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-   -   La Samanna v. Le Petit Hotel (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/la-samanna-v-le-petit-hotel-740391/)

kmb1116 Oct 2nd, 2007 03:03 PM

La Samanna v. Le Petit Hotel
 
My fiance and I are honeymooning in June for three nights at Cap Juluca on Anguilla followed by three nights at St. Martin. Based on rave reviews from Tripadvisor, we planned on staying at Le Petit Hotel in Grand Case. However, our Virtuoso travel agent highly recommends La Samanna and got us a great rate. I still like the idea of Le Petit, but the good rate on La Samanna is also appealing (even though it's still about 2x as expensive as Le Petit). I'd appreciate if anyone could tell me more about either hotel, especially what the rooms are like (we'd be staying in an oceanview deluxe room at LS). Also, I've heard that LS can be snobby- is this true? We're from NYC and I get my fill of snobbiness on Park Ave. :) Thanks for the help!

Callaloo Oct 3rd, 2007 03:09 AM

I haven't stayed at either, but am about to book Le Petit Hotel for the St. Martin part of my Anguilla/St. Martin trip next spring. The principal reason for that choice is that I LOVE to stay in Grand Case, and Le Petit Hotel is right in the thick of it. The beach is great, pretty uncrowded by St. Martin standards. But the best part is Grand Case village. My husband loves to stroll to the boulangerie in the morning and get coffee and croissants for breakfast. And the dinner options in Grand Case are fabulous -- from the cheap lolos right on up to haute cuisine, all within walking distance (some along the beach).

I also prefer small properties, and Le Petit is truly petite.

Hope that helps. I won't have any real experience to offer til next year...

Lizzie518 Oct 3rd, 2007 04:10 AM

La Samanna has gotten a lot of mixed reviews in recent years. Most of what I have heard is that it does not live up to its former reputation and it is not worth the cost. I cannot attest to that.

I have, however, stayed at Le Petit and am going back there in a short month. There are only ten rooms at Le Petit (I think) and every one of them is oceanfront. The rooms are very well appointed and what I would expect at an upscale property (very comfortable beds with good linens, nice bathrooms with brand toiletries, clean, etc.) The pictures on the website are an accurate depiction. The staff is also great, right down to the cleaning staff. Friendly, accessible, helpful. They offer a continental breakfast.....french bread, croissants, orange juice, coffee, etc. every morning. Very nice to have while sitting on your oceanfront balcony.

The downsides to Le Petit would be that they do not have a restaurant/bar onsite. My husband and I walk down to the local grocery store and buy our liquor, request a blender for the room, and then make our own beach cocktails. It's actually very nice. But if you are looking for beachside bar and food service on your honeymoon, it will not happen there. The beach in front can also get narrow depending on erosion or high tide, but you can really move the lounges up and down the beach accordingly. It is very unpopulated. Plus, there are other beaches to visit on the island.

We find being in Grand Case is a plus. You are in walking distance to a plethora of fine dining establishments, as well as casual spots.

I guess it depends on what you are looking for in your honeymoon. If you want a full service hotel with every bell and whistle available, Le Petit may not be for you. But if you are looking for a boutique hotel experience that is an excellent value for the quality......I would not hesitate to recommend Le Petit.

If full service is more your style and you are unsure of La Samanna, try checking into the new Westin. I believe it is right near the line (Dawn Beach area), but is technically on the Dutch side. It looks beautiful....and in June you might be able to get a deal.

kmb1116 Oct 3rd, 2007 04:53 AM

Thanks for the helpful responses- Grand Case sounds like a great town and I'm excited to see it! As for the restaurant/bar service, that is not that important to us- perhaps we'll just steal your idea of requesting a blender for our room :) Le Petit seems like it gets consistently excellent reviews, and I also saw on tripadvisor that La Samanna is more back and forth. I'm still curious to hear from anyone who has experience at La Samanna, though, and if anyone has any opinions about Marigot, where La Samanna is located. Thanks!

Lizzie518 Oct 3rd, 2007 05:46 AM

La Samanna is actually on Baie Longue (Long Bay) right near the Dutch border. You would need to drive to Marigot as it is essentially on the other side of Simpson Bay Lagoon. At La Samanna you would be closer to the Dutch side establishments and Marigot than you would be to Grand Case. Traffic can be bad depending on the time of day, so keep that in mind when planning for day trips......proximity to the places you want to go could end up being a deciding factor. Being near the Dutch side may be positive given current Euro rate.

Try Traveltalkonline.com for additional information on La Samanna. They have a very active St. Martin forum.

