“ Contact: PO Box 3267 Apia, Samoa / Tel: (685) 45611 / firstname.lastname@example.org „
Aggie Grey's lagoon, Beach Resort and Spa, Samoa
We arrived in Samoa at about 6am their time, via Los Angeles which was a pretty gruelling journey with two 11 hour flights and a four and a half hour wait in LAX.
The airport in Apia was quite tiny and the passport control was relatively painless. We did have to complete a customs form each and then the luggage was scanned prior to leaving the airport to check you weren't bringing in anything agricultural apparently. We were met by a representative from Aggie Grey's and then shown to a mini bus.
The drive from the airport was about 10 minutes but this resort is quite a way out of Apia town which was about 45 minutes away. There is another Aggie Grey's Hotel in Apia and a free daily shuttle runs from the resort to the Aggie Grey's in Apia. It leaves at 9.30am and returns from Apia at 3.30, however should you want to come back earlier then you could always take a taxi back.
AN EARLY ARRIVAL
We were shattered when we arrived but the company we booked our trip through had booked us accommodation from the previous night so that we could get into a room straight away as normal check in is 1pm. We paid for an extra night which we didn't really have just to avoid having to wait. Another family arrived on the same plane as us and were allowed to check in early at no extra charge which was very nice for them but a little annoying from our point of view as the resort was not cheap.
Reception is huge and open so that as you enter you look straight through over the pool to the sea. It has a Samoan feel about it with rattan chairs and woven decorations with shells around all the pillars. The man at reception was very welcoming and we were taken to our room by a porter with a trolley, no tip seemed to be expected which was nice.
Our room was a long walk along a covered walkway through the gardens behind the main accommodation building. All the rooms have a sea view and what a beautiful view it is from the patio area in front of the room looking out over to Savaii through palm fronds. The sea is so clear and so blue, just as you imagine a South Sea island would be.
Aggie Grey is supposedly the character that James Michener based his 'Bloody Mary' of 'South pacific' on. She seems to have quite a reputation on Samoa and the original hotel in Apia and now this resort both proudly bear her name.
Our room was huge with a double bed, a single bed, three rattan chairs with comfortable cushions, a built in desk with drawers, a wardrobe and shelves and a combination safe inside. There is also a fridge with complementary bottled water, a kettle and tea, coffee, sugar and mini UHT milks. The floor is tiled with a couple of local mats and the walls a sort of brick terracotta and cream. It is clean, comfortable and pleasant but by no means luxurious.
The bathroom was all white with a large mirror behind the sink unit, toilet and shower over a bath. There are toiletries provided, small soaps, shampoos and conditioners but no shower gel but personally I'd rather have conditioner than shower gel as I am happy to use soap to wash with but my hair does need conditioner. There was also one of those odd looking huge hair dryers with the hose nozzle like a vacuum cleaner attached to the wall.
Throughout the resort they have used local pictures and woven art as decorations which I like. One thing we thought was a brilliant idea was in our room there was a large woven decoration, we noticed it had hinges on one side so I went to inspect and behind it was a fold out ironing board and a small iron which was very neat.
There were two phones in the room but no internet access. You could either use the computers in the business area which was actually just a room next to the gift shop with about 4 computers in it or you could use your own laptop in there or in the reception area or the bar. You paid for a password and user name which for an hour it was 20 WST (about 4 to the £ at the time of writing) or 30 WST for 2 hours. So long as you remember to log off it is charged only for the time you were on.
There was a lovely pool with comfortable sun beds but you had the usual problem of people putting things on them so if you wanted one then you had to make sure you got there early. The hotel has 140 rooms and in my view they should have sun beds for at least half that number as a lot of people do go out on trips and things but there were not that many at all. We were lucky as one couple packed up and left so we grabbed theirs and enjoyed lying in the shaded sun for a couple of hours on our first day. There were large umbrellas giving shade so we didn't get burned. The pool was a large free form shape with a swim up bar and a couple of small pools off the main pool which were still quite deep. The pool was just on to the beach where there were a few more sun beds but once again not enough in my view.
The sea was beautiful and so calm and clear. About half a mile off shore you could see waves breaking and I understand there is a reef out there where you could take a boat trip and go snorkelling. Apart from that you could see the other islands of Manolo, Savaii and Apolima which are not so far away. We were on the main island of Upolu not far from the airport on the north west of the island.
There is a spa attached to the resort called the Manaia Polynesian spa. The prices of the treatments were similar to those offered by spas in the UK. We only had three full days in Samoa so we were too busy exploring to make use of this so I can't say what the service was like.
Other activities offered included children's activities; Padi diving courses, snorkelling boat and a number of different tours could be booked to explore the islands. We chose to spend the first day relaxing and recovering from the journey around the resort. The second day we booked a day trip to Savaii and on our last day we took advantage of the free shuttle bus to Apia to explore around Apia and visit Robert Louis Stevenson's House.
The gardens of the resort were extensive and lovely. Tropical plants with gorgeous flowers such as frangipani, bougainvillea, plumbago, ixora, many colours of hibiscus and some lovely plants we used to call cat's tails that look like red cat's tails hanging down. The water lilies in the pond all opened up as the sun came out and looked lovely against the volcanic rock and clam shell decorations around. It was just a really nice place to walk around if you didn't fancy walking along the beach.
This was a lovely resort with a very relaxed feel about it. The position and location would be hard to beat but the breakfasts were only really okay, nothing special although the bar snack meals were very good and prices reasonable .The views from the room and the bar were lovely and we felt very comfortable and relaxed here. If you came with a family I would certainly recommend this hotel over the one in Apia. For a couple it depends on what you want to do as there is more choice of eating places in Apia but the views and the proximity to both the ferry terminal and the airport make the Lagoon Resort preferable.
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