Guide to Finding Hotels in Tonga
Tourism in Tonga is still in its infancy so there's little wonder there are only a handful of luxury resorts. I could mention them all here, but that would take away the surprise. What I can say is that the quality offered when compared to the price you pay makes this style of luxury very affordable compared to many of its Pacific neighbours. Tonga is one of the most affordable South Pacific destinations to visit on holiday and there are a handful of affordable beach resorts on the main island of Tongatapu and the popular tourist island of Vavau. There are actually a lot more budget hotels in Tonga than most booking sites offer, but finding them online is a challenge, and communicating with them almost impossible.
Whilst there's not a great deal of accommodation in Tonga to choose from, those you'll find are small. The largest beach resort has just 20 rooms so you're never going to feel cramped. In fact, Tonga hotels are so laid back that you may not always find a staffed reception or a barman at the bar to serve you; and if you are taking a tour, the likelihood of departing on time is pretty low. So bring some patience, a sense of humour and this laid back approach to life may just rub off on you - for Tonga is all about relaxing - the Tongan way!
It shouldn't come as a surprise that there are no large brand hotels in Tonga. The largest hotel is in Nukualofa Town and has 120 rooms (the rather dilapidated International Dateline Hotel) ; Tonga is small player in tourism which is probably its greatest charm.
Almost all accommodation in Tonga falls under a boutique resort (apart from the town hotels). Most are in rural locations, often on a small island and with their own restaurants. Water sports and tours are generally arranged in-house so its very much a case of doing everything with the hosts you are staying with.
Tonga Hotel Search
Helping you select the perfect beach resorts in the Tonga islands from exclusive private island retreats for a honeymoon to budget huts for exploring
Tonga has just a couple of luxury resorts.
Tonga resorts offer great affordability.
Travelling on a budget? Look at these places.
Where to Stay in the Tonga Islands
The main island of Tongatapu is an interesting island to explore with important historical sites and a fascinating coastline littered with blow holes. There's only a couple of beach resorts, and these mostly for budget minded travellers, although there are a couple of comfortable lodges in Nuku'alofa Town that make a decent base if you're sightseeing. Offshore from the tiny capital town and strewn in a beautiful lagoon are lots of stunning uninhabited coral islands, two of which have small beach resorts making them a great holiday destination and easy to get to.
If you want more seclusion, then the Ha'apai Group is hard to beat. It's just 25-minutes flight north of Tongatapu, and apart from two small resorts (one luxury), there's little commercial activity - rather, it's a place where locals go about there day of fishing, planting and weaving. Slightly further north is Vava'u, the most commercial destination for hotels in Tonga. Surprisingly it's the furthest group of islands from the international airport (not counting the utterly remote Niuas). Tourists come here primarily for whale watching, but what the whales come for, its deep protected bays, also bring a fleet of other tourists: scuba divers, sailors and game fishing enthusiasts. The Vava'u Group is a world-beater for water sports - and it's main centre, Neiafu, is a lively town too in the peak season from June to October with plenty of waterfront restaurants and rowdy bars keeping its visitors occupied at night.