Total Immersion in Fa’a Samoa
Travelers looking for the fa’a Samoa – the Samoan way of life – will find it at the Safua, where they’re likely to wind up lending a hand with the hotel’s daily shopping at the local market, helping the village kids with their homework, or attending rafter-ringing Sunday services with the host’s family.
The unspoiled volcanic island of Savai’i is one of the most “old Polynesia” islands of any in the Pacific, and the small, charming Safua Hotel is owned and operated by its most informative, knowledgeable, and charismatic character, Vaasili Moelagi Jackson.
Enveloping guests in Polynesian warmth, Moelagi, a female talking chief in her community’s otherwise male council, is a leading force in the island’s movement to preserve its indigenous culture and environment, which makes her an ideal guide to local customs.
At her hotel, every day is a chance to laze about, join an organized jaunt to gorgeous waterfalls or a nearby village ceremony, or even pick up a Samoan tattoo. A high point of the week is Safua’s legendary umu feast; beginning at dawn a suckling pig is steamed in a pit oven and the lavish results are enjoyed by Moelagi and her guests after church services.