. We also went to Phillipsburg via the local bus. We enjoyed the bus ride as much as the shopping. You should be careful to go on a day when there are minimal cruise ships. Better yet, do you shopping at the shops in Maho. The one furthest down (by the Pharmacy) gave us great deals and service. Though, Phillipsburg is worth seeing. We only saw Marigot as we were going to Anguilla. It is very beautiful. We just were shopped out and didn't want to go back- the exchange to Euro also dissuaded us too.
The second week we went to Prickly Pear on a catamaran. We had decided not to go to St. Barth's because of the rough trip- wish we were warned about this too. I would be careful going to St. Barth's, Saba or Prickly Pear if it is windy. The waves were about 4 feet. A number of people got seasick. I was freezing because we were getting soaked from the waves and the wind was soooo strong. The trip there was close to 2 hours. I couldn't wait to get off. The way home was much better- definetly not worth $85 US each!
The staff ran hot and cold. Our daughter and I had our hair braided (Frances from the time share desk at the hotel will come to your room and do it). She was great and it was so easy not having to worry about our hair for the vacation. Most staff at the front desk didn't care at all about any concerns expressed. We had a few requests (key for the safe, getting the sliding door fixed, getting access to the gym) and the response was none too friendly. Service was generally poor too. I can take slow (most days), but slow and cranky wore on you after awhile. As we were on the first direct flight from Halifax, I will be curious to see whether it will be running next year. Most of the others from Halifax were disappointed with the Maho.
I do want to recommend one of the Maho drinks- a BBC (bailey's banada colada)- as upset as I was the first day, they can always make you smile! We won't return to the Maho and probably not to St. Maarten at all. As we toured the island we didn't see any other resort that we would want to stay at- too bad because there are some amazing beaches, shopping and people in St. Maarten.
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|Pavel & Jenny |
| Just returned from St.Maarten after staying at Maho resort for 2 weeks. We flew Air Transat from Calgary. We were flying all night long to arrive at the resort at 9 a.m. to find out that our room will not be ready until 2p.m. Very disappointed and tired we had to walk around the resort until 2 p.m. The room was very clean and spacious.
Food: buffet breakfast was terrible. They had the following choices: egg omelette, scrambled egg, beckon, sausage, one type of cereal and some fruits. We had to ask for cheese. No any yogurts or cold cuts at all. Try to eat that for 2 weeks!!!
The Point restaurant looked very nice but service and food was very limited, food was tasteless. If you want something extra- have to pay. Never seen this kind of a set-up at any other resorts.
The bar at the beach- grill- service was extremely slow and food was out of frozen section of Superstore. Or at least that's how it tasted.
The drinks were very good at any one of the bars. But don't forget to tip the bartender every time you order the drink, otherwise next time you will be waiting forever.
THE BEACH DOES NOT EXIST AT THIS PLACE. It was washed away in 1999. You have to walk 10 min. to Mullet bay and pay $ 5.00 US for each chair or umbrella, plus for any drink. Resort does not offer any shuttle service to Mullet bay, only to Orient beach. And only for 40 people a day, so you need to sign up for this a day before at 7 a.m. or no space will be available. We never wanted to get up that early on our holiday.
If you want a good food - rent a car and go to Grand Case- that's where it is really worth spending your money for really great meals. Unforgettable.
The island is very beautiful. I am not going to describe it - go on their website and find out.
But without a car you will see nothing.
Overall : will never go back to Maho. But will be coming back to the Island for the sea, beaches and food and unbelievable scenery.
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|Tom & Trish |
|We were pleasantly pleased with our stay at the Sonesta Maho in St. Maarten. We were actually booked at the Great Bay Hotel and Casino, but they have not finished there 10 million dollar renovation. Thank god....We rented a car one day and drove over to check out the progress. They have a long way to go. We thought we would be dissapointed at the Sonesta, but after seeing the Great Bay Hotel, we were very happy. The beach was longer at Great Bay, but the area around it was dirty and unkept. Rooms are not even close to completion, and believe it or not, people were actually staying there.
The Sonesta was wonderful. I thought I would be unhappy with the lack of beach (and there is no beach ), but the views were beautiful. There is a great beach called Mullet Bay. It's only a 10 minute walk, but a must to see. Great surf. Big waves. You can rent beach chairs for $5. They have a beach bar and an area to get food. We also spent a day over on Orient Beach. Very long and nice but crowded . Water was a bit weedy, but great beach bars all along the beach.
We had a nice room in the Ocean Terrace building Room # 410. Older building, but closer to beach with much better views. Housekeeping kept our room spotless, yet you never really saw them. Tipping at the beginning of your stay goes a long way. The only problem was the noise that traveled across the bay from the bars. Loud music played untill 6 a.m. Fri.-Sunday. The first night was the worst, but you get used to it. Our friends stayed in the Towers, and they heard nothing. There room over looked the pool area which was also very nice.
The food was exceptional. I have been to many all inclusive vacations in the past, and the Sonesta was by far the best. The breakfast buffet was the same every day, but lunch and dinners were always changing. The Palms Grill was also very good. We never had breakfast or dinner there, but great burgers, pizza, nachos, etc...We used our dinner coupons at Grand Case and The Point. The Point was the best food on the premises. I had the filet and it was big and delicious. Great service. My boyfriend had the rack of lamb which he was also pleased with. Nice house wine too.
