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“Great Place - but pay cash only!”

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Vacations Beach Fales
Ranked #12 of 15 Hotels in Savai'i
Auckland, New Zealand
1 review
“Great Place - but pay cash only!”
Reviewed 19 April 2010

We stayed at Vacations for 10 or so days, intending on longer but with other guests coming and going staying only a few days, decided to spend last few days in Savaii at a better more relaxing resort, and it was worth it. We had the only self contained unit there - took about 5 days to get a can opener amongst other things, so self contained description bit of a long shot. That said, Vacations was a great place - great beach, good food, nice smiles from most of staff - from what we could see, probably the better one in Manase, so on a budget, best place - just a bit of advise in that Vacations is a weekend and Christmas retreat for Apia residents with a bit of spending money, so they come for a few days, drink a bit, then go, so keep in mind it gets a bit rowdy. Also, at Christmas time, you might just bump into the big Samoan with the agro look that might drink at the local Otahuhu bar that you would avoid, or the big Samoan mama that stood next to you at the Avondale KFC - we bumped into both sterotypes a number of times - entertaining - to a point. The other places in Manase appear to attract the Lonely Planet backpacker types, or the dumb Australians on a package car included 3 days in Savaii type person. And the bar at Vacations - dont bank on it being open past 8 - (spend your money at Racis bar 100m dwn beach, or buy your beer at the petrol station across road). You want a cheapish place to stay, good food included, balconey right on the beach - Vacations. The one big advise - pay cash ONLY, and pay as you go. We paid for the accom by credit card, and when we got back to NZ, checked the statement and they had tried to book us twice, and no, wasnt a mistake! Bank in NZ put a credit through, but could have done without that - And Lou (owner), get rid of Pili (manager) - couldnt manage his way out of a box - Chow

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank hoppyz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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68 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Canberra
Level Contributor
36 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2009

Beachfront fales are beachfront fales - no frills, pretty uncomfortable, but a great cultural insight and what you stay in if you want to step off your mattress and onto the beach. Fales along the Manase stretch are crowded - these ones are around 3m apart - luckily both our neighbouring ones were unoccupied. After a couple of nights we generally feel like moving on and finding a warm shower somewhere. And Samoan service is Samoan service - a bit hit and miss and can be infuriating if you come here with unrealistic expectations, but if you're lucky or if you are friendly towards your hosts, you'll be warmly welcomed and looked after. We were.

We hadn't read the awful reviews from some guests who stayed at Vacations 6 months ago because we just turned up and asked about a vacancy, so I'm pleased to say we received attentive service from local staff who chatted with us, served reasonable food and kept the place fairly clean (although the bathroom block was pretty nasty). The restaurant and bar area seemed much bigger and better than what's available at the other (cheaper) fale-style resorts in Manase. The beach is gorgeous with trees overhanging the sand for the kids to play in the shade (an unexpected bonus), although the water tended to have a fair bit of floaty leaves and natural debris on it.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Travelwith2kidsnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NZ
1 review
Reviewed 24 July 2009

My husband and I stayed in a beachfront fale and couldn't have asked for a more perfect location in Samoa. We travelled around both Upolu and Savaii and feel that Manase is definitely the best spot in Samoa. The meals exceeded my expectations, and the Samoan feast put on for everyone at lunchtime on Sunday was a nice touch. The big difference between Vacations and alot of other fale type properties is that there are only 14/15 fales altogether, and therefore was quieter than some others. Leota the owner was always on hand to check that we were enjoying our stay. The thing we loved the most was the location amongst the palm trees and there you can wander along the beach for a drink at Raci's Beach Club bar, Janes Bar or even Stevensons. Would highly recommend for couples & singles of all ages looking for a more authentic Samoan experience.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank kandmNz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2009

This resort was welcoming had a great family feel and the most fantastic spot. The fales were clean and tidy and we stayed right on the beach. There was an outdoor shower outside our fale and the facitlities and food were great.
I would definately recommend a stay here and commend the hosts on a fantastic resort and a great holiday.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank acbNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bne
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 April 2009

A big thanks to Evan and all the staff! Dinner and breakfast were very good. The fale had nice thick mattresses for a great night rest. A great place to stay and rest at very decent price.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank CedCec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2009

We organized our wedding for just the two of us, over the internet, to take place on Feb. 14/09 at Vacation Beach Fales in Manase on the island of Savai'i in Samoa. We heard much praise about this particular fale from various websites and our communication over the internet in the months leading to our trip was good.

We spoke with one person from the fales who provided us with information on how to obtain a marriage licence once we arrived in Samoa and we agreed on a price of 300 Tala for the organization, decorations and food related to our wedding (this quote did not include the "gift" for the pastor to perform our ceremony - we paid that fee separately, 2 meals are also typically included in the accomodation cost, but we were factoring extra money for a special meal that night).

