Recommend August 2015 - (Page 42)

SINT MAARTEN'S THREE ALL-INCLUSIVE SONESTAS Yes, They Really are Different A spa treatment at the adults-only Sonesta Ocean Point Resort. ed wetschler My brother taught me that three's a crowd, but look at Sint Maarten: In December the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Casino & Spa reopened and Sonesta Ocean Point Resort had a soft opening. Added to the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino, that gives this Dutch outpost three Sonesta all-inclusives. Does a 16-sq.-mile entity really need three all-inclusives bearing the same brand name? In theory, no, because these three have a lot in common: a "limitless all-inclusive" experience including all meals and snacks, beverages, refills of mini-bars, a balcony/terrace for every room, American channels on the TVs, cocktail and theme parties, activities (aerobics, contests, etc.), WiFi, access to Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort's facilities, and free admission before midnight to Tantra Night Club & Sanctuary in Maho Village. Nevertheless, these sisters ain't triplets, as I was reminded on a recent visit to all three. families welcome For starters, two of them serve adults only, but the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino welcomes children. The combination of its kids' club, affordable rates, and good-natured animators who treat 40 august 2015 children as the adults' equals in poolside games is clearly working: I saw plenty of children, no matter that the school year was not quite over. Maho Beach is big, with 395 rooms and suites, five restaurants, five bars, four tennis courts, a signature pool with swim-up bar and waterfalls, the kids' club, 24,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, a spa and fitness center (I'd like to see the fitness center move into a larger room, one with a view), activities, entertainment, and a small casino. Casino Royale is just across the street, as is Tantra, so Maho Beach pleases parents who still want to boogie. The surf at Maho Beach is gentle, but there's also a kids' pool for the little ones. Some people might be annoyed by the sight and the roar of planes landing nearby; others might find it exciting. I keep trying to take The Perfect Video. An all-inclusive stay for two adults and two post-toddler children in a Premier Pool-Ocean View (the fifth category up from Superior) in early October costs as little as $415 a night with non-refundable Advance Purchase. The Advance Purchase price for that family in a Premier Pool-Ocean View room Feb. 11-16 is $514 a night, only about 25 percent more. The rates in ads include taxes and fees; add 21 percent taxes and fees to the online rates. ›

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend August 2015

Editor’s Notes
Hotel Desk: AC Hotels by Marriott
Tour Talk: Cuba Calling
River Cruise Update
AmaWaterways’ AmaCerto
The Girls—& Guys— Just Wanna Have Fun
Martinique Travel Planner
Sint Maarten’s Three All-Inclusive Sonestas
Puerto Rico
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Update on Air, Hotels & Tours
Israel: A Journey of Divine Discovery
Festival Time: “Step Outside the Ordinary”
Official Florida Travel Industry Education Program–Beaches Course
The Battle Begins: Girls vs. Guys Getaways

Recommend August 2015