“I wrote this from my in-flight airplane seat, because I wanted to give you ALL the details that I could remember about our 7-Day stay in the beautiful Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort in St. Maarten.” – H. Luiz Martinez
The property, though charming with a Dutch Island feel, was in need of a few modern upgrades, but guess what? They were set to close the property after Labor Day, Sep 1st for a month-long renovation project – after our stay. However, the infinity pool, and the 2 other pools were beautiful and we enjoyed swimming in them every day. You couldn’t beat the beach and the view from the resort and it was literally breath-taking! We had an “apartment” in the resort, which is like a Jr. Suite, that had the cleanest full kitchen I have ever seen! You were able to reach your personal patio (complete with an outdoor dining table and chairs, plus lounge chairs) through the bedroom and/or living room glass patio doors – there’s an indoor dining table and chairs as well. The flat screen TVs have great reception and the WiFi is strong! Again, the views are post-card perfect! The pool, the bars, the daily entertainment, and live music were reasons enough to stay.
The staff members at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach are more like long-lost relatives, always attentive yet non intrusive to your privacy. Phrases like, “Enjoying your Happiness today?” “Have you found your Calm yet?” and “Be sure to soak up the Tranquility” were said to us every day with genuine smiles. They have a great General Manager named Karl Bourne, who seems to anticipate guests needs before they even arise. Mr. Radcliffe, Operations, was helpful with any questions, scheduling, and service needs as well. A big Thank You to Cleopatra, Food and Beverage, for welcoming us with a bottle of wine, fruit and cheese platter, and a warm “welcome” note!
The Executive Chef, Marc Innocenti, is truly a superstar! We’ve been treated royally before in other Caribbean Islands, but Chef Marc was also someone we could just hang out with and talk about food, great restaurants, and tennis (the US Open was running during our stay.) He prepared us private dinners that were simply extra-ordinary, becoming of an experience executive chef and beyond! We’re still talking about our surf and turf of Lobster Tail & Filet Mignon – which was just 1 of a 5 course gastro-tour. That dish alone is enough to make us return next year!! The stuffed mussels and seafood filled balls (rellenos) were delectable and the blue-cheese frisee salad was delicious. As an extra treat (and perhaps our favorite) was the Shrimp Mac n’ Cheese! That was enough to put tears in our eyes and smiles on our faces.
Chef Marc Innocenti was also our point person on this vacation in regards to our dining experiences. He coordinated our day-trip to sister resort Maho Beach and setup all our transportation services and back. Chef Marc scheduled another gastro-tour there, but we had a BBQ Buffet instead. The BBQ was great, but we were disappointed that the chef there did not “deliver.” The sister-property at Maho Beach is geared more towards families with children, but we had a great time at the pools, casino, and watching planes fly startlingly close over the beach.
Back at Great Bay Beach, Chef Marc introduced us to Executive Sous Chef, Fabio. He created Sicilian inspired dishes but with a Caribbean tasty twist! Chef Fabio is one of those chefs that if you give him 30 days, he can prepare 30 distinct dishes without much effort. That’s what you call passion! Again, with the coordination of our Superstar Executive Chef Marc Innocenti, we’ve enjoyed a Romantic Dinner on the very sands of the St. Maarten Beach of the resort. There, Chef Fabio and Chef Win spoiled us again! The spiny-shell lobster was prepared to perfection and we would guess to be about 4 to 5 lbs…each! We thought we died and went to seafood heaven. Also, the seafood bisque with fresh Johnny cakes and sweet-potato crab cakes were enough to have us smiling all night, not to mention the other course in between. Be sure to check out Pescatore whenever you’re in St. Maarten (or anywhere you’ll find these CHEFS!)
We can’t wait to return next year!!