Overall we found the hotel staff to be incredibly nice, friendly, and helpfull. They are a bit slow in the resteraunts, but whats the rush, you're on vacation. We rented a car 2 days, and glad we did. We got to really see a lot of the Island. Had a great Italian dinner at La Vie en Rose in Marigot for Valentines Day. That was the best meal we had the whole week. Fabulous.... We went over to St. Barths 2 times on the Edge ferry. The ride is a little bumpy, as some people were feeling ill. St. Barths is the most gorgeous Island I have ever seen. We rented a car both days, (just driving around the Island is an adventure). I highly suggest renting a car. There are so many prestine beaches. Our favorite was Saline Beach. Long white sand beach that stretches into the mountains. Not a house to be seen. Just Amazing. St. Barths was very clean and very easy to get around. The highlight of our trip for sure.
Great shopping in Philipsburg. You can take public shuttle vans for $1.50 into town from the Maho. We still had our rental car, but parking was tough. Great jewelry, perfume, electronics. Clothes too. Lots of fun too see the locals. Overall our experience here on St. Maarten was terrific. The Sonesta Maho was better than expected. The only thing missing was a beach, and I'm a sand between the toes girl, but the walk to Mullet Bay was no big deal. Watching the planes flying in all day was great entertainment. Not a nusance at all. I thought that might be a big problem, but ended up being fun. When I come back I'm spending half my time on St. Barths, and the rest at the Sonesta Maho. We Loved it.
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|Kathy and Tom |
|My husband and I travelled to the beautiful island of St. Maarten this
past November after having read several positive reviews right here on
Debbie's page. We found the reviews by previous guests to be very fair
and accurate and therefore totally enjoyed our trip and were well
prepared for the very few negatives we found on this great vacation.
First of all the beauty of St. Maarten itself we found to be beyond
compare and we have travelled to Mexico, Jamaica and Cuba for sunny
vacations in the past. The Sonesta Maho beach resort is lovely and well
maintained and we found our room to be clean and well appointed and the
maids did a good job doing a general tidy up each day as we hit the
beach or went travelling. Because the Maho is so close to the airport
we did of course notice the noise of jets landing and taking off but
coming from Toronto it was a pleasure not to hear police sirens for a
whole week so the jets proved to be not only not that disturbing but
fascinating to see landing so close to the beach. There is some music
noise at night from the local nightclubs but both of us are good
sleepers and had no problem with that either.
The food at the resort was by far superior to any other all inclusive
resort we have travelled to even one that was considerably more
expensive. The buffet at Oceans Terrase is different every night and
everything was good with several different meat choices and if you
really are picky the Palms Cafe restaurant can surely fill in the
blanks for you. We used our three a la carte choices to go to The
Point, Paris and The Grande. Paris and the Grande were both good but
The Point was fantastic. That dinner alone made the evening seem like a
very classy special anniversary party, the service, the food, the
atmosphere all simply beautiful.
Now to the beaches, we rented a car one day which was very reasonable
at Alamo and travelled around just trying out different beaches.
Cupacoy which is clothing optional is beautiful and secluded, Orient
Beach is great if you want to rent water craft or do parasailing and
the beach right close to Maho called Mullet Bay is gorgeous and fun for
body surfing. The very small beach right at Maho is exciting if you
want to sunbathe while looking right at the undercarriage of jet
Shopping is extraordinary in Philipsburg-everything from inexpensive
but brightly coloured pareos for your swimsuit cover ups to the most
expensive diamond ring I have ever tried on-$45,0000 U.S. There are a
plethora of jewellery and electronics shops so if you want either of
those bring some cash.
The people on the island are very friendly and helpful and all speak
English so it is not difficult to make yourself understood and easy to
meet locals and chat to them about their beautiful homeland if you want
to find out more about St. Maarten.
You can easily drive around the whole island in one day both French and
Dutch side but the traffic does get congested in some spots as there
seem to more cars than roads. We did notice however that most of the
drivers seem to be driving on a excess of courtesy because without
traffic lights or many stop signs everyone just seems to get where they
are going without beeping or raging at the other drivers. If you don't
want to drive yourself just hop on one o the local minivan public buses
and for $1.50 you will reach almost any destination you want.
We loved St. Maarten and plan to return next year with our two adult
sons as there is lots to do, swim, eat, shop and then go to a local
club with live music or the casinos at night! Don't worry if you don't
want to visit there we'll keep it our little secret!
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|L & D |
| My friend & I traveled to the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort
from Nov. 20-27, 2004. It was a wonderful week. In
previous years we have visited Cancun, Puerto Plata,
Punta Cana, Varadero, and Cayo Coco. Thanks, Debbie,
for maintaining this great site.
|We were booked on Air Transat Vacations from Toronto.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to fly on the lovely
WestJet flights as others have mentioned. Our AT
flight left on time and arrived ½ hour early. The
service was good. They provided a snack pack which had
a small chicken wrap, coleslaw, cheese & crackers, etc.
The arrival in St. Maarten was quite smooth. Customs
was quite efficient & friendly (not scary like Cuba).
