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“Great Vacation” 4 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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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
30% Discount on Suites
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Terres Basses
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Barrie, Canada
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Great Vacation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

I have been reading some of the negative reviews here & I dont know what rooms those people got but OMG we stayed there for 3 days & it was awesome! Check in was fast & although we knew check-in was at 4 we jst went to the beach bar for lunch. We were in 12G & the villa was amazing - great bed, wonderful white linens, lots of towels, a/c worked great - espresso machine in our room, milk pods in the fridge, two flat screen tv's (one in bedroom, one in living area), although we only used them to catch up on the world news - comfy furniture outside - the couch was a little hard but we didnt sit inside much - all Apple products in the business centre - attentive staff at pool with Evian water at your beckon call - same on beach - staff finds a chair & umbrella for you.
I have to admit food was pricey but very fresh & all delicious - liquor was pricey too but all premium choices!
People that have a problem with this place can not be satisfied, no matter what!

Room Tip: I think they are all ocean view but if you want to be close to the pool(s), request that
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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, December 30, 2012
Dear bodinsnana,

Thank you very much for your comments regarding your stay at La Samanna. It is encouraging to read positive feedback and rest assure I will share with my staff. I am very happy that you enjoyed your stay and the resort's facilities and amenities. Again, thank you for your time in writing about your impression of La Samanna. I do hope you come back for a longer stay.
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748 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 (143)
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English first
New York, New York, United States
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

Great location but not a 5 star hotel. Restaurants very slow, rooms outdated, poor breakfast....Be aware that you will be charge for resorts fees $70-$100 a day for use of facilities with normaly comes included in any other 5 star hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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, December 27, 2012
Dear XavierP,

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your stay at La Samanna. I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations; please allow me to express my sincerest apologies. The resort is celebrating 40 years this year, and while our longtime guests comeback for the "old Caribbean feel", we have renovated some of our rooms and lobby. We are continuously working with our restaurants to refine the quality of the food and service. The resort fee you mention is not particularly for the use of the resort facilities but rather for the maintenance of the resort itself. We do mention this fee in our confirmation letters sent to all our guests prior to arrival. I apologize that it was not brought to your attention at the time of check-in. Thank you once again for sharing your experience.
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Washington, DC
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

La Samanna has the best location on St. Martin hands down, sitting atop Baie Longue, which looks like and is what one imagines a tropical beach to look like. I even put a picture of it taken from our room toward the end of the property as my screen saver on the cell phone so I see it every day. My wife and I were here prior to a cruise in late November 2012. The location on the beach is not only perfect, but the property is close to the airport (one wouldn't realize it while on the property) and the rest of the island is easily accessible. This was our first visit so we cannot compare the recent renovation to how it looked before, but we met a couple who come here every year and they described. The lobby bar overlooking the beach is a nice place for drinks while the sun sets. The overall feel is modern, beachy, intimate, cozy and exclusive. We were upgraded to a nicer room and provided a bottle of rum as a gift. There are some service issues as others have noted. Prices are extremely expensive but it is an island where most goods are coming from elsewhere. The higher end restaurant with intimate tables overlooking the water is a romantic spot for one dinner. We were not there for many nights, but I can see why others would recommend going off-site for dinner if one is staying for a week or more than a few nights. We did have some other issues but the hallmark of any hotel is how they handle them and in the end the management was attentive to address them promptly and to our satisfaction. Bottom line: beautiful location, fabulous beach, physical property in very nice condition, with some service issues and sticker shock at times. This was our first trip to St. Martin so we don't have other hotels to use as comparisons but La Samanna is certainly the most exclusive hotel on the island.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, December 27, 2012
Dear JayEdward.

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience at La Samanna. It brings a smile to my face that your screen saver will be a daily reminder of this little slice of paradise. . Though you had a pleasant stay at La Samanna, some of our services fell short of your expectations and that is not acceptable to us. We continue to work with our staff in those areas that we need to improve. Again, thank you for your comments and we hope you come back next year to update that photo.
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Boca Raton, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

Though I stay in upwards of 20 hotels annually and maintain a residence at a 5-star resort in Florida, I confess I am only moved to review an establishment if it was THAT bad or THAT good. Happily, the Villas at La Samanna fall into the latter category. In a word, the Villas, offering a private residence within a resort, are the best of all possible worlds.

