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“Lost in Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sinalei Reef Resort

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Sinalei Reef Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Siumu, Apia, Upolu 1510, Samoa   |  
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Ranked #3 of 32 Hotels in Apia
Sydney, Australia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Lost in Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

Its hard to imagine anywhere better to unwind from the ratrace of Sydney life. September 2012 will be in our hearts and minds forever. We chose this beautiful place over Fiji, and having been there before, we are sure we made the right choice. Our beachside fale was more than we expected, though some of the beach and garden view fales would be just as pleasing. The food was to die for, not a huge selection but gourmet all the way. Being there is only 29 rooms you could not possibly expect the menu to be huge anyway. Staff and service was excellent, they are super friendly and only too willing to help. If you want touristy stuff it is available, we hired a car for couple of days and did our own thingand if surfing is your thing , that can be organised as well, there is a surf camp next door. We could go on forever, but if you are looking for a sit back and watch the day go by holiday destination, look no further.

Room Tip: Beachside 2-6 right on the water, some oceanview probably just as good
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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448 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (127)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

In September 2012 me and my partner went to sinalei resort for a week. It was the most beautiful place to relax. the beach was gorgeous and the pool was great.
the food in the restaurant was really fresh and delicious and the cocktails were great too :) Not to mention all the staff were so kind and warm all day everyday! great service.
the Fale's offered privacy and your own space to escape to.
the grounds sinalei is on is big and lush with plenty of space and well away from the road so was peaceful.
Also because the resort doesnt allow kids it allowed for a really relaxing beautiful environment to holiday.
the water was super clear and very warm! :)
the free kayak and snorkelling gear hire was really top quality and nice which was great to use as snorkelling and kayaking were a great thing to go around the resort.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

A touch of paradise and perfect for celebrating a significant birthday, nothing was too much for the very friendly staff - from the CEO to the maintenance staff. Beautiful gardens and such a peaceful setting. The oceanview fales were well-appointed and quite private, the resort was probably fully booked but the layout of the resort gave you the feeling of space and tranquility. The food was great - quality and value. It was the perfect resort for unwinding, you could spend a lazy day on the beach or by the pool or there were activities and tours available. Don't hire a car, the resort shuttle bus is very reasonable if you want to shop in Apia or do a half or full day tour. It was great to stay with two other couples (family) and the staff organised neighbouring fales and tables set for 6. I emailed the resort a few times before leaving with some queries, their responses were prompt and very helpful.
We will certainly all return.

Room Tip: Look at the layouts on the website.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
auckland
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

What an idyllic setting the Sinalei resort occupies. Lush gardens down to the beautiful warm sea. The accommodation is in individual bungalows with different options available. We were in a garden cottage (probably the cheapest option) which suited us perfectly. Loved the outdoor shower and loo.
The staff were delightful and on the whole the resort is very well run. We were frustrated at times at the long wait for our dinner orders to be taken and at the very long wait between the order being taken and the meals to arrive( sometimes an hour between courses). This mainly happened at dinner in the beautiful over water dining room. If we were told it would take time for our orders to arrive we relaxed and enjoyed our environment. The food was very good and was always fresh and appealing. The waiters did not seem to be responsible for any particular tables so no-one was aware of what was often happening.

I would strongly advise against the meal option as it proved a very expensive exercise. We worked out that we paid at least NZ$50 extra each day for each of us. There are also other ,cheaper, eating options a short walk away along the beach.

One other worry are the number of Crown of Thorns starfish close in near the resort. We spotted at least half a dozen and advised the man in the beach shop who disposed of them. If you stand on one of these it is very painful and requires a trip to the hospital.If you are aware of them you know what to look for and to avoid them.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, NZ
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

My partner and I stayed at Sinalei for a week and the location and layout of the resort is great. We had a garden fale which was lovely but there were a couple of minor issues. The fale had the outside toilet and shower (which is cool) however when it rained (which it did very heavily for 2 days), the guttering couldnt cope and bent allowing a lot of water to pour over the toilet and saturate the towels and anything else that it came into contact with. The toilet seat was broken and the bed was also uncomfortable as it had the typical middle bump which is the sign of a well used mattress. There's no cutlery or even a few plates which was annoying when we purchased our own fruit and snacks,

Normally I wont worry about these things but when your paying extra for nicer accommodation, I would expect the basics like the bed and toilet to be in good condition. Overall, the resort is lovely, the staff are friendly and polite and we had a good time. I would stay there again but only if it was part of a package deal.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

