Advice on Finding and Choosing Cheap Budget Accommodation in Samoa
Sometimes the biggest hurdle that stands between you and the tropical backpacking adventure of your dreams is accommodation. Although Samoa isn’t exactly brimming with hostel dorms and campsites, what it does have are beach fales which are the cheapest and most iconic forms of accommodation on the islands. While sacrificing some creature comforts, these accommodations provide amazing value in the food, culture and Samoan hospitality provided. For those times when you do seek a little bit of privacy, hot water and even easy access to an electrical socket, there are budget guesthouses, hotels and motels in Samoa’s capital, Apia, that offer refuge.
In this guide to finding and choosing the best cheap accommodation in Samoa, we not only show you what types of accommodations are cheap but what to expect from them.
5 Things You Need to Know About Cheap Accommodation in Samoa
- Pay the extra rate for food included in your beach fale or accommodation; alternative dining options are difficult to come by if you’re staying outside of Apia
- Note that most budget accommodations charge to hire snorkelling gear (when it’s available), so we highly recommend bringing your own, as you WILL want to go snorkelling – see the 20 Essentials You Need to Pack for Samoa for recommendations
- You can save a ton by using your accommodation’s self-catering facilities, mainly available in Apia
- Don’t expect free or affordable WiFi at any budget accommodation in Samoa – you’re best to source it yourself with a local SIM card
- Beach fales aren’t the only type of cheap accommodation in Samoa, with budget hotels, guesthouses, motels and B&Bs being very affordable alternatives.
Types (and Cost) of Budget Accommodation in Samoa
Accommodations that most holidaymakers will deem as “cheap” is very abundant across Samoa. Those on a backpacker budget, however, might have to cough up a little extra than what they might be used to paying in hostels overseas. Either way, these are the various styles of budget accommodations in Samoa, along with their usual approximate rates.
Samoa’s most iconic accommodation type, beach fales are simply constructed huts raised on the beach. They are typically equipped with a woven mat, foam mattress and bedding, a mosquito net and perhaps a tarp or woven blinds for privacy/rain protection. Think of it like beach glamping! Toilet and shower facilities are typically shared at a bathroom block (cold water only), while breakfast and dinner are served at a communal dining fale.
For just the beach fale, rates are typically ST$40-$50 per person per night, while a fale, breakfast and dinner are usually ST$70-$100 per person per night. Take a look at some of your beach fale options in the 20 Best Beach Fale Accommodations in Samoa. Plus, find out more about what it’s like to stay in these unique accommodations in the Essential Tips for Staying in a Beach Fale in Samoa.
Particularly in Apia and Salelologa (Savai’i), budget hotels make up much of the cheap accommodation category. Hotels often have facilities like an outdoor pool, a communal lounge and a dining area often where an included breakfast is served. Some hotels also have a communal kitchen. Rooms are private and either have an ensuite or shared bathroom.
Although some of the listings here are of higher-grade hotels, we list plenty of budget hotels in the 30 Best Hotels in Samoa. Rates for budget hotels are typically ST$120-$220 per solo/couple per night and ST$240-$370 per family per night.
Another one mainly within the confines of Apia, small-scale accommodations like guesthouses, lodges, motels and B&Bs offer affordable rates, typically with breakfast included. Facilities usually include private rooms with a choice of shared or private bathroom, with communal areas such as a lounge and dining area or kitchen. Very rarely, shared dorms are available, typically around ST$80 per person per night.
Rates for guesthouses are approximately ST$100-$200 per solo/couple per night and ST$240-$350 per family per night. We have these types of accommodations listed across several articles, which you can check out at 10 Best Guesthouses & B&Bs in Samoa, 10 Best Lodges in Samoa and 7 Best Motels in Samoa.
Particularly in and around Apia, locals are listing their properties on websites like Booking.com, Expedia and Airbnb for very affordable prices, especially for families and groups. There’s a mixed bag of basic to more modern holiday homes, usually with at least two bedrooms and an open-plan kitchen/lounge.
Budget holiday homes in Apia are approximately ST$180-$400 per night regardless of the number of guests. Take a look at some of your options in the 10 Best Holiday Homes in Samoa.
Other Cheap Accommodations in Samoa
For a complete listing of Samoa’s budget accommodation types all in one place, check out the 25 Best Budget Accommodations in Samoa.
Location, How to Get There and What is Nearby?
A major consideration for travellers on a budget is the location. Reducing the travel time from your accommodation to attractions is a surefire way to save money, even if transport on the islands is quite cheap with the exception of fuel costs.
Staying in Apia will ensure you are close to cheap dining options, while having access to self-catering facilities and supermarkets. However, Apia is only close to a few of Samoa’s major attractions, so you will have to travel between 30 minutes to up to two hours to reach the attractions that most have on their bucket list. We highly recommend staying in different accommodations as you move around the islands, in order to mitigate driving back and forth to the same accommodation.
Take a look at some of our itineraries for budget travellers, complete with accommodation suggestions:
- Samoa Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 14 Days
- Samoa Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 10 Days
- Samoa Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 7 Days
- Samoa Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 5 Days
- Samoa Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 3 Days
At each of the destinations you stay overnight on your itinerary, consider choosing accommodation that is close to the attractions you want to visit or on a beach that you want to make the most of to reduce that travel time as much as possible.
What’s Included in Your Stay?
Any savvy budget traveller or backpacker knows that choosing good budget accommodation isn’t just about finding the cheapest. Good value is often in the facilities and services included in your stay. Of course, everyone’s needs are different so take a look at the lists below to get an idea of what is typically included and what extra facilities to look out for or inquire about.
Typical Budget Accommodation Inclusions
- Shared bathroom with a shower, sink, toilet and typically cold water
- Mosquito net
- Gardens or beaches including beach access that day visitors otherwise have to pay for
- Communal dining fale where meals are served or available to purchase, usually an electrical outlet
- Car parking.
Additional Services and Inclusions
- Breakfast (usually included in the price but not always)
- Dinner (sometimes included in the price)
- Kitchen facilities (only in Apia)
- Ensuite shower and toilet
- WiFi (additional fee)
- Tours (island tours, snorkelling, cultural activities, etc. for an additional fee)
- Airport transfers (additional fee)
- Watersports hire (usually a small fee if available)
- Air conditioning
- Hot water
- Washing machine.
More Tips for Finding and Choosing Cheap Accommodation in Samoa
That’s it for our guide on how to find (and choose) the best cheap accommodation in Samoa for you! Need more money-saving advice? Check out these other guides:
- Samoa Travel Budget: How Much Does a Trip to Samoa Cost?
- 20 Tips to Save Money in Samoa
- How Much Spending Money Do You Need for Samoa?
Plus, find anything you might have missed in The Complete Backpacking Guide to Samoa on a Budget.