More about La Samanna
do not go to la samanna st. martin
we recently returned from a very dissapointing trip to la samana st. martin. rooms are more than tired,staff except for reception was non caring and totally lazy! this resort needs to go to jumby bay antigua to learn how to treat guests at a resort of the luxury level they claim. the beach itself is great the chaise lounges were torn,stained and never cleaned. no body offered us drinks at the beach until the third day of our vacation. FOOD IS BELOW AVERAGE in all of our dining at la samanna they never knew our name never had breakfast ready when they were supposed to open ,dinner was the worst meal on st. martin. the local recomendations were all great and one third the price of la samanna.upon arriving home from this trip we contacted orient express hotels four different times,so far they have not responded. we have stayed at two other orient resorts MAROMA and Charleston place,both of these resorts were excellent . DO NOT BOOK LA SAMANNA YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED.
Baie Longue (Long Beach)
Long Beach offers a gorgeous sand, crystal clear water and a great view to Saba island.
Situated in the eastern part of the beach, La Samanna Hotel is the finest in Saint-Martin.
$800 for this room? They must be kidding!!!
Well, I've just finished reading recent reviews of La Samanna posted on this website. If only I'd read them before going there! We were on our way to Saint Bart's and I thought it would be nice to stay at La Samanna for three nights to overcome our jetlag (we'd flown in from California) and because my guidebook described it as one of the best hotels in the Caribbean.
Yes, they put us in one of the old rooms (of course, we didn't find out until the next day). It was small, it was scruffy, and, even with the very nice beach outside, I'd have felt ripped off if I were paying more than $200 for such a room. Unfortunately, I was paying...almost$800!!!!!!
Some of the staff were nice, some were surly, the grounds were poorly maintained, and they charged us $120 for an airport pickup ($60 per person). The airport is, at most, 15 minutes away and the "limousine" was a dirty old Ford Crown Victoria, or maybe a Lincoln Town Car. Whatever it was, it wasn't worth $120!
Anyway, we checked out after the first night and went on to enjoy a lovely stay in Saint Bart's. Of course, La Samanna refused to refund the money we had paid for the other two nights and, to add insult to injury, when we got home we received a letter from them accusing us of having taken two bathrobes (we had done no such thing) and charging us $130 for them. I am currently asking American Express to dispute these charges.
I am 54 years old, have traveled widely throughout Europe and America, and been lucky enough to stay in many of the world's finest hotels. Anyone who thinks La Samanna is one of them simply doesn't know what they are talking about.
LaSamanna boasts as being the most elegant resort in St. Marteen, this may be true in some areas however my week long stay there last week was anything but. The property was well maintained and the beach was very private and beautiful, however the staff was rude from the time of check in to check out, not helpful at all, and acted like they were not there to help. The Restaraunt's food was less than expected and if one were to venture outside of the resort, much better food was to be found at local restaraunts, and the atmosphere was better and more friendly. (We chose to rent a car and do this a few days) As an Orient Express owned facility, I would suggest that La Samanna employees and management take a trip to Rivieria Maya and visit Maroma Resort to see how a luxury resort should be managed and maintained. For the we money spent to stay in a resort that promises elegance and posh treatment, disapointment prevailed.
Recently returned from La Samanna, March, 2005. Beach can't be beaten. While enjoying the beach you are served ice water, fruit & on some days, sorbet at no charge. Service top notch, even for lowest priced room. All needs were met quickly and pleasantly w/o showing tip. Don't understand all the negative reviews. We've stayed in fancy hotels around the caribbean and this one was right up there. Only negatives: Food and drink is insanely expensive. The restaurant, while having a spectacular view, is only fair considering the price of the meal. Would not suggest buying the meal plan. Basic breakfast buffet,included with room, also fair, . I would suggest dinner out of the Hotel. St. Martin has some of the finest restaurants in the Caribbean. Don't miss them, we didn't.
The Good, the Bad and the "Ugly
I agree with all of the positive comments on La Samanna so I will not repeat them but will add the following negatives for what it is worth to the reader.
