Where to stay in French Polynesia?
Today, I’m going to talk about accommodations in French Polynesia. Why am I writing this article? Quite simply because I am often asked: where to sleep in French Polynesia? But also because, following the survey I proposed, you were more than 95% to be interested in a full article bringing all my recommendations for each island together. So, now it’s done! By the way, if you are planning your trip, we just published a full article summarizing everything you need to know about the islands and archipelagos of French Polynesia.
Of course, I didn’t list all the existing accommodations (that’s not the goal!). But I made a selection of all the accommodations which seem to be the most interesting ones for me. Obviously, I didn’t test them all, but I’ll give you first and foremost the ones I tried, then the ones that were recommended to me by friends/family, and finally the ones I know by reputation, since we’ve been living here for over 5 years now.
If you are looking for another complete guide, we recently published a comprehensive article covering all possible activities in French Polynesia. We explain you which activities you can consider for your trip, island by island (the main ones). We even provide you with summary tables listing all the places where you can do a specific activity.
To make it easier for you, I have classified the accommodations by archipelago, and then by island. For each island, I propose you several possibilities in the different ranges (camping, Airbnb, guesthouse, small hotel, big luxury resort) along with my opinion in some lines. Sometimes even atypical accommodations that I know or found during my research. If you want to travel on a small budget, you should read our article on how to camp in French Polynesia. On the other hand, if you plan to spend a few wonderful nights, here is our complete article on all the hotels offering overwater bungalows in French Polynesia!
The idea is also to have your feedback on other good places, so I could add them in this page. Needless to say, I had to make some choices, and there are many other existing possibilities. For Airbnb, I only put some ideas of course, as there are hundreds of them!
I know it’s not the purpose of this article, but if you are looking to book your activities for your trip in French Polynesia, you can check out Manawa website. I recommend it with my eyes closed, I used it in the past and I still use it today to book my activities.
The Society Archipelago is a group of 14 islands. It is divided into two parts:
- the Windward Islands, including the islands of Tahiti and Moorea and the atoll of Tetiaroa ;
- the Leeward Islands, including Bora Bora, Raiatea, Tahaa, Huahine and Maupiti.
The Windward Islands
These are islands I do know well, since I have visited them all several times and have been living in Tahiti since 2015.
Everyone will be able to find what they’re looking for for their vacation in Tahiti: from entry/mid-range hotels to luxury and Airbnb rentals. As far as I know, there are no official campsites on the island. By the way, I have just finished a complete guide describing the must-see places on the island of Tahiti.
- In town
- Coconut Studio: ideally located in the heart of Papeete, this air-conditioned studio can accommodate up to 4 people.
- Cozy calm and modern studio: modern interior for this studio, where you can even enjoy eating on the balcony.
- On the peninsula
- Looking for an overwater Airbnb bungalow during your trip to Tahiti? Well, it’s possible at Marika! With direct access to the lagoon, like in luxury hotels, but for much less money…
- The Makai Bungalow Nui blends in with nature, in a magnificent lush garden. And for the price, you even get a small private lagoon!
- The Lodge: these bungalows are comfortable and well equipped. The location on the heights of Teahupo’o offers an exceptional panoramic view.
- Punatea Village: you will be on the edge of a private beach, in the middle of 9,000 m² of tropical gardens. You can choose between a garden or a beach bungalow.
- Omati Lodge: If you want to relax, you can book a room in this guesthouse. They are spacious, very well equipped and you’ll be warmly received.
- Vanira Lodge: I am a fan of these nestled-in-the-trees bungalows, with private bathroom open to the outside! All materials are natural, it’s just sensational!
- Le Relais Fenua: a beautiful accommodation in a tropical garden, and a large outdoor pool, just 250m from the beach!
- Le Fare Suisse: a bed and breakfast in the heart of the city center, ideal to visit the town or to transit to Moorea!
- La pension de la plage: located just in front of a beautiful white sand beach, this accommodation has a very good quality/price ratio. This good address is well-known locally.
- Tahiti Airport Motel: if you have to take an early morning flight or if you don’t want to be far from the airport, this is the right place for you!
