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“The Villas at La Samanna”
Review of Belmond La Samanna

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Belmond La Samanna
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Terres Basses
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 March 2012

A few girlfriends and I stayed at one of the La Samanna villas at the end of last year and had such an wonderful time. It was truly the ultimate escape, with beautiful and private surroundings, a spectacular but comfortable villa, excellent service from our concierge, who went grocery shopping for us, and our housekeeper, who came twice a day so we didn't have to lift a finger. The only thing that was wrong was that our oven didn't heat up past 200F. But that is the only thing I could say wasn't perfect (and I'm sure if we had complained they would have fixed it immediately, but we didn't mention it until we left, and cooked outside on the Weber grill instead). The villa experience is especially nice, though, because the level of service is so good (the airport transfers, the dedicated concierge, etc.), and the villa is appointed so wonderfully. If you're looking for a villa at a hotel, this is it.

Room Tip: we stayed in villa six
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Sarah B
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 12 March 2012

Dear Sarah B.,

I know several months have passed since your visit, but I wanted to reach out and thank you for taking a moment to recap your time at La Samanna. I'm very please to read that you and your girlfriends enjoyed your stay in one of our villas. I'm sorry to hear that your oven wasn't working, but glad it didn't prevent you and your guests from having a nice visit.

Thanks again for sharing your experience with us. The next time you're looking for that "ultimate escape," we hope you'll find your way back to La Samanna.

Best,

Pascal Deyrolle
General Manager

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635 - 641 of 1,143 reviews

Reviewed 5 March 2012

My husband and I recently returned from La Samanna and we haven't stopped talking about it. We celebrated our 5 year anniversary and next to our honeymoon traveling the Amalfi Coast in Italy this was our second most favorite spot.

The highlight without a doubt was the view overlooking the beach from our room. The pictures do not lie and we both agreed that the views alone warrant the heavy price tag for your stay. The beach was quiet yet fun (thanks to the cheerful and friendly beach boys) and simply a piece of heaven on earth. The pools were wonderful as well making for a tough decision each day whether to take an ocan or pool plunge to cool off from the warm sunshine.

The staff could not have been nicer. They were eager to help and a pleasure. We stayed six nights and never had a challenging conversation.

The food was delicious. We tried a couple of island restaurants but found ourselves
longing for the comfort, convenience and tasty cuisine of the hotel restaurant. The breakfasts were no exception and again exceeded our expectations.

It goes without saying we will return and until then I have many beautiful sunsets to remember! Keep up the good work!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MAF828
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 12 March 2012

Dear MAF828,

Greetings from St. Martin! Thanks for taking a moment to share your experience at La Samanna. It gave me great pleasure to read about your visit, as it sounds like you and your husband truly enjoyed every aspect of our "piece of paradise." I have to agree with you about the views and beautiful sunsets. They are hard to beat and leave great memories for all of our guests. I also appreciate your kind words about the property, beach and staff.

Thanks again for your wonderful feedback. Our staff anxiously awaits your return visit to La Samanna.

Sincerely,

Pascal Deyrolle
General Manager

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Reviewed 5 March 2012

My husband and I visited La Samanna for 5 nights at the end of February. We absolutely loved it!! During our stay in St Martin, we visited 5 different beaches - La Samanna's beach is by far the best. It was the only beach that wasn't heavily populated with people and boats!

We enjoyed breakfast every morning with a FANTASTIC view. We would head out to the infinity pool or beach after breakfast and there were always plenty of loungers! Most days we had the pool to ourselves!! The pool and beach service was phenominal. They definitly made you feel like you were in a luxury resort. We only ate lunch at the resort once and it was great. We never had dinner at La Samanna so I can't comment on that.

There are plenty of great restaurants and casino's within a minutes drive. We ate at the restuarants
next to the Atlantis Casino as well as in Puerto Cupecoy. We also made the drive into Grande Case one night which was fabulous!

This island has so much to offer and the resort is top notch! I have stayed at several 5 star resorts and this place exceeded my expectations! I would most definitly recommend renting a car for your entire stay to enjoy everything this island has to offer!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank abbyjennifer
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 12 March 2012

Dear Abbyjennifer,

Thanks for visiting with us at La Samanna and sharing feedback about your time at the resort. I take great pleasure in reading about our guests' experiences, and I was certainly pleased to see that you enjoyed your time on the island. Thanks for the kind comments about the property, beach and service. I'm happy that you and husband took the opportunity to explore the rest of the island too, as there really are some great restaurants and sites to see.

We truly appreciate your business and look forward to welcoming you back to the resort "sooner than later!"

Best regards,

Pascal Deyrolle
General Manager

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Reviewed 29 February 2012

My wife and I visited for a recent get away. The hotel is lovely, staff is friendly, grounds are gorgeous, and setting is idyllic.

