The ocean-ringed Caribbean island of St Martin is one of the most blissful islands in the Caribbean. Split between French and Dutch territory, its beauty and culture lure countless upscale island-lovers to its sandy shores. And on the westernmost point of the French side of St Martin lies La Samanna, a Belmond hotel, one of the finest in the world. The beauty of its location, the high level of service, the cuisine and ambience, the warm, sun-kissed beach and sea, all make La Samanna so special that it draws guests again and again for a glamorous yet laid-back Caribbean idyll.
The resort’s location is second to none. It sits on the south-eastern edge of Baie Longue (Long Bay) beach, probably the most beautiful on St Martin. Far from the casinos and cruise ships of popular St Martin, the resort is a quiet oasis of whitewashed suites tucked high on a cliff, with gentle waves, lush gardens, a cabana-dotted private beach and a spectacular hilltop spa. The ocean is never far from view or mind: each room has the inky blues and coral colours of the sea, and the restaurants specialise in fresh fish brought in from the surrounding waters. Most guests never venture beyond the sybaritic enclave’s 55 impeccably groomed beach-front acres.
The hotel’s glorious Baie Longue Beach stretches for what seems like miles, promising untramelled beauty and privacy. It is blissfully quiet and unpopulated, save for charter boats which bring guests to snorkel the cove where the cliffs meet the sea. Pristine whitewashed villas and patios, hand-painted tiles adding splashes of colour, and bold fabrics in hues drawn from the sea and sky, all give La Samanna an upscale Mediterranean and Moroccan feel. Reserve one of the bamboo beach cabanas, which have large sofa beds and WiFi, and a private waiter is at your disposal all day long.
Studio-style suites are available, along with one- and two-bedroom suites, three-bedroom beach-front cottages, and speciality suites. For even more indulgence, book one of the villas, which sit high on a cliff at the end of the beach. Some rooms are beach-front, offering direct access to the soft white sands of Baie Longue, while others are cliffside. Top-level cliff-side rooms have private cabanas and plunge pools.
Come sunset, the Caribbean sky transforms into a watercolour of pinks, purples and gold. Luckily, each one of La Samanna’s rooms—whether it’s a beachfront suite or three-bedroom cottage—has ocean views, so you’ll never miss Nature’s most magnificent show.
The beachside L’Oursin Restaurant is among the West Indies’ finest. Here, enjoy traditional French cuisine with a bold Caribbean accent in an elegant open-air space overlooking the turquoise sea, before exploring La Cave, a 15,000-bottle cellar and a must for wine connoisseurs. It’s the ideal spot for private dinners, with an expert chef who can curate a personal tasting menu and wine flight. Or take your seat at Laplaj as this beachside distro transforms into a tempting trattoria setting in the evenings, where you can dine on light fare as you gaze across the glittering moonlit ocean, surrounded by bougainvillea and allamanda.
Though the resort feels worlds apart from the busy island, it’s a short 10-minute drive to bustling Simpson Bay on the island’s Dutch side, and about 20 minutes from the French capital city of Marigot. Non-motorised watersports including use of kayaks, a Hobie cat, and snorkel gear are available for guests, as are twice weekly complimentary tennis classes on the resort’s three tennis courts. Also available, Pilates, yoga, and sessions with a trainer at the well-appointed fitness centre. At La Samanna your day can be filled with every imaginable sport, or nothing more than a good book.
CountryClubuk Members receive special rates at Belmond La Samanna. For details, follow the link below or call Member Services on 020 7399 2960.
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