36 Hours At Our Island Paradise
From the therapeutic lull of aquamarine waves to powder-soft sands, the beach is the ultimate place to unwind. Nowhere is this more true than at La Samanna, A Belmond Hotel, St Martin. Follow our lead as we show you how to spend 36 hours with us in style.
3pm — A Dual Nation Arrival
St Martin has a unique heritage. After 140 years battling for its control, French and Dutch settlers decided, in 1648, to divide the territory between them. Today, a carefree Caribbean charm radiates throughout and there’s no need for a passport when crossing the border of the 37-mile island. Private transfers from Princess Juliana International Airport, open to U.S. and international travelers, are ready to whisk you away to our secluded spot, moving from the buzzy vibrancy of the Dutch side to the laid-back coastal charm of the French half.
5:30pm — Sunset Setting
La Samanna boasts a starry past. From Andy Warhol to Scottie Fitzgerald, this grand dame of St Martin has played host to some of the world’s brightest icons, their names forever engraved in the hotel’s golden book. Baie Longue Bar, perched high above the bay from which it draws its name, is the perfect place to absorb this glamorous past. Take a seat as the sun starts to set over the sea and order a Belmond 75, Head Bartender Marco Nobile’s twist on the venerated French 75.
8pm — Bistro Bites
Sitting alongside Baie Longue Bar is L’Oursin, La Samanna’s seaside bistro. Elegantly attired in a combination of pale coral and white, L'Oursin's weekly menu includes a selection of divine dishes. Feast on crab and shrimp ravioli cooked in lobster bisque, or opt for sea scallops with kaffir lime leaves and chorizo. The seafood cassoulet is a signature dish that will transport you from the Caribbean to the warm terraces of France’s Cote d’Azur and back. Add to this a bottle of Chablis 1er cru for a truly effervescent evening under the stars.
9am — On the Mat
With its endless sea views and pristine hilltop setting, La Samanna makes an idyllic spot for a retreat dedicated to wellness. Start the day with an energising yoga class at the Rendez-Vous Pavilion, tucked away within the 55 acre grounds. Restore your balance and support your immunity with a revitalising practice guided by our resident teacher. Want to stay on track with your fitness regimen instead? Opt for a Sunrise Bootcamp training session on the beach.
1pm — Lounging at Laplaj
Laplaj, our chic, laid-back beach lounge, is tucked away on a large wooden sundeck, hemmed by pastel-fringed parasols and lounge chairs. Here, the Caribbean Riviera is never far away. Start off with a La Samanna Kiss—guavaberry liqueur, gold rum, passion fruit and coconut water. Or opt for a Caribbean Planteur that features rhum agricole, a style of rum first distilled in the French islands. A mahi mahi ceviche with passion fruit and cucumber makes for a standout starter. Then savour the whole grilled fish with Creole rice for a true taste of the culinary traditions of the French West Indies.
3pm — Studio Tour
When the colours of the island are this dazzling, it’s easy to see where artistic inspiration comes from. In addition to featuring an extensive collection of Caribbean “plein air” paintings by St Martin’s own Sir Roland Richardson, La Samanna is also home to works by local artists Natalie Lepine, Alain Jouet and Corinna and Norma Trimborn. Hone your own painting skills with the Trimborn sisters at NoCo. Their contemporary art gallery is located within the Terres Basses, the gated enclave that includes La Samanna.
5:30pm— Wine and Cheese Under the Arches
From a beloved rosé to a seductive red, La Samanna’s famed La Cave wine cellar is a key stop for wine-lovers. Here you can reconnect with storied vintages and discover new regions along the way. What pairs well with wine? Cheese, of course. Let our in-house sommelier guide you through pairings with notable standouts such as a triple crème and Livarot from Normandy or a Basque sheep milk from the Pyrenees mountains.
11am — Aquatic Adventures
It’s hard to stay on the beach when the water is as blue as this. Of all the things to do in St Martin, watersports are a highlight. Every guest at La Samanna enjoys complimentary use of single or double kayaks and two Hobie Cats. Or try your hand at paddle boarding to glide over the still, crystal clear waters.