Stern's Guide to the Greatest Resorts of the World, Stern's Guide to the Cruise Vacation, Stern's Guide to European Riverboats and Hotel Barges, and The Indispensable Guide to Foreign Words and Phrases--by Steven B. Stern (Sponsored by Stern's Travel Guides, Ltd.)
Forty years ago, the original resort opened to the public with a string of two-story buildings abutting a long strand of golden sand beach. The basic design of the property was soon emulated by several other Caribbean resorts.
First, Rosewood Hotels took over and made some renovations; and then, several years ago, LaSamanna was acquired by Orient Express. The new owners spent millions of dollars to rebuild the accommodations with upscale furnishings and modern appointments. The original swimming pool and lobby-restaurant areas were updated; a new pool was added adjacent to the new lunch restaurant off the beach; large cabanas and beach umbrellas now line the beach; eight super deluxe three- and four- bedroom villas were constructed on a hill overlooking the beach; and the spa, tennis courts and grounds in general were updated and spruced up.
Those wishing to experience this paradise must be prepared to dig deep into their pocket books. In season, per diem prices start at $995 for a small ocean-view room, $2,025 for a one-bedroom suite, and from $3,775 to $5,875 for larger suites. Each of the eight villas go for $9,000 (the best buy since they can accommodate several families). Off season you can snag a one-bedroom suite from $945 to $1,545 and a villa for $2,,500. Surprisingly, there are many other Caribbean resorts similarly priced.
For those seeking celestial splendor La Samanna would be a good choice.
By Steven B. Stern author of Stern's Guide to the Greatest Resorts of the World