Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino
Travel Blogs from Philipsburg
... before so there is nothing we really want or need to see. We decide to take the water-taxi across the bay into the centre of Philipsburg and just do a bit of sightseeing and shopping there. With all these cruise ships in the line for the water-taxis is very long. However, the boats are zipping back and cross the bay at a steady rate and we are aboard in no time. There are 2 stops on the journey. We get off at the first one which is at the very end of the town (the ...
... supply and power stations and use different voltages. The French side only speak French and the Dutch, English. The French use Euros and the Dutch use Caribbean currency and US Dollars. Both sides of the island celebrate different national Holidays. It is interesting that telephone calls to the other side of the island are as expensive as calling overseas to mainland ...
... the Dutch side of St Maarten over to the French side, St Martin. Rather than fight over the island the Dutch and French signed a Concordia in the 17th century to split and share the island and so we now have two similar but also very different sides to the same island. Our first stop is Ma Doudou's Rum Factory which turns out to be a small shack by the side of the road. The rum (or Rhum as it is spelt here) we get to taste is excellent. They import the rum ...
... is getting rich. Word spreads to Holland and they come and say give it all back, it is not yours it
is ours. So the people of Aruba loose all their wealth and are forced to harvest the gold for many years; half is sent to Holland and for whatever reason the other half is sent to Curacao, and
Aruba never gets to keep any of it. Anyway, that’s the story we ...
... the island of St. Marteen is split in half; one side belonging to the Netherlands and the other side, to France!
The "Magical Highlights of Sightseeing" shore excursion was what I’ve booked along with Justin, Fiorella and the rest of her family. Upon disembarking from the ship, we were met at the pier by a guide who brought us to a wharf close by where ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino Philipsburg
Will probably return
Spent Jan 11 to Jan 18 at this resort with my wife. We went to relax and found just what we wanted.
The food was not lavish but tasty. Breakfast was the same everyday on the buffet but you could order from the staff.
Lunch provided enough alternatives and dinner was always well prepared.
This was not an exciting place. Just cold drinks, friendly staff and small enough to relax and enjoy.
I can understand the comments about the beach, lack of entertainment etc. for those looking for excitement, but this place had a good bang for the buck.
Not so good
The good: Elizabeth, Mercillia, Verginia, Ziggy (all waiters), the New Year's Eve Party, the excursion on a catamaran to Anguilla, the gym, the beer, quick response to problems.
The not so good: cracked bathroom tiles, rusty light fixtures, only 1 elevator (small, often not working), food, beach (not a nice sand), no choice of restaurants, no bar close to the beach, small pool, very little entertainment, smoky casino, being so close to St. Philisburg.
Bottom Line: never again.
We just spent a wonderful week at Great Bay Beach Hotel & Casino (Dec. 29 2002 - Jan. 05 2003). Disregard those negative reviews. The room was exceptionally clean, with towels changed twice daily, turndown service in the evening and very friendly housekeeping staff. We had a 3rd floor mountainview very close to the lobby, the dining rooms and the pool - no need to wait for elevators.
Just returned from Great Bay Hotel and Casino (November 23rd to the 30th of 2002). I did a ton of research before going to the island and Great Bay Hotel. I was sort of scared of how the hotel was going to be after reading others reviews so I thought I would write one myself. Myself and my Girlfriend both of us are 24, went for her birthday. When we first arrived at the hotel we had a mountain view room, PEEEEEEE YUUUUUUU this room was rediculous one of the worst hotel rooms ever! We of course went to the front desk and upgraded to an ocean view room (cost us 140 US for the week). The ocean view room was pretty nice, I would say it was a 3 star, nothing fancy but a quaint place to stay with an incredible view!
