HELP THE STAFF OF SONESTA ST. MAARTEN RESORTS REBUILD THEIR LIVES
We have set up an official GoFundMe page for you to donate to our staff’s relief efforts. 100% of your donations will go to help them. There are no administration fees. The fund has been set up by our PR Director as she is handling all of our outside communications.
STATEMENT FROM SONESTA RESORTS SINT MAARTEN
[September 22, 2017]
Our beloved hotels suffered significant damage as a result of the passing of Hurricane Irma. Our thoughts and prayers are with our staff and their families, as well as our Caribbean neighbors who also suffered the affects of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.
We understand that guests holding reservations at our hotels are concerned about their future stay. Please be advised that our offices were devastated, and we are not operational. At this time, we have several remote staff working tirelessly in various countries and time zones in order to restore some sort of normalcy in our accounting operation. We have started to process refunds for 2017 reservations, however please bear with us and understand that refunds are issued progressively based on the date of travel and there is a sequence, which must be adhered to in our systems. We will continue to issue refunds until March 31, 2018. You will be refunded, however please be patient.
Guests who paid and booked directly with the resort do not need to call or email for refunds; we will process them automatically. Those who booked and paid via a third party need to contact their travel agent.
Throughout Hurricane Irma, the safety of our guests and staff have been our priority and on behalf of Sonesta Sint Maarten’s ownership, executive team and management, we’d like to express our gratitude to everyone who has been and continues to be a part of this process.
Our thanks begins with our hotel guests who were on property during the storm; your efforts were remarkable, respectful and caring, and we appreciate all of those guests who are now safely home and who are sending us prayers and positive comments – please know we are thinking of you.
To Samaritan’s Purse, without whom, nothing could be possible. Your quick, professional evacuation and your incredible Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), who is now on the ground at Sonesta Maho, have been a true Godsend.
To our business partners, in particular the Sunwing Group and Mr. Stephen Hunter, for their never-ending support, outpouring of offers to help, aircraft for safe evacuations, and to all of you who have constantly expressed concerns, you are true friends in a time of need.
To our team on the ground, you’ve been indispensible.
Thank you to the press who’ve been asking for information on relief efforts, and sharing their compassion.
And to the Dutch Marines who have set up their operations on site at Sonesta Maho, some US Aid workers and some US Marines who are seeking shelter with us as well, thank you.
And of course our island neighbors: We are all the Caribbean, and our thoughts are with you.
As previously reported, all guests have been safely evacuated along with several members of our expat team.
We are now reaching out to all our team members who were not at the resort during the hurricane via our closed Facebook group, Maho Group Team. We are trying to establish connection and get updates on their current situation, despite the limited communications available. All employees of The Maho Group and Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten are encouraged to join this group.
Many of you have asked where to make donations, and at this time, we are requesting you make contributions to Samaritan’s Purse, as we have seen their dedicated and compassionate work firsthand, and their Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) is currently based on property at Sonesta Maho. The public can help by donating at https://www.samaritanspurse.org/
Further, as we know that many of our past guests would like to directly donate to our staff and help them as they rebuild, The Maho Group together with Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten has set up a GoFundMe page to collect donations that will provide clothing, food and essential supplies for all employees of The Maho Group. We will work closely with Samaritan’s Purse in order to allocate all funds appropriately.
DAMAGES AND CLOSURE:
Due to the severe damage caused to the island and our resorts, all reservations are cancelled until the end of the year. We will provide a more detailed update as soon as the situation allows.
Refund processing: all prepaid reservations will be refunded accordingly and all cancellations will be processed as soon as the situation allows. At this moment we have no access to our systems and are still focusing on relief efforts, therefore we are not able to give a specific timeline, but all reservations will be refunded and we will start the process as soon as our system access and network is restored. Once up and running, refunds will be processed systematically, starting with affected reservations based on arrival date. Guests who paid and booked directly with the resort do not need to call or email for refunds; we will process them automatically. Those who booked and paid via a third party need to contact their travel agent. Any payments that were done by wire transfer will be refunded at a later stage.
We cannot let Irma’s victims in the Caribbean be forgotten. The real work is just beginning.
For more than 35 years, The Maho Group has been recognized in the Caribbean as the destination’s leading leisure, real estate, gaming and resort company.