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“Never Again” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Sunset Island Resort

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Royal Sunset Island Resort
| Nuku'alofa, Atata Island, Tonga   |  
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Hotel amenities
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Atata Island
Auckland
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Never Again”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2008

We had a week in Tonga and spent the first six nights at an amazing place on the main Island. We thought we would have a bit of a treat for the last night. All I can say is we were grateful it was only one night. The whole resort is run down and falling to bits. Everything is overpriced. The food is terrible. The only saving grace was my husband had a stomach bug so he was spared having to eat lunch or dinner and only had the breakfast. Even still staying at the 'cheapest' level still cost us over $400NZ for one night - for that sort of dosh I would expect 4 star - this barely made it to a 1 star. Would not recommend.

  • Liked — We only booked for one night!
  • Disliked — The Food - Great Resort to lose weight
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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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111 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
new zealand
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2008

We were very disappointed in this resort - it just scrapes in at a 2 star resort. It is so over priced it is embarrasing! The food was so average and crazy prices! one day they spent the whole day fishing right outside the resort so we ordered the fish melt for lunch which cost $25 tongan and we were served up canned fish on toast with a processed piece of cheese on top! The only food that was good was the tongan buffet night the food and the entertainment was great.
The fales were falling down and it seems some were better than others we stayed in a western fale. While they are a good size they were dark and dingy! Our fridge leaked all over the floor and was so old and dirty looking we didnt use it. If we had of booked an eastern fale we would have turned around and left! It was very windy on the eastern side heeps of rubbish and half a rotten pig was outside one of the fales!
Once you are on the island you are trapped! So i suggest if you do go take alot of food with you!
We went there also because they had a pool when we arrived we saw the pool was so dirty that you couldnt swim in it! It was green with things growing on the top!
The beach itself was lovely good for swimming in high tide only. We used the kyacks and windsurfers and basically spent the day at the beach because the fale was so run down.
The cocktails were nice and the breakfast was good.
There was no point complaining as i dont think anyone would have cared!

  • Liked — The beach
  • Disliked — The accommodation and food
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coromandel Peninsula
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2008

We spent 4 nights at the Royal Sunset Resort and had mixed expectations about Tonga and the Resort, but were overall pleased with our stay.If you're looking for delux facilities with servant-like service this is not the place for you. It is a very down to earth, friendly and beautiful environment to chill the day away in.

Some polarities were experienced- we felt very happy with some aspects of the resort, and a little disapointed/confused with others.

Our Fales were wonderful! Simple but perfect for a relaxing holiday at the beach. beautiful tapa cloths on the walls, and a lovely little deck to have a drink or two on. Showers were nice, bathroom facilities were very reasonable and an overall comfortable fale experience.

Caroline the owner/manager was very friendly ( genuinley/not pretentiously), helpful and attentive to guests needs. The staff were marvelous! Special thanks to Naarah and our tour guide Haapai Mila who were both very attentive and incredibly generous people. A great asset to the hotel.

The location of the resort is exceptional,a true paradise! Beautiful, warm water, a very picturesque jetty and island fishing boats made for magnificent pictures and added to the typical island feel.

On a slightly lower note, the rubbish around the island was very disapointing. This island's natural setting is an absolute asset, and I believe the managers should make a greater effort to maintain the islands natural/environmental integrity by cleaning up rubbish, and disposing of it appropriatley. Our group was so disapointed by the prospect of having our rubbish openly dumped on the island and consequently into the sea, that we took any wrappers/ used water bottles and general non-bio degradable rubbish home with us... some what of an akward position to be put in.

Another low point of the resort is the food. It is not terrible, but VERY over priced for what we were given. I understand that due to the huge distance that food needs to transported to reach Tonga, all food is rather pricey, but T$40 for fish and vegetables is quite steep for a relaxed, simple resort... If prices were more affordable and food was tastier we would have happily dinned more often. But it mad NO SENSE to eat expensive and not particularly appetising meals there.

Overall, this is a great place to go for a simple atmosphere, relaxed holiday.

Haapai Mila ( Tui) was the most generous, kind and fun-loving tour guide I have ever encountered. Definatley worth taking a tour with him which can be organised through the Royal Sunset. Thanks Tui!

A very nice experience for our taste, and we wish Caroline, her husband and the staff all the best. Please make an effort with the rubbish!

ps- for an AMAZING meal in Nuku' Alofa the Pearl Inn restaurant is a MUST! Undoubtedly the best meal I have eaten in my life... I'm not exhagerationg here.. the food was devine, service exceptional....and the head chef even organised for the restaurant to re-open just for us on Saturday for lunch ( they only open for dinner). FABULOUS VIEWS, FOOD and Company! Thanks

  • Liked — beach
  • Disliked — rubbish/nappies thrown around the outskirts of the resort
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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NZ
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2008

You don't always get what you pay for. Royal Sunset Resort was a prime example of this.

Our stay started with an unreliable boat transfer from the mainland. The small boat broke down 3 times on our arrival. Not one lifejacket or radio was to be seen. Our journey took one hour, when normally it would be 20 minutes.

