23 Jul The Best and Worst Public Restrooms in Samoa

atoilet

These lists are in no particular order.

The Good

1. Paddles Café/Restaurant, Matautu

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper. Flowers. Greenery. Working door locks. Bonus points for beautiful décor and color scheme.

Based on 5x dining there over the last 5 months.

2. Faleolo International Airport

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper. Flowers. Working door locks. Bonus points for pleasant and industrious attendants/cleaners who are always in there checking on upkeep every time I’ve been there. Bonus exclamation marks for the amazing transformation because the airport used to have smelly awful restrooms.

Based on too many trips overseas in the last 5 months.

3. Tafatafa Beach Fale’s.

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper. Working door locks. Showers. Mosquitoes esp at night but hey, it’s a beach, what do you expect. Bonus points for mirrors! In a restroom at a faraway beach fale operation!

Based on 2x day trips there and 1x overnight camp in the last 5 months.

4. Maninoa Beach Fale’s.

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper. Working door locks. Showers. Great water pressure. Bonus points for a stunning mosaic tile pattern and pretty windows.

Based on 6x day trips there  in the last 5 months.

5. Krush Café, Tanugamanono

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper. Working door locks. Flowers. Bonus points for  beautiful décor. And their liquid handsoap smells really really good.

Based on manyX  in the last 2 months.

6. Plantation House, Alafua

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper. Okay door lock. Flowers. Greenery. Bonus points for stunningly beautiful décor. Bonus hi-five for the proprietor who’s very hospitable and will let you use the facilities even if you show up out of the blue and don’t buy anything. (Full disclosure – she’s my mother, but I’m pretty sure she’ll let you use the bathroom even if you’re not her kid.)

7. Amanaki Restaurant/Bar, Sogi

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper. Flowers. Okay door lock.

Based on many x over the last 5 months.

8. Seafood Gourmet, Matautu

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper.

Based on friend’s recommendation. Gold star ranked for consistency over many years.

9. Sails Restaurant, Mulinu’u

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper.

Based on many x over the last 5 months.

10. Giordanno’s Pizza, Moto’otua

Top ratings for consistently clean. Soap. Toilet paper. Flowers. Bonus points for beautiful décor.

Based on  2x over the last 5 months. Also see comments.

11. Mormon (LDS) Chapels, Everywhere.

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper. I concede I haven’t been to every Mormon chapel everywhere in Samoa but the ones I have stopped in, even in the rural areas are decent. If you’re out and about on the island and there are church people in a chapel, they will (probably) be nice about letting you in to use the bathroom. However, the toilet stalls in the LDS Pesega Gym have a tendency to lock jam and then your kid gets trapped inside and cries for help. (Based on Bella’s personal experience…)

12. Burger Bill’s, Vaitele

Clean. Toilet paper. Soap. Working door locks. Bonus points for attractive décor. Rather odd set-up where you enter one communal door and have to pass by the men’s toilets to get to the women’s. They’re separate facilities but I do worry about my daughters going to the restroom with this kind of set-up.

13. Mari’s Bakehouse, Tamaligi

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper. Working door locks. Flowers. Special mention or consistency.

Based on comments/contributors.

14. E & T Café, Savalalo

Clean. Toilet paper. Soap. Working door locks. Flowers.

Based on comments/contributors

15.  NPF Plaza Upstairs, next to Leon’s Restaurant

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper. Working door locks.

Based on comments/contributors

16. Tanoa Hotel Reception, Sogi

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper. Working door locks. (Maybe smile really nicely at the desk receptionist and they’ll let you pop in and use the facilities?)

Based on comments/contributors

17. Manamea Hotel Reception, Vailima

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper. Working door locks. Flowers, Greenery. Bonus points for beautiful décor and ambience.

Based on comments/contributors

18. Milani Café, Apia

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper. Working door locks.

Based on 1x breakfast visit in the last month.

19. Pacific Jewell Café, Levili

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper. Working door locks. Flowers. Greenery. Bonus points for being “the cutest outdoor toilet ever” with lovely garden setting.

