A Caribbean Orientation: Orient-Express

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Orient-Express takes its unique brand of lavishness to the shores of St. Martin

By Kristelle Devieux


 La Samanna, noted as one of the best places to stay by travel experts, needs no introduction.

If you take a second and think about it, summer is truly a season to enjoy in its pure state. Whether yachting off the coast of Egypt or relaxing in the French Riviera, we all take full delight in summer’s main characteristic: the feeling that life slows down so we can thoroughly enjoy the vast, clear blue sky, breathe in the aromas of the ocean and its surrounding nature, get kissed by the sun, and relish in a cool, refreshing breeze…Pure bliss!

In celebration of summer and all the euphoric moments it provides us, we thought it was imperative to present you a dreamscape option in order to have summer at your fingertips all year-round.

No place is blessed with summer’s attributes like the Caribbean. After all our travels in the region, we’ve named St. Martin the most precious pearl of the region. Though the Caribbean boasts many islands that easily fulfill every whimsical wish, St. Martin is unique in its landscaping, natural wonders, elegance, and cultural diversity. The 37 square mile paradise is one island with two nations, where numerous languages are spoken, the cuisine is outstanding, and the hospitality refined. As a half-French island, it captivates the French European luxe mixed with that cool, laidback, unpretentious Caribbean way of life.

To top it off, Orient-Express Hotels, Trains and Cruises is offering The Residences at La Samanna. A name synonymous with the ultimate in luxury as a hotel-owner and developer, Orient-Express Hotels, Trains and Cruises is responsible for the hautest hotels in magical places such as Portofino, Italy; Buzios, Brazil; and the West Indies. If you’re familiar with their work, you know that their locales personify a piece of heaven.

La Samanna, noted as one of the best places to stay by travel experts, needs no introduction. Recognized for its luxury, elegance, and superb cuisine, La Samanna continually ranks among the top 10 hotels for service in the Caribbean.

“La Samanna is one of the premiere, most luxurious, crème de la crème boutique-style resorts- and now Orient-Express has added even more value to it,” explains Andie Richardson, president & CEO of Romac Sotheby’s International Realty, the exclusive sales agency for the Residences at La Samanna.

Now, take another second and imagine the impeccable service, amenities and fulfillment you will get through these villas…

As you’ve certainly imagined a more than perfect tropical haven, let’s get down to the facts as this exotic luxury won’t last long on the market. The cliff-side development is ideally situated just 15 minutes from Marigot, the capital of French St. Martin, and a short drive from the fabulous restaurants of Grand Case. Only eight exclusive villas are under construction and up for grabs at La Samanna. The villas, which are available for short-term vacation rentals, are priced at $8.5 million, each complete with an interior design package.

Brilliantly crafted by renowned architects Mauricio Lanari of Le West Indies and Francois Jaulino of Architectural Concept, the first villa compliments Caribbean lifestyle and French sensibility while staying true to La Samanna’s Mediterranean architecture.

Spread among 36 acres, each villa encapsulates spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea and the exclusive lowlands neighborhood. The villas’ refined architectural finishes, such as expansive outdoor terraces, arched doorways and windows, oversized bathrooms, private free-form pool, granite finishes, and 21-foot ceilings are just a few of the signature elements.

The interior designer, Cameron J. Zentz from Marc-Michaels Interior Design, joined the architects to provide an interior characterized by “quiet sophistication and a take-off-your-shoes sensibility.” Inspired by the hues of the sunsets and vistas, the rooms feature a harmonious fusion of these colors on the linen draperies. Furthermore the draperies are complemented with soft warm background colors of straw, peach, and azure blue in the upholstery. The living space features long and low quilted linen sofas, perfect for lounging, while a honed stone and iron cocktail table anchors the space.

Simultaneously, the interior graciously celebrates the island’s French history and heritage through the inclusion of 18th and 19th century French-style furniture, such as a “found” twisted twig table and an 18th century French iron mirrored console. The dining room, in particular, showcases a 19th century Parisian carved-oak buffet paired with a sleek stone- and glass-topped dining table and traditional carved dining chairs. The focal point of the room is an original art piece by Carol Mann floating between glass pieces. The three guest rooms each offer their own distinct retreat by reflecting the playful, relaxed mood of St. Martin with the use of splashy colors in lemon, avocado, and aqua. The interiors represent an accumulation of colors, shapes, and styles meant to enhance the relaxed ambiance and exotic luxury of the villas.

As previously mentioned, two of these heavenly villas will solely be available on a short-term basis with a seven day minimum rental during peak holiday periods for $8,000 per night. And a 10-night stay from December 15th through January 7th will be required. Rental fees come with a staff of chef, housekeeper, and butler.

“The villas, located on the beach, are unique because they are incorporated with all the amenities and features of La Samanna, such as the restaurant, spa, maintenance, and cleaning services, so the owners will never have to worry about the maintenance or anything else,” adds Mr. Richardson to capitalize on the residences’ added value.

As you take a few more seconds to make up your mind on one of these marvelous French Caribbean villas, you might want to contact 800.537.9282 for sales associate to guide your decision.

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