- The Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa: close to the airport, the setting is magical, and you can enjoy a stroll in a 12-hectare green park.
- The Manava Suite Resort and Spa: a magnificent hotel, facing the island of Moorea, with the largest infinity pool in Tahiti. A place we really appreciate for its happy hours at sunset! Here is our full review of our weekend spent in the hotel.
- The Tahiti la Ora Beach Resort: I’ve only heard good things about it (I’ve never stayed there) and sipping a little cocktail with your feet in the sand is superb, take my word for it!
I also know the island of Moorea very well. You will find all ranges of hotels, camping, Airbnb.
- There is only one “official” campsite on Moorea: Camping Nelson. Facing one of the most beautiful lagoons of the island, you can pitch your tent in a huge coconut grove. The sunset here with a little Hinano is really nice. The campsite also has rooms to rent.
- Fare Moko Iti: accommodation located in the northwest of the island, close to the main points of interest and only 20m from the lagoon.
- Eden Moorea: king size bed in one of the two pretty rooms of the house. Direct access to the bay, but no beach. A friendly place!
- Sunrise Beach Villa: this beautiful 240 m² villa, located in the northwest of the island, offers high quality services, both inside and outside.
- Poerani Moorea: located in the north of the island, this is a quiet pension. You can choose between garden or sea view suites.
- Pension fare Maheata: the accommodations of this guesthouse are spacious and well maintained. Included in the price, you’ll enjoy a good breakfast right in front of the lagoon.
- Fare blue lagon view: charming bungalows and a great welcome, that’s what characterizes this accommodation!
- Fare Manureva: the location near the shops is very convenient, and you can rent a car directly at the guesthouse for your trips on the island.
For small budgets
- Fare om: located 2 km from the beach, you can choose between a double room or a single bed in a dormitory. Good value for money, with continental breakfast in supplement, for not much.
- PainaPaopao Backpacker: this accommodation is a little closer to the beach (1.5 km). All beds are separated in the dormitory to have some privacy, which is pretty nice for the price!
- The Green Lodge: an outdoor swimming pool on the edge of one of the most beautiful beaches of Moorea, superb bungalows, you can only feel good here!
- Fare Miti: set on the edge of a beautiful lagoon, you will love the simplicity and calm this place enjoys.
- Haere Mai I Te Fare: located on the hills, with a magnificent view over the lagoon, a few steps from the beach, this is a very famous accommodation too!
Top of the range
Intercontinental Moorea Resort & Spa: ery well-known locally, a splendid setting for a magnificent hotel.As someone pointed it out to me in an email, this hotel unfortunately closed its doors in 2020 because of the Covid19 crisis.
- Manava Beach Resort & Spa Moorea: close to Cook Bay and the airport, let yourself be tempted by this superb hotel! If you are interested, here is our full review of this hotel we had the opportunity to test recently.
- Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort: this is a superb spot, on the very beautiful beach of Temae. Personally, we found it perfect to have a drink! Enchanting setting…
On this atoll, you will only find the 5-star luxury hotel The Brando. This accommodation is gorgeous, from the room to the restaurants, through the common areas, you will be within reach of prestige and of the top of the range! But as always, it comes at a certain price. I let you have a look at this place!
Another possibility to sleep “in Tetiaroa” or almost, you can consider spending the night on a catamaran. Indeed, several providers offer this possibility thanks to a 2-days trip. The idea is simple: you leave for 2 days and 1 night on a catamaran to discover “Tetia”. I particularly advise you Poe Charter, as I already tested it several times. Here is the story of my day with them in Tetiaroa. By the way, I talk about it in the article, but you can use the promo code “les2pieds” to get (as a tourist) 10% discount on your day or your weekend in Tetiaroa.
I went several times on each of them. There are: Bora Bora, Huahine, Maupiti, Raiatea and Tahaa. By the way, if you want to go further, I summarized here what I thought about all the Leeward Islands.
Bora Bora Island
I recently wrote an article about the most beautiful hotels in Bora Bora, don’t hesitate to read it to get my detailed opinion. I will only talk here about a selection I made. I haven’t mentioned any Airbnb, but you should know that there are quite a few of them on the island too.
