Matafonua Lodge

Matafonua Lodge

Pics of wonderful food at Matafonua Lodge.  Great system of dining together at 7pm and big menu choice.   Made great fuss for Mum's birthday.
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Room & Suite (58)
Matafonua Lodge
Dining (25)

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About

5.0
#1 of 2 hotels in Foa Island
Location
4.9
Cleanliness
4.7
Service
4.8
Value
4.6
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.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free internet
Free breakfast
Beach
Bicycle rental
Babysitting
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Free airport transportation
Parking
Internet
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Breakfast buffet
Kids' meals
Special diet menus
Bicycles available
Boating
Canoeing
Diving
Hiking
Horseback riding
Snorkeling
Water sport equipment rentals
Windsurfing
Fishing
Board games / puzzles
Airport transportation
Shuttle bus service
Taxi service
24-hour security
Baggage storage
Concierge
Currency exchange
Gift shop
Mosquito net
Non-smoking hotel
Shops
24-hour check-in
24-hour front desk
Private check-in / check-out
Room features
Private beach
Housekeeping
Private balcony
Safe
Complimentary toiletries
Room types
Ocean view
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Hidden Gem
Great View
Languages Spoken
English, French, Spanish, Afrikaans and 2 more

Location

Foa Road Faleloa Tonga
Getting there
Car recommended
Places to stay are graded on a 0-100 scale. The higher the grade, the easier it is for travelers to find restaurants and things to do within walking distance.
Grade: 40 out of 100
40
Salote Pilolevu Airport
1 Restaurant
within 5 miles
450Reviews14Q+A94Room tips
Traveler rating
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Detailed Reviews
Pilot-99 wrote a review Nov 2022
New Zealand8 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
You’d be hard pressed to find a better tropical location anywhere in the world - matched only by the amazing scenery are the fantastic hosts, Darrin Nina and family. The resort is reasonably basic but perfectly suited for the environment, it’s not trying to be the Hilton and in that sense I loved it so much. If you want a 5 star Honolulu type hotel this is’t the place for you the place for you , but it’s in a 5 star plus environment with 5 star plus delightful hosts and considering the remote location and difficultly of delivering even the simplest of foods , Motafonua far exceeds what could you reasonably expect for a remote resort nestled away in the most perfect of locations. The food is fresh and home cooked with love. The hosts actively participate with guests and are present around the resort to interact with guests and give that personal level of attention you’d never get at a large hotel chain. Come to Matafonua you won’t be disappointed.
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Date of stay: November 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled on business
Room Tip: Bring a camera, plenty of suntan lotion and a big appetite
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Marcellina W wrote a review Jan 2021
Sydney, Australia232 contributions44 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Spent xmas at Matafonua..food scrumptious .. try the daily specials accomodation clean and room & bedding better than expected with mosquito net. Hosts & their family are extremely friendly & accomodating to suit any type of holiday plans. Beachfront view is to die for & staff are delightful.
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Date of stay: December 2020Trip type: Traveled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Fred C wrote a review Feb 2023
11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed for 6 days in mid Feb which was simply sublime. There were only 1-3 other guests, so the experience was especially nice. Six dives in the clearest water I have ever experienced with abundant, healthy fish populations. Dive guide was knowledgeable and attentive, always seeking to provide an optimal experience based on winds and tides. Staff were just awesome, a real pleasure to be around. We will be bringing our family back for certification and freediving school at a unique, unspoiled, gorgeous, friendly setting.
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Date of stay: February 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
ZenShell wrote a review Jun 1
Christchurch, New Zealand197 contributions36 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My second visit to Foa when there are a sea of tropical choices from New Zealand.

Simplicity, beauty, choice.

Matafonua Lodge is positioned in an idyllic lagoon spot with fantastic swimming, snorkeling and other water based options.

You can have solitude, take in nature, head to a village, town, a neighboring island, they have games, puzzles, books, all day cafe/ restaurant with best food on island. You are made to feel so welcome.