The principal weakness is culinary. Food is fine but less than great. One might expect that a french hotel boasting food flown in from France might have at least a few french cheeses at breakfast (only cream cheese, white and yellow cheddar), that the proximity to coffee growing regions would result in great coffee (not) or that a tropical breakfast buffet would include ripe mangoes (only hard, unripened ones available). Similarly, dinner at the restaurant, while quite expensive, was by general consensus not worth repeating.

Fortunately, the hotel is still a terrific escape from the world and worth a visit.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank oncdoc
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 6 March 2012

Dear Oncdoc,

Greetings from St. Martin. Thanks for visiting with us earlier this month. And thank for taking a moment to share a review of you time at the resort. I'm happy to read that you enjoyed your getaway and that we were able to provide you and your wife with a "terrific escape." Thanks for the kind comments about the the hotel, staff and the property grounds. I'm sorry that you found the culinary aspect to be a weakness, but appreciate your candid feedback. We're continually evaluating our food offering and the options we provide to guests staying with us. I will certainly take your feedback into account as we improve our program moving forward.

Thanks again for sharing your experience with us. We hope you and your wife will consider visiting with us again soon!

Sincerely,

Pascal Deyrolle
General Manager

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Reviewed 23 February 2012

My wife and I completed a 6 night stay at the Resort on February 4, 2012. Everything about the property is beautfiul to the eye. The beach is mesmerizing and sunset is a treasure. To me---the chance to meet and learn from David Johanssen, the Resort Tennis Pro was a privilege and a pleasure. David is the kind of knowledgeable, talented individual who always makes you remember why you love the game of tennis. Kudos David!! Anyone who experiences La Samanna is in for a delicious treat!......Jan and Michele

Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Jan K
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 5 March 2012

Dear Jan K,

Thanks for coming to visit us in early February. I also appreciate you taking time to share a review of your time at La Samanna. I'm thrilled to read that you enjoyed your stay, especially your time with David Johansson. David is an amazing pro, and we often receive similar positive reviews from guests who are able to spend time with him during their stay. I have made sure David had a chance to read your comments as well.

Thanks again for providing feedback on your visit to La Samanna. We hope to welcome you back to the resort again in the near future!

Warm regards,

Pascal Deyrolle
General Manager

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Reviewed 21 February 2012

About the price: yes, it's really expensive, so how to think about it? For me, I can appreciate a good bottle of wine for $12-15; would I ever buy an $85 bottle of wine? Probably not; I just wouldn't expect it to be 5+ times better than the $15 one. Same with airfare: first class seats cost 5x what coach does. Is it great to fly first class? Yes. Would I pay for it? Probably not, or it would have to be a darn good occasion. I didn't come to La Samanna expecting it to be 5 times better than other resorts where I've stayed, though it costs about 4-5 times as much; but I did expect it to be better. I knew the property was gorgeous from the reviews; and I also expected top of the line service. On this latter point, they did not deliver.

We only had a weekend, it was a very special occasion, and decided to try it because of the convenience (direct flights from US; 10 minutes from airport); and because it looked beautiful, and sounded like the kind of place where if you only had 2 days, you'd just want to stay there. And for the most part, it was.

Our room was absolutely beautiful, on the first floor, steps from the gorgeous water. The cove is stunning. It was perfect for spending the little time we had. A nice touch was they left a bottle of champagne in the room for us; though we saw that others checking in were getting a basket with a bottle of something else and fruit -- which we didn't get. But ok, fine, not a big deal.

