Belmond La Samanna
Travel Blogs from St. Maarten/St. Martin
... given you my thoughts on the above, a good friend offered me a free jump. Out of an aircraft.
“And how high will I be?”, hoping beyond hope the wheels of the aircraft would still be on the
ground and the distance to fall would be a mere few feet. Thinking the fall would also be be cushioned by a crash mat. You know the sort of things they use in gymnastic classes.
“Well,” she said, “I have to write about this for my ...
... kids Carla & Alex. (Shouldn't call them kids really, because they were young adults.) The entire crew were (mad) Captain Frank and his wife Lynne.
Captain Frank was another South African, and as mad and as brilliant as you could get. All he was interested in was making sure we all had an absolutely brilliant time. And no questions asked!
"Today," he said, "we're going to have a mud bath..... on Tintamare!"
We men on board looked at him! That was me, Alex ...
... him. The beach itself was packed with people but because we were not going to be spending long there, we did not mind too much. The sea proved too inviting for me and, despite not having a towel, I had to peel off my shorts and T shirt and run into the water. (I had a swim suit on!!!) There were no rocks, very different to Princess Cays, and the sand was sugary and almost pure white. The water itself was warm, very warm, and was ...
... beautiful homes and boats. We had been driven only through the Dutch side, so from the water we got to see a tiny bit of the French side.
Our guides brought us near the shore of a beach. It happened to be a nude beach but luckily we couldn't see anything from where we were. We all jumped out of the boats and swam to shore. I really booked it since I'm terrified of sharks. :) Once we got to shore I ditched the life jacket and put on my snorkelling gear. I felt a bit better ...
... steaks and lots and lots of bread and all sorts of stuff like that. So having set the scene, we now we couldn’t wait to see our, (and I use the word quite loosely you understand), athletes.
At 2:30 we strolled on to the beach to find ************e there at all. Of course.... silly me.... I’d forgotten that this is the Caribbean and literally nothing starts on time. The contestants (if that’s what I can call them were all having a big ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Belmond La Samanna St. Maarten/St. Martin
Everything else is second rate in St. Martin
La Samanna is the best hotel in St. Martin. The staff caters to your whims and treats you like royalty. The one problem in the past with this hotel is that the beach was lost during a previous storm. It was almost impossible to walk in the water as the stones and rocks blocked your path. Poof, all of a sudden the beach came back and looks like the post cards that are associated with the beach. The breakfast that is included in the room rate is fantastic. The prices are expensive, but if you afford it you will have a vacation to remember. The restaurant is first class but very pricey. If you get a message that is an experience within itself (ask for the manager she is the best) The grounds are very romantic and the pool is unbelievable. The prices of drinks are also unbelievable. The hotel gets better and better and orient express does a great job.
La Samanna is paradise. . .
Simply stated, La Samanna is paradise. The service is impeccable, with staff who are so friendly and gracious. The accomodations and grounds are beautiful, and the beach/ocean view, despite some poor reviews, was gorgeous (and this comes from a frequent visitor to the white beaches of the Gulf Coast). The spa is superb (try the St Barth's body scrub). My husband and I were celebrating an anniversary and discussed with our travel agent many places throughout the Caribbean but chose La Samanna because of its beauty and the privacy it offered. It certainly lived up to its billing! Do not choose to go here if you seek an all-inclusive, party-scene atmosphere; do go here if you wish to be pampered, relax and pay for amenities that are well worth every dollar. We will return often to this unbelievable resort.
Perhaps the best quiet spot in the Carribean
My wife and I just returned from our trip to La Samanna. We both agree that we will return. In fact, we are considering returning for our next vacation sometime in the Spring. After researching and discovering the clientele that La Samanna draws, we decided to pay it for a visit. We were glad we did. It is very secluded, comfortable, and relaxing. One must understand that this place is not for those lookingto save money or get a great vacation for a bargain. You willpay for everything there and in our opinion, it was worth it. We took advantage of the meal plan to make it sort of all inclusive since we prefered not to be tourists on our trip and just relax (we only used transportation for shopping trips). The food was excellent. If planning to dine on site like we did, I would highly recommend taking advantage of the meal-plan since dinner could easily cost you around $250.00/couple and lunch $85/couple. Wine can run from $20/glass to $800/bottle. Breakfast was included in our package. The staff were so friendly that we got to know one another on a first name basis. We essentially had the place to ourselves. I have read many negative reviews about the beach. The beach was wonderful. Yes, it is rocky in the Summer months,This was not an issue for us. We found the beach pleasant and relaxing. I would recommend requesting a beach-front suite or one with a terrace. The views are spectacular. Also, the Spa is nice. Try to make reservations with the Spa prior to arrival to get thetime slots you want. I feel that anyone who loves the Carribean should experience La Samanna. We haven't found anything that tops it so far which is why we will return.
