Travel beyond COVID-19. What travel will look like during & after COVID-19. A series of interviews with our top Hospitality and Tourism partners from around the world. Updates, Awareness, Wisdom & Education.  

Interview with Eleonore Astier-Petin. General Manager at Belmond La Samanna.
St Martin, Caribbean

To curate, plan and book your next travel experience, contact me directly. info@carlosmelia.com or +1 917 754 5515.

Belmond La Samana St Martin, Caribbean

Belmond La Samanna

Belmond La Samanna. The sparkling gem of St Martin. Blending island glamour with a captivating cosmopolitan scene, this is a resort to see and be seen. Perched beside one of the most spectacular private beaches in the French West Indies, Belmond La Samanna is as dazzling as the crystal clear waters that lap the sand. Sink into a chic suite, designed to reflect the hypnotic shapes and colours of sea life. Then dress to impress and sample the world-class restaurants, before diving into the island’s vibrant social scene.

Book Belmond La Samanna directly with me via email or phone, and instantly received the following VIP Amenities listed below. Email info@carlosmelia.com – Phone. +1 917 754 5515.

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability.

  • Daily Buffet breakfast for two guests per bedroom.

  • A complimentary lunch for up to two people once during stay, excluding alcohol, taxes and gratuities.

  • Fruit basket in the room.

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi.

  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability.

  • For stays of 5 nights or more: One day luxury car rental (tax, gas, and insurance additional).

Q&A / Travel beyond COVID-19

Q&A Travel beyond COVID-19. Insight shared from out travel partners around the globe. For follow up questions, kindly contact us directly.

When are you foreseeing your destination opening back for tourists ?
Belmond La Samanna is scheduled to reopen on November 2nd, 2020.

What measures have you taken to reopen post COVID-19 ?
Please address sterilization measures, security, mandates on staff and guests testing, transportation etc.

Providing a safe environment for our guests and employees is our top priority. Belmond has extremely robust hygiene and cleanliness procedures in place. We will be implementing a series of new cleaning protocols targeted to protect against Covid-19 and ensure our even-higher standards are achieved and upheld. As part of these enhanced measures, Belmond La Samanna will be including extra protocols for staff personal hygiene, removing unnecessary touch points, cleaning and disinfection and social distancing for pre-opening and after Belmond La Samanna has opened.

Belmond has established procedures to ensure the regular deep cleaning of its hotels and other properties, for example following a period of seasonal closure. We will be conducting a full deep clean of all areas at every hotel, train and river cruise prior to re-opening, following these well-established best practices. To provide an extra layer of protection, however, specific measures to protect against Covid-19 will be carried out.

This will include the removal and deep cleaning of all curtains, fabrics, quilts, pillows and cushions. All floors and hard surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected with a cleaning product approved to tackle Covid-19. All carpets will be disinfected and steam cleaning of upholstered furniture and mattresses will also be carried out.

The super-chlorination of all swimming pools will be carried out prior to re-opening. Coronavirus is killed by chlorine, so it is safe to keep outdoor swimming pools operational. Chlorine will be added to our sea water swimming pools, and kept within the operating parameters of regular swimming pools. Pools that are open will be staffed to ensure adherence to social distancing in and around pools.

Belmond La Samanna will be carefully reviewing government advice with respect to PPE (personal protective equipment) requirements on an ongoing basis. Depending on guest-employee proximity in an area in which these measures are being implemented, and whenever it is deemed to be required, our employees will be wearing protective wear, which could include face covers and disposable gloves. Face covers will be available for guests at all times. All standard operating procedures will be reviewed and updated accordingly based on local code and regulations.

Our comprehensive operating procedures mandating the regular cleaning of all surface areas in operation will be further enhanced with the use of even stronger disinfectants that are proven to effectively kill Covid-19.

A safety management team will be established at our property prior to reopening to ensure employees continue to receive regular training on these protocols. We have engaged a third-party specialist to ensure that standards are kept under review and validated. All protocols and procedures will be subject to updates in line with the very latest guidance from relevant health and industry authorities.

How do you plan to enforce these measures and how will you ensure compliance?
We will be implementing a series of new cleaning protocols targeted to protect against Covid-19 and ensure our even-higher standards are achieved and upheld. As part of these enhanced measures, Belmond la Samanna will be including extra protocols for staff personal hygiene, removing unnecessary touch points, cleaning and disinfection and social distancing for pre-opening and after Belmond has opened.

How will these measures affect the overall regular experience ?
We strongly encourage all guests to notify our team or their travel agent prior to arrival in the event they or any member of their travel group are displaying any Covid-19 symptoms. We are unfortunately unable to accommodate guests with such symptoms and our team is on-hand to support our guests with making alternative arrangements at no additional charge.

