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“Whale watching at Matafonua Lodge, Ha'api, Tonga” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Matafonua Lodge

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Matafonua Lodge
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Foa Road | Faleloa, Tonga   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Foa Island
Channel Islands
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Whale watching at Matafonua Lodge, Ha'api, Tonga”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We went out whale watching twice at the end of September with Jodie our guide, who had a comprehensive knowledge of whale behaviour and showed great respect in the way they are treated. On the first day we saw whales breaching, fin flapping and tail slapping. Day two we followed a mother with her calf and a female escort. We swam four times with this group, it was a truly amazing experience never to be forgotten. On another occasion We heard the whales singing whilst diving.

Darren and Nina run Matafonua which was hit by a cyclone in January, it is now being rebuilt and is going to be open in 2015 for bookings. It is truly a beautiful place with really friendly and helpful staff. The beach, scuba diving and snorkeling is wonderful and the welcome by Darren and Nina is second to none. We would suggest that you book all trips and diving directly with them. We would highly recommend a stay at Matafonua Lodge.

Sharon & Simon

Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
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241 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (48)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
DeLeon Springs, FL
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2014

This was by far the most moving experience in my life. To see and experience the mother and her calf so close changed my life. Darren and his entire team and especially Jody and Gary were fabulous. To be there and actually also see his Drone video was fabulous. Despite the fact that Matafonua experienced a terrible wipe out from the recent hurricane all could not have been more gracious and hospitable. I will come back hopefully soon.

Room Tip: All are beachfront and good
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  • Stayed September 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southport, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2014

Visited Matafonua Lodge and went on 2 whale watching days - one with Darren and one with Jodie. Both trips were very successful and have quite a few swims with a mother and baby whale which was absolutely amazing. Very informative and enjoyable day!! Beautiful clean beaches and very clear water great for snorkelling. Made to feel very welcome and would defiantly recommend and go back - such a beautiful and peaceful island and resort!!

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
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Cologne, Germany
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2014 via mobile

We went out for whale watching with them and we had one of those special moments of out live. The guide Gerry did a fantastic job, with lots of respect he treated the whales. The food on the boot was wondeful and the staff very helpful.
You should book the tours directly with them.
The onwer Nina and Darren are very friendly, the will help you in whatever they can. The beach is a dream and snorkeling def. the best we found in Tonga. They will Show you the best places with wondeful corals and leopard sharks in the Channel. You can hire kayaks and go diving. The equipment is Brand new!
Because of the cyclone in Jan 14 the rooms have been total destroyed, but they are building very nice new ones.
We highly recomend this place! And hopefully we will come back one time. And again, thank you very much for the wonderful time we spent with you.


Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014 via mobile

For those seeking an idyllic tropical island chill-out with some amazing diving opportunities, then this is the place for you! 

From the warm, easy welcome on arrival to the charming simplicity of our beachside fale and the non-intrusive care and attention from our  friendly hosts Darren and Nina,  this is the ultimate place to kick back and enjoy life's simple pleasures. Located right at the northern tip of Foa Island with nothing but a 180 degree sweep of sandy beach between you and the pristine waters of the lagoon, the setting alone is really something to write home about. Explore stunningly beautiful coral gardens teaming with tropical fish right off the beach or go further out to one of the many fantastic dive sites. Matafonua's expert dive team are on hand to ensure you get maximum enjoyment from the experience. Back on land, relax on the beach or enjoy a delicious meal on the main house deck looking out to the lagoon. 

This is a place that dreams are made of - it only takes one visit and you'll be hooked! We are looking forward to our next visit, this time to experience a swim with the magnificent whales that frequent the lagoon during the Winter and early Spring.  Check out Darren's amazing film clips on their Facebook page!

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2014

Matafonua Lodge provided excellent dive facilities for both whale diving and Scuba diving. The boats are purpose built and very comfortable and the dive guides have in depth experience of the area. The crew maintained very high safety standards without losing the relaxed nature of each trip out. The on-land facility is excellent with a view to die for.

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2014

My partner and I spent a magic 10 days in Tonga, 7 of which we spent swimming with the humpbacks. Due to the devastation if cyclone Ian in January Matafonua is still under going repair, however this did not detract from Nina and Darrens willingness to welcome you into their piece of paradise. Their whale swim operation is run by Gary and Jodie - both of which were very knowledgeable regards whales and did everything to ensure that our experience was one to remember for many years to come. The daily lunches on the boat were fantastic due to Nina's awesome cooking and it was almost as exciting to discover what was for lunch as spotting a whale! If you want a truly magical experience in paradise swimming with humpbacks look no further than Matafonua Lodge.

Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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Additional Information about Matafonua Lodge

Address: Foa Road | Faleloa, Tonga
Location: Tonga > Ha'apai Islands > Foa Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Foa Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Pacific-style resort located on the spectacular Northern tip of Foa Island. Pristine white-sand beach, safe swimming and exceptional snorkeling. Thatched-wall beach-front fales with very comfortable King sized beds. Excellent restaurant/bar with great variety of meals and drinks.On site scuba diving school and seasonal whale watching and swimming excursions. Good library and games available for guest use. Friendly, easy-going owner/managers live on-site. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Matafonua Hotel Ha`Apai Islands
Matafonua Lodge Tonga/Foa Island

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