I have traveled far and wide in the Caribbean and find that there is almost always some kind of give-up whether in level of service or quality of lodging, even in 5-star hostelries. It thrills me to say that there are no give-ups with the Villas. Affording a high level of privacy, the Villas are aesthetically pleasing with large well-proportioned and beautifully decorated rooms. They are also immaculately clean and well maintained, which I found noteworthy because that can often be of issue in the Caribbean.

All that being said, the Villas would just be another beautiful setting if they were not matched by the highest level possible of service. The superlative William oversees all aspects of the operation of the six villas and, suffice it to say, he runs a tight ship. The lovely Fina was our assigned housekeeper during our week's stay and the most charming, attentive and suave Anchise was our personal concierge. Anchise, who is fluent in four languages, was a fount of helpful information about St. Martin, especially when it came to fine dining. Wisely, they have staffed the Villas with internationals well-versed in handling the wants and needs of top-drawer (not to mention finicky). Frankly, between the level of the accommodations and the caliber of service given, the only other Caribbean resort I can compare it to is Barbados' Sandy Lane (although there's no golf at La Samanna)

Finally, I offer the real proof of my rave review: we booked into the Villas for a 10-day stay this coming Easter.

  • Stayed December 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012 via mobile

Spent last week at La Samanna and recommend the resort. It's very beautiful. We had a Luxury Link package and were upgraded to an oceanfront, newly renovated suite. Loved our room. And housekeeping did an excellent job. Service in restaurants is very slow. Expect long delays and your empty plates to sit for a while after you're done with your meal. Trellis is nice experience for dinner. Skip Interlude for dinner and venture off site. Whatever you do, don't order the salad and dessert buffet with your entree at Interlude - it will cost you an extra $40/person and so not worth it. We made that mistake only once. Breakfast at Interlude was pretty good but not exceptional like at some places like Little Dix Bay but satisfying nonetheless with good choices. Excellent chocolate croissants! Spa was nice. Services there were very nice as was the service there. Taxi drivers were all super nice. Went for dinners off property at The Bridge Cafe for great local food, La Cigale for a fancy romantic dinner and to Le Bateau Ivre at the Porto Cupecoy marina nearby. Recommend all of them as well as renting a car for at least one day. I also recommend a tennis lesson with Manuel. He was a great instructor (tennis could be promoted more at the resort). Of all the staff, I think Romel, Vanessa and Manuel stood out as the most helpful and friendly. Again, housekeeping did a great job keeping our lovely room tidy and fresh.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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LaSamanna, General Manager at Belmond La Samanna, responded to this review, December 27, 2012
Dear Beachbulldoglover,

Thank you very much for taking the time to review your recent stay at La Samanna. I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed our newly renovated suites as well as both of our newly renovated restaurants, Interlude and Trellis. We are fortunate to be able to provide all our customers with the wide variety of services including our La Samanna Spa and playing tennis with our pro from Peter Burwash International Tennis School. Although I am delighted that you were able to enjoy the use of some of the facilities we offer, I am truly sorry about some of the service deficiencies that you experienced during your stay. Our Food and Beverage team is working hard to improve all areas of service, and to ensure that all quality and time standards are being met consistently. Sint Martin is a beautiful island and I am happy you were able to experience it, both at La Samanna as well as some off site locations. I sincerely hope that you consider returning back, and if so, please feel free to advise us directly so that we make your next stay at La Samanna even more memorable.
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New York City, New York
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

My husband and I just got back from La Samanna after a week there on our honeymoon. We agree with a lot of what people are saying on here - the resort is spectacular looking and the beach is probably the best we'd ever seen anywhere. But for a 5-star resort (especially and Orient-Express) the service fell way short. A few examples:

1) We, too, took advantage of the Suite Dreams package like others on this forum. We had a wonderful room, though one of the sinks was clogged and the bathroom smelled mildewy. Someone eventually came by unannounced at about 9:30pm one evening to fix it a few days later. We paid a lot extra for a plunge pool suite with a private cabana. It was gorgeous...but we couldn't stay up there because the cabana had no shade in the front and the sun was unbearable when directly hit. I called 3 times to inquire about adding a front curtain (the cabana next to ours had one so I figured we should/could have one, too), but no one ever followed up with us. We gave up on it - we got sick of complaining. So sadly, we spent a small fortune for an amenity we didn't really use and couldn't enjoy at all during the day. I'm inclined to ask for a partial refund, though am certain any complaint would fall on deaf ears.

