We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Paradise on Island Time”
Review of Fafa Island Resort

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Fafa Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Fafa Island
Certificate of Excellence
Wellington
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Paradise on Island Time”
Reviewed July 29, 2007

We have just returned from Fafa Island with two small children (age 2 and 3). We have always holidayed in Fiji before, and Fafa looked like it had everything we wanted - beautiful beaches, great food and superb accommodation without any of the more commercialsed aspects of a big resort. And in almost all ways, we were very satisfied.

We were very unlucky with the weather. We were there for a week, and it rained heavily for 5 and a bit days. On the one perfect day, it was plain to see that we were in a tropical paradise. On the rainy days, trying to entertain the kids detracted from the experience somewhat!

ACCOMMODATION
The fales themselves are glorious. Be aware, that they are open to the air -- the windows are not screened, and while entirely waterproof, they do not hold out anything else. We loved the geckoes as great entertainers of the kids, but they are everywhere (quite cute really).

The rooms are huge -- we had one of the superior (ie entry level) fales with the extra room attached. The main room is enormous and has a desk and a daybed (where our son slept). The second room also has two single beds in it and is a good size also.

The beds all have mosquito netting which you will want to use as the bugs come out at night. HAving said that, the kids (who went to bed at 7) got no bites at all, so the netting must work well. The beds are really comfortable -- they are foam squabs on a slat base, and the linens are cotton and are changed daily (great when you have sandy little feet clambering through them.)

The bathrooms are superbly romantic - they are semi-outdoors -- the toilet and vanity are under a roof and then the shower and (sunbathing?) platform are in the open. The vanity has a power point and a shaver point.

The one sore point of the room was the shower. It is solar powered, and I don't know whether it is a design flaw, or simply bacause we had very little sun while we were staying, but there was very litle hot water. A morning shower was out of the question, but by 3pm there was normally enough warm water to have a bit of a spray down each -- there was no real pressure to speak of.

There is also a large wardrobe off the main bedroom with hangning space, shelves and a refridgerator. There is another powerpoint in here (we used it to recharge things like a portable DVD player which came in very handy for half an hour's sanity time when it was very wet).

FOOD
The standard of the food was pretty good. Certainly varied with an abundance of fresh seafood. They also tried very hard to cater for vegetarians (we gave them lots of advance notice).

Our one gripe (and it was quite a big one when you have littlies in tow) was that nomatter whether you arranged for meals at a set time, or whether you ordered off themenu in the retsurant, you always had to wait at least 40 minutes. We had to wait an hour and a half for our breakfast to be served after ordering one morning.

The food is also very expensive. I thought that $35 for a fish main course and $8 for a hot chocolate and $25 for a cocktail was pretty bad until I realised at the end that these prices are in US$, not Tongan dollars! However, we had ordered the meal plan for ourselves and that proved to be good value. The portions are large, so we generally ordered just one plate of something for the kids and that was heaps -- the kitchen was very good about making up whatever we wanted for the children, tey were particularly partial to the homemade fish and chips. The kitchen was also happy to heat up our own food too -- I took a few long-life pasta meals for them too.

The cocktails are good, but the wine is dreadful. We had been prewarned by another Tripadvisor member, so we took our own wine each night from Duty free. I think we paid a one off corkage fee of $5, so this proved to be a godsend, as a wee glass of somethingw as very welcome at the end of the evening!

ISLAND
The island is beautiful -- glorious coarse sand white beaches (great for sandcastles!) fringed with palm trees. The fales are all set back, so from the beach, the island looks unspoilt. You can walk around the island easily in half an hour (reef walkers are useful).

Apparently there is some good coral off of the island for snorkelling over, but daily snorkelling trips will take you further afield as well if you want.

There is a daily boat service to the main island -- I would recommend just arranging a taxi rather than a standard tour as it gives you more flexibility, and I hear mixed reviews of the Island's recommended tour guide.

CHILDREN
The island is both perfectly child compatible (what more do they need really than a bed and a beautiful beach!) and at the same time not particularly child-friendly. Cots are available, and excellent babysitters can look after the littlies while you eat, but there are no special resources for them. Take all your own gear -- buckets and spades, snorkels, rubber rings etc, as there is nothing available on the island. Also be sure and pack plenty of wet weather diversion, as you never know! We also took our own life jackets for them for the boat trip over.

All in all, had we had good weather, this would have been an ideal family holiday. As it was, we found the slow service a bit of a niggle as it wasn't possible just to send the kids off to the beach while we watched them from the bar and had to put in some serious entertaining. If the kids had been older, it would have been a different story too. So, I suppose we took our chance with the weather and got a good day and a half out of it, and those were pretty perfect!

