I stayed at Tatiana Motel that is downtown Apia and it should be a last resort as a place to stay. It double as a venue for prostitution, teenagers trying to make babies and even gay hookups. Basically anyone that will give them the $40 can do whatever they want. It has become a security nightmare.
A look at their Trip Advisor profile tells you what the issues are. The place is dirty, outdated and alot of questionable things go on around the place. It is as seedy as a “short time” motel in Angeles City (Philippines). It is not cheap by backpacker standard, either.
The latest review as of right now says,
If I could give zero stars I would. Seriously horrendous. As a seasoned backpacker I read the mixed reviews and figured some were just fussy. How wrong I was. We arrived 11pm and checked into our room. Two twin beds and a trash can. absolutely filthy.. like shamefully gross. The sheets were covered in stains. I sat on one bed and was so exhausted from travelling all day but could not being myself to sleep there… And I have slept in bus stations whilst travelling. When husband came back in room (after being shown equally terrible bathrooms) we both agreed to leave. We paid for the 2 nights but went and checked into a different hotel. Only stay here if budget is worth sleeping in filth to you.
Review websites are full of similar reviews from people who have stayed there. The odd thing this is not by cranky old American middle class white people, either. These are coming mostly from people from New Zealand that are generally more laid back than normal.
While I might sound harsh in this article, people staying here have all had the same negative experience. The problem is there is not many options in Apia to speak of. It seems that the viewpoint of many in tourism in Samoa is for focus on rich visitors that will spend hundreds on tours, not backpackers who want to have a more authentic experience of nature globally.
Tatiana Motel does have some good
They are very close to the town area and there is the Farmer’s Joe Supermarket right down the street. There was the largest open market in the country but I believe that has moved since I was in Samoa. The town area is walkable, for sure. You can be about anywhere in the town within five minutes. However, be prepared because Apia can be very hot any day of the year. There is no seasons to speak of in Samoa!
The other positive thing is they do give you a simple (and I do mean simple) breakfast. I am talking toast, butter, and some bananas. It is nice to have it when you wake up. They also offer free hot tea as well. Why people in the tropics like to drink hot drinks is mind blogging but they do.
It is NOT the best breakfast in the world but it is something that is right down the hallway when you first wake up and that can be great to have. I normally went for a second breakfast an hour or so later that was a more legit meal.
As you can see in the map below on the area in downtown Apia, at the bottom left is the Tatiana Motel and it is just 220 meters (thanks, Google!) to Farmer Joe’s which is across the street from the main open market for all of Samoa. You are within a kilometer of the baywalk and only four kilometers to the Fagali’i Airport if your next stop is American Samoa.
Is it worth it?
That is up to you. I could see if you need just a place to stay on the cheap if taking an early bus out to the South Coast to going to Savaii. It is for sure, not a place to spend too many days until you are there for a reason.
The problem is there is not many options in Apia besides Tatiana Motel. Seaside has closed down since Aggie Grey bought the land. I do understand a few others have opened around town since I have been there. I would check them out. It might be worth spending an extra few bucks.
I am sorry but I can’t suggest staying at Tatiana Motel.