Once we arrived in Samoa on Feb. 1/09, we discovered that the licencing process is more complex than we were lead to believe, but we had a contact number for the fales. The lady we had been dealing with met us in the capital city of Apia to collect our paperwork, copies of our birth certificates and passports and 60 Tala for the associated processing fees. She was then to take all these items to the pastor in Manase who would take it through the proper channels to get us a licence to marry.

When we arrived at the fales in Manase on Feb. 10/09 we were shocked to discover that the lady who met us in Apia was no longer and employee of the fales and it was unclear as to when she left the company (potentially before she met us and took our documents and money). The other staff at the fales knew we were there to get married on the 14th (4 days away) but there were no preparations and no licence.

We sat down with the manager, our newly appointed contact person, the night of the 10th and described our vision for our wedding and the previously agreed upon price of 300 Tala. The price was okayed by the manager and he agreed to obtain our paperwork and money from the employee who took it, get us availability/quotes for local photographers (which we would pay separately), arrange flowers and other decorations and a meal (cost included in our accommodation fees) including a cake. After this conversation with the manager, we were upset at the events that had transpired, but our nerves were calmed by their promises.

We waited for 2 days to hear from them with an update on the marriage licence situation only to discover that in that time no one had contacted the ex-employee to obtain our documents. At that point, we took the matter into our own hands and called the ex-employee ourselves. We had the documents back within 24 hours; however, the money (60 Tala) that we gave her was never returned. Once we received the documents, they were given to the local pastor and we were able to get the marriage licence in time; however, we discovered that the manager forgot to obtain availability/quotes for any photographers. This meant that the day before the wedding we were running around to find a photographer, but luckily a local, amateur photographer agreed to take the pictures and we averted another problem.

At this point we sat down with the owner of the fales to discuss our frustration with the planning of our wedding and to negotiate a reduced cost for the wedding due to the stress of this situation and all the work we were forced to do on our own. The owner apologized and agreed to a lower cost - he quoted us a new price of 150-200 Tala for the wedding, down from 300 Tala.

The day of the wedding went well in spite of all the previous problems; however, the day after the manager approached us at dinner time in front of other guests and informed us that the cost of our wedding went up from the 150-200 Tala discussed 2 nights previous to 800 Tala. Not only had their ex-employee stole 60 Tala from us at the beginning, they were now attempting to steal 600 Tala from us after the fact. It is also important to mention that during the course of our stay, we also had a number of items stolen from inside our fale, including shoes and food. Considering everything, we decided to cut our losses and leave the fales 3 days early. With much argument from the manager (the owner was no where in sight), we paid the 300 Tala we originally agreed on and our accommodation fees for the nights we stayed and with tears of frustration we left Vacation Beach Fales. We received no apologies from them then or in the time since.

I would never recommend anyone to get married there, or even vacation there; it is quite clear to us that they are used to taking advantage of tourists. We felt that their treatment of us was abusive and close to criminal and it is very disappointing that a number of problems interfered with our plan to have a quiet, stress-free wedding in paradise.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank laurenzack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2009

I had stayed here previously and the fales and service was great - with the bakery just across the road to cater for cheap lunches.
The owners have split leaving the husband to run the accommodation. The owners wife, receptionist and baker have left - leaving the nephew in charge. I had booked and paid for 6 days in advance. When I arrived the nephew had no idea i was coming so our room was not ready - honesly there were only 2 other couples there - how long would it take to throw a couple of mattress in a fale with mosquito nettings - their pace was snail pace. he nephew asked me to show proof of my booking - which luckily I had bought email copies with me. The water in the showers were constantly turned off, toilet paper kept running out and the shower tap was a metal tool hanging off where the knob should have been. The staff only did what they needed to do - serve food, socialising with visitors didnt seem to be part of their job. By 8.30am everything was shut down, all staff gone for the day so you had to just hang out in your fale. New people kept coming but would only stay one night and be unhappy and leave the next day and move down the road to Tanu Beach Fales - which I discovered later was a happening place with happy guests and staff - when our 6 days were up we moved down the road for our final 2 days. The most people that would be there at any one time would be 6 guests. The nephew would also overcharge people - we had new friends come in and check with us the price of the accommodation and he would have overcharged. You couldnt use the phone without the nephew sitting there right in front of you - i dont think he knows the word privacy.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Craigs7424
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vacations Beach Fales

Property: Vacations Beach Fales
Address: Manase Street | Manase, Savai'i, Samoa
Region: Samoa > Savai'i
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Savai'i
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Talofa Lava and Welcome to Vacations Beach Fales in Manase Savaii. We're more than happy to greet you, assist you with kindness if need assistance and definitely make your stay feel at home. About Ratings it is ST90pp thus includes Breakfast and Dinner. For Self contain at ST400 per day per unit thus includes Breakfast and Dinner, Beach Front Cottage with En-suite Bathroom at ST250 per day per unit with an extra at ST50 includes Breakfast and Dinner. We make sure that you enjoy staying with us and all your needs are accomplished. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vacations Beach Fales Hotel Savai`i
Vacations Beach Fales Savai i
Vacations Beach Fales Samoa

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