Total of people that favorited this listing
Friendly hosts Shannon and Chris Donato look forward to welcoming you to their piece of Samoan paradise. Salani Surf Resort is a Polynesian haven for surfers and offers 8 bungalows with a maximum of only 16 guests and 12 surfers. With its pristine river-mouth location, Salani enjoys a world-class consistent Right and a challenging Left out front. Take a quick boat or 4-wheeler drive to other world-class breaks in close proximity. Salani Surf Resort is famous for its friendly Samoan hospitality and amazing surf all year round.
Salani Surf Resort is situated on the mouth of the Mulivai Fagatoloa River (almost mosquito free), between the base of a lush tropical jungle basin, crystal blue lagoon and next to the rural and still very traditional Salani village. Lodging is in 8 comfortable fan-cooled fales (bungalows). The fales are well ventilated and are elevated in order to receive the cool ocean breezes. The main Fale at Salani Surf Resort contains the dining area. Enjoy a cold beverage and an excellent variety of meals in the very comfortable Bikini Bar and Restaurant. The friendly Salani staff will ensure you switch off to the outside world and enjoy true Polynesian hospitality and relaxation. After a big day surfing, you can chill out with a drink listening to some great tunes at the bar or watch some surf movies before appetizers (including the house favorite, cajun seared Yellow Fin Tuna), dinner, and eventually dessert is served.
All boatmen are lifeguards and first aid trained (CPR), and the three boats (19 feet, 23 feet and 25 feet) feature modern safety measures and back-up equipment. Salani has access to a number of breaks around the island with the Left and Right being only a 5-minute boat ride out front. You could paddle out front but the Salani boats are available from dawn till dusk to quickly whisk you to the break. With moorings at each spot for safety, and the health of the reef, it can also ideal for photo/video shots. In general, surf in Samoa is recommended for the intermediate or better surfer; having made that statement, there are often times that people on any ability can paddle out and have fun. Samoa has gained a reputation for being particularly heavy with sharp shallow reefs which is not always the case. Salani Right has a relatively dead and flat reef, with other breaks like Tiavea offering smooth cobblestone river-rock bottom.
The resorts "every day" wave, will barrel at any size and handle it! With multiple take-off spots, the right is a shorter wave that can either barrel from start to finish or be a combo of open face sections and barrels. South is the preferred swell direction; the wave gets longer with a south-west swell, and shorter with a south-east swell. There is a large clearly defined channel and current to carry you back out to the line-up. It can be surfed on lower tides depending on the size and swell direction.
A clean lined up ground swell is a "goofy footers dream". It's a long fast breaking full barrel ride over coral reef/flat rock that gets faster, and hollower as you go down the line. This wave is typically surfed from 2-10' faces. The wave does not end very close to the channel, so on bigger days getting back out can be a little tricky. It is the best at medium tide with south-east swell.
25 minutes by boat along the inner reef lies "The Island'. About 2 kilometers offshore, this paradisiacal island has a powerful left that reels off over a beautiful coral reef. Surfing and diving in this crystal clear water is just unreal. Accessed only around high tide and best on the medium to bigger swells, this spot is a great alternative when the trade winds are onshore out front; as at the island it's offshore. Depending on ones skill level you can surf up the reef for long hollow walls, or down near the end of the reef closer to the safety of the channel.
A newer and more regularly surfed spot these days, this right-hander is situated 2 kilometers offshore on the outer reef and is longer than Salani Right but just as hollow- also ending in a deep channel, with a current to take you back out to the line-up. Breaking over a coral reef it can hold substantial size on the outside, with the middle and end section being smaller. This wave is a little more condition sensitive then Salani Right.
Set at the far end of a picturesque black sand beach and a 10 minute paddle through emerald colored water lies Boulders. Probably Samoa's best-known big wave spot, being able to handle the largest of swells and still not close out. As the name suggests this wave breaks over large boulders on the outside and on a combo of rock and mushroom-head coral reef on the inside. This left hand point breaks off a lava cliff starting with a relatively easy drop followed by a steep wall section, then barrels off down the line, often spitting as it ends - sometimes 150m away. Boulders is also a great option if the south-east winds are blowing as it is well protected and remains glassy or light off shore. Best at low tide, the bigger the swell the more tide the wave can handle.
