An institution midway between hotel and guesthouse. The decor, which does not seem to have changed since the sixties, will please lovers of this style. Located in the western suburb of Papeete, on the edge of a charmless black sand beach, the Royal Tahitian enoys nevertheless a pleasant setting, well maintained accomodations and a nice restaurant.
This hotel review is a translation from the French published on our French site Easyvoyage.com.
Papeete is 2 miles away (10 min.) the airport 4 miles away (20 min.).
The Royal Tahitian is not especially easy to find and is located 2 miles east of Papeete. You must go east to Arue, then make a U turn on the highway at the turnaround after the Center of Pacific Military Command, before returning to Papeete and turning just before the Mobile petrol station.
Forget about the beach. There is one, but it is very narrow and covererd with black sand and with a big difference in height in the water. The surroundings are not very beautiful - far to the left you can see the huge oil reservoirs of Papeete's port. The Royal Tahitien does not have a nautical club either. But note that Papeete Yacht club is located nearby.
As soon as you get to the reception, you can feel the atmosphere: a resolutely 60's decor with Formica furniture and colours that are no longer utilized. The Royal Tahitien offers a real dive into the past. Same thing regarding the architecture. The setting and the atmosphere remind one more of a small guest house than a hotel. It has 2 buildings with two levels each, a total of 40 rooms, and is located in a residential area, on the seashore. Should you like the decor or not, the hotel is well maintained, especially the park, with a magnificent vegetation: paradise flowers, rubber trees, a little stream covered with lotus flowers. Regarding the facilities: you will not find anything significant except a pleasant small pool with deckchairs and, best of all, a decent sized jacuzzi.
You might believe you are in a 60's museum. From the Formica furniture to the colours and decorative motifs, everything seems to be genuine! However, the rooms are quite pleasant and welcoming. You will appreciate the balcony overlooking the park. As for facilities, they are basic: telephone, refrigerator, a television (free upon request). In return, the bathrooms are frankly ugly. Finally, note that there is only one bungalow on the seashore.
Beside the park, the restaurant is the other highlight of the hotel. It occupies a beautiful airy room that lies directly on the seafront, with an adjacent terrace where breakfasts are served, and a bar. Basketry totally covers the walls and ceiling of the restaurant. The very authentic decor and a classy menu attract a large proportion of local clientele. The menu is sumptuous: 6 starters, 10 fishes, 10 meats and a little more than fifteen desserts. Finally, the choice of wine is also appropriate. Expect to pay ?20 to ?25 (£16 to £20) for a course or a bottle of wine.
The hotel grounds overlook the Pirae public beach, with its dark, fine-grain sand (like all the beaches on the east coast). The cove is some 800m long by 10m wide and since the beach is a public one, the hotel cannot provide any facilities for it. You'll not find any water sports activities, like kayaking or Tahitian pirogue boat rides, on offer here either, which is a real shame, but the beach is still worth a visit for a dip in the sea. You won't necessarily need to wear plastic shoes, as the seabed is primarily sandy. Likewise, there's no point bringing snorkelling equipment, as the only fish you'll find in this sandy environment are tiny young ones.
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