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Hotel Tahaa Private Island Resort and Spa Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
Îles Sous-le-Vent, Polynésie française Taha'a, French Polynesia -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The Tahaa Resort is an exclusive hotel located on its own private island, surrounded by a crystal-clear lagoon, and it offers the high levels of comfort that you would expect of a luxury hotel, combined with an exotic setting in the heart of nature. Of course, this kind of setting means that you'll also have to put up with the insects that live here. On the motu on which the Tahaa Resort is located, the air is full of nonos (Polynesian mosquitoes) during the warm season, so you really should take plenty of mosquito-repellent products with you when walking outdoors.
A tour of the motu (the lagoon side and the land side) is highly recommended if you are to fully appreciate Polynesian nature at its finest - luxuriant and unspoilt.

This hotel review is a translation from the French published on our French site Easyvoyage.com.

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    • Hotel Tahaa Private Island Resort and Spa

      Tahaa Private Island Resort and Spa   -   © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Tahaa Private Island Resort and Spa

      Tahaa Private Island Resort and Spa   -   © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 10.0 /10

    The hotel is located on the seafront, on the private motu of Tau Tau, facing the island of Tahaa, just across from Tapuamu bay. The hotel provides a free shuttle service by boat between the motu of Tau Tau and Tapuamu, just over a mile away, every hour between 6:00 am and 11:00 pm.
    Tahaa's main village, Patio, is just over 6 mi from Tapuamu.
    As there is no airport on the island of Tahaa, you will need to fly in to the airport on the neighbouring island of Raiatea, just under 2 mi from Uturoa. Transfer time from the airport to the hotel is around 30 minutes by boat and a transfer service is provided by the Tahaa Resort at an additional cost of ?87 per person (return).

    Accommodation 9.70 /10

    The 60 guest rooms at the Tahaa all overlook the lagoon and all offer a very high standard of accommodation. The 48 bungalows built on stilts may overlook the other access pontoons, of which there are two, but they are not too close fortunately. However, if this is something you would really like to avoid, go for a 'premium' room at the end of the pontoons, facing Bora Bora (and offering views of the superb sunsets over the island), or even one of the 'private motu' bungalows, which overlook the beach and the coconut plantation where the 'beach villas' are located. There are ten of these, each with their own private pool located in an enclosed garden, as well as two royal villas, which are also located on the beachfront and have a small pool in their garden. All the rooms are very spacious, with a total floor area of 969 sq ft in the bungalows built on stilts, 1,400 sq ft in the beach villas and 2,690 sq ft in the royal villas. The terraces, which provide direct access to the lagoon from the bungalows, are so spacious that they serve as an outdoor lounge area, complete with bench seats, a wooden table shaded by a wooden canopy and sunloungers. The terraces in the villas, on the other hand, overlook the beach and double as an additional outdoor relaxation area between the garden and the entrance to the villa. This is also where you'll find the 16 x 13 ft private pools of the beach villas and the slightly larger pools of the royal villas. In terms of decor, the emphasis here is on sobriety and local influence, with light wooden furniture, nautical details (such as the rope handles on the wardrobe) and local materials (such as the plaited niau covering the walls). This doesn't mean that anything is compromised when it comes to luxury though, as amenities include an espresso machine (though unfortunately you have to pay for the coffee to put in it!), an outdoor shower and a bathtub and an additional indoor shower in the villas, air-conditioning, a fan, a minibar, a kettle with tea and coffee-making facilities (complimentary sachets provided), a television and a telephone, whilst the bathrooms also include bathrobes, a hair-dryer and 25ml Maeva hospitality products.

    Overview 9.20 /10

    The Tahaa Island Resort and Spa is an exclusive establishment with only 60 guest rooms housed in a series of bungalows built on stilts and villas built on the motu itself. The hotel offers a high level of comfort and is located on a private island, enabling guess to explore as they please. The communal areas blend perfectly into the surrounding landscape, with the reception housed in a high-ceilinged building in the form of an up-turned pirogue boat and another traditional boat planted on the sand at the entrance to the building. Other communal areas to be found tucked away around the grounds, between the lagoon and the beach, include the 82 ft-long swimming pool, adjacent to a little cove that faces a little island (which makes an ideal setting for a romantic dinner for two, on request). It is also open 24-hours a day, which is a rare bonus, particularly for those who like to enjoy a midnight dip (it is not recommended that you swim in the lagoon after dark though, as you can't see where you're putting your feet!). To the rear of the swimming pool, amid the motu's coconut plantation and alongside a developed lagoon, you'll find the spa and gym, the latter is enclosed and air-conditioned so you don't have to worry about the mosquitoes. The Manea Spa, on the other hand, is housed in a traditional building which opens out onto the lagoon and the gardens. A variety of wet (whirlpool bath, affusion shower, etc.) and dry (massage) treatments are offered in the spa's 5 booths, 3 of which are double, 1 of which has a jacuzzi and 1 of which has an affusion shower. A 30-minute massage will set you back around ?76. The treatment booths here open out onto the lagoon and the gardens, so be prepared to get harassed by the nonos (Polynesian mosquitoes) after the showers have passed, as these tend to bring the insects out in force. Even though the hotel regularly treats the lagoon during the warm season (from November to May), it is a good idea to take mosquito-repellent cream with you when out walking in the grounds (particularly at night).

