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Reviewed 11 August 2011

arrived at this hotel midweek during the "off season"..the pickup from the airport was extremely efficient..the check in process was a little strange as well as the orientation...the room was very nice..kinda a pseudo suite..a little kitchenette, living room and a bedroom separated from the living room with french doors..with a jacuzzi (not a pool, as advertised in the website) on the roof top of the suite..(completely private)...there was a disconnect of enthusiasm with the female liason who gave us our "orientation"...the place seemed deserted at this time of year and i like to be around people on vacation - not isolated from the general public ....a rental car is absolutely necessary as there is no action on the resort and you must go into town to find fun...checked in late afternoon....we were very hungry and just wanted some great french cheese and wine at the little bar/cafe that was poolside/oceanside to carry us over til dinner...the waitress was lackadaisical at best and said we could order room service to get food? who wants to eat in their room when you have just arrived to a gorgeous island? there was no food at that time as it was in between lunch and dinner..totally unacceptable for such an upscale place...her communication was very odd at best but we finally figured out by circumventing the "lost in translation" problem how to get some food....dinner was an even more surreal experience...we decided at that point -- no more eating at the resort!!!...the breakfasts i ordered were simple and yummy--the french can nail some butter and cream...i had baguetttes and butter and great french coffee with cream...the pools and beaches were deserted and frankly -- boring...i had a tennis lesson with the pro and he did not cater to my western style of tennis which was completely counter productive for me ..he tried to teach me a new style of tennis in an hour which wasnt going to happen...maybe during high tourist season this resort is bangin, but during off it was a big yawn!....scooting around the island in the little subaru was kinda fun considering im used to driving a huge camaro on big highways in the US

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank etltr
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 17 August 2011

Dear Etltr,

Thanks for choosing to stay at La Samanna on your visit to St. Maarten in May. I also appreciate you taking the time to write a review. Guest feedback is extremely important for us to evaluate the experience we're creating for resort guests.

I'm pleased to see that you enjoyed your accommodations and breakfasts, but very sorry that your time with our tennis pro didn't meet your expectations. You'll find that even in the high season, the resort still provides the quiet, relaxing getaway that draw most guests to the resort. Guests enjoy the seclusion, private beach and easy access to our amenities and dining outlets. For guests looking to explore the island and culture of St. Maarten, we're just a short taxi ride to Marigot and many of the island's best attractions and activities.

Thanks again for sharing feedback on your visit.

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 10 August 2011

We spent 2 weeks at La Samanna..and it has been a great holiday. Wy we didn't award 5 stars at the stay? Just because, due to the season, on the beach there was a big big sand " dune" that made difficult to enter into the water..
That's was not a fault of the hotel manager ( that did whatever possible to help us: THANK YOU LUCA !) but honestly, if you are not very athletic, it can be a problem..
The hotel is , in my opinion, on the best island's beach and the water is really really calm, warm and turqoise.Due to the low season we had an upgrade of the room and having booked for a standard room we got an upgrade to a very nice suite fronting the infinitive pool and beach bar.
If you are not very " strict" on your budget , my suggestion is : OFFER YOURSELVES ONE OR MORE DAY AT THE BEACH CABANA ! The beach cabana is on the beach, just close to watersport and can be rent daily at usd 325. In the price a bottle of champagne is included. It is really really special because inside the cabana you can have your meal that the SUPER BEACH BOYS ( Boy; Sasha, Fred and mario) bring at your request . To all of our thanks for their hospitality !
The food at Reserve restaurant was great ,even if there was not a very big choice. 3 days a week the restaurant closed ( i think only in low season) and you can have dinner at " comme chez soi". As the name, much simpler food like at home. ( to me..a little boaring).
Dear traveller- friends, the service you will have in this hotel is really perfect from concierge to room service and is totally in line with other top caribbean hotels such as Eden Rock in St Barth and Sandy Lane in Barbados..
ON THE ISLAND : There are good restaurant on the island but sometimes the tipical French restaurants are pretentious ( La Cigale..for example) . If you like french food , nuch better the simple french brasseries in Marigot ( cafe de paris and belle epoque)
A great place is the restaurant RARE. please do not be mislead: it is not a steackhouse: it is much much more in a trendy and nice contest.
From the hotel you can have dinner in nice places with a 15 minutes taxi rides in the Dutch and French part of the island at 10/20 Usd cost.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank giovibag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2011

We choose to celebrate our 25th anniversary at La Samanna and what a wonderful choice we made. After saving for a very long time we could have gone anywhere in the world. But we decided on St. Martin because of the sentiment. St. Martin was the first destination my husband and I went on vacation together.

