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“The beach is stunning, the staff very kind.”
Review of Belmond La Samanna

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Belmond La Samanna
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Terres Basses
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 19, 2014

I don't really understand all the bad reviews, but I wonderful time at La Samanna! The beach was pristine and the water so clear and blue. Have lunch at the beach restaurant and take in the sites under white umbrellas! Food was solid and the waitstaff was very attentive. Great cocktails!

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank AshWolf
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 May 20, 2014

Dear Ashley W,
Thank you for your review. I am very happy to hear that you had a wonderful time with us and that the food and the service was up to your liking. I hope you come back soon to enjoy some of those great cocktails while relaxing on our one of a kind beach! Again, thank you again for taking time to write a review.

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Reviewed May 12, 2014

After getting through the repeated Polar Vortex on the US East Coast, my partner and I were longing for a memorable and relaxing beach vacation in the sun! La Samanna seemed to answer all our criterea. The resort seemed absolutely gorgeous -- beautiful beach, great water, only 3.5 hour flight - just the type of place to leave all the hustle and bustle behind, you would think. All in all, it was certainly memorable...relaxing and yearning to go, not so much.

While not going into the daily hassle and challenges in detail, our challenges with the resort have been manyfold:
1. Mastering the art of apology! While the staff seems very helpful and willing to assist, there was consistent lack of follow-through and customer care. For a 5-star resort i would expect more -- the only "more "we got were a lot of apologies, constantly.
2. What you are not told...the constant surprise factor. Once checked in, we found out that there was a rather large group from the Cheesecake Factory about to check in as well. As a consequence, there were days we were told not to use one pool or that other, becasue they had team building activities -- the use of the waters[ports equipment was restricted as already booked by the group; restaurants at the resort were closed because occupied by "the group" etc. The crowning moment, was on our last night there, it was also their last night there. As the hotel staff prepared for the "final" party for the group at the ocean-side bar and pool (which our suite overlooked) the gangster rap was blarring so loud, there was no escaping it. Despite numerousd calls to the front desk, the only solution was to escape the resort and have a nice meal elsehwere...All in all, mour take away was that the hotel is much more focussed on catering to the groups, rather than living up to the promise of catering to the individual customer as a 5-Star resport with Orient-Express should.
3. Speaking of escaping...upon arrival we were informed that it was VERY simple to rent a car through the hotel -- only $30 to$40 per day depending on the vehicle selected. Sounds like a great deal, but it is not. Again what they don't tell you. Upon retrun of the vehicle, we were slapped with sales tax, island tax, mandatory insurance etc that was never disclosed and escalated the price per diem two to three times. Again, you would think that in a resort of that caliber, customer care would be primary and honesty and full disclosure would be at the base of everything.
4. Finding a nice meal...it's the carribean there should be plenty of choice, you'd think -- well not so much. After 24 hours, we found the menu at the resort rather stale and repetitive, notwithstanding lacking creativity and imagination in the preparation. We can get the same dishes at a French bistro in New York city or in any Cafe/Brasserie in the 8th arrondissment in Paris. It just lacked that "je ne sais quoi" that would make one want to go back and look forward to a really delicious meal in a paradise-like atmosphere!
5. I could go on...but i won't.

There were some bright spots to it though:
- the view was amazing and the water and beach very nice
- the staff on the beach tried there best to accomodate -- when the supervior was around
- the Spa is very nice and was worth an experience
- the Macau living in the palm trees by the reception is absolutely gorgeous

All in all a very memorable trip. I don't think we would ever go back. Now i need to find a vacation...

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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21  Thank Eric A
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 May 19, 2014

Dear EricA,
I would like to thank you for taking time to describe your stay with us. I trust that we have addressed your issues in the private messages we have exchanged however, I would like to again sincerely apologize for the experience you had at La Samanna. Please rest assure that all our guests are very valuable to us and their experience at La Samanna is of the utmost importance. Your comments have been shared with all my staff so that we can rectify these issues and ensure they will not surface again. I thank you again for your review,

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Reviewed May 10, 2014 via mobile

The resort is absolutely beautiful-- relatively small, quiet and classy. My husband & I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary; visiting St. Martin has turned into a 5 year tradition (3 of them spent at La Samanna.) We reserved a 1 bedroom suite & were upgraded to a 2 bedroom. Although it was not one of the newly renovated rooms, it was very charming. We enjoyed several wonderful room service breakfasts on our patio.

We chose not to eat at the main restaurant, simply because there are too many other good restaurants on the island to justify the exorbitant prices we saw on the menu.

Our last day was the only disappointment. A truly 5 star hotel would go out of their way to extend a late check out. Since our flight didn't leave until 4:20 p.m., we had asked when we booked the room & were told a 2:00 check out would not be a problem. However, that was not the case. We were told it was impossible because someone coming in had requested our room, so we would have to be out at noon (interestingly, we were not able to book a specific room-- must have been more special people who were able to.) On a vacation where days are few & 3 of them included rain, we felt very put out. Time is short , & I'd rather stay somewhere with less luxury where they are willing to accommodate their guests. On the bright side, thanks to Jean for cheering us up while we sat and waited our luggage at the main building until it was time to leave for the airport!

Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
4  Thank c4ww
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 May 19, 2014

Dear c4ww,
Thank you for your review. I am very happy to hear that visiting St. Martin has become a tradition for you and your husband and we hope staying at La Samanna will remain part of that tradition. I do sincerely apologize for not being able to extend the late checkout. We do not guaranty specific room number, but category, and we have indeed for some of them, very limited options.
While we try our best to accommodate all our guests requests, a late checkout can be guaranteed only on the day of departure as it allows us to also guarantee a 4pm check in for arriving guests. We hope to see you very soon with us and make sure that all your requests are met.