- There is only one campsite on the island, the Bora Bora Camping Motu Écologique. The atmosphere and the welcome seem to be great! I don’t know it personally, but from what I’ve seen, it’s a very good address, with authenticity as a watchword. A place to remember!
- Chez Nono Bora Bora Lodge: excellent location (on Matira beach, with all amenities nearby) for a very good price considering Bora Bora prices!
- Pension Alice et Raphaël: the setting is just amazing for this pension located on the motu Ome, making it a really quiet place. Internet lovers, you will be able to totally disconnect, since there is no wifi here! A real vacation in perspective!
Middle of the range
- Hotel Royal Bora Bora: average prices for this recently renovated 3-star hotel, which offers standard rooms with garden view. In the morning, you will have the chance to have your breakfast facing the lagoon!
- Blue Heaven Island Lodge: I find the concept of this establishment, turned towards nature and the environment, truly great! This hotel is almost autonomous, it is full of charm and you will feel like you’re alone in the whole world.
- Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora: an accommodation we do like on this island. It offers the cheapest overwater bungalows in Bora. Here is our complete opinion on the place!
- Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa: with its 108 bungalows and villas, we can say it’s a resort more than a hotel, but don’t worry: the high-end services are there! It was renovated in 2020, and it’s apparently magical,
- Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa: you will spend a magic and timeless stay on the motu Piti Aau. This hotel offers only overwater bungalows, from where you can dive directly into the lagoon. It’s just outstanding!
- Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora: you will also stay on a motu (Tehotu). Typical architecture in luxurious accommodations, attentive staff and dream setting, it is the ideal place for a honeymoon.
There are no high-end hotels on Huahine, but you will have the choice between other types of accommodations.
- I tested the Hiva Plage campsite and I really recommend it. It is simple and very “nature/hippie”, and the spot is incredible!
- Manuia Lagoon: I love the concept, which I find super original: a bungalow on a barge! The reviews are unanimous: exceptional stay, for a very reasonable price.
- The Mati House: villa located a bit on the heights, which allows you to enjoy a sumptuous view on the lagoon, the neighboring islands as well as the magnificent sunsets.
- Pension Tapuna: charming rooms and a hearty breakfast included in the price, you will be quiet here and out of sight!
- Moana lodge: in this pension, you can choose half board and share your meals with the hosts, who will make you discover the Polynesian culture. Ideal for a complete immersion!
- Tifaifai and Café: located on the motu Mavea, the guesthouse is right on a white sand beach. And if you stay there between July and November, you might have the chance to see whales! Just amazing!
- The Mahana : this 3-star hotel is nestled in Avea Bay, on a white sand beach. You can eat with your feet in the sand, before taking a dip in the translucent water. I went there several times for breakfast or just to have a drink and it was always very nice!
- Maitai Lapita Village: this establishment enjoys a Zen atmosphere. If you choose a premium lake bungalow, you’ll be in the middle of a lush garden, next to a stretch of water filled with water lilies. It’s quite original!
- Royal Huahine: accessible only by boat, the hotel has a private beach. You can choose between garden, beach or overwater bungalows.
On Maupiti, you won’t find any luxury hotel, but there is still a choice for accommodation.
- Maupiti Camping: it’s the only official campsite on the island, where the atmosphere seems to be very nice!
- Mihiarii’s Bed and Breakfast: very good value for money to stay with a local, on the main island, only 10 min from Tereia beach.
- Maupiti Island Farehau: if you are traveling with your family, you can rent this 144 m² house, close to the Maupiti Village and Papahani guesthouses (where you can eat if you book in advance).
- Tereia: having spent a few nights in this guesthouse, I do recommend it. It is simple, but authentic.
- Kuriri: this pension composed of 4 bungalows is located on a motu (Tiapaa). There is no restaurant, but a fully equipped kitchen is available for travelers.
- Papahani : also located on the motu Tiapaa, but a little further north. All the bungalows overlook a private beach, in an enchanting setting!
- Maupiti village: another pension on Tiapaa. Here, the watchword is simplicity, the welcome is warm and the food delicious.
