Captain Cook Apartments in Tonga

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Updated: January 5, 2021

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Review of Captain Cook Apartments in Tonga

Captain Cook Apartments – Low-key, self-catering, and convenient – great for budget-minded families.

The handful of apartments are in a small two-level block with a vague nautical design facing the sea, and within a pleasant stroll of downtown. Set back from the road, with a patio and modest gardens, very little, particularly the furniture, has changed since about 1972, but it’s charming in a laidback unstated Tongan way. All apartments are the same: with two bedrooms, a kitchen, balcony/patio, and unusually, air-con in the main bedroom and living area. It’s affordable, handy to downtown, and with friendly owners living on-site, there’s a chance to interact with a Tongan family.

Captain Cook Apartments – The Basics

  • Location: Unsigned along Vuna Road, the western end of the esplanade, in the capital Nuku’alofa on the main island. About 1.5 km from the town center and 40 minutes from the airport.
  • Guests: Caters mainly for business people on a budget, especially those staying a while, but also ideal for families and small groups.
  • Beach: It faces the sea but there is no beach anywhere in or around Nuku’alofa. The closest serviceable beach is at Ha’atafu, on the far western tip, about 20 km away.
  • Views: The apartments on the second (top) floor have better sea views, but the ocean is 100m away.
  • Wi-Fi: Not provided.
  • Parking: Enough free and secure parking in the front yard.
  • How to Book: will have the best rates.
  • Phone: (676) 25 600
  • Email:
  • Website: Facebook

Captain Cook Apartments – Amenities

  • Pool, Spa, & Fitness Center: Not expected or provided in this sort of low-key apartment block in Tonga.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided.

Captain Cook Apartments – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant & Lounge/Bar: Not expected or provided, but several places are within walking distance (see below).
  • Breakfast: Not provided, because guests are expected to self-cater using kitchens.
  • Room Service: Not available, because there’s no restaurant, and each apartment has a kitchen.

Captain Cook Apartments – Rooms

  • Room Types: All self-contained apartments with 2 bedrooms.
  • Smoking Rooms: Smoking is only allowed outside the rooms.
  • Best Room: All the same inside, but those on the top (second) floor will have better views, and the ones at the end of the block, away from the lobby area, would be quieter.

Captain Cook Apartments – What’s Nearby?

Best Nearby Restaurants & Bars

  • Little Italy Restaurant – Understandably popular for pasta, pizza, steaks, and seafood. Also, an extensive wine list and exquisite desserts. Almost next door.
  • Seaview Lodge and Restaurant – For sea views, a romantic setting, and haute cuisine with a Polynesian flare. Also open for breakfast. Reservations recommended in the evenings. About 600m along the esplanade towards town.
  • Friends Café – Very popular, if only for the Wi-Fi. Claims to have the ‘best coffee in town’, as well as an impressive range of meals. Easy to find at a corner on the main street, Taufa’ahau Road.
  • Reload Bar Tonga – Virtually the only bar in town, along the main street. Happy hours, locally-brewed beers, DJs, and adequate meals.
  • Enjoy Café – Friendly, with street-side tables. Offers cakes, coffee, all-day breakfast, and substantial meals. In the backstreets on Railway Road, one block south of the main street.

Nearby Market or Grocery

  • There is nothing close by, so walk (1.5 km) or catch a minibus to the town center, where there are supermarkets, a produce market, and 2 handicraft markets.

Local Transport

    Shared ‘taxis’ (actually minibuses) pick up passengers along the esplanade for a negotiable fare.

Captain Cook Apartments – The Hotel

The apartments are close to the esplanade and downtown Nuku’alofa.

The apartments are in a small block back from the esplanade and not too far from downtown Nuku’alofa.

All apartments have a small balcony/veranda.

All apartments feature a small but serviceable patio/balcony.

Gardens feature outdoor seating with sea views.

The gardens are pleasant, although modest, with some outdoor tables and chairs facing the sea.

The apartment furniture is old but comfortable.

The furniture in the apartments is dated and needs replacing, but still clean and comfortable.

Apartments feature Tongan decor and artwork.

There are some touches of Tonga in the décor, especially with the wall art.

The kitchens are modern, spacious and well-equipped.

More modern are the kitchens, which are spacious, airy, and well-equipped.

Main bedrooms open into the balcony/veranda through full-length windows.

The main bedrooms feature full-length windows to the patios/balconies.

Main bedrooms are well-furnished and spacious.

The main bedrooms are reasonably well-appointed, with some photos of distant Tongan islands.

Second bedrooms are cramped for space and light.

The second bedrooms are compact and have smaller windows.

The beach around the island is narrow and hardly usable.

The beach opposite (and elsewhere in the capital) is barely usable for walking, let alone swimming.

The town centre is walking distance using the seaside path.

A pleasant seaside path links the apartments with the town center, about 1.5 km away.

Next door is Little Italy Pizzeria Restaurant and Bar.

The closest bar/restaurant, Little Italy, is virtually next door.

Little Italy serves good Italian food in a traditional setting.

The Little Italy Restaurant offers pasta, pizza, steaks, and seafood in a colorful setting.

Enjoy Cafe serves good coffee and meals.

One of the best places for a coffee or substantial meal in the town center is Enjoy Café.

Friends Cafe is set in an amazing colonial-era building.

Along the main street in downtown, Friends Café is set in a lovely colonial-era building.

Reload Bar is popular with foreigners.

Reload is the best (and really only) bar in town for foreigners.

Nuku’alofa features only a handful of eateries.

Nuku’alofa provides a range of (albeit limited) places to eat.

Apartments are close to the small capital centre of Nuku’alofa.

The apartments are within a pleasant stroll (1.5 km) of the center of Nuku’alofa, the surprisingly small Tongan capital.

Nuku’alofa features century-old churches and trees.

Although there is little to see or do in the capital, the layout, with century-old churches and trees, is pleasant in parts.

The capital is turning modern and has enough greenery.

There are a few modern buildings and patches of greenery in the capital.

Due to constant cyclones some businesses are prepared in advance.

Some businesses in Nuku’alofa are always well-prepared during a cyclone warning.

Authentic souvenir shopping at Langafonua Handicraft Centre.

Next to Friends Café in the main street, the Langafonua Handicraft Centre is the best place to buy authentic souvenirs.

The small capital has a handful of places to eat and shop.

The handful of streets in the capital offer a limited range of places to eat, drink, and shop.

Basilica of Saint Antony of Padua is along the main street.

Along the main street, the Basilica of Saint Antony of Padua is the largest of several religious buildings in the capital.

Talamahu Market is popular for fresh produce and souvenirs.

Between the eastern esplanade and main street, about 1.5 km from the apartments, the Talamahu Market sells fresh produce and a few souvenirs.

The Royal Palace is off-limit to tourists.

Splitting the esplanade between the eastern and western sections is the Royal Palace, which is off-limits to tourists.

Pigs roam freely on the esplanades near the town centre.

Pigs can often be seen grazing along the esplanades only a few hundred meters from the town center.

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