Taumeasina Resort opens: P.M. hails ‘piece of heaven on earth’

By Sarafina Sanerivi ,

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The Taumeasina Island Resort has become the latest luxury property to open its doors to members of the public.

The Taumeasina Island Resort has become the latest luxury property to open its doors to members of the public.

Samoa continues to climb the ladder in terms of the availability of high-end tourism properties.

The Taumeasina Island Resort has become the latest luxury property to open its doors to members of the public, two months after Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel opened on Beach Road.

Reverend Semikueva and Vesia Fa’atoafe from Moata’a.

Reverend Semikueva and Vesia Fa’atoafe from Moata’a.

For Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, the developments are just what Samoa tourism needs.

On Friday night, Taumeasina Island Resort hosted a soft opening, giving dignitaries and specials guests a first glimpse at the property. 

 ENJOYING THE VIEW- Tuimaugaoali’I Kazumasa Shibuta and  Kyoko Shibuta

ENJOYING THE VIEW- Tuimaugaoali’I Kazumasa Shibuta and Kyoko Shibuta

More than two hundred people gathered to witness the beautiful Island Resort.

The evening was hosted by rugby legend, La’auli Michael Jones. Prime Minister Tuilaepa was present as well as a strong delegation from Papua New Guinea.

The smiling faces of the Taumeasina Employees- Los Angeles Tuvale and Latoya Filifilia Iosefa

The smiling faces of the Taumeasina Employees- Los Angeles Tuvale and Latoya Filifilia Iosefa

The special occasion started with a service conducted by Reverend Semikueva Fa’atoafe of the Congregrational Christian Church at Moata’a. 

Prime Minister Tuilaepa congratulated the Lamana Investment group for turning a long-time dream into reality. 

From left to right- Leulua’iali’I Ma’anaima, Seiuli Vaifou Temese, Tuiletufuga Siaosi Tuiletufuga, Fainu’ulelei Filipo Sa’ena, Leanata’I Victor Tamapua and Henrietta Tamapua

From left to right- Leulua’iali’I Ma’anaima, Seiuli Vaifou Temese, Tuiletufuga Siaosi Tuiletufuga, Fainu’ulelei Filipo Sa’ena, Leanata’I Victor Tamapua and Henrietta Tamapua

“Tonight, we celebrate the success of the Lamana Investment Group, especially the perseverance of its Chairman, Mr. Kostas Constantinou, for staying true to his commitment to build this beautiful resort.”

Tuilaepa also commended the management and staff of Taumeasina for the initiative to have a ‘soft opening’ before the grand opening in November.

“I have been invited today to this soft opening, and I am grateful to the management for such great practice,” he said. 

“This ensures that we ‘softly’ celebrate the opening of the resort to draw our media and interested partners to advertise and promote for more guests to come, and enjoy this beautiful piece of heaven on earth, and take a deep breath of fresh air from the ocean. 

“A place where guests can come to rejuvenate, relax whilst reflecting on their achievement of hard work over the year before returning again to one’s everyday routine and daily life time, only to once again come back to visit this beautiful island for more relaxation and rejuvenation.”

Tuilaepa reminded everyone about the government’s commitment to improve the development of tourism industry in Samoa. 

“Government will continue to search for investments who wish to establish tourism businesses as we have done in bringing this venture into fruition, thereby creates more opportunities for our people.”

Reverend Semikueva and Vesia Fa’atoafe from Moata’a.
Reverend Semikueva and Vesia Fa’atoafe from Moata’a.
 ENJOYING THE VIEW- Tuimaugaoali’I Kazumasa Shibuta and  Kyoko Shibuta
ENJOYING THE VIEW- Tuimaugaoali’I Kazumasa Shibuta and Kyoko Shibuta
From left to right- Leulua’iali’I Ma’anaima, Seiuli Vaifou Temese, Tuiletufuga Siaosi Tuiletufuga, Fainu’ulelei Filipo Sa’ena, Leanata’I Victor Tamapua and Henrietta Tamapua
From left to right- Leulua’iali’I Ma’anaima, Seiuli Vaifou Temese, Tuiletufuga Siaosi Tuiletufuga, Fainu’ulelei Filipo Sa’ena, Leanata’I Victor Tamapua and Henrietta Tamapua
Asenati Tupa’i, Iliganoa Sapolu, Malama Sio and Leiataualesa Lavea.
Asenati Tupa’i, Iliganoa Sapolu, Malama Sio and Leiataualesa Lavea.
 Seuseu Esera, Nathan Bucknall and Reverend Vaueli Sanerivi.
Seuseu Esera, Nathan Bucknall and Reverend Vaueli Sanerivi.
The smiling faces of the Taumeasina Employees- Los Angeles Tuvale and Latoya Filifilia Iosefa
The smiling faces of the Taumeasina Employees- Los Angeles Tuvale and Latoya Filifilia Iosefa
Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa and Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil (at the back)
Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa and Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil (at the back)
S.T.A family
S.T.A family

