‘Smile’, a key to staying open: Le Lagoto Resort Manager

At a time when the tourism industry is facing numerous challenges triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, one resort manager is smiling the problems away.

Matai’a Seti Sa who is one of the only three employees remaining at Le Lagoto Resort in Savaii believes his guests are attracted to and stay at his resort because of his personality and his smile.

“Your smile is everything,” he said. “It can kill any burden the guest is coming with to your resort.

“Even if I feel and know that I am the grandfather of this resort, I try my best to smile all the time and you know what, I feel proud and get goosebumps whenever a guest shakes my hand and tips me off with at least a $50 all because of that smile.”

This gesture has worked for Seti even at a time when there has been a downturn in tourist numbers at the resort due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

“It’s your smile plus your personality, and you need to be active at all times to perform your service,” he said.

Seti was featured on the resort’s Facebook page in September 2021.

Guests spoke highly of his hospitality and smile.

Tom McGinnis

We very much enjoyed Seti Sa when we stayed at Le Lagoto in 2018 from Canada. He is a beautiful person. Hope life is treating you well and we hope to see you again some day. Nancy & Tom.

Shinead Seti

Will always remember your lovely smile Seti and your memories you shared with me of my dad & uncles growing up 

Sandcastle Bellevue

Malo Lava Seti .. keep doing what you love .. welcoming your guests .. i've never been to this place -- but this photo says it all .. so on my next trip to Savaii when i take my mum -- we'll definitely drop in --

Anele Siaopo

Awwh I remember him, always having great service with a smile! Nigel Siaopo gotta take the kids one day.

Uimaituamaali'i Lisa

I will never forget this beautiful man. He is such a pleasant and lovely gentleman with a radiant smile. So welcoming and helpful when my family and I stayed a few nights 

Sonya Treacy

Seti is the loveliest man. He has the most beautiful smile. I am so looking forward to going to Savaii again.

John Taimalelagi

Misia a lau smile na Seti, always welcome the guests with a smile on their faces. Keep up the good work.

Kelly Christiansen

Seti is a big part of why we've stayed at Le Lagoto 4 times! Hopefully we can make it back some time in the future to say hello again

Pati Start

Malo SETI, we visited in 2014 with wife and kids from Canada and I still remember his kindness. 

Piti Rasch

Seti use to be my English teacher at SJC and is a very helpful and generous person. Ofa atu Seti

Pepe A Loulanting

He's awesome, such a lovely human being, always smiling and so welcoming

Pisa F Tufuga

Can the Samoa Tourism use him at any of their customer service trainning? In my opinion Seti is an excellent example of what true customer service is….

Debbs Cox

Awww we miss seeing Seti. He taught my girls how to make sailboats out of napkins! Hope to you all again real soon when we can

Dean Robinson

We had our first kids free holiday Le Lagoto Resort & Spa and it was amazing. But the thing I remember more than anything else is the brilliant service from Seti, a true gentleman.

Speaking to the media during a tour of the tourism industry in Savaii, Seti suggested that students studying tourism at university level should undergo some industry training.

He said students should be allowed to observe at resorts, hotels and beach fales to learn and be trained about how to survive in the industry especially at such unprecedented times.

At Le Lagoto Resort at Fagamalo, only three employees were able to keep their jobs at the resort while of over fifty employees were laid due to the impact of Covid-19.

The closure of international borders and lockdown have kept a lot of visitors away.

Seti and his two other colleagues have had to wear double or triple hats to serve at the resort to be able to sustain and open their resort for the local guests.

The workers took pay cuts as well as reduced hotel rates to accommodate local tourists.


Photo supplied Caption: Matai’a Seti Sa, Le Lagoto Resort Manager   


Talaia Mika