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coolbrae
Ireland

Something different. Highly recommended.

Review of Vai Villas
5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 Jun 2016
Think Samoa is all about the beaches? Think again. And spend a day kayaking through the lush and thick mangroves around beautiful Vai Villa's. Truly a wonderful experience and something different and off the beaten track. Hosts Jill and Lua have set this up as a community-based social enterprise, creating new opportunities for the local youth and the village residents. Delicious food, locally sourced, can be prepared with a booking in advance. Accommodation is simple but clean and perfectly adequate. Every wooden villa has a balcony overlooking the river. Perfect for relaxing with a good book.
Date of stay: June 2016
Room Tip: Only four villa's available. All wooden with a balcony.
Trip type: Travelled with family
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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Reviews (21)
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11 - 16 of 21 reviews
Reviewed 20 May 2016 via mobile

We stumbled across Vai Villas whilst searching for restaurant to get a bite to eat. We were warmly welcomed and had a fantastic lunch sitting with the owners' family and friends enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon. The food was great and made using products sources from the local village or from the resort itself. Vai Villas truly supports sustainable development in the local community.

A very beautiful setting as the accommodation and restaurant are right on the estuary - and such great people! If you have any questions or need any guidance on anything about Samoa, then Jill is the person to ask.
Definitely worth a visit.

Date of stay: March 2016
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank GabiSandraM
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 1 March 2016

Short version: this is a fantastic place to stay, you won't find a better value, and we are incredibly lucky to have found it. Thanks so much Jill and Lua!

The fales are several steps above the standard open beach fale. A private front porch with kitchenette and seating looks out over the waterway and bush beyond, where you can see beautiful sunsets and rare Samoan bird life. We saw the only Pasific ducks in Samoa, kingfishers, herons, an afogata (sp?), a white owl that flew in every night like clockwork, and many others. The bedroom and ensuite are fully enclosed, with a comfortable bed, mosquito net, and fan.

Our hosts, Jill and Lua and their lovely daughters, really welcomed us into the family. We happened to be there during the opening of a new church in town, which the usual cooks were assisting with, so both Jill and Lua took turns with the cooking. They are both fantastic cooks--some island favourites and some Kiwi favourites, excellent home cooked food that was much less deep-fried than a lot of what we found elsewhere. Their younger daughter gave us a great little tour of the village and both girls showed off their award-winning dancing skills on our last night. Jill and Lua both checked in frequently to offer food or excursions to all sorts of different places and activities, both in the village and further afield. Unfortunately my husband and I both picked up a tropical virus while we were visiting the area, but Jill (who is a nurse by training) was incredibly helpful both with treatment and with offering up different food options to bring us back to good health quickly.

Our favourite activity here: taking the kayaks out for a paddle through the mangroves and out to the beach. The reef is a bit too far out for snorkeling but the beach is very quiet other than a few fishermen, and the paddling is easy and fun. So much to explore. Also not to miss: a good soak in the fresh water spring near the main fale.

Date of stay: February 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank kulafarallon
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 1 February 2016

We stayed with Jill and Lua back in August 2015 when they hadn't been open long. We loved it, it was great to see a different side of Samoa, in the mangroves. The ecological restoration and community buiding that is happening from the lodge is inspiring. My kayak paddle through the mangroves out to the sea was a trip highlight, as was the refreshing dip in the freshwater spring. But without doubt it was the family that made the biggest impression, we felt like we were among old friends. Can't wait to go back sometime. Kate and Jan

Date of stay: August 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Service
2  Thank 444kate2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 28 November 2015

A surprise find when looking for a place to rejuvenate after a day's driving. Friendly people, good food. Rates reasonable, comfortable accommodation. Unique setting. Family atmosphere, traditional fales.

Date of stay: November 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Nadine d
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 23 November 2015

The owners of Vai Villas Jill and Lua are your absolute quintessential hosts and of an establishment nothing short of an amazing breath of fresh air. If you're looking for something fancy like they have in NZ, the US or Australia, then it's best then that you go there instead. However, if you're looking for something unique, exquisite and exciting then you must not miss the opportunity of this particular fantastic experience. This I must say has got to be the real Samoan experience in every sense of the word.

Thank you so much Vai Villas.

Room tip: Their chalets are perfectly placed on the embankment with a fantastic view
Date of stay: November 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Pauline M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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