It's about culture

It's about culture

Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort is making some changes in a bid to set itself apart from other beachfront resorts in Samoa, as witnessed by a group of agents and wedding planners on a recent wedding-focused famil to the island last week.
Sandeep Prasad, sales office manager for Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort, says they are doing some changes across the property, in an effort to bring some traditional Samoan cultural elements into the rooms and surrounds.
‘We are working hard on setting our property apart form our competitors. Samoan art and craft is very beautiful; we feel other properties don’t take advantage of that.

‘We want to represent more of the Samoan culture, which we don’t think many of the other resorts around the island are doing as much,’ he explains. The changes include some traditional Samoan artwork in the accommodation rooms, and brown and black painting of the poles that line the walkways.
‘You can’t get past Samoan artwork – it’s just beautiful.’
Prasad adds the restaurant is focusing on a Samoan-infused menu. ‘A lot of other places seem to want to do international trends – but we really want to get that Samoan flavor into our menu.’
Lusi Traill of Lifestyle Holidays, based in Newmarket, says the beach resort and the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows in Apia combine to make an ideal package to offer clients looking to experience both the city and beach atmospheres of Samoa.
‘It means they can experience the city, with the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum and the markets, but also have that beach wedding they are looking for. I mean, you’re not going to have a destination wedding in the islands and get married inside a ballroom or hall like in New Zealand, so having multiple options at the beach resort is super important, but you’ve also got this other option you can show them as well.’
Teuila Benioni, director of business development at Auckland-based wedding planners Wedding She Wrote, agrees, saying you can’t look past a beachfront resort for a destination wedding, and says the beach resort is appealing because of the variety it offers. ‘It doesn’t have just one location, like other properties. You could have drinks and canapés at the spa and then the ceremony on the beach and then cocktails on the pier and then a reception dinner in the Fairy Light Garden... it’s that kind of variety that makes it a stand out.’
Traill says when it comes to the destination wedding, client demands aren’t really changing that drastically. ‘Destination wedding packages are a standard offering and they are kept pretty simple. The good thing with having a relationship with the venues and hotels is that you can usually make some changes without too many hurdles. We tend to stick with the resort packages rather than using local suppliers because it’s a much smoother process for us, which gives the client peace of mind. And the teams at the resorts have been doing what they do for a long time so you be confident you’ll get a good result for the client.’

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