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“Nice but a let down” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Belmond La Samanna

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Belmond La Samanna
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Baie Longue | PO Box 4077, Terres Basses 97064, St Maarten-St Martin   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Terres Basses
Riverhead, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Nice but a let down”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

We arrived on 11/03/2012 the day after the hotel opened. While our stay was not awful it was a let down after all we had heard. Our room was not ready but we did arrive early so no big deal. We had a drink at the bar and noticed the wine bar was closed and remaind closed our entire stay, the floors were being redone. We were upgraded to a nice suite. The issue was no one explained anything about the property. For two days we never knew there was a second pool with a bar, we were just left to explore for ourselfs. There was no map in the room to show anything relating to the hotel. The first night we went to the beach for a swim and found it very rocky. When we asked if this was normal we were told by several staff members who looked puzzeled that there were no rocks. After three days other guests told us to move to the middle of the beach where it was better, why the staff would not tell us is a bit troubling. We rented a car from the hotel and it lost the brakes while I was driving, not the hotels fault and the chatge was removed but still made a nice vaction day a day of stress. The spa and staff there were first class and the highlight of the trip. No music near the bar in the evening it had no feel that it was a place to stay and enjoy a nitecap. The staff was always nice no issues there. The feeling we had was while the hotel was open they were not ready to be open. There were other issues daily but I do not want to bash the place it is not my intention. We heard so many wonderful things about the place we felt let down. I hope as the season goes on they work out the bugs with the service. Again this was a nice place with nice people but a letdown to what we expected.

Room Tip: Second floor rooms out side the main building are best.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaSamanna, General Manager at Belmond La Samanna, responded to this review, November 24, 2012
Dear Vincent N,
Thank you very much for taking the time to write about your experience at La Samanna. While I am very happy to hear that you think the resort and staff was nice, I am truly sorry that we did not live up to your expectations. There is no excuse for the lack of information that our staff failed to provide you. We have taken your comments very seriously and have been following up already with our staff to rectify this right away.
We would like to thank you again for your business and we would love to welcoming you back in the near future and make sure that you have a wonderful experience with us.
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679 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (121)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Naples, Florida
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012 via mobile

This hotel is definitely the nicest one on the island which we drove around and looked at other comparably priced locations.
We had to ask for things like ice and more t.p. every day for some reason but they were very nice and linens were plush and plentiful. The restaurant had just been re opened after renovations off season so We think less than stellar service there was due to lack of training yet. Food was very nice, still not up to par for price. MANY food options by cab or car on islands though.
Overall, fabulous experience.
HIGHLIGHT: signature "CaliguaDinner" served right on the beach privately w candles and torches and champagne .
Wonderful

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaSamanna, General Manager at Belmond La Samanna, responded to this review, November 24, 2012
Dear Nancy S
Thank you for sharing your feedback about your recent stay at La Samanna. We are delighted that you had an overall fabulous experience with us!
We took note of your comments about our new outlets and indeed our team is already on top of things. The Caligula Dinner is certainly one of a kind to La Samanna and I am very happy you were able to experience it. Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience staying with us and we look forward to seeing you very soon!
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LONDON, ENGLAND
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
86 hotel reviews
Reviews in 89 cities Reviews in 89 cities
154 helpful votes 154 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