It's very safe. The sea breeze keeps you cool and there is always fresh rainwater for drinking. Beds are so comfortable and great shower toilet block an easy walk from fales.

For me, the key is total relaxation. I don't require entertaining or have to do anything. But you can choose to. Tonga overall is a place to visit if you are flexible and don't have major dietary requirements. Produce is seasonal or requires to be brought in.

Already planning for visit 3 in 2025.
The Rice family are incredible - absolute superhosts! Was special to be there when new pup Mana arrived.
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Date of stay: May 2024Trip type: Traveled with family
Room Tip: Get Matafonua to book domestic flights ✈️ on Lulutai. They have a great relationship with the...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Richardsons of Huia wrote a review Oct 2023
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Breathtakingly beautiful spot. Literally every time you turn you’re gob smacked by the scenery and the colours of the water. Darren and Nina do an amazing job of providing an affordable retreat experience with the luxury of amazing meals and a beautiful sleep. We snorkelled, experienced whales, kayaked, ate, walked, swam in crystal clear waters and made friends. The communal dining brings everyone together at the end of a sun soaked day. Travelling in Tonga has its challenges but this place is worth the effort. Not for everyone but we found exactly what we were looking for.
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Date of stay: October 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Room Tip: The bathroom is a very short walk so bring something to throw on for night time visits but it’s...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
AroundTheWorldIn80kDays wrote a review Jul 2023
Bangkok, Thailand293 contributions161 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I've been to hundreds of beaches around the world, and this is the best. White sands, turquoise water, it's paradise perfect. I spent three days here, which was about three weeks too short. Plenty to do from kayaking to horse riding, and I wan't even here for whale season. The owners and staff are friendly and attentive. Frosting on the cake was this was the best food in Tonga, not just Ha'apai, but all of Tonga. Manage your expectations with accommodations, it's not luxury, but who cares to be an stunning place like this.
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Date of stay: June 2023Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Wickedmuffin wrote a review May 2014
Lycksele, Sweden9 contributions24 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We came to Foa, unaware of the recent hurricane. Matafonua had been damaged really bad. But that didn't stop Darren and Nina from helping us with everything from renting kayaks, go for diving trips and having somewhere to stay. They didn't just open their resort for us but also their home. We ended up having the best time ever! The resort is absolutely at the best spot in ha'apai. It has the most incredible blue sea with great snorkeling. The place is going to be beautiful again, they're rebuilding as we speak. And it's much cheaper than their neighbor (and better beach ironically enough)! I would definitely go there again!
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Date of stay: May 2014Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
mbaas wrote a review Jan 2017
Halle (Saale), Germany372 contributions271 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
When we chose Matafonua we mainly did so based on the many excellent reviews here. Our experience is definitely less positive. We found the accommodation uncomfortable, not particularly clean and infested with mosquitoes and insects. We often felt the resort (in particular the dining area) was an extension of the owner's living room. This created an atmosphere where it's difficult to complain even when there is plenty of reason to do so. For instance, during our four days at Matafonua the communal bathrooms were barely cleaned and they were already dirty when we arrived. Using the toilet without getting bitten allover was next to impossible. But how does one complain when the owner is busy with her children and entertaining a family-friend who regularly comes to stay at the resort? We did try but when every response is a shrug or a downright no (for instance upon our request for an insect spray, readily available in most grocery stores in Tonga) one gives up after a while. If you are right now in the process of making the choice between Matafonua and the more expensive resort next door (Sandy Beach) here are some pointers.

LOCATION: Although both are located next to each other, Matafonua definitely has the more dramatic location with the lagoon on one side and the sea on the other. That said, these are not private beaches so you're free to explore them anyway. Although we didn't do any of the diving trips Darren seems very knowledgeable and able to arrange many things among which diving with an underwater camera etc. The resort itself is roughly fourteen kilometres from town and this is also the only place where you will be able to stock up on liquor or groceries. Arranging a taxi to take you to town and back is expensive (forty dollars each way) but hitchhiking is an option. The resort does have free to use bicycles but they are rusty and uncomfortable and not to be recommended for going all the way to town.

