Litia Sini Beach Resort is situated on the beautiful Lalomanu beach, at the south-eastern tip of U'polu Island. I had hired a car while in Apia and enjoyed a scenic drive here via the Richardson Road.
If you want to get away from it all and blob out on a stunning beach, eat real Samoan food, and get to know the locals and some of your fellow guests, this is the place to come.
I can easily understand why so many kiwis make this a regular holiday destination.
If the pictures on my VT pages don't give you an idea of how fantastic this place is, make sure you visit the resorts website: www.litiasinibeach.ws.
Where do I start? The beach, the fale (beach huts), the food, the people...
First big decision some travellers would have to consider is, can you live with no hot showers for a few days? If not, then try one of the very expensive small resorts down the coast (but I don't think many of them have hot water either!). Secondly, facilities (toilets and bathrooms) are shared here.
The accommodation is in sparkling new fale, with ample room inside and inviting decks (balconies) out front. There's no air-con, just ceiling fans, but there's plenty of windows to let those tropical trade winds waft in and cool you down at night. I had a fale right on the beach front and the minute I saw it I know I had found the perfect holiday destination! Then there's the food. After my Apia eating expereinces (or lack of them), I was fearful of going ten days without any decent Samoan culinary experiences. Well, Litia Sini's kitchen put pay to that! Buffet breakfasts and dinners incorporating fresh tropical fruit, delectable fresh fish, homemade soups, local delicacies like the banana 'pancakes' (more like doughnuts), breadfruit chips, and even a whole suckling pig on the Sunday night I was there, made meal times a great and memorable experience. Breaky and dinner are included in your tariff. The staff here get to know the names of their guests and make you feel like part of the family. I really hope I'll get a chance to return here one day!
As I've got older, I've found that I like to finish a trip to a country with a little bit of luxury. Although the Tanoa Tusitala is definitely not a "luxury hotel" by international standards, it is at the top end of the market in Samoa. I spent two very relaxing nights here at the end of my 10 day trip to Samoa in 2011. Interestingly the Lonely Planet writers hadn't written anything about this place in the copy of the LP Samoa & Tonga that I had (actually LP have obviously gone cheap on their guide to these two countries, lumping them in one book, and really only offering the merest surface scratching info on them - unusual for LP not to be more thorough - a sign of the times I guess...). Once more, friendly staff make this hotel more than just a faceless commercial entity. I hope Samoa's tourism industry will safeguard this human asset as time goes by. The pool here is surrounded by loungers and the bar staff were more than happy to bring the drinks!
The Tanoa Tusitala is immaculately presented, surrounded by clipped tropical gardens. The pool area isn't huge, but as there was, seemingly, only a handful of guests during my stay, it never felt crowded. A bar and eating area sits at one end of the pool and the main restaurant sits at the other. Perfect planning, I'd say! The rooms are of an excellent standard for a hotel in this category; cool and spacious, with big ensuite bathrooms. They even had BBC World, for catching up with the outside world before bed. Don't let the 1970s concrete blockhouse appearance of the accommodation wings get you down. Once through the door, the rooms are contemporary (if a little dark). Despite an ok meal there one night, the next night I elected to dine out in the town and felt I got a better quality meal at much the same price. I also did not eat breakfast here, choosing restaurants a short stroll away in the city centre. At WST$35 for a buffet breakfast that looked pretty ordinary to me (cereal and fruit), I'd definitely recommend a couple of places in town are far better bets.
For my first three nights in Samoa, I elected to stay in the capital, Apia. Eden's Edge was one of the 'cheaper' hotel options in the city. At WST$150 a night, the hotel provided very clean, if rather insipidly spartan rooms, with comfortable beds and ensuite bathroom (with hot water). My room had an empty min-fridge which I used to store some drinks in. I chose to stay here basically because of the price and proximity to the town centre, which I wanted to explore.
The staff are very friendly here and there is plenty of parking room if you have hired a car.