Since Maho Beach Resort was literally next to the
airport, our bus ride was essentially down the main
road and a right turn. Check-in was good – they
initiated string bracelets the day we arrived. The
bracelets were cute and more comfortable than the
plastic type we’ve worn in other resorts. Don’t get
too attached to them as a hotel staff will diligently
snip them off when you board the bus to leave. By the
way, even though this was supposed to be low-season, we
were told the hotel (600 rooms) was full. While we
were worried about crowds, we didn’t encounter any
until the night before we left.
By the time we have checked in and changed, it was past
10pm. Normally the buffet closes at 10.30pm. But the
hotel actually extended the buffet until 11.30pm
because they knew we were coming in. That was a nice
touch: in the past we have been to hotels where they
simply said the buffet was closed, or we were left with
a sandwich pack.
|We were on the 8th floor in the main tower, facing
Mullet Bay (rather than the pool). Many said the pool
side was the best, but we liked our view, which looked
onto the golf course, Simpson Bay, as well as Mullet
Bay. Great to see when you pull open the drapes each
morning. Try not to get a room too low, as there was a
water treatment plant right behind the hotel, with a
strong humming sound that churned all day. We have
also talked to people who received rooms that faced
onto the main street and they said street noise was
indeed a big annoyance.
|The hotel was kept very clean. It was no where as
large as others have mentioned: from the hotel lobby
you can walk to the main pool, a little further on your
left was the a la carte Palms Grill and the fake beach
(for beach chairs), and a little further more was the
other hotel tower, which also housed the buffet. The
Points restaurant was just beyond the buffet. And that
|There were two pools. A medium-sized one near the
lower tower with a short slide, which we presumed was
meant for families. The main one was larger, but
nothing as big as the ones in Punta Cana. Some people
did stake their chairs early (we wish there was a way
to cut out this practice) but there were always enough
lounge chairs around.
|As others have written, guests had two choices for the
beach. The Maho Beach in front of us was unfortunately
washed out by a hurricane a few years back, so when you
enter the water you’d drop pretty quickly. However,
the beach area was still nice enough to lounge around, especially if you were waiting out your flight that day. Yes, we sat on the beach to watch the airplanes come in (they averaged one every 15 min). The beach was only 500m from the airport so this was one of the few places on earth you can catch this experience. You need to be careful about the wind trails when the big planes arrive and leave; they can cause quite a mini-sandstorm, also a “sand-facial” as some have warned. It really was a fun experience, for adults and kids. After awhile you get to know the planes and can tell whether a hopper was coming in or a large commercial flight.
Note that the hotel provided no lounge chairs at the
beach. As mentioned, there was a section by the Palms
Grill where there were lounge chairs, with sand strewn
on the grounds, which otherwise would have been part of
The second beach, where we went just about every day,
was at Mullet Bay. Unless you have serious mobility
problems, this was the beach of choice. It was a
leisurely 10 min walk from the hotel. Directions to
the beach were not obvious: walk past the Maho Village
stretch and keep going on the main road, continue along
the golf course and take the second left straight down
toward the ocean-side (not the Simpson Bay side). It
was easy once you know it. Watch the traffic as the
drivers drove like Europeans (too close for comfort),
and wear good sandals as there were no paved paths and
the roads were bumpy.
The Mullet Bay beach pretty much made our vacation. It
was the stuff you’d come to the Caribbean for. The
water was turquoise blue and clear and the sand was
white and quite fine. You didn’t need watershoes in
the water and you could walk about 200m+ before the
water became deep. Chairs could be rented for
US$5/day, or you could simply lie down on your hotel’s
beach towels. The only day it was kind of crowded was
Sunday (family day on the island we surmised). But the
beach was quite large so it wasn’t really an issue.
Bring some floating devices if you have them. When the currents were calm it was lovely just floating around the bay. But beware the currents were rough some days.
The hotel offered free shuttles to Orient Bay Beach
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (9am; ret 1pm) that
you can reserve by the towel hut. It was a great way
to see the island if you did not rent a car. They go
via Philipsburg on the way to Orient Bay, then usually
return on the northward direction via Marigot. Our
driver even went to the town area of Marigot and gave
us a look see of the poshy shops and flea market. We
heard you can use the trip to get dropped and picked up
at Philipsburg too. (But take the bus, it’s not
Orient Bay Beach was quite nice. The Maho guests had
chairs and umbrellas by the Bikini Bar. That was
wonderful. Unfortunately the water was VERY rough the
day we went, so unless you had a boogie board there
wasn’t much you can do in it. But you can go very far
out in the water before the water became too deep. As
for the water itself, we liked Mullet Bay better – the
water at Orient Bay was kind of weedy. We strolled
all the way to the clothing-optional beach. No big
|We had the all-inclusive plan (all Transat people have
the plan). Highly recommended if you this is your
first trip to SXM. Restaurant prices were quite high
on the island (avg. US$25 an entrée). That way you can
still go out and splurge on a meal or two if you wish
to sample some of St. Maarten’s culinary fare. The
hotel also was quite expensive if you charged
everything (i.e. US$11 for a hamburger platter).
Unlike some posts, we found the buffet at Maho was one
of the best we have encountered amongst the resorts.
It was not big at all but the food was generally quite
good. Remember this IS a buffet. And the food was all
quite safe as the island seemed to from the U.S. &
The Palms Grill was also good if you didn’t want to
serve yourself. The service was often slow as the
staff were often overworked. We’ve had hit or miss
service here. Skip the veggie burger. The strip steak
was great (not tough leather), as were the fishes, esp
the tilapia. Best tip: order the ice cream. It was all-natural & very yummy. We liked the chocolate and coconut best. Also the mango sorbet was wonderful.
