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“4 stars not 5”
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 December 2013

ALthough the property is beautiful and the beach is probably the best on the island, the service seriously compromises a 5 star rating. We were on our honeymoon and have been to the island twice before this and were excited to stay at La Samanna. The suite was nice, there were plenty of towels and the room itself was very nice. However, the restaurant staff is confused and very slow. We know all about "island time" and expect that when we travel to St Martin but this was ridiculous on our last night. We dined at Trellis and it was a mess from start to finish. There wasnt enough staff present to seat and serve guests, servers didnt know the specials, we had to request our appetizer 3 times before we got it, we had to pour our own wine and water and request additional bread. We are all about taking our time and enjoying the meal- we frequently dine in Grand Case but this was terrible.I actually had to get up from my table twice and get someone to assist us in our order. It was a very disappointing last night. Not to mention our air conditioner broke and wasnt fixed for a day and a half! We had to talk to a manager to get any sort of compensation as the front desk didnt consider us a priority. It was eventually resolved but not before much frustration. Sadly, this is a 4 star resort with 5 star prices. Until they train their staff better, we will not return- unless they drastically reduce their prices.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Andy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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458 - 464 of 1,144 reviews

Reviewed 6 December 2013

The hotel is absolutely beautiful, as is the beach. The room was spacious, and being able to walk out onto the beach was lovely. The food was not great, and was overpriced, as were the drinks. One pina colada cost $18. The breakfast buffet is delicious though, if you don't mind kittens walking around your legs while you eat. While some of the staff delivered excellent service, some were very cold and unwilling to help. The watersports were great, and I recommend checking them out! We also did a private yoga lesson in front of the beach which was one of the highlights of the trip. The location is private, which eliminates "riff-raff", but there isn't a market nearby so you are relying on the food on the resort. Overall, we would come back again for the amazing beach and the romantic rooms. It would be a great honeymoon location.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Darcie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2013

Overall, La Samanna is a beautiful property. On a pristine beach, landscaped grounds, great rooms. However, it is definitely not on a beach for young children. At checkin, the woman crooned about how perfect and calm the beach is for our 5 year old. When we got to the beach, the undertow was so strong, he got sucked in and had to be hauled out by us. We only spent one short afternoon at the La Samanna beach as there was a big drop a few steps into the water and it really wasn't safe for beginning swimmers.

The large pool under the breakfast area is very nice and we did enjoy several afternoons there. The drink service was attentive. The one lunch we got included delicious pizza, however the mahi mahi with sauteed vegetables proved to be a dry, overcooked piece of fish with some steamed veggies. Not sure how they came from the same kitchen, especially when dinner at Trellis was lovely. The breakfast buffet was pretty complete, and always had lots of delicious fruits.

Our oceanfront suite was a great place to return home to. The air conditioning worked fine, we had both kinds of power outlets, but as other reviewers have stated, evening turn down service will require a call from you to have it done, and it will take a few nights for them to get it right. There were always plenty of towels and a beautiful sunset to watch.

Staff was friendly, but do not expect Four Seasons type service for your family here. No cold towel or cool drink at checkin, and the only recognition my child got was an ornament at departure. There are no crayons at mealtime, no game room, really nothing to keep a child entertained at this property other than the pool.

Bottom line: great for honeymooners and couples, look elsewhere if you have young children. And be sure to rent a car to go to Pinel Island. $20 round trip ferry ride for 3 and it gave us a day in ultra calm water, followed by a delicious lobster lunch.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank kishmish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2013

My husband and I travel a lot. We had a few days in November to escape for a non working holiday. EVERYONE and EVERYTHING was absolutely spectacular!! It is one of the most beautiful places we have ever seen. I had the best meal of my life to boot. Grilled Carribean lobster with a magical creole sauce made by Eric who was terrific. It was SO good we never left the resort. Corinne greeted us every night with a fabulous smile and knew what drinks to order right away. She also led us to our favourite table with an unbelievable view. The sweet french gal who cleaned our room every day was super sweet. Every little detail down to the shower gel was top notch all the way. The people who we met were terrific. Some of which had been coming down for 30 years. We know why:) Positive you will find us there in a few decades too and every year in between.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank julia s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2013

Had a good stay here this past weekend. The common areas are newly remodeled and it seems that the rooms have received some new furniture. Some overall thoughts:

SERVICE:
Some of the staff was very warm. Both female front desk managers were great. Unfortunately the males at the front desk were not that friendly and seemed troubled to look up from whatever they were doing to help you. The housekeepers and room service people we dealt with were all eager to please and very helpful. Concierge was very knowledgeable but not overly warm. Bartenders were super nice.

