Opinion: Noro Virus at Sonesta Maho a coincidence?

POSTED: 03/1/16 6:01 PM

There are no coincidences, so the outbreak of the noro-virus at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort comes at a remarkable moment. On February 4, inspectors closed down The Point Restaurant for hygiene violations and now just three weeks later, students fall ill after eating at the resort. When Caribisch Netwerk held its annual correspondents day at the resort in March of last year, several journalists fell ill as well after eating at the same place. Nobody filed a complaint at the time, because the journalists thought that it would be tough to make the connection between their physical discomfort and the restaurant.

In some systems you’re out after three strikes. That would be a bit harsh and besides, we still have to wait for the results of the test the SLS laboratory is working on right now.

There is however little doubt about the origin of the noro-virus. It hits cruise ships more often that the cruise industry would like and it now seemingly also got a foothold in one of the island’s resorts.

If anything, the outbreak underlines the need of not only controls, but also of perpetual education of the people who work at commercial places where food is handled.

Bad news travels fast and the story about the students that took part in the debating competition falling ill will travel back to all the islands where they come from.

If there is nothing wrong with hygiene at the resort, as the inspectorate stated in a press release this weekend, then there must have been something with the food itself. There is, as far as we know, no other possibility.

Whatever the outcome of the investigation may be, it makes the resort look bad for the second time within a month. That ought to concern the company’s management no end; that fact alone could be just enough to make sure that this never happens again.

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Comments (9)


  1. Jacqui says:

    My family and I stayed at the Sonesta Maho Resort from February 11 through the 18th, 2016
    My 21 year son and my 24 year old daughter experienced hours of severe vomiting and diarrhea. I had diarrhea and abdominal pain for days. We had to call the island doctor who came and gave both kids a needle in their behind. He wrote a letter advising that our whole family was not fit to fly until February 20th. No one seemed concerned or cared to help.

  2. Chris says:

    The Sonesta is doing nothing to remedy this situation and they are fully aware of it. It’s appalling. They deserve a lawsuit & should be shut down. We are still sick after being there last week and losing our whole vacation to the virus.

  3. Lily says:

    This is especially concerning that they know about this and are still accepting customers. They should be shutting down and ridding itself otherwise it’s just perpetuating the problem. There are endless reviews on Trip Advisor of customers that have had vacations ruined and they continue to mislead tour companies and the new customers looking to enjoy their vacation. Shame on Sonesta Maho and on the Health authority for not taking more drastic measures to protect the public and it’s visitors.

  4. Anne says:

    My boyfriend and I just returned from our stay at the Sonesta Maho. The bartenders and some of the staff were friendly, but the people at the front desk are rude. Management needs a complete overhaul. The hotel obviously knew about this problem before us and other guests arrived, and YES, SHAME on them for not forewarning their guests. Tried to be compensated for the 3 days lost, but to no avail. You’d think that they would do something, considering that 90-95% of the guests got ill. Won’t be coming back and certainly will tell other friends/family NEVER to go to this hotel. Thanks Sonesta for spoiling our vacation that we waited for and saved for 3 years to take.

  5. April says:

    My family stayed at the resort 2/16-2/22 and we were all violently ill. No offers by Sonesta to do anything!!!!! How dare you put my family at risk when you knew there was an issue! I am disgusted by your lack of compassion for those who trusted you to take the safety of your guests first over your greed.

  6. Brett says:

    Will someone explain to me how the Sonesta can continue to claim this is a virus all over the island when there isn’t a single report of it at another resort even those adjacent to the property!!!!!!!!!!! My family was sickened on 2/17 after the beach BBQ and then again my son and I were sickened again on 2/20 after eating at The Point. It is gross negligence on the part of the Sonesta to allow this to continue for a month!

    • Evert van Vliet says:

      It IS a common virus all over this bloody planet though, the fact that not every single case is reported is quote obvious.
      Besides the simple fact that it’s not always recognized as such.

      But then again, what is up with people who deem it a right to vacation elsewhere in air conditioned spaces?

      Safety is a hoax, welcome to nature.

  7. Dan says:

    To anyone interested, I’ve created a Facebook page regarding this. Search for Sonesta Maho sickness comment page. I’m trying to find out how many people this has affected and how long this has been going on.

    My wife and I were there from February 18-25 and we as well as numerous other guests got sick at the same time.

  8. Garnet Onslow says:

    We were there for our 23 visit January 17-24 and will confirm the front desk could give a rats ass about their guests. The quality of the food has spiraled downward since our first visit in 1999. Air quality is another issue that not very people ever mention. The rooms have mold in them and the moisture generated by the lack of air conditioning has always been a problem. Just check the air filters just outside the bathrooms …they are plugged ! Black with dirt etc….After our poor treatment , we will NEVER be back to this resort or Great Bay. I question WHY anyone would go to this resort after their response to this very dire situation.