  • Liked — It was luxuriously rustic -- a sense of the Robinson Crusoe lifestyle without having to rough it!
  • Disliked — The showers.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank ANON75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

409 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    282
    92
    21
    7
    7
See reviews for
59
258
12
4
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
New Zealand
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2007

We arrived to this small island paradise with two small children (2 year old and a 3 and a half year old) for a 1 week stay.
We were well aware that Fafa is not well catered for children, so we were very well prepared with a weeks worth of food and entertainment, and as a consequence, we had a lovely family holiday.
On the beach everyday swimming and playing in the sand. The children had a ball in the kayaks with us too.
We had prepurchased the meal deal for ourselves (the adults) and were very relieved we had done so. The meals were nice, however considerably over priced. Outrageous prices for very average meals -which doesn't bode well with us. As you have no other option of places to eat on the island, you either pay the price or don't eat at all. The meal deal ended up being a considerable saving. Drinks are also expensive - and a very sad looking wine list. We took duty free wine with us and paid for corkage. There is no child rate in regards to meal deals. They are at adult prices and it would not be in anyones best interests to pay an adult price for a child to eat there. The menu is limited to 3 choices for lunch and 2 entree and 3 main choices for dinner. Meals took on average 40 mins from ordering to recieving. We did often wonder if they had forgotten our order.
The fales are fun tradition thatched style - with outside private bathrooms, good hammocks. Only metres from the beach. Downside - horrible sheets that don't fit the bed properly only to expose grubby old looking mattresses with no mattress protectors on. Pillows that have definitely seen better days. Tidy appearance but needing a good clean. Lots of geckhos, lots of bird life, lots of mozzies and lots of cockroaches.
If you don't mind a little grubbiness and expense to stay at a below average resort on an island that is gorgeous then this is a good spot for you. Snorkelling was good out from the beach.
Management were very professional and helpful. Mostly the staff were very friendly. One particular staff member seemed to take the position of 'top dog' and made us feel quite uncomfortable and almost an inconvenience. Got the feeling that having the children there was not something he got a thrill out of!?
Overall, we felt we had been sold a 2star property for 4star prices. Had we paid realistic prices we would have been thrilled.
Good family holiday however will try something different next time.

  • Liked — location to beach and seaviews
  • Disliked — felt unclean
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank jane86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pahiatua
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2007

We visited Fafa Island for our honeymoon, where we stayed for four nights. It was everything we expected and more. We liked the lack of people on the island (there are only the guests, and with only 13 fales ie guest houses that's not many people, plus the staff). Our fale was located at the end of all the fales, so was very secluded with our own deck looking over the bay, and a ladder directly onto the beach.

At high tide, it is possible to walk around the island in approx 20-30 minutes, at a leisurely pace. There is no TV or radio, and the generator is only on bewteen 8am and 10pm, so it is very quiet and peaceful most of the time.

Activities are minimal (this was the attraction for us). You can freely snorkel straight off the island, and they have surf skis and a small catamaran for use (all free). There is a daily trip to an island approx 30min speed boat ride away for snorkelling (cost $25 Tongan currency, and you can go hand line fishing for $25 tongan currency per hour, which is done in the bay immediately around the island.

Our fale was lovely. Very clean, spacious and tidy. The outdoor bathroom is a novelty, and very functional. There is a daily morning delivery of a thermos of hot water to your door, so you can enjoy a cuppa before venturing to the restaurant for breakfast.

The food was good quality although overpriced and in small servings. We prepurchaed a meal deal for breakfast and dinner which I would recommend if you are watching the $$$.

We would both highly recommend Fafa Island for honeymooners or anyone who wants a private getaway on a small tropical island with very little to do.

  • Liked — all 13 fales on the island are separate buildings with considerable privacy from other guests
  • Tips/Secrets — take advantage of the pre-purchase options for meals
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank T&CPahiatua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2006

We have travelled extensively but never to a South Pacific Island. We chose Tonga because we wanted to avoid the more developed tourist destinations. We wanted a peaceful, sligtly romantic holiday which is exactly what we got.

Fafa Island is a tiny jewel in the South Pacific. The resort is the only thing occupying the island, although I think the word "resort" conjours up images of what Fafa is not. It is built in traditional Tongan style and very low key. There are no TV's, phones or music. This is what we wanted, though.

We found the accommodation beautiful and comfortable. The food was delicious and I think some other reviews are too critical of this. I do agree that food is a little over priced, however we got a meal package which was excellent value and I would recommend. The drinks too, are not that cheap. But if you stick to beer and wine, they are not so bad.

The staff are also lovely and will do whatever they can to make your stay comfortable.

