In a prime beachfront location right on Great Bay, this 257-room hotel has been in business for nearly 50 years, packing 'em in with competitive rates, four waterfront restaurants, four bars, a casino, and that splendid curve of Great Bay sand. It's a beehive of activity, although these days not of the chirping children variety: Sonesta Great Bay has totally reinvented itself as an adults-only all-inclusive resort, aspiring to a refined boutique point of view. It's quite a departure from the days when the lobby was a blur of kids in snorkels. (Kids are welcome at the hotel's sister resort, Sonesta Maho, in Maho Bay.) The majority of rooms are smallish but cheerful, refreshed in a contemporary palette with good linens and tile floors, but hardly luxe, more like generic resort rooms. Many have small patios or terraces with splendid ocean views; other, more economical units offer "island" views that may actually look directly onto the hotel parking lot. What you're paying for here, other than the ease of all-inclusivity—all meals, snacks, drinks, and many alcoholic beverages are included, plus gratuities—is location and amenities, which include a full complement of water sports activities and an activities staff known as the Animators, who work hard to customize your stay. Honeymooners and deep-pocketed travelers might want to spring for one of the sleek, boutique-style Miramar suites, apartments with private butler service and full kitchens. Join the lively mix of (grownup) diners in the open-air Bay View restaurant, which offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner and that operatic sweep of Great Bay.
St. Maarten/St. Martin
St. Maarten/St. Martin› Hotel
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel & Casino
19 Little Bay Road, St. Maarten
Our Rating Neighborhood Philipsburg Phone US 800/223-0757, 721/542-2446 Prices In season all-inclusive rates $340–$440 double, $360–$750 suite, off season $250–$380 double, $305–$605 suite, special rates for Caribbean residents Units 257 Amenities 4 restaurants, 4 bars, babysitting, casino, dive shop, fitness center, Internet cafe, 3 outdoor pools, 2 Jacuzzi, casino, spa, lit tennis court, watersports equipment (extensive), free Wi-Fi Web site Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel & Casino
Map19 Little Bay Road, St. Maarten St. Maarten/St. Martin
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.