|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.