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“Fantastic Holiday” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Heilala Holiday Lodge

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Heilala Holiday Lodge
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Palm Avenue | Kanokupolu, Tongatapu Island TBU, Tonga   |  
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10% OFF Jan. to May 2015
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Fantastic Holiday”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

We spent 7 days at Heilala in a superior fale and loved every minute. The staff are friendly and helpful, special thanks to Tina who met us at the airport with big smile and beautiful lei, she also is a waitress and an impressive dancer.
The fale was comfortable and clean, the free fruit and toast breakfasts delicious and we ordered eggs and pancakes as extras. The evening meals were delicious with mainly tuna, snapper or chicken available cooked a different way each night.
There were 2 nights where the kitchen closed, no reason given, but guests were offered a ride to neighbouring resort of choice instead, this worked well with return tripped arranged at no cost, we also got to experience other restaurants and make new friends.
The beach is lovely with plenty of shadey trees to sit under while watching the whales frolick beyond the reef.
Sven and Karolina are friendly and go the extra mile to accommodate everyone, when our return trip was delayed by 5 hours and we would of missed out on dinner, he arranged for Tina to take 6 of us to Friends Cafe in Nukualofa en route to airport for a meal.
The overall feeling at Heilala is tranquilty, you can cycle, kayak, surf, snorkel, or just sit on the beach or fale deck with a cool drink and enjoy the sound of the sea.
I would have no hesitation in returning to Heilala in the future.

Room Tip: Well worth superior fale with fridge and coffee/tea facilities.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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236 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
New Zealand
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

We stayed at Heilala recently for 5 nights as a nice break. Unfortunately our flight into Tonga was delayed about 5 hours so we arrived quite late at the night but we and a few other fellow travelers were greeted by Heilala staff at the airport with lovely leis. It is a decent drive from the airport to the resort and we were very happy to finally arrive at the property and be shown to our rooms with no check-in fuss. In fact there was no check-in fuss at all the next day either.

The room details for the superior fales can be seen on the website. They are comfortable, clean and equipped with everything you need. The only minor glitch we had with our room was struggling a bit with the water pressure and temperature in the shower during the cooler evenings, but we got by. The wifi, which works from the superior fales, was reliable and easy enough to use. If you have read the other reviews you would now be very familiar with the fact that quite a few chickens and other birds make Heilala their home. We had no troubles with noise and slept pretty well overall.

The beach was lovely and had decent snorkeling at high tide. It was also very nice to go for swims in the afternoon. There's equipment like snorkeling gear and kayaks etc if you want to use them. We were lucky enough to watch a pair of whales from the beach on one of the mornings that were enjoying themselves a bit beyond the reef...a real treat.

The staff at every stage were willing and able to help with any request, including jumpstarting our hire car when we had a flat battery (our fault!). The included breakfast was absolutely delicious and the additional items you can order (like egg, bacon etc) were reasonably priced. We only dined at the restaurant for dinner on our final night and we had perfectly enjoyable meal there.

We had a hire car for three days and we got this from Fab rentals. They were extremely easy to deal with. We had the car dropped off for us on the first day and we left the car and keys at Heilala once we were done with it. We had organised the license in advance by corresponding with them through email. The drive into town took us a good 40 minutes each way and we made this trip a few times to dine out etc.

Have a look at our other reviews if you'd like to see what we thought of the places we dined at and the activities we did.

Heilala holiday lodge and Tonga can really be summed up by saying that our stay there was about as stress free as you could ask for. We had a lovely time being lazy and doing very little!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manapouri, New Zealand
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

This was our first island holiday and we loved it. Heilala is very clean, very friendly and in a stunning location. We ate at the little restaurant most nights and loved the food which was beautifully presented, light and flavoursome. A couple of times we cooked in the small, basic communal kitchen using food we had brought with us plus fresh veg brought at the market. Our fale was very comfortable and charming. We had never snorkled and this was the highlight of the trip. We snorkled every day. It felt very safe and the water was teeming with tropical fish. Reef shoes a must, and be aware that cuts from coral can be dangerous and should be cleaned immediately. Most of the coral on the reef is dead, but diving friends tell us that this is now the norm, sadly. We saw whales pass every day of our stay. Amazing. We recommend the island tour with Vei, the lodge will arrange it for you. He is such a genuine guide and a warm personality. As first time visitors to a developing country we did find the dirt (lots of plastic rubbish) a shock, and the sad state of some of the many many dogs (they have mange). We found the Tongans to be very kind and friendly and we loved riding the local buses. The crafts made on the island are just amazing and we bought tapa cloth and a woven basket. Heilala was the perfect place to stay for us (two adults and a 12 year old) and we are planning to return. It is accommodation most well suited to couples rather than families but if you are all willing to share a fale it can work.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

