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“Central, Clean, Convenient”

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Tanoa Tusitala Hotel
Ranked #2 of 30 Hotels in Apia
Certificate of Excellence
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
77 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Central, Clean, Convenient”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2012

This was our second trip recently back to Apia and our second visit to this hotel. Our reasons for staying here for business are just as valid - it's so very central, it's clean and you can get a good nights sleep, especially in the back rooms.

Dobn't count on the Discovery Rentals desk to be open when you want though, as we eneded up walking to town.

Room Tip: If you want a good nights sleep ask for a back block room
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alaroy01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tanoa T, Manager at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, responded to this review, March 28, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write a review for us and for your kind and encouraging words. We are glad to know that overall, you enjoyed your stay with us. Rest assured that your concerns regarding Discovery Rentals will be discusses with them. We hope that you enjoyed your stay in Samoa and that you will consider returning again someday.
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646 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (186)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2011

The front desk staff were really helpful, but what really bothered me were the bar and restaurant employees taking advantage of people. It was clearly stated as happy hour at the front desk, so we headed down to the pool after settling in - the waitress refused to give us happy hour prices and put full priced charges on our bills, feigning a language barrier. My $12 cocktail should have been $6, but it was just too much work to fuss about a $6 difference when we're already staying at a resort. So frustrating, especially since we would have ordered food and hung around the bar/restaurant longer.

The next morning while waiting for everyone to meet downstairs, I just wanted to grab a cup of coffee from the restaurant. The waiter told me it was buffet only, hot or continental, and continental was 22 Tala. I figured $11 USD for continental breakfast wasn't too bad, plus I had some extra time. When I got my bill it was $22 USD, actually 44 Tala instead of 22 Tala, and this waiter also feigned a language barrier. I had just paid $22 USD for a cup of coffee, toast, and fruit. So very annoying, and too late to do anything. I give up, I'm just never patronizing their restaurant or bar again.

Given the options on Upolu, it's nice that Tanoa is closer to town for nightlife, shopping, and dining options, but I also stayed at Aggie Grey's resort and I'm going to stay outside of town next time - whether at Aggies or elsewhere on the south coast.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank KierstinK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tanoa T, Manager at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, responded to this review, March 28, 2012
Thank you for your feedback. It is only through honest comments such as yours that we are able to improve our service and product. Overall, we note that you had an enjoyable stay. We apologize for your experience at our restaurant and bar. Rest assured that we will look into your concerns to ensure that these are rectified. We hope that these incidents will not prevent you from having wonderful memories of Samoa and to consider visiting again in the not so distant future.
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Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
48 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2011

Another trip back to Paradise, of course not for a holiday however when and if you can squeeze a bit of luxury in, I certainly do recommend you try the elegant Tanoa Tusitala Hotel recently re-opened in Apia, Usually this type of Accomodation would be extremely expensive for me and my Budget however it must've been my lucky day when I checked their website and found they were having a special. My recommendation would be to Check out availability online, don't pay it on line as this is charged in NZDollars, email the Hosts to confirm and arrange to pay on arrival as then this is charged in Samoan Tala which works out a lot cheaper than paying online. For those of us who need to be cautious with our funds due to having children and especially around the Christmas time. The Rooms are lovely in regards to space especially if you are trvelling with your mother and Aunty. The front desk staff are friendly but you cannot help to think, your every move is being watched by those that sit behind the fake mirror : ) not all Islanders are thieves however can understand the hesitation of being too trusting. I managed to catch a word with another traveller who seemed to have felt the same way, although we were Samoan, they would definitely be more interested in the European tourists and worried more about what their thoughts would be, not realising that, as frequent travellers to Samoa, we would end up paying more money with our x10 trips a year? Go figure. Service was ok, however more on the plastic side, but definitely would recommend the Rooms if you wanted to relax and unwind especailly after returning from Savaii : )

Room Tip: Either or, I stayed in both a Ground Floor on one trip and a higher floor on the next, both great qu...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Neta T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
132 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2011

I have been staying at the Tusitala in all its guises and incarnations for over 20 years now. Since the latest resurrection under the Tanoa umbrella, I have stayed here about 6 or 7 times! My previous reviews will show that when it reopened this was an excellent hotel! It is still very good, as other people have noted, for infrequent travellers or those who do not stay at the same place, it does seem a really good hotel, however, for someone who is a frequent international traveller the Tusitala, really does have a lot of flaws now! In some areas it is slipping back into the bad old days of the Kitano ownership.
Firstly there is the "Check In" time. Arbitrarily set by the hotel, so that it does NOT coincide with any flight arrivals. Check in time is 1pm and when flights usually arrive at 6am, when you get to the hotel at 7 or 7.30am and are told you must wait until 1pm or pay for an extra full day, it can be quite annoying, it is just a scam to make you pay a full day for a few hours stay! If you refuse to pay it at check out time the staff just waive the payment, as my colleague found out last week.
When they took us to our rooms we were told that there was less than 10% occupancy on that day, so the rooms were ready they just wanted to gouge some extra money.
On my previous visit, the colleague who travelled with me did not want to book in early, so we settled down to wait in the reception area for 5 hours. Within 40 minutes, suddenly the rooms which we were told could not possibly be available for us until 1pm, were now available and we could move into them with no extra charge. So if you stay at the Tusitala try that method, it will save you over a $100.00
Last week, during my stay, one of my colleagues, left his room immeidiately upon arrival and had to wait to call housekeeping to clean his toilet.
During the week we were there, in my room, I noted the following. Upon arrival there were no handtowels or face washers, the shampoo and soap were not repalced daily unless I asked for them, the rubbish bin in the main room was not emptied for the week, the cups and glasses were not washed for the week, the floor was swept every day but never mopped.
Breakfast was very poor. It is advertised as a buffet and the charge is $45.00WST (About $22.00 AUD) which is expensive, the first day, Sunday there were 2 food warmers, one had baked beans one had sausages and onions, there was bread, frozen butter and either strawberry jam or marmalade, you could also get an omelette!
For the rest of the week there was no hot food, only toast and the frozen butter and 2 spreads. Still charged at 45Tala!
The chef here is excellent one of the best I have met in the Pacific, however the charges are 40-60% over the going rate at comparable hotels in the area. We actually went 100m down the road to the Millenia and had dinner.
Internet is one of my biggest worries in the Pacific due to my business requirements! At the Tusitala the internet connection is pretty good, but the charges are tantamount to robbery. $100.00WST per day, at local internet cafe's you can get connection for about $10.00WST per hour!
Car hire! When I found out that the Tusitala had made arrangements to hire vehicles direct from their parking lot, I thought we would be able to get some good prices, however, I was STUNNED to find out their prices are MORE THAN 100% over the going rate from other rental companies. Tusitala use Discovery rentals at a rate of $260WST per day, I rent from Funway rentals who will meet you at the airport no charge and the rate is $120WST per day, my colleague went to another company and got a new car for $110per day
I have been a staunch supporter of this hotel for many years, for tourists who expect to spend large amounts of money on things this is probably still OK (Although with 10% accommodation rate last week, maybe others are getting wise also, I noticed close by hotels were almost full) for business travellers this is not the case.
There is also the fact that this hotel is now fully overlooked by the new multi storey government building next door. I had reason to go into the building and the west side offices completely overlook the Tusitala, in fact I could see the rooms where we were staying and the pool and bar dining area clearly, office staff often comment on who is there at the hotel and what they are doing.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Mark R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckand New Zealand
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 10, 2011

Firstly I have to say that the Tanoa Tusitala has the best bedrooms in Apia and they have lovely staff, especially at their Check-in counter.

But that is where the accolades finish.

In Apia you can only fairly compare the Tusitala with Aggies Greys Hotel, Aggies has a heart they care about their guests, whereas the Tusitala is cold, it seems it is all about money, very sterile atmosphere.

They won’t pick you up for free from the Airport, Aggies will do that willingly and it is free.

Aggies also provide a lovely wholesome free Continental Breakfast as part of the Tariff, Tusitala does not provide a free Continental Breakfast, remember that both hotels charge approx. the same Tariff, last time I looked online the Tusitala was a little more.

And there is no Notice Board to advise the guests off up and coming events. Aggies do have a Notice Board and a prominent proper and helpful concierge desk, where you can sit down and talk to them, for the Tusitala it has an office you go into, but it is not the same, it is remote, and does not seem part of the hotel.

Do they have a happy hour? Seems difficult to find out.

Do they have a UMU on a Sunday? Depends who you speak to. Some said yes others said no, it is just a BBQ?

I saw one BBQ on a Sunday but it was for a private party, so where do the guests go?

Their internet fees are ridiculous, so don't use their service, go into town to a Internet café where it is half their price.

All their meals are overpriced.

Their around the Island tour is also well over priced, go into town and organise one that is more in your budget, why pay more for the same product?

Finally what really annoyed me when I got back Home and received my credit card account that the Tusitala decide that I had not paid for 7 nights only for 6, even though I gave then a copy of my booking with Expeditor, where it clearly said 7 nights.

They did not communicate with me before they decided to debit me for this extra night, this seemed like a typical rort.

They did however credit my credit card as soon as I threaten to go to the Police.
So make sure you check your credit card statement.

So over all I would give them 4 out of 10, they can do better, they really need to lift their game.

Room Tip: Firstly I have to say that the Tanoa Tusitala has the best bedrooms in Apia and they have lovely sta...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ikaletahi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 5, 2011

I thoroughly enjoyed my week long stay at this hotel. The service was great and staff very helpful, the food was tasty and the room was comfortable. No complaints. I will definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dianna L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandyuppie, General Manager at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, responded to this review, December 7, 2011
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review for us. We are very delighted to know that you enjoyed your stay. Rest assured that your comments will be shared with everyone in the team for everyone to know of your experience and to serve as a motivator for us to keep up the good work. We look forward to having you stay with us again on your next trip to Apia.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bordertown
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2011

I found the staff well trained, very friendly & helpful. Rooms were spacious & clean with everything we needed. The pool was fantastic & the restaurants excellent. The Sunday buffet lunch was well worth the cost! A wonderful week here.

Room Tip: Rooms away from pool quieter
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jawBordertown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandyuppie, General Manager at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, responded to this review, December 5, 2011
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review for us. We are very delighted to know that you enjoyed your stay with us. Rest assured that your comments will be shared with everyone in the team for everyone to know of your experience and to serve as a motivator for us to keep up the good work.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tanoa Tusitala Hotel

Property: Tanoa Tusitala Hotel
Address: Beach Rd | Sogi, Apia, Upolu 1, Samoa
Location: Samoa > Upolu > Apia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Apia
#4 Family Hotel in Apia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Tanoa Tusitala Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 95
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of Apia, the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel is the ideal Hotel for Business and leisure. It is located within walking distance to all major offices,and is easily accesable to all major tourist spots.There is 95 beautifully renovated guest rooms all with individually controlled Air Conditioning. Situated on 12 acres of landscaped gardens and offering all the facilities you would expect of a 4 Star Plus Hotel. The hotel features a swimming pool and children’s pool, Tamarind Specialty restaurant, tennis courts and Poolside Bar.Senakai Spa is located at the Hotel, and is the perfect place to rewind, relax and enjoy some wonderful Spa treatments. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tanoa Tusitala Hotel Samoa/Apia

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