Tuilaepa said the plan to turn the island into what it is today started more than forty years ago. 

“My earlier reference to a piece of heaven on earth was not accidental or coincidental because it has taken more than forty years to find a partner to develop this island,” he said.  “We are thankful that Taumeasina has finally found the right partner to restore her to her full beauty as most of the people of these villages within her vicinity know of the legend of the beautiful lady that carried the name, Taumeasina.  

Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa and Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil (at the back)

Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa and Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil (at the back)

“Tourism’s impact on the economical and social development of our country is significant. This is seen in the sector’s ability to attract investments and contribute to the creation of jobs for our people.”

Nathan Bucknall, the General Manager of the Taumeasina Island Resort, spoke on behalf of Mr. Constantinou, the Lamana Group and everyone at Taumeasina, to thank the guests for joining them in celebrating a great milestone. 

“As we open our doors to the world, we want to thank the government of Samoa, our partners and shareholders, who have helped us, make this dream possible,” he said.

S.T.A family

S.T.A family

Mr. Bucknall thanked Prime Minister Tuilaepa for his continuous push and desire to develop the tourism market in Samoa. He also thanked Papali’i Sonja Hunter and Misa Telefoni on behalf of Mr. Constatinou, for they were the once who brought him to Samoa in 2010 and introduced him to the island of Taumeasina. 

“From the moment he saw it, he wanted this site to develop and that vision and dream has turned into this beautiful resort we have now.”

Taumeasina has opened doors for job opportunities for the people of Samoa, said Mr. Bucknall.   “During the construction of this project, we have employed more than four hundred people, and now that the resort is opened, there are 180 full-time jobs created.”

Moreover, the Taumeasina Island Resort an example of Pacific partnership, and will be an enduring testament to the strong bond between Samoa and P.N.G.

 “For forty-five years now, the people of Samoa have heard of the development plans of this island. Tonight, that development has become a reality and I am humble to announce that the Taumeasina Island Resort is officially open for the public. A resort built by Samoans, for Samoans.”

Taumeasina Island Resort offers three restaurants, two bars, a state of the art fully equipped gym and a luxurious spa featuring a selection of indulgent treatments using local and international beauty products. The resort’s dining restaurant is named after the legend of Sina and the Eel, and offers quality, organic, locally produced ingredients. 

Asenati Tupa’i, Iliganoa Sapolu, Malama Sio and Leiataualesa Lavea.

Asenati Tupa’i, Iliganoa Sapolu, Malama Sio and Leiataualesa Lavea.

Taumeasina offers a modern and luxurious Ocean View hotel rooms or self contained Waterfront Villas to accommodate all types of discerning traveler.

Located on an island with just five minutes drive from Apia the Taumeasina Island Resort offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the scenic mountains of Upolu from every vantage point on the island.   The opening of Taumeasina will compliment other major tourism properties in Samoa, giving tourists more choices. 

 Seuseu Esera, Nathan Bucknall and Reverend Vaueli Sanerivi.

Seuseu Esera, Nathan Bucknall and Reverend Vaueli Sanerivi.

These properties include Hotel Tanoa Tusitala, Sinalei Reef Resort, Aga Resort as well as the recently opened 5 Star 200 Room Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel and Bungalows. Owned by the Grey Investment Group who now have five Major Resorts in French Polynesia and the two Samoan Hotels . 

The celebration on Friday ended with entertainment provided by Seiuli Allan Alo and his dance group. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

Developed by Samoa Observer in Apia