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“Wonderful resort - friendly, uncrowded and fabulous experiences”
Review of Sandy Beach Resort

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Sandy Beach Resort
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Foa Island
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Wonderful resort - friendly, uncrowded and fabulous experiences”
Reviewed 10 October 2013 via mobile

I had a wonderful time spending a week here. The position is fabulous: clear turquoise water, snorkeling at a number of coral reefs a lazy paddle off the beach, swimming in the calm lagoon water, well appointed bures which catch the breeze and so stay cool even on hot days and lots of hammocks at the beach edge slung under shady trees. The staff were great, friendly and helpful and with only a dozen bures, the atmosphere is personal and uncrowded. And the swimming with the whales off a yacht was an unforgettable experience. Very highly recommended in all ways

Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank honeymaddock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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327 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
261 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2013 via mobile

Could have stayed longer. Great food. Friendly staff. Whale swimming. Free use of kayaks. Rooms comfortably furnished. Beach frontage. Reef at front door for snorkelling. Beach chairs and towels supplied. Hammocks. Would return.

Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank ozveildancer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 September 2013

Jurgen, Peta and all the staff were wonderful. Very friendly and efficient. The resort is a paradise. The diving, whale watching and snorkeling are all superb and the resort has a terrific atmosphere. All guests there at the same time as us became friends and we all thoroughly enjoyed our dinners under the stars. Meals are excellent and there are delicious snacks available all day. (their chips are especially good). We stayed there for 7 days in September and had a fantastic time. Well done Jurgen and all your wonderful staff. Pat and Jack Perth Australia

Room Tip: All rooms are on the beach and equally good.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Pat H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2013

We stayed at Sandy Beach for 8 nights and if you want a very quiet relaxing holiday in a pristine location Sandy Beach is the place to stay. The water is crystal clear, great snorkeling with a variety of coral and heaps of fish life is a short swim off the beach. The kayak's were free to use and easily maneuvered in the calm water. Besides swimming with the wales there is no other programmed activities, which is OK if you just want to do your own thing and relax. You can organize scuba diving/ cultural village visit with the other resort close by. The accommodation is clean and basic, no air con, a ceiling fan that either runs very fast or very slow. I feel the polyester sheets that are in use are not suitable for such a hot climate. The nights do not cool down very much and I found sleeping difficult due to the heat. I feel cotton sheets would have helped. The bed was very comfortable. The meals are very basic and they do not have a variety to pick from. The fish meal is either parrot fish or lobster, the meat dish is usually beef stroganoff/ goulash which was not very nice. I suggest re doing the whole meal plan that incorporates different seafood dishes/ salads/ steaks/ etc. They do not cater for vegetarians very well, a lady that was staying with us was given only potato and carrot as a vegetarian meal!! I suggest you do not purchase the meal plan as it gives you the option to go to the other resort to have meals which offer a better variety of meals, snacks and deserts. The deserts at Sandy beach are very basic, Fruit salad and ice-cream most nights. Jurgen the owner of Sandy Beach I did not feel was particularly welcoming, he did not introduce himself when he met us at the airport and did not speak to us on the ride into the resort. I felt this would have been the ideal time to discuss the Tongan culture and life on the island and to set the tone of the resort. I feel Jurgen is struggling a bit with the resort, he is in his mid seventies and I feel he is not capable at the moment of allowing Sandy Beach to be the amazing place that it could be. Sandy Beach has been advertised a child free resort, however while we were there 2 families had children. I feel that if it is advertised as child free then it should be! I think Sandy beach has the potential to be totally amazing, it already is surrounded by the most beautiful calm beach I have ever seen, just a couple of changes with management and menu Sandy Beach would be the place you would return to each year.

