Italian food is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the tiny country of Tonga, so I was surprised to find a hotel named Little Italy. Only after venturing to the hotel and speaking with the owner did I discover the origins of this mystery. In 2008 an Italian and Tongan couple decided to follow their dream and open a hotel. By combining Meleseini’s local knowledge and Angelo’s Italian heritage, Little Italy was born. Angelo also shared his secrets on Italian cuisine to create of the best restaurants in the country.
I was looking forward to my hosted stay during my Pacifying the Pacific stop in Tonga. As soon as I stepped out of the airport, I found my transfer to the hotel. It was late night flight, so I was glad that the transfer was reliable.
The receptionist checked me into one of their 22 rooms. I headed up to an Ocean View Room. The interiors definitely had hints of Italian design. A large king size bed was the focal point of the room. It faced a desk, mini-fridge, and TV. The air conditioning worked well. The modest bathroom was very comfortable and featured Natural Earth amenities.
The best part of the room was the wall to wall terrace. The view was stunning and there were even chairs and table so you could lounge all day. Wifi was free and worked well in my room which is a real luxury for an isolated Pacific island.
On the first floor is the famous Italian restaurant and bar serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I found the place to be very popular not just with guests, but also with locals. Families and groups would gather for dinner often to celebrate a special event.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but after my first meal it was clear why this restaurant is so popular. Authentic Italian food in Tonga… who would have thought? The brick oven pizzas were cooked to perfection. However my most memorable dining moment was when I ordered the lobster. This crustacean was one of the largest and most impressive I’ve ever been served. Freshly caught lobster cooked in an Alfredo cheese sauce… my mouth is watering just writing about it.
The staff were really great. They shared their local knowledge and helped me plan my tour of Tonga. The hotel also has cars available for rent which is really convenient. As the hotel is centrally located you can reach town on foot, but I’d recommend a car or taxi for the sites away from town.
Due to a cyclone passing through the area, my departing flight was cancelled last minute and the hotel just extended my stay until the flights were operating again. What a kind gesture.
Thanks to their genuine hospitality, I’ll always remember this Italian gem in the heart of Tonga.
Little Italy Hotel & Restaurant
Address: Vuna Rd Kolomotu’a, Nuku’alofa 2891 TO