You might be thinking « another article about a hotel »? Well yes! In continuation of our first partnership trip with the Maitai Bora Bora that we did a few months ago, we gladly accepted to spend the weekend at the superb Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa, the renowned “Relais & Châteaux” hotel off the island of Taha’a, in French Polynesia. Locally, this hotel is known as one of the essential references, a place to see at least once (and sleep if you can)!
As recently explained in articles about French Polynesia, more and more of you are asking us for information on honeymoon trips in the islands. Even if our blog is not necessarily focused on “luxury travel in French Polynesia”, it seems more relevant to diversify and talk about everything that makes French Polynesia what it is, from camping, to Airbnb, guesthouses, small hotels to luxury hotels. Because its diversity is also what makes the charm of the place.
So off we go for a superb weekend in the islands (as we say here… even if I agree that we already live on a rock (Tahiti) in the middle of the Pacific Ocean). We’re sharing with you our honest opinion on our weekend at Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa, and even if it is a partnership with the hotel, we remain fully in control of our opinions and everything that is written in this article.
Before we start, you should know that we are already familiar with the place. We came here for breakfast two years ago, on a Sunday morning. Because this is of course one of the very nice things to do here. If you are visiting the main island of Taha’a, you can consider taking the shuttle from the main island that will drop you off on the motu of this beautiful resort to spend the day. That’s what we did and we talk about it in this article about the island of Taha’a. For those who can’t afford to stay here for example, you can still take advantage of this magical environment by spending the day. But this time, we were fortunate enough to be able to spend two nights in the renowned overwater suites.
Before telling you about our experience in the hotel, you should note that the property is actually located on a motu off the island of Taha’a, these famous sandbanks are as if they were placed on the coral reef.
As the island of Taha’a does not have its own airport, the hotel’s shuttle picks us up as usual at the airport of Raiatea, an island that shares the same lagoon as Taha’a.
We were warmly greeted by the captain of the boat, each receiving a beautiful flower necklace. Unfortunately, the weather was very bad at this time as it had been raining more or less for almost a week on the Leeward and Windward Islands. But let’s be real, we couldn’t really complain about the weather, knowing that the forecast appeared quite normal considering the season. Indeed, we were in the middle of the rainy season in February.
We embark quietly on board of this small private boat. My 4 year old son no longer holds in place and asks me 40 times during the trip “where are the houses over the water?,” to think he would almost get used to it. A good half hour boat ride under a gloomy weather allowed us to finally arrive at the resort. However, even with the cloudy weather, the place was splendid. It’s of course even more beautiful in the sun, and we were going to pray hard to make sure it made its appearance (which will happen eventually, so keep reading, huh?).
Even just the arrival on the pontoon of the hotel and the large “Vaiana” boat at the entry of the reception immediately reminds you that you are in a very high end resort. You could feel that things are not done randomly and the small details are well thought out. We wait in this beautiful entrance hall with local colors, beautiful vegetation in the background, a waterfall and a very good “lemon-vanilla” fruit juice that reminds us of the tropics! We knew that were going to be just fine this weekend.
Nothing is really random at the entrance of the hotel in terms of decoration: sculptures, flower, and small details!
We are accompanied by foot to our bungalow, a superb “Bora Bora Overwater Suite”. The entrance to the bungalow is grand and blows your mind! The bungalow is huge, 90m², the entire place is tastefully decorated, perfect for me. The hostess leaves the room and we take pleasure in discovering every corner of the bungalow. The main room is really spacious, with a king-size bed and a single bed, perfect for our little one. The bungalow fits 3 people. The room is truly decorated with care and the whole clearly reminding you of the “life in the islands” with the exclusive use of local materials. No visible concrete or tiling, only wood, ropes, braiding. In short, the interior is splendid in my opinion (I say “I” because it is me, Sylvain who is writing, but Melanie doesn’t think any less…).
The bathroom is also superb, with a shower and bathtub offering a view of the lagoon. It’s not bad here! The bungalow obviously has access to a beautiful terrace overlooking the lagoon and the island of Bora Bora, but at the time of our arrival, the weather was still not at its best, so we cross our fingers to be able to enjoy this superb view as soon as the sun decides to point the tip of his nose!
In terms of equipment, of course, everything is there: air conditioning, Wi-Fi (which works perfectly even in an overwater bungalow far from the reception), direct access to the lagoon, a glass panel at the foot of the bed to observe the lagoon, a television, a Nespresso machine and a teapot, a minibar (filled every day), hair dryer, safe, etc. Basically, everything you need to spend an excellent week-end and not lack anything, eh!
Given the rainy weather at the time of our arrival, we were happy to enjoy our spacious bungalow with our complimentary chocolates offered at the entrance of the bungalow and a small coffee to spend the afternoon.
hile waiting for the weather to change and to tell you a little about the hotel in detail, it has four types of accommodation: the suites with a view of Bora Bora (where we were), the sunset overwater suites, the end of pontoon overwater suites (with even less vis-à-vis and a superb view), the Beach villas with swimming pool, the Taha’a overwater suites and the Royal Pool Beach villas with swimming pool which include 2 bedrooms with their own bathrooms. In short, there is nothing but good stuff! We had the chance to visit a beautiful beach villa for 4 people. The setting and interior are just as beautiful as our overwater suite. The villa is even bigger, has a small private outdoor pool and a beautiful beach access. All in all, for a family of 4, it’s the perfect little nest!