We went to The Grand and The Paris Bistro just outside
the hotel for the dine-around coupons. Nothing
spectacular at The Grand. The Paris Bistro was good, especially if you liked escargots. The flank steak was also delicious. As for the hotel’s The Point gourmet restaurant, we had a terrific meal. From the setting to the presentation and taste of the food, it was a wonderful experience. Having been to some 5 star Caribbean resorts we have often found the gourmet restaurants disappointing. This one lived up to its name.
|One day we did the trip to St. Barts. You can do it on
your own but after comparing the transfer costs,
ferries, etc., we decided to book with our Transat rep.
For a few dollars more we didn’t have to do any
organizing. Be warned: ferry trips to St. Barts,
Anguilla, Saba, etc. can be VERY rough. One of us was
not usually affected by motion-sickness and even she
felt somewhat nauseated on the ride. Take a
motion-sickness pill if you decide to go on the trips.
St. Barts was as posh as the books have described. The
capital Gustavia was lined with shops like you’ve
walked into West Palm Beach. Don’t bother renting a
car unless you’re from Europe; the roads were extremely
hilly and quite congested in town. Good tip: the
Tourist Office is located on the quay toward the centre
of the bay. It has maps and info, AND it has free,
clean washrooms. We had about 1 hr to walk around
town. The drivers then came in minibuses and picked us
up for an island tour. Finally we were dropped in the
Anse St. Jean where we had 2 hours to have lunch and go
to the beach. Skip the restaurant they recommended –
it was expensive, and you’d get chicken or pizza only.
Besides, you’d only have so much time. Walk a little
further toward this Rotisserie where you can get a take
out, or try the boulangerie where you can get
baguettes, salads, and deli to go. They take Euros but
will also take US$.
The beach at Anse St. Jean was nice, but not as
spectacular as we have heard. The water was not that
clear and the beach was not big. The view, however,
was quite picturesque. The famous Eden Rock hotel
jutted out of the water. Fancy homes sat on the
hillside. And like Maho, the beach laid next to St.
Barts’ small airport strip where you see little planes
take off every so often.
|Shopping in Philipsburg|
|We took the local minibuses to town. Very safe and a
great way to meet the locals. Many came on board with
a “good morning” greeting. Ask the driver to point to
where you should wait to catch the minibuses back to
the hotel. (It IS literally named the Back Street.)
Factor some time to get back as not too many minibuses
head for the Mullet Bay direction from town.
You will love Philipsburg if you want to shop
jewelries. The other two major stores sold liquors and electronics. RAM seemed like the best store for liquors (US$6 for a litre of Absolute Vodka or Appleton Rum). If you’re from the U.S. the electronics may not be the best bargains. But then again you will be saving the tax. As they told us, the merchants were more willing to bargain on days when less cruise ships at port. If you buy a digital camera or of the sort, make sure you check the International Warranty is inside the box – ours did not and the merchant claimed it must have “slipped out”. Good thing we were still around but we had to return to the store the next day to get the warranty. Buyers beware.
| ● Weather: rain seemed to come mostly in the
mornings and evenings. Very cooperative. We had one
day of afternoon shower but otherwise it was partly cloudy/sunny weather all week. The humidity was incredibly comfortable. Not sticky like in Mexico and just humid enough you did not need a jacket for the evenings.
● Tennis courts: secretly located at the industrial road on your way toward Mullet Bay (turn RIGHT at the Pharmacy). The four courts were in decent shape. Lucho the friendly pro was always there giving lessons. You can reserve your time with him. He did have racquets and balls if you don’t want to port them.
● The Mullet Bay Pharmacy on your way to the
beach was a terrific spot to get your medical needs.
The prices were very reasonable and the pharmacist
there was really helpful. Many people on our flight
also mentioned the same.
● Service: while we heard the hotel’s service
could be rather indifferent, esp at the restaurants, we
did not find that to be the case. Often the staff in
the outside section of the buffet were overworked –
just be patient, go in Caribbean time. The
waiter/waitress will eventually get to you. Also give
them a chance to know you: we’ve found by the end of
the week many staff were happy to see us the moment we
walked in. Say hi and smile. Tip: the indoor section
seemed less busy, great for breakfasts and dinners.
● Friday nights seemed like the busiest time at
the hotel: apparently Air France/KLM guests from The
Meridien come over to us for their flight out Saturday.
It was the only time that was difficult to get a table
at the buffet.
● Tipping and Bartenders: we didn’t feel obliged
to tip. But it was well-practiced here. We tipped our
maid most every day and she really did do a terrific
job in our room. Our sink was clogged one day: we left
her a note and by noon time maintenance had already
fixed the problem. We tipped the restaurant staff when
we felt we had good service. The same with the
bartenders. Note we are not big drinkers and we have
never listed any bartender by name in our past reviews,
but we found all the bartenders here were quite nice.
Give them a $1 or $2 and they’ll look after you the
whole week. Fernando at the Lobby made wonderful
margaritas. Sheryl & Felicia were priceless; they had
that terrific Caribbean charm and they made everyone
In summing up, this is not a hotel to come to if you
need an Animation Staff to keep you busy and happy.
