Great Bay Beach Resort And Casino

3.5 out of 5 stars3.5 Stars

Little Bay Road 19, PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten, 000
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
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Satisfaction Very Good
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 113% more than similarly rated 3.5 star hotels

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Good For Families
  • Families68
  • Couples65
  • Solo65
  • Business46

More about Great Bay Beach Resort And Casino

Great Bay Hotel was ok but not Unforgatable

by A TripAdvisor Member

Been at GBH on 22 nov 2003Room: ;->was in Miramar section ocean view.
Very nice room, very good service (towels changed 3 times a day room cleaned twice daily), everything worked in the room (ac, tv) Same room as pictured on their internet site.Hotel: :-| Nice and clean but old and it needs some renovations. Pool area and Restaurant was clean (they cleaned it every two days) so was the beach.Hotel Location: ;-> Great view of the bay from the room and the restaurant. Staff: :-| Service is very formal. Many of the staff come from Jamaica. I think their english (england) heritage lead them to be very formal so they will not, at first, make contact or appear friendly. We have found a friendly waiter for each meal (breakfeast, lunch, dinner) and had stick to each of them for the whole week. Trough the week they were more and more friendly.Hotel atmosphere: :-< This is a old people and quiet hotel. We enjoyed the pools and the Sun Fish sailboat (The bay is very nice for sailing) But, thanks god, we had rented a car and were able to freely explore the island and Escape to Celine Dion song sang by a creole singer. Food: :-< Do not expect to pay the same price than some Cuba/Dominican/Cancun all inclusive and have the same variety and great tasting food. For equal money, if food is your priority, simply do not go to the Great Bay hotel ! One's has to understand that St-Marteen is a fairly expensive Island. The food quality was good but it lacked variety the whole week (same salad every lunch, previous dinner's dessert is the lunch's dessert the day after, same breakfeast everyday...) Some Toronto people said they enjoyed the food but I suspect that they haven't discovered Dijon Mustard, White wine and cream sauce, balsamic vinegar and spices in general. In a nuttshell nothing taste Creole at this hotel.The Island: :=> What a gem ! So many nice beach and villages ! Go up the hills and discover the wonderfull views ! This little island is wondefull.General : Was it awfull ? NO Had the hotel spoiled our holiday ? NOWill we come again to Great Bay ?
NOTo the Island ? : Yes

Poor quality Hotel

by TripAdvisor Member notthistime

Although the location and setting are breathtaking and we met some wonderful people, our vacation was extremely disappointing. Several of the guests became ill including me, I phoned the front desk to ask for toast and tea and was informed that they dont have room service. When my husband was ill it was very hard to get him something to eat as well, even though I asked at dinner time. The rooms were in poor condition and smelled musty and moldy. Our air conditioning wasn't very cold and the toilet wouldn't flush which became very annoying when we were food poisoned. The food was very poor quality and the selecton was very limited, no seafood was served at all, many dishes where smothered in displeasing sauces and couldn't be recognized without the labels. In fact after I recovered (Wed), I tryed to only eat breads, potatoes and salads. We lost 2 full days to food poisoning and not once did the staff show any concern. One evening we had a table for 6 reserved, and our 6th person was ill and unable to join us, our waitress ignored us for a prolonged period (25mins) so someone at our table got up and served us some water, then her husband got up and served us some wine.
When the waitress saw that we had helped ourselves, she came over completely pissed and said she was waiting for our 6th person since we reserved for 6. She was hostile towards everyone at our table until 2 other guests joined us when she treated them like VIP and ignored the rest of us for the most part, I am aware that tipping gets you better treatment but I wasn't inclined to tip by that point. I actually feel bad for the staff since they are probably doing their best, but attention to detail and concern for all the guests should be higher priority since people don't go on vacation to complain and be unreasonable, when there is a problem it should be addressed with sensitivity.

