Advice on Choosing a Lodge in Tonga
If you don’t want to stay in a busy hotel in a town or would rather stay somewhere cheaper than a resort, then staying in a lodge could be the answer. The term “lodge” is used quite loosely in Tonga, so you don’t know what type of accommodation you’re getting if solely going off the name. Nevertheless, this guide aims to help you choose the right lodge in Tonga for you.
Quick Things You Need to Know About Staying in a Lodge in Tonga
- “Lodge” is a vague accommodation which doesn’t tell you much about an accommodation in Tonga, but are either similar to bed & breakfasts or are separate unit accommodation with a central communal area
- Accommodations in Tonga, including lodges, are known for changing some of its services without updating listings online, in brochures, etc. With that in mind, be aware that some facilities, like air-conditioning, breakfast and WiFi, are not always available even if stated that they are
- Speaking of WiFi, if a lodge says it has WiFi, it usually means in the communal areas only.
What are the Types of Lodges in Tonga?
As we’ve briefly touched on, “lodge” is a rather vague term when it comes to describing accommodation in Tonga. However, it typically fits into one of two types of accommodation…
… A Bed & Breakfast-style Accommodation
One type of accommodation a lodge can refer to in Tonga is something similar to a bed & breakfast or a guesthouse. Lodges in this sense are usually large former-family homes with separate private guest rooms and communal areas, such as a lounge, kitchen and bathrooms. Most lodges will have ensuite bathrooms.
… Or a Unit-style Accommodation
Some lodges in Tonga have separate free-standing units for guests to stay in. There will then be a communal block for bathrooms, a kitchen or restaurant and a lounge. Some units may have self-contained facilities, such as a kitchen and ensuite bathroom.
Get an example of the different types of lodges available in Tonga in the 10 Best Lodges in Tonga.
Location, How to Get There and What is Nearby?
Once you know what type of lodge you are looking for, it’s best to see what lodges are available in your chosen island group. There are lodges in Tongatapu, ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u.
Location and How to Get There
In Tongatapu, most lodges are in Nuku’alofa close to restaurants, tours and services. However, there are accommodations like the Heilala Holiday Lodge that are on Ha’atafu Beach that have their own restaurant and a beachfront location. See your options for getting around Tongatapu here.
The island of ‘Eua and the group of Ha’apai have limited lodge options, but what they do have are in attractive waterfront locations that are easy to get to from the islands’ airport and wharf. Check out transport options for ‘Eua here and transport for Ha’apai here.
In Vava’u, there are some bed & breakfast-style lodges in the town of Neiafu, which have easy connections from the airport and wharf. Learn about getting to and around Vava’u in this guide.
What is Nearby?
For lodge in Tonga’s main towns, like Nuku’alofa and Neiafu, you’ll be nearby essential shops, services and restaurants. Lodges in more remote areas often provide their own activities and options for dining, such as Matafonua Lodge in Ha’apai, Heilala Holiday Lodge in Tongatapu and ‘Ovava Tree Lodge in ‘Eua. Nevertheless, it’s good to compare what is nearby if you prefer to be close to specific attractions and service.
Price and Inclusions
Inclusions at your lodge can make the difference between simply a bed for the night and a complete holiday experience. Of course, usually, the more inclusions and “luxurious” a lodge has, the more expensive the nightly rates are, so all of this needs to be weighed up when determining the value of accommodation.
How Much Does a Night at a Lodge Cost?
Lodge nightly rates vary depending on what type of lodge it is, its location and its inclusions.
A bed & breakfast-style lodge in Nuku’alofa or Neiafu costs between TOP$50 for a single room in a budget lodge to TOP$250 for a double room in a four-star lodge.
A unit-style lodge outside of the towns costs between TOP$130 and TOP$280 for a private unit for two.
Compare prices on websites like Booking.com to find a lodge that suits your budget.
A lodge accommodation might seem expensive at first glance, but if it includes most of the activities you want and has, for instance, breakfast included, then it might weigh up to be good value. On the other side, you don’t want to be paying extra for services you’re not going to use.
Typical facilities and services in lodge accommodation include:
- Car parking
- Insect screened windows or a mosquito net
- Fan or air-conditioning
- Kitchen facilities or a restaurant (or both)
- Tea/coffee-making facilities
Additional facilities to look out for include:
- Airport transfers
- Watersports rental
- Bike rental
- Washing machine
- Free breakfast
- In-house tours and activities (like fishing, whale tours, etc.)