Our fale was very disappointing. It was a badly built cabin with very rough finishings e.g. Nails sticking out of the walls in many places, gaps in the ceiling, missing louvers, towel rail about to fall off, and half painted walls. There was no mosquito nets above the bed. Everything was filthy, including the floor, towels, bedspreads and sheets!!! There was no curtains for the main front door, so you didn't have much privacy as the workers and other guests all used the path in front of the fales to get to and from the restaurant. The area around the fale was very plain. No private area. No gardens at all to admire. The bathroom was OK, apart from the toilet only being able to flush once a day! Note this was the same for the shared toilets near to the restaurant. Not a pretty sight!

The restaurant and common areas were overrun by dogs, some with wounds and weeping eyes. There was no attempt to remove the dogs from the restaurant, as they wandered around the tables whilst people dined. There were so many different dogs we were unsure who owned them. They may have strayed from the local village. There was no divide from the local village except for a path from the resort to the village which seemed to have been used as the local rubbish tip.

The common area was dominated by what seem to be family or staff just hanging out smoking, watching tv, drinking, they were not guests of the resort.

The island itself was nice. It wasn't really possibly to snorkel or swim from the beach directly infront of the fales as it too shallow.

For how much it cost to stay and eat at this resort it was a complete rip-off. The food at the restaurant was of average quality but well over priced.

On the positive, the staff were more than happy to take us out in one of the boats when whales were spotted on the horizon. They also ran a free daily snorkel trip to the reef. The polynesian night was also very good with local entertainers from the village.

In summary, the resort has a lot of potential, but until some serious changes are made, we would not recommend this resort to anyone.

  • Liked — The island
  • Disliked — The dirty sheets & towels, the stray dogs & the cost
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2008

We took our 2 teenage daughters and had a great time. We chose this resort because there was a village (a real piece of Tonga) on the island, and this added a lot of interest to our stay.

Our western fale was nicely decorated and clean with a great hot shower. We like the fact that the snorkelling gear, canoes and windsurfers are all FOC anytime. Very good windsurfing gear from learner to fast. They took us out snorkelling to the reef every day and one day when whales went by they took us out straight away FOC (awesome!). The food was okay but a bit expensive. Dogs: the resort dogs were all clean & friendly and we didn't mind them at all. The service and friendliness from staff was outstanding. The management appear to be continually upgrading the facility.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
newplymouth
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2008

my wife and i have just spent three days at the resort and could not wait to get of the island as we both agreed that it was the most disgusting place we have ever stayed at ;dogs running and scavanging in the dining room and walking in and out of the kitchen,rubbish piled up at the end of the resort with no attempt to camouflage it,eaten alive with mozzys obversly no spray program,the large grey water lake behind the fence(obversely a problem with this )The food was over priced and quality was margional ,my wife ordered chicken and vege suop one evening and it cosisted of three slithers of chicken with the same amount of sliced capicums and the rest was cabbagewith boiling water poured over the top no salt peper or seasoning all for 20tonga$ plus15percent tax plus 5 percent for payment by credit card,on the last nite our reading lamps were removed from our room on the pretext that the needed checking,but they didnt replace the blown bulb above the bed until we asked for it to be done.The towels given to us to use on the last day must have been made of nylon as they would not dry at all i had to use my beach towel,our cups and glasses in the room were not washed by the house keeping staff the whole three days we were there.there was spouting hanging of fales ther were many fales un used as in unusable, the general condition of our fale was dirty and in bad need of a serious upgrade,all in all very expensive low grade resort that we could not recoment to any holiday maker

Stayed July 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waikato
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2008

I really enjoyed my stay at Royal Sunset, the trip over was great fun in the boat, had a lovely welcome. When I stayed there weren't very many people there as it was not quite high season but I still enjoyed myself. I would say it would be great in high season. All the staff very friendly and all the snorkelling, canoeing etc included in the price. I loved the snorkelling!! I was by myself and the staff were very friendly, Caroline, one of the owners was lovely and sat with my for dinner a couple of nights. Would be a great place to go with a group of friends, or a honeymooon couple - families too. The bed was very comfortable.

My only dislike was the dogs - they were better cared for then on the main island (Tongatapu) but they fought quite a lot and it was quite disconcerting to hear a huge dog fight right outside my fale not long after arriving, I also did not like them in the restaurant area.

  • Liked — The tropical Island setting
  • Disliked — The dogs
  • Stayed June 2008
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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 Royal Sunset Island Resort

Address: | Nuku'alofa, Atata Island, Tonga
Location: Tonga > Atata Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Atata Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Royal Sunset Island Resort is located on 'Atata Island. The resort features 18 beachfront fales, Polynesian Style Restaurant and Cocktail Bar with amazing views. It borders a fishing village where guests are welcome to experience the traditional culture. Scuba Diving, Game Fishing, Wind Surfing, Kayaks, Snorkeling boat trips are just some of what the activities the resort has to offer or do absolutely nothing. Come and enjoy the sun in this little bit of paradise. Resort has undergone Renovations with New Management and Service Upgrades. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Sunset Island Hotel Tongatapu Island
Royal Sunset Island Tongatapu

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