A large bay located on the north-east coast containing 4 separate waves, a big wave right hander off one end, a fast shallow left off the other side, and a nice river mouth in the middle. The river mouth is a left and right breaking over cobblestone and flat reef bottom. Tiavea bay is an excellent option during the north swell season if the South coast is not showing enough activity, or sometimes during the south swell months if the south coast breaks are heavier then you may desire. There are several other breaks available that Salani access on a rare occasion due to their distant location of being fickle in nature. Some of these breaks are accessed by boat only, others by overland transfers. The key is to listen to your surf guides when they are explaining the conditions and what to expect at each locations. If there is something special happening they will let you know all about it.
Note: Most breaks in Samoa are well offshore, plagued with strong currents and tides and are therefore difficult to access. Salani Surf Resort minimizes the time and hassle in surfing these waves whilst striving to provide safe, fast, guided access to the best waves. Surfing Salani breaks on Sunday is prohibited. Salani guests will have access to other breaks on Sunday. If surf is not an option, some activities will be organized such as beach picnic and/or snorkeling. The Sunday church service is also a great experience even for those who are not necessarily religious.
This holiday will take place in Upolu, Samoa.
|Activities ||General |
The meals are prepared using the freshest local fruits, seafood, vegetables and imported meats. Meals range from Italian, European, American, Mexican, Indian, Aussie Barbecue and vegetarian.
"The best surf trip I've had in a long time and you can be into the line-up in for a morning surf about 6-7 hours after leaving Sydney. Great food along with plenty of cold beers and cocktails served by the friendliest staff and a new swimming pool has just gone in close proximity to the Bikini Bar and Restaurant to keep you well hydrated. The accommodation is not what I expected after the Indo surf resorts I've stayed at in the past. It had hot water and air-conditioning. It's all next to new thanks to Chris and Shannon's visionary re-build after the tsunami that devastated the region also flattened Salani. Big respect to all of those in Samoa who lost loved ones and their homes and livelihoods and are still such happy souls coming through it all. A short stroll to the local shop just outside the resort will give you a glimpse into Samoan everyday life. For the surfers there's plenty of waves a short drive around Salani to keep you frothing and when you can't surf the resort on the Sunday due to Samoa's Christian beliefs, take the time to visit The Trench for a snorkel and the golden sandy beaches down the coast for a chillaxing swim. I'm amazed at how laid-back and semi-unchartered tourist territory Samoa was. I'll be back there real soon, and remember don't tell anyone!"
Trip Advisor website, edited
"Straight off the plane Salani started off right with Moni there to greet us and drive us back to the resort pointing out the surf spots as we went. Once at the resort we were well and truly looked after by the staff and Boatmen. Nothing was too much trouble and when the surf wasn't good, trips to see other parts of the island were organized. When the surf was good we were ferried back and forward to the waves by very professional boat men and if a meal was missed a plate was waiting for you on your return to the main falae. (The food was amazing). We were treated to a fia fia night which was a particularly memorable experience. If you are after a great surfing destination coupled with excellent service and great accommodation look no further than Salani. I will definitely be back!"