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Reviewed May 4, 2014

La Samanna is almost surely the best luxury resort in the Caribbean. It has a pristine half moon shaped, white sand beach -- more beautiful that anyone can imagine. The hotel rooms and suites are world-class, with clearly a Caribbean touch of decor. The private bay on which the hotel is located has the most aqua-colored water I have ever seen... you simply feel like you are in paradise. All of the staff (many of whom have been there for years and are real "experts" in service) are so kind, so friendly. Over the years, they start feeling like family (my family and I have been to La Samanna something like 8 times! Last time we were at the hotel, we met a wonderful couple from NYC that had visited the resort just this winter at lest four (4! times). It's so easy to get to the island from the New York Area (one simple direct flight, followed by a 15 minute luxury hotel car ride...and you are in paradise). The main restaurant is run by a relatively new chef; very talented and dedicated to continuous improvement. The views from the main restaurant and the breakfast patio are unforgettable. The hotel has two gorgeous pools, but the beach and the rooms are simply like you are literally in paradise, not least because all the fabulous staff complement the amazingly beautiful, luxurious, opulent grounds. Perfect for a honey moon. Perfect for a weekend get-a-away. Perfect for a week with your family (with great water sports, too). Needless to say, it is pricey, but for a reason: you get what you pay for... the best. - Davor Gjivoje, Jr. & Family

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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Davor G
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 May 11, 2014

Dear Davor,
What a great review! Thank you very much for taking the time to write it given your busy schedule.
As usual it was a great pleasure to have you and your family in our small paradise and I am so happy to read that you enjoyed every piece of it. We are all very much looking forward to seeing you soon.

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Reviewed April 28, 2014

It's a shame that I am forced to write this review, because but for one major flaw we enjoyed our stay. La Samanna is otherwise a great hotel -- clean, luxurious, great location, good food, relaxing -- everything you'd want in a boutique luxury retreat.

Unfortunately they're also apparently greedy -- they hosted a large corporate function while we were there, which was way too big for a hotel of this size. Whereas at a larger hotel a large group would blend in and be absorbed by the other guests, this group dominated and overwhelmed La Samanna. The pool became a networking location, making us feel unwelcome. Staff was focused on the group, making them unavailable for "regular" guests. Certain facilities (e.g., the main pool) were closed for a day during our stay to accommodate group events -- for which we were not compensated. The hotel should be ashamed for hosting such an event at the same time that other guests are staying at the hotel.

So, in sum, call ahead before booking to confirm no corporate events. If there are none, I guarantee you will enjoy your stay -- we just had unfortunate timing.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
10  Thank Jason E
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 May 11, 2014

Dear Jason E,
Thank you very much for writing about your stay with us. I would like to apologize if you felt that the group we had in house made you feel unwelcome and you must know that we always try in these situations to pamper our individual guest to make them feel like home. This group trip was an incentive for the best employees of a great company and only a few members of staff had the duty of looking after them; the other majority only focuses on individuals and I am sorry if you felt we were not 100% available for you. This shouldn't have happened and your comments will surely be reviewed with the entire team so action can be taken for the future,
I hope you still enjoyed your time with us and that we will have the great pleasure of welcoming you back to beautiful Belmond la Samanna.

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Reviewed April 24, 2014

still the best location on the island, despite some erosion long bay remains spectacular. the hotel may benefit from some revamping. we expected staff to be more welcoming and attentive at this price level.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
4  Thank unionsquare
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 May 11, 2014

Dear Union Square,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your stay. It seems that the welcoming you got wasn't up to our high standard and I would like to apologize for this. Your review will be shared with the entire team and I hope you will consider coming back to la Samanna in the future.

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Reviewed April 23, 2014

We spent the day at the resort, renting a cabana on the beach, stopping on a recent cruise. Didn't seem like they sell a lot of these for the price, given that the beach is already so beautiful, private, and remote, but I certainly wasn't about to pay for a room rate, just to use their beach when there are no shortage of amazing beaches on both sides of the Island. Truth be told, my little brother got engaged there and I wanted to show my kids and see myself. Breathtaking, Luxurious, Amazing. But Pricey. When my kids got cranky in the afternoon, they stood out amongst the mostly European crowd as obnoxious American kids. When your kids are older and can appreciate, I can't imagine a much nicer place to spend a long weekend, that also easy to get to......if you can afford.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Mark R
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 April 25, 2014

Dear Mark R,
Thank you for your review and I am very happy to read that you took the time to come to our beach cabanas even for such a short stop over during your cruise. So nice of you to come and see where your brother got engaged. I hope this brought lots of happiness in his couple and it would be wonderful to have them back.
Do you know that over 80% of our guests are American? As Belmond La Samanna is usually considered as a romantic get away, you must know that we have a great Kids Club for children up to 13 years old. We are looking forward to welcoming you and your brother back again in our small paradise.

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Additional Information about Belmond La Samanna

Address: Baie Longue | PO Box 4077, Terres Basses 86200, St Martin / St Maarten
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St Martin / St Maarten > Saint-Martin > Terres Basses
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Terres Basses
Price Range: $529 - $997 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond La Samanna 5*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Belmond La Samanna nestles amongst lush gardens overlooking 55 acres of spectacular beachfront. A complete resort in itself, Belmond La Samanna offers a spectacular private beach, two poolside terraces, 83 luxurious rooms and suites and 8 recently renovated 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. Gourmet dishes are served in the elegant Trellis, and Baie Longue Bar offers pool-side dining and views of Baie Long Beach. Dine on your private terrace and later enjoy a drink from the wine cellar. Belmond 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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