We enjoyed our 3 days at Sweet Escape. A great initiation into Samoan life and culture and the perfect place to relax with a good book and wind down for the start of our Samoan adventures. Without vehicles and dogs the island is a tranquil oasis.
Our family hosts, Eddie, tepa and Elisi were friendly and attentive to our needs. Our enclosed fale (1 of just 4) was bright, comfortable and clean. Each one had a verandah, tables and chairs, insect screening and electricity and they were close to the waters edge making for breezy and comfortable nights and no mosquitos.
Shared facilities of toilets, cold shower and laundry were clean and although we were the only guests would be adequate for the 4 fales. Food was basic family style served in the open family fale and they even included an umu just for us; delicious.
We did the two recommended walks, one following the public path around the island giving many glimpses of island life and the other through the family plantation and forest up to the high point on the island. Our hosts daughter Elisi was our guide on each of these and her husband Toia came along on the second climbing impressively for green coconuts high on the tree for our refreshment.
Make sure you ask them to take you on to the Star Mound; we didn't realise it was a little further on and they did not offer to take us on.
Most of the beachline we saw was rocky and unremarkable. We did visit the beach at Apai, said to be the best, but at low tide it was not really swimmable. As is customary we paid 5 tala each to Apai village to use the beach for the 3 days but did not return.
We booked through the hotels-samoa website and took a taxi (selected by Polynesian Xplorer) direct to the wharf from Faleolo Airport for a perhaps inflated price of 40 tala for the 15 minute ride. The family boat was there to meet us. Extreme caution is needed on the slippery ramp at low tide – we discovered the hard way! When we left Manono Toia saw us onto the local bus at the wharf for the Mulifanua Ferry to Savai'i for 1.50 tala each and an amazing experience!
At 100 tala each a night including breakfast and dinner and boat transfers we found Sweet Escape fair value for money.
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