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“We felt totally "at home" here”

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Savaii Lagoon Resort
Ranked #1 of 15 Hotels in Savai'i
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 31, 2010

The previous reviewer has said it all, really! We love snorkelling, and this location is magnificent and totally safe. You can snorkel for hours in a huge bay, and if that's not enough the adjacent Dive Savaii operation will take you out to more remote spots.
Cristophs cuisine is just perfect for us too!
We'll be back, for sure.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Rattles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 15, 2010

My friend and I have just spent 10 days at Savaii Lagoon Resort. We stopped here for 2 or 3 days last May as part of a longer trip, but both agreed afterwards that if we returned to Samoa we'd stay here for our whole trip. And we did.

This time we stayed in a superior bungalow, which was spacious and comfortable. We had used a standard bungalow last year and the managers told me that these were being upgraded. We were shown through the unit we stayed in previously and it now has a new kitchen and outdoor bathroom, and the furnishings had been updated as well. I was told the rest of the units will also be upgraded to match.

The resort itself is looking looking smarter as the bungalows have all been painted a muted green colour, so they sit a bit more comfortably in their surroundings now. The gardens are becoming more established and look good too.

Also good to see was the restaurant is now open. The included continental breakfast is served there, and now comes with plunger coffee (hooray - I had taken my own plunger and coffee this time lol) but now you can order a cooked breakfast of eggs etc and proper real coffee (latte/cappuccino etc) but of course you pay for those. The restaurant also serves dinner - you just have to let them know in the afternoon if you want dinner, and they'll advise what the menu will be. They serve local foods so the fish is always fresh. And we ate here three nights and it was delicious every time.

One of the things I like most about Savaii Lagoon Resort is that you are not at the mercy of the resort - there's a restaurant at the resort next door, a pizza place on the other side, and the shop across the road does fish'n'chips (well actually it turned out they were getting them from the resort). Plus you can always cook for yourself in your own kitchenette. We hired bikes one day (8 tala/hour or 25 tala all day) and had lunch up in Manase.

The managers Christoph and Patricia are welcoming and friendly, as are all the staff. Was nice to have breakfast and on return to our bungalow find it spic and span.

We spent most of the first week snorkelling, and the last few days just relaxing and reading. It is such a beautiful spot. The beach is gorgeous and the snorkelling is good, I lost count of the different types of fish I saw.

We really like this place because it's so relaxed. It's not an uptight, upmarket, "resorty" type place with rows of loungers on the beach, and that's exactly what makes it my perfect spot.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with friends
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8  Thank timmydownawell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2010

if your looking for good honest get away from it all place this is one of them, comfortable and in a great location.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank tvonkite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2010

This is a very average and rather over priced resort. We have stayed in Samoa for 5 weeks at 6 different resorts over two years and have been on day trips to several others. Of all of them this was really the least desirable place.

First the Ugly: Be extremely careful when booking here, to be sure you will want to stay the amount of nights that you have booked and paid for in advance. We had booked and paid for 6 nights last year for our stay this March, we now know this wasn't necessary at all as March is still part of the slow season and every property we looked at, including this one, had lots of availability. The cancellation policy is rigid here and we ended up leaving after only 3 nights and being responsible to still pay the next 3 nights due to the cancellation policy not allowing early checkouts. My wife has severe asthma, and this property is located right in the middle of the local village which happened to have a lot of burning taking place. The wind at this part of the beach either blows very little or it comes from inland (unlike the nearby Manase resorts) so there was always smoke in the air. For most people it likely wasn't a problem, but for us it meant if we stayed we could be looking at a hospital stay, regardless of the medication she carries. Medical insurance only covers the emergency hospital stay that we didn’t want to wait around for her to use so we checked out early and were charged the full amount for 6 days. If anyone in your travelling party has asthma or breathing issues you should seriously reconsider staying here.

Now the Bad: The cost here is very expensive compared to other locations in Manase... be sure to convert the NZ dollars rates to Tala and make your comparison. These are locking closed bungalows and are advertised as Cyclone proof, but they only get a real one every 10 years or so and you are in the South Pacific folks and it gets hot every day. So be warned, these bungalows get exceptionally hot inside more so than any other closed bungalow we have stayed in and these have no air conditioning in any of them. Don’t expect to do anything inside during the day because it is smoking hot inside. The inside is painted "Battleship Grey" from top to bottom which is quite harsh, coupled with the dim cool white fluorescent lighting... The blinds are see-through at night and all the bungalows are located very close together. All the piping is exposed around the sinks which makes it even more spartan looking. Apparently they are doing some upgrades, but as far as I can tell it is just to fix the Termite problem they are infested with. Also, the resort book says that you will be charged for ruining the furniture if you sit on it while wet. Since we were in and out of the water all day we pushed the furniture to the side and brought some plastic chairs inside… Just in case.

