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 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.
And what do lodges in Tonga look like? Take a look at the 10 Best Lodges in Tonga to get a good idea.
5 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. In most cases, they 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 their 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
- Not all lodges accept card payments, so be sure to have enough cash or inquire about payment methods before booking
- Accommodation standards are a little lower than what you might be used to, as Tonga is a developing country.
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. Learn more about guesthouses in How to Choose the Best Guesthouse in Tonga for You.
… Or a Unit-Style Accommodation
Some lodges in Tonga have separate free-standing units for guests to stay in. There may then be a communal block for bathrooms, a kitchen or restaurant and a lounge. Some units may have self-contained facilities, such as cooking facilities and ensuite bathrooms.
Get an example of the different types of lodges available in Tonga in the 10 Best Lodges in Tonga.
Accommodation Standards in Tonga
It’s important to set a few expectations straight before checking into your lodge in Tonga. Tonga is a developing country with a younger tourism industry and, in turn, less expertise than some of the more developed tourist hubs of the South Pacific. Some accommodations can be pretty basic, and not all of your usual facilities are provided, such as towels, toiletries, tea/coffee or even hot water. Tonga is more basic, so it is best to keep an open mind (and bring a travel towel).
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 on Tongatapu, ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u.
Location and How to Get There
The lodges on ‘Eua are guesthouse-style accommodations with a selection of guest rooms and communal rooms. Lodges are based in the island’s central villages. Learn more about getting there in the 5 Ways to Get to (& Around) ‘Eua.
The island group of Ha’apai have limited lodge options, but the one they do have is in attractive waterfront locations that are easy to get to from the islands’ airport and wharf. Check out transport for Ha’apai in the 5 Ways to Get to (& Around) Ha’apai.
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 the island group in the 10 Ways to Get to (& Around) Vava’u.
What is Nearby?
For lodges in Tonga’s main towns, like Nuku’alofa and Neiafu, you’ll be near 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. Whichever way, it’s good to compare what is nearby if you prefer to be close to specific attractions and services.
Check out the links below on where are accommodations are located and what’s nearby:
Lodge Prices 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 “luxuries” 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, ‘Eua or Neiafu costs between TOP$90 for a single room in a budget lodge to TOP$380 for a double ocean-view room in a four-star lodge.
A unit-style lodge outside of the towns or at resort-style accommodations costs between TOP$150 and TOP$250 for a private unit for two. Expect to sometimes pay an extra TOP$40-$50 per extra person.
Compare prices on websites like Booking.com to find a lodge that suits your budget. For more typical costs, check out Tonga Travel Budget: How Much Does a Trip to Tonga Cost?
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
- Insects-screened windows or a mosquito net
- Fan or air-conditioning
- Kitchen facilities or a restaurant (or both)
- Tea/coffee-making facilities
- Hot water
- Shared bathrooms
Additional facilities to look out for include:
- Airport transfers
- Watersports rental
- Bike rental
- Washing machine/laundry services
- Free breakfast
- Ensuite bathrooms
- Drinking water
- In-house tours and activities (like fishing, whale tours, etc.)
More on How to Choose a Lodge in Tonga
That’s it for how to choose a lodge in Tonga. If you need more advice, how about tips from our other accommodation selection guides?
- How to Pick the Best Budget Accommodation in Tonga
- How to Pick the Best Resort in Tonga
- How to Pick the Best Family-Friendly Accommodation in Tonga
- How to Pick the Best Foodie Accommodation in Tonga
- How to Pick the Best Guesthouse in Tonga
- How to Pick the Best Backpacker Accommodation in Tonga
Now with a bit of research behind you, you can start selecting the perfect lodge for you with Where to Stay in Tonga: The Best Accommodations in Tonga.