Kathryn and her mum just got back from four nights at the Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort, 5km away from Apia Airport. I asked her about her experiences.
The airport pickup was fine, with air conditioning. There wasn’t much of wait, though there was a lot of confusion between the two Sheratons with pretty much the same name. One is the hotel in town, and the other the resort by the beach.
Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort first impressions
When checking in it seemed nice. The lobby and restaurant areas have beautiful buildings, with carved poles. The concrete building that made up the rooms was more like a motel. All of the rooms were accessible from outside.
First impressions of the room were that the beds were comfortable, and it was nice to get a queen size bed each. But it was obvious that the rooms see a lot of guests but are not flash on maintenance. The bathroom, there was grout, and then extra grout, and then ten layers of grout in the bath. It was clear that they probably just should have replaced it. Kathryn’s white sock walking across the ‘clean’ floor instantly turned brown and dirty. She took to wearing her jandals inside the hotel room to keep her feet clean.
The shower flow was poor, and the shower products smelt tacky – like fake coconut, island vibes, just tacky.
The next morning they had their first look on the outside and that was nice, realising that you’re only twenty meters away from the beach. Breakfast the first morning was really good, because the steamed vegetables were cooked to perfection, the coffee was delicious, and the breakfast was busy but they could get a table. The other days the food was more stodgy, often out of plates, often out of coffee, often out of coffee cups, you weren’t allowed to pour your own coffee, but they were never there to pour coffee for you.
Exploring the beach
Went to the beach very excited, because it looks beautiful, with loungers under a tree, and an island umbrella to sit under. But then when they went swimming, the sand was very silty, creepy to walk on, fish which were cool if you could see them, but because there’s no visibility, when they bump into you it feels creepy, so they ran out of the water. So then they drunk their duty free alcohol.
They requested a hair dryer from reception in the morning, who sent a person to show them where it was, and then when that person finally believed they didn’t have one, they were going to get one, but instead, they just never came back. This pattern of never coming back and not giving a damn also applied to when you asked for a coffee at breakfast they would never give you enough of it. If you ask for menus, they’ll get you menus, they’re just the opposite of proactive.
So the rest of the time was just sitting on the beach deckchairs. Walked around the property one day and thought it was a shame that the greater grounds surrounding the resort hadn’t been developed and the hotel didn’t encourage people to explore the property. It was also a shame that they’re building new rooms which led to a whole pile of rubbish just sitting in the gardens.
Getting food poisoning
So after not enjoying our time there, but really just filling in our time there, it got to the last day and it was the best weather we had which was lovely. We went and had breakfast as usual, specifically fried eggs well done, the steamed vegetables, and a couple of the sausages, and coffee. Straight after breakfast Kathryn’s stomach just started cramping. A few hours later Kathryn went to the resort gift shop to get some medicine to stop the stomach cramps. All they had was Pepto Bismol. She asked the shop assistant if many people got sick, and the shop assistant said that Kathryn was the sixth person that day that wanted to buy upset stomach medication. Kathryn had only used bottled water for drinking and brushing her teeth, and she only ate at the resort. So it had to be something eaten from the resort.
After late check out which was really helpful, the hotel asked if they wanted to settle the bill now or wait until after dinner. Kathryn told the staff that she wouldn’t be eating there. Their food had made her sick and that the shop lady had said that there were five other people affected. The manager’s response was “Sorry, it’s not a good look”, and that was it. No forms to fill out, no referrals to the Hygiene Manager. Just another example that they don’t care.
Overall scores for the Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort
The room gets a five out of ten, comfortable beds and sheets, filthy floor, and the bathrooms need replacing.
The outside and the beach gets a three out of ten. Nice that it was quiet, but murky sand. Not desirable to swim in.
The food gets a two out of ten. The menu is extortionate for what it is. Such a limited offering considering that’s the only place you can get food from.
Overall, the Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort gets a two out of ten, maybe a three. Not recommended.