FrontRunners: Longue Vacation
On the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, one of the most pleasantly deserted beaches lies on the Baie Longue. Since 1973, the La Samanna resort (www.lasamanna.com) has occupied 55 acres overlooking this beach. Resembling a Greek seaside village, the property features a whitewashed main building and 15 smaller ones that contain a total of 81 rooms. Orient-Express Hotels, which acquired the resort in 1996, has added a spa, a Pilates studio, a fitness center, boutiques, and other facilities. Just to the east of the resort, on a small bluff above the beach, the company is building eight four-room villas that will share the resort’s Mediterranean look. The villas, offered for about $7.3 million each, should be completed by the end of this year.