After reading all of the reviews on here, I think I had overly high expectations, and whilst the resort is nice, it isn’t anything spectacular. If you are looking for a flop and drop holiday with nice, clean, simple accommodation and friendly staff this certainly isn’t a bad place to choose, but I think the key thing that I felt was wrong, was that it was overpriced for what you got, so it left me feeling slightly disappointed. If I had been paying $150 or even $100 per night less than I did, I think I would have had a much more realistic expectation of what I was going to get at the resort and a much more positive review.
We stayed in a beach side fale which as stated in other reviews, is a long room, divided into two by a wall that doesn’t reach the ceiling.
The bathroom was large, clean and functional although the fridge and wardrobes were in there (not ideal having the fridge and clothes in the bathroom) and yes, because the wall doesn’t meet the ceiling it does mean that if you go to the loo in the night, you will wake up your companion when putting on the light and there is no escaping the obvious noise issue! The toiletries are just standard, not luxury, the towels a bit tatty, and no slippers, but there are plenty of coat hangers and they leave a couple of bottles of water in the fridge every day when the room is serviced.
The bedroom has a small sofa, desk and chair, comfy bed and an iPod dock but no TV and DVD player and as there is nothing to do after dinner, unless you want to sit in the bar (which was really quiet so therefore not much atmosphere) it would have been a good option to be able to retire to the room and watch a film.
The best thing about the beach fale is the deck out the front which had two really comfortable sun loungers (with plump, clean cushions) and a fabulous view. No table and chairs out there though which would make a good addition so you can sit and have some sun downers in comfort but it is wonderful to go to sleep and wake up to the sound of waves lapping at the shore.
The spa is very basic although in a nice setting right by the ocean. I had a scrub and came out a bit pink as I was thoroughly scrubbed by the therapist using a bog standard exfoliation glove (??!!). I had some other treatments booked in but cancelled them after the scrub as they were quite expensive but not at all luxurious and not really value for money.
The food was really fresh but the menus are small (although they do a couple of specials every night at dinner) and if you are a vegetarian who doesn’t eat fish it is extremely limited. Also there isn’t any flexibility for example, as I was struggling with the menu options a bit, I asked if I could have an omelette for lunch (they have omelettes on the breakfast menu) and was told no and I do agree with the other reviewer who said the language barrier made it difficult to request changes but that the staff were trying to do their best.
In terms of the resort setting, the sea is crystal clear and the beach lovely and it is a nice stroll down to the nearby Coconuts resorts (which is nowhere near as nice as Sinelai) for a drink. There are water sports facilities available for the active types and it looked like other guests were off on fishing trips every day, if fishing is your thing.
To sum it up, Sinalei is a nice, very quiet resort and I’m sure compared to the other resorts in Samoa (which is still unscathed by mass tourism) it is five star luxury, but in comparison to hotels which class themselves as ‘luxury’ in other counties it doesn’t hold up, it just isn’t value for money and is overpriced.
If you are looking for a bit of luxury and variety in food/things to do/places to go etc. there are definitely better options out there with a similar flight time from Sydney (Fiji for example) where you will get more bang for your buck than you do at Sinalei.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SAnnandale, General Manager at Sinalei Reef Resort, responded to this review, September 2, 2012
Talofa lava and greetings from the South Coast,
As always we greatly appreciate your feedback. We are sorry that we did not meet your expectations or your perception of "luxury". I agree with you completely in that Sinalei is not a silver service or marble floor type experience nor do we profess to it. What we do strive to offer our guests however is an opportunity to connect with our people, culture and the core of our simple existence here in Samoa in a prestine setting. The value of such an experience is a personal one. Thank you again. Soifua.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blenheim, New Zealand
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

We have just bid a reluctant farewell to our Samoan hosts at the idyllic Sinalei Reef Resort. Our eagerly anticipated, relaxing 12 night indulgence was all we could have hoped for... & more. The Resort is within easy access of Apia town, perfectly located amid lush, tropical gardens, overlooking crystal clear coral lagoons & fabulous beaches (with surf breaks easilly acessible by boat). The Resort's facilities are well maintained combining traditional architecture with modern amenities. We were delighted with our choice of accommodation - the spacious Ocean View Villas offer amazing views of the grounds & the ocean from both the bedroom & living area in addition to our generously sized balcony. The welcomed seabreezes were enough for us to offset the use of air conditioning & with screened windows, we were lulled by the sound of the ocean at night without the worry of insects. Our housekeeping was impecably attended to each day & evening (with special thanks to Seto for his gentle written words left at turndown each night).
We took advantage of the ideal location of the spa & were pampered with massages & body treatments to the soothing sounds of the ocean. The Spa staff, as with all staff at Sinalei, were welcoming & professional with a natural charm that made the entire experince all the more memorable.
My husband was keen to take advantage of the Resort's proximity to some of Samoa's most consistent surf breaks & had the opportunity of surfing with the Resort boat's crew as well as the boats from nearby Maninoa Surfcamp & Coconuts Resort. The tidal lagoons offer plenty of options for snorkelling, Kayaking, beachcombing & safe swimming - tides pending.
With both Coconuts Resort & another casual beachfront cafe closeby, there are alternatives for dining elsewhere within an easy beach stroll of the Resort. However, we found Sinalei's Pier Restaurant the perfect location for well priced light lunches, sunset cocktails & fabulous seafood. With a variety of well considered specials each day & the options of a weekly BBQ & Island feast, we did not find the menu choices limiting. We truly appreciated the Resort's culinary ethos of sourcing fresh local produce & enjoyed our dining experiences without exception (with thanks to the talented local musicians who provided such delightful background music each evening). The restaurant service was, as with the staffing elsewhere within the resort, delivered with efficency, courtesy & charm. We found the staff enthusiastic, friendly & willing to assist us with our every enquiry - Samoan hospitality is a warmly welcomed experience.
So thank you, Sose, & to all at Sinalei for an unforgettable holiday - rest assured, we shall return when we next visit treasured Samoa.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sinalei Reef Resort

Address: Siumu, Apia, Upolu 1510, Samoa
Phone Number:
Location: Samoa > Upolu > Apia
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Apia
#1 Romantic Hotel in Apia
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Apia
#1 Family Hotel in Apia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sinalei Reef Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 25
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Also Known As:
Sinalei Reef Hotel Apia
Sinalei Reef Apia
Sinalei Reef Resort Samoa/Apia

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