A small Polynesian country in the Pacific Ocean, about halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii, Samoa has traditionally been the best-kept secret in the Pacific. Though with ten islands all intensely packed with untamed natural beauty, the secret is definitely getting out about this beautiful archipelago nation.
You won’t find mega-resorts or theme parks here, what you’ll find instead are towering waterfalls, postcard-worthy beaches, lava fields, rainforest, lagoons where you can swim with turtles, and an ancient culture – Samoa remains one of the most authentic Pacific societies left in the world today.
While you won’t find mega hotels here, Samoa does have an incredible range of accommodation, from luxury boutique resorts, to traditional beach fales. And whether you’re planning on staying on Upolu or Savai’i, it pays to know where the best resorts in Samoa are.
Resorts throughout Samoa offer abundant activities and cultural experiences for guests, while providing luxurious contemporary rooms and amenities. Though with so many great resorts, it can be an overwhelming task to narrow down your options! So we’ve put together this short-list.
The following 9 resorts are the best in Samoa, which highlight the best in Polynesian hospitality and make the most of the natural beauty of the islands.
- Apia, Upolu
- Southern Upolu
- 4. Seabreeze Resort
- 5. Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa
- 6. Return to Paradise Resort and Spa
- Other Notable Mentions
- Fale Experience
- Sustainable Tourism in Samoa
1. Sheraton Aggie Greys Hotel & Bungalows
There’s no better place to embrace Samoan history than at the waterfront Sheraton Aggie Greys Hotel & Bungalows. This harbourside hotel is located just steps from Apia’s city centre and within walking distance of the Samoa Cultural Village and the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve where you can snorkel to observe sea turtles and beautiful clown triggerfish.
Just a short drive away is the famous Robert Louis Stevenson Museum.
This colonial property dates back to the 1930s when it was opened by Samoan entrepreneur Aggie Grey. At that time, the hotel attracted WWII servicemen and famous Hollywood actors.
Today, Aggie Greys Hotel & Bungalows has seen recent renovations and carries the Sheraton name under the Marriott International hotel brand.
The hotel offers up several different room types including unique bungalow rooms overlooking the resort as well as more contemporary harbour view rooms.
The hotel’s onsite spa, A Touch of Samoa, offers a number of spa treatments and you can catch traditional Samoan ceremonies and cultural shows that are hosted by the hotel.
Dine on upscale Samoan cuisine at Aggie Grey’s Restaurant or experience one of the popular weekly Samoan Fiafia fire dancing shows and dinner at the hotel’s poolside Feast Restaurant. Hotel guests will also receive a daily complimentary buffet breakfast.
2. Tanoa Tusitala
For a 4.5 star hotel experience, look no further than Tanoa Tusitala. Offering up 95 contemporary-design rooms, guests will enjoy either a private balcony or self-contained patio where they can take in the beautiful views presented by the 15 acres of lush tropical gardens that envelop the hotel.
A short walk to Apia’s city centre allows you to shop the local markets or you can easily have the hotel book a tour for you to visit Lalomanu Beach or swim in the To Sua Trench swimming hole. The hotel can also arrange airport transfers for a stress-free arrival.
Stay connected to home with complimentary Wi-Fi while relaxing by the large outdoor pool. A safe separate children’s pool is also available. Stay on top of your exercise regime or simply work off your Samoan feasts at the onsite fitness centre.
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Enjoy a buffet breakfast at the hotel’s Tamarind restaurant and enjoy lunch and dinner poolside at the Deck Restaurant which serves up local dishes in one the most scenic dining locations in the city. If you’d prefer to simply relax back at your room, room service is available 24 hours a day.
3. Taumeasina Island Resort
Travellers looking for even more seclusion can book a stay at the Taumeasina Island Resort, one of Samoa’s newest luxury resorts and the nation’s only island resort. Offering up 80 hotel rooms alongside two and three-bedroom self-contained villas, every option provides guests with delightful ocean views.
Guests are free to enjoy the complimentary use of kayaks, catamarans, and snorkel equipment at the resort’s water-sports pavilion. You can also book scuba diving lessons which are held at the resort pool.
