As a new day dawns on a fresh new year in Samoa, I take my first steps on the earth for 2017. It’s not at all what I had been planning in my mind’s eye, it’s raining cats & dogs, I have two children in tow & am about to make a very awkward, very sloshy dash from the door of our plane to the arrivals terminal at the Faleolo International Airport, Samoa. Despite the dampness all around us, nothing can dampen my spirits as I take those first steps into a new year away from my native homeland & walk head-first into another island adventure on the friendly shores of Samoa. It’s barely 5am on New Years Day & Upolu is shrouded in stormy darkness. Being that it’s the morning after the night before it would be the perfect sleep-in weather, but it seems you can’t keep a good band down & we are cheerfully greeted by an island-style string band who serenade us with covers of classics like ‘Hey Jude’ as we plod through the immigration process. Our home for the week is the newest addition to the Samoan luxury accommodation scene, Taumeasina Island Resort & our driver in his flash new resort shuttle van warmly greets us with fresh flower leis & bottles of water.

A 45-minute drive through the villages sees us arrive at the impressive Taumeasina Island Resort where we are welcomed with fresh juice and after a sleepless flight are very pleased to be able to get into our room nice & early. We are staying in one of the 2-bedroom family apartments, which is decked out with everything we could need including a kitchen and laundry plus a great balcony overlooking a lagoon. When it comes to levels of accommodation the folks at Taumeasina offer everything from a romantic king suite to a spacious 3-bedroom apartment, with 80 different rooms, every type of traveller is well catered for. Our first few days at Taumeasina are spent trying to catch up a bit on sleep, exploring the resort & nearby township of Apia & generally relaxing, which is a bit unusual for us! The weather is just perfect for taking it easy as the tropical monsoonal downpours keep us close to the resort, which is just fine by me, who wouldn’t want to spend time at a place like this?

As far as facilities go I have seen lots of resort pools but the pool area at Taumeasina is one of my favorites & really is the epicentre of life at the resort especially around the New Year where families are all celebrating & enjoying time together. Taumeasina is definitely the type of place you can do as much or as little as you like, the facilties are plentiful & activities around the resort change daily. As you would expect there is plenty to do on, in & around the water & with the temperatures in the mid to high 30’s most days & almost 100% humidity, that’s a great thing! Kayaking, sailing, snorkeling & dive lessons are all part of the experience, while back on dry land there’s cooking classes, a children’s playground, tennis court & beach volley ball. The ‘Tala Fou’ newsletter comes out everyday with an ever-changing list of additional things to experience & learn. Think sarong tying classes, friendly football matches, traditional weaving lessons, daily water aerobics & Samoan dance & language classes. There is also a well-equipped gym & the Fofo spa & sauna is a must for a relaxing traditional massage or facial. As luck would have it the day spa had a special running during our time at Taumeasina & all treatments were half price, meaning there was absolutely no way I could resist!

If like me you think the heart of a place is through its people than you will feel the warmth of the island culture & love seeing the beaming smiles of the staff as you go about your days at Taumeasina. Samoans are a family oriented bunch & go out of their way to make you feel part of it all, as with many other island nations Samoans are great with kids & the kids just love all the attention.

Now what would a holiday be without food & the occasional sneaky cocktail?! With a choice of A la Carte dining or buffet there is plenty of selection to keep everyone happy at Lapita’s restaurant & we enjoyed the live entertainment every evening. Sina’s restaurant is just next-door & has a bit more of an intimate atmosphere. If you want to really impress your beloved the staff are happy to arrange a private balcony dinner or beachfront dining experience so you can watch the sunset in your own little island bubble. Being partial to a tropical cocktail or 10, I was excited to try the selection at the sunset bar’s happy hour, where for WST$10 (about AUD$5.50) there is a different cocktail special each day. We loved the fun atmosphere here each evening as we watched the sunset over the water with lots of families enjoying being together over the first days of a whole new year. Every evening sees the more energetic staff put on the traditional drum beating & Ava ceremony, welcoming everyone to dinner & letting us know that the food is ready to go, just like a giant family BBQ.

Saturday nights at Taumeasina are not to be missed & always draw a big crowd with their Fia Fia show. Featuring a traditional feast, kava tasting, traditional music & dance the Fia Fia night is lots of fun for all ages & once again you can be as involved or relaxed as you like. The grand finale is on the beach where we stand with our drinks watching the amazing fire twirling display, as it lights up the dark sky with flames & sparks.

Our week at Taumeasina is not one we will soon forget. It really is like a town within a resort & has plenty to offer all types of travellers. An exciting new addition to the accommodation options on Upolu & perfectly positioned just 5 minutes out of Apia, we loved the feeling of being secluded on an island but so close & convenient to all that Apia has to offer. Taumeasina is the type of holiday destination where you can just unpack & relax knowing that everyone in the family will enjoy their stay & for us hardworking parents, isn’t that what holidays are all about?!

To Find Out More About Taumeasina Island Resort click here.

To read more about my time in beautiful Samoa click here.

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