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“Stay Spoiled by Unpleasant Management”

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Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Asau
Certificate of Excellence
Australia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Stay Spoiled by Unpleasant Management”
Reviewed December 8, 2013

We stayed at Vai Moana in September and mmm, yes, I have been putting off writing this review, as I do not particularly like saying negatives things on reviews, unless essential.
First, the positives…
We found staff at Vai Moana to be all warm, friendly and helpful. The food, whilst simple, was adequate, and plenty of it.
The pretty little bay the resort is set in could be greatly improved. The sand needed replenishing. Black dirt showed through the sand in many areas. Three sunlounges on the beach – hard as rocks, with no cushioning. Beach quite rocky, shabby and unkempt. Whilst this part is naturally rocky, it could have been improved with simple raking of the beach every now and then. Woven umbrellas on the beach in bad condition, wooden steps and hand rails needed repairing. We found it strange when on a walk around the back of the resort to find two female staff bending down for quite some time picking up leaves on the grass by hand. This time and effort could have been spent trying to tidy up the beach.
No snorkeling from shore, but we were aware of this.
We experienced an extremely unpleasant attitude from management (namely Michelle), who mucked us around with our booking, denied receiving our emails, both prior to arriving in Samoa and also once we had arrived in the country. We had been advised we would receive a 10% discount if we pre-paid before leaving for our trip. Advised Vai Moana several times by email prior to leaving that we would like to pre-pay, but could not get a reply to our emails. Did not receive a warm welcome when we did arrive for our stay, but instead a very vague ‘Oh you are here’ type of attitude.
Not given requested room for first night and had to move fales on day two.The evening of day one we realized why the resort did not seem to want our booking. A very large Samoan contingent were staying at the resort and the better rooms were given to them.
Vai Moana has the potential to be much nicer. Show some pride in your beach Vai Moana. Give it some sand and keep it clean, some comfortable sunlounges (and more of them) , fix the shabby umbrellas and railings. These things are ‘fixable’, but I don’t know if the rude attitude of the manager is. An ok stay, only made so by the other lovely staff. Unfortunately, when initial arrival and circumstances are unpleasant, it is a hard one to get over, even when all the other staff were delightful and couldn't do enough for us.
I am glad to say this was our only unpleasant experience with anyone else during our three and a half week stay in Samoa, at various resorts.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Chinta1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (74)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Apia, Samoa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2013 via mobile

Okay, this is going to be a lobg review BUT worth the read! :)

On th 22nd November 2013 my husband and I checked in at Va-i-moana Seaside Lodge. It was a suprise 4year anniversary for my husband and I.

I paid for our room ($270WST) & also a special cake ($35WST) as it was VERY special for us, i paid this amount in advance. EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE started from when I talked with Michelle on the phone for my request & reservation. She was sooooo HELPFUL! I called numerous times because I wanted this to be PERFECT and she never EVER hesitated my questions and was not tired of me calling her! Dhe was just tremendous! :)

So here we are, I got to meet Michelle and boooooy that SMILE just brighten my day! My husband who was just suprised about our trip as it was a SUPRISE 4year anniversary Dinner Celebration & also something romantic for us to share! She told my husband and I to sit at the bar and RELAX and Sese (Bar tender) will guve us a complimentary Smooothie as a welcome drink! How special did we both felt? VERY SPECIAL!

The prices on their beer are very cheap.. $6WST for a small bottle of Vailima or Sama Pure? PERFECT! It all adds up cause they have to order from Apia so for the distance for that price for a beer? Im not complaining! Its all worth it! :) So, a young Samoan girl, very pretty with her beautiful smile came and escorted my husband and I to our room as it was ready!

Now the room was just SPEECHLESS! I couldnt imagine how PERFECT everything was! I was blown away as much as my husband was blown away by my suprise for him! Basically it was a suprise for both of us now! It had CLEAN green sheets and it matched the setting of the room as it was a chocolate brown with white flowers! The air con was just amazing, really cooled us both down and also the fans. The balcony was so cool like we could opeb the front door just like a sliding door type and sit out there on the deck on the chairs and have a beer or 2 just to enjoy and soak in that heat sun! The awesone view of the beach was just amazing! RELAXED indeed we both were!