You will not find any. This is not a hotel to come to
if you like quaint villas. The rooms looked like,
hotel rooms. This is like staying at a Sheraton. But
all things considered, even a Sheraton has its
positives: like the rooms were big and the lobby was air-conditioned, and boy will you notice that when you
come back from the outside. The food in general was
quite good and they used name-brand liquors in their
drinks. The airport proximity really should not bother
most people. We didn’t believe it until we were here
Checking out was also good. Transat guests got an
extra 2 hours (until 1pm) to check out. The hotel did
have hospitality rooms but go early. Also while it was
posted that our bus did not leave until 7.30pm we
noticed they were boarding by 7.10pm. The ticket
agents at the airport were rather slow – it turned out
they were also looking after the exit Customs forms as
well as our flight check-in. Buy all your goods during
the week; none of the stores in the airport was opened, including the duty-free. Good washrooms in the lounge, esp the ones in the smaller lounge to the right when you enter.
We had a wonderful week in St. Maarten. We did not see
it all. But this is a popular cruise stop, so we’re
sure we will be back. We would certainly look forward
to it. Have a great time if you are heading down.
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|Jim & Christina |
|Our departure from Toronto was at 3:25 p.m. We arrived in St. Marteen at 8:40 p.m. The flight was uneventful and going through customs was very quick. The drive to the hotel was 5 minutes.
|Our room was on the 5th floor we had a partial ocean view. The room was great. It was spacious and very clean.
|The hotel grounds were nice.
|The pool was average size. Lounge chairs were hard to come by unless you got there early.
|There wasn’t a beach at Maho. There was maybe 5 feet of sand and then the ocean-the water was perfect. However, Mullet Bay, which is a beautiful beach, was a sort walk from the hotel.
|Lots of sun flies. Bring bug repellent.
|The Buffet was not great. We ate there maybe twice. The Palms Grill, which is open all day, was the best. We went there for breakfast, lunch and sometimes-even dinner. We also tried three of the ala cart restaurants. All were great except he Point - it was horrible (which has the gourmet menu). We had the Rib Eye steak and we had to chew each piece for at least 20 minutes – it was tough.
|The resort is part of Maho Village, which is a happening little spot. We went to a bar called Cherie’s that was across the street from the hotel. It was a lot of fun. They have a live band, they take requests from the audience, and so they will sing pretty much anything. We also went to Casino Royale that is next to Cherie’s.
|Staff and Service: |
|The service for the most part was great. They were some waitresses at The Palm’s Grill that could have used a day off – they looked exhausted.
|There were a few activities by the pool each day like water volleyball, dancing and water aerobics.
|There were about ten stores in Maho village were you can find souvenirs and jewellery. We rented a car and drove to Phillipsburg and Marigot to shop. They were more than 50 jewellery stores in Phillipsburg alone, so the competition is fierce. Marigot was quieter and as little more upscale.
|This was a wonderful trip; we had a great time and came home with no complaints! The planes were a non-issue and I am surprised at the some of the comments regarding the smell of fuel, we did not smell fuel at all.
Please feel free to email me should you have any questions.
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|Marcel & Nancy |
|My Husband and I went to St. Maarten in November 2004 for our 20th anniversary. It was our first time to the island and we stayed at the Maho Resort. We had a really nice and clean room, with a great view of the pool. The weather was great and any rain mostly happened at night, light mist once in a while during the day that quickly dried up.The planes coming in never bothered us and we never smelt any fuels or anything..it was actually pretty neat to eat breakfast at the buffet and watch a plane come in. We visited many beaches, including Orient Beach, it was nice and the nudest section was mainly older (60 plus) there was quite a few little shops and plenty of places to eat or drink. The drive to get there was interesting with the driver making some stops so we could take pictures. The drive back to the resort was the rest of the island that we did not get to see..enjoyable. Mullet Bay was closer to the resort and we spent plenty of time there, swimming, snorkeling, suntanning. Got some really great deals in Phillipsburg, Front St is full of stores..but bargain...there is room for deals. We got our best deals right in the Maho hotel strip...at Jewels & Linens, Carl is great and really made us laugh, ask about the coconut rum...mmm my favorite. We met some really great people that we will be keeping in touch with, and making plans about meeting again next year. Our waitress in the Palm Grill was great, always friendly and greated us with smiles...even got a hug when we left....the pool bar was great and don't be afraid to ask the bartender for a surprise drink...Ramone made some fabulous ones I had never tried before. Overall, this was a great getaway and there is still so much we want to see and do on the island...we will be going back again for sure.
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|My wife and I flew in St. MArtin to stay at the Maho Beach in Nov. 2004. We flew US Air arriving on a Sat, They lost our luggage and we didn't get it until Sunday. This was our first time to St. MArtin and we were overall pleased with it. We stayed at the Ocean Terrace on the 5th floor with a great view of the ocean. The shower never had anything over luke warm water with no pressure.But the other people with came with had the same problem. The food at the buffet and outside restaurant were nothing special,mediocre to say the least. We did have 2 coupons good for other restaurants and we chose the Grand Cafe and The Point which were excellant. WE also ate at Cheri's across the street which was very good. We went to Orient Beach on Monday which was a 45 minute ride and the beach was good You could venture down to the nude beach but i would say the average age was 60. The beaches next to the hotel, Mullet Beach, Sunset Beach and Cupaygo were just as good and closer. There were local people there serving chicken and sandwiches at a reasonable price..All of these beaches have there share of topless people there.