2) Bar service by the restaurant was consistently terrible. Our first night there, we sat for about 40 minutes in between rounds of drinks (which are exhorbitantly priced, by the way) despite the place being empty. After the second round, we gave up and called it a night.

3) When we had internet issues, we called down to request confirmation of login access. When that didn't work, the person at the desk audibly huffed when I called again to request additional help.

4) Service on the beach was spotty. We had to flag people down every day to get us chairs and umbrellas, and a request for a second umbrella one day just went totally ignored. I will say that on the last day, we had great service with a guy named Olivier. But each day prior to that, it was easier to walk ourselves to the bar, order from there and bring back drinks to the beach on our own.

5) Almost every day, we would come home to find a card on our floor saying the cleaning staff couldn't perform turn-down service because they didn't want to disturb us. This would have been fine had we been in our rooms when they came by. But we never were, so I'm pretty sure they just didn't want to do turn-down service.

6) Stray cats milling around the breakfast area every morning.

7) The "fun" beachy drinks were all so ridiculously overpriced. We live in NYC and don't mind paying more for things. And we knew staying at a 5-star resort would be expensive at times, so we expected spending a bit more for things. But $18 for a pina colada served in a small plastic cup? Really?

8) Concierge not terribly helpful. Check-in service slow.

9) Coffee in room never replenished.

There were a few bright spots. Again, our room was beautiful and we did have a nice view for sunsets. The buffet breakfast was good - had everything you could want. (Had it not been buffet, though, I'm not sure it would have been as enjoyable - I can't imagine how the wait staff would have fared serving a fully crowded patio area.) Room service was consistently good and arrived in a timely fashion. Service at the pool bar was more attentive. The recreational stuff was great - water sports, tennis, etc. Spa service was excellent. You come here for the beach. If I had to do it over again, I would probably stay elsewhere and use the money I saved to charter a boat to take me to the Baie Longue beach one or two days during your stay. The beach is spectacular, but in my opinion, that's the only thing this resort has going for it...location, location, location. It's too bad, actually. We tried not to let it bother us, but we had more than a few moments wondering why we were spending so much for sub-par service.,

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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, December 25, 2012
Dear Lauren A,
Thank you very much for your feedback and for taking the time to share your experience at La Samanna. I am happy to hear that you found our breakfast buffet offered at our newly renovated Interlude restaurant, as well as our room service menu consistently good and able to provide you with a wide selection. We are very lucky to have such an amazing beach to offer to all of our guests along with our Watersports team to offer a wide variety of activities for all our guests. I appreciate all your comments as they are able to help us improve our service and products to higher standards. I can ensure you that our Food and Beverage team has implemented new actions to increase all levels of service both at our Beach Bar and on the beach, as well as monitoring the portion sizes of our cocktails to ensure they are up to our standards. We have also been working very hard with our Television and Internet provider, to eliminate any further problems with Internet connection. Again, I am deeply sorry that no action was taken in order to provide you with an additional front curtain in your private cabana, and we have taken immediate measures to determine why we were unable to solve this request or at least provide you with a temporary solution. In regards to the stray cats, due to being located in a secluded tropical area with an open beach they can sometimes wander onto our property. We are working with local vets to ensure they are being fixed or given away to families happy to welcome them. I can ensure you that all our team’s are working hard to improve the overall satisfaction of every guest. I sincerely apologize for the service deficiencies that you experienced during your stay with us and your feedback allow us to take all necessary actions in the areas where we have fallen short. We hope that you consider returning to La Samanna, and if so, please contact me to arrange all your preferences to make your next stay one that will give you the memorable experience that we as a team do our best to provide to all our guests.
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Los Angeles
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012