Now dinner time. My husband and I were having a couple of drinks and Taka (the porter/waiter & bar tender night shift) came a set up our front balcony with candles lite everywhere, placed our table outside the deck with folk and knife utilities for both and beautifully done up napkins! Oh my! I just couldnt breath! All the hard work that young fella put in to making this night for my husband and I EXTRA SPECIAL was just amazing! And they do this on REQUEST with fee charged! How amazing is tha i couldnt ask for more! So we asked Taka if he could bring in our dinner, with his respect he was waiting on me and my husband when to serve as we were having more than a few at that point haha. When Taka came with dinner oh we were shocked at the amount and how many food were on our plate! We wernt complaining we just wantef to dig in! We had Gril Fish with white creamy sauce, stir fry boneless chicken (local veges), rice & crab meat Green salad! Yuuuuuummy! We were so full! We enjoyed it sooooo much that we couldnt stop talking about it the next morning! It is the BEST food i have tasted in Samoa! Highly recommend it when you stay at this beautiful amazing place!

And the last suprise was the HOMEADE CHOCOLATE CAKE with LEMON & CHOCOLATE ICING! Ohhhhhhhh soooo speechless and so HAPPY! FULL OF IT! We shared it with everyone! Took heaaaaaps of photos which i will upload!

This place is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! My husband and I are definitely coming back on January! They have everything! This place is PERFECT fir families and couples! I can say this because I have been here and Michelle, Sese & Taka have THE BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE IN THE WHOLE OF SAVAII! THEY WILL LOOK AFTER YOU!

My husband and I walked in with a great biiiig SMILE and definitely walked out with one! To the owners of this Lodge: Good on you! For training your staff to treat us tourists and locals so SPECIAL! I mark this with my heart! I love you guys and it was sad that we had to leave but we are so coming back! No doubt about that!

Cheers

Meipo (Mayble) Salanoa

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Meipo21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berg bei Rohrbach, Austria
1 review
Reviewed November 18, 2013

all the wonderful and friendly people there made me feeling at home in paradise with very delicious vegeterian meals, Fales very comfortable to stay, help at every time for everything, the chance to learn the samoan way of life, easy way to rent a car and to have very good local tour-guides on my travel around the island, who helped me to find all the wonderful places. I want to say thank you to everybody there and I am sure I will come back and enjoy this beautiful place in paradise again. TOFAA

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Andrea Christin... S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaikoura, New Zealand
Level Contributor
46 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2013

Vaimoana was absolutly amazing! i couldnt recommend highly enough.
the staff was amazing, made us feel very welcomed whilst we were there, went out of their way to help us with anything we needed.
we stayed in an ocean view fale with shared facilities. was a simple room but didnt need anything more, and the shared facilities were close and always kept clean. it was about a 50m walk to the beach from our room and the swimming and snorkelling was perfect! they had a small wharf there which my parner went fishing off and caught a few trevally which was good fun.
if we knew how good it was, i would have happily stayed our whole trip here! not just two nights.


i would happily go back and would highly recommend to anyone going to savai'i.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lovekaikouranz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2013

Tripadvisor reviews were impressive... so I booked and arrived thinking OK I want to see if its true. Just what makes Va-i-Moana special....

Asua harbors nice but not remarkable. Neither is the small beach. Snorkeling unimpressive. Does not hold a candle to Savai'i lagoons... Fales far from five star...

TAFOLA!! Sale warm welcome. Rosie softly, gently engaged in conversation .

Watched staff interact with guests. All were impressive. A recently bereaved lady came for one night, told me she was so looked after that she stayed several nights. An older couple - numerous stays. Cycling groups. Families. Fishermen... All relaxed & happy.

