Tahiti! White sand beaches, abundant marine life, rugged mountains and oh so many hotel options! Making a decision on where to stay can be overwhelming. Beach view? Mountain view? Overwater? Budget or Luxury? We've compiled some fantastic accommodation spots and great places to dine for families, couples and group travellers. Want to stretch your travel budget further? Read on, we have some great tips to help you make your escape to Tahiti even more pleasurable.
Tahiti is considered to be one of the world's most romantic destinations. With the growing popularity of Hollywood-A listers choosing Tahiti as their holiday retreat and countless number of resorts out there, you may be surprised that Tahiti is not just about luxury. Great value can be found in many hotels on the islands which is perfect for families planning for their next South Pacific getaway.
Hotel Options for Families
Moorea Pearl Resort and Les Tipaniers are wonderful hotels for families and fabulous for any person wanting something a bit more homely.
Moorea Pearl Resort has two floor suites set up great for mum and dad to enjoy a bit of quiet TV while the kids play downstairs. They also have rooms accommodating friends or groups travelling together with small garden and private plunge pool which can interconnect if required. Of course, they also have lovely over water bungalows. The entire resort is very homely because of its service and set up, there is a very central area where you find the bar, restaurant and swimming pool all in one looking out over the view. It’s easy to get around the place and a pleasure to stay in.
Les Tipaniers is a great hotel and a pleasant surprise for a humble two-star rated hotel. It has perfectly clean and beautifully large rooms with decent kitchen facilities and depending on your room category, a separate living area. They have rooms that can sleep up to six people comfortably, a great place for groups travelling together on a budget.
The Legends Resort, Moorea definitely stands out from the rest. Unlike other resorts located on the beach, this resort is up in the mountains and has the best views because of it. Conveniently located next to the Inter Continental Tahiti Resort where you can visit the dolphin sanctuary and sea turtles it is a great attraction for families. Even more convenient is the supermarket right next door. Aside from the spectacular sea views, the villas are superbly set out. All the villas come with a large decking and jacuzzi, whether choosing from a partial or full ocean view or mountains view room - all options will not disappoint, they are all simply gorgeous.
Stopover Hotel Option
For a great stopover hotel, the Manava Suites Resort has affordable rates, generously sized rooms and most importantly kitchen facilities which are perfect for families. There is also free internet access in all the rooms, perfectly convenient for your stop over.
Sofitel Tahiti Maeva Beach Resort is conveniently located next to the airport, close to a natural white sand beach which is a perfect for swimming and snorkelling. This resort offers incredible views when the sun sets over Moorea. You can find all you need if you're staying for just one night as the hotel has two restaurants, a bar, golf driving range, tennis courts and a freshwater swimming pool.
Where to get a great meal
For a truly unique experience and fantastic selection of food go to the Roulouttes - food truck stalls set up on the Papeete waterfront. The food portions are enormous with a diverse offering of Asian cuisine, crepes, steak and chip options.
For a true island cuisine experience attend Tiki Theatre Village on Moorea Island. Here you can enjoy an fun filled entertainment show and have the unique opportunity to visit an old Tahitian village, followed with a feast of traditional food, meat and vegetables cooked in an underground oven known also as an Umu.
For something a little bit fancier, try Le Belvedere Restaurant. Located up in the mountains is a lookout point in Moorea which not surprisingly has a spectacular seascape view of the city below. It is stunningly beautiful, and a must see sight for couples and honeymooners.
The Hotel Hibiscus on Moorea is a humble two star hotel – it has a fabulous beach side restaurant called Sunset. The sun sets right in front of it every evening. The food is inexpensive in comparison to what you’d pay at some of the other resorts and there is a wide selection of food to choose, you'll enjoy the spectacular view. This restaurant is perfect for a very special occasion or romantic evening.
Shop around at the Markets
Near the ferry docks in Tahiti you'll find a large market. Open daily it has everything - from souvenirs gifts, local and international food and clothing. It really is the place to go for a great selection of goods and the prices are very reasonable. There’s a marked difference between prices in the resorts and in the local towns. In any resort you can expect to pay NZD$25 for a cocktail or NZD$15 for a beer, however outside the resorts you can find beer from just NZD$6 (granted they were in cans but hey). In the local town there are delicious sandwiches for just NZD$5. At the Roulouttes you can buy incredibly large steak meals with oversize portion of chips and generous helping of salad for just NZD$22. Prices like that aren’t too different from New Zealand and you can stretch your travel dollar further by looking beyond the resorts.
Activities and Tours
Recreational activities, tours, sightseeing options are endless on both islands. From 4WD safari tours in Tahiti, diving, snorkelling, fishing, horse riding, quad biking in Moorea, meet and greet dolphin excursions as well as visiting the markets, the fruit juice factory and the Rolouttes. Almost all tours include hotel transfers and wherever you are it’s easy to get around. Hotels in Papeete offer shuttle services into the city such as the Radisson who provide a shuttle service free of charge.
- Look for meal plans, hotels with free internet if internet access is important.
- It’s fine to drink the water so you don’t need to buy bottled water.
- To save money, make use of the facilities that are free like the use of snorkels, flippers, free internet etc.
- Buy snacks and food from the markets as it is less expensive than the hotel.
- Take personal necessities with you from New Zealand, as these items can be a bit more expensive.
Tahiti as a whole is gorgeous and an enticing destination, part of its charm is in it capturing the distinct and unique island feel with French Polynesian culture. There are no language barriers but tourists will hear the greeting La Orana as well the the French greeting Bonjour. Also common is Mauru’ru which means thank you. French culture and language is quite strong so greeting a person with a kiss to either cheek is a considered a cultural practice.