From the moment we landed and walked off the plane, La Samanna staff were there to make sure we were well taken care of. We were greeted at baggage and wisked away by boat thru Simpson Bay to the resort of Porto Cupecoy. While on board we were offered beer and other refreshments and given a tour of the bay. Once we arrived at Porto Cupecoy we were greeted by another staff member who drove us the rest of the way (less than 5 minutes) to La Samanna.

We walked into the lovely decorated lobby and were seated at a desk by the checkin agent to finalize our reservation. Very nice - don't you hate waiting on line to check in at a counter. While we were taking care of business, staff brought us cold towels to cool off and rum punch. Upon completeing the paperwork, we were given a tour of the resort and escorted to our room where our luggage was waiting for us. Would you believe their service was so on the ball that the last time we remembered picking up our luggage was when we checked in at JFK.

Our room was number 103. One flight up over the lobby/main building. It was a lovely room. Lots of space and closets with real hangers, robes and slippers. The bottle of La Samanna rum waiting for us on the desk was a very nice touch. We had a view of the entire beach and the sunsets from the terrace were incredible. After unpacking we decided to take a walk around the resort. The grounds are really beautiful. All the staff we met greeted us with smiles and hellos. We stopped at the beach bar and enjoyed cocktails before dinner.

We had dinner in the restaurant a couple of nights and the food was delicious and the service superb. We really looked forward to breakfast every morning. It was a lovely buffet with an egg/omelet station. Everything was fresh and staff were constantly checking and adding to it.

I don't understand why others have commented that the restaurant at La Samanna was expensive. We ate at several restaurants on both the french and dutch side during our stay. And all of them were comparibly priced. Everything is expensive in St. Martin/St. Maarten. LOL

We reserved a cabanna one day and the water sports staff were wonderful. They made sure we had everything we needed from water to food to sundries. They are great guys and very attentive. La Samanna has some of the best snorkling on the island. We know because it really was incrediable. We save a sea turtle and many fish. So many of the snorkling companies bring their tours to La Samanna's waters. Don't worry they are not intrusive.

On other days we went to the beach and pool and were greeted by staff that showed us to chairs and brought towels and bottled water and fruit snacks. We never had to ask for anything.

La Samanna offers 2 types of private dinners on the beach. If you can, do at least one. We did both. They were both very memorable.

The first was the private beach dinner - you pick from the restaurant menu. We planned our dinner to coinside with sunset. Our private waiter was wonderful. We arrived a little early and had a cocktail at the beach bar as we watched him set up our enchanted evening. He was so meticulous in setting up the scene, making sure everything was just right. Candles and torches and globe lights surrounded our table which was positioned just right for the sunset. It was a night to remember.

The second dinner was the Caligula dinner - seafood - chefs choice. What a surprise to find that instead of a table, a hugh round bed of giant pillows was set up for us. We lounged in our bed sipping on champagne. When the waiter came out with a hugh platter of seafood and a hugh platter of desserts. He placed both on a table which was hidden at the foot of the bed. From Langostines to sushi to macaroons, cakes, fruit and cookies, we could not have imagined the variety on those platters and that this was for 2 people. It was all so delicious and fun trying to figure out the best positions to eat. It was sexy, fun and really an experience.

Most of all, we really appreciated how on our anniversary day, La Samanna had left a beautiful chocolate mouse cake decorated for us in our room. It read Happy 25th Anniversary and a card from the staff was there too. It was a lovely touch to be remembered on our special day.

The concierge staff were terrific. I had many questions before we arrived and used email to contact them. They were quick to repond and set up our rental car, dinners and cabanna. And when we arrived they remembered our correspondence and introduced themselves to us.

