11 Oct 2013

Tsunami-ravaged resort turns fortunes around to win international award

6:32 am on 11 October 2013

The Seabreeze resort in Samoa has won the award for Samoa's leading hotel at the World Travel Awards in Dubai.

The resort, on the south coast of the country's main island of Upolu, was badly damaged in the 2009 Pacific tsunami, with its restaurant completely washed out to sea, and owners Chris and Wendy Booth lucky to survive.

The hotel was the last in Samoa to reopen after a long battle with insurers and extensive rebuilding.

In August, it won "Best innovative design and technique" in the New Zealand Restaurant Challenge, and was voted on Trip Advisor this year in the Top 10 Hotels for Romance in the South Pacific.

Chris Booth says it's all due to hard work.

"We just put our head down and worked. We knew we had a lovely product, much improved from the one we had before the tsunami. We were proud of what we constructed, we were very confident with our dealings with people - guests, wholesalers, travel agents, whoever it is, we're proud of the way we deal with them."

Chris Booth of Samoa's Seabreeze Resort.