La Samanna is the arguably the premier hotel in St Maarten (actually St Martin, as it’s in the French part). The location beside and slightly above a faultless and picturesque sandy beach is certainly one of the most attractive on the island, if not THE most attractive.
The whole development, which includes the main hotel buildings, its attached bungalows and the La Samanna Villas, is located in isolation at the end of a long drive past a security barrier. You will be in secure seclusion at La Samanna. There isn’t even a sign to it from the main road!
From the hotel the view is fantastic; all the rooms I saw were excellent; the main pool is a lovely deep, large pool with excellent pure water for swimming. It all looks picture postcard perfect and mostly it is.
Dining Options are varied, with two semi-outdoor restaurants, one usually serving buffet style, the other fine dining, and finally the bar with its lighter menu. The breakfasts provide a well-appointed buffet with a good deal of choice. Service generally good but can be a little slow at times.
I began to think that this hotel was pretty near perfect, until the convention arrived. I immediately thought: Lucky salespeople to be taken to place of this quality for their annual bash. Then I started to think: Poor rest of us guests, having to suffer this lot.
Don’t get me wrong, the individuals concerned were all perfectly fine guests, but there were just so many of them, with their reception tables, individual meetings, noisy group dinners, busses blocking the driveways and so on.
For me the exclusivity and tranquillity of the place was totally destroyed by this entourage. The facilities were stretched to the limit and in some cases allocated exclusively to the convention group. Added to this there was a wedding on the Saturday night. This meant that normal residents had to dine on room-service or go out, which I did.
I don’t know how often such group-bookings overwhelm this hotel, but in my view this is a most unsuitable venue in which to mix such groups with individual guests and families.
In conclusion, I have to say this is a real paradise and a very unique location on the island with a fantastic ambience. However, this was quickly destroyed by large groups, which you should avoid if possible.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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LaSamanna, General Manager at Belmond La Samanna, responded to this review, November 24, 2012
Dear Toofastcat,
A warm greeting from La Samanna. I would like to thank you for taking the time to review us. We are lucky to be in such a pristine and exclusive location and I am happy that you were able to share that feeling. It is great to read all your positive feedback about the resort and its location; however, I am saddened that your experience was not overall fantastic due to our Incentive group in house, which damaged your near perfect picture of La Samanna. Our guests are primarily families and individuals indeed; nevertheless, we do welcome time to time incentive groups.
Weddings are also very popular here at La Samanna, the location, as you mention, is a perfect location for such events. I sincerely apologize that you felt the resort is not equipped to handle both although we always make sure that our individual guests are provided by alternatives dinner options so they do not have to order room service or go out, when have such events. Our goal is really to make all our guests comfortable and happy, individuals or group, and we apologize if this was not the case this time.
We thank you again for your visit and to have taken the time to have given such comments. We do hope to see you very soon
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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We have been going to La Samanna for over twenty years but had been going to St Barth for the last five years. We just spent a few days here and were very impressed with the brand new upgrades to the property. The rooms are brighter, luminous and far more elegantly furnished. The main building has been transformed and will be lovely once finished. While the setting of the restaurants is more dramatic, the food still does not measure up -- the breakfast buffet is good but the dinner was uninspiring, the salads were not fresh and the buffet choices were rather sad. Our sommelier however was delightful. This establishment should be offering top notch world class cuisine -- it never has and is still lacking. The food on St Barth is far more dynamic and of top quality -- La Samanna has to make more of an effort as the food does not measure up to the resort. However, the beach bar serves excellent food for lunch and we appreciated the new offer of lunch on the beach should you not wish to drag yourself away from the most beautiful beach on St Martin! Most noteworthy, the standout at La Samanna is the extraordinary staff -- many employees have been there for years and they give guests the feeling of being welcomed into a very special family. From the gardeners to housekeepers to bellmen to restaurant and office staff -- the amazing La Samanna employees are always warm, anxious to please and proud to serve with dignity and style. We would like to give special thanks to the amazing Apolline at breakfast, Youri and Olivier at the beach bar, Thicot, Martine and Dorothy at the spa, and Roseline of housekeeping. We hope the hotel management appreciates what a valuable asset their longtime employees are and we can only say that it is their service, in addition to the beautiful setting of the hotel, that will keep us coming back -- indeed, we have rediscovered this lovely spot and are already plannning our next trip.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaSamanna, General Manager at Belmond La Samanna, responded to this review, November 15, 2012
Dear NJ,

Thank you for sharing your comments on TripAdvisor about your stay at La Samanna.

The endorsement of long standing guests like yourself is the highest compliment, and I am delighted that you found our newly refurbished accommodations to be welcoming and luxurious.

As you suggested, the setting and facilities at La Samanna are magical, and we wholeheartedly agree that it is our gracious staff that bring guests back time and time again. We will proudly share your comments with the team.

I am disappointed to learn that you felt that elements of our cuisine were not up to par. We are making every effort to ensure that the buffet we offer for appetizers and desserts is not only fresh but additionally provides our guests with unique options each day. Trellis, our French bistro has just opened as well and has received very good reviews from our guests. We hope that you will have the opportunity to experience Trellis first hand during your next stay with us.

Thank you again for your insightful feedback and continued support. If I may assist personally on securing your future reservations, please do contact me directly

Kind regards,
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Houston, Texas
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

My wife and I stayed at La Samanna for our honeymoon.

