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.

“Just another day in paradise”
Review of Matafonua Lodge

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 5 more sites!
Matafonua Lodge
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Foa Island
Certificate of Excellence
Perth, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Just another day in paradise”
Reviewed September 19, 2013

Foa island is most people's idea of a tropical paradise. When we were there the max temps were about 28 deg with a gentle breeze blowing. Matafonua is on the tip of the island with the sea on both sides. Lovely coral and tropical fish are within a stonesthrow of your room in shallow water and further out are the majestic whales which are accessible by boat from the lodge and sometimes visible from shore.
The clear water and reefs make it a divers' delight.
Nina and Darren are the most friendly and welcoming hosts that you could imagine and the food would not be out of place in a top restaurant.
Older people may like a little more luxury but other than that it is perfect.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JackFinn2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

405 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    349
    50
    4
    2
    0
See reviews for
106
195
29
2
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (85)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rotorua, New Zealand
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2013

Amazing diving and whale watching on the Lodge's own boats had the neighbour's guests queuing up. Snorkeling from the beach was fantastic, as were all the stories told each day in the communal dining room

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 806debbies806
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Darren and Nina are amazing hosts, they go above and beyond to assist with anything.
The rooms are clean and tidy and absolute beachfront with the bathrooms super close to every room.
The food is amazing and plenty of it, and dinning every night and sharing stories of the day with everyone was fantastic.
The diving was great with very experienced dive instructors sharing there extensive knowledge.
The whale watching is conducted in a very professional manner that has the least amount of impact on the whales with the boat going out with very small numbers, and of course if you are lucky enough to get in the water with them be prepared to not stop smiling.
If you are visiting Ha'apai this is the place to stay.

Room Tip: All the rooms are beachfront.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Peta3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coromandel, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 11, 2013

Had a magic time in a magical place.Words cant express the beauty and serenity of this place,Matafonua has to be experienced to appreciate the integrity of its operation.To be able to watch, swim and dive with whales in their enviroment was something I will always treasure

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 2352013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

I normally prefer discovering new places when travelling but Matafonua is the first place I ever revisited - and not only once. I just came back from my third stay and spent a truly perfect week there. I am actually reluctant to write this review since it would be a shame to see this place and the whole island of Ha'apai attracting more tourists. However I do think Nina and Darren really deserve success with what they have built up here.

Everything just suits my taste of a succesful tropical holiday. A beautiful and lively lagoon just a step away from your fale. The fales themselfs are simple yet comfortable and with the new addition of some shelfs even easier to keep some tidyness. The food I found just amazing every night and if the two would open a restaurant anywhere near me I'd be a regular. Also the whole staff working there is just so super friendly and they seem to have lots of fun working there which just spreads lots of good vibes. While I am not a very experienced diver I find the diving spectacular and diverse. Last but definitely not least the whale swimming experience is just magical and the whales are actually not chased down but treated in the most respectful way.

I recommended this place to many friends of mine and none of them have come back dissapointed.
Go there.... and stay there if you can!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Michael A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nowra
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

A lot has been written about the hosts and the food. All true! There has also been a range of images of the island and lodge, so I won't go there. What impressed me in the ocean was the state of the coral - very healthy. Fish fauna wasn't that good, but the overall diving was of a high standard considering the region. Whales are the reason most visit Tonga, and again they didn't disappoint especially when Darren navigates the boat. But what a great place for families, easy beach access, a fantastic lagoon, canoes and bicycles to hire. All age groups can really enjoy what this resort has to offer. So don't disregard this place as a diving destination - it won't disappoint.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Attila K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

I just wanted to give huge ups to Darren and Nina at Matafonua. Having done a lot of time diving and fishing throughout the pacific, I have to say Matafonua is way up there and the first place i'd like to return whenever next I get the chance.

I was there earlier this year with my family and my teenage boys did their padi cert. Talk about spoilt. Their first diving experience was one of my best after 36 years.

Matafonua is in Tonga on the island of Ha'apai, on the Northern tip of Foa road. And as an isthmus it benefits from the daily tidal surge which brings crystal clear, deep blue water through a channel right next to the beach. So its one of the few places where there is great ( safe) snorkelling off the beach and great fishing (GT's) right on its doorstep. In season, you'll often see Whales directly offshore.
The surrounding dive sites are outstanding and offer huge variety and make it one of the best reasons for going. But the best reason for staying is the amazing, laid back, hospitality from Darren and Nina. Darren is a world class waterman and world class water photographer. His dive and Whale watch operation is also world class and he is an amazing, knowlegeable guide. If you are interested in Whale watching I suggest you check out the Matafonua facebook page.
He does a very good job in the kitchen as well, which is often hard to find and for me a deciding factor to a great holiday.
I've now been to Matafonua 3 times so thought it was time i wrote a review - and in the interests of transparency, I have got to know and like the owners very well - so yes, I am biased. But that as a result of spending time there and falling in love with the place and the people.
If you are thinking - laid back, lovely but basic accomodation, great food, diving, weather, fishing and wonderful hospitality it's a top place. It's even close enough to do for a long weekend from NZ. Forget the current NZ travel warning-it has nothing to do with Ha'apai.

Room Tip: The rooms are Fales, basic and well made. They stand on poles and get the breeze. They are all prett...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank James B
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 Foa Island
0.0 mi away
The Friendly Islander Hotel
The Friendly Islander Hotel
#7 of 13 in Nuku'alofa
46 reviews
0.3 mi away
Sandy Beach Resort
Sandy Beach Resort
#2 of 2 in Foa Island
330 reviews
13.0 mi away
Serenity Beaches Resort
Serenity Beaches Resort
#1 of 1 in Uoleva Island
83 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Tongan Beach Resort
Tongan Beach Resort
#5 of 10 in Neiafu
149 reviews
0.0 mi away
White Sands Beach Resort
0.0 mi away
Keleti International Resort
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Matafonua Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia, Agoda and Priceline so you can book your Matafonua Lodge 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:
Matafonua Hotel Ha`Apai Islands
Matafonua Lodge Tonga/Foa 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