Sonesta St Maarten Resorts is grateful for the enduring support from its clients, partners and guests over the past year following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma. Now, both the limitless, all-inclusive, adults-only Sonesta Ocean Point Resort and the family-friendly Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa are primed for a complete renovation and will come back "Stronger and Brand New" with projected opening dates November 15, 2018 and February 1, 2019, respectively.
Loyal guests will be reassured that the resorts’ signature Limitless, All-Inclusive concepts will remain the same, as will favorite services, amenities and familiar faces of our beloved staff, with a number of exciting new features to debut. Sonesta St. Maarten Resorts has taken every measure to implement the latest architectural innovations and storm resistant materials in the renovation, ensuring the future security and well being of its properties and guests.
Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa will come back stronger and brand new, keeping its family-friendly charms, amazing array of restaurants and bars, Kids Club and Teen Zone, fun daily activities and personalized services. The resort’s Sky Tower sustained the most damage and the renovation required that the building be stripped to its main structural frame that was fortunately spared by the storm. The reconstruction project will entirely overhaul the building instating a comprehensive architectural and interior redesign but most importantly, will install TCK and LVKE building technology with storm resistant building envelope that can withstand sustained winds in excess of 200mph winds (Irma had sustained winds of 165mph) and severe earthquakes. TCK and LVKE is a China-based, green technology consortium and its revolutionary building panels will also significantly enhance thermal insulation and energy efficiency, reducing the carbon footprint of the resort, as well as improve fire resistance making the building safer. Groupe Nox Engineering and Studio Trebbi Engineering completely re-designed the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems of the resort.The new Sky Tower will be compliant with all the latest safety and environmental standards.
Design + Positif is responsible for the overall architectural and interior redesign of Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Galo Rosas, principal and Senior Architect, is spearheading the project. The resort will be updated with a new look reflecting a contemporary, clean and airy aesthetic throughout the public spaces, restaurants and guestrooms, while maintaining a fun, friendly and approachable Caribbean vibe that the resort is known for.
Sonesta Ocean Point Resort fortunately sustained somewhat less damage, with the structure, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems remaining in good condition, as the property recently underwent a 2015 gut renovation. Repairs are being made to damaged areas with improvements implemented to increase storm resistance of the building’s exterior envelope. The Ocean Point lobby will be entirely redesigned and given an updated contemporary style, while the new Casa Blue, a Spanish-style tapas restaurant, will debut on the rooftop terrace above Azul restaurant.
The Convention Center, including the Royal Pavilion, will be completely rebuilt and redesigned by Design + Positif, updating all its 24,000 square-feet of eco-friendly meeting and conference facilities accommodating up to 700 guests, keeping with the new contemporary décor of the adjacent resorts.
Maho Village, the shopping and nightlife promenade located just steps outside the resorts, along with Casino Royale, the largest gaming emporium on St. Maarten, are undergoing a massive transformation as well, and are set to re-open this summer with a modern new look. Casino Royale will continue to offer over 21,000 square-feet of gaming and entertainment with the biggest theater in the region, and will debut two new alfresco restaurants and a new outdoor bar and lounge overlooking the main street of Maho Village.
Understanding the hardship faced by many of its hospitality employees post Hurricane Irma, The Maho Group, owners and operators of Sonesta St. Maarten Resorts, along with other concerned industry parties, launched Hospitality First, a St. Maarten Training Foundation (SMTF) academic initiative. The program helps ensure the well being of staff and employees making it possible for them to maintain a livelihood after the storm as well as improve their skills and knowledge in hospitality while resorts are closed and now being renovated. All employees of The Maho Group remained employed following Hurricane Irma, and no staff was terminated. With Hospitality First, Maho employees receive an attendance allowance while taking the courses; keep their jobs, seniority, and benefits including medical insurance and will be reinstated in their positions when the resorts reopen. As SMTF caters not only to Maho Group employees but to employees of the hospitality and tourism industry in general, other individuals who are unemployed in the hospitality sector receive a stipend while attending classes. SMTF announced that it received a grant of approximately $4.5 million from the Governments of Holland and St. Maarten. It is anticipated that additional funding will come from a trust fund administered by the World Bank for €470 million which was set up by the Government of The Netherlands to assist with the reconstruction and recovery of the island.