The bungalow entrances are at the side with a small covered walkway and there is no deck out front to enjoy the view... Not many places with shade either and on the beach there aren’t enough of those thatched beach umbrellas to go around.

There was never an off-shore breeze at this part of the Beach and when there was it hardly noticeable and came from inland. The Trade winds blow quite nicely farther along Manase Beach (Stevenson's, Tanu, Tailua, etc...) but not here. This makes it even hotter, so be prepared for this. I love the heat, but other resorts a 5 min ride down the road where the beach is much better, might make your trip more pleasant. During low tide here there is no swimming possible.

Now some Good: The on-site managers are great and Kristoff is an excellent Chef. Not cheap but not excessively priced either (~$45 Tala each for dinner). Breakfast was very nice. The bungalows are kept clean and have an indoor shower and toilet, the bed was very comfortable. The overhead fan is good for sleeping but it doesn't do anything for you during the heat of the day. They have their own water filtration so you can drink the water. That is a nice feature considering you need to buy bottled water anywhere else. There is night security on site. The snorkeling in the inner reef was very good, some of the best I saw in the area.

The New Zealand owners were quite nasty with us, even though a polite “no” would have been fine whatever our request for accommodation was. Regardless, as Samoa resorts go this place is expensive for just average accommodations and considering the spectacular beaches just up the road, the location is just fair by comparison. The design of the bungalows makes them very hot inside and the décor is kind of shabby. We love visiting Samoa and have travelled here twice now, regardless that for us this is a long 13 hour flight with a stopover in Los Angeles.

Everyone should experience this wonderfully unspoiled, uncrowded and incredibly friendly country. You are in paradise but you can do better than this.

I would not recommend Savaii Lagoon, and will not stay here again.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Michael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
arretron, Owner at Savaii Lagoon Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 11, 2010

It is a pity that this guest has not given the true history of his booking. He demanded to receive our last minute special offer in March of 20% discount even though his booking for two bungalows was made in November of last year. This was a most unreasonable demand, as our special offer for last minute bookings was just that, - for last minute bookings - the same kind of deal given by cruise ships and airlines etc to fill beds and seats at the last minute.
To acquiese to this demand, we would have to re-visit all the other bookings for March, most difficult and impractical to do so. We explained this and said that we did not wish to have unhappy guests, so we would give them a free upgrade for both couples to the bungalows with the enclosed outdoor showers as an alternative. This is not something which we were obliged to do.
When we received notification that they (both bungalows, not just one!) wished to move on due to one lady having an asthma problem, we quoted our cancellation policy and asked them to obtain a medical certificate so that they could claim through their travel insurance. We feel that this was a fair and reasonable reply and is normal procedure with accommodation providers.
We were not nasty as stated and we find his comments totally inappropriate. Many reviews from guests comment on our friendliness. One of the couples told our managers that there were ways on the internet to “get” at us. This would appear to be what they are trying to do now.
They also said that it was normal practice in Canada to be able to re-visit the cost of any purchases when there is a discount offered at a later date and to be able to receive that discount!
As accommodation providers, we have to ensure that the accommodation is held for the guests arrival when booked beforehand. How would these guests feel if we told them on arrival that we could not accommodate them after all? We would then be obliged to find them comparable accommodation at our expense. Should a guest have to leave for reasons of sickness, the responsibility lies with the guest to claim on their travel insurance and not to fall back on the accommodation provider to cover this. We are on the island of Savaii and the possibility of filling those bungalows which have been held for the entire booking is almost negligible.
On their return to Canada, both couples emailed demanding a refund due to illness of one, to which we replied again that travel insurance was designed to cover this. Then following this email, both couples tried unsuccessfully to dispute the total credit card charge.... and he says in his review that a ‘no’ would have been sufficient.