Free use of kayaks to explore the little island & harbor.
A few turtles popped heads up, were so shy & fast, zoomed away. Swimming off the little beach was pleasant. Watching fish from pier. Stayed 3 nights in a Sunset Fale 3. Deck over the rocks. Water under deck when tide was in. Open air bathroom. Great views. Comfy bed. Pillows were hard. Meant to ask for more, (which I'm sure Va-i-Mona would have supplied), but by this time I was on Island Time. Could not be bothered. No matter.

Sunday and Public Holiday weekend...still a home baked birthday cake was arranged at short notice, delivered by staff accompanied by a strumming guitar 'Happy Birthday' serenade...

Sunday seafood buffet lunch 1.30pm. Any other meals were to be ordered prior to 12.30pm. I didn't see the sign. Just wanted a toasted sandwich. Didn't want to make a fuss. Sale graciously insisted I have what I desired.

Fabulous Samoan hospitality. Yes, I understand now. This place has heart.
If your considering Va-i-Moana, do it.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank aussiegoddess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson, New Zealand
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2013

A relaxing two night stay in beach front Fale on the waters edge. Good safe swimming kayaks available for guests use. Food was good and authentic Samoan fare. Full bar facilities with tropical cocktails.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dick and Caroly... B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
Reviewed October 20, 2013

Its not 5 star but then neither are the prices and I doubt anywhere else in the Pacific can offer such a relaxed time, great food and hospitality and music for the price. Having just been there for 8 days and enjoyed the deep unwind , and I am very familiar with many many places in the Pacific of all grades I really can say I would recommend this place to all ages. Getting there is a bit of a hike: the airport is only minutes and a 20 tala taxi ride to the ferry. While it is only an hour across the advertised shedule often doesn't match reality and its wise to check by phone the day before. It can cost as little as 12 tala to ride, and in July-September whales are usually seen. Dolphins and turtles are frequent too if you know how to look. At Salelologa on the other side a taxi- 120-150 tala - will take you the 75-90 minutes up to the Vaimoana around the eastern side of the island. Ride the crowded buses if they are going that far for far less.
Accommodation can be very basic and cheap and there is a high turnover of young backpacking tourists but the fales, especially over the water have everything you need. I didnt bother to use the aircond unit in my over the water fale and even in October was a bit chilly at night. Water is scarce but drinking supplies are available cheaply form the shop over the road- or less cheaply from the bar when you arrive especially if it is Sunday, and if the pump on the fale runs out reception will turn it on with no problems as soon as requested.
My fale looked a bit daunting when I arrived but inside it was quite spacious, had its only balcony and atached onsuite and outside shower, cold water only is fine when its 32*C.
Food was a part of the package deal and was uniformly excellent: fresh island fruit and pancakes as well as local specialites like a hot papaya and tapioca thick soup for breakfast with toast and island jam. Side orders were very reasonably priced and included omelettes with hame cheese and tomatoes, or bacon and eggs, or a generous big breakfast of sauages/ham/bacon and eggs.
Lunches were by menu and cost above the standard daily charge up to 35 tala maximum - free for those who contributed the fish!- and the night meal was very wellpresented and large, typically a fish and a separate chicken dish plus a vegetable salad or stirfry plus a carbohydrate like potato mash or pasta [the excess fed the stray cats who depended on it much to chargrin of the staff who were always gently shoeing them away]. One night it was grilled half crayfish with a rich cream sauce plus free range chicken drumsticks with a pineapple sauce. Drinks also were reasonable and a fraction of the cost charged in resorts in Fiji.
If you want to experience the people of Samoa then you need to stay at small resorts owned and managed by Samoans. Sure, they may not be as efficient as those managed by palagi, but this gentle laidback way is far more Samoan.

Room Tip: Dont choose a over the water fale if you dont like the sound of gentle waves breaking under the balc...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jacqueline A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge

Property: Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge
Address: Main Island Road, Asau, Savai'i, Samoa
Location: Samoa > Savai'i > Asau
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Asau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 18
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Also Known As:
Va-i-Moana Seaside Hotel Asau
Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge Samoa/Asau

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