How to Pick the Best Resort in Tonga for You©
How to Pick the Best Resort in Tonga for You

How to Choose the Best Resort in Tonga for You


Advice on Choosing a Resort in Tonga

The dream of travelling to some far-flung islands in the South Pacific starts with browsing the resorts. Tonga is an island nation of boutique resorts that don’t pretend to be anything that they are not. They don’t try to be “flashy” but blend in with their natural surroundings, where being nestled in coconut palms on a white sandy beach is the standard. Yes, choosing a resort in Tonga is going to be difficult but we’re here to give you advice on making the right decision for you.

5 Tips for Staying at a Resort in Tonga

  1. The term “resort” is used rather loosely in Tonga but generally means an accommodation complex on the waterfront made up of multiple fales (bungalows)
  2. Some accommodations in Tonga are known for changing facilities and services without updating listings on their website and brochures, so be sure to inquire about any deal-breaker facilities you need
  3. Factor in the transfer costs for getting to island resorts that are on separate islands to the airport
  4. All of Tonga’s resorts are boutique, so you needn’t worry about it feeling too “busy”. However, this also means that some resorts get booked up quickly for the high season
  5. Accommodation standards are a little lower than what you might be used to, as Tonga is a developing country.

How to Pick the Best Resort in Tonga for You©

What are the Resorts Like in Tonga?

Tonga has a wide range of budget, three-star and four-star resorts. The term “resort” tends to refer to waterfront accommodation complexes with multiple beach bungalows locally known as “fales”.

Resort Rooms

Fales usually have bedroom furniture and an ensuite bathroom, but some resorts, especially in Ha’apai, may have communal bathrooms instead. They also typically have tea/coffee-making facilities and towels provided except for budget resorts. Not all resorts provide toiletries. As for mosquito protection, you either have insect-screened windows or a mosquito net. Some resorts might have mosquito coils available.


Resorts tend to either have a restaurant with an a la carte menu, a dining area where set meals are served family-style, or rarely a communal kitchen for guests. Check out resorts with the best restaurants in the 10 Best Resorts in Tonga for Foodies.

Note that resorts on outer islands typically have a compulsory meal plan when guests have no other options for food. Learn more about this in Should You Buy a Resort Meal Plan in Tonga?


Forget about lounging by the pool at a resort in Tonga, there are none (or good ones, at least). However, resorts enable guests to make the most of the ocean on their doorstep, where the free use of kayaking and/or SUP equipment is the standard. Snorkelling gear is also sometimes available to hire but less so.

Some resorts will have in-house activities, such as whale swimming tours, snorkelling tours, cultural shows, etc. But very often they will work with external operators for whale swimming, scuba diving, fishing, etc. where these operators often pick you up from the resort.

Resort Standards in Tonga

It’s important to set a few expectations straight before checking into your resort 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 resorts can be pretty basic, and not all of your usual facilities are provided. Tonga is more basic, so it is best to keep an open mind.

How to Pick the Best Resort in Tonga for You©

Location, What is Nearby and How to Get There?

Now that you know what to expect from resorts in Tonga, choosing one first requires you to pick a destination. Most of the resorts in Tonga are in the island groups of Ha’apai and Vava’u, while there are “kind-a” resorts in Tongatapu and ‘Eua. Compare these island groups using the following guides:

How to Get There

Another factor to consider is the time and expense to get to each island group. Check out How Much Does a Trip to Tonga Cost? for general transport costs and follow our advice on how to get to each island group in the following:

Compare resorts on each island group’s main islands and resorts on the outer islands. There are associated costs with outer island transfers that are much greater than taking a transfer to a resort by road.

What is Nearby

Finally, consider that resorts on the main islands are likely to give you greater access to towns and attractions around the island for sightseeing and independent exploration. Resorts on some of the more remote islands are sometimes the only development on the island, so you will need to solely rely on the resort (and yourself) for entertainment.

Check out the links below on where are accommodations are located and what’s nearby, as well as a compilation of resorts based on location:

And if that’s too specific, start from scratch using Where to Stay in Tonga and The Top 25 Resorts in Tonga.

How to Pick the Best Resort in Tonga for You©

Resort Prices and Inclusions

The final major comparison you’ll need to make between resorts is the value of the resort, which can be measured through its nightly rate, inclusions and facilities.

Any savvy traveller knows that it’s not a good idea to just go for the cheapest resort you can find, which typically means it has only the basic facilities. If you’re looking for a complete island holiday, then it might be worth paying the more expensive all-inclusive rates. Then again, you don’t want to be paying a higher nightly rate for inclusions you’re not interested in, so it’s a fine balance.

The Cost of Resorts in Tonga

The typical prices for resorts in Tonga are as follows:

  • Budget resort fale per couple/night – TOP$80-$150
  • Three/four-star resort fale per couple/night – TOP$250-$1,200
  • Three/four-star resort fale per family/night – TOP$290-$1,200

For more costs to consider, head to How Much Does a Trip to Tonga Cost? 

Inclusions and Facilities

To really understand the worth of your nightly rate, it’s best to compare the facilities and services of a resort. Some inclusions to compare include some of the following:

  • Meals (meal plan or a la carte)
  • Restaurant – See the 10 Best Resorts for Foodies
  • Free breakfast
  • Free watersports rental
  • In-house activities and tours
  • Airport transfers
  • Transport to town
  • Free bike hire
  • Gift shop
  • Board games
  • Fales with ensuite bathrooms
  • Shared bathrooms
  • Fans or air-conditioning
  • Hot water
  • Mosquito screens or mosquito nets
  • In-room electricity
  • Fans or air-conditioning
  • Mosquito screens or mosquito nets
  • Car park
  • Eco-friendly policies– See 10 Best Eco Resorts
  • WiFi
  • Tea/coffee-making facilities
  • Laundry facilities or services.


Laura (Lola) S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of Tonga Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Tonga. She knows the islands inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Tonga’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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