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huntlywelches
Huntly, New Zealand

A very special place

Review of Vai Villas
4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 Sept 2016
This place caught our eye as being very different to anything else on offer. And what wonderful memories we have of our time there. Lua, Jill, and their likeable and talented children welcomed us as family, and that made us family to the whole village too. Walking around the village was a joy, meeting new friends everywhere. The locals are very proud of this place, and many helped to build it. And when we were there, the other guests were all Samoan too, all friendly and happy to include us.
Days of relaxing, sharing stories, kayaking and swimming. But the highlight was surely going crab hunting with our special 10 year old tour guide!
Beautiful local food kept arriving - be prepared to eat. And the account, once we finally managed to talk someone into giving us one, was very reasonable.
Date of stay: August 2016
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
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Reviews (21)
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8 - 13 of 21 reviews
Reviewed 21 August 2016

We came over to Samoa on a cycle touring trip and this was our third nights stay in Samoa. We were very pleasantly surprise on how beautiful this place was. Fresh water swimming, fantastic views, yummy food and family run.

We would of loved to have stayed 2 nights not just the one and that would of given us more time to go kayaking and just relax. It is such a peaceful place to say.

We loved meeting the family and were very well looked after. This was one of our favourite places to stay on our trip.

Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank bach57
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 16 June 2016 via mobile

My husband and I wanted an authentic experience within a village. We were pleasantly surprised by this simple but beautiful little Eco Resort set amongst the mangroves, extraordinary gardens and a natural spring.
A priority for us was a comfortable bed. We were so relieved to have just that.
It is a family run business and it has a warm family atmosphere. We became immersed in family life and the life of the village.
If you are looking for a resort with all the bells and whistles, then you are looking at the wrong place. If you want to experience Samoa in its beautiful simplicity, then this place is for you. The rate in June was 90 tala per person, per night (which included breakfast ).
Thumbs up for their meals.👌👍

Date of stay: June 2016
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank Stacy H
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 5 June 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.

Room tip: Only four villa's available. All wooden with a balcony.
Date of stay: June 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank coolbrae
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 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.
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