Sonesta Ocean Point Resort: Maho Beach’s Exclusive Expansion
Photos courtesy of Sonesta St. Maarten
While the Sonesta Maho Beach has been around for years, it recently completed an expansion on the property that gave birth to the Sonesta Ocean Point Resort, a resort within a resort that, while on the same property as the Sonesta Maho Beach, embraces a more upscale, luxury-minded clientele. Below, we take a look inside to see what one can expect from a stay.
Opened a few months ago in the beginning of winter, the five-star, adults-only Sonesta Ocean Point Resort calls itself a “resort within a resort” for its position at the far end of the Sonesta Maho Beach property.
While it is technically connected, access is exclusive to guests of Ocean Point for many of its facilities, which includes three pools, three bars, one restaurant, 24-hour room service, butler service, the “serenity point” spa station and a private concierge. That said, guests of Ocean Point are free to use any of the facilities associated with the Maho Beach property, including the pools, bars and restaurants.
Upon first glance, the stature of Ocean Point is what catches your eye. Built out over a cliff, it reaches far out over the ocean — farther than anything else in the area — giving guests a front row seat for the sunset as well as a perspective looking back over the Maho Beach cove. Design consultant Andria Mitsakos said she drew inspiration from this majestic position but was sure to incorporate the grassroots elements of beachside living.
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"The color palette echoes what you’d find barefoot on a beach: a turquoise piece of sea glass, a shell that tells many stories, a sandy backdrop,” Mitsakos explained.
The beach in front of the property is shared among all guests of both hotels, but it comes with a caveat. Over the years, the Sonesta has had its hands full keeping this beach not only intact, but in existence. Each year, major rehabilitation has to be done to the hotel’s strip of sand — as well as the entire length of Maho Beach — due to the strong current that consistently drags the sand out to sea. In recent years, the beach has all but disappeared at times. But as of this writing, the Sonesta’s beach looks as good as it has in years.
If you have your heart set on a sandy beach during your visit, this is definitely something you’ll want to research and ask about when booking. For times when the beach is eroded beyond use, Ocean Point has created a man-made beach/pool combo called the Edge Pool that serves as Ocean Point’s main relaxation area.
PHOTO: Sunset Butler Suite.
All 129 of the rooms are suites, but there still exists quite a bit of differentiation across four room categories and 11 total subcategories. The Swim Out Suites, for example, have direct access out their patios to a swim-up pool that extends along the front of the resort, and the Rooftop Butler Suites are on the top floor and include a private butler.
Regardless, every room has a mini-bar that’s refreshed daily with soft drinks, beer, liquor, espresso, and bottled water, and all have ocean views.
Although the decor changes slightly from room to room, the overall theme consists of neutral colors — white and light brown — contrasted with bold colors of wall-hung artwork. Indicating a continued theme, Mitsakos said it’s the color patterns you’d find walking on the beach: The gentle beiges and whites of the sand against the eye-popping colors of the water and sky. Greek marble and European fabrics are the mainstay of quality in all of the pieces of furniture.
In a play on the indoor/outdoor shower, many rooms have retractable bathroom “windows” that allow you to see into the main living room and catch a glimpse of the ocean during a shower. While the structure would not allow for actual outdoor showers, Mitsakos thinks this design element is a nice compromise that still allows guests a sense of Caribbean flair.
“We were careful to preserve the architecture and its unique location,” Mitsakos revealed. “Renovating something that is perched on a cliff isn't easy, but we think it still holds up that energy.”
PHOTO: Azul Restaurant and Edge Pool.
As noted, there is technically only one restaurant at Ocean Point, but that’s a little deceiving. Guests of Ocean Point are allowed full, all-inclusive access to any of the bars, restaurants, and facilities of the Sonesta Maho Bay, greatly increasing the options.
The culinary highlight is Ocean Point’s Azul Restaurant, sitting majestically upon the cliffs at the far end of the property. The open-aired restaurant serves modern Mediterranean dishes with a focus on fresh seafood and vegetables, but we’ll be impressed if you can keep your eyes on your plate. The vantage point of the restaurant at the far end of the cliff is one of the best views on the island, especially during sunset as an array of reds, purples, pinks, and blues project from the western sky.
On top of the restaurant is the Azul Rooftop Bar, which has panoramic views of Maho and the airport. Catching a sunset from here is an absolute must. Our recommendation is to have a drink at the Azul Rooftop during the sunset, then head to your room to relax a bit before returning later for dinner.
Spa and Activities
PHOTO: Serenity Point.
Ocean Point made a nice move by choosing to create an outdoor “massage area” over a traditional interior spa. Known as Serenity Point, spa treatments are given on a platform under a gazebo, built into the cliffs directly over the ocean. Ocean Point gets a standing ovation for using its property’s position and natural landscape in this way. Once you experience a massage above the water, hearing the sounds of the waves against the rocks, you’ll forever be skeptical of an indoor massage.
Schedule your treatment for the morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat of the day and take full advantage of the clean breezes.
The resort is located adjacent to Maho Beach on the Dutch side of the island (St. Maarten is split between the French and the Dutch). If you’d like to venture outside the resort for a meal, window-shop the many restaurants that line the main street of downtown Maho (five-minute walk), or check out one of the nearby beach bars, such as the ever-popular Sunset Bar & Grill. Maho Beach is a well-known tourist attraction for its dramatic plane-spotting, but it usually only gets really crowded on days when cruise ships are in town.
More by Will McGough
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