Room Tip: All the rooms look the same and they all have the same aspect to the beach
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank purplemarie65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atyrau, Kazakhstan
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2013

We went to Sandy Beach, mainly, to go and swim with the humpback whales and to relax. on both counts we were not disappointed. Jürgen tries his best to meet everyones expectations and with us he succeeded. The whale watching/swimming with Matt and Jody on their yacht was the icing on the cake.
The resort is very relaxed and the beach is perfect and we had unfounded reservations about being given fale 01, being so close to the resturant and terrace but after dinner all was peaceful. Privacy was ensured by the positioning of the fales.
The menu is limited but very tastefully prepared and wishes can be made if you have any preferences.
The dive resort is not open yet so I had to go to the next resort but it was great and both belong to Jürgen so it was easy to use the facility.
The staff are very friendly and helpful and a visit to the church on Sunday shouldn't be missed.
The only problem was "Real Tonga", the local airline, who seem to fly whenever they feel like it causing the hoteliers a lot of problems.
All in all it was fantastic and something to remember, positively, for ever.

Room Tip: We found that all rooms were more or less the same there is no AC in any of them but in 01 there was...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Peter M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cary, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2013

I did not plan to stay at Sandy Beach Resort during my recent trip to Tonga. However, storms and cancelled flights left me stranded at the airport in Ha'apai on a Saturday afternoon. All work activity ceases by law in Tonga on Sundays, so I needed accommodations for 2 nights. After several calls, the folks with the airline gave me the good news that there was one room available at Sandy Beach.

As the taxi drove down the narrow, little road, we passed through typical Tongan scenery: some tiny houses, fields of crops and trees, and the usual pigs, dogs, chickens, etc. I knew immediately when we had reached Sandy Beach even before I saw any sign - there were flowering trees and lush vegetation marking the turn.

The storms had knocked out power to the island, but Sandy Beach has emergency generators which allowed virtually all activity to continue, including the preparation of delicious meals, the provision of cold drinks, and even an occasional internet connection through the Resort's wifi in the common area.

The accommodations are very comfortable and private, with a covered patio facing the water, a comfortable main room with a Tongan theme, a modern bath with an excellent shower, as well as a refrigerator and electric pot for making coffee or tea.

One of the nicest features I found to be the covered common area with chairs and tables by a little bar. Here, some of the guests congregate, and the area encourages conversation among fellow travelers.

The food was among the best I had during my 2 weeks in Tonga. Fresh, hot, entrees, delicious freshly baked bread, flavorful soups, and excellent desserts.

Most of the people staying at Sandy Beach were there to see the whales or to dive the reefs. As a bonus, the Resort offers complimentary kayaks and bicycles for guests to use.

All of these details set Sandy Beach apart. I definitely would plan to stay at Sandy Beach Resort on a future trip to Tonga, and feel fortunate to have had the chance experience it on this trip.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank phonebill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Whitianga, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2013

We were struck by the beauty and peace of the resort as we walked to our room. The fales were a good distance from each other giving privacy and all on the west-facing beach. The white sandy beach shelved steeply so that it was easy to swim at all tides and there were coral bommies to snorkel out to if we wanted. Nice touches like hammocks dotted around and deck chairs that we could put where we wanted. Loads of hibiscus and golden orb spiders to admire. I had pre-booked my scuba diving with the neighbouring resort, Matafonua who were very well organised and a good alternative for food and an east-facing beach. I could have dived with Sandy Beach too and may try their yacht-based trips next time as well as Matafonua. The hostess, Peta at Sandy Beach was very helpful and welcoming. We'd love to go back there.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ABCCCR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandy Beach Resort

Property: Sandy Beach Resort
Address: Absolute Beach Front | Ha'apai, 4711, Tonga
Region: Tonga > Ha'apai Islands > Foa Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Foa Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sandy Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled right on the most beautiful beach, Sandy Beach Resort consists of only 12 absolute beachfront Bungalows, so privacy and solitude is guaranteed. All Bungalows have spacious ensuites with solar powered hot water showers and a furnished private terrace facing the ocean.The beach is just footsteps away from the door. The perfect place to relax, unwind and recharge. No crowds, no queues, no TV, no nightclub … pure island life ! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandy Beach Hotel Ha`Apai Islands

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