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“French labor laws”
Review of Belmond La Samanna

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Belmond La Samanna
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Terres Basses
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 May 2013

La Samanna is the only luxury property in the run down french side of St. Martin, the island has been on a steady decline for some time now. It still packs some interesting surprises like some gourmet boutique shops and very good restaurants - all tended by continental french citizens. But the rest of the island is pretty much tended by locals, and like all islanders they are very easy going and SLOW. In a way la Samanna summarizes this in the fact that yes it is a beautiful property - like in a dream - but the dream halts once you encounter the poor service of its staff, the are slow to check you in, to carry your bags, to serve you a drink, to clear a table for breakfast they are just SLOW. Nothing wrong with the food, room, .... As I have said in previous reviews, begin in the hotel business, I think they are simply suffering from having some strict labor laws and not being able either to hire more staff or to let go the ones who are not really into serving the guests, of course there are some exceptions, the maids are very friendly. In conclusion la Samanna is a monopoly on the island, if you put your mind into the architecture, the view and just let go you can have a good time and find the island's hidden treasures.

Room Tip: Avoid the "standard balcony rooms" specially the ones in the main building, there is no el...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank MrEZTraveler
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 30 May 2013

Dear MrEZTraveler,

Thank you very much for taking the time to review us on tripadvisor. I am very happy that you were able to experience our property and that you have highlighted it as the only luxury resort on the island. I appreciate your concerns in regards to the labor laws in St. Martin, but we are so very happy to have staff members that have been dedicated to La Samanna for so many years, investing their time and sharing their knowledge about this amazing property and the history that comes with it. I am glad that you were able to enjoy all the finer things at La Samanna like our amazing beach and unique architectural style, we do wish that you decide to return to La Samanna again in the future, as we are always doing little changes and renovations to keep our property modern and updated.

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518 - 524 of 1,146 reviews

Reviewed 22 May 2013

If you are looking to get away from it all, La Samanna is the place for you. You could visit St. Maarten and never leave La Samanna if you are so inclined.

Upon arrival the staff was friendly and welcoming. Our accommodations were perfect. There were 7 family members and we all had our own place right on the beach. One accommodation was a 2 bedroom, and the other 2 were one bedrooms. We had our own balconies and the 2 bedroom had a courtyard and picnic table. At the time we went they were offering a breakfast package. It was amazing. Everything was so fresh and so many choices. We didn't think to bring our voltage converter but the hotel supplied us one for personal electronic devices.
The first night we stayed on the property and ate at one of the 2 seatings at their restaurant, Trellis (be sure to make reservations). We were looking for something casual and Trellis was suggested. Unfortunately, they did not have a highchair for my grandson (age 2) but they worked something out with the chair provided. Dinner was very good and also very expensive. Prices on St. Maarten are high in general since almost everything has to be imported.

The beach is just beautiful and the staff is more than happy to set up beach chairs for you. After the first day we found our chairs set up with towels for all of us every day. They bring you a cold pack with a few bottled waters and a beach menu for snacks and/or lunch.
A very nice touch is while we were on the beach they brought us a tasting of fruit in the late a.m. and a sweet treat later in the day.

There are 2 pools. One larger pool by the breakfast area and a smaller one by the beach bar. We went to the beach bar quite a bit as it was perfect for my grandson. We also had lunch at the beach bar. Again, everything delicious and fresh. Even fresh lobster. The last night we indulged in a private beach BBQ. Absolutely wonderful! The beach set up, the food the service, the best. They will work with you to put together a menu that is just right for you.

If you have time, I strongly suggest getting a massage. So relaxing and very professional.

This place is not for everyone. If you need to ask how much something is, you might be shocked at times. However, if you can do it, go! We did explore the island but next time I plan to just put my feet up and enjoy La Samanna.

Room Tip: We stayed in J 10, J11 and K 11. We found them to be in a very good location. Not far from the be...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Denise0955
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 30 May 2013

Dear Denise0955,

I wanted to thank you so much for your review, it was such a pleasure to have your whole family here for vacation. I am so happy to hear that you were able to indulge in so many of the finer things La Samanna has to offer, enjoying a Private Beach BBQ and our lovely Spa as well. I will make sure to share this review with my staff members as I am sure they will be happy to hear such great feedback from your family. We do sincerely hope you decide to come back and visit us again and if so, please do not hesitate to contact me directly so I can make sure you get similar rooms and locations as this past trip. Thank you again.

