Redefining all inclusive design
By Alexander Britell
ST MAARTEN — The hotel room.
There are so many, big and small, in the Caribbean, and to this day no one really seems to be able to define what a “Caribbean” hotel room should look like.
At the end of the day, though, does it really matter? What a traveler wants is good design, functional design and the little things that make him or her feel special. That and a spectacular view, of course.
That brings us to the new Sonesta Ocean Point, the high-end all inclusive that opened just a few months ago in the Maho corner of St Maarten.
And this 129-suite hotel, located in a cliffside behind the famous Sonesta Maho, is a stunner — and it all begins with a new take on the all-inclusive bracelet — instead of irritating paper, it’s a soft cloth. But it also doubles as the room key.
Because, here, it’s all about design — from the high-backed chairs in the lobby to the modern, striking cliff-side restaurant called Azul to one of the coolest pools in the Caribbean: a sloping, flat pool edged with sand that just nigh replicates the feeling of a beach.
And then there are the suites, which are, by far, this hotel’s party piece: large, modern, crisp, but with all the little touches that take things the extra mile.
That means a Nespresso machine in every room; Molton Brown toiletries; a slick flat screen; a wine cooler that, if you stay more than five nights, is stocked with a different bottle each night; four full bottles of top-shelf liquor like Appleton VX; a large, beautiful soaking tub. And instead of a table and chairs, a big clamshell cushion that feels like your own private cabana.
The rooms have an immense build quality, whether you’re in a rooftop butler suite or the rather clever swim up suites on the first floor.
And then there’s the view – a shot of the teal waters of Maho and the always entertaining landings at Princess Juliana International Airport.
This is a well designed hotel, which comes with a jaw-droppingly cool sunset bar and some unexpectedly great food like snapper cooked in coconut milk.
The verdict? This is a very cool all inclusive, and makes a big statement about what the all inclusive category should look and feel like.