There are no high-end hotels on Raiatea either, so you’ll have to opt for another type of accommodation!
- You can pitch your tent in the camping area of the Sunset Beach Motel, where 30 sites are available. You will need to bring your own equipment, as it is not possible to rent any on site.
- Fare Nyimanu: this is a fully equipped studio that can accommodate up to 4 people. On the heights of Raiatea, you will be able to contemplate the splendid view of Huahine and Tahaa right from the pool!
- The “Popoti Lodge”: you are directly at the lagoon. This accommodation is made of a fare with its deck, from where you can admire rays and fish, and sometimes even dolphins in the distance! In addition, Mount Temehani is only 100 meters away.
- Miri Miri Guest House: very nice location on the island to enjoy sunsets, with the motu Miri in the background. The house is by the waterside, with a private pontoon.
- Fare Vai Nui: wood predominates in this guesthouse, which gives a very warm look. And from what I heard, locals often come here to eat: food must be good!
- Faré Mahi Mahi: the hosts will bend over backwards to make your stay unforgettable: excursions, trips on the island, delivery of evening meals, airport transfers, etc.
- Bouddha Villa: Guesthouse located between the airport and the city center. The rooms are spacious and equipped with basic amenities.
- Raiatea Lodge: very nice rooms with a sophisticated decoration for this 3-star hotel. You can also enjoy its restaurant and nice swimming pool! Since its renovation in 2020, we could test the magnificent family bungalows, and we truly enjoyed it. Here is our opinion about this place!
- Atiapiti: comfortable bungalows equipped with a kitchenette. Those who like seafood will enjoy themselves, as the restaurant has made it its specialty.
- Opoa Beach hôtel: small hotel located in the south of Raiatea, the view on the lagoon is superb and the coral reef ideal for snorkeling.
- Le-Néliza Beach Lodge: 2 fully equipped bungalows on the beach, with a small snorkeling spot. We spent 3 days there in family, in total autonomy and it was really pleasant.
An island I do know very well too, having been there several times.
There are quite a few Airbnb for an island like Tahaa, so I had to make a choice…
For a family trip by the water, you can opt for the Villa Lou Faret (with a view of Bora Bora), or the large Private Beach Villa, which can accommodate up to 6 people.
If you’re traveling as a couple, why not booking a room with an XXL private bathroom at the Sirius Escape Private Villa & Retreat or the Moana Beach bungalow, where you can enjoy an entire bungalow in pure Polynesian style?
And for the diving lovers, it is at the Villa Tehere Dream that you must go. You will be right in front of the coral reef!
- Hibiscus: Located on the mountain side and right in front (or almost) of Motu Ceran. We personally liked it (we spent 3 nights there): reception was nice, the food was good and the bungalow very correct.
- Fare Pea Iti: I think that it is a notch above the others. Indeed, everyone agrees to say that this Polynesian lodge is marvelous, as much in the proposed services as in the charm of the bungalows.
- Pension Au Phil du temps: also a very nice pension, with only three accommodations (2 Polynesian fare and 1 suite room with private living room). So, peacefulness guaranteed!
- La pension Titaina: this is an addition. I had heard about it very quickly, but I had forgotten to include it. Considering the positive (and recent) comments, it is surely a very good alternative too!
- Taha’a by pearl resort : it is a splendid 5-star hotel in which I had the pleasure to stay. The wooden bungalows are just beautiful, whether they are overwater or on the beach with a private pool. A top-level establishment!
- Vahine island Resort and Spa: it’s a small 4-star hotel, with only 9 bungalows, located on the motu Tuvahine. It is the ideal place to rest, an intimate location I dream of trying one day.
Another mention, the Pirogue Api: in fact, it is an island-hotel (motu Moute) reachable in 10 minutes by boat from Tahaa. The bungalows take up the entire surface of the islet. You dive directly into the lagoon to discover the fauna and flora, just with your mask and snorkel. Great address!
In this archipelago, there are many atolls. The ones which are the most visited by tourists are the trio “Fakarava/Rangiroa/Tikehau”. More rarely and mostly by locals: Manihi/Ahe/Mataiva/Anaa. Personally, I know quite a few others, like: Niau, Kauehi, Aratika, Apataki, Arutua, Raraka.
