Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows Opening August 1, Joins Aggie Grey’s Resort for Awesome SPG Category 3 2-fer

I asked Is the Pacific the Next Big Thing in Miles and Points?

For SPG loyalists, here is one answer: Samoa now has two fantastic SPG options and both are category 3 awards at 7,000 SPG points/night.

Samoa is a gem of South Pacific tourism:

  • Nonstop flight access from Honolulu and Nadi
  • Arguably best town in the Pacific, Apia
  • Great beaches
  • Beautiful natural sites
  • Good food
  • Limited tourist numbers

Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Resort is on the northwest coast by the airport. It has everything you expect of a beach and golf resort. This kind of points hotel resorts are rare in the Pacific, and some, like Hilton Fiji more resemble bus terminals for their package tour crowds. Here are photos from my walk-through in December:

Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey Resort 01 Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey Resort 02 Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey Resort 03 Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey Resort 04 Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey Resort 05

Opening August 1 is sister property on the Apia waterfront, Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows. In December it was still undergoing extensive renovation:

Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey Hotel and Bungalows

Apia is delightful and safe. Morning starts with the government marching band flag raising and the day continues with strolling in the center and waterfront restaurants. Since the island is large and the resort out on the corner 30-60 minutes away depending how much island speed traffic is on the road, this is a better base for exploring the beaches and attractions of the interior and south coast.

SPG should offer combo packages for the two properties. A 5th night free award split among the two would be superb. 3 days at the resort, 2 in the city if you want to chill, or the reverse if more into activities and dining.

This is contender for Pacific island I would most likely return and be confident my wife would enjoy. I might also go back someday for the Tokelau boat.

Readers, have you been to Samoa?

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  • john

    interesting. I think you just convinced me to go although it would be interesting to hear about other islands and why they rate lower.

  • bluecat

    There’s a book by noted travel writer, Paul Theroux, where he basically rips Samoa as a land of petty thieves and unfriendly natives. I can’t get those thoughts out of my mind and hope you had interactions that you can share that point to the contrary!

  • @john – this is targeted to those who place points as the most important, but also, the combination I listed is relatively rare in the Pacific, quote a few for instance have no or few swimmable beaches.

  • @bluecat – my guesthouse did enforce annoying 10 am checkout…but let me take an afternoon shower.

  • @bluecat – non tongue-in-cheek reply is my visit was a pleasant few days while he presumably spent longer and had deeper interactions or more practical things to do which can be tough put there. Most who have tried the Tokelau boat have unhappy tales.

  • matt

    So essentially – Samoa is easy to get to, with beach/resort options and modest tourist penetration.

    Are there particular exceptional attributes? Or more the combination of “can stay on points”, “not overrun with tourists”, and “has beach”?

    I’m very interested to hear your opinions on other islands as well. Points are nice and we’ve got plenty of them…but also make a conscious effort to let points at most suggest destinations, and not dictate them. “Free” travel is liberating and inspirational( a great reminder of what is feasible, and excuse to research a dot on a map)…but it is all to easy to fall into and stay in its trap repeating the “points circuit”…

  • @matt – again, you are different from people who won’t know that New Zealand exists until Park Hyatt opens, still, variety of activities from To-Sua Ocean Trench to the Baha’i House of Worship and quick hop to Pago Pago for the tuna cannery make it stand out. Will do a post on each I have visited.

  • brteacher

    I’ve been mulling a flight to Apia on Fiji Airways, returning to HNL from Pago Pago on HA, after a detour to Ofu. Some points options definitely make it easier. Thanks.

    By the way, doesn’t the exchange rate make Samoa much cheaper than American Samoa?

  • @brteacher – I did that way in reverse. I recall American Samoa a little more expensive, probably due to less tourist infrastructure, fewer restaurants, etc. The flight connecting the two you will bring all kinds of grief on yourself trying to buy in advance. Even my hotel in Pago Pago didn’t want to deal with it, they told me to go to the airport sales office and after waiting a while in line, it was done for next day.

  • john

    yea, I concluded the same about the samoa-PPG flights. Seems you have to book in person. Is that also true for the flights to Ofu? I was really hoping to go out that way. Seems frustrating that you cant book ahead.

  • Bill Payne

    Polynesian Airlines operates 9-seat aircraft between Pago Pago and Apia and are often sold out.several days in advance. I recommend you try their website.

    Hawaiian Airlines flies twice a week between Honolulu and Pago Pago (Monday and Friday) and the flight is often fully booked in both directions. Make sure you have a hotel room in Pago – there are very few. Btw the “g” is pronounced “ng”.
    “Pong Oh Pong Oh” is about right. “Pay Go Pay Go” definitely not!

    A passport IS required for US citizens. Hawaiian Airlines’ website has comprehensive information on documents required for travel, and will not board you without a passport.