CHECK-IN:
This was one of the areas I was most frustrated with. Booking my stay through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts, the hotel generally will upgrade you one room category from what you booked. In this case, I was told upon arrival that I'd been upgraded from a standard ocean view room to a one-bedroom suite. Pleasant surprise. I'd requested twin beds but was assured this would not be an issue, since most of the mattresses can be converted easily. After completing the check-in process I was told my room was not ready yet and it'd be a few minutes, at which point they'd give us a tour of the property and take us to our suite. They gave us a complimentary welcome drink while waited... and waited... and waited.

Two hours went by until we were finally told our room was ready. The front desk guy took us up three sets of stairs (no elevator at La Samanna) to our room. No tour of the property as promised. Upon entering it was clear that this was not a suite. It was a standard ocean view room. The front desk guy tried to lie to me and say this was a suite when it was clearly not a suite whatsoever. While I understand that they don't guarantee an upgrade, it was frustrating that I was told our big delay was while they readied a suite with two twin beds. Seemed like they tried to pull a fast one by hoping I wouldn't notice that my "complimentary upgrade" had been revoked. We gladly would have taken one king bed in a nicer suite.

To be fair, they bought us dinner for our delay ($155). A very nice gesture. It just seemed shady that they were hoping I wouldn't notice I'd somehow lost my promised upgrade.

COMMON AREAS:
Very clean. Stunning views. The beach was beautiful. A bit frustrating I was told I couldn't sit in a certain lounge chair on the beach "in case somebody bought a cabana."

LOCATION:
Very removed but it's like you're in paradise. If you plan on wanting to explore St. Martin/St. Maarten I'd suggest renting a car. If you think your vacation will be more staying on property and relaxing, then a car is probably not necessary. Also nice that it's right in the middle of the French and Dutch sides.

ROOMS:
Our room was nice (though just a standard hotel). The furniture was all very new and the beds comfortable. Unfortunately the bathroom felt very, very dated. Old tiles and a toilet that leaked everywhere. The shower was pretty bad too.

FOOD:
Room service food was pretty good. Nothing to complain about. Didn't try any of the on-property restaurants.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank JustinBrandonLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2013

This was our first trip to Saint Martin and all of our expectations were blown away by La Samanna. It's an incredible resort and the location and views are completely amazing.

We stayed 4 nights at a 1 bedroom villa along the beach. We had planned to explore the island but ended up staying the entire time at La Samanna. We ate every evening at the restaurant which is outside and looks over the bay. Our days were spent at the beach bar and along the ocean where the amazing staff takes care of every need.

Excellent food. We had the risotto and steak multiple times. Excellent drinks. The rum punch is fantastic. The gym and spa are top notch. We had a deep tissue massage that was incredible. The staff is incredibly kind and attentive. Diane and Isabel at the front desk were outstanding.

Our room was luxurious and spotless and seemed brand new. Beautiful marble bath and shower.

The most amazing part of La Samanna is the location, the beach and the views. Pictures do not do it justice. You must experience it for yourself.

Overall, a 5 star experience and one of the best vacations we've ever had. There was nothing negative regarding our stay.

Room Tip: Ask for a one bedroom along the beach.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Nathan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2013 via mobile

Our room was amazing. Balcony facing the ocean big room with family room. No elevator but I did the mind. The rooms were old fashioned in an elegant way. The breakfast was very good sitting in the restaurant facilities get the beach or the restaurant balcony was very romantic. Service was impeccable. My wife and I got a couples massage, a must do. Highly recommended. The activities were fun too but we ventured off the resort for other attractions too. Taxi was very expensive.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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1  Thank Travelerdarren
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 11 December 2013

Dear travelerDarren.

Thank you for your feedback and I am very happy to read about your great stay. As I read you review I see that you were staying in the main building, which wasn’t part of the latest renovation that took place one and a half year ago in the beachside rooms. As you mention the old fashion elegant style, I can tell you that some of our long time repeat guest only wants to stay in the main building and they would be upset if we touched the design of the rooms. I will also share your comments with the SPA. Thanks again for the review and I hope we will have you back soon at beautiful La Samanna.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 - £1,235 (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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