    Food and drink 9.20 /10

    The Le Vanille restaurant, located on the mezzanine level, is both very smart and very natural and even has a terrace perched on tall stilts among the branches of the leadwood trees. When you factor in the impeccably attentive service, you have the ideal setting to really help you feel like you're in another world. Dinner is a smart occasion here and if you want to blend in you will need to be prepared to keep your voice down. It is also a good idea to bring mosquito-repellent cream with you if you intend to eat out on the terrace or in the fare (pandanus-roofed canopy laid on pillars) area of the restaurant, as the natural surroundings mean there are plenty of the little blighters around, though having said that, when you taste the cuisine served here, be it langoustine ravioli, red tuna tartare with shallots or the clam minestrone with aged rum, you'll soon forget about the nonos biting away at you! If they do start getting to you though, you have two options: either have your meal brought to your room (for which there is no additional charge) or eat at the (air-conditioned) gourmet restaurant, Ohiri. In terms of prices, a two-course set menu at Le Vanille will set you back ?58, an a la carte starter around ?21 and a main course around ?30. Local beverages are reasonably-priced (?2.50 for a carton of juice or ?4 for a beer), with a glass of wine starting at around ?7.50. The breakfast buffet served here in the morning consists of cheeses, cold meats, pastries, raw Tahiti-style fish (which is excellent, even for breakfast!), smoked salmon and diced fresh fruit, whilst warm dishes such as omelettes, bacon and eggs, hash browns and pancakes are served at the table, along with hot drinks. The Teotu bar, an extension of Le Vanille, is the best place to head for a drink afterwards thanks to its smart yet natural ambience and the views of the leadwood trees surrounding the building.

    Beach 9.45 /10

    The developed area of the motu consists of a series of sand bays, with the section of beach running in front of the beach villas and the royal villas being reserved for the private use of the guests only. Those staying in the bungalows built on stilts however can enjoy the sun from their own private terrace overlooking the lagoon, so there really is no great need for a communal beach at the Tahaa Resort. Having said that, you will find one near the swimming pool, facing the little island opposite. There isn't much room here though, and deckchairs are therefore in short supply as the level of the lagoon tends to rise due to global warming, so you're probably better off settling on the wooden terrace around the pool. The exclusive nature of the beach at the Tahaa Resort extends to the clear waters of the lagoon, which is home to all sorts of delicately-coloured fish, and although the sandy seabed is coral-free in its shallows (you should wade further in where the water gets darker), look out for the many fish wriggling about frantically near the shore, just like in the stories of the first Polynesian explorers. Kayaks, Polynesian pirogue boats and snorkelling equipment are also available, so if you want to see the motu at its best, head out early in the morning. The views of the island of Tahaa on the one side and Bora Bora in the distance really are magnificent!

    To know

    The Tahaa Resort has been a member of the prestigious Relais et Châteaux collection since 2004. This being the case, dressing up for the evening is the best way to blend in with the chic setting and elegant ambience that reigns at this very upmarket establishment.
    Due to the fact that there is a lagoon on the motu, mosquitoes swarm the area during the warm season (from November to March), though the hotel is regularly treated to minimise the inconvenience that this causes. Having said that, since the restaurant is largely open air, it is worth using a mosquito-repellent cream to avoid being bitten to death when you're eating!
    Accommodation tip:
    If you fancy the idea of holidaying on a boat, go for one of the bungalows built on stilts at the far end of the pontoon. These fall into the 'premium' category and offer breathtaking views across the lagoon. If relaxing on a charming private beach, with the additional luxury of a private 16 x 13 ft pool in a garden (concealed from prying eyes by a wooden fence), is more appealing to you though, go for a beach villa.
    The Tahaa Resort is not the best place to stay if you are travelling as a family, but if you do decide to come here with children, request one of the 2 royal rillas on the beach. These have two separate bedrooms and a total floor area of 2,691 sq ft (including the terrace, private pool and garden).
    For prices and reservations please visit www.letahaa.com.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Handicap access
    • Internet access
    • Spa

      massage

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      canoe, kayak, jet ski, tennis

    advantage

    • The outdoor swimming pool is open 24-hours a day
    • No additional charge for room service
    • The beach villas have their own private pool

    disadvantages

    • The many mosquitoes due to the presence of the lagoon

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10