Friday, April 23, 2010

Samoa's Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa Rebuilds with Heart and Soul After Tsunami

Last September, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck the Pacific near American Samoa, creating a massive tsunami that thundered across Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. More than 170 lost their lives, among them, Tui Annandale, owner—together with her husband, Joe, head chief of the local District of Falealili—of the Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa. An exceptional woman, Tui left behind a rich legacy built on love, respect and kinship—it is this legacy that is now helping to rebuild not only this extraordinary resort, but also the community that surrounds it.

Located on the southern coast of Upolu Island, the resort and its environs were among the most badly damaged areas. Today, the Tsunami Relief Fund set up by the Annandale Family is helping to rebuild and restore the lives of the people of the District of Falealili. And within the resort, another miracle of recovery and reconstruction is occurring. Right before the tsunami hit, Sose Ananndale, general manager of the resort, had hired Ernst-Jan Broer, a 26-year-old chef prodigy with a resume of clients that reads like a “Who’s Who” of the Oscar crowd. After learning of the devastation, Broer and his wife (who had been tapped as Food & Beverage Manager) did what any self-respecting rockstar staffers would do: they packed their bags and took the first plane out to Samoa, where they rolled up their sleeves and have been working pro bono ever since.

“After the disarray over the last few months, our general conditions left much to be desired,” said Sose Annandale. “Ernst and Pim’s determination and skill have pulled them through this challenge. The both have a flare of high standards that we are very excited about and look forward to putting into practice. I am happy to say, things are finally beginning to take shape.”
Samoa’s premiere luxury property, Sinalei has welcomed world leaders like Australian Prime Minister John Howard plus stars such as Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. The resort is famous for its luxurious fales (open-air beach bungalows), indulgent spa and exquisite service. Currently the team is hard at work to restore the property to its former first-class status. Construction is almost complete for the Ava I Toga Restaurant, plus a pier and a new purpose-built spa on the beach front.

The Presidential Suite was completed in February and is looking stunning. The Beach Side Fales are still underway and once finished will be air conditioned and completely revamped. The Resort is on the brink of reopening. Still Smiling, still beautiful and still Samoa’s premier luxury Resort.

Bookings are now being accepted for guests arriving on or after April 1, 2010 through their website at or by contacting


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