Serah’s Hideaway is a smol but lovely lodge smack dab in the middle of Langa Langa Lagoon, Malaita.
Langa Langa Lagoon, or “Triple L” as no one ever calls it, is a lagoon just out of Auki, Malaita province. This lagoon is home to the Langa Langa people who in time blo bifoa were driven from their homes on the mainland by headhunters. Instead of relocating to another solid piece of land, they were like…
Really, they actually did (sans blackjack and hookers).
These artificial islands were built on the reefs of the lagoon one rock at a time until they were big enough to build a house and then a community on top of.
Langa Langa Lagoon is dotted with hundreds of these amazing handbuilt artificial islands and the people of Langa Langa continue to build them to this day.
Serah Kei’s island is one of these. “I told my father, I want something to own for myself,” and so she picked herself a spot and started piling rocks on it. When she wasn’t building her island she was making shell money to pay for it. A decade later and she’s running a lodge on her very own island.
Maintaining a rock island is no easy feat, “every day I’m fixing something.”
Not only is Serah fix-it lady, she is front of house, head chef, head waitress, reservations agent, cultural guide, and boatwoman. It wasn’t until we asked to see the shell money being made did we see anyone else other Serah and ourselves. This amazing woman does everything!
Recently, two new Swiss-chalet looking bungalows have been added. They are simple and modern, clean and breezy.
The only way to get to Serah’s Lodge from mainland Malaita is by boat. In the middle of a turquoise lagoon surrounded by a whole lot of nothing much else it’s best to take all your entertainment and snacks because the nearest shop is another boat ride away.
Luckily Serah is an excellent cook and kept us well fed on lokal kaikai tweaked for the foreign palette. Fresh too, Serah buys her fish fresh and we found her plucking our chicken dinner out the back one afternoon.
There is a reef at the front of the lodge for some snorkelling where we saw a couply fish and staka squid. Every now and then someone would row past in their boat and we could wave to each other. Probably off to get snacks.
Serah does arrange some cultural shows including Shell Money Making and a Bride Price Ceremony. If you can’t do both, pick the Shell Money Making as Langa Langa Lagoon is where all shell money in the Solomon Islands is made.
We had such a wonderful stay that we’re telling all our frens who are looking for a quiet weekend out of Honiara. Serah is an excellent host, and the accommodation is comfortable. If you’re in Auki for a business trip, be smart and tack on a few extra days for a short visit to Serah’s Lodge.
There are two over the water bungalows that can accommodate four people each. There are also the original bungalows which are also available to stay in although they are not as new. Expect to pay around SBD 250 per person for the older bungalows, and SBD 300-500 per person for the new ones.
To get to Serah’s Lodge you’ll need to get to Auki in Malaita Province. Honestly, there isn’t much to do in Auki but their market gets props for being 3x cleaner than Honiara Central market and the fish n chip shop in front serves their fish n chips with chilli sauce (rare).
If you fly in, it’s a 30-minute flight from Honiara to Auki, Malaita. From the airport, it’s a 30-minute drive to get to Auki town.
For the authentic experience that’ll only set you back SBD 250ish per one way trip, you can also ferry to Auki on the Fair Lady or Pelican Express. It is prudent to note that many an eager traveller has been turned away because of broken engines and an array of mechanical faults (no there isn’t a schedule available online, you will need to visit the ferry ofis or give them a call). The ferry will take between 4-8 hours depending on which ferry you take and how well they fixed the engine since the last time it broke.
Serah will pick you up from Auki in her 15hp Mustang. 15hp is not an issue on flat seas inside her well-protected lagoon but can get wobbly when you’re driving in a storm, in particular, this storm.
Unlike most local resorts, Serah’s Hideaway has a facebook page. Woo. Nevermind that it hasn’t been updated in six months (much like this blog sometimes), but it’s probably the ‘hideaway’ part of the Serah’s Hideway business model.
Contact Serah at her Hideaway for prices and availability on 747 2344.