Rainmaker Hotel

While the views upon waking of Rainmaker Mountain across Pago Harbor are quite spectacular, an evening spent on a sagging mattress in the run-down, smelly Rainmaker Hotel in Pago Pago American Samoa is simply not worth it (nor is the generally appalling smell of the harbor if the wind is blowing just right from the tuna canneries). Add to the ambiance, a “groundskeeper” patrolling along the hotel beach for flotsam comprised of a seemingly endless supply of plastic bottles and you’ve got a paradise gone astray. The scary part is that this is THE luxury hotel in town. American Samoa is not known as a tourist destination for a reason.

All this being said, in fairness there are some spectacular locations on the main island of Tutuila (esp. @ the NOAA observatory on the eastern tip of the island). Also ask how to get to Sliding Rock with it’s deep, crystal clear tidal pools and blow holes as well as Palagi Beach at the western end of the main island.

If you want to REALLY get away from it all, I DO suggest a trip to the outer Manu’a islands (via puddle jumper). Stay at the Va’oto Lodge on Ofu Island. Very basic but very relaxing with one of the most spectacular beaches in the world right outside the front door.