Would not go back to Great Bay

by TripAdvisor Member traveljunkie1962

Stayed at Great Bay Beach Hotel Nov. 1 to 7 2003.Was given a room in the "seven story" section and was not pleased with the smell of the room but would endure. Both my husband and I had to go the the washroom immediatley as we had traveled all day and it was now 11 p.m. and the toilet would not flush. I looked in toilet tank and there was no water!
I went to the reception and after some insistance I was told I would get another room. I only had to wait another 20 min. and we were moved to the Miramar Section of the hotel. The room was much better there as there was no musty smell and the toilet worked great all week! We have stayed at several all-inclusives and in my opinion the 3 1/2 star rating is overly generous. The choice of food is extremely limited only having two meat dishes per dinner (one choice of meat for lunch). One night the two choices of meat for dinner was fish or goat. I'm not crazy about either! Only three nights of the seven we had any sort of entertainment in the evening. The other nights people seemed to just sit around the pool area in the dark. The entertainment staff consisted of two people. Ralph was great though! The premium drinks were great!
They could stand to spend a little money on the resort on little things like new umbrellas (one was falling apart), palapas or umbrellas on the beach. The loungers around the pool were hard plastic which were very uncomfortable. They placed yellow cushions on them every morning but I couldn't help think of how unsanitary these old cushions were. I think I seen one staff member the whole week around the pool deck picking up plastic cups. As the wind blew, plastic cups would be rolling around the pool deck. It just seemed like was no maintainance at this place.
All other resorts I have stayed at they took great pride in the display of the resort ie. gardens, cleanliness of walkways etc. but there was none of that at Great Bay. Little things like that truly count. The beach was very nice(a little shelly) but at the waters edge is was softer sand and nice to walk on. The water temp was really warm and the colour of the sea was a beautiful aqua blue - picture perfect. The island itself is absolutley gorgeous with friendly people and extremely great shopping!!! I would go back to St. Maarten in a second (one week is not enough because there is ust way too much stuff to do!)but I would definitley not stay at Great Bay nor would I recommend the resort. Next time I think I would spend the extra $100.00 and stay at Maho Beach Resort.

Don"t go to Great Bay

by TripAdvisor Member peggydee

Terrible, Terrible, Terrible...My husband and I stayed at Great Bay from Nov 11 though the 17th. The room was an "ocean veiw ". Which for them was overlooking the side of the pool. Simple improvements would make this hotel all the difference. The place is so filthy. The lobby every morning has cups and dirty ashtrays at all times. The staff is so unfriendly that I thought it was a joke.From the front desk to the casino personal. The beach again was so dirty. No one seems to care. No beach bar as advertised. The whirlpool is in the pool (really) so the water temp is the same but not to worry no jets in the whirlpool. The food was terrible. I have been to many all inclusive and you can eat SOMETHING all the time. Here you have to be on there schedule. The activities center closes at 7:00pm so if you want to play schuffle board or anything are out of luck. I understand that the staff is underpaid, but there is no excuse for cleanliness and a somewhat happy staff. After all is does not cost a dime for a smile.

Great Value

by A TripAdvisor Member

Stayed Great Bay Oct. 25th to Nov. 9th. Third trip to the hotel and it was great as usual. Hotel is advertised as 3 1/2 * hotel and that is exactly what it is. It is not a ''resort'' but a hotel and therefore does NOT offer 24 hour room service or meal service or entertainment, etc. The rooms are comfortable and the food is plentiful and very good.The drinks are not watered down and the selection is wide. That said the hotel does some renovations. The staff is very friendly and do a great job especially Michael, Vincent,Dawn ,Charmaine,Paul, Maritza,etc. The hotel does not need nightly entertainment as there is so much to do on the island. Regarding a mention of ''food poisoning'' at the hotel during our stay I believe it was instead the flu brought to the hotel by a guest. Food poisoning would have affected everyone at the same time but the few people who were ill were affected throughout the week. All in all the hotel is exactly as described and is great value.

