The relaxing island getaway began with a lovely fresh flower lei for Ben Wolland from Flight Centre Auckland on his Tahiti holidays. He shares his top tips for resort accommodation in Tahiti here.
This is an impressive hotel whose large atrium mixes traditional Tahitian elements with a modern feel. All the rooms face the ocean, so you'll never miss the view you've come all this way to experience!
The over water bungalows are a dream - lovingly appointed and designed in a traditional way while having all the comforts you would expect of a resort room. They don't have direct access to the water, but this is to encourage the reef and marine life below to remain as natural as possible.
The hotel facilities are fantastic, with a fabulous sand bottomed pool surrounded by lounges to make for a relaxing atmosphere. The snorkelling off the beach is great and easily accessible from the bungalows. Out the front of the hotel there are some local restaurants and shopping outlets.
Something unique about the hotel is their working art studio where local and guest artists work in front of guests, demonstrating their skill and displaying their work. It's a nice place to unwind and spend some time if the weather is not on your side.
The Sofitel is the longest standing hotel in Tahiti, large but intimate and easy to get around as it is all situated in one main building.
The rooms have a range of views from ocean and lagoon to mountain and pool. Room design has been inspired by the bright colour palette of famous artist Paul Gauguin, reflecting his importance in Tahitian history.
The hotel has great pool-side dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as two other dining outlets to keep the most discerning tastes delighted.
The Radison has a magnificent beach, which although black sand is a lovely spot on which to relax and soak up the sun. The nightly happy hour is busy with locals and tourists enjoying the atmosphere as the sun sets over the sea.
On the Friday night I was there a local band performed in the restaurant, which was nice and intimate. Beware though, as audience participation is encouraged at the end of the show, so if you think you have rhythm best practice first as these men will give you a run for your money!
Manava Suites Hotel
Maava is the most laid-back, least formal hotel while still maintaining the level of service you'd expect from a Tahitian resort. The rooms are modern and well appointed, but I'd recommend upgrading to the ocean view. Kitchens in the suites are ideal for those spending more time here or wanting to keep the budget down while on holiday.
The bar and restaurant are popular with the locals and hotel guests alike. The restaurant offers a degustation menu, offering the best of French Polynesian fusion as well as a bistro menu for lighter and cheaper dinners.
The swim-up bar and infinity pool are for the exclusive use of the guests. The lobby has free WiFi in a cafe-style environment where guests perch on comfortable sofas sipping coffee while catching up with business or family back home.
Hotel Tahiti Nui
Hotel Tahiti Nui is located in the heart of Papeete, so if you're looking for a property that is in the city just blocks away from the ferry terminal, markets and shopping, this is it.
The rooms are well equipped and have a range of sizes to accommodate single travellers through to families. The suites have kitchens and are ideal for families, longer stays or those who just like to be more self sufficient.
The Intercontinental wowed me on arrival, with grand decor and sweeping views from the lobby. The staff were probably the most attentive of all the hotels I stayed at.
The rooms have a traditional colonial feel about them and are a decent size. The overwater bungalows have direct access to the water and are a real treat if ultimate relaxation and romance is what you're after.
The largest of all the resorts, the amount of space and facilities give options and variety for guests to enjoy. The two large pools, one sand bottomed pool with swim-up bar and one infinity pool, are both lovely.
There's an evening cultural performance which the hotel boasts is the best on the islands, and I can see why; the show's production is phenomenal, where lighting, staging and music combine with the beautiful traditional moves of the Polynesian men and women.
The hotel has a lagoon where they have partnered with a local marine agency in which there is a breeding and research programme to help sustain local fish levels.
Need more information on holidays in Tahiti? Contact a Flight Centre travel expert - 135 stores nationwide. Phone 0800 24 35 44.