The hotel has 58 rooms (which remains “few”), 3 restaurants (but the gourmet restaurant was closed when we visited) and two bars. To close it all off, and have a great time on this motu, the hotel also has a Spa center, a beautiful infinity pool (I’ll tell you about that later), a tennis court and a gym. Of course, the hotel offers a whole range of activities (in groups, as a couple, etc.) that you are free to book during your stay. Paddles and kayaks are also available free of charge and are perfect for exploring the beautiful lagoon in front of the hotel. I forgot to mention, but the hotel has its own private coral garden in a « hoa » next door. These « hoa » are false passes that connect the water from the ocean and the lagoon. I’ll tell you more about it below, on Sunday, when the sun came out (and we forgot to put sunscreen on).
Finally, the hotel is also involved in coral protection and you can see several sites surrounding the overwater suites where coral is tempting to grow back. Another positive point to note is that it is asked in the bungalow not to waste water and to preserve the environment by, for example, only changing towels when necessary.
To get back to our weekend, we arrived in the late afternoon on Friday. Given the weather, we were not really able to enjoy the place during the evening, nor the next day, Saturday which was not superb either (rain and strong wind). However, there is no reason to be discouraged, and we gladly went to the restaurant “Le Vanille” on Friday evening for a very good meal. I have nothing to say about that, except that we really enjoyed ourselves. The menu offers a good variety. What we could taste was excellent. I personally enjoyed the two risottos and the creamy Uru and squash soup. The service is professional, fast and the prices are correct (we’re in a 5-star restaurant might I remind you!).
The next morning, and given the capricious weather, we took our time to enjoy the splendid breakfast buffet. I cannot say that I have had many buffets in 5-star hotels, but from what I’ve tasted, this one remains the best (by far). The choice is not only endless or almost, but it’s absolutely excellent. We especially appreciated the homemade jams and juices, the coconut/caramel cupcakes but also the very good omelettes that you can order. We took advantage of this beautiful space upstairs, while the rain was falling, to enjoy our family moment! The day will unfortunately be the same for us: wind and rain all day long. We keep our fingers crossed for Sunday, which should be sunny according to the weather forecast!
Our wish has been granted! We finally see some good weather as we’re waking up on Sunday morning. This clearly changes things! I often repeat: the lagoons and the turquoise water are especially magical when the sun is out. And this is finally what awaits us, a perfect day, in a magical setting and sunny weather (even too much so, don’t get me started on the the sunburn, haha).
So we start off this beautiful day with the delicious and generous breakfast buffet. Nothing like an excellent meal to get off to a good start, right? We then take full advantage of the place, in particular the infinity pool with a view on the lagoon. The weather is perfect and there is almost no one in the hotel (well, so to speak). We are alone in the pool for more than an hour and honestly, it’s enjoyable! You even have the possibility to sip on a good cocktail directly in the water. It’s so good to be here!
We take advantage of the beautiful weather and go back and see the well-known coral garden. I say « go back » because we had already seen it two years ago during our day spent on the motu. I must say that it’s quite nice to visit this beautiful coral garden, most of the time in less than a meter of water. It’s also very good for people who are not very comfortable in the water (I’m thinking of my father, haha!). No big scary fish on the agenda if that can reassure some people. You’ll enjoy observing the small coral potatoes scattered from right to left in this fabulously colored hoa. On the program: a lot of small classic coral fish, anemones, quite a few beautifully colored clams, etc. In short, for those who are not familiar with it, this is a very nice discovery.
Coming back to the weather, because obviously, we had the good idea to go snorkeling between noon and 1pm, which will end up as a result being fatal for Mélanie (and I’m not far from it either). Fortunately, our little one had his lycra on. We enjoyed a small meal at La Plage restaurant, which is still just as fun. The house salads are really excellent and very filling by the way. We were fortunate enough to be able to enjoy our overwater suite up until it was time for our shuttle to take us back to the airport of Raiatea for our flight, in the late afternoon.
Sadly, this weekend was way too short (as it’s often the case) but in spite of the bad weather (which was to be expected in February), we had a great time in this sublime atmosphere. Is it worth spending a weekend here? Without a doubt in my mind, yes! To check out any current promotions and to book directly, come this way. This was the second time we had the opportunity to test an accommodation and the idea of finally being able to really talk about a place we now know is top notch.
I hope that this little visit made you want to discover the island of Taha’a and the beautiful motu of Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa. And I hope you liked our review? Feel free to share your thoughts with us by commenting. For those of you who are visiting the island of Bora Bora and are looking for an accommodation over the water “without going broke”, I invite you to read our review on the Maitai Bora Bora!
See you soon for a new post,
Mélanie & Sylvain