Sonesta resorts on St. Maarten set reopening dates

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The Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, wrecked by Hurricane Irma, essentially had to be rebuilt.
The Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, wrecked by Hurricane Irma, essentially had to be rebuilt.

Sonesta has scheduled reopening dates for its two all-inclusive resorts on St. Maarten, which were damaged by Hurricane Irma last September.

The adults-only Sonesta Ocean Point will reopen on Nov. 15, followed by the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa on Feb. 1.

The Great Bay Beach Resort, a former Sonesta property with hurricane damage, was bought by Sunwing Travel Group last September. Sunwing has not announced a reopening date.

The Sonesta Maho's Sky Tower sustained the most damage from Irma. The building had to be stripped to its main structural frame. The reconstructed building will be able to withstand winds of more than 200 mph (Irma had sustained winds of 165 mph), Sonesta said.

Building panels will enhance insulation and energy efficiency, reducing the carbon footprint of the resort as well as improving fire resistance.

The resort will be updated with a contemporary look throughout the public spaces, restaurants and guest rooms.

The Sonesta Ocean Point Resort sustained less damage. Repairs are being made to damaged areas to increase storm resistance.

The Ocean Point lobby is being redesigned in a contemporary style. 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 rebuilt.

The casino and Maho Village, the shopping and nightlife promenade outside the resorts, are scheduled to reopen this summer. The casino will have two new al fresco restaurants and a new outdoor bar and lounge.

The Maho Group, owners and operators of the Sonesta resorts, has made it possible for workers to maintain a livelihood and improve their skills and knowledge in hospitality while resorts are closed and being renovated. The program enables employees to receive an attendance allowance while taking courses. They keep their jobs, seniority and benefits, and all will be reinstated in their positions when the resorts reopen.

Both Sonesta resorts will offer a pre-opening 45% discount for bookings made from June 1-Sept. 30. All-inclusive rates at the Sonesta Maho start at $132 per person, per night, double. At Sonesta Ocean Point, rates start at $229 per person, per night, double.

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