A number of people have commented that at this price point, they expect perfection, and I'd have to agree. There were many hiccups:
1. When we arrived, tired and antsy to get to the beach, the person checking us in took his time giving us a tour of the premises until we finally said, "no thank you". He was distracted, phone ringing, talking to other staff in the middle of our conversation. It would have been nice to have a little "you're with us for 2 nights, welcome, what are your plans while here, can we do anything to make you more comfortable?" In general, the attitude of the staff seemed kind of short -- maybe a cultural difference? We asked if we could have a late checkout when leaving for example, and were told in a somewhat brusque way: you'll have to request it the morning you're leaving. Ok, that's fine; but could you have been a little nicer about it? how about "oh, I see you only have 2 days with us. We're glad you're here and understand that every moment counts. We'll do what we can. Please check back with us morning when you're leaving, but I'll make a note of your request here.." Something like that. Same message, but presented so differently, would have left us feeling so much more welcomed.
2. The room is small, but fine, very nice, and the beach is gorgeous. The shower in the bathroom is completely open -- no curtain or glass b/w it and the room; and we needed to use 2 towels to mop up the water that ran off toward the middle of the bathroom. Also, the screen door to the outside didn't shut tightly, so we were apprehensive about leaving the main door open at night for fear of bugs getting in.
3. The toiletries were nice, though we had to ask cleaning crew to replenish them; and cleaning was very irregular. On both mornings we were there we said hello to the cleaning ladies standing outside the door as we left for breakfast, expecting them to clean up while we were gone. No. Both days we got back, and they hadn't done it and started doing it after we got back. When I made a comment about needing to change, the woman said, "just go in the bathroom," rather than leaving to let us get ready for the beach. Similarly, both nights, we told them what time we were going to dinner; and they didn't come till after we got back, after 9 p.m. to turn down the beds. The second cleaning is much needed because even though we tried not to, we got sand into the room, and it needed to be swept. Second night a supervisor came to knock at the door after 9 o'clock asking if they'd been there. They hadn't. Wasn't till 9:30 till a woman came. In general, we couldn't understand why with the number of staff visible throughout the grounds, they could not have been more attentive.
4. dinner at the hotel restaurant was pricey and "meh". We asked several questions about the menu of the waitress, and her only response was "it's good" without any explanation of the dishes offered. Our second night we went to Le Moulin Fou, and it was fantastic, at about 2/3 of the price; the waiter steered us to excellent specials. Also, our second night was a Sunday, and the concierge informed us that most restaurant on the French side would be closed. So, see above, would have been nice as we were checking in if someone said, "oh, I see you're here for 2 nights; I recommend if you want to eat on the French side you go tonight b/they are closed Sundays..."
5. Breakfast was good, but service was slow -- I was on my second plate of food before coffee came, and only after a request -- no one came up and greeted us at the table. They were busy, but still...
6. Our bill included a charge for a lunch that we did not have, on the day we checked in, and we didn't arrive till 5 p.m. We were offered no apologies when we phoned to ask about it, just a "we'll check into this," as if there was a possibility that we were making this up????? At checkout the charge was still there, "oh, it's a computer error" we were told; no apology offered.
7. there was much confusion when they made the reservation for Moulin Fou and called us a cab. AT the agreed upon time a taxi came, we got in, the driver said he didn't know where the restaurant was (????). We pulled up to the main lobby, he asked a staff member, who told him there are 2 Moulin Fou restaurants (???), so we asked that he checked with the concierge who made the arrrangements. Finally concierge came out, told us we got into the wrong cab, insisted that we get out and wait for "ours". We waited for another 15 minutes for the "right" cab to arrive. This was all very strange (why couldn't we have taken the cab that we were already in?), and again, no apologies.

In general, and here is where I think I agree with the "at this price point comments" -- it was a good stay; a gorgeous property. I'm glad we came. But I really wanted to love it; wanted to create the kind of memory where we felt so welcome and special that next special occasion we'd want to come back. But that's not the feeling we're left with. I would expect and have had these little hiccups happen at many other hotels, but not when paying $945 per night.

So to me the question is: can I find a property that's equally gorgeous for less money? My guess is yes; Would I come back here? If I had only a couple of days, and wanted something easy and convenient -- maybe. Did I expect it to be 5 times better than the other hotels where I've stayed in the Caribbean? I don't think so, that would have been unfair; but I did expect an experience a notch above in service, and that didn't happen here.

Visited February 2012

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Frugaltrips
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 5 March 2012

Dear Frugaltrips,

Thanks for choosing to stay with us at La Samanna. I wanted to write a brief note of thanks for the feedback on your experience. While it's not always easy to read reviews from guests, I look at each in one its entirety so that I can learn firsthand from the way guests are experiencing the resort.

I appreciate the nice comments about the property and our rooms, however, I want to sincerely apologize that we weren't able to deliver the "memorable experience" that you were looking for. No matter what price our guests are paying to stay with us, we set out to deliver the best possible vacation experience and in the case of your visit it looks as though we failed to meet that goal. As a guest, you shouldn't have to settle for anything less than a 5-star experience.

I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you directly to discuss the issues you've detailed and personally apologize. If you would be open to talking about your experience further please contact me via email at your earliest convenience with your contact information and I will contact you.

Sincerely,

Pascal Deyrolle
General Manager
pdeyrolle@lasamanna.com

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Reviewed 21 February 2012

this truely is a 5 star resort . the newly refurbished rooms are big and comfortable. we had a one bedroom with plunge pool (jacuzzi) . the staff were polite and helpful, the room was clean and the views amazing.we had a fabulous time here. the breakfast has something for everyone, a varied menu for lunch on the beach and dinner was excellent in the main dining room over looking the beach. we had a couples massage and that was excellent and well done. the only bad thing? we had a 4 min passing rain shower!!. i will definately be going back.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank britandproudNyc
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 27 February 2012

Dear BritandproudNyc,

Just a quick note to thank you for choosing to stay with us at La Samanna. I also appreciate you taking time to share a review of your experience. Feedback from our guests is invaluable and we carefully read all reviews to see where might have opportunities to make improvements. I'm happy to read that you enjoyed our newly renovated guest rooms. I'm glad you enjoyed your meals and visit to the spa.

Thanks again for sharing feedback. Let us know the next time you're planning to visit, and we'll see what we can do about the "passing rain shower."

Sincerely,

Pascal Deyrolle
General Manager

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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:
Region: Caribbean > St Martin / St Maarten > Saint-Martin > Terres Basses
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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: £468 - £1,263 (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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