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“Beautiful hotel and location; minor quibbles” 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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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Terres Basses
New York City, New York
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Beautiful hotel and location; minor quibbles”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

We went to St. Martin for our friends' wedding last year and really enjoyed it. Nice welcome cocktail upon arrival. Big, very clean and well-appointed room. Nice view over the ocean. Beautiful, large and not-too crowded beach. Staff in general was very good; the beach bar staff was a bit stand-off-ish on our last day at the hotel. But I suspect that was in part due to the wild wedding the night before; we were not exactly on our best behavior, and yet they were very kind to the couple and the guests. My only real quibble with this place is that it seems a bit expensive, and the food/drinks at the bar weren't nearly up to snuff for the prices being charged. Would definitely stay again, though.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a room. As it is already expensive and most rooms are pretty good, I don't...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 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.
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676 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)
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amsterdam
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

Great hotel but the rates do not justify the quality. I mean for $800 a night or $6,000 a week I can rent a gorgeous villa in this area. The food was good but again I rent a. Car while I am on island so I generally eat out as this island has the best food in the Caribbean hands down ! The location is a bit far from nightlife ,the closest restaurants are in the cupecoy area which does not have many great restaurants yet.

Room Tip: Make sure to get oceanfront , we don't come to the Caribbean to not have an oceanfront view
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, February 20, 2013
Dear bikeamsterdam,

Thank you for taking the time to write about your stay at La Samanna. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed the food at our restaurants. As far as our location, the resort is somewhat secluded as that is what most of our guests are looking for - an escape from the hustle and bustle from back home. By staying with us rather than a villa, you do have a team ready to serve you and all our wonderful hotel facilities at your disposal. We hope that you do choose to come back to the resort rather than a villa nearby - we will be waiting for you.
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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for 2 nights post-cruise and to celebrate my birthday. The location of this resort is stunning as are the common areas. The private beach is beautiful and protected from wind making it calm and perfect to swim in. Unfortunately there were a number of issues with the service that really let this resort down. We arrived early morning and were seated in the open-air lounge to wait for our room to become available. We were not offered coffee or any menu or advised about breakfast. We were then told that our suite would not be ready until 4pm but advised we could pay more to be upgraded to a plunge pool suite that was available immediately. We are American Express Centurian card holders and as such La Samanna (and other participating hotels) is supposed to automatically upgrade if there is availability. The fact that this didn't happen and then they tried to charge us was not a good start. American Express had to intervene and remind La Samanna of the arrangement. Our upgraded suite was nice but lacked real 5-star finish (there were cigarette burns on some of the furniture) and amenities (no minibar and once you used the initial 2 single-serves of coffee beans supplied you have to pay for more). Given the exorbitant nightly rate and the ridiculous "resort fees"(what are these all about and surely the high cost of the suite should be payment enough without hitting the guest with more charges and for what?) I would expect continuous complimentary coffee in the room. As for the rest of the service we experienced at breakfast, lunch and dinner - it was shockingly bad and nowhere near the standard of a 5-star resort. Just as almost every other reviewer has said, the appalling service really let's La Samanna down. I also notice that hotel management has responded on several occasions saying that they're working on improving the quality of service. I recommend they work faster and stop stop SAYING there doing something about it and actually deliver. Also, skip the resort fees, it's an insulting charge when there is no apparent benefits for the guest. I wanted to love this place because its so picture perfect but the service issues and lack-lustre suite turned it into a bad romance. Five-stars for location, 1-star for everything else.

Stayed January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
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, February 5, 2013
Dear Em-trepid,
We would like to thank you for taking the time to review our property, all feedback is very valuable to us as it allows us to improve our service in corresponding areas. I can only apologize that you were not offered any menu, beverage or any other assistance while waiting for your 4 o'clock check in time. In regards to the miscommunication about your upgrade, we truly apologize that the upgrade was not offered to you complimentary to begin with as you are AMEX members. We have taken action to rectify the situation with the responsible staff member and have ensured that everyone has been given a clear review of all AMEX policies. We are working on the situation and trying to ensure that we can provide the best possible service in all areas of the hotel. I can ensure that we are implementing new policies and procedures in all departments, as well as evaluation programs to rectify these reoccurring service issues. We would love to welcome you back to La Samanna as the most valued guest, and be able to show you our improvements in all areas. Again, we are truly sorry for an inconveniences and we can only hope that you come back again to enjoy a more memorable La Samanna experience.

Kind regards
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texas
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

