Published On: Thu, Jan 18th, 2018

Completely Polynesian at Taha'a Resort


Taha’a may simply be the idyllic South Seas isle you’ve at all times pictured, although it’s not straightforward to get to.

It’s an eight hour flight from Los Angeles to Papeete on Tahiti, after which one other 45 minutes (typically with one other island cease) on a turboprop to the island of Raiatea (Taha’a has no airport), the place launches from one of many two resorts on neighboring Taha‘a acquire visitors and return to their non-public islands on the coral atoll ringing the island.

In the course of the half hour boat journey, it’s straightforward to see why Taha’a is well worth the journey: coconut palms pervade deep inlets and mountainous coasts, whereas the island’s single street sees just about no visitors. With a inhabitants of simply 5,000, even comparatively sleepy Tahiti appears like a metropolis by comparability.

The 2 resorts comprise fewer than 70 whole lodging items, so even at full room capability guests gained’t discover themselves surrounded by a lot non-local firm.

Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa is located on the non-public islet of Motu Tautau simply off the northwest coast of Taha’a. Arriving visitors are greeted with aromatic lei constituted of tiaré tahiti (the native gardenia species) and escorted from the dock into the entrance workplace. There they’re offered with a vanilla and ginger flavored lemonade and a chilly towel whereas registration is processed.

Then it’s off to one of many secluded bungalow-style lodging: both overwater or beachfront.

At practically 1,000 sq. toes, the thatched roof overwater selection are luxuriously gigantic. A sliding glass French window opens one total aspect of the suite totally to an costly deck with shaded eating space and lounge chairs, plus a decrease dock for direct lagoon entry with freshwater bathe.

The glass desk on the foot of the mattress had a view straight beneath the bungalow, which could possibly be lit throughout the night in makes an attempt to draw sea life. The mattress itself was adorned with recent tiaré, giving your complete suite an intoxicating aroma of polished hardwood and floral freshness.

Suites seem like designed in order to by no means go away: With fabulous views of Taha’a, or neighboring Bora Bora, the urge to enterprise out (or certainly even to trouble with trivial issues just like the very passage of time) appears to vanish.

Bogs are equally expansive, with spacious showers, a beneficiant soaker tub (with extra glass-topped surfaces for views into the lagoon) and tiaré-scented monoï oil, which has lengthy been utilized in Polynesia to maintain sun-and-wind broken pores and skin clean and tender.

For those who do handle to muster the need and/or vitality to go away their beautiful lodging, accessible actions embody floating by the island’s coral backyard, snorkeling or scuba diving (there’s a dive store on property), stress-free on the resort pool or benefiting from the open-air remedy rooms on the spa.

For my quick go to, I wished to see the island of Taha’a, and the concierge was capable of organize a day tour that visited a pearl farm and vanilla plantation.

Within the morning, it was only a fast journey throughout the lagoon on the resort’s free shuttle that operates set intervals all through the day. Then a step up into the canopied mattress of a pickup truck for the journey across the island.

Our information supplied commentary in each English and French, and we spent the day visiting varied spots:

—Seeing the “baguette packing containers” that every resident has arrange like mailboxes for his or her day by day deliveries of recent bread, (which can be found on subscription).

—Visiting a pearl farm, the place we realized how cultivated pearls are coloured and sized by inserting a bit of mom of pearl and a manufactured nucleus into a selected organ of an oyster that’s left to develop for over a 12 months.

—Watching how delicate orchid flowers should be pollinated by hand, after which dried into the aromatic, valuable beans that develop into the prized Tahitian vanilla.

—Studying in regards to the normal life and livelihood of the island’s residents.

READ MORE: How to See Tahiti for Less

The island was certainly simply as secluded because it had seemed from the boat; our truck met visitors on the street maybe as soon as each half hour or so. One transient cease on the aspect of the street changed into an illustration on husking and shredding coconut right into a fluffy pile, which we have been then instructed to dip the top of a banana into for a local-style snack.

I used to be fortunate sufficient to reach on the resort on a Tuesday night when the weekly Polynesian buffet and present is held.

The principle restaurant Le Vanille (which gives an excellent a la carte menu the remainder of the week) supplied a buffet of pan-Polynesian favorites whereas an area band serenaded visitors all through the night till the Polynesian dancing begins with a small-but-earnest troupe from Taha’a.

Simply when one thinks the affair can’t be any extra charming, the trio of hostesses from the restaurant ventured exterior with broad smiles and do a dance variety of their very own. The night ended on the seaside with fireplace dancing and pictures. It’s enjoyable and casual—nowhere close to as polished because the bigger troupes on Tahiti—however for sure probably the most relaxed, natural dance present I’ve seen anyplace in Polynesia.

Le Vanille can be the restaurant that serves a day by day breakfast, with an abundance of recent fruit, excellent breads and pastries—that is an outpost of the French Republic, in spite of everything—plus recent Poisson cru (native uncooked fish salad made with coconut milk and citrus) and typical North American scorching gadgets.

There’s additionally a gastronomic restaurant, Ohiri, for these searching for an elevated multi-course eating expertise. Informal lunches might be taken poolside at La Plage, which has each a shaded bar and swim-up bar on the resort pool.

Turndown companies every night embody some mild studying materials on Tahitian legends and a memento to recollect the resort by on the final night, together with departure schedules and directions.

READ MORE: Paul Gauguin Debuts 2018 Tahiti, French Polynesia & South Pacific Brochure

The Takeaway

A Polynesian expertise that’s well worth the journey, providing pure magnificence and heartfelt Polynesian hospitality with out the crowds and fuss of a extra visited island like Bora Bora. Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa, and the island of Taha’a herself are price your go to.

The Math

Public charges for overwater suites begin round $1,050 per night time throughout the off-season; There are frequent free night time gives for multi-night stays, and inclusive packages is usually a good worth.

Instagrammable Second

Decide one–just about each view anyplace on the resort is worthy of a social media post—notably bungalow views and vistas of Taha’a or Bora Bora.

Loyalty

Le Taha’a is a part of the Relais & Chateau federation of resorts, which doesn’t function a loyalty program.

Good to Know

There aren’t any ATMs on the resort, and they’re uncommon on Taha’a. Retailers at vacationer services promoting pearls and vanilla settle for bank cards. In any other case, money is the overall tender on the island, and it’s sensible to deliver some.

Visitor laundry is usually cheaper on the resort than the hotels I stayed at on Tahiti.

If arriving on the airport at Raiatea, spherical journey boat transfers are required, which aren’t included within the room charge. The lodge may organize a helicopter switch from Bora Bora if desired.

Lodging have been furnished by Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa in preparation for this story.


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