Apia's premier tourist hotel, Aggie Grey's, on the east side of the harbor, originated in March 1942 as a hamburger stand catering to U.S. servicemen stationed in the area. Aggie's son Alan has continued the tradition of catering to American tastes, although the hotel lost some of its original South Seas atmosphere when the main waterfront building was reconstructed in mock-colonial style in 1989. The original building is next door where the craft shop is now. There are 156 rooms in the older section around the pool, 26 tightly packed bungalows, and "new" rooms and two suites in the main lobby wing. The cheaper rooms are rather shabby and stuffy, but the expensive ones facing the harbor are quite luxurious. Children under 16 are not allowed in the new wing or suites.
If you pay by credit card expect to have your bill inflated slightly due to the unfavorable exchange rates previously discussed. The restaurant lays out a very good buffet breakfast, and even if you aren't staying here, it's worth visiting for an afternoon coffee and pastry. Weekly events include the barbecue on Sunday night and the Samoan feast on Wednesday. Aggie's is often full of dull business guests and rather bored conference participants, but the bar is nice and there's even an island in the large swimming pool!
The three-story Hotel Insel Fehmarn, up Falealili St. in Moto'otua, has 54 rooms. It's less expensive than Aggie Grey's and each air-conditioned unit has a fridge, full cooking facilities, video/TV, balcony, and private bath. The Insel Fehmarn caters to business travelers: typing, photocopying, email, and fax services are available. A swimming pool, tennis courts, guest launderette (extra charge), restaurant, and bar are on the premises. Apia's top pizzeria is right across the street and there are several car rental agencies nearby offering good rates. This well-managed hotel is a good alternative to Aggie's for those who want value for money. Ask for a room on the top floor for panoramic views.
Higher up the Cross Island Highway, near the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, is the Manumea Resort with 12 air-conditioned suites, a stylish swimming pool, and a beehive restaurant.