My new husband ( Carl) and I honeymooned for 10 days in Samoa. After having spent 4 days at Apia Central ( it rained the whole time) we decide to take a chance and visit Savaii, as planned. We took the ferry ride over having been told about Manase village and Tanu fales, but were having trouble contacting them. We figured even though we had no booking we would take a look and decide when we got there as they were not the only fales within the village so something must be available as it was not peak tourist season.
On the way over we met some fellow travellers from NZ (we are Aussies). They told us they were on their way to stay at Tanu and that bookings were pretty casual so should be ok. When we arrived Via from Tanu was there at the jetty to meet his guests we quickly explained our position and he was more than happy to take us with him, as the fales has a small mini bus, this was great as we were expecting to pay at least 60-70 tala in taxi fares anyway.
We were so delighted as we all got to know the others on the trip to the village and it turned into a full comedy show along the way. As the trip took about 40 minutes and taking in along the way other villages and accomodation the island had on offer we were so surprised at how clean and tidy the whole village of Manase was when we arrived. Other than the resort about 4 kms down the road nothing can compare to it.
They have taken a great deal of care with the environmental impact and cleanliness of running such a business. They have closed top wheelie bins, unlike the locals who have bags on platforms, dogs and pigs are banned from the front beach side of the village as they make a messand it makes a huge difference. Each bus stop has a bunch of bananas hanging from it for a treat throughout the day. The showers and toilets are clean, and the grounds are cleaned and swept daily. Very humble and truely a beautiful place made even more special by the family.
If you are expecting a hotel with room service forget it, but if you are looking for a real Samoan experiece with its people the service and friendliness make up for the loss of modern cons not avail. In saying that we did travel with a camera however that needed to be charged so for a small fee we were able to charge this in the office, so not all bad. Tanu beach fales is a upmarket camping style accomodation.
As I mentioned earlier it rained for 8 out of 10 days we were at Tanu but they are very well set up for bad weather. Our fales was set back off the beach so we were protected but as soon as the weather broke and was sunshine they moved us to beach front. fales without us saying a word. We were delighted when we got back from our day out and found our new room set up. The place was pretty full at leat 50 guests and not one of us had any problems with things going missing or lost, as others have mentioned in other fales accomodations I have read about. and a few people we met at the local cocktail bar in the evening that were staying a few doors down. They do offer a lockable safety service of your valueables to be locked in the safe if required. They even moved our washing we had hanging out to dry and placed everything back they way we had it in the other fale. The only thing they don't have is an ATM close by but the local Bank of Samoa is a 5 minute walk away to change cash if required.
They have a well stocked shop at the fales, and small cocktail bar Raci's only 500 metres down the beach, bike hire, snorkles, internet etc avail also. Tanu fales provided basic breakfast and dinner each day more than enough local food, so unless you are a very fussy eater you would find it a wonderful experience. Meals are spent in a communal dining area about 50 metres from the ocean. So imagine eating breakfast or a sunset dinner each night, anywhere else in the world it would have cost you and arm and a leg, but this is included.
We were lucky enough to be present for their Fia Fia night .Even after having to wait for the power to come on again due to weather difficulties it was well worth it and they kept us all entertained while we waited. After seeing a few at hotels on Apia we found their show to be alot more interesting. The Head chief and his wife were wonderful and took the time to speak to the guests throughout our 4 day stay.
When we asked about tours or car hire, Tanu asked about the breakfast table and arranged for a day tour of the island for us,as their were about 10 of us who were intersted, this also included lunch. If you don't have a car its a must and well worth the price ( less than the cost of a hire car for the day) as you see so much and the information that is provided along the way it is priceless. We learnt about local history, stories about how the coconut and Lover leap etc came about (won't tell or it will ruin your time). The coconuts at the blowhole were great and a few extras Via took us to along the way followed by a huge icecream we picked up on the way home via the new Savaii growers markets.
We were also there for Sunday service and although we had been told not alot happens on Sundays due to church, we found that as long as you followed advise so to not offend the villagers we had a great time. We hired bikes and rode to the lava fields and turtle swimming. Then in the afternoon we spent the time relaxing on the beach reading and having a few quiet drinks with our new friends. We had the best mixed group of people of all ages groups covered, and a few we will continue to keep in touch.
Tanu has something for everyone familes, couples, singles and are very kid friendly.
So weather you are wanting a fun time or a quiet time reading your book can be achieved easily.
I honestly don't think our honeymoon would have been complete if we had not met such wonderful giving and down to earth people at Tanu beach. We loved it so much we are planning our next trip already and next time with a few more family and friends in toe we will be spending a whole lot more time at Tanu Beach. I would strongly recomend this place to anyone looking for something different to do that loves meeting new people.
- Also Known As:
- Tanu Beach Fales Hotel Savai`i
- Tanu Beach Fales Savai i
- Tanu Beach Fales Samoa