The "Good" is obviously all the beauty of the hotel location, private beach, excellent service, good food, close proximity to other restaurants and the casino.
The "Bad" comments are as follows: The second floor rooms have solid stucco walls making the view when sitting down to have breakfast or sit in the sun, impossible. It is a claustrophobic feeling not to be able to see anything when sitting down, a real design negative. That leaves having a room on the first floor, giving up privacy from the maintenance people always running around and from the other first floor units. The beach chairs are "saved" by 7:30 am, so you have strangers directly in front of your unit while you are having breakfast on your patio. The menu in the restaurant does not change ONCE the entire week, and no specials, either. Even if the food is good, it gets boring every day. The beach, although beautiful, drops off quicky, making getting in and out of the ocean difficult. It is very rocky on the upper side of the beach, away from the hotel, but in front of the most private units. I guess you can't have everything! I would stay only at La Samanna if I returned to St. Martin and hope that I would get the room that I requested after seeing it because some of the rooms that have been redone are very "tired" . All the rooms are the different but many of the redone rooms are the same price as the ones that have not been redone. All in all, La Samana is a good hotel on an island that has more to do than many others, i.e., Anguilla, Nevis, Turks and Cacos, etc. I would go back (if I get the room I want!!!)
Could do (much) better!
I agree completely with the recent fairly negative reviews of La Samanna. We stayed last summer in a $900 per night beachfront villa which was in need of renovation. If you put the fans on there would be a power cut!!
It is overpriced and a very poor advertisement for the otherwise excellent Orient Express Group! Poor attitude from the staff; very high prices - often with errors in room service bills.
A 50% surcharge for the hotel on outside babysitters ($25 per hour compared to about $10 at the Cuisinart or Malliouhana on Anguilla).
It is situated on a beautiful beach - however it is very hot as there is no breeze at all.
An example is that you get a clean beach towel left in your room at night. By the pool there are bins for used beach towels (helps the staff) but no clean towels. In most good resort things work the opposite way - clean towels by the pool and the staff clear up the old ones.
Or, you can be the first people to breakfast and still have to wait ages to be seated and if you are with children you will be seated at the back and away from the view - appalling. Serving staff are also very short on smiles.
Internet use is $10 for 10 minutes - free at the Cuisinart and Malliiouhana on Anguilla.
I have stayed at many of the top Caribbean resorts and was really looking forward to La Samanna. After our week there I could not wait to leave and just felt utterly ripped off.
Basically all the staff need re-training to put customers first and get rid of their attitude problems.
My advice would be don't go there. Go to Anguilla, St Barts or Antigua. The good reviews must come from young honeymooners who would not recognise poor service if it hit them in the face - they have nothing to compare it to. Stay away.
Honeymoon from Heaven
The price is high... there is no denying it. But, it was well worth it to experience such a relaxing week. My wife and I spent our honeymoon here before visiting St. Barts and it was absolutely wonderful. There were certainly things that weren't perfect, but the overall impact it made on us was great.
The only negatives that we could think of were the food/beverage prices. It was quite hefty ($20 for a sandwich)... You sorta think that after paying $600/night, you're through the hard part. The hard part became trying to stay on a budget while you're there!
Overall, the beach was great. Very quiet, very clean, and very private. That is what we wanted. It is absolutely beautiful. The water is a perfect blue color, and there a great walk from La Samanna on up to the peninsula where there are beautiful big homes on the coast.
The maid staff was great. They left us little notes (Emma was her name) which made our stay great. The wait staff in the restaurant and concierge could have probably been more polite, but we were only 20-something newlyweds. Maybe they didn't see enough money in our pockets. :)
I would recomend this to anyone wanting a private beach week in luxury!
I visited St. Martin on April 2003. This is probably the most expensive trip Ive ever taken. We stayed at La Samanna one of the most expensive hotels on the island. It was beautiful the beach was literally steps away from our bungalow. Local people would think were rich whenever I mention where we were staying. But that was not the case.
We couldnt afford to eat in the hotel because a sandwich cost about $10! We bought groceries and ate outside the gated hotel.
My favorite place is Grand Case cos it had a local feel and the food there was great.