Most importantly, La Samanna really kept it's promise. This is a resort for relaxation and quiet peace. This is really an adults resort. It's not really for children. There are no playgrounds or entertainment. And if you want to party hard you should book somewhere else or plan to travel to town. The ambience and service were better than we imagined a 5 star resort would be.

I would only make a suggestion knowing that the staff read these reviews. As La Samanna is making some upgrades, it would be great if you would consider adding a ceiling fan or some sort of fan to the terraces. During the heat of the day it can get quite hot and stuffy on the terrace. A fan would certainly help the guests enjoy the terrace and the wonderful views.

We hope to return next year.

Room Tip: All the rooms are terrific. Book what you can afford.
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank coopieclan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2011

I am not one to raise an issue for anything except for safety, and in this case, after reading the current reviews and answers by management, I feel I need to. It has taken me almost two years to tell this tale, and the only reason I do is for the comfort and worry of my fellow traveler. This hotel had, as a travel photographer said, "one of the prettiest views in the world." I would like to say that our stay was fantastic. We never wanted for anything, and everyone at the time was happy to help in any way possible. The food was very good, not gourmet, but adequate and tasty for the most part. Our room was part of an ocean villa with one bedroom and a view of the sea (we were on a cliff). You could get up in the morning and gaze at a heavenly living piece of art. Our room was faithfully cleaned every day with attention to detail. However, on the last evening there, I attended a business function of my husband's and fell into disaster. In bringing supplies to the beach, one of the jeeps must have overturned some of the sand and exposed the tips of some of the boulders which underlay the beach's foundation. I could not see these, and while running up the beach to get to my room, hit a boulder straight on with my foot. Bleeding pretty badly, and thinking I had torn only my toenail, I continued bravely on leaving a bloody path on the way. A maid seeing my foot (at this point I was pretty woozy) helped me wrap it and got my husband for me. The toenail ended up to be a compound fracture of my foot. I would suggest that extra lighting be a consideration of the renovations, particularly on the access from beach to pool and hotel areas. I have to tell you, that despite all of this, this is the one place of hundreds we visited that my husband and I would return. I was so impressed by the sheer beauty of this place and by the kindness of the staff. I might always walk with a limp, but honestly, given a choice as to how I got it, I would always choose here! Besides, it is a little comforting to know that as La Samanna left its deep impression on me, I did leave a little of myself behind too!

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled on business
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3  Thank icestatue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pdeyrolle, General Manager at Belmond La Samanna, responded to this reviewResponded 4 August 2011

Dear icestatue,

Thank you for taking the time to share this review. I'm very sorry to learn of the injury you suffered while visiting La Samanna, but happy to hear that you've recovered and are in a place where you're comfortable to talk about the experience. In light of what happened, I'm happy to read your wonderful comments about our property, rooms and most especially, the staff at the resort. I will certainly share your review with the rest of the staff at the resort, so they can appreciate the impression they left with you and your husband.

Please do keep me updated if you're ever planning to return to La Samanna. I'd love the opportunity to meet you and your husband.

Warm regards,

Pascal Deyrolle
General Manager

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Reviewed 29 July 2011

A group of six of us booked a private wine and rum tasting in the Wine Cellar. Richard, our sommelier and host, was wonderful. The atmosphere was fantastic, the wines interesting and a good mix and the two rums we ended the tasting with opened my eyes to a type of drink I had not before given much thought (other than to use with mixers). The wine tasting lasts about an hour and a half and includes a great cheese tasting, pairing each wine or rum with a cheese that nicely complimented the drink. I would recommend this tasting to anyone who enjoys wine -- whether you consider yourself knowledgeable of wines or not. The group I was with did not actually stay at La Samanna, as we were renting a villa nearby. The wine cellar (wine cave) itself is a sight to see -- holding (as I recall from Richard) more than 12,000 different wines and valued at approximately $25 million. This stop not only included a great activity -- the tasting itself -- but allowed us to see this beautiful property. We stopped by the bar for a drink before we left and seriously considered scheduling a private dinner in the wine cellar/wine cave before we left the island but did not get around to it -- something to add to our list for our next trip.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Service
Thank RumJumbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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