Little Italy Hotel in Tonga

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Updated: January 5, 2021

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Review of Little Italy Hotel in Tonga

Little Italy Hotel – Cozy and chic splash of Mediterranean in the Pacific.

This delightful slice of Italia is instantly recognizable from the balustrades and balconies. All rooms are much the same, with only the views differing: either facing the ocean with direct sea views from the private balconies, or to the back overlooking the attractive gardens. The beds are huge, the sofas are arty, and the wall-length photos of Capri would make any Italian homesick. And adding to the Mediterranean ambience is the ground-floor restaurant, with red-and-white checkered tablecloths and wallpaper scenes from Rome and Tuscany. It is a little isolated – more than a kilometer from downtown – but public transport does pass by regularly.

Little Italy Hotel – The Basics

  • Location: Along Vuna Road, the western end of the esplanade, in the capital Nuku’alofa on the main island. About 1.5 km from downtown and about 40 minutes from the airport.
  • Guests: All welcome, including families, with many Europeans returning year after year.
  • 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: Half the rooms front the ocean and esplanade (which is quiet). The rest overlook the garden to the back.
  • Wi-Fi: Available free throughout the hotel and restaurant.
  • Parking: Some free spots onsite, otherwise easy and safe to park outside on the street.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: (676) 25053
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: littleitalytonga.com

Little Italy Hotel – Amenities

  • Pool, Spa, & Fitness Center: Not expected or provided in this standard of hotel in Tonga.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided.

Little Italy Hotel – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant & Bar: The Little Italy restaurant is justifiably popular for all sorts of Italian food, as well as steaks, seafood and, um, shepherds’ pie. The wine list is one of the longest in Tonga, and the desserts are worth the trip alone. Also, open on Sundays for guests only.
  • Breakfast: A continental buffet breakfast is included, with cooked items.
  • Room Service: Available during restaurant hours – 7 am to 9 pm.

Little Italy Hotel – Rooms

  • Room Types: Standard Room • Ocean View Room
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking allowed in the rooms, so go out to the beach.
  • Best Room: The Ocean View Rooms offer perfect sea views from the extended balconies and modern facilities.

Little Italy Hotel – What’s Nearby?

Best Nearby Restaurants & Bars

  • Little India – Delightful setting overlooking a pond in Mamta Villa. More than just curries, with an open-air bar and snooker table. About 1 km further along the esplanade from town.
  • Black Pearl Restaurant – Claims to offer the ‘best steaks in Tonga’. The colonial-style setting is pleasant, the furniture ornate, and the balcony breezy. Another 200m past Little India, in The Black Pearl Suites hotel.
  • Reload Bar Tonga – Virtually the only bar in town, along the main street. Happy hours, locally-brewed beers, DJs, and adequate meals.
  • 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.
  • Marco’s Pizza Pasta – Hard to find in a side street (Unga Road), 2 blocks southeast of Friends Café. Relaxed garden seating, with live music on weekends and fish, grills, salads, and tasty desserts.
  • Enjoy Café – Friendly, with street-side seats. Offers cakes, all-day breakfast, and substantial meals. In the backstreets on Railway Road, one block south of the main street, Taufa’ahau Road.

Nearby Market or Grocery

  • Nothing nearby. Catch local transport to downtown for supermarkets and the produce and handicraft markets.

Local Transport

    ‘Taxis’ (which are actually shared minibuses) pass along the western esplanade outside the hotel. Wave one down and negotiate a fare.

Little Italy Hotel – The Hotel

The Mediterranean-style design of the hotel is very striking.

The hotel features a classic Mediterranean-style design, with broad balconies and whitewashed walls.

There is no decent beach near the sea-facing hotel.

The hotel faces the sea, but there is no worthwhile beach nearby.

Onsite restaurant and bar are a major local attraction.

One attraction of the hotel is the restaurant and bar on the ground floor.

Authentic Italian restaurant was later augmented into a hotel.

Years before the hotel was built, the Italian owners ran an authentic pasta and pizza restaurant in Tonga.

The back of the restaurant features a small patio and garden.

A small patio at the back of the restaurant offers a limited garden.

Huge paintings of Italy adorn the restaurant walls.

The walls of the restaurant are lined with huge paintings of Italy.

Colourful Standard Rooms feature Italian wallpapers.

The Standard Rooms are colorful, with more reminders of Italy across the walls.

Standard Rooms feature garden views from smallish windows.

They don’t have balconies, and the windows could be larger for better garden views.

Path along the beach lead to the town.

A path alongside the beach leads into town, about 1.5 km away.

Black Pearl is renowned for its colonial-style and its steaks.

Within a longish walk, the Black Pearl is renowned locally for its steaks and ornate colonial-style setting.

Little India restaurant nearby overlooks a pond.

Also not too far from the hotel is the Little India restaurant which overlooks a pond.

Enjoy Café in downtown is very pleasant.

About 1.5 km from the hotel, Enjoy Café is a likable eatery in downtown.

Friends Café is very popular in the town centre.

Friends Café is popular for its meals and Wi-Fi, and is easy to find along the main street in the town center.

Reload Bar is very popular in Tonga.

Reload is the best bar in town, but probably not in Tonga, despite the claim on its sign.

City centre of Nuku’alofa is 1.5km away.

The center of the likably scruffy capital, Nuku’alofa, is about 1.5 km away.

Parts of town feature century-old churches and trees.

Some parts of the town are nicer than others, with century-old trees and churches.

Talamahu Market in the town centre is popular for souvenir shopping.

The Talamahu Market between the eastern esplanade and main street in Nuku’alofa has a small collection of souvenir stalls.

Talamahu Market is also popular for fresh produce.

The Talamahu Market is more renowned for the stalls selling fruits, vegetables, and meats.

Royal Tombs are a tourist attraction yet tourists are not allowed.

The Royal Tombs are touted as a tourist attraction but are off-limits. It’s easy to find them along the main street in the town center.

Royal Palace in the middle of the esplanade is off-limits for tourists.

Along the middle of the esplanade, separating the western and eastern sections, the Royal Palace is also out of bounds to tourists.

Pigs freely graze along the esplanade.

Don’t be surprised to see pigs grazing on the grass along the esplanade.

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