Beyond the rooms, described above, the hotel has a small pool. This communal area would have benefitted from having a few sun loungers around it. The hotel also had a bar and restaurant. This is where my only criticism falls. Despite an alluring blackboard menu in the restaurant, the restaurant had no food. I ended up having to walk into town to find places to eat each night and on the holiday Monday I was there, the only place I could find open was McDonalds!! Breakfasts were included in the tariff, but they were pretty hit and miss (more miss than hit). The first morning was pancakes and papaya. The pancakes were stodgy, thick, grey and tasteless, but saved by a liberally filled bowl of maple syrup and papaya. Next morning was Weetbix! Kiwis will know what these are... Last morning was more of a hit, with eggs and bacon, toast and mango. In defence of the hotel, I think I was the only guest there, so I guess they were saving a bit of money on food! The bar can be popular at times... happy hour beer is cheap - WST$4 for a small bottle. On my last night there though, the throbbing base from the stereo system in the bar was a bit annoying at 10pm.
This hotel is very easy to book online.
i stayed for 5 nights. I found the hotel was in a lovely setting .The hotel has a lovely relaxed ambience it was so peaceful and walking around the hotel was a pleasure. There was a lovely little beach a great pool and bar. The rooms where nice and clean with a great view from the balcony.
The staff where very friendly and helpful. The food was good not outstanding. Breakfast although good lacked a bit of variety. The restaurants where very good mainly asian food.
Having a massage in the spa is a must.
The beer Vailima is a must as well one of the best ive had.
Make sure you are in the hotel for the fiafia night, fantastic samoan dance & songs
The hotel is in a good location for the Airport ans also the ferry to get to Savaa'i
The only slight negative was the internet connection didnt work at all during my time there
The relaxing and enchanting atmosphere around the hotel just wonderful
I've stayed in Aggie Grey Lagoon Resort, coming after 7 days of backpackers accommodations in Yassawa and Tonga, so maybe I was overreacting being happy for the simple fact of having hot water...
But, anyway, the rooms are very spacious, perfect fitted. The amazing thing is the sea-view, especially on the sunny days (see photo). Great restrooms, satellite TV, 24h room service. I liked very much also the breakfast restaurant, the swimming pool and the pool-bar, where you can have almost any cocktail with international drinks
The beach it's not the best, especially if you know that not too far away you can find breath-taking beaches. As almost everywhere in Polynesia, the internet si extremely slow and expensive.
It's a good place to stay, enjoy the view, the facilities, the luxury and rent a car to explore
On Upolu there are only 2 resorts that can pass a 4-5 star test: Aggie Grey and Coconut. I only have lunch at Coconut's, so I don't know about the rooms, but I prefer Aggie Grey's because of location (close to airport, Apia - the capital, but also to the south beaches) and of being a larger resort, with many restaurants and options. The sea-view was really amazing.
My wife and I highly recommend Sunset View Fales on Manono Island in Samoa. Manono is a small island, 2 hours to walk around, in between the two main islands. There are no dogs and no vehicles at all on it, big bonus for us!
We phoned Leota in advance and he arranged for us to be collected from the airport at 11pm and taken straight to the resort (30 min in vehicle, 30 min by boat), which was wonderful since it meant we didn't have to find alternative accomodation for one night. They also dropped us back to the airtport at the end of our stay.
We had been travelling for a long time so decided that if the place was nice, we would just stay there for our whole week in Samoa, which we feel was a good idea for us. We received a discount due to our longer stay.
Great things about Sunset View Fales:
Run by Leota and his family - they are lovely and helpful people. Also we felt happier staying in a local run place than a foreign-owned/managed one. He's a nice chap and has done a good job and is constantly improving the place. We stayed in some recently finished fales with en-suite bathroom.
Snorkelling - we are not experienced snorkelers, but thought the reef surrounding the island was amazing - loads of creatures, fish, colours, clear water etc. Someone took us out most days, sometimes twice a day, to the reef.
Traditional meals yum yum yum. I have dietary requirements which were accounted for very well - I had to request and inform them of what I had to avoid/what I liked, and once I had explained they were very happy to provide. Western food has entered Samoa in the last few years/decades, tinned goods and white bread, probably associated iwth the recent obesity issue there. Sometimes they would serve some of this stuff up, but if you just let them know you like fresh preferably local produce then they are usually happy to help.