We chose to do the sports things so we did the Rhino boat and waverunner rides, both very good but a little hard on the person on the back. Wednesday nite we did the sunset cruise on a catamaran which included food for $50. and was well worth it. Also a trip up to the butterfly farm was worth the time. We chose to use a taxi which was quite pricey,usaully $25. for 2 people but we did not want to wait for the bus. Its not worth it to rent a car because of the traffic and it is almost impossible to find a place to park. Don't buy anything on the beaches since it is cheaper in Phillipsburg or by the hotel. Planes were no problem,enjoyable to watch and stand at the fence during take-off waas quite a thrill.. All in all I would stay at this hotel again, I don't think I would go back here year after year. We have stayed at other resort in differant towns that were better for the all inclusive.. We enjoyed the beaches better than the hotel pools.Snorkeling was average since you won't see much unless you scuba dive. The people there were all very friendly wherever you went. Don't bother with golf clubs since the course is very unkept.
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|Jen & Todd |
| My boyfriend and I just got back from a great week away to St. Maarten. The weather was sunny and hot, with only one rainfall that lasted no more than 20 minutes. We stayed at Maho Beach Resort. This was our first time to the island and we loved every minute. Maho Beach Resort was excellent. It was very clean, the food was good (even with there only be one restaurant open) and the staff was very friendly. We had great times at the bar near the Pointe Restaurant with Cheryl and George provided some laughs while we were in the lounge bar. They always did their best to ensure that our glasses were always full! In some reviews I had read conflicting opinions regarding the airport which is right next to the resort. We didn't have any complaints when it came to this. It was great to watch the planes coming in for a landing. We didn't find it too noisy and there was never a smell from the fumes. We used all three dinner vouchers that the resort provides to guests. We ate at The Grande (excellent food & service), Cigal's Garden (great food, but the staff did not pay much attention to us since we weren't paying customers) and The Pointe Restaurant (We highly recommend spending the extra $10 for the Surf & Turf). While we were there we visited the market in Marigot and went shopping in Phillipsburg. We had a lot more fun in Phillisburg and the prices were really good, although it was neat to see the market in Marigot. We also visited Mullet Beach (only a 10 minute walk from the resort). This was our favourite beach there. You can rent chairs and an umbrella for $10. We went to Orient beach which was really nice as well. Its a 45 minute bus ride from the resort, but it is definitely worth the drive. We went on a day trip snorkeling to Prickly Pear Island. This was the highlight of our trip. We were taken on a catamaran to the island, where we went snorkeling, swam in the water and had lunch. Our lunch and all drinks on the boat were included in the cost. It was the first time that the team of the Paradox boat had done the trip to Prickly Pear Island. They did a great job and provided a great day. We were sad to see the end of the week come. We can't say enough about St. Maarten and Maho Beach Resort. We can not wait to go back to the island.
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|My husband and I were at the Maho Beach Resort the week of October 2nd,
2004. Weather was hot and sunny with a few thunderstorms that were over
very quickly. We love the island (first time there) and although not
inclined to stay in a large resort, the Maho was very comfortable. It was
only 1/3 full which was great for us as we don't like crowds. Food was
good. We have stayed at many other resorts and we usually stay away from
the meat, but enjoyed it at the Maho. The hotel was very clean and we
enjoyed the availability of beach chairs, no line ups etc. Great pool and
Ramone the bartender works hard...so order 2 at a time. It was always
difficult to get drinks at the lobby bar. That George has good intentions,
but - yikes. Cheryl was outstanding as a bartender. We rented a car for a
day and toured the islandand. Also did a day trip
snorkelling. Phillipsburg has great shopping. Mullet Bay - awesome beach.
Orient Beach was busy - the "natural bathing section" was full of elderly
men only wearing hats :)........If planning to shop, prices are far more
reasonable on the dutch side.......we for sure plan to return to St.Maarten
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|In the UK Maho is featured on the Ask Jeeves website as a hotel to avoid because it is so near to the flightpath and runway of St Martin airport. I hope they keep running the advert, because we want the hotel to remain a secret! It is a great place to stay - two really good swimming pools and easy access to the wonderful beach with good waves and sand! The planes are an added attraction and never any real disturbance. Staff all friendly and helpful - we had a fridge and extra bed in the room at no extra cost!
Best day trip was to Prickly Pear island on Bluebeard 3 from Simpson Bay. Best quiet beach - well was it Baie Rouge or Dawn Beach - try Smugglers' beach bar.
Can't wait until next year!
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
|Linda and Steve |
|My husband and I and another couple who we met in Aruba last year planned to vacation at the Great Bay resort. Within 2 weeks of our departure we were informed that the Great Bay was closing for renovations and that we would be upgraded to the Maho. Not knowing what to expect and relying on Debbie's for her open reviews we arrived in Maho Bay for a 2 week vacation in June. What a pleasant surprise.
We flew WestJet from Ottawa - Toronto and south and had an excellent flight with friendly efficient service. The seats were leather and very comfortable...Lots of leg room. A vast improvement over Sky Service.