As a further precaution, Belmond La Samanna will be asking all guests with a reservation for accommodation to undergo a contactless temperature-check on arrival and to complete a comprehensive registration form. We will make this form available electronically so that guests can complete it prior and quickly confirm the information on arrival. Restaurant-only guests will also be subject to a contactless temperature check. If the contactless temperature screen reveals a fever above the threshold listed by local health authorities as a possible symptom of Covid-19, or if a guest has any other symptoms consistent with Covid-19, we will unfortunately be unable to provide overnight accommodation (or a meal, in the case of restaurant only guest), but these guests (and their party) will be cared for in a separate designated room by a dedicated team who will ensure suitable onward care is arranged.

Booking & Payment Flexibility Terms and Conditions during and after COVID-19 time.
Belmond La Samanna is committed to providing our guests with travel planning flexibility as much as possible, so you can book your next travel experience with confidence.
Please be aware that previously applicable change and cancellation fees are currently being waived across our entire portfolio. Click here for our current policy

Will you be offering any special promotions, packages and/or value adds?
We will offer all amenities as always, including Bellini Club and Virtuoso amenities.

How will you plan to maintain a level social distancing ?
We will ask guests to respect social distancing guidelines when using the pool, as in other public areas. Pools that are open will be staffed to ensure adherence to social distancing in and around pools. Sun beds will be spaced apart so as to adhere to social distancing guidance. The number of sunbeds available will be in line with the occupancy of the hotel, removing unneeded sunbeds to maximize the space. Social distancing will be respected at all times when food or drink is served.

Tell us about the current quarantine and restrictions within your destination ?
The lifting of travel restrictions has been tentatively set for July 1st, 2020 for Princess Juliana International Airport, while flights within the French overseas departments have resumed from French Saint Martin’s L’Espérance Airport.

Please add any additional information you believe would be helpful to raise travelers trust levels in order to visit ?
St. Martin has reported very few cases of Covid-19, while receiving the full backing of the French and Dutch governments in supplying the necessary PPE and testing apparatus needed to contain any spread of the virus on the island. With the majority of the island’s inhabitants having followed safe social distancing, mask wearing and stay-at-home measures during a two-month lock-down period, both Dutch and French Saint Martin have confidently reopened beaches, parks, bars and restaurants and non-essential businesses.

Now on a lighter and positive note,

Have you taken advantage of this quiet months, to curate new experiences or discover new locations/destinations? If YES Which ?
Yes. Our teams have been busy with light renovations that are normally reserved for our seasonal closure. Having undergone a major redesign and in some instances, top to bottom renovations of several of our accommodations in the summer and fall of 2019, our work has focused primarily on crafting new experiences within our walls but also outside of the resort. These include more outdoor dining options and environmentally minded activities, as well as simple pleasures such as nature walks and gourmet picnics within our 50 acres of gardens and beach.

What is your favorite feature about your property and destination that you wish to share with my clients/readers ?
We are very fortunate to be located in front of one of Saint Martin’s most pristine beaches, Baie Longue. One of my favorite things to do is take in the views of crystalline waters against the mineral backdrop of the resort’s cliff. I am lucky to be surrounded on and off property by such remarkable vistas and to count myself as part of a supportive and close knit community of St Martinois who have joined together and remain resilient during these times.

My Belmond La Samanna Experience

A few year back, I visited St Martin, and enjoyed a lovely stay at one of Belmond La Samanna private residences. Read more on my very own experience and stay in St Martin, French West Indies, Caribbean.

My favorite experiences while there were: My afternoon with Sir Roland Richardson in the privacy of my villa – known as the “Father of Caribbean Impressionism”. The Private Dinner at La Cave with the General Manager of Belmond La Samanna. But this was a while back… looking forward to a soon visit after their opening next November 2nd, 2020.

Helpful Resources

Some useful resources you might want to keep in mind, for your upcoming travels during and after COVID-19.

IATA Travel Center  
www.iatatravelcentre.com

US Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs  
www.travel.state.gov

CDC Center for Disease Control & Prevention
www.cdc.gov

World Health Organization
www.who.int

Homeland Security
www.dhs.gov

Global COVID-19 Flights & Travel Restrictions
app.developer.here.com

World Travel & Tourism Council
www.wttc.org/COVID-19/

World Travel Restrictions UN World Food Programme
www.unwfp.maps.arcgis.com

Observatory on Border Crossings Status due to COVID-19
www.wiki.unece.org

Health travel advice for all Countries
www.travelhealthpro.org.uk

EU Reopen
reopen.europa.eu

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