Updated: July 16, 2018
The Black Pearl – Isolated and a little rundown, but charming and atmospheric.
Typically Tongan, this may seem abandoned but is effusively welcoming inside. Based in an old-style whitewashed building that seems to continually suffer from cyclone damage, it only offers ‘suites’, which are really just rooms. Upstairs and accessible from a corridor, none have sea views, despite the balconies, but are, nonetheless, airy, bright and breezy. Each is individually decorated, some feature rather ornate furniture and tasteless art, and a few even have a second lounge/daybed in a mezzanine level for a child. More renowned for the steak restaurant and bar at the front, The Black Pearl is remote, with taxis and minibuses rarely passing by.
The Black Pearl – The Basics
- Location: Along the far western end of Vuna Road, the esplanade in Nuku’alofa, the capital on the main island. About 3km from downtown and 40 minutes from the airport.
- Guests: Caters for all, including small families, but less likely to appeal to business people.
- Beach: The beach just across the road is too rocky to even walk on, let alone lie on or swim in. The closest serviceable beach is at Ha’atafu, on the far western tip, about 19km away.
- Views: None of the rooms have sea views; they all look into another building to the side.
- Wi-Fi Internet: Provided free for guests of the hotel and restaurant.
- Parking: Plenty of free parking, catering for restaurant guests, also.
- Phone: (676) 28 393
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: n/a
- How to Book: Tripadvisor
The Black Pearl – Amenities
- Pool, Spa & Fitness Center: Not expected or provided at this sort of hotel in Tonga.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided.
The Black Pearl – Food and Drink
- Restaurant & Bar: The Black Pearl Restaurant claims to offer the ‘best steak in Tonga’. The colonial-style setting is pleasant, and the airy balcony ideal for breezes and views. The bar is congenial and popular with expats in the know.
- Breakfast: A continental breakfast is included.
- Room Service: Available during restaurant hours, i.e. about 11am to 9pm.
The Black Pearl – Rooms
- Room Types: Only ‘suites’ are offered. Each is completely different in décor, layout and size.
- Smoking Rooms: Smoking is not allowed inside the rooms, but OK on the balconies.
- Best Room: The best would be the one furthest from the bar and restaurant, which are at the front of the building.
The Black Pearl – What’s Nearby?
Restaurants & Bars
- Little India (22181) – delightful setting overlooking a pond in Mamta Villa. Much more than just curries, with an open-air bar and snooker table. About 150m back towards town. 2-minute walk.
- Little Italy – understandably popular for all sorts of Italian cuisine and seafood. Also, an extensive wine list and exquisite desserts. About 1.5km along the esplanade towards town. 2-minute drive.
- Friends Café – always busy, if only for the free and reliable Wi-Fi. Claims to have the ‘best coffee in town’, but also delicious meals. Easy to find at a corner on the main street, Taufa’ahau Road. 5-minute drive.
- Marco’s Pizza Pasta (22144) – hard to find in a side-street (Unga Road), two blocks back from (southeast of) Friends. Also, fish, grills, salads and tasty desserts, with relaxed garden seating and live music on weekends. 6-minute drive.
- Enjoy Café (887 8098) – friendly, with street-side seats, cakes, all-day breakfast and substantial meals. In the backstreets on Railway Road, one block south of the main street, Taufa’ahau Road.
- Market or Grocery: There are no shops along this end of the esplanade, so head downtown.
Infrequent ‘taxis’ (actually shared minibuses) ply the esplanade but rarely travel this far. So, order a private (unmetered) taxi at the hotel.