MAHO BAY, St. Maarten -- Sonesta re-enters the Caribbean market on July 8 when the 534-room Maho Beach Resort & Casino on St. Maarten's southwest shore is rebranded as a Sonesta.

The hotel firm sold its Anguilla property in September 2002 and its resort in Bermuda May 15.

"We are delighted to be back in the Caribbean and to be associated with this resort," said Stephanie Sonnabend, Sonesta CEO and president. "The property offers a variety of facilities to meet the needs of every guest."

Sonnabend said that Sonesta "would consider other properties in the Caribbean if they are consistent with Sonesta's standards and expansion goals."

The firm's current portfolio includes 24 upscale hotels in Boston, New Orleans and Miami in the U.S.; Brazil; Peru; Italy; and Egypt, as well as three Nile cruise ships.

Named general manager at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino St. Maarten is Danilo Checcucci, a Sonesta executive who has worked for the hotel firm in Curacao [Sonesta managed a resort there until March 1999], Italy and Cairo.

Facilities at Maho Beach include a casino and Theatre Royale; a nightclub; two pools and beach facilities; three restaurants; a promenade of 40 boutiques; four tennis courts, the Good Life Spa and fitness center; and 59,000 square feet of meetings space.

Daily rates will range from $190 to $660 per room, double, through Dec. 17. Two packages include the fourth night free when four or seven nights are booked and use of a rental on the fourth day when a three-night or longer plan is booked.

The four-night package features $50 in St. Maarten bucks and the seven-night plan offers $100 in St. Maarten Bucks, which may be used for hotel charges, car rentals, boat excursions or island restaurants.

For details, visit www.sonesta.com/stmaarten or call (800) SONESTA.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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