I ended up at Maninoa Surf Fales for a few days which one interesting because I am not a surfer. I actually end up missing the bus back to Apia on Saturday and nothing moves on Sunday. I do mean nothing moves on Sunday too.
Maninoa is a village that has on the beach the surf Fales, two resorts for tourists and a small family owned bar and restaurant. The resorts are Sinalei Reef Resort and Coconuts Beach Club.
I will get the thing everyone wants to know out of the way: Maninoa Surf Fales is more pricy than other beach fales in Samoa. No idea why that is. I believe I paid over 140 Tala or like $50 USD a night. That did not include meals.
It was pretty dead the weekend I was there. I think I was the only person at the surf camp. I don’t really remember what time of year it was but I do remember there was not much happening at all.
Why I liked about the place
It is right on the beach and it is a great place to see the sun go up and the sun come down. The beach is really a beach too. It is what you expect when you think of the South Pacific’s beaches. If you are a photographer, that is worth coming just for the images you will get on a cloudy day.
While the restaurant was not open on Sundays and the staff only came to get money, not bring breakfast; the little family owned restaurant next door was the answer to that problem. They do not have the cheapest food in Samoa but it is great. They have both Samoan and American food on the menu.
I remember that the restaurant was open pretty late as it is the only place for the local Samoans to come and eat in that area of the island. I do not remember the name of the restaurant though.
I am sure that if I was a surfer (I am not) that staying here would be like paradise. The boat looks kept up very nicely and I have heard that the breaks in this area are insane. It is not my thing but I know many visiting the camp are there for that specific purpose!
Maninoa Surf Fales is owned by Sinalei Reef Resort?
I do not know if this is completely true but some have said that it was bought out by the resort next door. I do know that their website look much more like a professional operation now than it did a few years ago. It just looks like investors have moved in. Things could be different than when I was there in 2013. However, this could be all rumors as well.
I also notice some reviews on Trip Advisor say the same problems I had, are still happening. You might look at other surfing spots in Samoa. There is one not very far away in the next village called Tafitoala. The business is called Sina PJ Fales. It is right on the beach as well. I am not sure of current prices though.
Why I can’t sugguest going to Maninoa
The issue is really two things. The first one is the staff. They were nowhere to be found but to get money from me. They really left a bad taste in my mouth. This is not the Samoan hospitality that I enjoyed in other places around the country. They did not even care if I was at the camp. At least, that is how I felt.
The other reason is charging $50 a night and having no meals (especially on Sundays) is just no cool. All the other Beach fales on the South Coast are a little less and give you at least two meals a day. I guess, I just have come to expect that when I am at a beach fale in Samoa.
How to get to Maninoa Surf Fales?
If you are coming from Faleolo International Airport, you can come across at Fasito’otai on Cross Island Rd that would take you to the Sa’anapu Conservation area. You will go past it until you get to Maninoa village.
If you are coming from Apia, as most people would be, you can wait for the Maninoa bus that will take you straight to the village. However, there are several bus that get you in the area. Si’umu is the route that has the most buses crossing and it is the next village over.
If you are on a higher budget, you can always rent a car and get around Samoa. They have a few of them in Apia but there is a need for a permit from the government to be able to drive in the country.