Continuing on from my first post (which you can read here) – herewith my next five tips in the Top Ten Tips for holidaying in Samoa series:
Tip # 6 – Take some good snorkelling equipment. The snorkelling is awesome in Samoa – you just need to head out to the beach at your resort to see all sorts of amazing fish, corals and sea life – even turtles (and ugghhhhh barracudas: man-sized ones!) I do think you need a good mask though – one that doesn’t keep filling up with water because there’s nothing more annoying (or more tiring) than having to sort your mask out because the water gets in and hurts your eyes (the water seems to be super-salty in Samoa.) I don’t think you need to spend a fortune – just find one that works well! I recommend going to see the giant clams if you get a chance. Just be careful you don’t stand on them ‘cos they can close very fast and you certainly don’t want your foot stuck in one that’s for sure!
We saw turtles outside our resort at Stevensons in Savaii and they are beautiful, graceful animals. We also went a couple of villages out from Stevensons and found a reef that was like swimming over the edge of a 5-story building! Amazing, but slightly scary for me – I’m not 100% fussed on being surrounded by that much water – I’m more of a swimming pool kind of girl! But anyway – I do recommend snorkelling and swimming in Samoa whenever the opportunity arises!
Tip # 7 – Take your watch off and expect things to happen on “island time”. And I mean that in a good way. The first night we waited over two hours for our dinner – which was extremely agitating after a long day’s travelling. Day two, we waited at least an hour and a half – which was far less stressful than on the first night. By day three, we were fully relaxed and treating the inevitable long wait as an opportunity to try every cocktail on the menu! The point of all this is that things tend to happen pretty slowly in Samoa and if you try to hurry them along, you’re a) wasting your time and b) missing the point! Enjoy!
Tip # 8 – Samoa is very reasonable – you can have a fantastic holiday for cheap as chips. Depending where you go of course. If you stay at the super-flash resorts, things are a bit pricier, but then the pay-off for that is that the pool and amenities are generally amazing. I’ll talk about where we stayed later on, but can I say, we stayed at Stevensons for a week and it was glorious. Every bit as glorious as the flasher resorts we stayed at first and after, but in a different way.
Food and drinks are cheap – for a couple you could get a pretty decent main meal and a couple of drinks each for around 60 tala – which is about $NZ34 which wouldn’t happen in New Zealand now would it?! Our little family of three averaged around 150-250 tala a day which included lunches, dinners, drinks and activities. Our breakfasts were part of our accomodation package, so we didn’t have to pay for them. Samoan beer is about 6 tala (5 at Happy Hour) and a cocktail was generally around 11 tala at Happy Hour prices. #suchfun
Excursions and activities were pretty cheap too; the most expensive we did was the To-Sua Ocean Trench (which was AMAZING) at 20 tala and the same for the Giant Clam swimming experience. Other things we did were around 5 tala each or we just paid a minimal amount for the carload (we had a 12-seater van.)
Tip # 9 – Expect to see pigs, dogs and chickens EVERYWHERE! They’re pretty cute too. I’ve heard some people hate this, but I found it quite endearing.
Tip # 10 – The people are awesome. I’ve saved the best till last here really! Samoan people are fabulous – they’re so happy and cheerful and willing to help you with anything you want or need. They quite often have so little, but like I said, they are among the most happy people I’ve met. Just goes to show … maybe money’s not everything right?!
I hope you’ve enjoyed Mumpty’s Top 10 Travel Tips for Samoa. While we were there we stayed at three places and I would highly recommend each of them for entirely different reasons.
We stayed first at Saletoga Sands Resort for four nights. Saletoga (pronounced Saletonga) is a beautiful resort with an incredible pool and first class snorkelling right outside your fale’s front door.
Our beachfront villa was perfect and the restaurants and bar were lovely. We were lucky enough to watch a Fiafia Night which included a traditional buffet dinner and the Fiafia and fire show. So cool – I highly recommend you do one of these if you get the opportunity.
After Saletoga we took the ferry across to Savaii where we stayed at Stevensons Resort for a week. Stevensons is probably not as fancy as Saletoga Sands, but it has a charm all of its own and I enjoyed it every bit as much. Our little family of three stayed in the Nikolai suite and it was huge! All rocks and tapa cloths and bright blue accents – maybe not what you’d want at home, but very island-style and we loved it! Stevensons was a lot cheaper to stay at than Saletoga in terms of food and drinks, so that was nice too.
We did lots of day trips from Stevensons and had a wonderful time at the blow holes, various swimmings holes and markets – all sorts. You name it, we did it! We also went to the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks which I wouldn’t recommend – not worth the trip was the general consensus of our group.
Stevensons also put on a super-fun Fiafia Night and they also went to an incredible effort for our parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary dinner, with stunning exotic flower lays for everyone, a beautifully decorated table and a cake as well.
And then for our final night in Paradise, we stayed at The Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort – and it was GLORIOUS! For one, it was the night before Mumpty’s birthday and as she was going to be travelling home the next day, she chose to celebrate the night before. Which called for cocktails and champagne and having Happy Birthday sung to her by half-naked Samoan men! And the best part of all? She went for a late night swim and had this ENTIRE, GORGEOUS swimming pool all to herself for an hour. Not another soul in sight. It was an AMAZING way to end her holiday. A-MAZING.
So that, my friends, is Mumpty’s roundup of her Samoan getaway. Would she go back? Hell yes!
Hope you enjoyed my Samoan round-up …