We were only disappointed with two things. We had also chosen Tonga as a dive destination. Unfortunately (because it is quite undeveloped) no operators were open while we were there. The owners of Fafa also did not instill great faith into us about the safety of them either. So we just snorkelled. We also found the day tour of the mainland quite overpriced, but never the less, we enjoyed it.

For anyone who wants a peaceful, relaxing break I would highly recommend Fafa. It is also ideal for honeymoons, anniversarys or even weddings (which we checked, they do). Their website does not do the place justice.

  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank OzSwede75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2006

We spent 5 days on Fafa and were reasonably happy with it. The fale's were great. They are 20m from the beach and surrounded by trees, shrubs etc (well ours was, most were, but not all). They probably need curtains as staff do wander by now and then and about a third of three of the walls are covered in louver windows. The place was nice and quiet, it wasn't too far to travel from the airport (so we didn't spend our holiday time travelling) and the beaches were good and snorkelling ok. So 'all in all' we were happy with it but I would note to 'would-be' Fafa visitors that the food is average to taste but priced like it's gourmet. We expected to pay a bit more than average but at $30-$50 a meal (and no option but to eat there) it adds up very quickly.

The alcohol was especially expensive ($25 for a cocktail where they were $12 at one of the top restaurants in the capital which is only 7 kms away.) However you have a mini fridge in your fale and we were lucky enough to remember to take a couple of bottles of champagne with us (customs allowance is generous).

Finally try and remember to bring everything as consumer goods in the capital are expensive too!

So in summary the location and rooms are great but the food and drinks can add up very quickly to equal the cost of the accommodation so beware!

  • Liked — Fales
  • Disliked — Needed curtains
  • Tips/Secrets — Take your own alcohol
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank beland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2006

We arrived at 07-00 and were met at the airport by the islands contracted driver who transported us to the harbour, where we transferred to a launch for our 45 minute journey to Fafa Island, all of which went without a hitch. On arrival at the island we went ashore, leaving our luggage on the boat. As we stepped onto the white sand beach around 08-30 we were warmly greeted and invited to the dining area where some guests were still enjoying breakfast. We were quickly shown to our Fale to find our luggage waiting for us. We were invited to freshen up and return to the dining area to have some breakfast.

Our Fale was exquisite with every possible attention to detail having been attended too. Well appointed with appropriate furniture both inside the Fale, on the deck and in the grounds, everything being spotlessly clean.

With our own area of the grounds and beach to relax in, we quickly started to unwind, which was assisted by no television, e.mail, mobile phone signal, and just the noise of the waves lapping on the shore and the local birds.

The food at Fafa was superb with a good selection of dishes at every meal. The staff were attentive but not intrusive. Daily return trips to the main island are available as are trips to small uninhabited local islands. Snorkelling gear, and kyacks are available for guests to use free of charge.

If you are looking to get away from it all and enjoy peace and tranquility on a small south pacific island, we would recommend Fafa Island without hesitation.

Helpful?
22 Thank Roy&Pat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tongatapu
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2005

Just a word of advice, I love Fafa and have visited as a daytripper and as a paying guest. As a paying guest you are treated like royalty. As a daytripper you may be treated as a nuisance and can't use any water gear. Unfortunately I've heard this observation from others too. I guess you get what you pay for, but considering that it has the most expensive island day trip, the service is the comparateively not as good. I'd go to Pangaimotu on four different days for the price of one Fafa... and Pangaimotu's swimming is much better IMHO

  • Stayed March 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank fonu_tongatapu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Fafa Island
4.1 mi away
Tanoa International Dateline Hotel
4.2 mi away
Seaview Lodge
Seaview Lodge
#1 of 13 in Nuku'alofa
171 reviews
10.6 mi away
Scenic Hotel Tonga
Scenic Hotel Tonga
#1 of 1 in Fua'amotu
168 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
4.0 mi away
Waterfront Lodge
Waterfront Lodge
#3 of 13 in Nuku'alofa
162 reviews
4.3 mi away
Little Italy Hotel
Little Italy Hotel
#4 of 13 in Nuku'alofa
238 reviews
6.7 mi away
Royal Sunset Island Resort
Royal Sunset Island Resort
#1 of 1 in Atata Island
156 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Fafa Island Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Fafa Island Resort

Property: Fafa Island Resort
Address: | PO Box 1444, Fafa Island, Tonga
Location: Tonga > Fafa Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Fafa Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Fafa Island Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 13
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Agoda, Hotwire, TripOnline SA, Cheap Tickets and Cancelon so you can book your Fafa Island Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Fafa Island Hotel Fafa Island

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing