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“Great for a short stay”

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Serenity Beaches Resort
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Uoleva Island
Reviewed 9 October 2013

This resort is located on the island of Uoleva which is a sparsely populated island. Other accommodation located on the island includes Captain Cooks Hideaway and Taiana’s (Diana’s) Beach Resort. All accommodation is located on the water. Details can be found on http://www.haapai.to/accommodation.html. Apart from that the island appears largely unpopulated. It is a 45 min boat transfer from the main town (that's if you don't have to wait for supplies).

We stayed in an ensuite room on the southern side of the island. There are only three well spaced fales on this side of the island. The southern side of the island receives most of the weather and was usually windy/breezy but on the up side this meant that there were very few mosquitoes unlike the main area of the resort including the dining area where they were in large numbers.

The room is an open walled fale with an open to nature but private bathroom. While advertised as ensuite, it is limited. It has a western style toilet but the shower is cold with low pressure and the hot water consists of a solar bag (think camping style) they are placed on the beach to warm during the day. This results in a very limited warmish shower at around 4-5 pm only. Don’t think you will get up to a hot shower.

The Good –
Lovely isolated location to fully relax.
Rooms are a nice change and it is peaceful and rejuvenating going to sleep and waking to the sounds of the waves.
Staff are wonderful and helpful, including the cultural shows.

The Bad –
Its location (also a positive) but it means you will waste time with transfers and also limited services offered such as service providers for diving etc.
Drinking water. Drinking water is provided in old empty alcohol bottles (often with green stuff growing at the bottom). Bad if you want to take water with you on a long walk due to the extra weight. My highest recommendation would be if you are going to the island take a large plastic water bottle that you can fill and is clean!
The cost, when compared to other accommodation in the island group.
The internet is free but only available at limited times and in the main area.
No power means some limitations. After a few days we didn’t want to see fried bread again. But I must say they did an exceptional job considering the restrictions.

I enjoyed my time at Serenity but after a few days I was looking for things to do. If that’s the type of holiday you are after then this is the place for you. I am glad we stayed at Serenity but grateful we only stayed a few days and moved on. We don’t like sitting still for too long.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Roy650
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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40 - 46 of 87 reviews

Reviewed 16 September 2013

Serenity beaches resort has to be one of the most amazing places I have stayed. Patty and her crew look after you so well, the food is incredible, the beaches are picture postcards and the reefs just off shore are some of the healthiest I have ever seen!

Be sure to take some cash as there are no ATM's anywhere near Uoleva, and be sure to book in for a massage with Patty and get her to tell you some stories about the stars she's worked with in the past! Such an interesting person!

The rooms are awesome, taking a shower under the sky in the middle of the jungle is a highlight! They open out on the bluest ocean you can possibly imagine, and you can drift off to sleep at night listening to the waves, and the humpback whales which swim in the ocean around here in winter. (winter time is still 26 degrees and sunny most days)

loved my time here and will be back as soon as i can
Thanks Patty and the crew for looking after us so well, see you again next year.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank PJDavo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2013

Patti and her crew provided us with excellent service and food along with the Friendly Tongan hospitality of the people. Be prepared to be picked up by an island taxi where you will be taken to the little yet main town of Pangai where you can get any last supplies (liquor, snacks, etc.). You will then get on an island boat and shuttled to the island of Uoleva a 50 minute boat ride with wonderful views. My only suggestion would be that they have their own boat for shuttle and activities.
Malo Patti, Semi, Mote and Noa for making us feel at home.

Room Tip: Rooms on the lee side have more of a breeze but are larger. The food is excellent. Fish and fresh ve...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank PPulotu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2013

What really stands out at Serenity is the staff. They are truly amazing - everyone who helped us during our stay was friendly, polite and genuine. We chose a fale (Dolofini) with an 'en-suite'. This was situated on the other side of the island from the main fale, and was secluded and peaceful, with great sea views. The fale itself is a beautiful building as the other reviews have said. In terms of comfort, it was convenient having the toilet and shower attached to the bedroom. It's worth reiterating what has been said by other guests: the water supply comes from a well, is slightly salty, and is cold. There is a bag of solar-heated water delivered to your room each afternoon for a warm(ish) shower - it depends how sunny it was during the day - but once it's gone, you are only left with cold water again! We knew this but it was still a bit difficult to live with for 5 nights. The bed was pretty hard and we both had backaches each morning. We were also quite shocked by how dark it got at night. The solar lights they deliver are good but they don't provide oodles of light. Don't expect to be able to choose from your suitcases what clothes to wear for dinner after the sun has set! A final note on the fales: take care in the shower as we had a hefty tree branch fall on it while we were staying. Luckily none of us were in the shower at the time!