My husband recently treated me to a post cruise, final night of our pre-Christmas vacation at the lovely La Samanna resort in St. Martin. Leaving the cruise terminal with our new travel agent friends we had met on our cruise, our friend Renee, said "come with us as our guests & tour this property, you can look in to staying there for the night too" (our flight was not until late the following day & we had no hotel reservations for the night) Being a huge travel buff, I was pretty familiar with with this 5 star resort, & being a big fan of luxury resorts.....I suspected the rates would be over the top! We went along as her new Texas clients & took the most amazing tour of the property including it's 4 luxury villas that go for 10,000.00 pr. night! Wow the resort, & spa was nothing short of being spectacular! Being a professional photographer, the images I saw (& photographed) were pure bliss! Endless photo opts, especially just inside the main open air lobby bar area, (i will include the photo) simply beautiful! I loved all of the tropical foliage alongside of the winding pathways & the gorgeous white mediterranean architecture. We ended up at the Sand Bar that had the most amazing views of the beach & bay area having $16.00 designer cocktails..... our awesome fun bartender was a photographer on the side, he admired my camera asked to see it, then started shooting our group like a paparazzi ! he was delightfully entertaining & my husband happily ordered more delicious drinks from him. While I strolled down to the most perfect beach my husband worked with a young LS Canadian host from the hotel to secure a room for the night. I was of course not surprised when she gave us a beautiful ocean front suite in the H building next to the beach bar. So, I got to experience La Samanna for the next 28 hours. The hotel staff treated us like royalty from the moment we got out of our taxi until we left in their slick SUV escalade the following afternoon. Our suite was beautiful! I loved the soft whites & pale sea blue accents. a nice expresso coffee bar area along with a nice balcony overlooking the expansive beach. The only real negatives were the service at lunch. The servers were overwhelmed & obvious not trained properly, lots of unhappy diners waiting for checks or wanting to order a drink or food. It was not at all acceptable for any 5 star hotel. This was unfortunate because the other workers, hotel staff were wonderful. My grilled lobster was very good, but I had to ask for a side salad because it came with nothing, not even drawn butter! I had to wait forever to get that, and no dressing on my salad either...really! another long wait. My husband ordered a cheeseburger after eating cruise ship food all week, unfortunately it was not up to par at all. The manager should visit Jumby Bay to see how they serve lunch. We had lunched there just a couple days prior & it was fabulous. We had a nice romantic dinner on their terrace restaurant that night, the food was pretty good, but could have been better. The buffet breakfast the following day was excellent. ( we served our selves) If you stay at this resort and pay the rates, you really don't want to venture off to go in town or take the ferry to other islands. So they really need to hire a food consultant or expert chef & train there servers & to get it right. In spite of the dining issues, this was really the perfect ending to our cruise vacation. Stay a couple of nights here then take the ferry to St. Barts! Wow, that place is amazing!

Room Tip: there was a wedding reception at the beach bar, next to our room, so our one night stay here was lis...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 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, January 9, 2013
Dear beachchic87,

Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stay at La Samanna. The pictures you have posted of the resort are fantastic, thank you very much for sharing. I am glad that you were able to experience the essence of La Samanna even if only for a short time. Nonetheless, I am very sorry to hear that your stay was not perfect due to problems you had with the restaurant and the food service in general. Please, rest assure that we take all our guest comments very seriously and share them with the staff. We are working to improve the service and food that we present to our valuable guests. Again, thank you for sharing your photos and experience with us. We do hope you come back for a longer stay.
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Waterloo, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

The Hotel is about a 20 minutes drive from the airport. Upon arrival, you are served a fruit punch or alcoholic beverage. Check in is around 4 pm, and since we arrived early we had to wait for our 2 bedroom suite. The front staff was very polite and accommodating and did offer a temporary room for us so that we could change and go swimming. The suite was very spacious, with a fridge that could be stocked, and you could walk out the doors to the beach. A champagne bottle and cookies were in the room to welcome you. Nice gym, two small shops, and no kids play-room. Not much choice on the menus, I wish they switched up the menu more. The wait for some of the lunches did take a long time, but for supper the waits were no longer than expected.

We did have a mix-up where we were billed for breakfast when it was included, but after showing the front staff that breakfast was included, this was rectified immediately. The beach was gorgeous and the waves were wonderful. Overall, very nice and we would go back. The towns Marigot and Philipsburg were lovely and great shopping available. The only bad experience we had pertained to the rental of a car. The car rental was done on the La Samanna property, but they were not affiliated with the hotel. I had rented a car with basic insurance. After going into town one day, we returned to the car to discover that someone had jimmied the locks on both the driver and passenger doors. Thankfully we had left nothing in the car. The result was an additional $150.00 charge for replacement of the car locks. When we were checking out another couple was being charged for a stone chip on their windshield for a car that they said was mostly parked on the resort. I returned the car and found that it was better to take a cab into the towns, just arrange that with the concierge.

Overall, this resort is very tidy, the rooms and room service were excellent and the beach was gorgeous. We would definitely return to this resort and would love to see the menu switched up more often.

Room Tip: the suites are beautiful
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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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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, January 9, 2013
Dear Vactionfete,

Firstly I would like to thank you for reviewing our hotel as we take all guest reviews deep to heart. I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed our beach and property setting as well as taking pleasure in meals offered at our Beach Bar, and our two restaurants Interlude and Trellis. In regards to having a more diversified menu we have now implemented a themed buffet in our restaurant Interlude two times per week, once offering a Seafood buffet and once offering a Creole local specialty buffet. I would however, like to apologize for any inconveniences you experienced in regard to your arrival as well as any problems encountered with the inclusive breakfast on your bill when checking out. I am delighted that our staff was able to accommodate you and rectify the situation in a timely fashion. I am sincerely sorry for the incident that occurred with your rental car, and although we have a company located at the hotel for the convenience of our guests, they have their own policies and procedures for incidents.

I would like to thank you again for taking the time to review the hotel, and when planning your next trip back do not hesitate to contact us so that we can arrange to provide you with an even more memorable experience
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Barrie, Canada
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
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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New York, New York, United States
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 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 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 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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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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