ACCOMMODATION: As mentioned earlier we found Matafonua's fales quite uncomfortable. Although the beds are great, the mosquito nets were full of holes and most importantly there is no ceiling fan. At Sandy Beach the accommodation is in small sea facing bungalows that seem to get more of a breeze and also have ceiling fans. They are also more spacious and get more light. Obviously they're also considerably more expensive.

FOOD: It does seem that Matafonua has the better restaurant which was one of the prime reasons we chose the resort over Sandy Beach. However, the restaurant is open to all and regularly sees visitors from outside. There's a daily special that we found overpriced by the pizzas and burgers are good and more affordable. There is also a wide range of beer and wine available which is great.

CONCLUSION: We should have picked Sandy Beach but the many positive reviews for Matafonua made us decide differently. We usually stay at higher-end resorts and this may partly explain why Matafonua which is decidedly more basic than we are used to was simply not for us. That said, there is no reason why the fales need to be so mosquito and insect invested, why the owners should be this indifferent to complaints and requests, and why the cleanliness could not be better.
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Date of stay: December 2016
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
2.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from NinaRice, Owner at Matafonua Lodge
Responded Jan 22, 2017
Thanks very much for your review. We are sorry your stay with us did not live up to your expectations. Usually we do not respond to reviews but felt that on this occasion it was important as you omitted some key factors. It rained for you entire stay here. Additionally while usually we are on the breezy side of the island during your stay there was no wind. For that we are sorry but we cannot control the weather. The rain combined with no wind will bring out mosquitoes but no more so than any other tropical location, usually being on the windward side of the island we are mosquito free. In your fale you are provided with mosquito coils and nets, which are usually more than adequate, if you had mentioned you had a hole in your net we would have replaced it for you. We go above and beyond to try and cater for our guests needs so to say that you were not responded to would be unfair. Insect repellant (and sunscreen) are not available in Ha’apai, maybe in Vava’u and Tongatapu but not here. The bathrooms are cleaned at least twice daily. But again due to the rain and the fact the resort is on the sand it is very hard to keep them perfect at all times as sand is continuously walked in. The family friend that you mention was actually a guest on his 4th visit. We are sorry that Matafonua was not a good fit for you and hope that you enjoyed your stay elsewhere in Tonga.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
SunCoastOT wrote a review Sep 2011
Yandina, Australia7 contributions10 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Our two children (aged 6 & 8) had a magic time and it was great to find a place which was so safe for kids. Unfortunately for my husband and I we had made the booking at a time when it was a 'dive resort' and were disappointed when we arrived and were informed that there was no longer the dive/sailing business next door. The response to this was pretty average. In comparison to other places in Tonga that we stayed over 4 weeks, there wasn't the individualism and the accommodation and the food was expensive for the standard provided. We had the consistent feeling during our stay that we were there to fund the owners' lifestyle rather than the owners' being there for the guests. The local staff however were gorgeous and there is no doubt that it is a beautiful spot.
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Date of stay: September 2011
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
PacificFing wrote a review Jun 2009
Australia25 contributions31 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Given all of the great reviews of Matafonua that we'd read, we were expecting fantastic things from this little lodge. Unfortunately, though, our short stay there didn't meet with our expectations.

We stayed at Matafonua for a couple of nights. The location is fantastic - truly beautiful - and we thought it was as good as, or probably better than, the slightly more expensive resort just around the corner -- which, we were told, is actually owned by the same people as Matafonua.

Our arrival was marred by delayed flights, and the staff seemed to blame us for this, which ruined our first impressions. By the end of our stay they'd warmed a little, but we certainly didn't experience the degree of friendliness reported by others on here, which we were suprised about since we're relatively easy-going people.

