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“Overrated and Overpriced”
Review of Taufua Beach Fales

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Taufua Beach Fales
Certificate of Excellence
Auckland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Overrated and Overpriced”
Reviewed 29 November 2013

Arrived at Taufua Beach fales around 11am and a staff member/local jump in our rental to show us where to the 2 Mountain View fales we booked were located.

Room still had people in it so we decided to visit family nearby and return later after lunch. Around 1pm we arrived back and room still wasn't cleaned or ready for us.

I wasn't impressed by young woman’s customer service tending the shop in the main dining area. Enquired about lunch and was told they didn't do lunch service and only options for lunch was plastic cup/ noodles and potato chips. She was not friendly, helpful or at all welcoming. I asked her if there was a kettle in our room to boil water and she was very blunt with me almost like I was inconveniencing her for asking questions and requesting to buy things.

By this time my husband, the kids and I were hungry and also bothered by the heat, we received no apology about our rooms not being ready and we didn't get any warm welcome and then after receiving crap customer service from this woman it really left a lasting impression.

On inspection of our room the basic bare amenities were there. Along with a working fridge, shower, and kettle and tea/coffee/milk sachets with a bowl of brown sugar full of ants.

In one of the rooms booked the air conditioning unit was leaking into a bucket and we put a towel in to mask the sounds of the loud dripping noises but that didn't work. Also it did not appear to be safe as it was leaking near an exposed electrical socket.

Dinner set up is awkward and uncomfortable. Guests sit together on 1 of 2 long tables in the dining area and plates of food are placed on the tables. No one is told to pass the food around.

My family sat in the middle of one table and we got potato salad and coleslaw placed in front of us and I'm not sure if this was done deliberately but all the meat dishes were placed at the ends of each table and all the food was pretty much gone even before people realized that they had to share and pass the plates along.

Surely doing a self-serve buffet dinner would be more effective, because when we were there it just seemed like there wasn't enough food at all. Didn't find that dinner was value for the money paid at all as we were still hungry after and the plates of food were not replenished or monitored by staff.

We retired back to our rooms and there was a power cut. We then had to wait 1 hour in the dark for the power to get turned back on. We had to go to the house to inform them, and were told it was on a pre-pay system. Which was an inconvenience and I was very annoyed at how long it took to get power back on. My 15 month old became really unsettled and upset at the heat and it was quite an uncomfortable night’s stay.

The view on the mountain is nice and picturesque but it's a shame to see workers throw rubbish over the cliff into the bushes. Having some picnic chairs or an area to enjoy the view (beware of wasps) or finishing the pool would make staying at the Mountain View Fales way more appealing.

The unwelcoming customer service, unsatisfactory dinner, the power cut and leaky air conditioning unit was enough for me to want to just pack up and leave the next day without having our complimentary breakfast. When we drove down to check out, one of the male staff members flagged us down and said that they had breakfast already prepared for us and insisted we eat. So we stayed to be served a sub-par breakfast of dry pancakes and fried egg. My husband had just made a cup of milo and was using a teaspoon to stir it, the same lady who was manning the shop day before approached me and asked for teaspoon and rudely snatched it. She didn't have the manners or common courtesy to ask if we were finished. Like seriously is there only 1 teaspoon for the entire breakfast service to be used?

I have no idea why this woman is even working in customer service or was hired to deal with people. Her attitude and unprofessionalism left a lasting impression on me and that's to never book again at Taufua and to never recommend it to friends and family.

I would not recommend Taufua for a family holiday spot and I am disappointed that the positive feedback i read on Trip Advisor didn't reflect in what my family experienced first hand. Don't waste your money here, this place is overrated and overpriced.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
8 Thank serekus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (103)
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English first
Rangiora, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 November 2013

As we were visiting Samoa at low season we decided to get a rental car and trip around and just stop where each day took us. We spent a night at Taufua Fales and enjoyed it so much that we ended up going back to Fales for a further two nights at the end of our vacation.
I myself found the staff to be excellent, always willing to help and extremely friendly.
We stayed in the mountain view villas which had air conditioning. These were lovely and clean and our unit had a very comfortable king sized bed. The fresh flowers that Si'ilo put in our room were a lovely touch. At the moment you would really need your own vehicle to stay in the mountain rooms as they are the other side of the village, however there are plans to put a restaurant and pool on that site too.
Wednesdays and Saturdays they have a Fiafia night. These are great fun and very interactive - be prepared to get up and dance!
The food was fantastic and very plentiful. We found that after the huge breakfasts we didn't need lunch even though you can buy light lunches for a very reasonable price. As we were there on a Sunday we also got the complimentary island feast that is traditional for Samoans. A whole roasted suckling pig, freshly caught fish, taro, pineapple and many other island delicacies were served. All meals are set around the large table which gives guests time to get to know each other - we made several good friends that we hope to keep in touch with.
The water is incredibly clear and very warm and there are still plenty of beautiful fish to see if you snorkel. Unfortunately the tsunami wrecked the coral however we did notice some beautiful bright blue stags head coral regrowing.
If you expect resort facilities this is not the place for you, but if you want a totally relaxing holiday in perfect surroundings you cannot go past Taufua.
I can't wait to visit again.

Room Tip: I recommend the mountain rooms as they are very quiet and it was a bit cooler being higher up the mo...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TerrieC1711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 October 2013

The check-in was late due to guests leaving our room late, the mountain view rooms we booked were not ready by around 3pm, were of sub-par quality - AC unit noisily leaking into a bucket and over an exposed light fitting, curtains half sized, doors way out of plumb. The power also turned off at about 9pm for about 40 mins - 1hr, apparently it is a pre-pay system.

Worst of all however was the service. My family and I received the worst service here of all the paid accommodations we've been to in several countries. A young female behind the counter was rude and mistreated my family and I on several occasions in the time we were there - less than 24 hours.