Our stay was marred by one of us falling sick on the first night. We attributed this to the rainwater which is used for drinking. While nobody else fell ill when we were there, we did ask to switch to drinking boiled water. Having now been to another resort nearby where boiled water is always served, this would be our strongest recommendation to Serenity and its future guests: please boil the water before you drink it! The illness was quite bad and lasted for 3 days. We even took a trip to the local hospital on Ha-apai to get some antibiotics for a related infection! However, through all this, Semi, Moti, Noa and Aki really deserve our thanks for their amazing kindness and attention, making sure our food and drinks afterwards were what we needed to recover.

For whale watching, Shelly and Selessi (the boat pilot who will most likely transfer you to Serenity) are our recommendation. They have a great passion for the whales and approach them very sensitively. We recommend taking tours with them if you have the opportunity.

The food was good while we were there. A little heavy on the garlic and fried bread but generally tasty.

Overall we enjoyed our experience at Serenity. The island is truly amazing and we did the full 10km round trip of the coast. It's stunning! Patti has created a good resort and has employed some outstanding Tongan people who really lift the whole experience to a new level. It is tough place to be sick though, especially as it feels so remote, so please take precautions. Otherwise, don't go there with too many expectations and enjoy whatever experience you end up having - that's what we did, and we have some fond memories that will stay with us for a long time.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank RoniSi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2013

From the moment we stepped off the boat onto Uoleva Island, we felt the serenity and warmth of Serenity Beaches resort. Patti and Semi welcomed us with open arms to the haven that they have created. The beautiful fales assembled from Balinese timber create the perfect setting for ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation. The pristine waters and beautiful beaches of Uoleva Island provided the perfect place to swim, snorkel and stroll. Patti and Semi were extremely hospitable and their meals were always amazingly delicious and fresh. I still dream about Semi's lobster and Patti - I hope one day we can experiment together again! Our daily yoga and meditation sessions in such a peaceful setting will remain fond memories until we next return to paradise.

Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
1  Thank lpicks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2013

We have just returned from Tonga, having stayed in 5 different locations/resorts over 9 nights. Serenity Beaches stands out as a very, very special place!! - not just for this trip but from our past travels. The hospitality and welcome from Patti, Semi, Moti and Noa were the warmest we have ever received - from the moment we stepped ashore at Uoleva Island until our departure we were cared for as family in the most sincerest way. Patti's energy is incredible, and the story of how she created the resort at Serenity Beach is 'spine tingling' inspiring! Semi worried that they might not feed us enough, so he kept cooking delicious fresh food - and we kept eating!!

The location is stunning - with amazing water clairty, snorkelling from right off the beach on either side of the resort at low or high tides, and white sand beaches all the way around the island. Moti took us to see the archaelogical site, and showed us some of the traditional foods and medicines in the bush. We enjoyed moon-lit (and sun-lit) swims, dozed away the entire afternoon on our first day, walked and talked, and had the most relaxing time. Despite being the only guests we were treated to traditional dance, and fire dancing on our last night.

The rooms, dining and recreation areas are perfect for the location - attractive, inviting, authetic and eco friendly, but without sacrificing comfort (in many ways the paring back of some of the usual home comforts enhanced the experience - eg, natural airflow through the fales rather than aircon or ceiling fans, and candles and solar lanterns lighted the dining area, paths to the fales, and the fales themselves).

We were genuinley very sad to leave Serenity Beaches, but hope to return with our children in the not too distant future.

Thank you all so much!!! xx

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank NicoleS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2013

We arrived by a small boat after a 15 hour night ferry trip (which is as close to hell you can get) . I'm tired and grumpy, then get greeted on the beach by Patti & Semi, they were great from the moment we arrived, it took about 20 minutes for me to snap out of my grumpy state!

The place is just fantastic! The room while no power, was lit up with candles, very authentic decor, cold showers (no problem when its that hot) and the best beach you can imagine, same on both sides of the island and swimable at high and low tide (low tides a problem for swimming close to Tongataupu). The main building is very cool, overlooking the pacific ocean and another white as beach! The food, including the lobster was outstanding, Semi likes to keep feeding you and doesn't hold back, desert every night (they even made me a birthday cake and put up some birthday signs!) The cost is about $50 NZ for cooked breakfast and dinner. Out of all the resorts we stayed at in Tonga, this is simply the best, and I think what makes it the best is the hosts, they are welcoming and sincere, its not about the money (but their prices are spot on). We will be back with the family next year.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank lorne s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Serenity Beaches Resort

Address: Ha'apai Island Group | Kingdom of Tonga, Uoleva Island, Tonga
Phone Number:
Region: Tonga > Ha'apai Islands > Uoleva Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Uoleva Island
Price Range: £121 - £126 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on a deserted Island in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga, this resort is totally surrounded by beautiful sandy beaches and many exquisite coral reefs. Rooms are all beachfront and far from each other so they offer ultimate privacy. Use of kayaks and snorkel equipment is FREE. Meals are made from fresh local ingredients, and accommodation is made for special needs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Serenity Beaches Resort Tonga/Uoleva Island

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