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Tuesday
Mar092010

La Samanna? Pas grand chose

Location: La Samanna, Baie Longue, St. Martin

Rating:

It's been a little rainy/overcast since Saturday afternoon, so yesterday I decided it was time for a little personal maintenance. I booked a pedicure and some waxing at La Samanna. 

La Samanna is in theory considered one of the "best" hotels on the island - at the very least, it's probably close to the most expensive. I just looked at their availability for the last week in March, when we have a few days that are as yet unplanned, and the best available rate was $1395 for a 1-br suite. Not oceanfront - that would run you $1595. Their regular rooms are at best $795. But, it's a member of small luxury hotels of the world, as is Post Ranch Inn, one of my all-time favorite places, so I figured we owed it to ourselves to investigate. 

First of all, let me just say that the location is spectacular. Set against a cliffside, the main hotel rises up several stories from the end of the beach where a rocky point juts out into the pristine Caribbean. Beachfront cabanas extend down the beach, along with these high-end huts that look like outdoor living rooms, they are so nicely appointed. There is nothing else around - no other hotels, and no one else comes to the beach aside from the exclusive clientele, or those lucky enough to be renting one of the gated private villas on the hillside. There were no boats in the bay, much less water skiers or, god forbid, cruise shippers. It is a gorgeous location. That said, there is nothing else around - no dozens of fabulous restaurants a mere hop, skip and jump down the hill. 

When we arrived for my spa appointments, I dropped Steve off at the pool, hoping he would blend in and they wouldn't escort him off the premises for the interloper that he was (in retrospect, we shouldn't have brought our Esplanade beach towels, they were a dead giveaway). I wandered a little aimlessly, finding no signage, until I found the spa, a tiny little building down the way. Though small and unassuming, it turned out to have a gem of a little garden inside. That is where I happened to have my pedicure, listening to the mellifluous, relaxing sounds of the fountain. Lovely. 

I started with the waxing. I only needed a little trim, but since I spend a great deal of time here in my bikini, figured it was worth a touch-up. It did the job... but never before have I been left with a glob of wax that I needed to pick off on my own. Not great.

On the other hand, the pedicure was professional and enjoyable, a far cry from my last experience when I went to the Westin at Dawn Beach a couple weeks ago. Walking into the Westin was like entering a las vegas casino built in a dungeon, which is saying something on this beautiful sunny island - it would be hard to architect a worse building for taking advantage of the natural scenery. The pedicure was even worse. It was painful and cursory, though in retrospect that made it mercifully short. And, I got to pay $70 for the privilege (which just goes to show how desperate I was to not have to do my own nails!). But I digress...

Once I was done at the spa, I was relieved to find Steve still at the pool...  though it took me a little while to find him. He was laying there with a towel over his head, even though it wasn't really that sunny. It turns out he had gone to the pool and ordered an iced tea, even though he had no means with which to pay for it, and had been feigning sleep every time the attendant walked past. I think she was relieved to see an adult arrive to take care of him. 

The infinity pool itself is beautiful - fairly sizable, with a depth of up to 12' (see my previous post regarding a less-litigious culture). The chairs were comfortable, and each had an industrial strength umbrella that could kill you if it ever fell over, but offered you the rare commodity of not having to shift your chair to follow/escape the sun as the day wore on. Lucky for us, it wasn't that sunny, so the pool wasn't very crowded - I suspect they would have checked our credentials otherwise, because there definitely wouldn't have been room for everyone staying there. 

After an hour or two of lounging by the pool, we decided to check out the rooms. We asked the concierge, and she kindly agreed to show us a room... though she did seem a little reluctant, as though she were judging our age and whether or not we could seriously afford it (an attitude which always bugs the shit out of me). She took us to a room which essentially amounted to a fourth-floor walk-up, practically a garret apartment out of "Rent" or a Parisian chambre de bonne. It was not impressive. The view was beautiful, but the room bordered on shabby, and the bathroom was nothing special. For $795/night. Needless to say, we will not be staying there. We returned to l'Esplanade, yet again overjoyed at our luck of having selected the best possible place to stay in the Caribbean.

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References (3)

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  • Response
    So I kinda wanna get into blogging. I was wondering where can I make a blog where people might actually read it?.
  • Response
    Response: copysniper
    - A Month in St. Martin - La Samanna? Pas grand chose
  • Response
    Response: xovilichter 2014
    - A Month in St. Martin - La Samanna? Pas grand chose

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