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This article originally appeared the April issue of AGENTatHOME magazine. Subscribe here to receive your free copy each month.
The islands of Tahiti are often considered to be a once-in-a-lifetime, ultra-luxury trip. Of course, there are fabulously upscale overwater bungalows, but the Tahitian islands offer a wide variety of accommodations to fit different budgets.
On a recent whirlwind trip to the islands, AGENTatHOME sampled several types of accommodations, from an ultra-luxe overwater bungalow to a mainstream hotel to a more affordable three-star resort.
Here’s an overview of three properties on Tahiti, Taha’a and Rangiroa.
For many travelers from the U.S., the first stop in Tahiti often is the Hilton Hotel Tahiti in Papeete, which is just two miles from Faa’a International Airport. It’s ideally suited as a base for exploring other islands but also is used for a day or two to rest up from the journey before exploring other areas.
The 200-room hotel opened in late 2021 after a major renovation and offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and neighboring island of Moorea. The property has an island feel, with an open air lobby and an outdoor pool – said to be the largest in Tahiti – with six private cabanas and a restaurant.
Other onsite eateries focus on sustainably sourced, fresh ingredients and reflect island culture and culinary influences. Traditional Tahitian fare can be enjoyed at Moevai, while fish and steak with a French influence are served at Taitea Brasserie; Southeast Asian cuisine is found at San Sushi Bar.
The five-star property is set on beautiful Motu Tautau, a private islet looking onto the lush shores of Taha’a on one side and the silhouette of Bora Bora on the other. This lush resort – located about 35 minutes by boat from the Raiatea airport or 14 minutes by helicopter from Bora Bora – offers 58 suites and villas inspired by traditional Polynesian architecture and style. Of note are the dreamy overwater suites that exceed 900 square feet and can accommodate two adults and one child.
For large families or groups, the Royal Pool Beach Villas boast two bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms, two outside bathtubs and showers, and direct access to the beach. They also feature a plunge pool and thatched-roof gazebo in a private garden. These villas can accommodate five adults or four adults and one child under 13.
The property is near a coral garden with a gentle current that slowly floats snorkelers over the underwater sights. It has three restaurants that offer French-Polynesian fusion cuisine, from beachside snacks to gourmet dining, and the Tāvai Spa for Polynesian well-being rituals.
This three-star hotel, located on a lagoon, offers highly rated Polynesian-style accommodations at a great value. It is about an hour’s flight by plane from Bora Bora or Tahiti. (The domestic Air Tahiti flight is a pleasant, highly efficient way to travel between the islands.)
Maitai Rangiroa has 34 traditional bungalows located in a garden or at the edge of the lagoon, all of which are made of wood with pandanus leaf roofs and coconut palms. The six Lagoon Bungalows have views of the turquoise waters.
The property doesn’t have a beach per se, but there is a striking swimming pool and free use of snorkeling equipment, kayaks and life jackets in the lagoon. It has a restaurant serving a fusion of French and Polynesian cuisine. The hotel will make arrangements for tours and rental cars, visits to a pearl farm, and scuba diving and deep-sea fishing excursions.
Theresa Norton, editor in chief of AGENTatHOME Magazine, covers the cruise industry for TravelPulse.com.
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