Trip Advisor website, edited
"I am so excited to write this review for Salani Surf Resort! Normally after a holiday, I catch myself dreaming of the trip once a week. It's been 3 weeks, I literally dream about Salani Surf Resort every single night. In my dream, I go back and do everything I can to stay extra days there. It was honestly one of the best holidays of my life and I didn't even surf.Flight from SydneyMy partner David and I travelled from Sydney Australia on a Friday night around 21:00. After a short 5 hour flight, we landed in Samoa at approximately 5:00 and David was surfing by 9:00.Airport arrivalSalani's driver was waiting for us with a lovely sign at the airport upon landing. Greeted with cold waters and gorgeous flower lei to wear around our necks, we were already in holiday spirit and excited even though we hadn't left the airport! The driver gave us fun local facts along our short drive to the resort. Worth noting, Samoa airport is the easiest airport I've ever been to. Samoans are so lovely and the airport is quite boutique. No lines, we were in and out in 20 minutes or less including clearing customs, gathering our surfboard bag, and getting local currency.Resort arrivalUpon arriving at the resort, Shannon greeted us and gave us an amazing welcome including describing what to expect day-to-day at the resort and how they could accommodate us. This was so refreshing, as normally we spend the first 2 days figuring the resort out when we travel to surf specialist resorts. We had an incredible breakfast on our table by 7:30 and David got 3 surfs in his first day! This is quite unusual in our experience with surf resorts.Salani surfingThere are 2 breaks in front of the resort, Salani Right and Salani Left. They are both a short 5 minute boat ride from the resort. More importantly, you can check the surf from the balcony of every single fale on site. There are 3 boats at 3 boat/surf guides at Salani. This is awesome because you can choose when to surf and when to come in, based upon your own needs. If you feel like having a sleep in, no problem they'll take you out later. If you feel like doing a dawn session, they'll take you out at first light and bring you in whenever you get hungry. They have walkie talkies and can call boats to get you within 5 minutes. Most boat focused surf resorts we've travelled to have limited boats and you have to go when the majority of the group wants to go, and you are stuck out in the water until the last surfer wants to come. Worth noting, I don't surf too much these days and prefer to do surf photography. Salani were so accommodating to me as a non-surfer and always made sure I had the best focal point on the boat to take surf pictures. If it started to rain or I was ready to come in for whatever reason, the guides would bring me in. I encourage any surfer girlfriends/wives to visit Salani. It is amazing to be on a boat sitting a few metres from your partner surfing. You are so close, you literally feel like you are in the water next to them.Local surfingIf the swell, wind or tide isnt working at Salani - the team at the Resort will still find you waves. We went to 2 other breaks whilst at Salani. Both are a short 15-20 minute car ride from the resort. Driving around the island is absolutely beautiful, so the ride in itself is an experience not to be missed. The beaches the surf breaks were at are absolutely stunning! We had both the beach and the surf totally to ourselves. Salani is the place to stay if you are looking for uncrowded perfect waves!ExpeditionsSalani went above and beyond the call of duty by planning multiple day trips to local waterfalls, swimming holes and stunning beaches. Most resorts we've stayed at say they will organize day trips to local attractions, but we've never actually had a resort plan one for us. Salani took us on 4 trips and organized them around times the surfers wouldn't miss out on surf. So I was happy the non-surfer and my partner David was happy because he was getting to see super sweet waterfalls, make me happy and not miss out on waves!Fia fiaOn Saturday night, the local village of Salani put on a little festival celebration for the guest of the resort. There was live local music, dancing, fire throwing, and a kava ceremony. It was the most traditional experience of my life and we actually got to learn their dances! It was an incredible experience and I can't speak highly enough of Samoans. They are the most lovely people I've ever met in my life, genuine, caring, and trustworthy.FoodBreakfast: fresh fruit, toasts and jams, fresh pastries items baked daily. Also can order your own traditional breakfast items from pancakes, to breakfast burritos, to eggs and bacon. Normally, we miss out on breakfast at other surf resorts we've travelled to because my partner wanted to surf early and by the time he was done, breakfast was over. The lovely ladies at Salani have breakfast ready before first light! And they keep it going until late for anyone running late due to a sleep in or late surf! Lunch and dinner: communal style and Salani can accommodate any allergy needs. Guest will hear a drum beat and the food is ready! For dinner we always had incredible fresh sashimi as an appetizer, followed by a lovely meal and delicious desert. Of course meals always worked around surfing times! Worth noting, we caught 3 fish whilst at Salani and the wonderful chefs prepared them immediately for our lunch and dinner. It was incredible!In a nutshellI cannot recommend Salani enough! A truly once in a life time experience due to the incredible customer service and personal approach the team at Salani Surf Resort deliver. We will be back! Lots of love to the team at Salani, "
Trip Advisor website, edited
"Despite both being non-surfers, my wife and I had a fantastic stay at Salani. The staff was welcoming and friendly throughout and the fables on the river are just wonderful - I haven't stayed at many places quite as relaxing in Samoa in my two years here. We had so much fun using the paddle boards and kayaks up and down the river. The rooms themselves are simple luxury and the views are just brilliant. We both left feeling totally relaxed. Thanks Shannon and your team."
