Welcome to paradise in the Caribbean! We have been traveling a bit during these covid times to test the waters with protocols, destinations and hotel status. This trip in particular was one of the trickiest to navigate from the covid restriction side of things. But now, we’re experts and can help guide you! St. Maarten is an island in the Caribbean owned by both the Dutch and the French. The airport and cruise terminal are on the Dutch side. Many of the fun restaurants and hotels are on the French side. There is no barrier between the two so you can bop around the island as you please!
We spent a week at Belmond La Samanna, which recently opened in February 2021 after a full refresh. They have completely redesigned the rooms and all of the common areas – they are truly stunning. There are many things I fell in love with at Belmond La Samanna. First, I love the ease. From the states, it is about a 3-hour flight to St. Maarten and a 15-minute drive to La Samanna. It’s rare to have such an easy travel day!
Second, I loveee the décor. There are few gems around the world that have such a sense of place – that feeling where when you wake up you know exactly where you are. The hotel isn’t too modern, but it doesn’t feel dated either. It’s perfectly Caribbean. Upon arrival, you’re greeted with a glass of champagne and the most beautiful ocean view. Nothing says welcome to paradise more than this entry!
The rooms at Belmond La Samanna follow the same theme – understated yet chic and elegant. The rooms are casita style – each individual casita holds 1-4 rooms, each with a beautiful ocean view. In fact, you are just steps away from the ocean and your personal dedicated beach chairs. After the first day, the beach attendants get to know you and will set up your reserved chairs in your preferred spot each morning. There’s nothing better than an ocean front view!
Perhaps my favorite part of La Samanna is the slowness. Time felt on my side here. Like I had all the time in the world to do all of the things I wanted to do. I could work out in the morning, relax on the beach, sip rosé or eat fish tacos at the beach club, Laplaj.. Isn’t it refreshing to leave a vacation feeling truly relaxed? So many times, I hear clients say, “I need a vacation from my vacation”. Let’s vow not to do that in 2021 any beyond, okay? There are ways to create space and slowly rediscover the world’s magic. Maybe that will be the theme for the next year or two. Slow rediscovery. Don’t we all deserve it!
Belmond La Samanna is so fantastic and even has a sister property – Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla. You’re just a 30-minute boat ride from the magical island of Anguilla, making these two properties the perfect split-stay. Read more about Belmond Cap Juluca here and see why Anguilla is our favorite place in the whole world.
As always, we would love to make your travel dreams a reality! In these odd times, we could especially love to take the navigating of travel restrictions off your hands and provide you with ample guidance. Reach out via our contact form or firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get to planning!
Belmond La Samanna is one of our preferred partners and as such, you will receive daily breakfast, $100 resort credit, upgrade on arrival, early check-in and late check-out.
*these are everchanging, so please check the SXM website here to ensure that you have the proper protocols for your travel date.
Entry into St. Maarten was incredibly easy! The island requires a negative covid test that has been taken within 120 hours (if you are in the US) and 72 hours if you live elsewhere. Once I had my covid test in hand, I could apply for pre-approval authorization. This can take up to 12 hours depending on how long you are staying in St. Maarten.