Sometimes in the day when it was clear it was a bit hot and humid for us, we were there in April.
Cocoa - they make their own from their own trees. Samoan cocoa is meant to be the best in the world since it is less bitter than others. I had just cocoa and hot water - I avoid sugar which they usually add. It was wonderful.
Anyway the rest you can pick up from the other reviews.
The home of Caroline.. is a haven. The warmth of her family matches the beauty of the home.
When you stay here.. you feel as if you are HOME.
This accommodation most unique quality is it's proprietor. She is an amazingly warm and caring person.. and treats each guest as if they are family.
In this home.. you can make your own meals or can eat a continental breakfast that is adorned with flowers.
The aircon's..are a blessing.
Carol.. knows the island.. and will not lead you astray. This.. is where you will gain the greatest blessing. She guides you... and cares where you go.. where you eat.. and will always be there to give you advice.. and help you have the most blessed time.
This is a great place for a very quiet retreat. Great food, good snorkeling, a morning activity daily. I was only there 3 days and only did one morning activity - the mangrove walk; I recommend it. Beautiful beach, great clambering over the rocks. If you need internet, you can take their van into town for 15 tala return. [The best internet is in Apia one block south of the clock tower.] Don't book any accommodations through Green Turtle; use the visitor center in Apia, they are very helpful and it will cost much less.
Don't do the kayak in the mangrove. While it is a nice excursion, at 100 tala it is way overpriced. That trip is not offered by Virgin Cove, just advertised there.
The shared shower is open air, built of lava rocks! Wash up under the stars! Beautiful!
I was lucky enough to find out about this place on virtualtourist, so now after getting back from Samoa I want to return the favor by further recommending it. We were originally going to spend 2 days there but ended up spending almost all of our time in Samoa there (except for 2 places in Apia and 1 in Savaii). Once we arrived we didn't really want to go anywhere else (all the other places were much less interesting)! We met a great guy from New Zealand there - his name was Bruce, he said he first arrived on Manono in 1948 and the place hasn't really changed since then. This probably best describes the experience you can have there. No cars, only a single path leading you around the island in about 1.5h-2h (we did the walk every day, we liked it so much). The people on Manono are amazing, so friendly and always willing to talk to you. There are not many tourists there so you're as interesting to the people of manono as they will be to you.
Leota and Sau are running Sunset View Fales with their children and they really do treat you as a part of their family while you stay there. There are three very good meals per day plus there will be umu demonstrations (traditional way of making food on hot stones) and daily trips to the coral reef. (you can see there how the samoans do spear-fishing). The reef btw. is great, better than what we saw in savaii or upolu (ok we haven't been everywhere so this may not be true for the places we haven't seen). In the evening you can enjoy very nice music performed by Leo, Aivan, Junior, Miko and the other boys. (it was way better than the american-show-style fia fia's we saw on savaii.)
Leota is nice enough to arrange free transport to/from the island, just give him a call. (the phone number is in the other reviews, if i remember correctly, or if not, just look this up on the internet or at the tourist office).
Even though the price is 90 Tala/person/night, considering free transportation, free daily activities (boat trips to the reef), free meals (3 per day) and free drinking water, this is a very good price. You can also rent a traditional canoe from the neighbors for 5 Tala/person (very cool!)
What else can I say? If you're interested in getting to know samoan people and their traditions, don't like touristy places (the cliche white sand beach, a senseless swimming pool next to the ocean etc) then you should definitely go to sunset view fales. You will not be disappointed. On the other hand if you're the kind of person who wants private tv, air conditioning, swimming pool etc. while on samoa, just ignore my review.
You can find my photos from Manono at http://www.flickr.com/photos/zwieciu/sets/72157594346761983/
This hotel was a meeting point during the Second World War. It is one of these legendary hotels in the world, type Raffles in Singapore, where when walking through its corridors you experiment a déjà vue sensation.
