Sonesta St. Maarten Resorts has announced that both its adults-only Sonesta Ocean Point Resort and its family-friendly Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa are primed for a complete renovation and will reopen on November 15, 2018, and February 1, 2019, respectively, after both were demolished by Hurricane Irma in September.
Sonesta Maho Beach Resort’s Sky Tower sustained the most damage and the renovation required that the building be stripped to its main structural frame, which was fortunately spared by the storm.
The reconstruction project will entirely overhaul the building, instating a comprehensive architectural and interior redesign. Most importantly, the project will install TCK and LVKE building technology with a storm resistant building envelope that can withstand sustained winds in excess of 200 mph and severe earthquakes. Hurricane Irma had sustained winds of 165 mph.
Sonesta Ocean Point Resort fortunately sustained somewhat less damage, with the structure, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems remaining in good condition, as the property recently underwent a 2015 gut renovation.
Repairs are being made to damaged areas, with improvements implemented to increase the storm resistance of the building’s exterior envelope. The Ocean Point lobby will be entirely redesigned and given an updated contemporary style, while the new Casa Blue, a Spanish-style tapas restaurant, will debut on the rooftop terrace above Azul restaurant.
The Convention Center, including the Royal Pavilion, will be completely rebuilt and redesigned by Design + Positif, updating all its 24,000 square feet of meeting and conference facilities, accommodating up to 700 guests, keeping with the new contemporary decor of the adjacent resorts.
Maho Village, the shopping and nightlife promenade located outside the resorts, along with Casino Royale, the largest gaming emporium on St. Maarten, are undergoing a massive transformation as well, and are set to re-open this summer with a modern new look.
Casino Royale will continue to offer over 21,000 square feet of gaming and entertainment with the biggest theater in the region, and will debut two new alfresco restaurants and a new outdoor bar and lounge overlooking the main street of Maho Village.
Understanding the hardship faced by many of its hospitality employees post-Hurricane Irma, The Maho Group, owners and operators of Sonesta St. Maarten Resorts, along with other concerned industry parties, launched Hospitality First, a St. Maarten Training Foundation (SMTF) academic initiative.
The program helps ensure the well being of staff and employees, making it possible for them to maintain a livelihood after the storm, as well as improve their skills and knowledge in hospitality while resorts are closed and now being renovated.
All employees of The Maho Group remained employed following Hurricane Irma, and no staff was terminated. With Hospitality First, Maho employees receive an attendance allowance while taking the courses; keep their jobs, seniority, and benefits including medical insurance and will be reinstated in their positions when the resorts reopen.
Back in September, as part of Sonesta St. Maarten Resorts' Hurricane Preparedness Plan, all in-house hotel guests were advised to take their passports, any pertinent medication, and comfortable clothing, and move from their hotel rooms to an internal shelter, which had been set up in line with the company’s operations plan, according to a statement issued at the time.
According to that statement, guests of Sonesta Ocean Point Resort and Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa were staying in conference rooms located at The Royal Islander, a vacation ownership property located in the Maho area.
From June 1 - September 30, Sonesta Ocean Point Resort and Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa will offer a pre-opening 45 percent discount promotion that will be available to book online at www.sonesta.com/stmaarten or by calling 1-800-SONESTA (223-0757) with promo code PREOPENING. Sonesta Maho Resort rates start at $132 per person and Sonesta Ocean Point rates start at $229 per person.