Updated: July 14, 2018
Waterfront Lodge – Elegant, charismatic, historic but not a great area.
Bursting with character and loaded with charm, this plantation-style mansion is along the far eastern esplanade. The setting, with whitewashed walls and tropical gardens, transports guests back to yesteryear, but the rooms are modern, with chic lampshades and contemporary art. Each features a spacious balcony, but those at the front face the noisy road and sea views are spoilt by ugly port buildings. Views from the other rooms facing the garden and neighbouring houses are not unpleasant and probably quieter, while the ground-floor patio is a convivial spot for a coffee or cocktail. The only downside is the location: opposite a busy port over 1.5km from the town centre, with only a couple of tacky takeaways in between. Staying or not, certainly visit for one of Tonga’s very few classy restaurants.
Waterfront Lodge – The Basics
- Location: Along Vuna Road, the eastern esplanade in the capital, Nuku’alofa, on the main island. Opposite the Queen Salote Wharf, about 1.5km from downtown and 40 minutes from the airport.
- Guests: Focuses more on couples, with nothing set up for families. In fact, children under 10 are not allowed.
- 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 23km away.
- Views: Views of the sea are spoilt by the main road and port. Views to the back of homes and gardens are arguably nicer, and certainly quieter.
- Wi-Fi Internet: A very small amount of data is provided for free. Extra charges are high.
- Parking: Free and secure parking available at the back.
- Phone: (676) 25 260
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: http://www.waterfrontlodge-tonga.com/
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates. Use the website specific to your language, currency, and home-country for easiest use: UK • USA • Français • Deutsch • Nederlands.
Waterfront Lodge – Amenities
- Pool, Fitness Center & Spa: Not expected or provided in this petite boutique hotel.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided.
Waterfront Lodge – Food and Drink
- Restaurant & Bar: The Waterfront Café is a charming place for breakfast, lunch (reservations only) and dinner. Specialties include BBQ ribs, Thai salad and local cuisine, such as slow-cooked pork belly. Also popular among locals for pasta, steaks and desserts.
- Breakfast: Continental breakfast included in all rates. Cooked items cost extra.
- Room Service: Available during restaurants hours of about 7.30am to 10am and 12pm to 9pm.
Waterfront Lodge – Rooms
- Room Types: Sea View Rooms • Garden View Rooms
- Smoking Rooms: Smoking is not permitted in the rooms, but allowed on the balconies and in the gardens.
- Best Room: Any of the 4 Sea View Rooms facing the front.
Waterfront Lodge – What’s Nearby?
Restaurants & Bars
- Ngutulei Bar & Restaurant (22666) – always popular with expats for the fascinating portside setting and super-fresh seafood. At the wharf, right across the road. 1-minute walk.
- Nauti Ruby’s (887 8377) – with happy hours, a beer garden, pool table and excellent meals, the portside ambience is very likeable. Almost alongside the Ngutueli at the wharf. 2-minute walk.
- Billfish Bar & Restaurant (24084) – expat hangout, with happy hours, quiz nights and endless rugby on TV. Also popular for live music and pub meals. About 500m further up the esplanade. 6-minute walk.
- Fresh Bar and Grill – in the Tanoa International Dateline hotel, about 1.2km along the esplanade towards town. For seafood, curries, imported steaks and international sports on huge TVs. 14-minute walk.
- Emerald Chinese Restaurant (24619) – virtually next to the Tanoa hotel, it’s cavernous, authentic and popular. Importantly, open on Sundays (when most of Tonga closes down). Takeaway also available. 15-minute walk.
- Market or Grocery: A couple of basic convenience stores are along the esplanade nearby. Otherwise, there are supermarkets and a produce market in downtown, about 1.5km away.
A confusing array of buses and minibuses travel along the esplanade – useful for getting to the town centre. Alternatively, organise a private (unmetered) taxi at the hotel.