Home > Waterfront Lodge Review
Updated: January 6, 2021
Waterfront Lodge – Elegant, charismatic, and historic.
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 yesteryears, but the rooms are modern with chic lampshades and contemporary art. Each features a spacious balcony, and those at the front face the road and sea views are partially blocked by port buildings. The other rooms face the garden and neighboring houses, and are 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 a kilometer from the town center, with only a couple of small 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 1.5 km 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 25 km away.
- Views: Views of the sea are spoiled by the main road and port. Views to the back of homes and gardens are arguably nicer, and certainly quieter.
- Wi-Fi: A very small amount of data is provided for free. Extra charges are high.
- Parking: Free and secure parking available at the back.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: (676) 25 260
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: waterfrontlodge-tonga.com
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 is included in all rates. Cooked items cost extra.
- Room Service: Available during restaurants hours – 7.30 am to 10 am and 12 pm to 9 pm.
Waterfront Lodge – Rooms
- Room Types: Sea View Room • Garden View Room
- 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?
Beat Nearby Restaurants & Bars
- Ngutulei Bar & Restaurant – Always popular with expats for the fascinating port-side setting and super-fresh seafood. At the wharf, right across the road.
- Nauti Ruby’s – With happy hours, a beer garden, pool table, and excellent meals, the port-side ambience is very likable. Almost alongside the Ngutueli at the wharf.
- Billfish Bar & Restaurant – 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.
- Fresh Bar and Grill – In the Tanoa International Dateline Hotel, about 1 km along the esplanade towards town. For seafood, curries, imported steaks, and international sports on huge TVs.
- Emerald Chinese Restaurant – Virtually next to the Tanoa in the Emerald Hotel, it’s cavernous, authentic, and popular. Importantly, open on Sundays (when most of Tonga closes down). Takeaway also available.
Nearby 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 1.5 km away.
A confusing array of buses and minibuses travel along the esplanade – useful for getting to the town center. Alternatively, organize a private (unmetered) taxi at the hotel.
Waterfront Lodge – The Hotel
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