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“Team Tonga 2014” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Friendly Islander Hotel

The Friendly Islander Hotel
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The Friendly Islander Hotel
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Nuku'alofa
Tauranga, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Team Tonga 2014”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2014

We found the location and accommodation to be friendly, adequate, and comfortable for our intents and purposes during our stay there. Papiloa and staff were friendly and helpful. Anything we needed or had concerns about we could tell them about and it was dealt with promptly.

Room Tip: Book a room without a street lamp outside of it.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank 350GTNissan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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41 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    17
    12
    3
    2
    7
See reviews for
10
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5
8
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Johnston Atoll
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2014

That unique part of Tongan character that means they don't care about anything, especially hygiene. This place is Cockroach infested heaven, believe me, I don't mind bug or two but when it is actually infested it's hard to sleep. Can you imagine sleeping with a cockroach climbing on your face and under the blankets. Wretch! They told me to keep the window locked to stop theives and the staff went through my things, thankfully I had stashed my cash. My bag was left as a set up and tampered with when I got back. The owner has that Tongan social status thing going on, like she is something other than fat and useless. Do not stay here, they just don't get it. Filthy.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank fobabett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Papiloa, Manager at The Friendly Islander Hotel, responded to this review, 23 August 2015
We thank you for your valued comment and apologise for delayed response. Sorry for your unpleasant stay and we do note these issues for necessary action going forward.
malo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Nuku'alofa hotels

Savusavu
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2014

We have stayed at the Friendly Islander, better known locally as "Papiloa's Place" two times. We chose the older less expensive rooms (no AirCon, just a fan) and were quite pleased. While older, they were very clean and very well maintained. The location is right by the sea and close to town. The staff were very nice and made sure we had everyting we needed, including for cooking. Papiloa herself gave us a guided tour of Tongatapu (and several other rides as well), with tons of local insider information. If you want to see and hear about the real Tonga, this is a geat place to stay.

Room Tip: If you need AirCon chose the newer units.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Fijijohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Central, New Zealand
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2013

On 6/7/13 I didn't spent my 4 days in Tonga with my family because i like to experience the Friendly Islander Hotel to compare what i read and hurt about Papiloa and her services, now i can't regret are single minute but i count every moment that i been with them and how they make me feel like home, because when you away from home you can't expect everything to be perfect like you stay at your own home but i recommend everybody that want to travel to Tonga for a vacation trust me Papiloa's Hotel is the place to stay..Great!Relax!Peaceful!Friendly!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ltuionetoa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gosford, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2013

After an eventful journey through the Pacific, Papiloa's Place was a relaxing and memorable spot to base myself during my time in Tonga.

My room was large and comfortable with a pleasant view over the garden, the pool was nice and the entire hotel was safe and quiet. But the real appeal of the Friendly Islander is the service – Papiloa and the crew went out of their way to make me feel right at home.

On the Sunday, Papiloa not only took me to church with her, she followed that up with a short tour of Nuku’alofa so I could take some photos and then dropped me off at the ferry so I could visit Pangaimotu Island for the day. When I got back later that night, hungry and without food, she didn’t hesitate to take me into town to get some dinner – how many places offer service like that?

More than anything, through staying at the Friendly Islander I was able to gain valuable insight into the day-to-day lives of the people of Tonga, and acquire a greater appreciation for this beautiful country. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: I stayed in the hotel proper, where the front rooms facing the garden and ocean were the best. The f...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TheNakedZombie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
newcastle
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 November 2012

My partner and I stayed at the Friendly Islander Hotel Papiloa's Place for the first time in June 2012. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have found a great place to stay while in Tonga visiting our family. The fale was very cute, and we loved having our own little place to come to at the end of the day. The amenities in the fale were fine, the water pressure was good, and it was hot as well, the fale had a microwave and fridge and coffee making facilities. We were so impressed with the hotel that on our second trip to Tonga in October 2012 we had no hesitation in staying there again. Papiloa greeted us as if we were long lost family. She arranged a hire car for us at a great rate, and in general could not enough to make our stay comfortable. As we have family there we dont do the touristy things much but she was willing to help with anything we needed. The rooms were clean and made up fresh each day. I love the gardens there, they are just lovely...I would not hesittate to recommend this beautiful place that my partner and i are now proud to call our home away from home in Tonga

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mad4disney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2012

I visited Tonga for 10 days during May 2012 and was so happy that I stayed at The Friendly Islander!! Papiloa and her crew made my stay enjoyable, and all my needs were met. My bungalow was quaint and perfect for me. The room was immaculate and staff were very attentive. Papiloa was very helpful with directing me around town and recommended some great restaurants. The rates were reasonable and I wouldnʻt have stayed anywhere else. I definitely will be back to Tonga, and The Friendly Islander is the only place I would recommend staying.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Loteni P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Friendly Islander Hotel

Property: The Friendly Islander Hotel
Address: Vuna Rd, Nuku'alofa, Tongatapu Island, Tonga
Region: Tonga > Tongatapu Island > Nuku'alofa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Nuku'alofa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — The Friendly Islander Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Friendly Islander was built as a destination for culturally-minded travellers from around the world who seek an insight into the "real Tonga" in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere with Papiloa. Situated on the waterfront with older wing hotel units, or fales/bungalows set in tropical gardens with local flora and fauna. We are a 30 min drive from the airport and a 5 min drive to town along the waterfront. We are 10 mins walk from 'restaurant row,' the Saturday morning flea market ('swap meet'), the fish markets and the main interisland wharf. Fale/Bungalow accommodation amongst gardens and some budget accommodation available in older wing hotel units facing with sea or pool view. All rooms with shower and toilet and some rooms with kitchen facilities and air condition also cable TV/DVD. We now offer free transfer from/to airport and best to please book in advance. Can also offer free transport into town as you need. Wifi available mainly in reception and breakfast or other meals is also available on arrangement at reception. Suitable for groups, individual or family travels. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Friendly Islander Hotel
The Friendly Islander Hotel Tonga/Tongatapu Island

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