Our self contained bungalows on the beach with cooking facilities cannot be compared with open fales, and our rates are comparable or cheaper than similar accommodations.
Our bungalows are not “smoking hot” as claimed. This is a deliberate gross exaggeration. We have overhead fans and louvre windows throughout the bungalows. We have bamboo blinds in the living area of some bungalows to shade the interior and at the same time to allow a breeze to come through the blinds The bedrooms have drapes for privacy We have louvre windows right around the bungalows which facilitate a breeze.
No other guest has complained that the bungalows are too hot.
We are not termite infested, as stated in this guest’s review. This is totally untrue and definitely not what he experienced. We do a few times a year experience a certain breed of ants which develop wings for a very short time. This is Samoa in the tropics and things like that happen. In Canada where this person lives, there is a small black fly problem at certain times of the year, which I have been told by Canadians is quite a problem.
This guest also put in a forum post in which he said that because the owners of Savaii Lagoon lived in New Zealand, he could not speculate on the length of time it would take to answer emails.
This statement is also deliberately misleading, as he had been in email contact with us a few times before and the response back to him had been the same day.
Why should this guest be so concerned with exposed pipes under the sink, when he should be focussed on the fact that this is the only resort in Samoa where the taps on the basin above give safe drinking water due to filtration and UV treatment? Surely that is what is important? We also provide this safe drinking water for all the villagers at no cost to them.
At no time were we told that the colour of the bungalow, (a matter of personal taste and which incidentally is Roman Sand and not Battleship Grey), or the blinds or the exposed pipes contributed to the asthma or was a problem. If this reviewer was concerned about the health of his partner, why should he take the time to photograph the exposed pipes under the sink. It would appear that he had an agenda.
He criticised our beach as being just fair by comparison to spectacular beaches up the road. Look up our video on our website to see that we have a beautiful beach, which is clean and the water is clear and safe for swimming and snorkeling.
We received no complaints about the accommodation itself from this guest when they were there, so to read his comments, and I quote, about “the bad” sadly appears to be what they said that they would do.
Trip Advisor is an excellent tool for assessing accommodation but unfortunately it can also be used by reviewers for unfair purposes.

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Reviewed April 18, 2010

My husband and I went to Savai'i Lagoon on the recommendation of his team leader. It was beautiful - our beachfront bungalow was spacious, clean, and had everything you'd need for a getaway in the sun; great shower, microwave, cooking utensils etc all supplied. Be sure to partake of manager Chris's gourmet dinners! Am planning to take my seven year old for the fantastic snorkelling. It was my first time snorkelling and it was a great experience. Be sure also to catch the informative talk on coconuts if you can, and taste the delicious coconut cream.

One tip, get some supplies near the wharf when you get off the ferry as we found it hard to get fresh veggies and eggs near the resort. Then you are all set for a wonderful holiday!!! ENJOY!!!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Interpretergirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2010

My partner and I stayed at Savaii Lagoon a short time ago and we had an awesome time. It was low season but the weather was great. The accommodation was very clean and comfortable with hot showers (but who wants hot showers in Samoa). The bed was so comfortable, surprising for Samoa perhaps. We did not want to sleep on a mattress on the floor. When we entered our bungalow, we were welcomed by the sight of the towels laid out beautifully on the bed with fresh flowers.

We chose this resort because a friend who stayed there recommended it to us and because we could do most of our cooking, but there is a restaurant there and also a pizza place next door if you do not want to cook. We had a pizza once, very nice, enough for two people and not expensive. The breakfasts which were inclusive was more than we could eat, toasts and jam, cereal and fruits and tea or coffee. We also bought bread from the shop across the road for our lunches. You should try the local bread - Yum!.

The beach was amazing, the snorkeling was great and we just chilled out and relaxed which is what we needed to do. We met the owner who was doing some renovations and even though he was very busy, he always stopped and talked to us and the other guests to ensure that our day was going well. He had an amazing sense of humour. All the staff at the resort were very helpful and friendly. The maids spoke English quite well and they seemed to enjoy talking to us. They wanted to know about our jobs, where we lived, why did we come to Samoa ..... Nothing was too much trouble and that helped to make our holiday.

Our stay was only for a few days. so we did not have time to go around the Island. We were told that a vehicle can be hired from a hire place in the village. I don't think that the buses go completely around the island. I am going back with family in July and we are all looking forward to it.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank HottravellerAuckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2010