Based on comments/contributors

20. The Office Café, Apia

Clean. Soap. Toilet paper. Working door locks. Bonus points for abundant pump soap and pleasant décor.

Based on comments/contributors

**************************************

The Okay. But Can Do Better.

1. Apollo Cinemas, Apia

Reasonably clean – bearable. Often no toilet paper so take your own paper napkins. The door doesn’t lock on one of the stalls. Sometimes soap.

Based on many x over the last 5 months.

2. McDonalds, Apia

Kind of clean in appearance – but often smelly. (Hold your breath?) Toilet paper. Soap. Working door locks. Sad minus points for the decline in standards because McDonalds used to be our go-to toilet in town, always clean and sparkly. But not anymore.

Based on friend’s recommendation.

3. The Hospital, Moto’otua.

Recent renovations and new additions to the hospital complex have clean and well-stocked restrooms. Thank goodness because the hospital used to be infamous for it’s disgusting facilities (no toilet paper, missing doors on stalls, horrible stench AND meandering livestock and canines. See comments.) The new hospital buildings have lovely restrooms BUT sources advise there’s something wrong with the plumbing and so not only is there an unpleasant odour in certain sections of the hospital, but also the pipes keep getting blocked. In one ward, a security guard will inform new visitors and patients every morning that they are not to flush used toilet paper but place it in the rubbish bins provided. Because of pitiful pipes.

Hence the OKAY rating. Hopefully they get their system sorted soon.

 *****************************************

The Disgusting

1. Tang Cheng Restaurant, Vaimea

Dirty. Broken tiles and filthy toilet. No toilet paper. No soap. Awful stench made even worse by the large rubbish bin INSIDE the actual toilet stall  which is filled with kitchen refuse. Yes, that’s right, the kitchen staff are storing their rotten food trash IN THE BATHROOM. Sad minus points because I really liked their food and now I’ve seen their restroom, I will never eat there again.

Based on dining there last week.

2. Samoa Visitor’s Bureau Fale Restrooms, Apia

Dirty. Smelly. No toilet paper. No soap. Minus points for being so dismal when they should be setting a good example for anyone involved in the hospitality industry. This is based on a visit there over 8 months ago so I’m hoping it’s improved since then. Someone please go there and let us know!

3. Public Toilets, Flea market, Apia

Vomit-inducing filth. The kind that makes you think of the bubonic plague. Don’t go there. Ever. HOWEVER, I’m relying totally on horror stories from others for this recommendation so if the facilities have undergone miraculous changes then please let us know so we can change this listing.

Based on friends recommendations.

*********************************

* Disclaimer 1 – These are by no means exhaustive lists. Nor are they set in stone. As a friend (who used to work in the Min of Health and was overseeing health inspections in local restaurants) noted, consistency is often a problem, ie. one week the bathrooms will be clean and the next week they’re disgusting. So please don’t sue me if you visit a restroom on this list and it doesn’t match up to my rating. Likewise, if you’ve visited one of these restrooms lately and it’s beautifully clean, comment below so we can make a note.

* Disclaimer 2 – I’m not a hygiene specialist, neither am I employing any scientific methodology for rating a restroom. I’m simply a person who notices stuff and who thinks a decent bathroom is a necessity of life. Especially when you have five kids who will need to “GO” at the most inopportune moments. Your standards for a ‘good’ restroom may be very different from mine.  (See Disclaimer 4.)

* Disclaimer 3 – Obviously, my recommendations are based only on the Women’s restroom facilities. I haven’t been snooping into any Men’s bathrooms when we go places. So my observations could only be half the big picture.

* Disclaimer 4 – I’m a woman and so my expectations for a restroom may be different from a male perspective. A man can stand in place, flip it out and empty his waterworks. No part of his anatomy has to touch any part of the public restroom. A woman has to sit down to do what she’s gotta do, EVERY TIME, and so her need for a toilet to be CLEAN and sanitized is greater. A man often doesn’t require toilet paper. Or even a working flushing toilet. Not so for a woman, especially at certain times of the month. Which is why we also require trash cans in our restrooms for the correct disposal of various sanitary products.

