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Hotel Aito Motel Colette Hotel 4 star
Tikehau, French Polynesia -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

A family hotel located just a stone's throw from the village of Tuherahera, on the motu of the same name (and home to the airport), the Aito Motel Colette offers basic yet traditional accommodation in the fare on the banks of the lagoon. The natural setting is superb and the tropical tree-planted estate is peaceful and welcoming. This is the ideal place for those wishing to experience the Tikehau way of life, a small atoll of 420 inhabitants, where you can discover the natural splendour of Polynesia both on land and at sea.

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    • Hotel Aito Motel Colette

      Aito Motel Colette   -   © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Aito Motel Colette

      Aito Motel Colette   -   © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE

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    Location 3.0 /10

    It is on the beach (on the banks of the lagoon) on the motu of Tuherahera, which is home to the airport and the atoll's main village. The airport is 0.6 mi away and can be reached via a tarmac road (5 minute journey). The hotel organises airport transfers (?5 return per person) as there are no cars or taxis available for hire on Tikehau. The village of Tuherahera is just 984ft from the hotel (a 5 to 10-minute walk).

    Accommodation 6.70 /10

    Entrance to the bungalows is via the terrace, a veranda shaded from the sun by the overhanging pandanus roof. Two wooden chairs are provided for guests to sit and enjoy the views across the lagoon, the magnificent turquoise colour of which is one of the wonders of Tikehau. Another wonder not to be missed are the beaches of pink sand, a little of which can be found in front of the hotel. If you'd like to see more and you like a good walk (and if it's not too hot), follow the motu out towards the airport, but don't forget to wear plastic sandals so you can walk through the lagoons here and there along the way. You will come to the Aua motu, home to the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort; the pink sandy beaches are just beyond the hotel. Allow around an hour and a half to two hours to reach them on foot. Back at the bungalow, you may regret the fact that the accommodation has no refrigerator. Comfort is what you would expect of a private family hotel, with a free-standing fan, a small rattan lounge area and an equipped bathroom with shower and toilet to the rear of the room (hair-dryer available from reception on request). There is no television or telephone (though guests can make calls from the reception). As far as decor is concerned, local materials and shades dominate, with tifaifai (stylised floral patchwork) bedspreads, walls semi-covered in painted wooden panels and exposed framework.

    Overview 7.20 /10

    The hotel takes its name from the iron trees ("aito" in Polynesian) planted on the estate; it also takes the forename of the owner, Colette, who, along with her husband, Henere, manages this small 5-bungalow estate. You are guaranteed a warm welcome and a peaceful atmosphere at this hotel. The reception fare is also where meals are taken, just a stone's throw from the lagoon but sheltered from the wind that frequently blows across the Tuherahera motu. Outside the fare, the tree-planting estate of iron trees, Bengal almond and coconut trees consists of 5 pandanus-roofed bungalows with wood-covered walls. The bungalows, raised on stilts, are typical Polynesian fares, aligned along the water's edge. Each therefore has a beautiful view across the lagoon.

    Food and drink 6.95 /10

    Meals are served in the reception fare. The tables, which are shaded from the sun by the roofing and sheltered from the wind by a curtain of trees, still manage to offer glimpses of the lagoon, making for both a typical and charming setting. Breakfast is served at the table and consists of bread, butter, tropical preserves, fresh seasonal fruit, fruit juice and hot drinks. At lunchtime, guests can choose from a selection of basic snacks, such as sandwiches and ham or cheese omelettes. You may prefer to take a stroll into the village, where you will find a bakery, a mini-market and a snack bar. Other dining options include the 'table d'hôtes' at other small private hotels (located between the airport and the Aito Motel Colette) and the restaurant at the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort (hotel boat from the port of Tuherahera). In the evening, it is a good idea to get some provisions in (to limit the expense) or dine at the hotel, where a 3-course set menu, consisting of tasty local cuisine (Tahitian raw fish, grilled mahi-mahi served plain or with a sauce and a dessert of 'poe' or manioc cream with coconut) will set you back ?24.

    Beach 8.20 /10

    The beach, with its young coconut trees making it almost garden-like, stretches out in front of the bungalows, covering an area of around 656 x 164ft. The sand, which varies from white to pink, is a combination of fine grains and thicker coral debris. This is, after all, a natural beach, and one which slopes gently away on reaching the lagoon. Plastic deckchairs are also provided for those who like to laze around, but try not to get carried away as the Polynesian sun is fierce. Not only that, but the wind, however light, tends to blow sand in your face. Don't forget your snorkelling equipment if you intend to have a go, as the hotel doesn't provide any. There are kayaks available though, which you must try if only to see the multicoloured ballet of fish just off the shore (the atoll of Tikehau is one of the most densely populated with fish in Polynesia). The wooden cabin on the pontoon at the end of the beach belongs to the Raie Manta independent diving club, which offers visitors the perfect opportunity to thoroughly explore the amazing lagoon of Tikehau.

    To know

    Don't bother trying to find a bank or a cash point on the atoll of Tikehau - there isn't one. This, of course, means that you'll need to pay for your stay in advance in order to avoid carrying large sums of money with you. The lack of a bank and cash point also means that you will have to gauge your spending money very carefully. The most expensive activities are guided excursions (but essential, as there are no boats to hire); a trip to Bird Island (one of the jewels in the Tikehau crown), for example, will set you back e60 per person. A diving initiation session or a trip out to sea (with the Raie Manta club) costs just under ?60, whilst a snorkelling session costs around ?35 euros. A few examples of what you can expect to pay: a full meal costs around ?24 euros. A snack (basic sandwich): ?5. A bottle of water (the water on Tikehau is not suitable for drinking): ?1 (from the village shop).
    Accommodation tip
    Come as a couple, rather than as a family. Bungalows can accommodate an additional bed on request, but with a floor area of just 215 sq ft including the patio, they are not particularly suitable for families.
    For rates and reservation, contact the hotel by fax on +44 (0) 0 689 96 23 07, or by phone (same number as the fax), or mobile: +44 (0)0 689 74 85 77.00 689 74 85 77. The hotel has no website or e-mail address (Tikehau does not currently have any Internet service).
    Aito Motel Colette - Boîte Postale 43 - 98 778 Tuherahera - Tikehau - French Polynesia.


    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Air conditioning
    • Sports equipment



    • Next to the village of Tuherahera.
    • View across the lagoon from all the bungalows.
    • Peaceful atmosphere.


    • No refrigerator in the accommodation.
    • Beach exposed to the wind.

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
    • Cox K. Cox K.  
      1 Opinions
      • Package deals in octobre 2012 Posted on 2013-11-03 Seul - 3 à 5 nuitées (Chambre avec vue)

        Des personnes charmantes, un accueil familial, et des chants et de la musique au diner que du bonheur

      • Advantages

        le cadre l accueil plage magnifique bungalow typique face à la mer

      • Disavantages

        literie a revoir mais vu le cadre on peut dormir à la belle etoile

      • Infrastructure
      • Logement
      • Situation
      • Restauration
      • Sports / Loisirs
      • Animation
      • Qualité / Prix
      • Overall Score 9.00/10