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“Amazing location and diving!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Matafonua Lodge

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Matafonua Lodge
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Foa Island
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing location and diving!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2013

Matafonua Lodge is the perfect place for a tropical Tongan getaway. The hosts are great and very friendly. The scuba dive was also one of the best I have done. Staying in traditional style 'fales' on the beach in paradise was such a relaxing experience. We were also served brilliant meals every night. Not to mention the view - unlike anything I have seen, the water is exquisite. HIGHLY recommend!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SaraAlice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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385 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    2
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2013

Having been to other Pacific Island destinations we were keen to visit Tonga. We were not disappointed.

Matafonua was a fantastic choice for us. The fale are really great - for those wanting a hotel with swim-up bar and manicured lawns- this is not the destination. For those who want the best location ever, the most amazing food, friendly and casual staff who go far beyond the call of duty to make your stay comfortable and memorable, snorkelling in some of the most amazing lagoons in pristine condition.

The fales are on the breezy side of the pennisula so they are perfect for staying cool. The sunbathing beach on the left side is perfect for relaxing under a palm, swimming, watching the sun set each night.

Darren and Nina can cook like you wouldn't believe - 5 star meals! Get to know the Tongan staff - they are hillarious and so much fun to talk to.

Having Darren and Nina's children around the place just added something to the feel of the place to hear children laughing and see them playing was a bonus.

Kayaking, walking, biking to the villages or church (and I recommend that too) all added to a wonderful week.

Sure, the trip from the main island is not first class - the plane was about 5 seater but the views as we flew in were unbelievable. I loved the whole experience.

People always mention the shared facilities - well for me this was actually a bonus in some ways...a walk in the moonlight to the bathrooms was no real chore (which, by the way, had fantastic hot water and were always immaculate). So, for the price and the setting, the shared facilities are simply nothing to even factor in I think.

We will definitley go back. I could sit and look at the view from the dining room, fale, beach ....all day! I can only imagine being there when the whales are around. Next time!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dave M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2013

In January we had a wonderful week here. The fales (beachside bedroom houses) are basic but have the most beautiful views and nice little balconies. The restaurant has a different menu every evening - inlcuding curry, traditional Tongan, BBQ and more. The daytime menu has good basic burgers and pizze.

Our diving was magnificent - visibility up to 40 metres. The boat was good and Darren very knowledgable - about diving, whee to look and underwater photography. We saw rays and leopard sharks, "spanish dancer" nudibranchs, boxer crabs,

There were three different beaches within 5 minutes walk. My sons caught fish from the beach and we all enjoyed a very quiet place. The dive instruction was professional and friendly. The dive locations were varied - including pinnacles, walls, caves and tunnels - and all made very easy by the dive leader. There is snorkelling over coral right by the accommodation or you can swim across a channel to bask on an uninhabited island.

There is no nightlife nearby, no other places to eat but you can visit the nearby village, hire bikes or kayaks.

Room Tip: The rooms are fine - clean, comfy beds, clean sheets and towels, electric outlets and perfect views...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CeliaWB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 17, 2012

We stayed at Matafonua for 4 nights and had an absolutely fantastic time. The location is idyllic, and the accommodation well maintained and comfortable. The lack of ensuite was not a problem as the shared facilities were nicely maintained. We thoroughly enjoyed Darren and Nina's hospitality and stories about Tonga and their travels. The food was exceptional; fresh fish was abundant, lunches were more than ample and Nina's deserts were fantastic. All the staff were very friendly and did their up-most to ensure that we had an enjoyable stay. We stayed at Matafonua outside of the whale watching season and can't wait to go back to swim with the whales and enjoy this little piece of friendly paradise.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank louisejanewilkins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra ACT
Level Contributor
40 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2012

We stayed here for 3 nights in early July.Unfortunately this was the only vacancy as the whale watching season had just commenced.
We had a most enjoyable time as the company was great, food excellent and Nina and Darren are the perfect hosts. Nina's desserts are to die for.
The fales do have shared facilities but this is not a disadvantage.
When you realise that Ha'apai is not a tourist hub you will appreciate how unique Matafonua Lodge is.
The fales are located on the beach and the ocean breeze is an added bonus.
Fales do not have fridges or jugs.
Suggest you bring your munchies with you as the local town does not cater for Palangis.
Well done Nina, Darren and staff.

Room Tip: Front fales receive more ocean breezes
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chooch54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2012

We had an excellent holiday with plenty of snorkelling, diving and sailing capped off by an exciting whale swimming experience. The hosts, Darren and Nina, were great fun and very knowledgeable and capable. The accommodation was good for Tongan standards. The fales were clean and basic (no running water or electricity), with a walk along sandy paths to the ablution block, creating a relaxed and beachy atmosphere. The staff were very helpful and friendly. The island outlook was pretty with plenty of snorkelling at your doorstep. Great place for a group holiday. You can't beat swimming with whales for a holiday with a difference.

Room Tip: Being nearer to the amenities block is a bonus.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Judy122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2012

Nina and Darren were lovely and did their best to make us feel welcome. We were the only ones staying at the resort at the time and felt like we were on school camp rather than on a romantic holiday as we had dinner with the family every evening. There was only one or two choices for dinner each night which Darren cooked and were good but they were pretty expensive for what you got. There is a serious lack of fruit on the island (which is what you want in hot weather!) so I would suggest taking supplies over with you. Also make sure you take lots of insect repellent as we got mauled by mozzies every night. We were disappointed because the lodge was run down and we had booked to stay here for my husband to dive. When we arrived we were told that diving no longer ran from the lodge. They advertised having snorkelling gear available - this was totally useless, old and needed to be replaced. The bikes that were available were rusty and useless too. Just to escape from feeling like we were in a homestay we went for dinner over at Sandy Beach a couple of times (the only other option on the island). The accomodation is much nicer here and so is the beach. However, they also have very limited food choices. So in summary the beach is breathtaking. But we didn't feel the lodge had any atmosphere or young people to socialise with. All and all we loved the swimming and beach but came home very disappointed from this holiday. In fact we were so excited to leave and spend the rest of our trip on the mainland at Hatufu lagoon - there was much more happening, more of a holiday vibe. I don't think I would recommend Matafonua to our friends or family as there are much better places to stay in the south pacific.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Logan-Michelle B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Matafonua Lodge

Property: 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): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Matafonua Lodge 2.5*
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 
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Also Known As:
Matafonua Hotel Ha`Apai Islands
Matafonua Lodge Tonga/Foa Island

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