If you’re researching the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, you will find many recent reviews have a high frequency of negative comments. I feel that any review has to address the elephant in the room because it would be disingenuous not to.
This is one of those reviews you will want to read to the end as there is a very happy ending. There are good parts and bad parts, but anything honest should be that way.
Pros and Cons
As mentioned, there are always pros and cons. During our stay, the meals ranged from barely passable to outstanding, and most fell in the very good category. We enjoyed The Point, which served high-quality and original Italian dishes. We loved our experience at The Palms Grill for dinner as you finish cooking your meal on a lava rock. The drinks were always excellent and made with good quality spirits.
There are absolutely no cons to the location. The resort is a four-minute taxi ride from the airport. Situated on Maho Beach, the views were incredible. Our room had a terrace with an ocean view that was stellar. The view was insane. The decor of the lobby and rooms was modern and updated. The beds were super comfortable, and I wanted to take the rain shower home!
This is a great family resort as both the kids club and teen club included many activities. The kids club was beautifully decorated and had a private shaded playground. I went for a quick visit and didn’t want to leave. Our teen loved the teen club as the staff always made sure everyone was included, and my kid was never bored.
One of my favorite things was the ease of taking a dip in the ocean and swimming in the pool. The resort is so well designed, so you don’t have to decide which one you want to do. I wanted to lounge by the pool while my husband and daughter wanted to enjoy the ocean waves. Even though we were in two different areas, we didn’t feel apart. We all would spend some time in one place and then switch it up with ease.
Both Maho Beach and the pool were beautiful and relaxing. The pool is gigantic and surrounded by lush and well-maintained foliage. There is no such thing as feeling crowded. If you’ve frequented resorts before, you know how hard it is to score a lounge chair and that coveted umbrella. This was never an issue here as there is an ample supply of both. The only place with slight congestion was at the swim-up bar, and that was to be expected.
So why are there such negative reviews on the resort as of late? It is my opinion that this is due to COVID and the recent hurricane that decimated Sint Maarten/ St. Martin. I believe the issues related to poor service are related to the resort being short-staffed due to no fault of their own. The staff we met went above and beyond, and they tried very hard to cover their exhaustion. They can’t be blamed for long lines and waits, but many did blame them.
The resort is trying to rebound from both Hurricane Irma and COVID. When the crowds were more manageable, the restaurants were incredible. The staff had the time to prepare the tables, and the efficiency of service created a better dining experience. One night we went to a pub that just opened on property, and it had to be one of the best meals we’ve had, and that reflected exactly what they were going through. The pub just opened, they had the proper staff dedicated to space and limited crowd, and the meal was incredible.
Would we come back? Would we recommend the Sonesta Maho to our friends and readers?
Yes, I already saw that certain things we expressed concern about were improved. The managerial staff wanted to know what could be improved. One stand out to us was one of the staff members on the entertainment staff, let’s call him, “Jonathan.” He was eager to hear suggestions and went out of his way to address staff members who needed help with training. When you have people care like that, it does make a difference.
COVID sucks, hurricanes suck. I’m excited to see how this resort evolves the more they learn to deal with the new normal of both of these things. After all, it can only get better and it was pretty damn good!