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Belmond La Samanna
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Reviewed February 8, 2012

La Samanna is one of the best hotel's I've ever stayed at. The hotel beach area is absolutely breakthtaking and is the perfect place to end your day & watch the sunset. The hotel staff made you feel like a celebrity upon arrival, handing you island-drinks and hot hand towels as you relax to check-in. The rooms were all beautiful and were more than accommodating. The breakfast each morning provided at the hotel was delicious and high qualify food. The staff was very helpful with everything that we needed from an American plug adapter to what we should do while on the island! I definitely recommend staying here! Wonderful Experience!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank TravelBuff121
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 reviewResponded February 10, 2012

Dear TravelBuff121,

Warm greetings from La Samanna! I want to thank you for taking a moment to share your feedback with us. I love reading comments from our past guests, as it is truly helpful for us to see how our guests are experiencing the resort. I'm pleased to see that you felt welcomed by our staff. Our goal is to deliver a one-of-a-kind vacation experience for each and every guest, and it's great to see that we delivered on that promise. I took great pride in sharing your review with the entire team at La Samanna.

Thanks again for visiting us and sharing this review. We hope to welcome you back to La Samanna sometime soon.

Sincerely,

Pascal Deyrolle
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2012

There were several aspects of our vacation which were great and very enjoyable.The Staff at La Samanna does everything to give the quests a great time.Service is excellent.Excellent concierge services and room services and always a smile of anybody on the premises.The beach is exceptionally nice and so is the sand.There are hardly any shells no seaweed jelly fish etc.I would go back to La Samanna but a few remarks.The breakfast area is beautiful and the breakfast is good and more then adequate.I wish the food other then the breakfast would improve especially considering the competition of other restaurants in St. Martin. Maybe too much is catered to American guests rather then serving a more international and or french kitchen. I think that the new Manager at La Samanna is going in the right direction in keeping this a 5 star hotel. Everybody is open for suggestions and I would recommend this resort without any reservation. Also the grounds at La Samanna are beautiful and extremely well kept.

Room Tip: Be sure that you get a renovated room hopefully they all will be renovated by next winter.Also the basic room is rather small try for an upgrade .However all rooms have balconies looking out at the ocean.
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank tita955
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 reviewResponded February 8, 2012

Dear Tita955,

Greetings from St. Martin! Thank you for your recent visit to La Samanna and sharing feedback with us. It's wonderful to hear from our past guests and read about their experiences while visiting the island. I'm pleased to read your positive comments about our staff and level of service, as providing high-touch service to guests is our primary focus.

I also want to thank you for your constructive comments about our food program. We are continually evaluating our offering to guests, and the feedback from guest is very helpful. As we make improvements, we'll certainly look to include the suggestions from our guests.

Thanks again for taking time to share your experience. We hope to welcome you back to St. Martin in the near future.

Sincerely,

Pascal Deyrolle
General Manager

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Reviewed January 22, 2012

We've just returned from a 4 day stay at this beachside full service resort on the French side of St. Martin. Although it is a bit expensive, it was well worth it. The private beach is breathtakingly beautiful and the room was fully appointed and literally steps from the beach. The complementary breakfast is sumptuous, to say he least. Most impotantly, however, every single person on the staff was smiling all the time and ready to do whatever we required to make our stay as enjoyable as possible.We will go back and not soon enough!

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank DonandBeth R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2012

I hadn't been back to La Samanna for some 25 years, which turned out to be a mistake. There are only a handful of truly excellent oceanfront hotels in the Caribbean, and this is one of the oldest but also one of the best. While it is not perfections, the shortcomings are made up for by outstanding efforts elsewhere. For the details, read on!

I do not believe it is valid to criticize a luxury hotel for its prices. If you've agreed to pay them, you have no right to beef. La Samanna is expensive, but it is in line with other properties of similar quality, and cheaper than, say Sandy Lane. Its restaurants are exorbitantly priced, for sure, but St. Martin has so many options that the cost of a car rental will easily be outweighed by the savings if you choose to eat off the property.