Trip Advisor website, edited
"If you want a thoroughly enjoyable Samoa experience and are into surfing, fishing, or just relaxing in a non-commercial resort, Salani Surf Resort should be your first choice. We had two weeks in Samoa, the second week was spent at Aggie Greys Lagoon, Beach Resort and Spa. In hindsight we really should have stayed at Salani both weeks as Salani Surf Resort exceeded our expectations by miles while Aggie Greys was disappointing. Our group (two couples) booked a week fishing charter, along with a food and accommodation package, with Chris and Shannon, the enthusiastic and passionate resort owners. This couple loves what they do, and it shows in the way youre looked after, and in the resort itself. This is a small resort, so you get to know the other guests. You all enjoy your excellent meals together in the main fale, drink together at the well-priced Bikini Bar, and are the staff are super friendly, helpful and just really nice genuine people. They all come from the nearby villages. From a game fishing newbie the charter was excellent. The boat is well equipped and beautifully presented, and Chris and his deck hands Reddy and Stucka really look after you. Chris has an excellent knowledge of the fishing areas off the south coast, and worked hard to give us the best fishing experience possible. When two days got cancelled due to bad weather he refunded one day, and had us picked us up from Aggie Greys (an hour-plus drive each way) the following week at his expense so we could enjoy another day on the water. We left Salani resort on a Friday to go to Aggie Greys, and Mike and I returned the following Wednesday for the replacement days fishing (our wives stayed at Aggie Greys). We were greeted with hugs and treated like long lost friends by the Salani crew, which is exactly what they felt like. You cant help but have a good time, and wed go back without the slightest hesitation."
Trip Advisor website, edited
"A group of 5 of us travelled to Samoa and Salani. The staff at the camp was very accommodating and friendly, the camp management were excellent and flexible to ensure our experience was so much better than our expectations. The boatmen kept us stoked, and in the line-up they were more like your mates in the water. And the waves are unbelievable. Salani right and left are awesome and we surfed so many other spots around the island of Upolu. Such a relaxed surf trip, so many waves, great times. Would highly recommend Salani Surf Resort to any intermediate and higher level surfer. Samoa is a beautiful country and the people and culture are infectious."
World Surfaris website, edited
"Our recent trip to Samoa started with a week at Salani Surf Resort for a week fishing charter on Chris and Shannon's 37 feet Merritt Leilani. On our arrival in Samoa, we were greeted at the airport by Monet, our driver, it was about 1:30 and he had a big smile and made us fell instantly welcome. He drove us to the resort and once there more friendly staff carried our bags to our fale, well let me tell you, the fales (rooms) were awesome clean, modern, air-conditioned and very comfortable. The next morning we had a light breakfast and then off fishing, the boat is immaculate, the crew excellent, the gear top end (shimano tiagra 80w and 130w) and an impressive selection of lures. Day one, we tagged a blue marlin, dropped two others and landed a large skipjack tuna, day to no luck but not from lack of trying Chris kept going long after our day should have finished. Day three, good sized mahi mahi (dolphin fish) and another big blue marlin dropped, then the weather started to pack in, Chris offered to reschedule both days bot due to our commitments the following week we could only do one day so Chris happily refunded one day and then at his expense came to aggies (an hour and a half drive away) to pick us up a few days later, that day raised a couple of billfish and landed three more mahi mahi. We had an awesome week great food, great company, great staff and great fishing! You must try a beer or cocktail at the bar, ice cold and always served with a smile. If you want an excellent fishing holiday I would absolutely recommend Chris his crew and resort even my wife loved the time we spent there and she's not a hard out fisher!"
Trip Advisor website, edited