It is located just close to the airport and sometimes there are performances of Polynesian dances when you can just get in, order a cocktail and sit to watch the show.
I was so lucky! My flight from Apia to Nadi was delayed for one day and all the customers were lodged in Aggie Grey! Hurrah! Can you imagine? I had slept during a whole week in the beach or for free in the Bahai Temple, and suddenly I received such a gift, and with Samoan music!
This was one of my most amazing stays in my round-the -world travels! All inclusive, you get a ferry from the main island to the island of Manono (the ferry piont is just 30 minutes from the airport and airport pickups can be aranged), a beautiful unspioled island surrounded by a lagoon, where no cars or dogs are alowed, so incredably peaceful too. It takes just a few hours to walk around the whole island on the grass-covered footpath that goes all around the island, passing through the small brightly coloured villages where the friendly people still have a traditional relaxed somoan lifestyle.
Once you arrive you are greeted by five brighly coloured thatched fales with their individual verandahs, and the main family house biult in the traditonal stlye with no walls to let the fresh sea breezes straight off the lagoon blow in.
The price of ST90 a per person per night is for a two person fale withy our own verandah literally 4 meters fron the sea, and includes all meals, which are truely amazing with all the cluinary delights of traditional somoan food, including a traditonal umu (fire pit), an experience not to be missed or tasted! Also included , which is where it becomes such good value for money, is the activities which include fishing and snorkelling on the reef, which i have to say was more colourful and full of fish that the great barrier reef in australia! this includes equipment and a boat ride to the reef and watching Leota try to catch dinner spear fishing! Also they have an outrigger canoe which your more than welcome to use while your statignt here. Onland, you can wander around the island or climb to the top to a monumental site where an anciet warrior is supposed to be buried standing upright to keep guard. and if you like, Leo, or another other Leota's family can acompany you as guide.
...cont...And after after a delicous evening meal, you are very wlecome to join Leota and his family as they sit beaneath the stars by the edge of the lagoon and play songs on the guitar or listen to Leota's stories which include a large collection of somoan myths and folk tales, such as howthe world was created.
And the atmospere of the place is great too! Leota is a happy welcoming man with a great sense of humour who goes to great efforts to make your stay enjoyable, including organising for you to get to the airport at 5am and gettign up to say goodbye! As it is a small place, with jsut 5 fales, you really feel welcomed into the family .
However, as a smaller setup, facilities are a bit more basic, such as a shared bathroom facilities, although for Saoma they are fairly modern . Also, there is no airconditioning in any of the fales although you can pay a little extra for fan cooling, and there its so close to the sea there is always a breeze.
My favorite facility was the main fale, which had a large 'room' without walls to let the breeze in with a tv and stereo, surounded by sofa beds where you can lounge around and read or listen to music, or even have a mid day siesta which i luxuriated in!
For anyone a bit closed-minded or unadventurous, this may be a little basic or off the beaten track for you, but for a budget traveler like me i found it quite a luxury! however, the atmoshere and the cultural experience more than make up for shared toilet facilities and it is definatly a place i shall be returing to when im in that neck off the woods, and would recomend to everyone!!
Location (right by the sea, amazing island),
atmosphere (such a friendly welcome, so relaxed and happy),
value for money (includes delicious meals and lots for little extras),
cultural experience (see a traditonal umu),
activities (amazing snorkeling and fishing, canoeing, or perfect place to relax)
As a happy guest at "Sunset View beach fale" (oct 2005) I can indeed recommend this recently (May 05) opened guesthouse.
Sunset View Beach Fales is on the west side of Manono Island and offers 5 sheltered beach fales, all located directly at the water front and all having a verandah with a beautifull view to Apolima Island and Savai'i, especially at sunset. It is a perfect place to stay for leisure , to get off the beaten track - away from anything with wheels on it - and to catch up with Yourself .
Even if Manono is a small island it comprises quite a diversity. Take a walk all the way around the island or take a guided tour to the top of the island - everywhere people are happy to have at smalltalk with You - and show You Fa'a Samoa,- the Samoan way of living. After my very first stroll around the island I came back to my sunset beach fale - 30 cigarettes poorer - but a lot of stories,songs and a pandalus hat richer. I realized how rich Manono was of its own special Samoan tradition,history, legends and tales, - all founded on a strong belief in Christ and God.
