On island time

“Talofa” is the common greeting on Samoa and is often expressed along with a big, broad smile…a signature of this genuine, easy-going Pacific Island cul­ture. In fact, visitors to Samoa can get a real sense of Pacific Island living just five and a half hours from Sydney on a direct flight and only one hour further than Fiji.

After the devastation of the Septem­ber 2009 tsunami, Samoa is eager for tourists to come back.

For luxury travellers, there’s no bet­ter place in Samoa to stay than the Sinalei Reef Resort and Spa, a family owned prop­erty on the south shore of the main island of Upolu in a pristine, protected cove with a beautiful beach and clear water. From the resort, there’s a mesmerising view out to the edge of the reef to huge surf. The calm, warm waters inside the reef are so expansive you can kayak safely for hours on a search for the sea turtles and manta rays that inhabit the area.

Each blissful morning of my stay be­gan by taking a step outside the bunga­low to look out over the clear blue water and into the sunny skies with palm trees swaying like hula girls dancing, followed by a swim in 27-degree water. Soon after, in one of the bungalows along the water’s edge, I would submit to a long and lan­guorous coconut oil massage with noth­ing but the sound of waves breaking on the shore.

If all of that sounds too relaxing, for a shot of adrenalin and a quick change of pace, you can leap off a pier into the natu­ral fresh water spring that comes up into the ocean. You might find a local sea tur­tle watching you along with some of the colourful tropical fish. In fact if you’re in­clined, there’s plenty to do in Samoa and the staff at Sinalei Resort is ever ready to help you make arrangements in any way they can.

Or just lie back and relax “fa’a Samoa” the Samoan way, like I did.








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