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Samoa Travel Guide

Beach Fale at Virgin Cove
a beach fale at Virgin Cove Resort



There are a couple of places to stay at Sa'anapu-tai between Siumu and Lefaga. The Manuia Wetlands Holiday Retreat has three self-catering bungalows and five open Samoan fale on their white beach. Day visitors pay a set fee per car, plus an extra charge if the group wants a fale for the day, to use a barbecue, or to rent an outrigger canoe.

Sa'anapu Lagoon Lodges, right on the same lovely white beach, has five budget cottages with private bath, fridge, and gas stove. One larger five-person unit is more expensive, and if you stay three nights the price drops.

Virgin Cove Resort sits on a lovely beach of the finest white sand between outcrops of black lava rock just west of Sa'anapu village, about five km off the south coast road via a rough track. An easier access is through Sa'anapa, then a 200-meter walk along the beach.

Virgin Cove is a trendy eco resort catering to yuppie tourists and holidaymakers from Australia and New Zealand in search of something different. There's a bit of pretense and it's important to go with the flow.

The eight traditional Fale Afa are priced for shared accommodations or single. The two garden bungalows with clean private facilities are more. If you stay six nights, the seventh is free. All rates include breakfast, dinner, and tax. Singles must be prepared to share their fale with another guest or pay a single supplement (if saving money is a top priority, chose another resort). The primitive affluence is reflected in the common outdoor stone shower. The dinner menu rotates every 14 days, so there's variety in the meals. The food is excellent though starters and desserts cost extra and only small bottles of Vailima are available. This resort uses only solar electricity and dining is by candlelight.

A Samoan fia fia is staged on Saturday nights. Small lockers are provided for your valuables. The European management is reflected in the enhanced security and higher prices. Reservations are necessary as Virgin Cove is often full. Bookings can be made directly by phone at which time a credit card number will be requested. Free transfers Monday to Saturday at 1430 from the Samoa Tourist Authority.

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