It’s not every day you get your photo taken standing between a beauty queen and a fearsome tribal warrior. But there I was, sandwiched between the reigning Miss Samoa and a truly scary looking dude in full regalia as the photographer snapped away. Talk about beauty and the beast!
This rare photo opp came as more than 40 hotel operators and tourism related businesses gathered at the To’oa Salamasina Hall in Apia for the third Fa’a Samoa Roadshow, designed to showcase the many and varied offerings of this delightful country. The event has grown every year and the 2013 version was the biggest in its short history.
I was among a host of travel agents, buyers and sellers from Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK who attended the event and like my colleagues was truly impressed by the range of accommodation and activities available. Samoa has gone through some tough times in recent years but with the resilience and good humour that its people are renowned for, the country is well and truly open for business.
Once the day-long roadshow was complete, we were able to visit some of the properties that had attended and enjoy some of the local activities. I was particularly taken by the Orator Hotel in Tanumapua, just 10 minutes from the centre of Apia. Open just three years and run by a delightful couple, this hotel has magnificent gardens, a cascading, three-tier pool, spacious restaurant and superior villa accommodation.
We also got to visit the Aga Reef Resort, which had only been open for a week, the magestic Seebreeze Resort, and the always impressive Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa, all of which offer views of the ocean and stunning coastline of Samoa.
But what would a trip to Samoa be without a little adrenalin rush? So it was off to the Sua Trench and a somewhat daunting climb down a wooden ladder to the cave pool below. Gird your loins and make the effort to climb down because once you are in the water, it really is an amazing spot.
So next time you’re looking for somewhere a little different, why not consider Samoa? It’s only five hours from the east coast and just three hours ahead of Australia. The people are friendly, the weather is great and there are coastal resorts that are the match of any around the world. Wish you were there?