If you follow along on Insta, Snapchat (@hollyhabeck), or Twitter -- you know that I've been living it up in Saint Martin for the past week. And ever since I arrived, I've been spending most of my time at the Sonesta Ocean Point all-inclusive resort, which is located on the Dutch side of the island.
Since I travel quite a bit, I've decided to start a review series detailing all of the ups and downs of the incredible places I visit. I'm working on a travel guide to Saint Martin (I'm here for another week renting a beautiful home overlooking Oyster Bay), but I definitely want to provide some info and a review on my all-inclusive experience, in case anyone is interested/wondering about what that's like!
Here's the scale I'll be using in the reviews of my travels:
And here's where I'm ranking the Sonesta Ocean Point all-inclusive resort.
Okay, so let's get down to it! Here's what you absolutely need to know about the Sonesta Ocean Point resort and the general all-inclusive experience:
What I loved:
The views at the Sonesta were absolutely breathtaking. I've stayed at other resorts in the past where half of the rooms are facing the ocean, and the other half are facing another hotel. Ugh. This time though, it was refreshing. ALL of the rooms seemed to have a beautiful view. On top of that, the Azul restaurant (serves breakfast, lunch, AND dinner) overlooks the ocean as well! (white building pictured at top of post)
The food at this resort was pretty good! A few meals weren't my favorite, but most of them were great. However, there always seemed to be a lot of seafood on the menu, so finding a dish that really called out to me each meal was a bit challenging.
Ocean Point (an adult-only resort) has two pools, both of which are equally amazing. Guests also have the option of heading over to the Maho Beach resort (the family version of Ocean Point, right next door) to enjoy the amenities there. The Maho does have a swim-up bar and entertainment at their pool, but we didn't really feel like swimming with the kiddies (no offense to those of you with young children!). It was a little disappointing that we didn't have an in-pool bar, but the drink service was good, and there were waiters that periodically came around and took orders. Other than the lack of a swim-up bar, no complaints here! The pool that we frequented the most had a beach and sandy-looking (but really cement) ramp that mimicked the ocean (see first picture in this post). We loved it.
Our room at Ocean Point was...on point (hahaha). The bed was huge and the flatscreen tv was great for nighttime relaxation. Sometimes resorts like Ocean Point will also have a huge jacuzzi either in the room or on the balcony, so I was a little disappointed to find only a shower. However, the shower was PERFECT, being both spacious and beautiful.
The All-Inclusive Experience
Staying at an all-inclusive resort is great. Everything you need is right there, with no reason to leave, other than for excursions and additional entertainment (like the casino right across the street ;) It's also just nice knowing that everything has been paid for, and once you're done eating or whatever, you can just get up and move on to your next activity!
What I Loathed:
The Size of the Resort
This wasn't my first time at a high-end, all-inclusive resort. The hotels we normally stay at are a lot larger, so there's more of an entertainment staff, as well as more restaurant options. After a few days of being at Ocean Point, I kind of didn't know what to do with myself. That being said, if you're looking for a more intimate experience, it's the perfect fit.
Ocean Point is supposed to be an 18+ resort, but most of the restaurants (aka ALL but ONE) are at the Maho Beach location. I didn't really like this. The whole point of choosing an adults-only resort is to avoid a lot of little kids. There was literally a playground right next to two of the four restaurant options. I don't have anything against children, because I do love 'em as much as the next 20-something. BUT, like I said, I'm a 20-something. I don't want little kids running around me and babies screaming when I'm trying to relax on vacation. There's plenty of time for that once I actually have a baby!
Ocean Point is right next to the Maho Beach resort, which is right next to the landing strip of Princess Juliana International Airport. Sure, it's kind of cool watching planes land all day. But...it gets old after a few days (especially the noise!).
The beach is located right next to the landing strip at the airport. Not only is it super small, but how relaxed can you be when planes are flying right over your head every 10 minutes? I didn't even bother walking down there, and the beach is typically my go-to spot on trips like this. #salty
Would I Go Back?
I'd probably go back almost anywhere...as long as someone else is paying for my trip! hahaha. In all honesty though, Ocean Point wasn't my favorite all-inclusive resort I've been to, and I'm not itching to go back anytime soon. The size of the resort and the limited beach access were major turnoffs for me. However, I definitely enjoyed my stay and had a beautiful experience, which could not be ruined by some of the downsides I encountered.
Also Note: My parents absolutely LOVED this place, and I know they'll be raving about it for a long time to come. So, if you're not bothered by some of the issues I encountered, I'd definitely recommend staying at this beautiful 5-star resort. It's smaller than some of the larger chains, uncrowded, and intimate -- beautiful, but just not what two 20-year-olds were exactly looking for.
Now I'll be spending a week in Oyster Bay (still the Dutch side of Saint Martin)! Stay tuned on Insta, Snapchat (@hollyhabeck), and Twitter for more updates while I work on my travel guide and enjoy the sun.
ALSO: Have you been to Saint Martin? Is there anywhere I should go/things I should do? I definitely don't want to miss anything, so please sound off in the comments!