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Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa

$246.50 avg. rate/night


A serene Caribbean haven, the 257-room Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino is located on a one-mile stretch of soft white beach near the vibrant capital of Philipsburg. This four-star property invites guests to unwind with three swimming pools, four restaurants, four bars, fitness center, Golden Casino and water sports center.
  • Address: 19 Little Bay Road, Philipsburg St. Maarten-St. Martin
  • Phone: 721-542-2446
  • Toll Free: 800-223-0757
  • Currency Accepted: Dollar, Euro, Guilder
  • Credit Cards Accepted: Mastercard, Discover, Amex, Visa, Debit
  • Price: $246.50


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Hotel Amenities

  • Concierge services
  • Complimentary newspaper
  • Fitness facilities
  • Bar/lounge
  • Restaurant(s) in hotel
  • Breakfast available
  • Safe-deposit box
  • Multilingual staff
  • Pool
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Express check-out
  • Express check-in
  • Dry cleaning/laundry service
  • Elevator/lift
  • Air-conditioned public areas
  • Parking
  • Smoke-free property
  • Internet
  • Serenity Spa
  • Golden Casino
  • Logo Shop
  • Dive Shop

Ratings & Reviews

  • TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

    Based on 4029 reviews
2 Stars
Apr 24, 2017
Barely a 3 star resort

I am a fairly seasoned traveller and when I booked this 4.5 star resort I had a few expectations, very few of which were met. I stayed at this resort with a friend from April 13-20, 2017. The best part of this resort is the location which is directly on the beach. The downside is there is little grass or garden on the property. The "garden view" rooms do face some greenery but the main street is directly next to it. So if you want to listen to traffic all day then book the "garden view". FOOD/DRINK: There was a buffet restaurant, a French restaurant and a burger/pizza restaurant by the water which turned into a different restaurant at night where you cook your meat on a hot stone. The food choices at the buffet were slim and pretty much the same every day. The salad bar consisted of bowls of cut tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce, cheese squares, maybe some beans and a couple of dressing choices,with some other items now and then. Many times we went up for food and the trays were empty or half empty. Often we wait for them to cook/replenish. They served pretty much the same thing every night.Food lacked flavour. Meat choices were grilled fish (either mahi mahi or usually grouper, bbq or grilled chicken, Roast beef was over done, so was the pork chop. They had a fabulous curried lamb stew one night, but never saw that again. Not even the fruit was good. You would think in the Caribbean you would find delicious mango, papaya, etc. There was watermelon but some days it was delicious others it was flavourless. The mango was not ripe and hard as a rock. Kiwis were good but few and far between, same for the pineapple. Some days the dessert table had lots of great items, others not so much. I had better food in Cuba. The food at the pizzeria was great, had the fish tacos a couple of times, Cesar salad, guacamole & chips, pizza as good as well. We ate at the Hot Stone restaurant one evening and enjoyed that meal too. When we arrived we were told the Pescatone restaurant upstairs did not require a reservation. We went Sunday evening and there were no seats available so they sat us in this room that was attached to the restaurant that looked like it was a conference room. very disappointing. as was the food. I ordered a striploin steak and received what I think may have been a very fatty short rib on top a pile of thick cut french fries. I do not understand how a chef can think whatever it was that I ate was a "striploon steak". WINE: The "Sonesta" wine was undrinkable. It tasted like cheap home brewed wine. The only thing it was good for was the sangria which we drank at the beach bar. Beer selection was small as well. Thankfully we were able to find wine outside of the resort as the only other option was paying US$35/bottle for the resort's other offerings which we heard were not that good either. for US$10-25 we found fabulous wine to drink. ROOMS/RESORT: The resort itself was clean but very dated. Rooms were a decent size, I did see some mould in the bathroom. We had an ocean view room thankfully and the view was stunning. Rooms were clean and a decent size, beds were squeaky but comfortable and very soundproof. With the doors shut you could barely hear the music and people outside by the pool. There are only 2 pools, which are right next to each other. The infinity pool was very nice with a swim up bar. If you wanted a lounge chair by that pool you had to be there by 8 am at the latest (or have your $125/day butler reserve chairs for you). So many people would come early, put a towel on the chair to reserve it and not show up until the afternoon. The other pool was about a foot shy of the proper water level and didn't look very clean. BEACH: This is the best part. The water and the beach was absolutely incredible! Walking on the beach and swimming in the ocean was the best part of this holiday. There are lots of lounge chairs and umbrellas on the beach and Phillipsburg is a 10-15 minute walk along the beach. Say hi to "Sweet Michael" who will rent you a lounge chair and bring you a beer near the pier. We actually rented a car and beach hopped around the entire island to 6 different beaches and they were all gorgeous. That is the best part of this island. SERVICE: So many reviews I had read said that although the resort was dated, the service made up for it. Honestly we only came across less than a handful of overly polite and pleasant workers in this resort. I have no idea how they can possibly rate this hotel a 4.5 star, as I giving it 3 stars is generous in my opinion. I booked this trip on a sale and paid C$1600. The regular price was close to $2600. If I had paid that much I would have been very upset. In any event for $1600 I suggest spending your money elsewhere. I would not return to or recommend this resort.

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4 Stars
Apr 23, 2017
Matthew C
April 2017 Trip

We booked the butler service for this past week in St. Maarten at the Great Bay Resort. Edrick and Marcia were unbelievable to us. We had never had this service before but would highly recommend it. They reserved us chairs at the beach/pool, made our restaurant reservations and made sure we had everything we needed. I can not recommend those two enough. As for the resort, our room was great, fantastic view towards the water and the cruise ship port. Food was OK, highlights were the Lava Rock and Pescatore. Make sure when you visit to walk down to the Philipsburg boardwalk and try some of the restaurants down there. The Lay Back was our favorite.

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4 Stars
Apr 23, 2017
Beautiful view close to town

We stayed there the week of April 13-19 . After a long wait for check in as there was a tour group checking in ahead of us. Then our room wasn't ready as it wasn't 3:00 yet, after having lunch we went back 3:15 our room still wasn't ready 4:00 we got in. Everything else was great . The hostess Melissa was great, the food was plentiful & the drinks were flowing. Definitely will go back this wasn't our first time there. Close to town for a walk .

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3 Stars
Apr 23, 2017
Disappointed for the cost! This was NOT a four star resort!

The Sonesta was not like staying on a cruise ship! The food was average and the staff did not go out of their way to make it special. Each day when we returned to our room, we had to ask for clean towels. The last day it was 5:30 at night before we received them! If a cruise ship can clean your room the minute you leave, why can't a hotel on land? The pools and beach area were beautiful and clean. The excursion desk was the best part of our stay! The ladies working there went out of their way to be accommodating and helpful in planning any activity we wanted to do!

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4 Stars
Apr 22, 2017
Comfortable, all inclusive, good food.

Definitely not a luxury resort, the building is older and a little bit run down, but it is clean and comfortable. We requested a room with a king size bed and we were given a room with 2 double beds. We arrived on Sunday and were told that we could get the room we wanted on Tuesday. We asked on Tuesday, and then again on Wednesday, but we were told each time that they would call when a room was available, This never happened.The food was good, especially the Lava Rock experience, and the staff was friendly. The evening entertainment was great. The hotel is easy walking distance to Philipsburg. The beach and pools were refreshing. We used the day pass and spent a day at Maho Beach Sonesta. The adults only atmosphere was relaxing.

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