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Reviewed 24 August 2018 via mobile

Small number of beach chalets. Small resort. Paddle boards and kayaks available but take own snorkeling gear. So close to the beach!!! Swimmable at high tides. Recommend beach shoes for coral sand and lava rocks. Great laid back resort perfect for quiet times. Only downside is the road in is really hard going. Suggest 4 wheel drive. Takes Mim of 20minutes to drive along this road. Watch out for pigs,cows, dogs and people. Drive slowly! No air con but we loved listening to the sound of the water! Chalets had mesh bug screens and outdoor bathrooms! Loved this place!

Stayed: August 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank Sally G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel M, Owner at Sa'Moana Beach Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2018

Hi Sally

Thank you for the kind words and lovely review.

Yep as with all the other review the road is an issue but will soon be fixed (fingers crossed!).

4 Wheel drive is viewed essential but we are definitely worth the drive for the lad back vibes and great food and drinks you get to at the end of the road - not to mention the infinity pool and great beach / snorkelling.

Hopefully see you back again soon.

All the best

Daniel

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Reviewed 23 August 2018 via mobile

Lovely for a short stay, but if you were basing yourself you'd definitely need a car, which the owners let you know before you arrive. As for snorkelling, the waters were pretty shallow and at the time of year we visited, it was pretty windy and choppy, apart from the morning we departed, which was calm and would have made for a good look around the reef (side note - I'm well aware that hoteliers don't control the weather or the tides )

We walked down to the lagoon that Australian survivor was filmed at and managed to walk out to some living coral and saw an assortment of tropical fish. We generally felt like we were the only people in the world and this was an easy, 20 minute walk from the resort. A must do. We realised our snorkels weren't working when we got to the lagoon, so perhaps bring your own gear if you're going to be doing a bit of snorkelling around Samoa, or just double check the gear you borrow (for free) from the hotel before you head off - which in retrospect we should have done. For those feeling a little less adventurous there's a small saltwater infinity poor which looks out to the Pacific. I had a quick swim in the pool and for a quick dip, it does the trick.

Internet is non-existent, which was advertised, so if you can't disconnect for a few days pick up a sim in Apia or at the Airport. Staff here were amazing, chilled, happy, friendly and not too formal, shout outs Simmy and Patricia - they both made us feel like we were at home! The menu at the restaurant had all the local fish options, and some interesting international/Samoan fusion options too. All of the food was tasty, with generous servings, but for us the highlights were the burgers, which were delicious, and the tuna sashimi, which was some of the best sashimi I have ever had!

On a minor note, perhaps it might be good to shake up the music a little at the bar, our first night was a homage to George Michael, and the second night the full discography of the Beatles... small issue, but a little 'mix-tape' goes a long way!

Our fale was really well appointed, with an incredible view, a nice outdoor shower/bathroom, its own toilet, a small refrigerator, tea/coffee facilities and a small safe, but here's the elephant in the room...the mattress in our fale was pretty bad and both my parter or I were left stiff and sore well into the afternoon on both days we stayed at Sa'Moana. Given that the fales have recently been renovated and now feel fresh and modern inside and out, replacing the mattresses with something a little more mid-range would make a world of difference to guests' experiences.

All in all, Sa'Moana is a modern and hip resort, with lovely fales, a great vibe and great people making your stay a memorable one! It's isolated, and that adds to its charm of it all. Thanks for an enjoyable stay!

Stayed: August 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank Glenn I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel M, Owner at Sa'Moana Beach Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2018

Hi Glenn

Thanks for taking the time to post the detailed review and great feedback on the food.

We laughed about the music comment - we are always reminding the evening staff to mix it up but they seem to get into a habit of repeating the same albums. Don't worry we do have a good selection and will use this review for some feedback :-)

About the beds - they are actually new mattresses but maybe on the firm side from your experience. Again thank you for honesty and we can take this on board and look at mattress toppers.

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and hopefully see you back again in the future.

All the best

Daniel

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Reviewed 23 August 2018

Three of us stayed at Sa'Moana Resort for a week in early August. The place was absolutely stunning, all aspects of our stay were perfectly handled by the friendly and efficient staff. The owner/managers do a great job in training the locals and providing all you could want from a remote tropical paradise. The info that Alison provides is invaluable … rent a 4WD (SaMoana rentals in Apia were faultless and very reasonable), and if you arrive very early from the direct Sydney flight, get them to deliver it for 70 Tala), take any favourite snacks, suncream and Deet repellent, mask and snorkel (fins provided free from the resort), get great advice from the staff on what to see around the island, and have an incomparable experience in paradise. The 5.5km section of road to the resort from the Main Sth Coast Rd is rough as the owners point out, but in a 4WD it soon just adds to the experience, as you wave to the locals and avoid a few pigs and chickens. The coverage (calls and data … works everywhere) from BlueSky is cheap, and we soon realised that using the phone app for directions is a must, because there are virtually no road signs on Upolu. We decided to book the beach house for the week, which comes at a reduced rate for a full week if you book direct .. lots of space ! Activities recommended are snorkelling at the giant clams, a short drive away , the lagoon from Aust Survivor fame (easy 15 min walk), the To Sua trench, a trip along the south coast to Lalomanu beach, very good snorkelling and kayaking from the resort, a swim in the natural seawater infinity pool, a local fiafia night, a visit to Patricia’s little shop for some beaut lavalavas, enjoying the food which naturally is from a limited menu, but a good range of choices and first rate quality and service. You realise how important the people are to making enjoyable experiences like those at Sa'Moana … Alison and Daniel are very friendly, straight shooters and are obviously committed to making sure all their guests have a wonderful relaxing stay. If you want the trimmings of absolutely resort style luxury (swim-up bar, fold your sheets down, etc), Sa'Moana probably would not be the right choice, but if you want a more authentic experience you get it in spades at Sa'Moana. Thanks to Patricia, Simi, Moses and all the staff for your great, friendly service. Can’t wait to come back again for another relaxed, super holiday at Sa'Moana.

