Planning your Holiday
Independent Review by Beautiful Pacific
Tahiti romantic holidays are the amongst the most glamourous in the South Pacific. The islands are renowned for their gorgeous overwater bungalows, sitting on stilts above a turquoise lagoon with colourful fish swimming underneath. This type of accommodation conjures up images of a tropical paradise but it comes at a price. The cheapest overwater bungalows cost from Euro 500 per night! If that's out of your budget, then standard beach bungalows and pension style guesthouses offer a cheaper alternative. Never-the-less, a Tahiti holiday whatever standard of accommodation, is going to be more expensive than any of its South Pacific neighbours.
Although lacking the stunning beaches of Fiji and the Cook Islands, French Polynesia is an upmarket honeymoon destination with exquisite overwater bungalows which on stilts over the lagoon (some even have glass portals in the floor so you can watch the fish beneath). The islands are popular amongst French holiday-makers and Japanese honeymooners but it also makes a great destination for exploring (Tahiti and The Marquesas) and sightseeing (Moorea and Bora Bora) as well as having good scuba diving and snorkelling (Bora Bora and The Tuamotu Group).
Tahiti Island offers beautiful mountain scenery but few beaches. The main concentration of resorts is along the sunny west coast a few kilometres south of Papeete and the international airport and here are some beautifully landscaped beach resorts and lagoons. On the north and south coast of the island are several black sand beaches which have good surfing. Otherwise, beaches are few and far between.
Le Meridien Tahiti is set mid way along the west coast of Tahiti near the islands nicest natural beach. With an imposing main reception and stunning mountain views, this is a classical style resort featuring the largest sand pool in French Polynesia and good surfing nearby.
Intercontinental Tahiti is a beautiful oceanfront resort on the west coast of Tahiti close to the airport and Papeete Town and with a pretty artificial beach setting and lagoonarium. There's one huge swimming pool in front of the hotel and another smaller pool fronting the ocean.
Neighbouring Moorea Island has better beaches although the main attraction of the island is its laid back holiday atmosphere and the scenic twin deep bays of Cook & Opunohu on the north shore. There are picturesque beaches on the east coast along the airport and there's a popular swimming and water activity beach at Hauru Point on the west coast.
The Hilton Moorea offers the most picturesque setting of all the resorts on Moorea with an attractive beach and placid turquoise lagoon in front of its imposing Polynesian style restaurant. The resort is located on the north coast of Moorea with a myriad of overwater bungalows.
Pearl Resort Moorea is located on a small beach on the north coast of Moorea and offering exceptionally presented bungalows and rooms. The Polynesian style reception leads down to an infinity swimming pool. Water sports are plenty and there's a small spa.
Sofitel Moorea Resort is a large resort on the quiet north east coast of Moorea close to the airport. Set on a sweeping beach with a beautiful outlook facing Tahiti Island. There are two restaurants, one overlooking a lilly-filled pond, the other directly over the waters edge.
Fare Vai Moana is set on a picturesque beach on the west coast of Moorea, close to Hibiscus Hotel, with delightful bungalows in a pleasant garden setting. All bungalows feature a main bedroom and an upstairs mezzanine room with double or two single beds.
The most scenic beach resorts in French Polynesia are found around gorgeous Bora Bora lagoon, about a 50-minute flight to the west of Tahiti Island. The main island has a lovely swimming beach at Matira Point on the south coast and this is the main concentration of accommodation on the island. There are even more picturesque beaches on the surrounding motu where several luxury resorts can be found.
Intercontinental Bora has two separate resorts. La Moana is located on a private beachfront adjacent to Matira Beach and has a gorgeous fine white sand with some of the most picturesque overwater bungalows in Tahiti. Thelasso offers greater privacy located on an outer motu island.
The Bora Bora Nui Resort is set in a secluded motu island at the south western tip of Bora Lagoon. The island faces south into the open ocean and has one of the most picturesque broad fine white sandy beaches in Bora Bora and excellent snorkelling in its fish filled protected lagoon.
Hotel Matira Beach sits in the heart of popular Matira Beach and a great spot for water activities and people watching. This small and friendly hotel has spacious wooden bungalows and offers excellent value for money and easy access to the islands restaurants and tours and day cruises.
Temanuata Beach Bungalows is one of the few budget style accommodations in Bora Bora with a handful of private thatch bungalows. This pleasant beach property is located a few minutes stroll to popular Matira Beach and offers great value for money.
Other Society Islands
Tahaa Private Island Resort is without doubt the most exquisite resort in French Polynesia, though a price tag to match. Set on a private motu island on the remote north west lagoon of Tahaa facing the island of Bora Bora, this up-market resort offers fine detail in every aspect.
Pension Kuiri is a delightful retreat where you can really escape the modern world. Set on the uncommercial lagoon island of Maupiti, this guesthouse has simple hand crafted bungalows, good dining, tranquil beaches, excellent snorkelling and some great sightseeing excursions.