Help a Reader Travel: Tahiti

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Welcome to another post of helping a reader travel! As I’ve mentioned before, I have not been to every destination (unfortunately), but do get questions from friends and other blog readers on all sort of travel destination questions. Thus far, we’ve been able to help other readers travel to MauiThe Greek IslandsPacific Coast HighwayArgentina /Buenos AiresCosta RicaCape Cod & The IslandsIcelandGenevaCanadian RockiesRomeIsraelPeru / Inca Trail StockholmChicagoParisHanoiAustinPuerto RicoBrugesSalzburgIstanbulLas VegasJamaica, India/Golden Triangle, AucklandSingapore, Moscow, The Oregon Coast,SeattlePortlandHawaii IslandsAlaska SkiingBrazilPragueBudapest,ParaguayCabo San LucasEdinburghSan DiegoHilton HeadDubrovnik, TanzaniaThe SeychellesBelizeand MiamiVienna, and London.

So this weeks travel destination includes Tahiti. I received the following email from reader Jennifer:

“I am looking to go to Tahiti on my honeymoon, but am not quite sure where to start! I would prefer to visit a few islands and would love some suggestions. I also know that activities and food there is quite expensive so I’d like to use my hotel points for free nights. I see there is an InterContinental and Hilton, does anyone have any suggestions on which one is better? I have some points, but am willing to open up a few credit cards to earn even more to hopefully have all my nights paid for. I am open to staying a few nights at a boutique hotel if there is one that is really recommended. Any other suggestions are appreciated as well. Thank you!

If you’ve ever been to Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, or any of the other smaller islands and have any recommendations, let’s help out reader Jennifer by commenting below.

Also, if you have any upcoming travel where you need some help, feel free to email me at to be a featured “Help a Reader Travel” Monday special. Thanks!

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10 years ago

avoid staying on Tahiti, except for transit. Its ugly and the hotels are not that great. try scheduling a flight (air tahiti or air france) that gets in either in the morning or afternoon, so that you can than connect to a flight to moorea without having to leave the airport. we stayed at the sofitel on moorea and it was fantastic. from moorea there are flights to bora bora, and than from there back to tahiti. food is expensive, but make sure to try to coconut crab. its native to french polynesia, and i have not seen it anywhere else.

10 years ago

Ditto @jettfrogg. Stay on Tahiti island itself only transitionally, at most a day. Bora Bora is my favorite, but Huahine and Rangiroa are both amazing in their own ways. Spend some time in an overwater bungalow if at all possible–its the whole point of going there.

Air availability on award travel is going to be difficult. Research the issue. Can’t offer a lot of advice at this point.

10 years ago

Definitely try to schedule a flight on AIR TAHITI ( from Tahiti to Moorea so that you go from your international arrival straight to the next island. In Moorea, either stay at the HILTON or the SOFITEL. The other hotels are not great. The Hilton is newer and food is better but the Sofitel has a better beach. As far as food on the island, get out of the hotel and you’ll get to experience better venues. Try “La Villa des Sens”, “Le Mahogany” and “Moorea Beach Cafe by Bruno Jamais”. These restaurants will pick you up at your hotel and bring you back.
Take an Air Tahiti flight from Moorea to Bora Bora. There, the Hilton is nice enough. Rooms are a bit dated but the hotel does have one of the nicer beaches. Intercontinental properties are dated. They do have a nice spa though which will have more amenities than most. The better hotels to stay at are the St Regis and the Four Seasons. Stick to any of these three. Food is best the latter two. The hilton has free boat shuttles to get you from the hotel to the main island if you want to do some shopping or get some food outside the resort. The other two have shuttles for a fee. For food outside, try “La Villa Mahana” and “Le Makai”. Best concierge/excursion provider in Bora Bora would be “Bora Experience”. My wife got in contact with them on Facebook.
Whether in Moorea or Bora Bora, try to take a private boat tour to discover the island from the lagoon. Feed the rays, snorkel, stand up paddle, scuba dive, try an introductory skydiving tandem over Moorea (most beautiful view of the island ever)…
Finally take a flight from Bora Bora back to Tahiti. Tahiti is not ugly. It’s just not what you’ll see in Moorea, Bora Bora or other less inhabitants islands. There are beautiful things to see in Tahiti. Cascades, grottos, lava tubes… Lots of excursions. Most people just end up staying at the hotel there which is why they end up with a negative image of that island. If you are just going to stay at the hotel and not take advantage of the island itself, then definitely avoid staying in Tahiti as the hotels are not as nice as the other islands’, nor are the hotels’ beaches . The nicest beach in tahiti is public and is called “PK 18”. For food, try “Blue Banana” and “Le Coco’s”. For a more local feel, try “les roulottes”, a roach coach type eatery.
Lots of other islands to see: Huahine and Rangiroa are on top of our list. While on Tahiti, try a catamaran sailing. Excursion to Tetiaroa, Marlon Brando’s island (the famous bird island).
Hope all this helps you in you research.
We’re going back in a couple months.

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