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Reviewed 20 May 2013

We just got back from a 6 day stay at La Samanna and we could not have had a better time…actually, we could have…if it was a 7 day stay! We had a terrible trip down to St. Martin, almost missing our flight (New York mass transit) and leaving my Kindle on the plane. Thank goodness for La Samanna.

Immediately I knew we booked the right hotel. The check in was easy and friendly. We were lucky enough to get upgraded to a 1 bedroom suite with plunge pool. While we were appreciative of this upgrade, we were skeptical as some other places we’ve been to (Phuket, Dominican Republic) have a less than spectacular plunge pool. The ones we’ve seen have been old and not well maintained. Boy were we surprised when we got to the room! The plunge pool was more like a hot tub and had breathtaking views of the water. The perfect place to enjoy an evening cocktail to watch the sunset.

The free breakfast was great and included eggs, oatmeal, sausage and bacon. This was another pleasant surprise as we expected only a continental breakfast. The baked goods were excellent and the fruit was fresh.

The service at the hotel was also spectacular. The staff was so friendly and eager to help. I received a personal greeting every morning on the way to breakfast! The concierge staff was very knowledgeable and helpful. Some of the reviews we had read after we booked had us worried. Trust us, no need to worry. This is 5 star service at its best. We felt like welcomed guests wherever we went, the lobby, concierge, the beach bar, etc.

As part of reservation, we had the wine and cheese tasting. That was fabulous! This is not just a sip of wine and a nibble of cheese; this is a full pour! Must have had 5-6 glasses each! The sommelier was fun and knowledgeable. Met a great couple at this event and it was one of favorite activities on our trip.

Now for the beach and the pool, this really is the nicest stretch of beach on the island. We rented a car and drove to the other beaches and each has its merit (Orient Beach, Friars Bay Beach, Anse Marcel, Maho Beach), but for my money the beach at La Samanna was the one I wanted to be at the most. It was private without being secluded, quiet without being lonely. Granted, we went a bit off season so I cannot comment how crowded it gets during busy season.

The only gripe I have about La Samanna is the restaurant. Service and food were both ok. Barely passable. This hotel, being fairly far from Grand Case and most other restaurant areas of the island have a bit of a monopoly on the food scene. Hopefully this does not make them complacent and they address this. If possible, rent a car a go to Ti Bouchon!

Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend La Samanna and hope to be back soon! FYI, the website does not do the property justice (they should update the website, BTW).

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ML016
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 30 May 2013

Dear ML016,

Thank you very much for your wonderful review of La Samanna. I am so glad that you chose to come and visit our little piece of paradise and that you had such an amazing 6 days with us. Positive reviews like yours are always such a delight to read and share with all my staff. I am glad you found our Beach to be the best out of many on the island, as we have also just been named in the top 100 beaches worldwide! I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed our breakfast buffet, as well as our amazing plunge pool suites so much and we will be waiting for your return in the near future!

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Reviewed 15 May 2013

This hotel was recommended by our travel agent. We asked for a small, quiet, luxurious Caribbean hotel on the beach. It satisfied on all accounts. The accommodations are lovely, the food is excellent (although the service is annoyingly slow), the staff is most helpful, especially the guest relation manager. The property could use a bit of freshening up. But this also applies to the whole island. My husband and I were disappointed; the island is not lush and tropical. And the effects of a major hurricane in 1995 are still in evidence everywhere. But the people are nice everywhere, and the food is AMAZING.

Room Tip: We had the last room on the property on the second floor (room A11). A nice walk to breakfast and t...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank craigeck
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 30 May 2013

Dear craigeck,

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay at La Samanna. It makes me very happy to hear that both the resort and the food was to your liking. I am sorry to hear that you felt the service was slow, we are working on making sure that this issue is rectified. The island had experienced a drought in the beginning of May, fortunately we have had some good rain lately and the lushness of the island - and at La Samanna has returned! We hope to see you back on the property soon.