Check-in at the Maho was quick and easy. At the airport the girls took a taxi to the hotel (5 minutes) and checked in before the crowd. The guys followed with the luggage. We had a room which overlooked the pool with an ocean view. Floors 4 and above will guarantee a nice ocean view.
We chose the All-Inclusive option. I would definately recommend it. The value is amazing. There are also many places to eat off the resort, however for great variety and as much as you want it is well worth the option. Each night has a theme and whether you prefer sea food, steaks, ribs, Italian, or Caribbean, it is all available, all delicious and in ample quantity. Breakfast was basically the same every day but there was a good variety of choices, including pancakes, French toast, omelets, eggs benedict and lots of fresh fruit.
Coupons were provided so that guests can eat off the resort. We ate at the La Charme, Mama Mias and Cigals. Of the 3, Mama Mias was excellent with friendly service. Cigals had good food but the service was terrible, simply terrible. All inclusive guests are granted a limited menu when using these coupons at off resort restaurants. Once the waiter at Cigels learned we were not a paying guest we were basically ignored and treated rudely. Once the meal was finished we actually walked out. Another couple who we met later had a similar experience.
One of the coupons provided allowed us to eat at the The Point Restaurant which is on the resort. Excellent. Excellent. This restaurant requires a semi-formal attire (no shorts) and reservations are required. The food and the service was very good. Steaks and seafood was the speciality. We had good chats with the staff and actually had our picture taken for the local newspaper.
The Palms Grill had an a la carte menu for lunch and dinner. The menu consisted of hamburgers, steaks, fish, nachos, wings, pizza, ribs, salads etc. I tried a different meal almost every day for lunch.
Our plan was to do an excursion one day and rest on the beach the second day. This worked well the first week, however the 2nd week we spent entirely on the beach...it was great. The Maho beach is not as nice as others on the island, however it was not as busy and provided us with much relaxation.
There are always some downsides to a trip and for this trip there were a couple. I am alergic to sand flies...and I received numerous bites on my arms and legs. So if you have this condition, make sure you take a good cream or repellent. Likewise the beach is adjacent to the airport. Watching jets come and go through the day is relaxing, however if the wind is blowing from the east, the exhaust stream can creat some awful smells. Finally, the hotel was having some plumbing problems in building 2...and this created some strong sewer smells around the trees at the side of the pool. That's it... complaints are over.
The hotel offers a free shuttle to Orient Beach three times a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Orient Beach is great if you like a busy beach with lots of people and lots of activities. You also get free lounge chairs and umbrellas at the Bikini Bar which saves you some money. Beware though if you take your family, there is a clothing optional section to this beach at the far end. So don't be surprised by the relaxed atmosphere.
The highlight of my trip was a day spent on Anguilla. The beaches of this island off the cost of St Maartin is nothing compared to Orient Beach. We took the bus to Marigot and then the ferry to Anguilla. From there we were driven to the beach at Shoal Bay East. This is rated one of the top ten beaches in the world and it definitely lives up to its reputation. The beach itself is about 2km long. The sand is very soft and white. There are long deserted stretches which are perfect for walking. The water is crystal clear and very calm. There is good snorkeling right off the beach. I did this for the first time in 15 years! There are some restaurants that serve very good BBQ. This is definitely worth the trip if you enjoy beautiful beaches and are looking for some solitude and relaxation.
Staff on the resort by and large were very friendly. Tip the waiters and waitresses the first few days there, and you will receive good service for the rest of the week. We had many conversations with the staff, took an interest in them, and in returned received hugs and handshakes when it was our last day. If you treat people with respect, they will respect you in return. George in the inside lounge usually took care of our pre-dinner cocktails.
Shopping....yes duty free in Phillipsburg...just a $1.50 taxi ride. For another $1.50 you can spend the day in Marigot. There is no need to rent a car and definately do not hire a taxi. The trip to Orient Beach takes you entirely around the island for free and the shuttles run continually between Maho Bay, Phillipsburg and Marigot for a $1.50.
All in all this is a great hotel and we will definitely be back someday to this friendly island...and probably to enjoy one of the other equally nice resorts.
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
| My friend and I decided at the last minute to book a trip to Saint Maarten for 4th of July weekend. We found excellent airfare as it is the off season. We absolutely had a great time. We are 2 single professional girls in our late twenties. If you want to get away and have a relaxing week or weekend then this is a great option. There are alot of couples and families but we felt completely comfortable.
We did not choose the All-Inclusive option. I would not recommend it. There are so many places to eat (and eat well) that it is a shame to limit yourself to the hotel only. It’s a safe island and to leave the resort is not a problem. We did not rent a car but used taxis while we were there.
Check-in at the Maho was quick and easy. We had a room which overlooked the pool. It was a great view. The pool at the Maho is beautiful and the pool bar is great too. We ate one lunch when we arrived at the resort and one breakfast the next day. As the Maho hotel employees were friendly, I did not find the restaurant staff to be the same. It seemed like it was an effort for them when you asked for anything. It just left us with a bad feeling. So, we left the resort for our meals as a result.&! nbsp; It wound up being the best thing.
There is a supermarket down the street which has a cafe inside it. We were told to try it for breakfast and we loved it.
The first night we stayed by the hotel and went to the Sunset Beach Bar for happy hour which had a great Caribbean band. Then we went to La Rosa Too for dinner which is about a 2 minute walk from the hotel. The meal was excellent and the restaurant was recommended to us by a friend who had been to the island a few years ago.
