By Greg Terrill
Serah’s Lagoon Hideaway, about 40 mins south of Auki in the Lenga Lenga lagoon, is superb. Serah is an entrepreneurial local woman with excellent English, a delight to deal with.
Our accommodation was four beds in a leaf hut over the water. It was spotless as a leaf hut can be, and Serah or Jessie would sweep it and the surrounding gardens several times a day to keep them that way. There was a generous verandah looking west over the lagoon, with wonderful views of the languid sunsets. At night they would hang a small lantern from the railing to light the hut – there is otherwise 12V electricity in the eating area and (also very clean) shower/toilet.
We ate, played cards and read with the kids around a large table in another shelter, also over the water. If lobster, squid and fish is to your taste, the menu will delight! It was better than anything we have eaten so far in our short time in the Solomons. Our daughter now – for the first time in her life – declares she likes pumpkin, and our son has developed a taste for squid. I had never previously eaten lobster three nights in a row…
The hideaway normally accommodates 4 in one house, and 2 in another, but can sleep around 16 if Serah and Jessie both leave their houses and stay nearby. The five or so buildings are built on the Lenga Lenga lagoon’s traditional artificial coral islands (ask Serah her story about how they came to be).
Serah can organise cultural events – pan flute playing, shell money making, and more. We asked to see the shell money making. From bow and arrow type drills (with stone tips on the bits), to chipping shells into ever smaller shapes, to changing the colours over hot stones, a group of locals showed us the extraordinary process. And then sold us some excellent value samples…
The snorkelling was reasonable, but don’t make it the reason for your visit. The water more generally was lovely, and Serah found some canoes for us to explore the lagoon.
Serah can be contacted on 7472344. To get to Auki we caught the 360 (it leaves 9am on Saturday morning, and the office is a door or two down from Lime Lounge), and the Daylight to return (we bought tickets on board). There are other boat options, depending on when you want to travel. Serah collected us at Auki wharf and came with us along the lagoon to her hideaway.
It cost us S$300 per adult for food, and the same for accommodation, per day. Kids half price. We will be back!