The Independent State of Samoa is comprised of a group of sultry, green islands in the heart of the South Pacific Ocean. Between 1900-1919 they were known as German Samoa and between 1914 and 1997, Western Samoa. The population of the islands is around 180,000.
Samoan is the traditional language of Samoa and American Samoa and there are only an estimated 370,000 Samoan-speakers worldwide.
The pace of life in Samoa is as laidback as it gets. Palm-fringed beaches, huge white surfing waves and lush rainforests clouded in mist tend to make everyone relax, then relax some more.
There are four inhabited and five uninhabited islands in a cluster, making getting around easy. Upolu, a volcanic island, is the most developed and populous island, home to Apia, the capital. Its highest peak, Vaaifetu, is 1100 metres, and its fertile, well-watered soil yields cacao, rubber, bananas and coconuts. Robert Louis Stevenson spent his last years on Upolu, residing at his home, Vailima. The broader Savai'i's villages all but one are on the coastline.
Locals are very friendly and you may even be asked to join in a game of kirikiti, the local version of cricket.
Litia Sini Beach Resort (fales) are on the southern tip of Upolu Island where the white sand beach and lagoon look too perfect to be true. Litia is popular for snorkelling, scuba diving and other water activities in the clear blue waters of Lalomanu. Ocean views and swaying palms make the resort a paradise.
The 18 fales are thatched and in traditional Samoan style, ensuring coolness inside and allowing uninterrupted views. A mattress, fresh linen and mosquito netting are supplied. Toilets, shower block and central dining fale serving affordable and delicious home-cooked Samoan meals are communal.
A cool bar sells drinks, including Samoa's very own beer, juices, cocktails and soft drinks. There is plenty of entertainment from locals who are generally very musical.
Sa'Moana Resort is Australian-owned and operated. It is private, peaceful and in a beautiful coconut grove at Salamumu on Upolu's south coast. Samoan culture is upheld in all aspects and local villagers have blessed the resort knowing their traditions and environment will remain unspoilt.
The resort caters for up to 24 guests in fales with private facilities. They accommodate singles, couples, families and groups. Décor is in vibrant Polynesian tones. A natural saltwater pool, built in a natural depression in the lava rock, abuts the ocean.
A huge fale is the central relaxation house with views over the south shore's coastline. It has a huge undercover front deck for dining and relaxing, a lounge featuring television, video, hi fi, pool table and games/book library and a fully stocked bar. After a rewarding surf, tour or relaxing day, this is the place to kick back and enjoy your favourite cocktail or refreshment.
Equipment for snorkelling, canoeing, sea kayaking, cricket, football, volleyball, golf practice nets, table tennis and snooker is provided free of charge to live-in guests.
An experienced international chef at Sa'Moana prepares fine fare using locally grown produce and fresh seafood and prime New Zealand beef and lamb. Breakfasts set you up for the day and lunch is a buffet of salads, cold meats, pasta, pastries or even a picnic if you feel inclined.
Traditional Samoan 'Fia Fia' feasts are held on most Friday nights, with local musicians and dancers from the village performing traditional shows after the Umu. Sunday night is barbecue night.