St. Maarten’s newest resort is located at Maho Beach, right at the tip of one of the world’s most exciting spots to watch mind-blowing plane landings, and is an adult-only upscale all-inclusive. A resort within a resort -- the family-friendly Sonesta Maho is right behind it -- the properties share a beach, but children are not allowed past the playground, where the vibe morphs into exclusive high-end pampering.
A private spa cove overlooks the restless sea, where couples can have massages by the waves. The two pools (one with a manmade sand beach) have ample daybeds that beckon those who want to canoodle in comfort while receiving first-rate food and drink service. (I even witnessed one of the fully clothed servers wade into the pool to serve guests cocktails while they swam!)
24/7 room service, full bottles of premium liquors, and a well-stocked mini-fridge plus champagne as you please are all part of the inclusions, and your package also grants you access to all the dining and bars at both Sonesta Maho and Sonesta Great Bay resort in Philipsburg.
All 129 suites have some kind of sea view, plus a front-row seat to the constant plane landings that draw huge crowds to the center of Maho Beach to capture photos of the jets flying so low overhead you can often see the color of the pilots’ hair. But do be prepared for the noise, especially the take-offs from the airstrip, which is a stone’s throw from your room.
I happen to be a big aviation fan, so I found it extremely exciting to catch the planes come and go, but the sound of their approach hits right out of the blue, literally, so be prepared to keep running to your balcony to try and catch a photo.
My stay was brief, and I had other Maho nightlife to cover, so I didn’t have time to take a full evening to try the main upscale restaurant Azul for a fancy dinner, but I did really enjoy the breakfast buffet and the view of the aqua sea crashing onto the cliffs below.
There are many bars throughout, indoor and out, my favorite being the Sunset Lounge, an elegant lookout with a panoramic view of the sun setting over the sea.
My room was modern and comfortable and overlooked an entire hammock park, another great spot to plane-spot. Unique to this resort is that your all-inclusive bracelet doubles as your electronic room key (it’s waterproof, as well).
Extras include resort-wide complimentary Wi-Fi, a fitness center, daytime activities, and casino vouchers. The resort is locared at the tip of Maho’s quarter-mile of sizzling nightlife, so you are steps away from some of the island’s best entertainment and casino action.
Service was above and beyond in every way during my stay, but just don’t expect a quiet retreat. If you are forewarned of the noise, it’s an excellent spot to stay on St. Maarten.
For plane landing videos see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpBmChT4KTs