Destinations

Escape to the sun and reveal Samoa’s sizzling secrets

Editor Marilynn McLachlan finds peace, love and sunshine in paradise
A beach in SamoaPhotos: Samoa Tourism Authority

Tālofa lava!

With the days growing chillier, the idea of an escape to a tropical country for a romantic getaway became an actual dream come true. When my husband Shayne and I were invited to spend four days in Samoa, we jumped at the chance. It was goodbye to the hustle and bustle of city life and hello to a slower pace, spectacular beauty and some of the friendliest people on the planet.

While it was a short but sweet visit, we basked in the country’s stunning beauty while having some precious time together.

Marilynn and Shayne in Samoa
Tropical lovebirds Marilynn and husband Shayne.

We discovered five romantic things in Samoa:

Return to Paradise Resort

The Air New Zealand flight was an easy and relaxing four hours but we really knew we had arrived at a different pace of life upon arrival at the Return to Paradise Resort. Following the windy path with its bright green hues, our room was on the beach. An outdoor bowl with a floating hibiscus greeted us outside to clean our feet, while inside, towels had been rolled into a heart shape and filled with red flowers.

There is a lot to rave about with this resort but the definite highlight was a private dinner in a thatched-roof, open-walled hut, far away from other people as the sky’s magestically shifted from day to night. As ocean waves crashed onto the jagged black rocks, our waiter selected a range of delicious dishes for us to tuck into, including sashimi, salad and rice with tender beef. To make it even more special, a storm rolled in, lightning illuminating the horizon into a deep purple, adding an electric buzz to the night.

Return to Paradise Resort from above
Slow your pace at Return to Paradise Resort.

Alofaaga Blowholes & Afu Aau Waterfall

While a short ferry trip to the island of Savai’i was so full there was only space to sit on the deck, it really didn’t matter because the azure ocean was a balm for the soul.

While you can see jets of water shooting into the sky along the coastline, getting up close and personal (not too close of course!) to the Alofaaga Blowholes was a treat. They are Mother Nature at her finest, bursting through lava rocks, leaving us marvelling at their power.

Not too far away was the Afu Aau Waterfall. We parked our car and took a leisurely stroll through the lush bush and soaked in the beauty of the falls that flow into smaller pools. Perfect for a quick swim (when we went there was no one else around!) it certainly felt like we had a private piece of paradise – even if it was only for an hour. Bliss.

People exploring the Alofaaga Blowholes
Soak in the sights at Alofaaga Blowholes.

Intrepid exploring

During our time in Samoa, Shayne and I spent a lot of time in the car on tour, which meant ample opportunity to soak in the rich colours and beautiful sights the country has to offer. With many villages, more churches than we could count, as well as multiple places to stop for food, a quick shop at the markets or to snap a picture of yet another stunning vista, it was the perfect way to see so much in so little time.

A couple climbing up under the Afu Aau Waterfall.
Fall for Afu Aau Waterfall.

To Sua Trench

If you are on social media, then chances are you’ve seen the spectacular To Sua Ocean Trench in your feed at one time or another. Situated on Upolu, it sits on the southern coast. The day we went, there were few people, and it was a short wander through a peaceful garden before finding ourselves at the fence looking down at this natural wonder. Meaning ‘giant swimming hole’ in Samoan, visitors can climb down the steep ladder to swim in the crystal-clear waters surrounded by rich greenery – it really is like another world.

The To Sua Trench from above
To Sua Ocean Trench is like visiting another world.

Taumeasina Island Resort Couple’s Massage

The hospitality in Samoa was fabulous throughout our trip, and this included the Taumeasina Island Resort. With stunning ocean views from our room, we also enjoyed eating meals and drinking wine by the pools. Even better for me, was that they provided snorkel gear for a small inlet, and I was able to spend relaxing hours soaking in the vibrant underwater life of tropical fish. At the resort, we enjoyed a romantic massage for two. Using coconut oils, the two masseuses worked their magic while soft music eased the last of any stress away.

Taumeasina Island Resort with three people swimming in the sea in front
Taumeasina Island Resort.

It may have been just four nights, but we found Samoa to be the winter escape we didn’t know we needed.

Marilynn and Shayne travelled thanks to Samoa Tourism Authority.

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