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“Seclusion, serenity and warmth”
Review of Sa'Moana Resort

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Sa'Moana Resort
Ranked #9 of 30 Hotels in Apia
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Seclusion, serenity and warmth”
Reviewed January 27, 2014

Having only returned from my Samoan holiday by one week, and I can still smell the fresh ocean breeze that surrounded me at Sa'Moana Resort. Upon arriving after a night flight from Sydney, as we pulled into Sa'Moana the sun was actually rising as though it had been waiting to unveil this beautiful place. Located at one of the most southern ends of Upolu stands this gorgeous boutique resort that caters for absolutely anyone! I was there on a romantic getaway but as my stayed progressed, crazed surfers and young families arrived...to which I was none the wiser. With only a few beach front bungalows... all ocean facing, this resort is schmik!! Our bungalow was immaculate and contained all you would find in any other 5 star resort....bar fridge, tea and coffee facilities, wardrobes ect but what topped it was the outdoor lava rock bathroom. The bed and pillows were super comfy too. I big one in my books! The staff were unbelievably friendly and completely sincere... and in every department. Wether it be thorough knowledge of the island for amazing adventure tours, an afternoon cocktail by the pool or just for a little chat, I felt like a movie star throughout my stay. Compared with other pacific island resorts, I found the pricing to be rather reasonable....and we ate and drank A LOT :) And speaking eating, both the lunch and dinner menus were just to die for!!! I wouldn't hesitate in returning to Sa'Moana and am spreading the word!!!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Jayell79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirstin M, Manager at Sa'Moana Resort, responded to this review, May 5, 2014
Thank you so much for your lovely review. I did respond earlier to you & a few other above so I'm not sure what happened there.
The weather is getting colder in Sydney... I think you should come back!
Warm regards,
Kirstin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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198 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2013

Sa'Moana is set in a beautiful location, with pristine waters to snorkel over a fascinating underwater world just meters from the beach. There are kayaks available to borrow which are good quality and an abundance of hammocks to laze about in. It's the quintessential pacific island hideaway.

The rooms are well appointed with refrigerator, fan, special outdoor (private and walled) showers and comfortable beds. Could benefit from bedside lamps to read by in the evenings.

Staff are friendly and helpful. We were there for Christmas and it was made really special with Santa coming to visit via canoe and climbing a palm tree in search of presents. The children at the resort were clearly thrilled and the adults were pretty excited too.

Food and drink are great quality, although the cocktails are a little on the pricey side.

With only six bungalows in a large area it seems like you're the only guests there. Highly recommed a stay here.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Elizabeth H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirstin M, Manager at Sa'Moana Resort, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Hi Elizabeth,

I hope you are well. I just wanted to say a quick thank you for your lovely review here on Trip Advisor. We look forward to seeing you again here soon!

Kind regards,
Kirstin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2013

unbelievable find! very private and secluded, great for families, couples, singles alike. beautiful infinity pool with salt water pumped directly form ocean. Incredible snorkelling straight off the beach. beautiful food in the restaurant. Room immaculate, 5 star standard with outdoor private bathrooms.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank snaffy3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirstin M, Manager at Sa'Moana Resort, responded to this review, December 2, 2013
Hi snaffy3!

Thank you for your lovely review. And we're so glad you found us! You pretty much covered everything in a short straight to the point paragraph... except for our amazing tours however I don't think you went on whilst you were here. Next time hey! We hope to see you back here again one day soon.

Take care. :-)
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Melbourne
Level Contributor
90 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2013

As a couple with a two year old, I found it very difficult to pick accommodation in Upolu. Places either were too expensive (Sinalei), didn't accept children (Sea breeze), isn't safe for children (Aga Reef Resort with raised decking over water) or has shared cold water facilities (Litia Sini). Sa'Moana was the only place that ticked all the boxes for us. I'll admit to being uncertain at the time of booking, given their reconstruction and the mixed reviews here.

We arrived late at night and settled into our bungalow with an easy and quick check-in. Staff were extremely helpful and accommodating, even making us dinner at 11pm once we got our 2 year old off to sleep (having only arrived at 10pm). In the dark, we could only imagine the scene that would greet us in the morning.

