Tracey Bond is a travel and lifestyle writer based in Auckland.

Samoa's top resorts

Tracey Bond looks at the Samoa's best spots.
Le Lagoto Resort, Savaii.
Le Lagoto Resort, Savaii.

1 Lupesina Treesort

Jaw-dropping views across the rainforest to the ocean from this luxury accommodation allow you to re-live childhood dreams of sleeping in a treehouse. There are two treehouses at the resort, one has two double bedrooms and is built around an ancient banyan tree, the other sleeps two and has a window above the bed to view the stars. Both feature compact kitchens, balconies and en suites. There is a restaurant on site.

Lupesina Treesort has spectacular views. Photo / Tracey Bond
Lupesina Treesort has spectacular views. Photo / Tracey Bond

Extra special touches: Showering inside the tree. The star window in the smaller treehouse.

Best for: Eco warriors and those who love peace and privacy.

2 Return to Paradise Resort

This 100 per cent Samoan-owned luxury resort sits by the beach where the 1954 movie Return to Paradise, starring Gary Cooper, was filmed. The beach is picture-perfect and the staff friendly and welcoming.

The beach at Return to Paradise is picture-perfect. Photo/ Tracey Bond
The beach at Return to Paradise is picture-perfect. Photo/ Tracey Bond

Beachfront villas are large and comfortable and decorated in modern tones.

They have a massive indoor shower room built of volcanic rock, and offer tea- and coffee-making facilities. Snorkelling gear, televisions and DVD players are available free from reception. Also check out when the Fiafia night is and ask about talks and demonstrations.

A wide array of food is on offer, from pizzas and burgers to local delicacies like the raw fish salad oka, and the Rock Pool Bar is a great place to enjoy a cocktail or two as the sun goes down.

Extra special touches: Fresh flowers scattered on your bed.

Best for: Film fans and those in search of the perfect beach.

3 Saletoga Sands Resort and Spa

This polished resort features sleek bungalows with furnished decks that fan out around a central pool and its swim-up bar.

The one- or two-bedroom bungalows all have seating areas, beds you won't want to get out of and all mod cons.

The massive, modern bathrooms have easy-access showers and double vanities. A door leads to an amazing outdoor shower set within a garden.

There's a huge restaurant with possibly one of the best tropical breakfasts on Upolo: freshly baked muffins and light-as-a-feather doughnuts are not to be missed.

Live music is on most nights and for sports fans the bar has Sky and a different cocktail on offer each day at happy hour.

Saletoga Sands resort is a great place for families. Photo/ Tracey Bond
Saletoga Sands resort is a great place for families. Photo/ Tracey Bond

The weather on this side of the island can have a mind of its own but there are DVDs on offer at reception, including a wide range of kids' movies. For non-pool or beach days there is also a gym on site and a spa. Kayaks and snorkelling gear can be hired by the beachfront.

Extra special touches: Complimentary lava lava (sarongs) provided for the duration of your stay. Welcome 15-minute foot massage (divine).

Best for: Families and those looking for pampering and relaxation.

4 Le Lagoto Beach Resort

Ideally located on the northern coast of Savaii to make the most of the spectacular sunsets, this resort is popular for weddings.

Le Lagoto Resort, Savaii.
Le Lagoto Resort, Savaii.

Accommodation is traditionally built fales with exposed carved ceilings. One large room has a comfortable double bed and a seating area, and French doors opening to a private deck. All the bungalows have an ocean view. Steps on one side of the resort lead to a sheltered bay that is great for swimming when the tide on the other side of the resort is out, and steps from the restaurant lead down to a perfect white-sand beach. Fish here are fearless and swim right up to you but if the ocean is not your thing an infinity pool next to the bar overlooks the sea.

Nothing beats sitting with a cocktail on the sun-drenched deck watching as the sun sets over paradise.

As night sets the torches are lit and the restaurant offers an extensive dinner menu with fantastic seafood dishes.

Extra special touches: Two free 15-minute massage sessions on arrival.

Best for: Couples seeking a romantic getaway.

5 Sa'Moana Resort

At the end of a long road cut through jungle lies this gem of a resort.

Accommodation is in fales with multiple rooms, making this a perfect place for families or groups of friends to stay.

Sunset at Sa Moana Resort in Samoa. Photo / Tracey Bond
Sunset at Sa Moana Resort in Samoa. Photo / Tracey Bond

Each bungalow has a comfortable living area, kitchenette and outdoor rain shower. Decks overlook the crashing surf.

There's a tiny bay at the end of the resort for contemplation, or kayaking and lots of hammocks along the front of the property to while away the hours listening to the waves and soaking up the sun.

The wild coastline is perfect for surfing but not so perfect for swimming. No matter, there's a saltwater infinity pool hewn out of the cliff.

The sunsets here were a blaze of colour, the perfect accompaniment to happy hour.

Food is brought in from the rest of the island and a little pricier than other resorts but large portion sizes and attention to detail make the food worth it.

A basic breakfast of cereals, fruit and toast is included. Infinity pool and shooting stars and hammocks make this a truly magical spot.

Extra special touches: Amazing outdoor shower built out of lava rock.

Best for: Surfers and those who want to get away from it all.

- NZ Herald

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