The second day we decided to go to the French side and lounge on the beach. The beach at the Maho is not so great and kind of small. We took a taxi to the Cul-De-Sac and jumped on a ferry ($5 roundtrip) to Pinel Island. It was amazing. We rented beach chairs and had a great day. We even ordered lunch and ate right on the beach as there is wait staff available all day. The last ferry is at 4:30 pm to leave the island. We asked our taxi driver to return at t! he end of the day and he did. I highly recommend a trip over to Pinel! But definitely arrange for return travel if you don't have a car because there are no taxis waiting.
The other beach we went to on the French side was Bikini Beach in Orient Bay. It was equally as beautiful as Pinel but not as quiet and peaceful. There are a lot more people around. We ate lunch at Bikini Beach and it was excellent.
The other place I recommend going to is Marigot. It is a cute area on the French side. You can catch a ferry to Anguilla here and we would have loved to do that if we had more time.
All in all we loved Saint Maarten and the Maho Beach Resort was a great place to stay!
|Maho Beach Resort & Casino|
| This was my second time on the island of St. Maarten and my first time staying at Maho. I had read all the reviews on Debbie’s and on other websites before I went. I had a good idea of what to expect but the reality is always different. I booked this trip last minute and got an amazing deal. Believe me it was worth every penny I spent.
The flight was on West Jet. This was my first time flying with them. Once you fly West Jet, you never want to go back to Air Transat!
I am a very tall person and it was wonderful to be able to stretch my legs out and not feel cramped for the whole flight. The leather seats are very comfortable and you actually feel relaxed during the flight. As well, you are provided with a box lunch that was actually edible and something you want to eat.
The staff was wonderful…they told jokes during the whole flight and were very friendly.
Once we arrived at the hotel, there was a very long line for check in but it moved pretty fast. I had requested a room in a quiet section of the hotel (after having read the reviews on this site about the noise). I was given a room in the Ocean Terrace section on the second floor overlooking the pool. It was very large and clean with a nice view of the pool, ocean and airport. I did not have any problems with noise from the planes or the discos across the bay.
The resort is very clean and the grounds are well maintained. It was not very busy at this time of year since it is low season. Except for the first day when all the passengers from a cancelled KLM flight were put up at the hotel. After they left, the hotel was fairly quiet and there was no trouble getting a table in any of the restaurants.
The food was amazing. I could have eaten about 5 meals a day there! The buffet restaurant had a different theme menu every day for lunch and dinner, like Tex-Mex (great ribs), Italian, BBQ and Pirate’s Night. Breakfast was basically the same every day but there was a good variety of choices, including pancakes, French toast, omelets, eggs Benedict and lots of fresh fruit.
The Palms Grill had an a la carte menu for lunch and dinner. The menu consisted of hamburgers, steaks, fish, nachos, wings, pizza, ribs, salads etc. I tried a different meal every day for lunch and I ran out of time before I ran out of menu selections. Every meal I had there was great. My favorite was the Caesar salad and the pizza.
The food at the buffet and the grill was so good that I did not try dining out anywhere.
The hotel offers a free shuttle to Orient Beach three times a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Since we flew in on a Saturday, I was able to take advantage of all three days. The flight from Montreal came in on Monday so they could only go on two days. The beach at the hotel is okay, but I like to try different beaches so I was out of the hotel every day. Orient Beach is great if you like a busy beach with lots of people and lots of activities. You also get free lounge chairs and umbrellas at Bikini Bar which saves you some money.
I also went to Mullet Bay Beach which is near the hotel. Just go out the lobby and keep to your left. The beach is less than 10 minutes’ walk away in the middle of the golf course. The water is very calm and great for families. It is like floating in a big bathtub. You can rent chairs and umbrellas on the beach. There are also a few BBQ places for food and drinks. On Sundays, the beach is very crowded and there is a lot of loud music playing. Everyone stands in the water drinking and talking for the whole day.
The highlight of my trip was a day spent on Anguilla. I had previously taken a catamaran trip to Prickly Pear…however this small island off the cost of Anguilla is nothing compared to Shoal Bay on the mainland. This is rated one of the top ten beaches in the world and it definitely lives up to its reputation. I took the ferry from Marigot. However, I should have taken some Gravol because the ride was a bit bumpy. It was only 20 minute trip, thank goodness.
From there we were driven to the beach at Shoal Bay East. The beach itself is about 2km long. The sand is very soft and white. There are long deserted stretches which are perfect for walking and enjoying the beautiful scenery. The water is crystal clear and very calm. There is good snorkeling right off the beach. There are a few restaurants serving very good BBQ. You have to try the ribs.
This is definitely worth the trip if you enjoy beautiful beaches and are looking for some solitude and relaxation. There are very limited water sports available - mostly glass bottom boat tours, snorkeling and scuba. I did not see one Jet Ski the whole day I was there.
One thing that most people mentioned in their reviews was the attitude of the staff at Maho. I was apprehensive about this before I left. But then I remembered that I am a Canadian and Canadians are known for being polite. I said please and thank you to every person I met at the hotel and treated them with respect. In return they were all extremely nice to me and very friendly. I had no problems at all with any rudeness or lack of attention from anyone at the hotel. It is true that you reap what you sow.
All in all this is a great hotel and I will definitely be back.