Your gonna love it
On Jan 11, 2003 I'll be returning to St. Martin, and staying at the Graet Bay Beach Hotel for the 4th year in a row. My wife and I love the place. It's not fancy but the beach is fabulous, food is always good and the drinks cold. The rooms are a good size and always clean. Phillipdburg is about a 10 min walk from the hotel, and although the walk through town isn't the prettiest it is the typical carribeean streets and houses. A nicer walk is along the beach to the town dock. You'll be hot so just stop at one of the many bars along the beach and have a cold one before you begin to shop. Enjoy.
Not what we expec ted
This hotel was not what we expected. We went on our honeymoon and left immediately. If you are expecting character, romance and seclusion in a lovely setting, this is not for you. It seemed to appeal to many tourists and looked to be good for families who are not looking for a luxury resort. But a honeymoon it's not. Seemed kind of old, located in a really yucky part of St. Maarten. Rent a car!
I stayed at the Great Beach and Casino Hotel in Phillipsburg from 12/4 - 12/11, 2002. My room was clean, and the service was excellent. This hotel is a bit off the beaten path, so if you want solitude, it is a good place to stay. Shopping is a 10 minute walk, but that area is closed at night, except for some Casinos and a few restaurants. Maho is about 15 minutes away and the most developed area on the Dutch side. One small drawback at Great Beach are the dailiy Cruise Ships. They are always in view from the beach and your balcony. The hotel is not a noisy place but thre are small hotels, and homes always in view around the bay. It looks busy. So if you want a clear view of the ocean, if you want to be one with the ocean and horizon, this is not the hotel for you. There's also lot's of activity at the pool, the usual games, and competitions, all in good fun. The beach was nice, but at night it is not too safe. Very dark. During the day, the water is very nice, but there is a drop off a few feet into the ocean, it gets deep quickly. If you are not all inclusive, the prices for meals are reasonable and the food is so - so, but plenty of it. Dinner was $28 a night, not at all worth it. I recommend sampling local fare from the street corner vendors. They are licensed by the government, and provide cheap and delicious barbecue chicken, ribs, and lobster. Don't forget to order the Johnny Cake. Some kind of traditional bread thing, and not bad, but fills you up fast. Burger King and McDonalds are also in town. The rooms are nice, no rugs on the floor, and the bed will move if you are a vigorous sleeper. The television receives many American stations, also there is HBO, etc. The volume was extremely low on several stations. A reception dish thing. Air conditioning was fine, and you control if in the room. I rented a jeep and traveled most days. Orient Beach was beautiful, it's on the French side. Only a 20 minute drive from Great Beach. A small number of people go nude there, and it is a bit crowde
I read the reviews here and based on them and my research (which I now feel was inadequate) I built up an expectation. One reviewer said they had been to this hotel for their honeymoon -- which was the purpose of my trip. We took the advice of a reviewer and spent the extra money for an ocean view vs. a mountain view. When we got there we found that the hotel did have a mountain view and an ocean view. The ocean view was decent, but our room was on the far side, closest to Phillips burg and there was a swamp-like area below and roosters. Nice. The mountain is more a glorified hill, host to some ramshackle homes and located above a parking lot. Not what I had expected. The service seemed very nice (we left the next day) and hospitable. The price for all inclusive, given the caliber of the hotel was completely ridiculous. Phillipsburg is not that great. The walk to the main drag from the hotel is horrible. I would not recommend and especially not for a honeymoo!n.
We booked Great Bay because it was all inclusive, had been highly recommended by friends that are fussy about where they stay and what they eat, and because we had the time off and Great Bay was available. Three couples traveled together and it was the third trip to the island for one couple. They had always stayed at Orient Beach previously. We had a great time. The food was excellent and the service from the staff was attentive. We were treated like family.
Went there the week of 6-10-02 to celebrate 25th wedding anniversary. Booked through Vacation Express, wasn't expecting 12 hr travel time from Nashville to St.Maartin. Accomodations only OK, was supposed to have ocean view room, got hillside view the first nite, even though the hotel was only 20% booked (be sure to pay more for ocean view), the staff was very rude (and we weren't hard to please) they made us feel as if we were were intruding. But, the beach was wonderful. Almost isolated, water clear, view spectacular!!