by Courtney Elko
Note: The Belmond La Samanna has suffered extensive damage caused by Hurricane Irma and is closed until further notice.
A picture-perfect ocean view greets guests as soon as they enter the lobby of this hotel and one can’t help but say, wow. Located on the French side, but not far from the Dutch border, this elegant Caribbean resort offers ideal accommodations for large families, with three-bedroom cottages directly on the beach.
The tropical walkways throughout the resort make you feel as if you’re in the jungle, but really, you’re only steps away from the ocean and the beach. The pathways are lit during the evening, making it easy to get around with strollers. Each guestroom building is named after a French flower and all of the onsite restaurants offer spectacular views.
Be on the lookout for Sam the Parrot, too. This resident parrot lives in the trees but has been known to make an appearance for his favorite repeat guests who may supply him with some treats.
Our Editor Loves
- Spacious cottages on the beach
- Free non-motorized water sports
- Location on the French side
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
All of the guestrooms and suites at La Samanna feature free Wi-Fi, a large patio or terrace with screen doors and fabulous ocean views, large, open closets, a DVD player, iHome music player and air conditioning. Cribs and rollaway beds are available for a daily fee, along with a microwave if your suite does not include one. There is no charge if the guest using the cot is age 12 or under; otherwise, it's a fee of $75 per night.
Many of the guestrooms and suites can combine for larger accommodation -- considered cottages - that are excellent for large families.
The deluxe rooms feature a king or twin beds and can accommodate two people. A mini-fridge is also available in the deluxe rooms, and they can be combined with a suite to make a large accommodation.
Multi Bedroom Suites
One- and two-bedroom suites featuring ocean views and/or plunge pools. These suites feature a separate living room, kitchen with a refrigerator, a bathtub in the bathrooms and a large private terrace. The Plunge Pool Suites feature a private plunge pool on the rooftop terrace with a covered gazebo area and the Beachfront Suites are steps away from the sand.
Families will love the ability to combine a two-bedroom suite downstairs with a deluxe master bedroom upstairs to form a three-bedroom cottage. Outside stairs connect the two areas. The cottages are located directly on the beach and feature large outdoor living and dining areas.
The specialty suites feature many different varieties of suites and can only be booked by calling the resort. A suite that offers a plunge pool and three balconies or a suite that has an octagonal living room or a suite that features a terrace that stretches the length of the suite are just some of the options available. Guests will also find a mini-fridge, kitchenette with stovetop and a sofa in some of the specialty suites.
Gorgeous property. Amazing views of the beach. Each room had essentially a private beach. Great infinity pool. The best thing though was all of the staff were bend over backwards fantastic. Have to mention Matias. He was absolutely the best. Also Marco behind the bar. Highly recommend it.
This property is first class. Its not the new glass and marble Mexican resorts, this is the type of place Hollywood elite go to get away. Property is lovely and rooms are large. Great vacation location.
The large beach area offers plenty of space for families to lounge under the provided umbrellas and lounge chairs. Four cabanas are also available to rent for a per-day fee. All non-motorized sports like kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkel gear are included in rates.
The main pool area, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., features a heated pool that is 5 feet deep and located along the main building. A smaller infinity pool, also 5 feet deep, can be found by the Beach Bar and is open from 9:30 a.m. until sunset. No lifeguards are on duty at the pool or beach.
Child gates and child alarm bracelets to ensure children's safety near pools can be provided upon request.
There is a fee for the use of any motorized water sports; however, guests will find many thrill-seeking opportunities right on the beach. Waterskiing, banana boat rides, flyboards and wakeboards are a few of the options. Boat charters are also available.
Families who are into fitness will enjoy the recreation opportunities at La Samanna. Three pro tennis courts, yoga (power Vinyasa and beginner) classes and a large fitness center with studio are available to guests. Tennis rackets are available on request and yoga takes place at the indoor pavilion (and sometimes is held outdoors).
The fitness center is larger than the average hotel fitness center. Guests will find cardio, weight and circuit machines, but also a mirrored fitness room with a wooden floor and ballet bar. Flat-screen televisions and headphones are also available at each work station. A private trainer is available by appointment.
Camp La Samanna
While the resort does not have a dedicated kids' club, they can provide professional childcare. which can offer fun-filled kid-friendly activities like treasure hunts, water balloon fights and arts and crafts. There is a $100 per family rate (three children maximum) for three hours, and it includes snacks and drinks.
This fine dining, traditional French cuisine restaurant features gorgeous water views. Trellis serves dinner and is open from 6:30 to 9:45 p.m. Highchairs are not available at Trellis.
A buffet and a la carte menu are available for breakfast at Interlude, which is open from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Guests will find French pastries, fruits and other breakfast items. Dress is casual and guests can enjoy starting the day by dining al fresco. Interlude is closed on Wednesdays.
This beachside bar and grill serves lunch and features salads, light fare, fish and cocktails. The Beach Bar offers amazing views of the beach and ocean, but a shaded area covers many of the restaurant tables. Guests can easily keep cool under the shaded area and by the water mister that occasionally sprays without being offensive.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
French- or English-speaking nannies can be provided for children ages 4 to 12 for a fee.
Artist and frequent guest Roland Richardson has painted several pieces in and around Belmond La Samanna and has left his works at the Pavilion for guests to view or purchase.
Wi-Fi is available throughout the resort.
Pets under 12 pounds are permitted at the resort for a non-refundable fee.
The Art of Smart Timing
Any time is a good time to visit the Caribbean, but St. Martin's high season runs from January through April. The island has not seen a significant hurricane in several years, but hurricane season runs from June through November.
The Princess Juliana International Airport is about 3 miles or a 10-minute drive from Belmond La Samanna.
If you plan to explore the entire island, renting a car is a good choice. But if you plan to stay at the resort the majority of your stay, a rental car is not needed and taxis will suit just fine for excursions away from the resort.
For Mom and Dad
If parents are able to sneak away from the kids for a bit, the La Samanna Spa will provide the ultimate in relaxation with a wide range of treatments like a massage, facial or body wrap.