Also, have you considered just staying in Anguilla? While I love St. Martin, I have a feeling that you may not want to leave Anguilla, particularly for a honeymoon. That island is changing very quickly and it may not look or feel the same in a few short years. You can always take a day trip to St. Martin.....or plan that trip for a different year.


jlillberto Oct 3rd, 2007 08:04 AM

I also think you should reconsider and spend all six nights in one place. You basically lose the first and last day due to travel and check-in/out times. I've not stayed in Grand Case, I would stay there before or after a solid seven days on either Anguilla or St. Barts. But I can't bring myself to give up any time on Anguilla or St. Barts!

StanKase Oct 3rd, 2007 09:25 AM

We stayed at La Samanna twice. Once in 1993-4 for 6 nights I think and 2001 for 4 nights. I must admit I dio not know why we returned. We did not particularly like it the first time. I think we mixed it up with another island/hotel since we take 3-5 trips a year. It was somewhat worn in the early 1990's and worse yet in 2001. The food was adequate, at best, at fairly high prices, and we eat there 3 lunches and 2 dinners on the last visit. I would not return to La Samamma or St. Martin for a very long time since after 4-5 hours on th French side and 2-3 hours touring the Dutch side you will have had it. The decent to good restaurants, non-excellent, we found were all on the French side.

Anguillagirl Oct 3rd, 2007 11:15 AM

Well I can tell you plenty about La Samanna. We stayed there in 2005 before heading onto Anguilla. We did not like it at all. The hotel is not at all worth the price you pay. Our room desperatly needed re-furbishing and was rather small. The bathroom wasn't even fancy.
The grounds were very unkept and the pool badly needed some sprucing up.
We encountered some very rude people here too. The staff could have cared less if they helped you.
Besides, it's not within walking distance of any restaurants. I'd go with Le Petit for sure.
And I second one of the posters-you may just want to do your entire trip on Anguilla. It's terribly romantic for a honeymoon and has a totally different feel than St. Martin.

kmb1116 Oct 3rd, 2007 01:05 PM

I really appreciate all your responses- we've decided on Le Petit if we stay in St. Martin; however, now from what many of you are saying, it seems like it would be better for a honeymoon to stay on Anguilla for the full six nights. We've already booked our flights and are flying to SXM, which is why we thought we'd do a couple of days there. However, I'm hoping people could tell me specifically why Anguilla is more "honeymoon-worthy." I know that it has beautiful beaches and great restaurants. From comments about Grand Case, I think that it is worth seeing and is something my fiance and I would love, but maybe more than one night isn't necessary in St. Martin. We're not big partyers/club goers/shoppers and prefer to go out to dinner and relax when on vacation....

Lizzie518 Oct 4th, 2007 03:37 AM

If it were me, I would stay on Anguilla the whole six nights and save St. Martin for another time.

Anguilla is relaxing, peaceful, and just plain romantic. I think it is a special place and one worthy of a memorable honeymoon.

Grand Case is a village, plain and simple. The best way to put it is.....there is simply more hustle and bustle. It is well populated by both locals and tourists, there is a steady stream of car and foot traffic, there are restaurants lining both sides of the street, you are in walking distance to shops and groceries, etc.

So I guess it depends on what kind of vacation you are really looking for. If you just want to relax, pamper yourselves, bask in your new wedded bliss....maybe get a couples massage, I would stick with Anguilla. If you want to do a lot of sightseeing, parasail, jetski, shop, maybe go to a casino, then try St. Martin. I definitely think two places in six days is too ambitious. My guess is you will get to Anguilla as your first destination and not want to leave.

Having been to both, and loving both for completely different reasons......I would stick to Anguilla. If you find you are getting a little restless, you can always hop on the ferry and do a little exploring in Marigot.

Anguillagirl Oct 4th, 2007 10:55 AM

it's hard to put into word, but here goes.
St. Martin to me is the Caribbean version of a big city here back home. Lot's of hustle and bustle, heavy traffic with people weaving in and out of lanes and lots of poverty. I just wasn't able to relax there.
The moment I get to Anguilla I feel myself relax. Each year as I walk the beach I ask my husband if there is no better place in the entire world. No traffic. The pace is slow. It's very romantic-especially Cap Jaluca which is known for it's honeymooners.
The best way to see what I mean is to go to www.Anguillaguide.com and go to their forum. Scroll down to 2007 photos and watch Barb and Gary's photos. It's actually a photo show, so turn up the volume. They have great music. You'll be sold on Anguilla.

Quali_T Nov 4th, 2007 04:34 AM

We stayed at a gorgeous beachfront condo in Simpson Bay (Dutch side)this August: www.view-2die4.com. I don't think it can get any better for honeymooners. You have your privacy, you go to the restaurants whenever you want, an infinity pool and steps to the beach...A dream place. We intend to return this winter for a longer period.

beachcrave Mar 20th, 2008 02:43 PM

Quali_T

I'm also looking at renting the
www.view-2die4.com. Can you tell me about the location? The beach there? Was the water clear and blue? Also favorite restaurants near?

Thanks in advance.


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