i have traveled around the south pacific for the last 30 years and this was my first stay at Savaii Lagoon Resort. The best thing about SLR is the lagoon. It is marvelous!!! You need to know that at low tide it is not a good idea to use the kayaks at all. In fact, you need to stay out of the water at low tide except for a few small pockets where you can swim. the coral is very fragile. However - during higher tides the snorkelling is magnificent!! Some of the best I've seen. kayaking is great, but there was a dire need of more kayaks. there were only 2 kayaks for the whole "resort" when i was there. It was also unfortunate there are not enough umbrellas - the website makes it appear that each unit has an area with an umbrella, and that is not the case. So during low tide, you really have nowhere to sit on the beach unless you have staked out an umbrella at dawn and manned it all day. The place has such marvelous potential, but the buildings are crudely built; there is no shower, just a spigot on the end of a hose; obviously no hot water. there was no mirror in our unit, even in the bathroom; there are bugs. big bugs. then there are flying termites at night that swarm. they go up your nose and in your ears. a mosquito net does not keep them out. Again as to the building structure: i could not only hear every word the people in the unit across the way. from us said, but i could hear the tinkle of their teacups as well. Originally we were given a unit with another unit directly in front of it which was not at all what we had agreed to. we moved the next day which was okay but then we were asked to move again at the end of our stay. kinda put a crimp in the holiday because it was so time consuming - we did all the moving ourselves and couldn't make oursevles at home the way i would have liked. but that's just a little thing that happens from time to time. there appears to be no limit as to how many people can stay in each unit. (therefore the kayak and umbrella scarcity can become even more problematic. and the noise reminded me of dorm life). the water was out (no flushing of toilets) more than once. and the lights. this was not an island problem, it was a problem of the hotel. Management was reserved and distant. Ts say they lacked island hospitality would be an understatement. this hotel should be booked at a budget rate, but it actually has quite a hefty tarriff considering it's drawbacks. It is basically a family camping venue on a gorgeous spot of beach. If you have a family, or are in college, and very friendly but don't want to stay in a fale and can afford the exhorbidant extra charged for a hut, you'd enjoy it here. if you are seeking any sort of peace and quiet, i'd recommend you pay a little more and go elsewhere. you might try looking at the Vaisala, thought i haven't stayed there in 10 years. I checked out the prices at Le Lagoto next door, and with the special they were running at the time it would have been not much more to have stayed there. (but the owner of SLR would not give any refunds). a side note - It's quite a hike to "town", so arriving with your own provisions is strongly recommended. we got a chicken & vegetables, cheese, eggs etc in apia and feasted like royalty just using the provided electric skillet. a wonderful breakfast was delivered to the unit every day. we rented bikes from andrew next door and it was a great way to tour the island. Another snorkellying tip- at times you might find the snorelling cloudy in certain areas, almost like vaseline had been put on your mask - that is caused by fresh water. it is something you might encounter after a hard rain.

Stayed: August 2009, traveled solo
4  Thank patuiki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
arretron, Owner at Savaii Lagoon Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 14, 2010

We need to ask the question, - has the lapse of time since this writer's visit caused some confusion in her memory? Is she confusing Savaii Lagoon with another resort? We have excellent showers with shower heads and as much hot running water as is required, because each shower has an instant water heating unit. - certainly not what is stated in the review, quote "a spigot at the end of a hose - obviously no hot water"
Check out the video on our website.

This writer says that we have no mirrors, not even in the bathroom.
We have mirrors in every bathroom.

Our septic system is the only evapo-transpiration sewage system in Samoa, so that our beautiful lagoon is not harmed in any way by the risk of sewage seepage which can happen in some beach resorts. Our water comes through a village system from high in the hills, and this we filter and ultra violet treat for safe drinking water . This water we make available free to any villagers also.

We have a occupancy limit to each bungalow of 3 adults only, or 2 adults and 2/3 children depending on age of children. The occupancy is not unlimited. as claimed.

Our managers are very friendly and helpful, - definitely not "distant and reserved" as stated. Read the other reviews which praise their friendliness and helpfullness.

If this guest is looking for a hotel as quoted in her review, Savaii Lagoon is not a hotel and does not claim to be. We aim to be a relaxed beach resort with individual self contained bungalows made from a concrete structure, designed and built purposely to withstand up to 300 kilometer per hour cyclones, should they occur, as can happen in the tropics. The bungalows are certainly not "huts" as suggested.. Once again, please check out our video.

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Additional Information about Savaii Lagoon Resort

Address: Main Coast Rd, Fagamalo, Savai'i, Samoa
Location: Samoa > Savai'i
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Savai'i
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Savai'i
Price Range: $118 - $187 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Savaii Lagoon Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A boutique resort situated on a beautiful sandy beach surrounded by a lagoon with sparkling clear warm waters, safe for snorkeling and swimming. Bungalows are self contained with some cooking facilities, catering for families, singles or couples. All have outdoor showers enclosed within the bungalow to enable you to have a shower under the stars. Restaurant is on the beach also for those pina coladas or cold beers while you watch the magical sunsets for which this area is renowned.resort has a glass bottom boat and fishing charters with fishing gear provided operating from the beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Savaii Lagoon Hotel Savai`i
Savaii Lagoon Savai i
Savaii Lagoon Resort Samoa

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