French Polynesia’s Tahiti: Where to Stay

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I had an opportunity to stay at a couple of Tahiti hotels on my recent trip to French Polynesia, both of which are conveniently located and can act as a hub while you explore the area before you head off to other islands. Below, you’ll get a flavor of both properties to see which one may be a better fit for you.

Tahiti Hotels

A dock out to the bungalows at the Meridien, one of the recommended Tahiti hotels

We were thrilled to be able to explore both Mo’orea and Tahiti hotels and guest houses as part of a press trip with Frenchbee Airlines and Tahiti Tourism earlier this month.

Other Tahiti hotels you may also want to consider include the Intercontinental Resort & Spa (we stayed at the one in Mo’orea so be sure to read my write up) and the Royal Tahitien.

Le Meridien

Overlooking the ocean with both bungalows and hotel rooms to choose from, Le Meridien is only a 10-15 minute drive from the airport and a mere ten or so minutes from Le Lagoonarium, definitely worth exploring. 

The rooms (and lobby) are airy with plenty of light and modern touches throughout. Rooms all have lagoon or garden views and even if you’re not in a bungalow overlooking the water, you can be in the ocean within five minutes of leaving your room.

Tahiti Hotels

Tahiti Hotels

We loved this lily pond on the lower level of Le Meridien, outside which also has a courtyard, outdoor eating area and a pretty walk to the beach and pool area. 

Tahiti Hotels

You can lounge on grass or beach which is a nice feature

Tahiti Hotels

Tahiti Hotels

The pool area at Le Meridien with picturesque views in all directions, including mountains, the ocean and of course plenty of palm trees if you look up.

Tahiti Hotels

Tahiti Hotels

The luscious mountains in the background

Tahiti Hotels

Kayacking is available for all guests

Tahiti Hotels

While we were there, we experienced both sunny and cloudy days and it was exquisite in both cases. There are plenty of umbrellas so you can actually stay outside if its not pouring and still absorb the views. Remember, it’s always temperate weather here regardless of what time of year you visit.

Tahiti Hotels

Still beautiful when it’s cloudy

Tahiti Hotels

A nice feature to Le Meridien if you have children in tow is their buffet in their main level diving room, which has views of a pond and outdoor serene area which leads to the beach.  There’s also a gourmet French restaurant in addition to their international buffet-style eatery, as well as a bar beside the sand-bottom pool.

Tahiti food

Brunch at Le Meridien

Tahiti food

Plenty of fresh raw fish (tuna can be found on every menu in Tahiti and is a local favorite)

Tahiti food

Tahiti food

Desserts are in abundance at Le Meridien

Tahiti food

While fish is dominant in Tahiti and the surrounding islands, you can find meat at most of the major hotels and restaurants, especially chicken.

Rooms feature en suite bathrooms, balconies and flat-screen TVs, as well as Wi-Fi, coffeemakers and iPod docks and their suites add separate living areas or private furnished terraces.

As mentioned above, if you want to get out in the water and aren’t a swimmer, you can take out their kayaks complimentary during your stay and they also offer snorkeling, which is wonderful whether you are traveling with your family or as a romantic getaway.

Tahiti Hotels

A standard room, credit: Meridien

Tahiti Hotels

The view from my hotel room

Tahiti Moorea

More stunning views

Tahiti hotels

Another inside view of a room

Details:

Hotel Meridien

Tamanu, Tahiti 98718
French Polynesia
+33 6 89 40 47 07
For more information, you can visit their website.

Hotel Manava

Also on our Tahiti hotels list is Hotel Manava. This gem of a beachfront property is surrounded by tropical forest and like Le Meridien is only around 10-15 minutes from those stunning underwater views at the Lagoonarium.

The hotel “feels” much larger than Le Meridien and its decor is a bit more structured with clean lines –– inside and out. Because of its suites, it makes for a great family stay as well.

Tahiti hotels

Taken from one of the hotel rooms: it almost feels like an apartment living complex in some areas

Tahiti hotels Manava

An outward view from my balcony (I had garden views, not ocean ones)

In between the lobby area and the hallways to the rooms, you walk through a pretty pathway that feels very Polynesian in every way — there’s great feng shui throughout the property with great wooden and bamboo beams, a life size Tahitian God and Goddess in the lobby area and lots of fresh flowers in pretty gardens.

