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All reviews chris and shane fish platter self catering beach house whale watching wonderful hosts local knowledge local village basic supplies fresh coconut paddle boards very special place mahi mahi your doorstep deck overlooking the beach magical place relaxing holiday
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Reviewed July 22, 2009

What an amazing place to stay. Completely private but yet not isolated. Chris and Shane are absolutely the best hosts, they are there if you need them but also realise the quiet and privacy that a holiday should be about. Great accommodation - if you are looking for 5 star this is not the place but we will definitely be back and have already spread the word for those looking to visit. Tongatapu is a great island - no need to spend hundreds more dollars to go to the 'fancy' resorts on the outer island, plenty to do and see and the water is clean, warm and great for surfing and snorkelling.
And not forgetting Vei, our wonderful driver, tour guide, friend - what an amazing man, thank you to his wife and children for sharing him with us for 6 days and thank you to his wife for the lovely breadfruit chips she made for us and to Vei for the lovely lunch on Sunday. He was there when we needed him and he is full of local knowledge, we highly recommend the Island Tour.

Date of stay: July 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank UkKiwiGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2009

If you want to truly relax and get away from it all, go to the Blue Banana. Private beach, fantastic hosts Chris and Shane, wonderful lagoon, clean and simple accommodation. it's simply the best holiday we have ever had and I truly did not want to leave.
Easy self catering holdiay, a trip into town on the bus is just $2 and you can get what you need, alternatively the resort next door is very nice.
Vei 'the main man" will take you anywhere you want to go, and a nicer man you could not wish to meet, he even provides a traditional sunday lunch to all guests at the 'blue banana'
Hire a car and cruise around the island, and see all the sights, it's great!!
No big night life here, few drinks, bbq, cards etc and listen to the waves, its just so peaceful and relaxing.
Days are spent fishing, swimming, soaking up the sun, snorkling, really laid back, of course you can always watch Chris and Shane surfing!!
We made a new best friend "chino" the faithful dog was our constant companion for the 2 weeks we were there.
We will be returning next year thats for sure.

Date of stay: May 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank Wend_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2009

My husband and I travelled to Samoa for 5 nights and then on to Tonga for 4 nights and we only wished we had just gone straight to Tonga and the Blue Banana! 4 nights was not enough and we were most upset to have to leave!

Chris and Shane are the most hospitable and welcoming hosts and could not have done more for us if they tried. We stayed in the Maui fale with ensuite, which had all we needed to enjoy a relatively self-contained holiday and it was great having the ensuite. My husband enjoyed using the BBQ and catching our own fish (fishing charter was great day out) and we sat for hours by the BBQ playing draughts and enjoying the moonlight....

Vei was fabulous and between the amazing island tour, lunch and abilitiy to have us anywhere anytime made the whole time in Tongatapu too easy...or as Vei would say 'no problem'.

The beach was like your own and the water most inviting......not to mention the sunsets....we can't wait to get back and will stay much longer next time! Make sure you pick up some beautiful artwork from Blue Banana Studios - it now has prime placement in my home and a great reminder of one of the most enjoyable experiences of my travels so far....

Tongatapu is just a great travel experience and of all the travel we have done in the Pacific it was the most culturally rewarding reflected in an understated beauty that is driven very much by the Tongan people....

Date of stay: June 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank smittyb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2009

Blue Banana is the most fabulous place you could want to stay, and with out having to take flights or boats away from the main island! My fiancee and I stayed for 6 nights in the Maui Fale, and had the most relaxing holiday we have ever experienced.

The beach and reef are stunning, and there is plenty to do. We spent time swimming, snorkeling, walking along the beach, a day island tour with their friendly driver/tour guide/local tongan Vai. Nothing was too much bother for him. The tour was incredible - blowholes, swimming in an underground limestone cave, historic sights and then the most memorable dinner at the best seafood restaurant I have ever eaten at in my life - Fiesta Seafood. The restaurant was very ordinary looking, but the food was like nothing I have ever experienced, and very reasonably priced! We were glad we did not opt to hire a car, as the island is not large and we actually only wanted to go out for 2 of the days, the other days we chilled out at the beach.

Chris & Shane are more than just people who run a business, they are true hosts, and we felt like guests of theirs. The studio was well equipt with a good kitchen and lovely bathroom - and the place was SPOTLESS - not a grain of sand in the studio when we arrived! Sapeena who is responsible for the day to day cleaning is just wonderful, and even removed large spiders who were in the tree next to our Fale incase they frightened us! (or we walked into their web!)

