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“Didn't live up to the reviews”

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Dave Parker Eco Lodge
Ranked #18 of 29 Hotels in Apia
Reviewed 11 April 2010

We chose Dave Parker's Eco Lodge via the Samoan Hotel Association website for 4 main reasons; (1) Setting - Up in the hills above the rainforest (2) location - 15 minutes drive from Apia (3) Cost - One of the cheapest places just out of Apia (4) Good reviews on the TripAdvisor site.

It definitely fit the bill for setting. The view from Dave Parker's Eco Lodge is nothing short of breathtaking as most reviews will tell you. If wildlife is your thing and you're not phased by the other points in this review then this might be well worth it. For us, it really wasn't enough to keep us there.

As for location, while 15 minutes drive from Apia township doesn't sound like a long way, by Samoan standards (as every taxi driver moaned to us) it's a long way from Apia. It was still only a SAT$30 ride each way but it adds up if you've just chosen Dave Parker's as a base to explore the island as we did. This was definitely a big factor for us to decide to only stay only 1 of the 3 nights we'd originally booked.

Factoring the cost is a hard one just due to how things work in Samoa. What we learned during our stay was that we shouldn't have expected to get the same value for money as we did back home (in New Zealand). For the same money, what you get in Samoa is well under par compared to what we'd get at home. If we'd known this at the time we'd never have booked a double room anywhere in Samoa for SAT$95 a night. Even the places we stayed at for SAT$185 and SAT$255 were only verging on adequate.….but you live and learn don't you. For anyone that's planning on going to Samoa I suggest that you look at spending a bit more than you would for an average accomodation anywhere else in the world if good service and cleanliness is important to you.

With the last point about the reviews this place has gotten, I'm going to work on the assumption that perhaps we got them on a bad day so perhaps read my comments in that context.

Locating someone that works there - More than a few times we needed some assistance with various things and the place was deserted. This was worrying for 2 reasons; What would have happened in a medical emergency? If someone of questionable character was to just wander into the hotel they could have helped themselves to anything they liked. On the other hand, when you do find someone they are very helpful and lovely people but finding someone in the first place can be tricky.

Cleanliness - Bird crap on the dining room table cloths (inside and outside), squashed bugs in the showers, half used bars of soap on the handbasin, an old soiled mattress out on the deck, the list goes on but those were some of the highlights. Basically our lodge room was tidy but definitely not clean. Slept "on" rather than "in" the bed as I didn't even want to know what the state of the sheets were going to be like.

Catering - What we were served for lunch looked (and tasted) like luke warm leftovers from a cheap BBQ. I was sick for 2 days afterwards and at SAT$25 a plate it was hardly value for money. We weren't even given a menu. Earlier in our trip in a small village in Savai'i we were getting good portions of fresh fish, salad and rice for less than SAT$20. Why is it that a place on what is essentially mainland Western Samoa where things are more readily available can charge more for less in terms of both quantity and quality? We ended up having dinner at Aggie Greys and breakfast at another hotel after checking out of Dave Parker's.

Recreation - The listing on the Samoan Hotels site advised us that there were caves, bushwalks, hiking and trekking opportunities which was another reason we were interested in staying here. Those particular activies were news to the girl working there. Basically there is very little onsite to do unless all you want to do is look at fruit bats and swim in a river. If you can't afford the SAT$30 taxi into town everyday or to hire a car, you're stuck there.

It's really unfortunate that I've had to give such a bad review as Dave and his wife were two of the nicest people we met during our time in Samoa. Our one night at Dave Parker's was definitely a low point in our trip but as I said earlier, for around SAT$98 we probably shouldn't have expected much. We gladly paid the full 3 nights for our one nights stay to get out of this place. The setting alone gives the place so much potential to be a lot better than it is and we were sadly let down by a perceived lack of the basics.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank adrian0476
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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38 - 44 of 49 reviews

Reviewed 23 November 2009

Great place to stay, a little hard to find as it is a little way out of Apia, bonus that it was between the sliding rocks and town. The swimming pool is tiny, but the rock pool was pleasant.
Staff were great, very friendly showed us to our rooms when we arrived about 2am, gave us a wake up call at 5 in the morning.
Breakfast was pretty standard for our trip this time Papaya, ham and eggs, yum!

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with family
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Thank tkoChristchurch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2009

Spectacular views across forested slopes to distant Apia & the lagoon. Interesting trees/flowers/wildlife in a quiet & peaceful location. Friendly staff. Well worth a try. However, the standard of cuisine is not for the fastidious & it is a fair old trek to the nearest habitation or shopping facilities, so you might like to take along some extra food supplies. Rooms reasonable for repair & cleanliness.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank FormerHippy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2009

Most wonderful views over bush to Apia and sea. Flying foxes can be watched for hours from the balcony. Dave is a laid back and helpful host - the staff are a delight. A few more bugs here than on Savaii beaches - recommend a spray out with flyspray on arrival. Quiet during our stay - had the new pool to ourselves. There is a new accomodation block going up but as is concrete block - no building noises. These units should be ready by Xmas and will be totaly self contained (kitchens). Great value food - included breakfast the best we had in Samoa. We were supposed to tell the staff if we wanted dinner in the morning and they would cook for us. We often forgot but never a problem - delicious and great value meals prepared short notice. This was supposed to be an exploring base but the property was so good we didn't want to leave. Nice walk down to the waterful and swimming hole and through cocoa and coffee trees. Dave can organise a taxi for the day - better value than a tour - we didnt figure this til our last day so next visit. Went to town one evening to Aggies for Fia Fia - ok (place packed with tourists- ugh) couldn't wait to escape back to paradise.... .Basic accomodation but amazing value.....

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank j9rangiora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2009

Renamed Dave Parker's Eco Lodge. We stayed for four wonderful days and would have stayed longer if they hadn't been full. The rooms are basic and small but we didn't care as the view was spectacular. The lodge sits on a ridge above the rain forest canopy and you have a front row seat to observe the bird life with a long view to Apia and the fringing reef beyond. Many enjoyable hours can be spent just sitting looking at the view but there's also the swimming pool and the waterfall and natural pool close by. Come here to destress, relax and be out of touch.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank gypsymaman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2009

If you're looking for peace & quiet, Cloud 9 is the best place to stay. It has the best view in the whole of Samoa. It also has it's own waterfalll where we cooled down everyday after shopping in Apia. Rooms are very clean & tidy. You have to see it to believe it. We will definitely stay there again. I highly reccommend Cloud 9 Resort to anybody visiting Samoa

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank ladybella724
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2008

For an awesome peaceful place (yet within reach of the madding crowd), try the Cloud 9 Ecolodge. It is a 15min Taxi ride from Apia, yet there are no shops - you can go for quiet rainforest walks , especially in the morning & evening when you can see the birdlife, bats, etc in their full glory, or read or just chill out. The veiw is fantastic as you are over 400M above sealevel, but only 5km from the coast, so you can see for miles.It is not posh but is clean & tidy. The staff could not be more helpful & accomodating to your needs, & nothing is a problem. You are still in Digicell mobile phone range ,so can be in contact with your loved ones at home. Due to the altitude it is a wee bit cooler at night than down on the coast, (18 Deg instead of 22)but the combination of the veiw , the peace & tranquility, make up for any small differences. The highlight of our 15 day stay.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank burgla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dave Parker Eco Lodge

Address: Tapatapao Road | Tapatapao, Apia, Upolu, Samoa
Region: Samoa > Upolu > Apia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 29 Hotels in Apia
Price Range: £12 - £35 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Dave Parker Eco Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 14
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Dave Parker Eco Lodge Samoa/Apia

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