Reef Resort Lodge in Tonga
On Tonga, we stayed at the Reef Resort on Kapa Island. The Reef Resort is about 30 minutes from the airport. We arranged our transportation to the resort through them. A taxi picked us up at the airport and took us through the town to a boat dock. The boat then took us across the bay to the resort, where we were met by the owner/host Herwig. Herwig took a few minutes to go over the options available to us at the resort. . We had paddle boards, and kayaks available to us at no extra charge, And, as we were on an island, he also had a boat to transport us to wherever we wanted to go. For example, on our first day we wanted to snorkel with the coral so the boat took us out a ways and we snorkeled/drifted back to the resort. On another day, we wanted to visit a cave to snorkel and the boat took us and waited while we snorkeled before bring us back. All of this is included in your room rate. You could also get a water taxi back to the main part of the island at an additional cost, but we didn’t feel a need to do so.
We stayed in bungalow 1. It has a beautiful sweeping view of the bay from our bedroom and private deck. The king bed has mosquito netting, although we didn’t need it due to the strong winds which kept the mosquitos away from us. We also had a small day bed where a third person could sleep. We had a small sink/burner/refrigerator in a “kitchen” area. The bathroom had 2 sinks and plenty of counter space. The shower was adequate (although it would sometimes stop its water flow for a few seconds and start back up). Plenty of hot water and a bathrobe was very welcomed as we lounged around after a hard day of snorkeling. The food was also very good. As Joyce doesn’t eat meat very often, they always had a fish option when meat was the main dish. You could order food a la carte or get a meal package. Breakfast and dinner as an option or all 3 meals. The food pricing was very reasonable, as was the wine.
Although the resort is small, someone was always around to answer questions or to take care of any needs. The season is basically during whale migration time. Herwig closes the resort on the off season. Bottom line, it was a very enjoyable place.
Tonga Reef Resort Meals
The resort’s previous owner had been a classically trained chef. Although the new owner could not quite match this standard, he aspired to come as close as possible by hiring two very capable chefs, Hannes and Julia, each a graduate of an Austrian Culinary School.
While they offered a full array of standard breakfast and lunch offerings, each had its own twist which transformed many dishes into surprises. For example, they used whipped cream to make extra fluffy omelets, pancakes and French toast. They added honey and Dijon mustard, meanwhile, added to the tuna tartar’s mix of tastes.
The chefs especially shined at dinner with their three-course meals, each with a different combination of home-baked breads and with their substitutes for those who preferred other dishes:
- The first night, for example, began with quinoa vegetable salad, followed by grilled red snapper with homemade noodles and caramelized cabbage. Desert was chocolate cake atop a delicious banana rum parfait.
- Our second dinner began with cucumber three ways (soup, marinated noodles, and a puree on which a slice of fresh raw tuna was placed). Dinner was grilled ribeye (medium rare, of course) with potato gratin (Joyce, who requested fish, was served an equally good grilled parrot fish). Then came another winning desert, white chocolate mousse topped with raspberry coulis.
- Our third and final dinner began with lobster bisque and lobster crostini. The main was rare, seared yellowfin tuna with gnocchi (and tomatoes and bok choy), followed by a two-part watermelon-based desert: grilled with mango/passionfruit ice cream and a watermelon/vodka cocktail.
What is not to like? It was all wonderful.
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