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Talofa Samoa

16 October 2012

Staff

After a short (and sweet) flight with Air New Zealand in their “The Works” class (movies, a meal, drinks and pre-seating included) we finally arrived in gorgeous Samoa. The weather was hot, hot, hot! But it was a nice change to Auckland’s “Spring” weather we had been having! We spent the afternoon sampling cocktails around the lovely lagoon pool, just testing out the swim up bar of course... ;)

We had a thorough hotel inspection of Aggie Greys Lagoon Resort, and discovered just how much it has to offer. It has a great location – close to both the airport and the ferry terminal, a lovely beach and lagoon pool, a beautiful spa with outdoor (but still completely private) massage areas, a new conference hall, a kids club, business centre, gift shop and heaps of restaurant options to choose from. They even have a gorgeous Catholic church on site that is over 100 years old... Perfect for a tropical wedding!

We then took the ferry across to Savaii which took just over an hour. We were lucky enough to experience the “business class” or VIP section of the ferry (only available on board the MV Lady Samoa III) which is a separate room at the top of the boat, which is air-conditioned, and has a bar which serves drinks and food and is more comfortable than the regular foot passenger service.

On arrival we took a drive to view the Afu Aau Waterfall (which was sadly not flowing thanks to the lack of rain) but still a beautiful spot for a cool swim. We also stopped off at Saleapaga Village to feed the turtles and it’s also possible to even have a dip with them if you like? We also drove passed the Saleaula lava fields caused by the eruption of Mt Matavanu in 1905 to 1911.

After a few site inspections we checked in at Tanu Beach fales, for our overnight experience in the open styled beach fales. Tanu has a gorgeous beach and a very relaxed and “family” type atmosphere. I wasn't sure what to expect here but was quite impressed overall. It’s quite “rustic” with yummy homemade food (and heaps of it too). Just the place to sit back and relax. Just note... No hot water and only shared facilities here, so for the more adventurous traveller. Loved it though.

We then went back to Upolu on the ferry the next afternoon where we checked in at Aggie Greys Hotel in Apia. I also liked this rather “traditional” hotel, with fascinating historical memorabilia everywhere, quite a few room types to choose from, and a beautiful tropical garden and pool area. There are a few restaurants and bars to on offer and it’s right in town.

After our stay at Aggie Greys Hotel, we headed off to the Savalalo Flea Market in town for a wee bit of shopping. The stalls were all inside under cover (out of the sun!), and the traders very friendly and not pushy at all. Stock up on lava lava (sarongs), jewellery, souvenirs and more; ask for a discount, but bargaining isn’t the norm... A nice way to spend a morning.

We then stopped at the Samoan Tourism Association Cultural Centre to watch traditional coconut husking, hear stories about Samoa from the past and even saw a man being tattooed in the traditional way! Ouch! On Thursdays even Miss Samoa stops by.

On our way to lunch at Coconuts we stopped in at the Robert Louis Stephenson museum.... and what gorgeous gardens!

Both Coconut s and Sinalei were beautiful, luxurious resorts. I’m looking forward to the new overwater bungalows at Coconuts which should be completed sometime next year. I think that these resorts are great options for couples.

That night we stayed at Seabreeze Resort located right at the southern tip of Upolu. Absolutely perfect for a couples getaway with a gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the beach, a fantastic restaurant with spectacular sea views, immaculate accommodation, a hammock on your own private deck... What more could you want!? A definite favourite. We were also lucky enough to experience their fiafia night, with a fire show on the beach, traditional Ava ceremony, singing and dancing and all by their own staff... Amazing, and a great dinner too, phew!

The next day we stopped in at the To Sua trench which is a great place for a day trip for some swimming and the views of the ocean from the tropical gardens are awesome. We also stopped at Litia’s Beach Fales for a quick peek. Think this would be fantastic for a relaxing, budget beach holiday. Similar to Tanu on Savaii but of a better standard with good ablutions, and more of an enclosed fale with beds instead of just mattresses. As with Tanu, they also include both breakfast and dinner as part of the rate.

Our last hotel was Tanoa Tusitala which is back in Apia. Lovely and modern, huge rooms with excellent facilities, so also impressed with this one. Due to our flight being at 2am, we had a rest at the pool and soaked up the last of the Samoan sunshine before heading to the airport later that evening.

Thank you Samoa, it’s been wonderful and we all hope to be back again one day soon!

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