The restaurant was pleasant enough, but quite basic, with tasty but not amazing food. Any more than a couple of nights there and we'd have been wondering what else we could eat - answer: nothing; it's the only place around!

The communal toilet/shower blocks were basic, but a bit dirty. The rooms were small (a bed with mosquito net and a small cupboard was about it), but functional, and could have been quite pleasant. Ours, however, was VERY moist! It was so wet that the mattress, pillows and sheets smelled stronly of mildew. (We still joke about the 'moldy bed'.) Given the wind and how close the rooms are to the water, it must be quite difficult to dry out sheets, not to mention matresses and pillows, but the staff really do need to do a better job than had been done with ours; the mildew was overpowering and unacceptable.

Finally, for both nights of our stay there was a somewhat roudy group of two or three families, with children that were a bit on the noisy side. If the grumpy attitudes of the staff and the unpleasantly moldy bed hadn't put us off already, we probably wouldn't have minded this too much, but as it was, this was just another hassle we didn't want.

All of that said, however, the location was truly beautiful.
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Date of stay: October 2008
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from lappy2319, Owner at Matafonua Lodge
Responded Feb 22, 2012
ownership change in 2011
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Answer from SBR99
Tonga2 contributions
Bathrooms are sentrally located in the resort photos of which you will find on the website photo gallery there is no running water in the fales, for ensuite bathrooms stay at our a-joining property sandy beach resort
Answer from Stephen G
Thornhill, Canada16 contributions8 helpful votes
If you’re so fully booked, why did it take over one month for you to get back to me?
Answer from SBR99
Tonga2 contributions
We have a selection of local and imported beers from nz and Oz and 3 local beers on tap from 8 $TOP
noelineken asked a question Sep 2018
new zealand5 contributions4 helpful votes
Hi is there power to the fale(no probs if not😉)
Answer from DiveHQWellington
Wellington, New Zealand28 contributions9 helpful votes
Yes there was - and plenty of power points to for phones and cameras
Answer from SBR99
Tonga2 contributions
Hi josh there are several b=reaks near to matafonua but they require a boat charter to get to them and that is not possible during whale season as the boats are flat out . During the months of jan march we have a pretty good break right here in our beach due to the seasonal nw swells see the video on vimeo numbered -202714667 it wont let me post urls on this forum hope this helps. the other 2 answers do not refer to our island group they refer to the main island of Tongatapu
ZenShell wrote a tip Jun 1
Christchurch, New Zealand197 contributions36 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Get Matafonua to book domestic flights ✈️ on Lulutai. They have a great relationship with the airline. Its likely your booked time will change. Allow a day either end. "
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Richardsons of Huia wrote a tip Oct 2023
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The bathroom is a very short walk so bring something to throw on for night time visits but it’s no drama. The sun burns. Pack sunscreen. "
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Pilot-99 wrote a tip Nov 2022
New Zealand8 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Bring a camera, plenty of suntan lotion and a big appetite "
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Tea-and-Sea wrote a tip Aug 2019
Singapore, Singapore52 contributions24 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Ask for a fale on the front row next to the beach"
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Chris W wrote a tip Oct 2018
Sydney, Australia21 contributions17 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"All rooms are quiet and private"
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Foa Island area.
ALSO KNOWN AS
matafonua hotel ha`apai islands
LOCATION
TongaHa'apai IslandsFoa Island
NUMBER OF ROOMS
10
Prices are the average nightly price provided by our partners and may not include all taxes and fees. Taxes and fees that are shown are estimates only. Please see our partners for more details.
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MATAFONUA LODGE - Updated 2024

Frequently Asked Questions about Matafonua Lodge
What are some of the property amenities at Matafonua Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Matafonua Lodge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Matafonua Lodge?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Does Matafonua Lodge have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Matafonua Lodge offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Matafonua Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Matafonua Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Matafonua Lodge?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Afrikaans.
Does Matafonua Lodge have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the ocean view available here.
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