Manono has 7 (!) churches, Grave of 99 Virgins and an ancient Chief buried upright standing on top of the mountain,so that he forever can watch out and guard Manono.If You ask Apa'au ( a most charming guide at Sunset View beach fales) to take You there he can also demonstrate wild pig hunting and show You the ancient star mound, where Chiefs sat pigeon snaring.
When You go to Manono, - take Your time - slow down Your pace from western stress- and enjoy to stay on a Paradise island in the South Pacifik with no cars or barking dogs - just You,the sun and the sea.
The resort is run by Leota Tini and his wife Sau in a friendly, laid back - family athmosphere and offers accommodation (max 2 pers/fale) at a rate of ST 90/day, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Once or twice a week - depending on weather - Leota will also prepare You an Umu, and anytime he is happy to tell You about Manono and Samoa.
Snorkelling is excellent in front of the beach fales , but Leota can also take You out on the reef or round the island ( at a small fee ). Fishing trips in- or outside the reef can also be arranged.
Transfer to/from Manono is free. Just call Leota (ph +685 45640) and he will pick You up at Manono-uta, Upolu.
May Sunset View beach fales - and the Tini family - have my love and best wishes.....
Hannon Clausen, Denmark
This village includes Tanu Beach Fales, Vacation Beach Fales, and Janes Beach Fales.
All these fales are next to each other. We happened to stay at Tanu.
We were apprehensive at first because we were worried about our bags getting stolen...after about 20 minutes there, we realized that we were being rediculous!
The staff were so funny, friendly, hospitable, etc..
Everytime we were walking around, we would hear from somewhere "Hello, John!!!! Hello Danielle!!"
It was the best! and I think the other 2 places had very sinilar qualities. There was a resaurant at Vacations, and th eowner would come and sit with us every day.
This was the only place we went to that had a lot of other people to talk to!
We met people from all over the world that were staying there for many different reasons. And everyone was nice and fun!
Dinner is served community style. Everyone eats together at 6 or 7 pm. As dinner progresses, it turns into a party. Everyone, including the staff, hangs out and laughs, partys, drinks, jokes,etc...afer our first night, we felt like we knew everyone!
And it was sad when people left to head to their next destination!
On the weekends, they may have a fia fia night.
We were on our honeymoon, we forgot we told them that...they called us out and the chief painted our faces, his wife made us bouquets, and the girls had a dance number for us!
The beach is beautiful.
There is a SCUBA company at Janes. You get 10% off your dive if you stay at Janes.
The restaurant at vacations had pretty decent foor, for really cheap price--great fries!
At night the party reached from Tanus through Janes and Vacations!
Very laid back and friendly place. The staff would go out of it's way to accomodate any request you had.
Food was excellent also. Great place to kick back and relax
Gecko shaped swimming pool, outdoor(covered) bathrooms with lava rock walls. Spacious room with sleeping area and living room.
This is a great place to stay if you want a good initial introduction to Samoan life without leaving the city of Apia.
It is hidden away in a very private and fecund part of the city only a few minutes walk from the CBD of Apia.
The accomodations are rustic and basic. You can either opt for a room in the house (not very authentic) or stay in their two-story "Fale" (Samoan house). It is located in a very lush and beautiful garden setting.
It is very welcoming and the staff very pleasant and helpful.
You will be served a good Samoan breakfast in the morning eaten Samoan style (sitting on the floor) and you can also self-cater here.
The washrooms and showers are spotless and pleasant.
There is no set rate...you pay what you feel is fair.
There are only two downfalls in my opinion: Because it is so sheltered, it is very hot and humid and night with little breeze.
You must be aware that after dark, they are some vicsious dogs in the neighbourhood and when coming and going after dark it is best to do so with a taxi.
Good introduction to some Samoan culture.
Friendly, helpful staff very clean facilities.
Super place to meet fellow travellers
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