Whenever we interacted with her she never uttered a greeting; no hi, hello, how can I help or any basic friendly greeting. One time my nephew waited in line for service and he asked her a question three times while she blatantly ignored him and looking at the next person in line then she finally reluctantly acknowledged him by saying "what" - more like a statement than question. He asked her for five glasses for the drinks we paid for, she ended up giving him two. She never used any manners at all and, I kid you not, she didn't smile once. A smile is free and pretty much a base requirement in customer services so I have no idea why she has this job. This person was pretty much the rudest person we encountered in Samoa and for the price we were paying for the Mountain View rooms, as well as the overpriced food and drinks, we expected... well, at least basic customer service.

I'm very disappointed in this place after the positive reviews on Tripadvisor. My customer experience with this accommodation was the biggest negative point in my trip to Samoa and it was pretty embarrassing. I will never recommend Taufua Beach Fales to my friends, family or anyone I know who is interested in paid accommodation in Samoa.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank neoberi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2013

Have been a returning guest for the past 8 years and have never been disappointed once.
If you're looking for luxury, to be waited on or to have a la carte type food then you're looking in the wrong place.

Taufua's offers you a true Samoan experience with open fales with THE best view on the island at super cheap and reasonable pricing. Some people may say these are not traditional shelters with the use of tarpaulin to block the wind and rain, however ever if you wish to have your belongings safe and dry - well then this is better than the traditional flax blinds and are used more in traditional Samoan open fales nowadays.

I myself am a New Zealand born Samoan and love the layout of the buffet dinners and breakfasts as it feels like you're one big happy family sharing stories and experiences with other travelers around the world.

But most of all I love the Taufua Family along with Otele who are always hospitable and extremely helpful from when you arrive to when you depart :)

Room Tip: If you're not use to the heat choose the open fales regardless of privacy - the best room of the...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RitchGlo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 October 2013 via mobile

We stayed for three nights in a closed fale. The fale was clean and weather tight. The location is a 10 out of 10 but quite a distance from the airport. The coral reef was affected badly by tsunami/hurricane so most of it is dead ..but there are a few tropical fish to see. There is no secure parking so be sure that you secure your vehicle at night ...in saying that we didn't have any issue with security as they have someone 24 hours sitting and over seeing everything In saying that there are no locks on the fale. The fale has lights and two power points...however power is turned on in the morning. The shared bathroom is across the road and cleaned once a day. They do need an upgrade as two of the three showers didn't have a shower head and the toilets are rather disgusting and smelly. Surprisingly there were very few bugs anywhere. .ie even mosquitoes. One great thing is the shared breakfast and dinners its gets you speaking to other guests...we met and made some good friends which we ended up spending the rest of our time there we also travelled with them to apia and other tourist attractions . We were even invited to a local wedding which just happened to be hosted there..it was awesome..Although the paying guests were housed outside in a tent. The only downside was the female staff who were not really friendly and often felt like we were interrupting them when going to buy a drink or something similar..a smile goes a million miles ..they would have received 4 stars otherwise. The male staff were friendly and the women could learn a bit from them. Also there are quite a few friendly dogs however they are covered in fleas and ticks..if anyone who is a dog lover and planning on going there could you kindly take some flea treatment and disposable tweezers to remove the ticks :) tourist attractions included cut around 1am and turned on in the morning.

Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
4 Thank n0rthl1ght
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 October 2013

We stayed 9 nights at Taufua Beach Fales in Sept/Oct 2013 as a family of 6 people and we loved it! The location was idyllic, the people warm and welcoming, and the facilities all you could ask for in a simple yet comfortable beach fale stay. We enjoyed the communal dining, two traditional performance nights and particularly the friendliness of the Taufua staff who made a fantastic stay even more memorable. Though the coral has been damaged by the 2009 Tsunami the snorkelling is still great with a wide variety of colourful fish and creatures of all shapes and sizes. We also took a trip up to the nearby caldera where thousands of bats (flying foxes) roost during the day - guided by the cheerful and entertaining team of Frankie and Mene.

This is a great place for those looking for a relaxing, fun and cost effective beach holiday. There are plenty of interesting day trips around the island and to nearby islands so we had plenty to do, in between relaxing of course.

Nine nights flew by too quickly but we loved every moment and were sad to leave - particularly the wonderful hospitality of the Taufua Beach Fale team. Fa'afetai lava TBF!

Room Tip: The most simple fales at the oceans edge offer a mattress, bedding, mosquito net and light - they...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Saskia A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Hague, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 October 2013

I have travelled and seen some beautiful places, but this place is my new no. 1.
I didn't know what to expect, but while I was traveling through New Zealand, 2 people recommended me this place. They said: "If you're in Samoa, go and stay at Taufua Beach Fales, they have the most beautiful beach and the people are so friendly and relaxed. I was supposed to stay only 10 days, but ended up staying 20 days, I could really live there :)

Room Tip: I loved the fales on the beach, the open ones and the closed ones. They also have nice airconditione...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank IsabelleMunzer2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Taufua Beach Fales

Property: Taufua Beach Fales
Address: Main South Coast Road | Aleipata, Lalomanu, Upolu, Samoa
Phone Number:
Region: Samoa > Upolu > Lalomanu
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Lalomanu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Taufua Beach Fales 2.5*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tourist service provider of accommodation, bar & restaurant. Tours on or off the island are arranged on the premises. About 1 and 1/2 hour by vehicle from the International Airport. We operate in 2 locations: 1) On the beach of Lalomanu; and 2) on the cliffs of Lalomanu overlooking the beach and the Pacific Ocean along with Islands off the beach of Lalomanu. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Taufua Beach Fales Hotel Lalomanu

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