Insider Tour: The New Sonesta St. Maarten All-Inclusive Resorts

Sonesta Great Bay Resort has the best beach among all Sonesta St. Maarten properties.

Sonesta Great Bay Resort has the best beach among all Sonesta St. Maarten properties.

Clients heading for St. Maarten this fall and winter can opt to stay at the island’s newest luxury resort.

Travel Agent was treated to an exclusive, private tour of the construction site of what will eventually be home to this game-changing hotel for Sonesta St. Maarten All-Inclusive Resorts. And we are here to give you the skinny.

Sonesta St. Maarten All-Inclusive Resorts, which includes Sonesta Great Bay Resort and Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, both four-star all-inclusive resorts, is looking to up its game by adding a luxury, five-star, all-inclusive resort just next door to Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and just minutes from the airport.

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Although the official name is still under discussion, Eliska Hesova, director of business development for Sonesta St. Maarten All-Inclusive Resorts, says “Ocean Point at Maho” is the leading candidate.

“We just felt like there was a market for this,” says Hesova. “We looked at resorts like Sandals and Dreams and what they were doing, and just knew that the luxury all-inclusives are something that people are really going for now. And we have the location for it.”

The adults-only hotel is expected to have a soft opening in October. Hesova says she would like to see the hotel ready in time for the 21st Annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, which kicks off October 6 in St. Maarten.

RELATED: Behind the Scenes of Sonesta St. Maarten All-Inclusive Resorts' New Game-Changing Luxury Hotel

The Oasis Bar at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort offers in-pool seating as well as dry seating poolside.

The Oasis Bar at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort offers in-pool seating as well as dry seating poolside.

And it looks as though she doesn’t have to hold her breath too much as the work already appears to be way ahead of schedule. Just two weeks after the groundwork began, the rooms have already been completely gutted.

There will be around 130 rooms and suites. They will be housed in Sonesta Maho Beach’s original Ocean Terrace, which was built in the ’70s. Although the shell of the structure will remain, the rest of the building is being completely transformed. The entire project is expected to cost about $25 million, says Hesova.

The lowest category here is going to be the Junior Suites. On the first floor, there will be 25 swim-out Junior Suites, while Sunset Suites located on the second, third and fourth floors will have a terrace with plunge pools. The best rooms, however, will be the Luxury Rooftop Suites. There will be about 15-20 of these, which will have all the amenities that clients have come to expect in a luxury resort. And from the sound of it, the rooftop is the place to be. Hesova says that’s where there will be a new swanky bar and restaurant with lounge chairs, snacks, a swimming pool and panoramic views of the ocean. Hesova says private/concierge service will be available for all room categories.

Room rates will range from approximately $350 per person, per night for the lowest category and $700 for the Luxury Rooftop Suites.

Room categories at “Ocean Point at Maho” will start from the Junior Suites.

Room categories at “Ocean Point at Maho” will start from the Junior Suites.

There will be two dining options: the main restaurant and the rooftop bar. Both plan to offer à la carte dining, but clients staying at Ocean Point are allowed to enjoy the amenities of next door’s Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, which serves a breakfast buffet. Agents should note, however, that guests staying at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort are not allowed to use the amenities at Ocean Point at Maho.

Hesova also noted that there are still discussions ongoing on how to handle transfers to and from the airport and luxury vehicles are strongly being considered.

Although this will clearly be the new highlight of Sonesta St. Maarten All-Inclusive Resorts, its other two resorts remain more than viable options for St. Maarten-bound clients.

Sonesta Maho Beach Resort

Although the beach is small here, it is famous for being so incredibly close to the airport and the planes that arrive and depart from it. Of importance to your family clients, this hotel is the only one of the three that is not adults only. There are 515 rooms at this hotel. We stayed in Room 656, a Premier Ocean View Room. The best part of the room was the balcony overlooking both the pool and the ocean. There are 70 of these rooms and 60 Premier Island Views. All Premier rooms are located on floors six through nine of the hotel.

Perhaps one of the most distinctive aspects of the property is that there is a sports bar, Ascot Pub, located outside the resort but still included in the all-inclusive plan. Now it’s just a few feet from the hotel, but if more hotels would do something like this, we think it would encourage guests to explore beyond the resort while not wasting their all-inclusive privileges.

The casino, which is also located across the street from the hotel, is perhaps one of the best gaming facilities we’ve seen in the Caribbean. If your clients happen to visit during a major Pay-Per-View boxing event, we highly suggest watching it here. They have a theater with ample seating and a large projection screen.

Sonesta Great Bay Resort

This is where clients will find the nicest stretch of beach of all three hotels. This resort underwent a partial renovation last year, but is expecting to undergo a more extensive one that will involve upgrading all of the hotel’s Butler Suites. Hesova says the floor, the bedding, the decor and terrace will all be upgraded. Brand new TVs are also being added. Hesova says there is a good chance the hotel could close in September for those renovations.

Also, as of last year, the all-inclusive experience now features champagne check-in, premier liquors, stocked minibars, beach service, room service, afternoon tea, evening turndown service and a host of other extras. The hotel has also changed its branding to adults-only, providing a quieter environment for couples and friends traveling together.

Agents’ Contact

For information on any of the three above-mentioned resorts, agents should reach out to Eliska Hesova, director of business development for Sonesta St. Maarten All-Inclusive Resorts, at [email protected].

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