Guests are also free to use the onsite championship-sized tennis court and children’s playground. The resort hosts weekly local cultural shows as well as Samoan cooking classes where you can learn how to create delicious dishes back at home.
While on holiday, enjoy all the cooking being done for you at the resort’s three restaurants and bars. Sina’s Restaurant offers a more upscale experience, while you can enjoy a more casual dinner at Lapita’s Restaurant.
Alternatively, the resort can arrange for you and your partner to take pleasure in a private 3-course dining experience along the shoreline or back at your private balcony.
Families preferring to cook their own meals can enjoy access to their own large kitchen when booking one of the self-contained villas.
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4. Seabreeze Resort
Just an hour’s drive south of Apia along Upolu’s southern coastline is the Seabreeze Resort. Set in stunning Paradise Cove, this intimate adults-only resort (16 years old and over) was officially opened back in 2007 by the current Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi.
After suffering devastation from a tsunami in 2009, the local community came together to rebuild Seabreeze Resort better than ever.
Boasting private beach access, the resort features ocean view villas and beachside villas, the latter of which feature private furnished sundecks and outdoor showers. Fall asleep in a giant king size bed by night and lounge in your private double hammock by day.
Dine on locally sourced seafood directly by the sea at the resort’s Waterfront Restaurant and Bar or grab a local cocktail at Paulini’s Pool Bar.
Onsite hire cars are available for checking out the local area, while back at the resort you can enjoy complimentary use of glass bottom kayaks, snorkel gear, and the gorgeous infinity pool that overlooks the ocean.
Guests will also be treated to a complimentary mini-bar and use of smartphones during their stay. Enjoy a personalised meet and greet upon arrival and be sure to attend their special Fiafia nights and Ava ceremonies to embrace a bit of the Samoan culture.
5. Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa
Travellers looking for an adults-only resort in Upolu can also book a stay at the Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa where you’ll be situated within a sheltered lagoon that is vibrantly accented with over 40 acres of lush gardens.
The hospitality you’ll experience at Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa is second to none, being comprised and shaped by members of the local community.
This top-end boutique resort consists of just 29 villas, offering guests a personalised and private experience. Select from comfortable garden view villas, superior ocean villas with glass ceilings that allow the stars to shine through at night, or beachfront villas with timber floors and decks overlooking the water’s edge.
Dine at the upscale waterfront Ava I Toga Restaurant or catch some local live music at the more casual Laumoso’oi Restaurant.
The resort offers a full-service day spa, 9-hole golf course, and the opportunity to book one of their exciting signature experiences which include visits to local village communities, medicinal plant discovery treks, and fishing off a 26ft catamaran.
Aganoa Black Sand Beach is also just 10 minutes away via a 4WD track.
Like the majority of the resorts in Samoa, Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa gives back to the community whenever possible with projects like supporting the local hospital, setting up the Poutasi Village Arts Centre, and sponsoring local rugby competitions.
6. Return to Paradise Resort and Spa
Named after a 1950’s movie featuring Hollywood actor Gary Cooper, Return to Paradise Resort and Spa is located along the famous Paradise Beach which continues to offer the perfect setting whether you’re filming a movie or are simply on holiday. The only Samoan resort that is 100% Samoan owned, Return to Paradise supplies jobs to many of the local villagers.
Return to Paradise invites you to select from one of 60 striking beachfront accommodations including beachfront rooms with either handmade rock wall bathrooms or an outdoor spa pool.
There are also 2 and 3 bedroom beachfront villas available as well as the Maeva Honeymoon Suite with its private deck and plunge pool.
Enjoy the use of four different resort pools, book a coconut oil massage at the Sparadise Day Spa, or enjoy some beach volleyball. The resort also hosts weekly entertaining hermit crab races and regularly screens the classic movie for which the resort is named after.
Enjoy dining in their signature restaurant Paradise Kitchen and grab drinks and snacks at the poolside bar and café.
The resort is well set up for conferences and weddings, offering up the theatre-style Fetaui Centre that seats up to 500 as well as the air conditioned Gary Cooper Lounge which can hold around 140 people.