Our room, a two-bedroom oceanfront suite, was well laid-out and adequately spacious. The decor was neutral - perhaps a bit disappointing in terms of taste and style, but certainly far from objectionable. Happily, the beds each had high-intensity adjustable reading lights, which are a godsend with the new florescent bulbs in most hotels providing only dim ambient light. La Samanna does better than most, using brighter bulbs that made the place cheerful in the evenings. The air-conditioning in all three rooms was excellent and powerful. The small kitchenette was fully functional, and the fridge proved to be a huge asset. The LCD TV's in the bedrooms were good, but there was none in the living room, which would have been nice.

Our suite was on the lower floor of the individual villa, as we requested, This was a tradeoff -- our patios were tiny terraces, unlike the huge, wrap around lanai above. It seemed the interior spaces above might have been smaller, but it was hard to stretch out or relax outside for us. The benefit was a direct, eight step walk straight onto that fabulous beach. This also meant no private sunning area, so anyone seeking an all-over tan might ask if the top floor units have private sundecks.

The real separation between La Samman and, say, Cap Juluca, a substantially similar resort on Anguilla where we have spent 10 Christmas vacations, is in the service and the food. The Administrative staff at LS is largely French, and they are classically schooled in hospitality and efficiency. While room service delays were typical of any hotel at full capacity, everyone really worked hard and was unfailingly gracious and anxious to help. Service on the beach was fantastic. Dirty dishes were collected within minutes of a call, and daily maid service was thorough and the ladies worked hard, getting it all done in less than an hour. When we asked to have them come earlier (they were showing up at 3) it was immediately corrected to about 1, when we would normally be at lunch.

The beach bar at LS is very Mediterranean in feel, look and cuisine. The music was pleasant jazz and some of that unknowable generic Euro-weenie stuff that blends seamlessly into a bottle of rose and a perfect salade nicoise or grilled mahi. The space is crisp, breezy and it's lovely to linger. The beach pool is a tad small, and overly-enclosed with obtrusive fencing, but no matter -- we spent only one afternoon there, when the surf was inexplicably rough. The main pool is stunning. Lunch at the Grill in the main house has a more extensive and expensive menu, but is delicious. The cozy bar is perfectly situated.

I did not do my customary inspection of all the room choices. We were extremely happy with our location between the main house and the beach bar. Everything was an easy walk. The large villas up on the point are spectacular, but the beach is a bit of a haul from there. The tennis courts are excellent, and David, the resident pro, an affable Swede raised in the Canaries has the game and patience to give you a workout or hone your skills.

La Reserve, the formal evening choice is set on the terraces of the main house. The food was outstanding, service impeccable. It is a bit too formal for a meal with small kids, though, and there are no other choices other than the wine cave which seemed depressing to me, and the beach bar serves only little brochettes - delicious but frustrating! It is hard to understand why LS does not have a real informal option for dinner - the beach bar with a simple menu of grills would be ideal.

We dined out seven of our ten nights, and had no bad meals. We did not explore too far, but were extremely happy with the Cafe de Paris for a typical bistrot menu, great service and food that was a notch above its competitors. The owner is a real hard-worker, and will do anything to please. It has a touristy feel, but believe me, the food was as good as you would find at any New York or Paris bistrot favored by locals. The nearby Italian (I cant remember the name) on the canal was superb for simple fresh pastas and grilled fish. Le Moulin Fou in gaudy, hideous Maho was a true effort at haute cuisine in a mediocre setting. The service was astonishing, and my lamb absolument parfait! The sauces were Escoffier heavy - ask for them on the side!

We also did quite a bit of shopping at the Cupecoy branch of Grand Marchais, an excellent little supermarket. Stocking up on soda, beer, wine, excellent fruit and veggies, cereals and snacks helped keep our food bill down, and our impulse needs satisfied. Bread everywhere on the island is the best in the Caribbean. The baguettes are crisp-crusted, the interiors soft but with body. This is a treat compared to the soggy crap almost everywhere else in the region, and, as in Paris, is undoubtedly kept alive by competition amongst the bakers to produce the best loaf.