Pros
- beach is large, not crowded and other than the occasional yacht, secluded
- property is tucked away on the relaxing French side of the island & even though secluded there are several good restaurants, a casino a few miles away
- Gym was alittle dated but large
- Property has immaculate gardens for romantic afternoon or evening strolls
- Service was good; staff were attentive, housekeeping was friendly

Cons
- food was expensive & less than impressive
- We stayed in December; the water was choppy at times and becomes deep very quickly

I suggest renting a car for at least one day and explore both the French and Dutch side of the island. The property has cars to rent. I'd also suggest doing a dinner on the beach.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
anguilla, bwi
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012

Rooms were nice, not 'WOW', but nice. If everything else about the resort would have been 5 star I would have no problem with the room at all. so i'm saying that the room didn't win me over above all the other issues

Service was just ok, no one went out of their way to 'service' us on the beach, I sat there for an hour and no one came to offer me a drink from the bar, water, snack menu...come on, that is not 5 star. my husband went to the bar himself to get a drink and after that someone came by to see if we wanted a refill some time later.

breakfast was absolutely awful. seriously, I've had better breakfast buffets for free at Hampton Inn. the only good thing was the french croissant. bad fruit (actually almost non existent), bad coffee, bad service (actually, almost non existent), lame selections (only orange juice water and coffee, a couple yogurts and a few pastries...embarrassing) we sat for 5 minutes and no one came to our table, so we got up and started serving ourselves, only to have someone come to tell us no no no, we serve you the coffee, everything else is self serve. wow. they never even came to see if we wanted a refill on the coffee we served ourselves!!

we went up to the beach bar after laying on the beach for a bit and ordered some lunch...food was barely average. nothing special, nothing terrible. just no flavor, no presentation, lame service (not helpful when we wanted to order something slightly off the menu...server wouldn't even ask the chef, weird for 5 star)

the resort was under construction, and no mention of this was made when I reserved my room. only upon check in was it glossed over ever so briefly, no explanation of what was being done, what parts were closed due to construction

the beach was super nice, peaceful, calm water, so the location is 5 star. good thing because they need all the help they can get.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaSamanna, General Manager at Belmond La Samanna, responded to this review, September 8, 2012
Dear ingipg,

Thank you for sharing your comments on TripAdvisor about your stay at La Samanna. I am deeply sorry that you didn’t truly enjoy your stay with us and please accept my apologies.
I am disappointed that our rooms did not WAO you as we had a lot of impressive feedback from our guests regarding our renovated rooms and therefore would be very keen to know in which room you stayed.
I regret you didn’t encounter the service you were entitled to expect while staying with us and I will review our service process with the F&B Director to ensure this does not happen in again. As you mentioned breakfast was served at the Beach Bar but the description of the breakfast buffet that you mention surprises me as we always have a variety of fruits, cereals, yogurts, porridge, different breads, cakes, pastries, salmon, five juices and eggs on demand... Our breakfast restaurant being under massive renovation, we did offer a continental breakfast but the whole hot and cold breakfast buffet set up will be live again as soon as we re-opened on the 2nd of November.
Regarding your reservation process that did not mention our current renovation program, would you be so kind to e-mail me your reservation details so I can follow up on it, find out where the breakdown in communication came from and get back to you. We did communicate to all our reservation partners and associates the work that would take place in August way ahead of time so our guests would be aware before booking their stay.
Please accept my sincere apologies for the shortfall that you experienced and please do contact me so I can follow up.
Thank-you again for your feedback
Kind regards,
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Evanston, Illinois
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

It is under construction but still good. Great piece of property. Lovely rooms and facilities. Tennis courts are top notch and plenty of water activities available. Plenty of honeymooners. Very close to the airport pay $20US maximum for a taxi ride.

Room Tip: Use Amex platinum and get an upgrade.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaSamanna, General Manager at Belmond La Samanna, responded to this review, August 29, 2012
Dear Sbp0713,

Thank you for your kind praise on Trip Advisor. It is true that La Samanna is the perfect place for honeymooners and many of our return guests have spent their honeymoon here and come back for their anniversaries.
As you mentioned the renovations, I can tell you they are progressing very well and we will be ready for our reopening on November 2nd.
We are very much looking forward to welcoming you again in our beautiful renovated resort.

Best Caribbean resort,

Pascal Deyrolle,
General Manager.
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Additional Information about Belmond La Samanna

Address: Baie Longue | PO Box 4077, Terres Basses 97064, St Maarten-St Martin
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St Maarten-St Martin > Saint-Martin > Terres Basses
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Terres Basses
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond La Samanna 5*
Number of rooms: 81
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Samanna nestles amongst lush gardens overlooking 55 acres of spectacular beachfront. A complete resort in itself, La Samanna offers a spectacular private beach, two poolside terraces, 83 luxurious rooms and suites and 8 newly completed 4600sq. ft. villas with private pools. Enjoy its sophisticated food offerings and award winning wine cellar, indulge in its European Elysees Spa, or simply enjoy the privacy and relaxation of this sophisticated and sensual French-Caribbean enclave. La Samanna is everything you could wish for in a Caribbean hideaway. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Samanna By Orient-Express Hotel St. Maarten/St. Martin
La Samanna Hotel
La Samanna Resort St Martin

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