Travel Story: Samoa Weekend Getaway
Updated: Feb 17, 2021
Samoa is a popular destination for New Zealanders looking for a tropical escape and whilst it hasn't been as popular with Australians due to its distance we decided to use our Virgin Australia points to fly out for the weekend and see this pacific oasis for ourselves. Virgin Australia has flights three times a week to Apia from Sydney and a once weekly flight from Brisbane, due to the days we had available we opted to fly via Sydney.
Day 1: Arrival & Check In At Coconuts Beach Club Resort
After our 6 hour overnight business class flight with Virgin Australia from Sydney to Apia which arrived at 6am, we met our transfer driver which the resort had organised for us, if you make a transfer request when you book online the resort will organise this service for a fee (returning guests get this service for free). We were escorted to the waiting mini van with other resort guests and started our one hour journey to the resort. Once at the resort our driver assisted us with our luggage to our overwater fale where he handed us an envelope which had the code for the door, he then gave us a tour of the room before leaving us to get settled in. We choose Coconuts Beach Club Resort as it has a top Tripadvisor rating and we were able to book it via Virgin Australia's website so we were able to earn points on our stay, you can read more about the hotel in our review here. We were impressed with our overwater fale named Sieni which was open plan, had a window in the floor of the lounge room and toilet so you could see the water below and has probably the most amazing bathroom we have seen in an overwater bungalow with views over the water and beach. The room also has included in the price a stocked mini bar with beer, soft drinks and a carafe of white wine. Coconuts Beach Club Resort was originally built in 1990 as a beach club bar and restaurant by owners Barry & Jennifer Rose and then had hotel rooms added in 1992, unfortunately in 2009 a tsunami hit Samoa and completely destroyed the resort along with most of the low lying areas on the island. It was rebuilt bigger and better with the most recent rebuilding works being completed in 2016. After getting unpacked we went for a wander around the resort to find out where everything was and upon finding Mika's Restaurant decided to sit down for some lunch, we had pre booked the coconuts meal deal which is $89.00 USD per day per person and includes breakfast, lunch, dinner as well as unlimited house beer, wine and soft drinks at lunch and dinner. We enjoyed the curry chicken papaya salad and the chefs salad with a couple of Taula's which is the local beer. The food was excellent and the staff were very friendly (you can read more about the restaurant in our hotel review here). After lunch we headed back to our fale to relax with a book on the enormous overwater deck. In the evening we headed back to Mika's Restaurant for dinner, on Saturday nights the resort has Samoan culture night so we were treated to local singers, dancers and fire twirlers while we sampled the local cuisine. We had the cajun sashimi and the beef and onion soup with three cheeses for starter and for main we had the coconut coated reef fish with a coconut cream pineapple sauce and the chicken parmesano. Unfortunately our mains came before our starter so they were taken away and then brought back cold after we'd had our starters, the starters were great and the flavours of the mains were great but it would have been better if the mains were warm. The dinner entertainment was excellent and definitely a highlight of our stay, after a quick cocktail at the bar we headed back to our fale where we drifted off to sleep with the sound of the waves crashing over the reef in the background.
Day 2: Snorkelling & Day Spa Visit
On our second day in Samoa we headed to the Mika's Restaurant for our a la carte breakfast where we had the omelette of the day which was excellent except for the coffee which was disappointing (you can order a cappuccino however the coffee included in the meal deal is only the percolated coffee). After breakfast we headed to the day spa for a massage which we had booked on our first day, the Coco Beach Spa is located near reception and is very new and beautifully presented with outdoor stone bathtubs which you can soak in with flower petals and champagne after your spa if you wish. We had booked the one hour Island Time Massage and while the staff at the day spa were friendly, the massage wasn't that great, you do have to remember that at the resort all the staff are employed from the nearby village so you can't expect highly trained staff (you can read more about the day spa in our hotel review here). In the afternoon we decided to get the underwater camera wet so we headed out in to the lagoon to do some snorkelling. The resort has complimentary snorkels, flippers, and kayaks so there is plenty to keep everyone entertained (you can read more about the resort's facilities in our review here). We had brought our own snorkel masks so we headed off the beach to go exploring, the lagoon is surrounded by reef but unfortunately there is not a lot of coral left after the tsunami came through but there were lots of colourful fish as well as star fish and sea urchins. In the evening after watching the sunset from our fale deck we headed to Mika's Restaurant for dinner, this time we had the zucchini mozzarella and sashimi starters followed by the peppercorn steak and champignon steak for mains, the starters were excellent however the steaks came out medium rare instead of medium well and it was served with cold vegetables which was disappointing, its probably best if you like a medium well steak to order well done in the pacific as we've had a similar problem in Fiji in the past. After dinner we headed to the bar for a few cocktails and met some returned guests from New Zealand who invited us to join them in their beachfront fale to see what it was like, the beachfront fales are just as beautiful as the overwater ones with beachfront views and a stone waterfall shower in the large lava stone bathroom.
Day 3: Airport Transfer & Flight Home
On our last day in Samoa we were woken at 3am by our wake up call (they don't have phones in the room so a wake up call is a staff member knocking on your door) and then taken to reception with our luggage for our return trip to the airport. Unfortunately if your flying direct to Australia your only option is Virgin Australia and as their flight departs Apia at 6:30am its an early start to get to the airport on time. Our recommendation to people is that if your coming from Australia go via Auckland with Air New Zealand as that flight arrives and departs in the afternoon rather than first thing in the morning. We did have to divert on the way home to Nadi in Fiji to refuel as there was a shortage of fuel in Apia and whilst it did extend our flight time by and hour we did get to see the Marriott Momi Bay from the air where we had stayed during our Fiji Weekend Getaway (you can read about that trip here) so that was a bonus. Before we knew it we were back home again, it was a very short trip but we enjoyed every minute of it and would highly recommend Samoa and while there could be improvements in the restaurant and spa we would recommend Coconuts Beach Club Resort and its friendly staff to anyone who's looking for a Samoan get away. So that ends this travel story, if you have any questions about this trip feel free to comment on the blog, Until next time!
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About The Author
Rob has been passionate about cruise ship holidays and exploring the world since the first cruise he went on when he was only seven years old. Since then Rob who is a Photographer and his partner Mike of 18 years have travelled the world on over 25 cruises with over 10 different cruise lines visiting every continent across the globe as well as many remote tropical islands along the way. In addition to cruise holidays they enjoy relaxing at beach side holiday resorts and first/business class air travel as well as transcontinental rail journeys. Between them both Robert and Michael have worked out the best way to maximise frequent flyer reward points allowing them to travel first/business class at economy class prices or in some cases travelling first/business class for free.