We spent five days at Heilala and had a great relaxing time there. We travelled as a family - two couples and one toddler (15 months old) - and while the place is not exactly kids friendly (as their website says: "the only suitable area for kids to be kids (where they can let themselves go ;-) is on the beach") our boy also enjoyed being there, spending a lot of time outdoors in the garden, at the beach and watching the chickens and dogs around. :) I have to say, though, that being the only family with a child could be a bit awkward sometimes as all the other guests were couples and I don't think they expected to see a toddler next table at the restaurant area. They also don't have a highchair or other facilities for children, but we are used to travel with him so we had our own travel cot and other stuff.
We only had breakfast at Heilala and most dinners at Vakaloa (about 15 minutes walking down the beach) - both food and service at Vakaloa are espetacular and they not only have highchairs as they also have childrens books. ;)
We got a superior fale with bathroom and fridge and it was great to be able to use the comunal kitchen - make sure you get some groceries at the city though.
Sven and Karolina were great hosts and did their best to accommodate us.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tauranga, New Zealand
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

We spent a week at the Heilala Holiday Lodge and absolutely loved it. It is a fantastic getaway for couples, an idyllic spot surrounded by lovely gardens. Sven and Karolina are incredible hosts and went out of their way to make us feel welcome and nothing was too much trouble. The facilities were clean and tidy, and the superior fale was awesome, especially having our own fridge. I would suggest taking a wetsuit if you plan on spending time in the water it averaged about 22-23 degrees, I was pleased I brought mine. There is awesome snorkeling with many species of fish just out in front of the Heilala Lodge and we even got to see a whale breaching from the beach. The Vakaloa or Vakanoa resort just down the road had a neat buffet and show. Bikes and most other facilities were free to use which was a great bonus. We can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: Go for the superior fale the fridge and jug/ tea, coffee was a definite bonus.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dugandan
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

We stayed one week at Heilala and were just impressed with the friendliness of our hosts! Our superior fale was very cosy, romantic and clean! We loved relaxing in the hammock and just chilling at the stunning, very peaceful beach! I can't wait to get back ;)

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Osburg, Germany
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

We stayed one month (the whole June) here and really liked it. The owners care for everything and the place is really tidy. There is a shared shower that is cleaned twice every day, the same with the shared toilets. The community kitchen is tidy as well and has enough cooking equipment. The next village is just a 5 minute walk away and with the free bikes it is just one minute. In de village there are a number of little stores where you can get almost everything that you need for cooking and breakfast.
If you don't want to cook in the kitchen you can have dinner in the restaurant. It is really enough to get full and tastes awesome! All they serve for dinner is selfmade and almost everything from the island. Sometimes they even try to do european dishes like "Kohlrabi".
The lodge is situated directly at the beach, which means you are there within 50 meters. You do not have to cross a street or something, just take your stuff and enjoy. There is a reef outsidee in the ocean which sometimes come out of the water on extreme low tides. Then you can walk over the corals to the reef and walk on it!
I can only recommend to stay here on your Tonga visit - I you will not find a better price for value ratio on the whole island. And that in a really friendly and family-like athmosphere.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Heilala Holiday Lodge

Address: Palm Avenue | Kanokupolu, Tongatapu Island TBU, Tonga
Phone Number:
Location: Tonga > Tongatapu Island
Amenities:
Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 24 B&Bs / Inns in Tongatapu Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Malo e lelei from the Kingdom of Tonga! If you are looking for a relaxed, friendly, homestyle "beach garden getaway" in the Kingdom of Tonga, the Heilala Holiday Lodge on Ha'atafu Beach at Kanokupolu may just be the place you have been looking for. Over 1km of sandy beach, wave surfing, snorkeling, or simply relaxing in your hammock. All the best and we hope to welcome you in our little peace of paradise soon. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Heilala Holiday Hotel Tongatapu Island
Heilala Holiday Lodge Tonga/Tongatapu Island

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