A Great Base on St. Martin
Beautiful island, lovely people, and the resort is great. But plan on renting a car since you will likely want to get around the island if you are there more than a weekend or so, since there is not much to do at the resort. A good idea is to take the day trip to St. Barth's or Anguilla if you are going to be on St. Martin longer than a weekend There is a nice gym and yoga classes are offered, however, so there's plenty to keep you interested for a couple of days at the resort itself and the spa treatments are lovely if expensive, even for the Caribbean.
Definitely visit the foodie town of Marigot.
Ultra-Luxury??? I don't think so!
I just back from my vacation which started out in St. Maarten, La Sammana. What a joke! I paid a pretty penny for something I wouldn't even stay in. The beach is very rocky, unlike the picture the resort advertises, and the rooms are dirty and it looks like they got the furniture from the thrift store. That is only beginning! The staff is rude, the food is bad and it looks more like a 2 or 3 star resort. I ended up having them refund me after wasting a night there, and then I went to Anguilla instead...where I had a great resort and friendly people and clean rooms and clean beautiful beaches. I would not recommend this resort to anyone who usually stays in luxury hotels because it is a great disappointment to pay a luxury price for a low budget room.
Very Beautiful! Very Rocky Beach! Very Expensive!
Just returned from St. Martin where my fiancée and I stayed at La Samanna. It is a very beautiful place, very elegant, serene and peaceful. If you are the type of person (couple) that likes excitement and adventure, La Samanna is probably not the place for you. We met a couple while we were there that were bored out of their minds!! They made an analogy to the movie Castaway, and ended up leaving early :-) This probably had a little to do with it being the low season, but somehow I don't see La Samanna as the type of place where you are going to have drunken beach parties. It's the type of place where you can relax and read a good book, or just chat with others while sitting on the beach.It's a beautiful place with lovely rooms, great food, and extremely friendly staff. Days before I arrived I called the hotel with a couple of special requests and they were more than happy to oblige. The standard hotel rooms are a bit small for what you pay, so try and stay in the 1 br suite. Renting a car is a MUST. You will probably go into town about every other day, and out to dinner every night (the restaurants in St. Marting are amazing!) so renting a car will save you money. Cabs are about $20 each way and you can rent a car for $40 a day. RENT A CAR!THE DOWN SIDE... 1. Though La Samanna is a very beautiful hotel in an even lovelier surrounding, it does NOT have the most beautiful beaches in St. Martin (not even close). The beach has so many rocks that it took away from the overall experience (something they conveniently left out of anything I've ever read about the hotel). We had to wear beach shoes to keep from slipping on the rock. The waves are a bit rough also. The entire time that we were there I didn't see more than 5 people in the water. The pool is actually very nice and compensates somewhat for the beach. The hotel staff says that it is not always like that, but I'm not sure I am convinced because of the inconsistency of the stories between them. 2. VERY EXPENSIVE! La Samanna is very expensive, wee surprised by the prices at the hotel ($22.00 for a cheese burger!). Drinks $12, and a deck of cards was $11. Try to eat as many meals as possible off of the property, stop by a convenience store to stock your refrigerator with snacks and drinks (each room has a refrigerator). 3. Nickel & Dimming.... You pay for everything (and a premium). If you are like us and for business reasons are forced to check email occasionally on vacation, you are going to pay $6 for 15 mins! Unbelievable. Also, they add an 18% service charge to every bill (drinks, food, etc), that is NOT a tip for service. The entire time we thought that the charge was a tip for service and were not leaving a tip for the staff- then we realized that it was just more money going into their fat pockets!We had a great time at La Samanna, one of our best vacations so far. However, when I think about how much money we spent, I cringe!
Romance and Paradise
My husband and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary at La Samanna. The resort is beautiful and made us want to renew our vows. The ocean front rooms were spacious and relaxed. The service was amazing especially the afternoon sorbet, fruit and cold towels at the pool!The restaurant is over-priced but that's the only complaint we had during our stay. We highly recommend La Samanna.
Wow!!! Beautiful La Samanna...