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Reviewed 11 May 2013

La Samanna is the resort for anyone interested in an elegant and satisfying beach vacation. Our room had a patio on the beach, and the whole resort has fantastic views. The breakfast buffet is an excellent start to the day, and the spa can provide an excellent massage. From check-in to check-out the service is excellent and friendly. For beach, pool, spa, tennis, fitness center, food, drink and relaxation, this is the place to be.

Room Tip: Deluxe Oceanfront is small but well appointed. You step out to a patio and beach. If you desire mo...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Joe_D22G
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 13 May 2013

Dear Joe_D22G,

I am so happy to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed your time here at La Samanna From our vast selection in our breakfast buffet to a relaxing massage in our own Spa, it sounds like you were able to experience many of the amazing amenities our hotel has to offer. I do hope that you return again in the near future.

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Reviewed 8 May 2013 via mobile

My husband & I spent 2 nights on our way to Anguilla. I was there many years ago & remembered the resort fondly. It still has a good feel as a small intimate resort and we were happy we started the trip here.

Check in was easy although not that friendly or thorough. We were tired & hot from trip but no offer of a cool drink however there was a nice tray of fresh fruit in room We were upgraded to a 1 bedroom suite in main building & although not updated it had a beautiful wrap around deck with sunset views. If we were paying for a suite I would have preferred one of the more private locations with updates but no complaints given upgrade. Bed was great ac worked like a charm linens towels good. Living room furniture uncomfortable but the updated rooms are much improved.

Property is just as beautiful as I remembered well maintained lovely grounds. Beach is terrific lounges cozy. Pools are beautiful. We ate at the resort both nights as we knew we would be trying many restaurants in Anguilla & didn't feel like fussing here. This is one drawback to the resort as dinner is limited but location of restaurant can't be beat & food was very good. Breakfasts were terrific with vast selection & wonderful fresh food. Pool bar restaurant also quite good for lunch. Everything very pricey although breakfast was included in our rate which helped.

Workout area was well equipped & maintained. We didn't use the spa but it looked very nice. Service at the resort overall was good and efficient if a bit cool at times.

We would return if passing through the island again - I actually preferred La Samanna to our resort in Anguilla!

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank tinasas
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 13 May 2013

Dear tinasas,

Thank you so much for taking the time to review us on tripadvisor, as I greatly value all reviews of the property. Like yourselves, we have so many guests that come back to visit La Samanna after so many years, being able to experience our recent renovations and see all the changes that we have made over the years. I am delighted to hear that you were able to stay at the resort and experience most of the amenities we do have to offer and very happy that you enjoyed all your meals while dining with us. In regards to selection for the main dining room you will be happy to hear our Executive Chef is going to be introducing a new menu with a wider selection of choices. I sincerely hope that you do return again and if so do not hesitate to contact me so I can ensure that you are reserved in one of our renovated suites. Thank you again.

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Reviewed 28 April 2013

We stayed at La Samanna for two nights before staying at a hotel in Grand Case. I have never seen such a beautiful place. The rooms are all ocean-front with private balconies. The beach bar service is fantastic. The Trellis restaurant is quite good, and you simply will not experience better views anywhere! There is a fairly long beach (1.5 miles) for walks, the surf is calm and welcoming even if you are not a great swimmer (I am not), and there are many complementary water sport activities. All of the hotel employees were kind and hospitable. It was a spectacular stay. It is an expensive place, but well worth the price for this level of service in an absolutely stunning setting. We arrived at 1pm and our room was ready - a huge plus.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank AMK223
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 May 2013

Dear AMK223

I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your short time here at La Samanna so much! It is wonderful to read that you were able to experience so many of the amazing facilities our hotel has to offer and that you enjoyed all aspects of your stay. Your feedback in regards to service and our employees will definitely bring smiles to their faces, they always enjoy when I share such great feedback with the team! I do hope your continued vacation was enjoyable as your time here at La Samanna and we are happy to welcome you back anytime.

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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: £480 - £1,244 (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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