It may seem impossible to find affordable beachfront accommodation with meals included for less than $100 a night, just a short flight from New Zealand in 2023. However, in Samoa, travelers will find a place where time seems to have stood still.
Instead of chain resorts and casinos, the island offers empty golden beaches, rainforests, waterfalls, and a traditional way of life that is fiercely guarded, according to a report by the Stuff New Zealand.
A trip to Samoa is a journey back in time, with a flight from Auckland taking just 3h45min. The island is unique because many of its accommodations are still run by families due to strict ownership rules.
These family-run establishments offer traditional beach fales, which are a hidden gem of the South Pacific due to their relative obscurity. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity on your next vacation.
Beach fales, traditional open-air huts on stilts, offer a unique and affordable accommodation option for travelers in Samoa. The Samoan word for “house,” fale, essentially means “beach house.” While they are generally considered two-star accommodations, beach fales provide a memorable and authentic experience akin to camping.
They offer a taste of traditional Samoan culture and a chance to fully immerse oneself in the island’s beautiful surroundings.
Where to find the Fales?
During their visit, travelers to Samoa should consider staying in beach fales, traditional open-air huts on stilts. On the main island of Upolu, the best fales can be found on the southern coast, with particular recommendations for Matareva Beach Fales and those in the Lalomanu Beach area.
For a more rugged and isolated experience, the island of Savai’i is a must-see. Visitors need to rent a car and take a ferry to get there. Beach fales can be found throughout the island, some situated over water, others on rocks, and a few on beaches. It is important to confirm the location of the fale before making a reservation.
Travelers can experience dinner and breakfast, all for less than $100 for two people, at most beach fale accommodations in Samoa. The simple meals, featuring options such as fresh fish, vegetables, rice, and noodles, are hearty and satisfying. Guests will have the opportunity to mingle with others in a communal dining area.
Prices for beach fales generally start at WS$70 per person, approximately NZ$41, and usually include both breakfast and dinner. It is also possible to find more affordable options that do not include meals.
Travelers seeking a unique and affordable accommodation option in Samoa can look to beach fales and traditional open-air huts on stilts.
The Samoa Tourism website is a good resource for finding these properties, with a dedicated section listing 18 options and providing contact information. While some beach fales can be booked online, many require the more traditional method of emailing the property and waiting for a response. Some beach fales are also available on larger booking platforms.