We just returned from an incredible 8 day vacation on St. Martin. We were referred to La Samanna by a well-traveled friend who has stayed there a number of times. We wanted seclusion, romance and a beautiful beach and we got that and so much more at La Samanna. From the moment we arrived until our very last minute at the resort, there was not a thing I needed or wanted that I did not turn around and find provided for me by the very gracious and attentive staff. I had heard some mutterings about less than perfect service, especially during the off season, but I could not find a single flaw during our entire stay. I stay at many 5 star properties, and this was a 5 star property of a different kind. Never stuffy or pretentious, the grace, beauty and charm of the place linger in your memory, and now I know why so many people return year after year. We will certainly return as early as next year! I felt like I needed more specific information when reading reviews of this property prior to my trip, so I'll follow with some specifics for anyone planning a trip to St. Martin/Sint Maarten in the near future.
I would suggest booking La Samanna through their website at Orient Express Hotels, as the prices will be the same wherever you book. We stayed in a one bedroom suite on the ocean side, and our friends stayed in a one bedroom suite on the cliff side --both were excellent, but we could walk right out onto the beach from our room. The views from the cliff suites are very dramatic, but you have to walk a bit to access the beach. Our suite was very large with a nice blue and yellow tiled kitchen, large living area, separate bedroom that could be closed off with shuttered doors, and a good size bathroom. Although I noticed other complaints about the bathrooms at this resort, ours was a generous size and very functional. Also lots and lots of closet space, which was unusual I thought, but I had heard it is an Orient Express signature. We used the kitchen and refrigerator quite a bit, and I wouldn't have wanted to do without it. We had a tv/vcr with cable channels, but didn't really touch it during the trip. Or the phones! Didn't need to! We did spent lots of time on our private patio looking at the beautiful ocean and relaxing in the upholstered wicker chairs, and we also had a private rooftop patio that was wonderful and had chaise lounges and an umbrella'ed table with two chairs. (not all rooms have this) We loved the breakfast in the hotel dining room every morning, it was included in our room rate and it is quite extensive and the hotel restaurant is just so beautiful. We had dinner at the hotel restaurant two times during our stay and the food and service was the best of our experiences on the island (which were all good, by the way). I would certainly say that the quality and presentation of the food on the island is just amazingly good -- we are both still remarking "where is my lobster"! One night the hotel offered a lobster dinner on the sand and if you have the opportunity make the time to do this. It was so romantic to dine out on the beach, with our feet buried in the sand
even though it couldn't have been easy for the staff walking the food and drinks back and forth from the beach bar. They grilled the lobsters outdoors and served them with a simple creole sauce, rice and a light salad. Fresh fruit for dessert made a perfect meal! (The other restaurants on the island that I would recommend are in Grand Case --- Rainbow was perfection, and Sebastiano's was very nice but be sure to call ahead with reservations so they will know you are coming.)
We visited some of the other beaches, but La Samanna's beach is by far the most beautiful and so peaceful and relaxing. Very secluded feel, but the waiters are always there if you need them for drinks or to bring treats like ice,sorbet or fresh fruit kabobs. They also provide this service at their lovely pool. Down on the beach is the watersports pavillion and they will provide waterskiing, snorkeling, or rides on the "water banana" if you ask. These services are offered free to the guests, and we found them to be very helpful. We snorkeled and rode the water banana.
The gym is very well equipped and comfortable, I did watch CNN while on the treadmill during our stay. And the spa is very good, we both had excellent massages. The room where I had my massage opened onto a private courtyard with a lovely fountain, so that you hear the birds and falling water during your spa service. You can go and relax there afterwards as well, and I thought it was a very nice little touch that I hadn't seen before.
This hotel is expensive, but worth every penny! Truly a vacation of a lifetime. I just received the latest issue of Travel and Leisure and it was their annual issue on hotel service. I immediately looked for La Samanna, and they were listed -- and rightfully so.
Beautiful yes, worth the price??
Overall the place was incredible. But worth the price? I doubt it. The food was great, but very expensive, cocktails, $13.00/e., the beach was beautiful, quiet and private, the villa was nice but nothing particularly special. The tub didn't drain and the barking stray dogs at night added nothing to what should have been a quiet sleep. Also, disrupting were the conversations of the landscapers and maids just outside your window at 7:00am...
Would I go there again? maybe, but I'll bet there are equally nice resorts with no dogs and sufficient drains for less money elsewhere.
Just About Perfect
What a fabulous place. Top notch service, a truly beautiful location. Very secluded. The perfect combination of being left alone combined with being lavishly waited on. And, the food was like dining in a 5 star restaurant every night. We would have loved to stay longer, but our money ran out.