Tue 16 Oct
Up early today to catch the flight from Kerikeri to connect with the Air New Zealand service to Apia.
The first thing I noticed is that Auckland airport has really come a long way! Its much more user friendly these days with check in, passport control, duty free shopping and getting through the airport so much easier than it used to be. This allows plenty of time to buy a good book and pick up that morning mocha before you take off!
Flight departed on time and we were soon winging our way to Samoa. I have to say that the Air New Zealand flight was absolutely superb. The aircraft and staff were excellent, the food was good and nothing was too much trouble. I would highly recommend the “works” product where you get to pick your seat, have a meal and watch a movie – a nice relaxing way to start your holiday!
Arrival in Samoa, quickly through immigration and we were whisked away to our first nights accommodation at Aggie Greys Lagoon Resort. This is an excellent 4 star property just minutes from the airport. The beauty of this property is that you can land in Samoa , get a transfer, check in, change into your togs and jandals and you can be at the swim up pool bar in 30 degrees within about an hour of arriving! The facilities are great here too with kids club, spa, four restaurants, gift shop and even a 100 year old Catholic Church! The rooms are spacious and well appointed and have everything that you would expect of a four star resort. Rest of the day was spent lazing by the pool before an evening meal and an early night!
Wed 17 Oct
Took the ferry to Savaii today which was a one hour trip on the Lady Samoa in relatively calm seas. It was made all the more comfortable by paying the extra and going “business class”. This gives you air conditioned comfort and a meal & drinks. On arrival we had a quick dip in a local water hole before continuing to our accommodation at Tanu Beach Fales. On the way we passed massive lava fields, villages, dogs and pigs and kids running around ahhh now this is the real Samoa!
Tanu beach fales is the truly authentic Samoan experience.. Open beach fales right on the beach with shared facilities. It is quite basic and a far cry from Aggie Greys Lagoon Resort but just seemed to me to be a far more real experience. It could be considered to be camping Samoa Styles !!!
Fia fia night (dinner&show) tonight was called off due to a tropical downpour but after a huge meal and a few drinks I fell onto the mattress in the fale with the seabreeze going right through . Absolute bliss!
Thu 18 Oct
This morning we had an impromptu fia fia morning with breakfast and show due to the rain the night before!! Everyone at Tanu beach and the surrounding village seemed to be there and they all seemed to have one aim – to have fun , relax and enjoy !!
A leisurely morning with a couple of inspections of Suifaga Beach Resort and Stevensons on Manase before catching the afternoon ferry back to Apia. Tonight we stayed at Aggie Greys Hotel in town which is a very traditional hotel steeped in history. Lots of different room categories here and a great location in central Apia.
Fri 19 Oct
Leisurely breakfast this morning (I could get used to this !!). Then we started with a tour of Apia township which included a bit of shopping at the local flea market, a stop at the Samoan Tourism Center (where you can learn how to husk coconuts, scale coconut trees and see Samoans getting traditional tattoos) and a visit to the very impressive homestead and museum of Robert Louis Stevenson.
Then its over to the south coast of Upolu to visit Coconuts and Sinalei resorts. Its about a 45 minute trip across the island and the beaches on this side are superb. Both Coconuts and Sinalei were lovely with the beachfront fales at Coconuts my favourite! On to the Seabreeze resort where we are staying for the night. This has got to be Samoas best kept secret! Its remote, and intimate and an ideal place for a romantic getaway. The accommodation is superb, the staff are super friendly, the food is to die for, what more could you want!!
Sat 20 Oct
Breakfast (cooked to order!) at Seabreeze before heading back to Apia around the southern tip of Upolu. Stops at To Sua trench and Litias Beach Fales on the way before our last stop at the Tanoa Tusitala hotel in Apia. This is a modern hotel in central Apia that has a superb pool, big rooms, great food and a nice atmosphere. The afternoon was spent lazing by the pool and relaxing before the 2am (yes 2am!) flight home. Once again Air New Zealand were great but please please if at all possible use a flight on a different day at a more reasonable hour of the day! A wonderful holiday in Samoa is not worth ruining by getting 2 hours sleep and arriving back tired !
Overall I was very impressed with Samoa. It has fantastic weather and very friendly people and to me is a far more authentic island experience without the commercialism of the likes of Fiji. I cant wait to head back to Samoa hopefully for an extended holiday !!
Thanks to World Travellers, Samoa Tourism & Air New Zealand