They were doing construction when we were there in May around the pool area. The result for our stay was limited pool use (they’re adding a great area to the left of this part of the pool with a swim up bar). Looks like it will be amazing when done, so worth checking on the status of completion before you book.

Despite the construction, we were able to partake in these stunning views throughout the week and the pool area we had access to was big enough….in other words, it didn’t feel crowded at all. Also, its infinity pool features give you a taste of beautiful nothingness on the horizon.
Tahiti hotels

Infinity pool, mountains and ocean beyond at the Manava

Tahiti hotels

There’s a lovely waterfall at the end of the pool as well as a bar and a changing room area

Tahiti hotels

The sandy beach area was somewhat small but charming and they had umbrellas and cocktail service as well.

Tahiti hotels
Tahiti hotels
Tahiti hotels

Above shots all taken around the pool

Below is a snapshot of the lobby area at the Manava’s entrance.
Tahiti Hotels

The hotel‘s 120 plush island-style rooms come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and DVD players, minibars, tea and coffeemakers. Suites add sitting areas with pull-out sofas, along with kitchenettes and private terraces and upgraded suites feature separate living rooms.

Tahiti Hotels

Some of the beautiful touches inside the suite, from the separate bathtub to the modern and chic double sinks in the bathroom

Tahiti hotels

Manava’s hospitality. French Macarons anyone?

Tahiti hotels

More Tahitian hospitality, complete with a fresh fruit platter and French wine

Tahiti hotels

A standard room’s bed and door out to the terrace

Tahiti hotels

They offer simple standard rooms, studios, suites, duplexes and apartments, including the luxe Lagoon apartment. They also have a penthouse with two bedrooms, which is a great for a business stay or if traveling with family. 

As mentioned above, its clean lines decor if you will runs throughout all stay types and is the work of interior designer Bruno Hervochon. All the rooms reflect an authentic Polynesian decor while offering contemporary amenities and the comfort of an apartment.

Tahiti hotels

The suite is quite spacious and has lots of beautiful Tahitian cultural nuances scattered throughout. The colors are vibrant and yet warm.

While I’m not much of a morning person, we were there long enough for me to make it to a breakfast, which is worth doing. It’s not as if the morning buffet is above and beyond what you’d find at a standard 4 star hotel, however there are 3 memorable call-outs that I found refreshing:

  • They have an upgraded coffee machine: coffee lovers can choose cappuccino, espresso, latte or regular coffee.
  • Homemade breads: while there aren’t many, what is offered is really delicious, especially their carrot bread. I took some “to go” for our day time activities while we stayed there.
  • There’s an outdoor patio: this is the real reason to venture downstairs for breakfast. It’s serene and relaxing and an easy place to hang out for awhile, read the paper, a magazine or write.

Tahiti food

Tahiti food

Beach walks are also a must as well as time in the garden areas as well. And, how about this arial view?

Tahiti hotels

Pool at the Manava, one of the Tahiti hotels on the recommend stay list. Note that this was taken before construction. They are working on upgrading the swim up bar area and the space adjacent to the pool, so it’s a work in progress but it looks like it will be beautiful when done. Credit: Manava (Tahiti Hotels)

Details:

Hotel Manava
BP 2851 Punavai
Puna’auia 98703
French Polynesia
+689 40 50 84 45
For more information, you can visit their website.
Tahiti Hotels
There are also guest houses in Tahiti with varying degrees of frills and features – some are obviously more basic than others. A few worth looking into that are located in different parts of Tahiti include:
  • Ahitea Lodge in Papeete
  • Chef Fifi in Faa’a
  • Fare Suisse in Papeete
  • Hiti Moana Villa in Papara
  • Maeva Lodge in Pirae
  • Tiki Hotel in Punaauia
  • Te Miti in Paea
  • Tahiti Lodge in Punaauia
  • Relais Fenua in Punaauia
Other options include pensions and there are less than ten of these types of accommodations there. There’s Pension Damry in Faa’a, Pension Armelle and Pension Otaha in Punaauia, Pension Puea in Papeete, and Pension Teva/Uta in Mataiea.
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Disclosure: This trip was taken in collaboration with and hosted by French Bee Airlines and Tahiti Tourism but all opinions expressed on these Tahiti hotels are entirely my own.
Renee Blodgett
Founder
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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