Other Notable Mentions
Other notable accommodation options along the south coast of Upolu include Saletoga Sands Resort with its swim-up bar and special Matai Villa Suite with its own private beach and outdoor tub as well as Coconut Beach Club which offers up Samoa’s only overwater fales.
7. Amoa Resort
You’ll find the Amoa Resort situated along the island’s eastern coastline opposite a gorgeous lagoon. The resort is comprised of a collection of only 15 bungalows and poolside villas, allowing for a very private resort experience.
Enjoy a swim at the resort pool beneath coconut palms, making sure to grab a drink at the swim-up bar, or head across the street to the lagoon where kayaks and snorkel gear is free to use.
The resort’s restaurant serves up local delicacies like coconut-crusted chicken, palusami risotto balls, and double koko Samoa cake. Enjoy a meal in the restaurant with views of the lagoon or opt for a more special and private dining experience on the lagoon jetty which can easily be arranged.
Ask about their Amoa village walks to gain a better understanding of the local culture or have them arrange for you to visit nearby Afu Aau Falls and the Tafua Rainforest Preserve where you can hike to the Tafua volcanic crater and maybe spot some flying fox bats or the endemic tooth-billed pigeon.
8. Le Lagoto Resort & Spa
Le Lagoto Resort & Spa is an intimate boutique resort with just 10 Samoan style contemporary bungalows, half of which are located along the beachfront and the other half still offering views of the ocean. There is also a larger two-bedroom bungalow for larger families.
The resort takes its name from the Samoan word for “sunset” and is aptly named with its westward facing position along the northern coastline of Savai’i. Guests will enjoy catching nightly sunsets from the privacy of their bungalow balcony.
The resort’s Vailili Restaurant offers up special Polynesian barbecue nights on Sundays and you can grab a local Vailima beer, one of Samoa’s finest brews, at Han’s Bar.
Enjoy a body scrub and be sure to use up your two complimentary massage vouchers at the Sunset Spa or simply grab a book from their library to read on a sun lounger.
Guests have access to kayaks and paddle boards free of charge and trips can easily be arranged to swim with and feed local sea turtles that live nearby or to the Lava Fields at Saleaula.
9. Stevensons at Manase Beach Resort
Also along the north coast of Savai’i is Stevensons at Manase. Here, you’ll find unique upscale fales or traditional Samoan beach huts. Guests staying in the Euro fales can expect a glamping-style experience that is a step up from the more rustic fales found in Samoa.
Each fale features a thatched roof, woven blinds, and an open doorway that invites the sounds of ocean waves inside. Beds come with mosquito nets and towels and linen are provided.
The resort also offers more spacious and contemporary suites in addition to their Euro fales. These suites feature unique lava rock walls, bright colours, and Samoan wood carving decor. The resort features a fun games room and bicycles are available to explore the ring road around the island.
Most villages in Samoa offer rustic fale accommodation which allows backpackers on a budget an affordable option when looking for somewhere to spend the night. While fale accommodation may be far from a 5-star hotel and not suitable for everyone, it can be a rewarding experience for many who enjoy an immersive cultural experience.
Staying in a fale is somewhat like camping except you may be given a mattress and linen. You can expect a basic thatched beach hut on an elevated platform.
Don’t expect to have walls, an en-suite, electricity, air conditioning, or Wi-Fi. Staying in a fale is all about embracing Samoa’s natural assets and often allows you to experience authentic life within a local village.
Most fales will be located just steps from the beach and usually include basic meals served communally in a common area. This allows guests to interact with one another and share stories. It is important to note that communal bathroom facilities will be made available
Sustainable Tourism in Samoa
In a country as naturally and culturally rich as Samoa, it is important to ensure that tourism plays a positive role in communities. By exploring this country in a socially responsible manner, tourists are able to enjoy the best of Samoa whilst putting money back into the local economy.
This spending helps to support community development and local conservation efforts, ensuring Samoa is protected, both for locals and tourists for years to come.
This blog post was Sponsored by Samoa Tourism.
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