Advice on Choosing Eco-Friendly Accommodation in Tonga
Having a low impact when we travel is something more and more of us have on our minds, especially when travelling in the South Pacific, often dubbed as being on the frontline of climate change. Plenty of resorts, holiday homes and beach huts in Tonga show us that we can live a minimalistic yet beautiful lifestyle with eco-policies of renewable energy, rainwater collection, composting toilets, etc. while offering unique chances to interact with the wildlife we wish to protect, such as seabirds, coral reefs and, of course, Humpback Whales. So, learn more about choosing an eco-stay in Tonga in the guide below.
Quick Things You Need to Know About Staying in Eco-Accommodation in Tonga
- All of Tonga’s eco-resorts are on remote islands, so be prepared to be away from essential shops and services
- There are other low-impact (and cheaper) accommodations options, such as renewable-energy holiday homes in Tongatapu and basic beach huts in Ha’apai
- Consider other methods of having a low impact on your visit to Tonga, as suggested in How to Have an Eco-Friendly Holiday in Tonga.
Types (and Cost) of Eco-Stays in Tonga
What type of accommodation can you stay in in Tonga without making too much of an environmental impact? Eco-resorts are becoming increasingly popular, providing a complete island getaway experience with modern amenities and luxuries presented in a low-impact way. But much to the annoyance of those who us who try to pick the most eco-friendly options, this means that these resorts tend to be the most expensive. Nevertheless, eco-friendly holiday homes and beach huts with less luxuries offer a cheaper alternative.
Eco resorts are resort-style accommodation which implements an eco-friendly policy through using renewable energy and other environmentally-friendly features like composting toilets, serving locally-sourced meals, etc. Resorts offer accommodation, food and activities, usually in idyllic locations such as uninhabited islands with beaches. Eco-resorts range from TOP$300-$600 per night for a room.
Eco-Friendly Holiday Homes & Beach Huts
There are a few low-impact holiday home and beach hut accommodations throughout Tonga, such as the Green Lodge Holiday Homes in Tongatapu using only renewable energy and Captain Cook’s Hideaway in Ha’apai using, well, no energy. This type of accommodation is a much more affordable way to lower your environmental impact while in Tonga, costing between TOP$30 to $180 per night.
Location, How to Get There and What is Nearby?
Of course, a major consideration is where the eco-stay is located. The Green Lodge Holiday Homes in Tongatapu is just about the only eco-accommodation nearby essential shops and services. All of the other eco-stays in Tonga are on uninhabited islands, far from any shops, so finding a place “near” essentials is often a non-factor of choosing an eco-stay.
With that in mind, choosing a location for an eco-stay in Tonga should be more focussed on what island group you would prefer to visit. Tonga’s eco-resorts are only located in Ha’apai and Vava’u, so check out what these islands have to offer in The Complete Guide to Ha’apai and The Complete Guide to Vava’u.
All of Tonga’s eco-resorts offer boat transfers to their islands, as well as airport/wharf transfers. You may want to compare the cost of these services between the resorts if you are on a budget.
As for what is nearby, eco-resorts don’t tend to have much nearby other than stunning beaches and islands. They essentially provide their own entertainment, such as whale swimming tours, snorkelling, island and village tours, scuba diving and more, so you might want to compare what experiences they offer to complete your desired holiday experience.
What’s Included in Your Stay?
We all have different needs which require different amenities. Where an eco-resort’s shared meals of set menus with other guests sound kind of cool to some, others might prefer to still dine from a resort menu and have some alone time, for instance. Furthermore, the type of eco-policy they have may be of importance, as some eco-conscious travellers may think that simply using renewable energy is not enough when there are other resorts using composting toilets, promoting recycling and more.
We’ve also touched on the activities available at the resort, but you still should compare the experiences and their associated prices so you are able to stick to your budget while having the holiday you envisioned.
Finally, some eco-friendly resorts have compulsory meal plans with set menus, while others have restaurants with more choice. Eco-friendly holiday homes and beach huts have self-catering facilities, so consider what is your preferred style of eating when comparing eco-resorts.