The reason I 'titled' my review "Paradise in Heaven" is because one of the local buses on the island has it written in bold letters on it. There is no better way to sum up Savai'i....it truly is paradise in heaven!
My husband and I are a young couple from Canada. We chose Samoa as our destination as a result of several enjoyable visits to the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu in Hawai'i. There, the Fa'a Samoa (the Samoan way) is portrayed as very friendly and happy. We absolutely love Hawai'i but love to backpack and go to places with less tourism and more culture.
It was a total of 21 hours of just flying time to reach our destination. Once we reached Upolou and hired a taxi, the fun began. The air smelled like camp fires (from the underground umus) because the local people were cooking supper at the time. The humidity felt great and we were greeted with smiles. We stayed at "the Outrigger" and went snorkeling to the Marine Reserve which was the best snorkeling I have ever seen...and extremely cheap. Make sure you bring your own snorkel gear and a set of travel fins are very handy as well. Since our destination was Savai'i, we took the ferry after two days on the mainland.
We arrived in Savai'i and took a taxi directly to Siufaga (as I had researched this place on the internet). We were greeted by Taga and taken to our absolutely lovely room!!! My husband has a spinal cord injury so we need to stay in places with our own bathroom facilities. Our room had one queen bed, and two twin beds. There was a sitting area, t.v., kettle (you can drink the water---which is wonderful---you just have to boil some each night), mini-fridge, air conditioning, and a spacious bathroom with an amazing outside shower all done in stone!! You couldn't ask for anything better. We went to town and found a great deal on a rental car and drove around to all of the sights as well. The local bus was a lot of fun since everyone is so friendly. The transportation is very easy on this island. The pool was extremely clean (as was everything), a very nice size for swimming and relaxing, the swim up bar was a nice touch, and the water temperature was perfect----not cold which was nice. The grounds were immaculate!! It truly is a little resort. There was a spa which we did not utilize. The restaurant was good. The food was average and fairly expensive for the portion sizes. We ate there a few times but I would encourage you explore as well if you have time. The continental breakfast is free and it includes fruit and toast. They are very generous with this and we really enjoyed having this each morning. They also serve local fare called "Cocoa Samoa" which is a warm rice pudding-ish dish" which is very good. They have wonderful bag lunches that you can take out as well. They also offered some tours out of the resort. We took part in a visit to a local artist which was really neat to see and my favorite was going to a local village. They cooked us breadfruit in the umu and had a dip that consisted of banana leaves, onions and coconut milk. I wish I could have some of that here in Canada!!
We stayed at Siufaga for 14 nights and I cried when we had to leave. I grew very attached to the wonderful staff there. Taga was amazing and catered to your every need. He is such a special man! I really miss Malia who worked at the reception desk (we keep in contact now) as she was helpful and kind. Beta was wonderful to chat with, and I looked forward to seeing her each morning. Breakfast was always one of my favorite times. I cannot remember the guy's name who served us almost every morning (he had a limp from a recent car accident) but his service was fantastic! We were there during the Tsunami evacuation and I felt very safe with Taga looking after us.
We met some wonderful people at this resort including the guests that we will forever keep in touch with. We traveled the island and saw many other accommodations and trust me, this is the best place for the best value! If you stay here and are not happy with the resort, perhaps you should stick to Hawai'i where it is packed with tourists. This place is peaceful and the most gorgeous views I have ever seen. It is still hard to believe that we had such an opportunity to visit such a beautiful country with such an amazingly generous, happy and friendly culture. I would go back there in a second if I could.
Get airconditioning. Hottest place yet!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.