There is a lot to do on St. Martin. Almost everywhere American levels of cleanliness, food, electricity, sanitation. This is high level living, also poverty around, in the tropics. It is one of the most romantic places. Be sure to go with someone you love who loves you. Was at La Samanna 11.29.12 - 12.11.12 It is one of the highest level hotels so expect prices to be in accord with hotel level. (Pina Colada - $16) Cannot say enough good things about ALL the staff. Here are the exceptional people with whom I had the good fortune to have direct contact - William, head of Villa Services - incredible man, Serena and Monica, Guest Services - beautiful, charming, smart and very attentive to you needs, Christian, Food Services, and head of food services whose name I block, Richard, wait staff. Thank you. Thank you. YOU all made my vacation. La Samanna is strikingly beautiful in a lush, well developed way. Has one of the best beaches around, although they are all great. Few fish to see while snorkeling, perhaps due to recent hurricane Sandy. Problems with hotel food service from first night. Arrived 10:30 room service closed. Hadn't eaten. Got room service on phone, cook was still there. Apparently refused to cook. They had one sandwich, which we got - one slice turkey, one slice cheese. Various staff said this was typical although they had previously spoken many times to cook about need for food for late arriving guests. Spoke to night manager. He unable to do anything. Actually never called back. Richard somehow rounded up food. Next morning went to breakfast. Bare, sterile environment overlooking beautiful beach - no fresh flowers, poor decorations, food keepers buffet area kept food barely warm. Cold food keepers were OK. Not told could order from kitchen fresh omelets, pancakes, etc, which we did after first day. Christian tried to make up for room service and comped us a meal on the main dining room. On way to main dining area passed area used for both breakfast and more causal dinner. Food had zero visual appeal as did food service area in that secondary dining area. Never went back. At dinner in the main dining room appetizer took 1 1/2 hours to arrive. People walked out of dining room. Entree arrive after another 1 1/2 hours. Was not good. Christian wanted to comp us again - he kept trying to make it better, to La Cave. Went in :La Cave after hassle finding staff who reportedly don't arrive until 5:00 pm. To mem La Cave was a musty cellar where they stored the wine. Christian told me chef prepares meal and we eat without knowing before what he making. Totally contradicted La Samanna brochure which said consult with chef for dinner prep. We declined. We moved from two bedroom suite up to Villa #5. It was INCREDIBLE. Four bedrooms, probably 8000+ sq. ft. Infinity pool, Wolf and Viking kitchen. On cliff overlooking ocean and beach. Etc,. etc. If you can afford it, take a Villa. Off premises ate at great places suggested by William - Must go to Grand Case. Loved tiny Le Soille in Grand Case. Try lolos - local BBQ restaurants. Good to great BBQ. Other places on the island to eat - Lee's Roadside, Skip Jacks, Yatch Club to watch mega-yachts come in at 5:00 and 6:00pm. Stop in Maho for dancing - cant remember name - Sweet Chocolate Band plays there all the time. Also dance at Bliss. Go to Pinel Island. Call Yellow Beach restaurant day before for them to set up cold lobster lunch for you. Phillipsberg is open until 5:00. Go there for tourist type shopping. We got stuck in a ditch. The people in the neighborhood all came out to both help and watch. Nicest people. Someone called a local tow truck and they got us out without any damage. - I rated the hotel service poor because of the room and main dining room service. Every staff person had an attitude which I call - Come in my house. They were great.

Room Tip: Never saw rooms in main hotel. Rooms along beach are great. The Villa's are the top of the top...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 2 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, December 25, 2012
Dear bth40,
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience at La Samanna. I am happy that you found our beach and property setting strikingly beautiful. Your comments about all our staff have been taken deep to heart and I can ensure they have put a smile on everyone’s faces. Although I am happy to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed our property and staff members, I am truly sorry that we did not live up to all your expectations during your time at the hotel. I sincerely apologize for the shortcomings you articulated and there is no excuse for the lack of information provided to you. We have implemented new policies to ensure that all late arrivals are now offered a welcome plate upon check in. We have also taken immediate actions to repair all chaffing dishes to keep food at the correct temperature during our breakfast buffet. Our Chef’s are working hard to make sure every dish prepared meets all visual and quality standards. As well, our Food and Beverage team has taken immediate action to ensure all service levels are increased and met in a timely fashion. I am happy to know that you truly enjoyed the Villas, as they are some of the most beautiful on the island. Although, I hope that we rectified the situation during your stay here by moving you up to the Villas, I sincerely hope that you consider returning to La Samanna in the near future, and if so, we will do everything possible to make sure you have a wonderful experience no matter where you decide to stay.
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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 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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