All in all La Samanna is exactly what it says it is -- a top-notch and top-priced resort for lazing on the beach, swimming in the crystal water, and eating well and often. It is easy to get to, the service is fantastic, and they really try to please (They even spent a half-hour resetting their satellite TV so we could watch all four NFL playoff games!) It would be hard to imagine having a bad vacation here, and we are an extremely demanding and spoiled bunch. The only negative - the mysterious disappearance of an iPhone and iPod -- was immediately met with apologies and a full credit for their replacement cost. I don't know if they were taken or merely misplaced by the staff, but I often left money sitting out which was undisturbed. It was odd, but the unhesitating action by management to make it right was refreshing and given without any expression of doubt or anything but regret and embarrassment at the problem having happened. And, I am sure they investigated the matter, and whatever happened is unlikely ever to happen again.

I am not posting photos -- everything they have on their site is representative, and our suite was nicer than the very limited photos they post.

Bravo to the hotel for making my family's Christmas a smashing success, with great weather to boot! I can't wait to go back again!!

Room Tip: Pay the extra to be directly on the ocean. It might be a good idea to get a tour of what's available, as I think some rooms may have been redone more recently.
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank MikeONYC
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 reviewResponded January 24, 2012

Dear MikeONYC,

I wanted to write a brief note to thank you for posting a review of your recent visit to La Samanna. The holidays are a wonderful time of year to visit the Caribbean, and I'm pleased to read that you and your family enjoyed your time on property and exploring St. Martin. It's great to read your positive comments on the property, rooms, and, most importantly our staff.

I'm glad you were also able to explore some of the many sights and restaurants outside of the resort. Le Moulin Fou is a favorite spot for many members of the resort team.

We're happy to have you back as a guest and look very forward to seeing you and your family in the future!

Sincerely,

Pascal Deyrolle
General Manager

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Reviewed January 17, 2012

We were at La Samanna 13 years ago and loved it. We were excited to return but surprised at the $1500 per night cost for a suite. We've paid that before (Sandy Lane in Barbados) and are willing to do so for top notch resorts. So here's our take on the current state of Samanna. First of all, the general manager is wonderful. She will do anything to accomodate her guests. The beach and its staff are outstanding. The food at the beach is pretty good... nothing out of the ordinary. Breakfast was very good. The two disappointments we had were... many rooms are still not renovated and seem desperate for improvement. We had a renovated room but it was right above the beach restaurant so we looked at other rooms. For $1500, they have a long way to go to meet that level of cost ... even at $500 it is questionable. But our newly renovated room was comfortable, maintained twice a day very well. The biggest disappointment was the restaurant at dinner. The service was horrible and the food was below average. Each of our dinners came out five to ten minutes apart... and when I spoke to the lead waiter about it... he basically scolded me. A few other points... the location is the best on the island. Close to the airport, somewhat in the middle of the popular areas to visit, and the beach is the best on island. I wish I could tell you this place is worth every penny of the cost, but it just doesn't meet that standard. Sorry La Samanna... we loved you in the past and feel bad that we won't be back.

Room Tip: Heard room 108 is excellent.
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Erik_and_Stephanie
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 reviewResponded January 24, 2012

Dear Erik_and_Stephanie,

We're so happy you chose to return to La Samanna after more than a decade away. Thanks for staying with us and taking time to share this review on your experience. I'm thrilled to read your kind remarks about the hotel, staff and beach. I'm also happy that you were able to experience one of our renovated rooms, as we've been receiving wonderful feedback from our guests. Regarding our prices, we monitor our rates against similar luxury resorts in the Caribbean and have found our pricing to be very competitive.

I want to personally apologize for your experience at dinner. While I'm very sorry you weren't pleased with you your meal, I'm extremely disappointed in the way our server handled the issue. Please trust that the issue has been discussed with our entire team. I only wish I had the opportunity to apologize to you directly when you were on property.

Thanks for coming back to see us and sharing your feedback. It's very much appreciated!

Warm regards,

Pascal Deyrolle
General Manager

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