Stayed: August 2018
Thank Dennis R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel M, Owner at Sa'Moana Beach Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2018

Hi Dennis & family

Thanks for the detailed review and providing so much helpful info for other guests preparing to travel here.

It really is invaluable for others to read these reviews so they make the right choice when booking our place. WE are perfect for some but yes not a 5 star resort with turn down service!

We are always keen to make sure guests are happy and have a great team who can make you feel straight at home and enjoy our little slice of paradise, tucked away from everywhere.

Look forward to seeing back again at a future time.

All the best

Daniel

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Reviewed 19 August 2018

stayed Hibiscus Room, well appointed, no aircond but plenty of louvred windows for breeze and fans, nice gounds and horizon pool,
road in is a bit rough so may want to consider a rental SUV if want to drive in out a bit
open air ensuite is great and one of the few places we stayed in Samoa with reliable hot showers
fairly quiet place with only a few bungalows
snorkelling is good but beach is small and gets rough at high tide, currents can get strong
have kayaks and SUPs for free
friendly staff (as everywhere in Samoa)
Breakfast was basic but fine, dinner was good

Room Tip: bungalows are absolute beachfront, if seas are rough, wave noise can be prob..bring earplugs if concern
  • Stayed: July 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank surfergt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel M, Owner at Sa'Moana Beach Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2018

Thank you for your great review and kind words and yes we think we are worth the drive too!

Hopefully in the not too distant future the drive will be a positive part and we will have a new road into the resort.

Luckily our water pressure issue was fixed and we are back to hot water again as it had been a bit hit and miss due to water leaks.

Anyway - all the best and thanks again for the review which really helps others when they are choosing their accommodation in Samoa.

Cheers

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Reviewed 17 August 2018

Ah, Sa’Moana… our 3rd visit in 3 years. Kind of says it all really, but it just keeps getting better. Honestly. This time my sister and I stayed 7 nights and at the time thought it might be too long, but once you get there adjust to the rhythm of the tide and sunrise/set, happy hour, onshore breeze it’s just not long enough! This time we were in the newly renovated Alofa Bungalow at the end of the resort, with a wonderful deck and outdoor bathroom and unobstructed view of the sea and sunset. No one around us. You just can’t get wound up here! There are only 9 bungalows here and most of the time you really have the place to yourself as other guests go off and explore for the day, sleep under trees or in their rooms.
Great thing about Sa’Moana - the food! It is the best we have experienced on Upulo or Savaii. We visited other resorts for lunhes/dinners including Seabreeze, Sheraton, Return to Paradise, Coconuts and Sinalei and the food at Sa’Moana is unparelled. Not just for freshness and taste, but value for money. I am a vegetarian and my sister eats fish and there was plenty on offer, with the team happy to accommodate, switch fries for rice etc and vice versa. There’s nothing more annoying than going to another culture and being offered western food when there is a plethora of fresh fish, fruit, vegetables on offer. Sa’Moana embraced the produce which is on its doorstep and won’t use imported chicken for example. A generous breakfast is included (fruits, toast and spreads (8 or so to choose from!), coffee and tea (all day long if you like), sweet cake/muffin things and fried rice. You can also order from a simple eggs etc menu which is great value. The beer is cheap and the cocktails are made with fresh fruit not syrups! Happy hour is hours long…. And if you’re detoxing or teetotal there are plenty of juice options. Filtered water is free all the time and much appreciated.
We love the remote feeling of this place. We don’t do pools, but the ocean is clean and warm and there’s great snorkelling just west of the resort boundary. The coral is getting better each year as it rejuvenates from damage in recent natural disasters. Sa’Moana is spotlessly clean and the property is well loved and maintained. There’s a pretty well-equipped gym too which I used once but why would you bother!? This place feels safe and friendly and the staff look happy. Most of them are from the village on the road in so it is great to know they are supporting locals. You do need a rental car – taxis don’t love coming down the 6km bumpy rough road, but a cheap SUV will give you independence and freedom to explore. It might be a bit lonely if you were a solo traveller for more than a couple of days, but for couples, sisters, girlfriends, small families this place is perfection. Do read the info Ally and Dan send out when you book and leave your cellphones and laptops in your suitcase. Bring books, magazines and not much else and I promise you this place will recharge your batteries and centre you back from the craziness of a busy western lifestyle in no time!
We said this might be our last time for a couple of years, but now back in NZ we are already thinking of rebooking for Aug 2019.

Room Tip: All rooms have unobstructed views. Biggest problem you might find is the noise of the ocean. But after 1 day you won't hear it!
  • Stayed: August 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank WellingtonJoanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel M, Owner at Sa'Moana Beach Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2018

Talofa Jo & Kate

Great having you back for a 3rd visit and glad you enjoyed it. All your comments are exactly on point and offer a great insight into what we are all about for other travellers and people thinking of coming to Samoa. We love your honesty!

Yes we are a great Kiwi escape as we are just a short flight away and perfect for escaping the NZ winter blues! Contact us direct for the best packages and we can always offer you heaps of info before you arrive.

Until we meet again!

All the best

Dan & Ally

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