I would thoroughly reccommend this place to stay, it is one of the best holidays I have ever had.

Date of stay: May 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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1  Thank KittyNZLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2009

We spent 4 nights here at beautiful Blue Banana, in the “Tree House”, before heading out for northern parts of Tonga and then another 2 nights on our return to Tongatapu.

This was easily the best place that we stayed in our 19 day trip through Tonga. Chris and Shane who run the 3 fales are wonderful hosts, most welcoming, friendly and a wealth of knowledge on all things Tongan. As our flight arrived late at night, we asked if some food and more importantly, beer, could be put in the fridge of the fale. This allowed us to have an easy start to the next day which we really appreciated and was charged at an exceptionally reasonable rate.

The 3 fales, Maui, Tree House and Boat House, are set along beachfront, with great ocean views and beautiful garden settings that offer shade when needed and privacy between the fales. The fales are basic, but clean, well constructed and have everything you need for a beachside holiday. Inside our fale was a small kitchen area with fridge and all necessary utensils for a self catering holiday. Mosquito coils were a provision here, that others often don’t provide. A bench for dining with 2 chairs, storage shelves and bed finished off the fale. As another reviewer mentioned, the bed is hard and was the only negative of a wonderful place. A fan was also included in the fale, for when the sea breeze died off. Out front of the fale, a deck with small outdoor setting and drop down bench for storage or cooking and staircase leading to ground level. Then a few more footsteps took you onto the beach one direction, or to the separate bathroom in the other direction. On ground level at one end of the fale is an outdoor freshwater shower to wash the salt and sand off from the beach.

Two detached bathrooms away from the fales, are one for the Tree House fale and the second bathroom for the Boat House fale. Only the Maui fale has internal bathroom. Like the fales, the bathroom is spotlessly clean and well presented with exterior light shining at night to guide you along the few footsteps on those moonless nights.

The lagoon out front, provides a great opportunity for swimming or snorkelling at high tide with a good array of fish to see. A little further out the reef that protects the lagoon provides some surfing opportunities, that Chris could be seen taking advantage of, on good days and more snorkelling. Make sure you pack snorkelling equipment, as you’ll be disappointed if you don’t. Fins/flippers are also handy against the changing tide, when the current can get quite strong.

Chris and Shanes friend Vei, provides taxi and tour guiding services and like others have said, we think his middle name is “no problem”! A terrific man who can show you all the sites of Tongatapu and help you out with just about anything you might need, from touring, shopping, any hour pick up from town or airport, to organising a Tongan licence if you wish to hire a rental car. As Sunday in Tonga, is an almost complete shut down of the country, Vei cooks food in his underground ‘umu’ for his family and brings portions for those staying at Blue Banana. A true and genuine Tongan touch from a lovely person. Tongans are such friendly, genuine people, that if you are stuck somewhere in the country on a Sunday without food, a family will often invite you in to share theirs.

If you don’t wish to do self catering, or for those nights off from cooking, then a short walk along the beach to the Vakaloa Beach Resort next door has a stunning dining room from which to watch the sunset. They have a good concise menu, nice food (it was great to eat fresh tomatoes again, after unavailable in Vava’u and Ha’api) with friendly, welcoming owners and staff.

After a terrific trip to Tonga, visiting the island groups of Vava’u, Ha’api and here on Tongatapu, we will definitely be back and spending time again at Blue Banana.

Regardless of where you stay in Tonga, remember you’re visiting a poor, but wonderful country and anything extra you can fit in your luggage will be most appreciated. The genuine smiles and thanks for a pack of chewing gum (sugarfree of course) are worth a thousand packs. Next time I’ll certainly pack a football, soccer ball, basket ball (deflated) and pump for the local kids or government school.

If you’re looking for a 5 star holiday with all the trimmings available in the West, then Tonga is not going to be for you. However, if you’re looking for a holiday that’s relaxing, safe, an experience you won’t find in many places, can forego 1 or 2 of life’s little luxuries, can put up with solitude when for as far as the eye can see up and down a pristine beach, it’s just you, then Tonga is a place you’ll enjoy and want to return to.

“Tonga is for travellers, not tourists” – Jill, Colorado, USA

Date of stay: May 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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3  Thank SouthAussieTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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