Upon waking the next day, any residual concerns I had quickly evaporated as the sun illuminated the stunning coastline which we would call home for the next three days. Sa'Moana is truly situated in a spot of pure beauty and seclusion. Surrounded by towering palms, paved by sand, metres from the coast it is the perfect spot for relaxation.

We stayed in the pool view bungalow which had an attached outdoor lava rock bathroom. The main room was roomy enough, although not huge. Bed was comfy, fans and open slat windows provided sufficient ventilation and there was a fridge with water bottles replenished daily. The bathroom was amazing. A massive space walled by lava rock, containing a modern vanity/sink and toilet, with a lava rock shower. There was no ceiling enabling you to shower in the shadows of the palm by day or in the moonlight and under the stars at night. Water pressure was sufficient and hot water plentiful albeit a little temperamental.
Our bungalow was raised and had a balcony/verandah at the front with chairs and table which looked out to the ocean.

As far as activities go, aside from just chilling and watching the day drift by, there is an awesome sea water infinity pool built into the coast, providing a unique swimming hole with million dollar views along the coast.
There is a small area of beach to access the ocean for kayaking and swimming (snorkel gear etc all provided at no extra charge). However due to the conditions of the surf at the time of our stay and because of our 2 year old we simply elected to use the infinity pool.
There is also the option of surfing trips (not for us) and other tours as well as simply exploring the surrounding coast/villages. We elected to take a day trip to Lalomanu (just over an hour away by taxi) which was a great way to spend a day (see separate review).

The restaurant with large open deck (also overlooking the coast/ocean) served meals and drinks throughout the day. Hot and cold breakfast was available and included in the rates. Particularly nice were the homemade banana muffins. YUM! Lunch and dinner menus included a large selection of meals that were all very tasty and well presented. A kids menu and extensive vegetarian menu were also very handy (wife is veggie).

Construction is nearly complete and was of no issue during our stay, with only manual labour being completed. Regarding location, as mentioned it is very secluded but still equally accessible to attractions around the island - no more or less than any one other point on the island. Distance to the airport/ferry is the same as from Apia and distance to Lalomanu is the similar to that from Apia. Anywhere you stay on the island will be close so something and far from everything else, so you may as well stay somewhere nice and where they can cater for all your needs/requirements.

We stayed here as no-where else offered the facilities and comfort that we needed. It turned out to the correct decision.

Great location, accommodation, food and staff.

Thanks Kirstin, Daniel and the rest of the crew at Sa'Moana for a wonderful stay!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank koizi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirstin M, Manager at Sa'Moana Resort, responded to this review, December 2, 2013
Thank you so much Koizi for your fantastic and detailed review. This is what makes our job here so rewarding, for our guests to have an amazing and unforgettable experience. That is what we are here to do. We really hope to see you back here again soon, you were wonderful guests. :-)

PS. sorry for the late response... we've been extremely busy!
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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2013

We found Sa’Moana to be a bit of a mixed bag. I was unsure about whether to write a review or not but have decided to in case it helps others make an informed decision, and get the most out of their stay here.

Sa’Moana has some great things going for it. The location is stunning and we spent many hours hanging out in the hammocks throughout the resort. The snorkelling was good, the kayaks available for guests to use were good quality, and swimming in the pool was one of the highlights of our holiday. The rooms were lovely and have definitely benefited from the renovation, it was really useful having a fridge in the room, and the outdoor bathrooms were like something out of a movie set.

On the flip side it was very isolated, if you don’t have a car come in prepared with everything you need as it is expensive to get back into Apia (80 tala one way in a taxi or the resort does transfers for 100 tala each way per person). We ended up renting a car for our stay which the reception was helpful in arranging, but even with a car there was not a lot nearby. Maybe because of this the food and drinks were the most expensive of all the resorts we visited during our trip, and while the quality was good we didn’t think it really warranted the extra cost.

The resort was still going through construction and looked like it would be for quite some time to come. While one half of the resort was pristine, the other half (where we were) felt like a bit of a building site. When we visited in August our room was a work in progress with no curtains or mirrors and the bed was really bad – a queen size bed set on top of a double bed frame and a big sag in the middle. When it came to check out time we had some billing issues which was an unfortunate way to end our stay and holiday.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Leah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirstin M, Manager at Sa'Moana Resort, responded to this review, October 1, 2013
Hi Leah,

We hope you're both well.

We just want to clarify and explain a few points you've brought up -

1. Transfers into town are ST$50.00.
2. Yes you're correct in saying there is not much nearby however that is what you get being on the South Coast of the Upolu island the most beautiful part. We definitely do not take advantage of this with regard to our food and beverage prices. We're not sure where you went to eat however we know there are far more expensive places than ours and no where near the fantastic quality and service that we deliver.
3. We are not going through construction. We are finished with regard to renovating the bungalows and the main bar/restaurant bungalow. We are however building a brand new Function fale and at a later date will be building a new accommodation bungalow. We tried to work around guests with the new Function fale at all times and did most work when there was nobody here.
4. The curtains were being made whilst you were here and we do apologise about that and regarding your mirror, due to being on an island in the South Pacific we can't just pop out and buy mirrors easily, there are very limited options here and we couldn't find any on the island. After you left a shipment finally came in and Pool View now has a mirror and curtains for that matter.
5. We're sorry about your bed. If only you had told us about this when you were here we could have rectified this issue.

We hope to see you back here again one day soon.

Kind regards,

Sa'Moana Resort
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Noosa, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2013

Sa 'Moana Resort is perfect for those seeking both leisurely reprieve and recreational fun in a natural island wonderland blended with South Pacific style.

The Resort is paradise set on a beach fringed with palm trees, having splendid coral reefs, an emerald jungle, hammocks inviting bliss-filled relaxation, a lava rock infinity pool gazing out to sea and turquoise waves peeling left and right – heaven!

Our stay was a perfect blend of relaxation and play and the holiday surpassed our expectations. The beautiful grounds created a tranquil mood, softly massaging ‘relax’ into one’s mind, body & soul. Not only was it the most serene place to unwind, it also provided a variety of fun activities - both at the resort and beyond with land & water based tours. Using the complimentary gear, hubby & I explored the world class aquatic playground directly in front of Sa 'Moana. Snorkeling, the coral and fish were amazing and the water clarity better than any other island we’ve been to. We also enjoyed our kayaking excursions to more coral reefs and exploring a little island.

During our week long stay my husband paddled directly out the front of the resort to surf - what’s a girl to do but watch while enjoying Sa 'Moana’s scrumptious signature Hibiscus cocktail? Hubby also made the most of the Surf X guided tours, traveling by boat to surf a variety of secluded breaks (boulders, wackers, coconuts & pebbles). I took advantage of the land based tours Sa 'Moana runs. Every week-day offers a different adventure. I shopped at Apia’s flea markets, feed wild turtles, visited waterfalls, the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum & tomb, and laughed so hard my face and belly hurt at the Sliding Rocks. A huge “thanks” to my wonderful guide Samoa, for translating while shopping and taking me to spots that fitted my purchase needs perfectly, showing me the right place to jump off the cliffs into water holes, and mostly for sharing so much of yourself and your local culture. I appreciated being driven around so I could take in all the magnificent scenery and Samoa helped me see the island beyond the tourist lens by offering insightful cultural and historic knowledge... and the odd language lesson! Hubby and I both enjoyed the Tu Sua Trench – a definite must see for anyone visiting Samoa.

Dining was something to look forward to. The setting was picture perfect alfresco looking out to the ocean. On several occasions we watched dolphins swimming and whales breaching just past the surf break (magic) and the fire torches enhanced the evening ambiance. The food was always delicious and there was a very good selection of well-prepared cuisine using fresh local ingredients. The chilled coconut water, sipped direct from the coconut was divine.

Sunsets called us back to the main deck for ‘Happy Two Hours’ beer and cocktails so we never did get that game of volleyball or badminton but the pool table provided some fun evening social times, tournaments, laughs and good music.

The newly built private fales oozed a tasteful South Pacific casual character, boasting gorgeous ocean views and an exquisite garden outdoor lava rock shower.

By far, rivaling the amazing beauty of Sa 'Moana resort is the easy going friendliness of the people that took such great care of us during our stay. The staffs are simply amazing and I so miss you all already!

Fa’fetai SaMoana Resort, tofa till our next return.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank karen k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirstin M, Manager at Sa'Moana Resort, responded to this review, December 2, 2013
Thank you so much Karen for your wonderful amazing review! It was very detailed and hopefully other Trip Advisor members will be beating down our door to get here! We want to give guests the best and most amazing experience possible and I think we succeeded with you. :-)

We hope to see you again soon.... and tell all your friends about us!
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Wamberal, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 6, 2013

Sa'Moana Resort comes highly recommended by our group! If you are after a natural, remote, true holiday experience this is the place to visit. We easily slipped into the 'Samoan' lifestyle and enjoyed the natural surroundings that gave our inquisitive, adventurous boys the ability to explore. The resort catered for the needs of the keen surfers as well as those that wanted to relax by the pool, read, wander and take in the natural beauty of the area.

We celebrated 4 birthday's while at the resort from a 3rd birthday to a 48th with a big 40 to end it all. The birthday cakes were to die for - my 12 year old commented that it was the BEST birthday cake he had for his birthday. To celebrate the 40th the resort organised the Fia Fia night. It was a blast...singing, dancing...yes we even performed a true Aussie rendition of "home among the gum trees with lots of plum trees...." Ask Mountain to show you a few dance moves!!

Kirstin and Daniel (the owners) and the staff attended to our every need. They were so flexible and accommodating particularly as we were the first big group to visit the resort after the renovations (the renovations were still in progress but Daniel and Kirstin were careful not to have this impact on our time there). Samoa and Farani were great tour guides showing us all the magical places that Samoa has to offer. Our little ones wanted to bring Kalala home as she spoilt them with all their requests. We miss the staff!

The food was delicious with a great variety, most of the group ate their way through the menu over the 14 days....with a few not able to resist repeating their favourite dish for a few nights. And Jonah makes a mean cocktail!

A truly wonderful experience for those willing to immerse themselves in the local culture, unwind to take in the tranquility, get amongst some awesome waves and enjoy a few local cold ones.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MelCarpo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sa'Moana Resort

Property: Sa'Moana Resort
Address: End of Salamumu Beach Road | Salamumu Village, Apia, Upolu, Samoa
Location: Samoa > Upolu > Apia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Apia
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Apia
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Apia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sa'Moana Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a small 3.5 star remote, idyllic beach resort located at the end of the long, windy Salamumu beach road (about 6km track off main road). Our simple colorful wooden bungalows are all absolute beach front with their own private outdoor lava rock bathroom, private deck and of course fabulous beach and Pacific Ocean views. We are the perfect location for active families, couples and singles who want to totally switch off from the World for the length of their stay and be "Off The Grid" and see the real Samoa and maybe want something a little different from the standard "out of the brochure" vacation. We have an all-day bar and restaurant with comfortable seating for a sunset cocktail, good music including traditional Samoan tunes and great vibes. All our staff are local so can share their knowledge of the best places to visit, and the stories of the real Samoa. We do a weekly cultural show and a traditional Samoan Fire Dance and Haka display every Thursday - free to our guests. Guests are welcome to surf out front - its intermediate to advanced level and you need to bring your own board. Surf Tours can be arranged with local operators when you are here. There are several within 20/30 minutes of our resort. Car hire is highly recommended so you get to see the best of our beautiful island and discover your own magical parts of it - we can recommend lots for you to do and provide a map and some local advice. Please note we are not near any public transport, shops or other resorts / restaurants - we are literally a tropical island hideaway! If this is what you seek - you won't be disappointed! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sa Moana Hotel Apia
Sa'Moana Resort Samoa/Apia

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