Tonga The Black Pearl

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.

Local Transport

    Infrequent ‘taxis’ (actually shared minibuses) ply the esplanade but rarely travel this far. So, order a private (unmetered) taxi at the hotel.

The Black Pearl – The Hotel

The hotel is located west of the town centre.

The hotel is along the far western end of the esplanade in the capital, Nuku’alofa.

The hotel features colonial architecture and charm.

The Black Pearl offers some colonial charm, with whitewashed walls and a broad balcony.

The onsite bar and restaurant is extremely popular.

More renowned than the hotel is the bar and restaurant at the front of the building.

Black Pearl restaurant is renowned for its steaks.

Featuring ornate furniture, the Black Pearl restaurant claims to offer the ‘best steaks in Tonga’.

The restaurant balcony offers great views and breezes.

The bar and restaurant also have a breezy balcony with direct sea views.

Unappealing and unusable beach also sports a few roaming pigs.

The beach over the road is unusable, and don’t be surprised if there’s a wild pig or two on the sand.

Beachside pathway leads all the way to downtown.

Alongside the beach, a pathway leads about 3km to downtown.

Beachside path leads towards the western part of the island as well.

The beachside path from downtown continues past the hotel and heads further west.

Lounge areas in suites have plush furniture but tasteless art.

The suites feature a plush lounge area and some fairly tasteless art on the walls.

Each suites have different layouts and decor.

The décor, layout and furniture differ in each suite.

Some spacious suites even feature a child's bed.

The suites are spacious, and some feature a mezzanine level with a second bed for a child.

None of the rooms have any decent views.

The rooms are along a corridor, so none have views of the sea.

The main balcony has great sea views.

The front balcony used by the bar and restaurant faces the sea.

Little Italy nearby is one of the best restaurants in town.

The best restaurant nearby is Little Italy, about 1.5km back along the esplanade towards town.

Little India restaurant nearby is located next to a pond.

Also worthwhile is Little India, in Mamta Villa, about 150m back along the esplanade.

Friends Café is very popular in the town centre.

In the middle of town, the excellent Friends Café is always popular.

Enjoy Café serves the best meals in town.

Also in the town centre, and arguably the best place for a meal, is Enjoy Café.

Langafonua Handicrafts Centre is located next to the Friends Cafe.

Next to the Friends Café is the Langafonua Handicrafts Centre.

Handicrafts Centre is very popular for souvenir shopping.

The handicrafts centre is the best place to buy souvenirs.

Amongst the town centre's many religious buildings is St Paul’s Anglican Church.

The St Paul’s Anglican Church is one of many religious buildings in the town centre.

Nuku’alofa city centre is 3km from the hotel.

The centre of the Tonga capital, Nuku’alofa, is about 3km from the hotel.

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