Just Plain Nasty

by A TripAdvisor Member

I may be a little late in submitting this review, but I am preparing to return to St.Martin in March and was checking things out to see if there was any thing new. Last year, for some reason,after staying at the LeFlamboyant in the early 80's, and then Maho in 2001, I stayed at the Great Bay. What a dump. For the few dollars it takes to go to the Maho, please God, do yourself a favour, and pay it. The hotel itself is in need of serious renovations. The pool, bar areas, beaches were dirty, rooms in disrepair. The food, well....same day in day out. I don't think they pay their staff very well and it shows. I thought the location sucked. Too close to downtown, all kinds of undesirables hovering around on the beach. I told people I had met there, to go check out the Maho while they were out and about, and they all were pretty shocked that they could have stayed at the Maho and not the Great Bay. It is like night and day. I should have moved the very day I got there... Debby

Do not stay at the Great Bay

by A TripAdvisor Member

I read the negative reviews on this site prior to staying at the Great Bay and thought to myself "how bad can it be?". Well, after spending two days at this "hotel," or more aptly called a "s#$%hole," we checked out and paid to be transferred to a better hotel. Here's a list of problems: 1) Room was gross; 2) Bathroom had disgusting odor; 3) 80% of staff was rude - mostly women, who had the personalities of prison guards; 4) Overall decor of hotel reminded me of a dilapidated old folks' home; 5) hotel lacked any kind of energy or excitement; and 6) food was okay but very restricted for an "all inclusive."

Great Bay is OK!

by A TripAdvisor Member

We travelled to St Martin (our favorite island) at the end of October for a week. We had been to Great Bay a few years ago so we knew what to expect. True, the food isn't gourmet and sometimes the staff can be a little rude - but when you gaze out over the beautiful turquoise waters of Great Bay, sink your feet into the sand and realize that you're in paradise - why demand perfection? Just kick back and enjoy yourself.

Here are the good things about Great Bay. The view - they've cleaned up the Bay and Beach over the years and now it's just gorgeous. The food was fine. We always found something to eat and their hamburgers were pretty darn good. Micheal and Martiza were wonderful behind the bar - definately favorites among the guests. The activities staff were terrific - on the days that we weren't touring around the island - we had a riot with them at poolside. We ended up meeting some amazing people not only from Canada but from around the world. The people from England , Scotland and New York were so much fun. Micheal must have been having a good night behind the bar that night! Great Bay is also close to Phillipsburg. I liked being able to do my daily power walk through the town and watch all the overstuffed cruise ship travellers trying to out buy each other. Don't walk at night. A cab is always wise.

Try to go to your tour operator's presentation when you arrive. They always have some interesting insights. She told us about a deal at the car rental place across the street from the hotel. You'll definatley want to rent some wheels while in St. Martin. Hang out at the world famous Sunset Beach bar at Maho beach and watch all the airplanes land.
It's an amazing sight. Marigot is wonderful and definately worth stopping for a meal and shopping. Grand Case is a gourmet food lovers deligght and Orient Beach is worth the drive.

St. Martin is incredible and we ended up having a terrific time at Great Bay. Keep your expectations out of the clouds and you'll go home feeling like the luckiest traveller in the world.

what an awesome place

by A TripAdvisor Member

I just got from here and had an awesome time. Travelling by myself I got a chance to meet so many wonderful people.The hotel was great and I had a great view of the ocean. The staff was really awesome and a special thanks to Virginia, Marcia, Maritza and Jose. You made my birthday really special. The food was great and the drinks were great.
I would come back here any day. I hope to go again as soon as possible.

Good food, but ease up on the timeshare sales pitches

by A TripAdvisor Member

Our stay at the resort was ok, but we felt constantly pressured to attend a session for timeshare properties. Just walking throught the lobby speaking to my wife about renting a car, a representitive at an activity desk would offer to discount the rental heavily in exchange for an hour or 2 of our time to attend a session. The day trips to Orient Beach are well worth it as it ranks among the top beaches in the world. Be advised that part of the area is clothing optional so be prepared to see mid-fifties couples naked strolling by etc. Shopping in the town for jewelry and perfumes is great as long as you go on the days that a cruise ship is NOT in the harbour as the prices on those days are substantially higher. The beach at the hotel was small but nice, with waitresses coming out to serve you. We went last minute and felt we had a steal for the quality of the food, but would perhaps not consider paying full price for this resort.


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 Great Bay Beach Resort And Casino

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

St Martin Great Bay Hotel
Sonesta Philipsburg
St Maarten Great Bay Hotel
Philipsburg Sonesta
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort And Casino
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel Philipsburg

Address: Little Bay Road 19, PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten, 000