I have yet to go to a restroom in Samoa that has a Parent’s Room for changing babies etc, and so most of us with infants also need extra clean spaces in our restrooms for this. It’s virtually impossible to take a toddler into a bathroom and NOT have him touch something. Or stick his hands in his mouth. Or (ugh) lick/bite the benchtop. All reasons why my assessment of a restroom’s hygiene, could differ from yours.

*Disclaimer 5 – Why in heck am I blogging about this? The lists came about as a result of a Facebook conversation all about the dreary and dreadful state of Samoa’s restrooms, and how the condition of a business’ facilities is a good indicator for what kind of standards they have for their kitchen and food preparation. If a restaurant/café/hotel has filthy restrooms, then one must face the very real probability that their kitchen is nasty also. If there’s a resource like this available in Samoa, then not only will we know where to GO when we’re out and  one needs to GO, but also, perhaps it will encourage businesses to up their restroom game. And be as vigilant in their kitchens – because we the customer care about this stuff and pay attention to it.

And then SHARE it.

*Please submit your votes and suggestions for this list so we can compile a (hopefully) helpful resource for visitors AND locals.

15 Comments
  • Leata Alaimoana-Roberts
    Reply

    Great work initiating this list! Here’s some suggestions in addition to already listed based on personal experience in the last 3 months:
    – Maris Bakehouse, tamaligi: only one bathroom but it is very clean, flowers, good lock.

    – Tanoa hotel reception, hey if your at the market and need to go! Pull up and use the one opposite reception or by the bar. Clean, soap and lockable doors

    – E&T cafe, savalalo: good bathroom clean, has flowers, soap

    – NPF plaza upstairs next to Leon’s restuarant: clean, soap, lockable doors

    – if your heading back from kua on cross island road and need to go the first stop en route apia with great bathroom is Manamea Hotel @ Vailima, clean, soap, flowers the decor is great etc just on the left past reception

    July 23, 2014 at 4:52 am
  • Michael Figgins
    Reply

    The worst bathrooms I visited were in the public hospitals. No TP, soap or stall doors. The chickens were a added bonus.

    July 23, 2014 at 5:34 am
  • Patty
    Reply

    The Office Cafe, awesome toilet always smells good, always clean , has pump soap and cafe is air conditioned .

    Pacific Jewel shop and Cafe as the cutest little outdoor toilet , clean, soap, always has toilet paper, live plants and decor.

    Giordanos, one if the top ones for cleanliness .

    July 23, 2014 at 6:51 am
  • Beka
    Reply

    It would’ve been nice if there is a baby changing table or area, that’s one thing I find hard the last time we were home is no place to change my baby’s nappy in the toilets.

    July 23, 2014 at 7:39 am
  • LOL!!! This is awesome Lani!
    Sharing is caring 🙂

    July 23, 2014 at 8:36 am
  • well done Lani its something that always bothers me when I leave home.

    July 23, 2014 at 9:28 am
  • Caroline Bartley
    Reply

    Is there any general ‘public’ loos in town? They (The Govt) need to provide some especially to try and keep the tourists (especially the cruise ship tourists) in the town centre longer.

    July 23, 2014 at 9:38 am
  • Michael Figgins
    Reply

    Maybe you can get them to add your findings to this app. https://www.sitorsquat.com/

    July 23, 2014 at 11:43 am
  • anon
    Reply

    SNPF Plaza has a parents room and a toilet for people with disabilities downstairs. It’s clean and hygienic, the only problem is that you have to hunt down the security guard who has the key to come open it. good luck with that!
    It would be good if they could keep it open throughout the day so customers could use them.
    The Bays at Lotopa also has a clean toilet with flowers and cute little knick knacks.

    Agree on Tang Chen absolutely disgusting. Someone should pass this list on to them.
    Mr. Burger has decent facilities clean & tidy.

    August 19, 2014 at 3:32 am

Post a Comment