- The only place where you can camp on the atoll is the Pension Rangiroa Plage. Here, there is only one camping spot, but it is a great one. When you open the zipper of your tent, the first thing you’ll see directly is the lagoon! Unbeatable price for an accommodation in Fr. Polynesia: less than 20€/night/person.
- Chez Lu et Lo: this 300 square meter wooden house is right on the lagoon. You only have to take a few steps to swim into the crystal-clear water. A private bathroom is included in the room rental.
- Guest house Va’a i te Moana: the location is ideal, near the Tiputa pass where you can observe dolphins. You will be offered a 50 m² bungalow which can accommodate 3 persons maximum.
- The Coconut Lodge: this guesthouse highlights its respect for the environment. It is composed of 6 cozies bungalows with white walls and equipped with four-poster beds. Wifi is available in each room.
- Rangiroa Bliss: rent one of the 3 bungalows located directly on the beach, and most importantly, take the half-board formula: the typical meals concocted by Ilona are delicious!
- Les Relais de Joséphine: this is a family guesthouse with a tasteful decoration and refined cuisine, which enjoys a magnificent view (it is also located in front of the Tiputa pass).
- Pension Turiroa “Chez Olga”: I can easily talk about it since I slept there. It is a simple guesthouse, but you can easily be autonomous thanks to the kitchen and the fridge which are at your disposal. This address has a good value for money.
Middle of the range
- Maitai Rangiroa: a little less expensive than the previous one, this 3-star hotel has a nice location, in the northwest of the atoll. The bungalows are comfortable, the pool is nice, and the cuisine seems to be one of the strong points of this establishment.
- Hôtel Kia Ora: this is the most famous hotel on the island and for good reason! This 4-star establishment offers great services. Located on the edge of a white sand beach and a turquoise lagoon, you can choose between a villa with a private pool or an overwater bungalow.
On this atoll, there are no luxury hotels, but mostly guesthouses, a lot of Airbnb and two campsites. A paradise for divers.
- Tekopa Village campsite: located on the beach, in front of the lagoon of Fakarava. You can come with your tent, but you can also rent bungalows if you want a little more comfort.
- Relais Marama: it also offers bungalows and camping pitches. In addition, you can use bicycles for free.
- If you want an original accommodation, Pierre proposes you to share his sailboat in the lagoon of Fakarava. He can guide you on excursions to the most beautiful passes of the Tuamotus. Moreover, the price is really affordable.
- Another original accommodation: the Beach Blessing Bungalow. Here, you can play the Robinson Crusoe role, with only a hurricane lamp and candles to light your way at night!
- I recommend the Paparara guesthouse, which I know. It was created on the site of an old pearl farm, by the lagoon. The bungalows are decorated in the Polynesian style. This is a place which is famous for its restaurant. And I can confirm: the food is excellent!
- Havaiki Lodge: everyone agrees that this is the most beautiful accommodation in the atoll. I haven’t been there yet, but pictures and feedbacks are very good.
This is an atoll where I had the chance to stay for a week.
- If you want to camp on Tikehau, you will have to go to the pension Justine. A kitchen and sanitary facilities (toilet and shower) are available for campers. But don’t forget to bring your tent!
- While searching, I also discovered the Tikehau Glamping which looks very nice. If you go there, don’t hesitate to tell us what you think of it.
- Private villa at Evaline: a whole private island, only for you, with staff at your disposal and catering all included, what more could you ask for? The only drawback is that you are quite far from everything (it takes 30 minutes by boat to reach the island) …
- Entire house: here too, you can enjoy an entire house (for 6 people). The accommodation is located on the atoll of Tikehau, on the beach. Make sure you have cash as it’s the only payment method.
- Nice bungalow Chez Christiane: built very recently at the water’s edge, this bungalow with marine colors (blue and white) will enchant you. Comfortable, well-equipped and with a direct view on the lagoon, it is the ideal place to stay!
- For our part, we stayed at Aito motel Colette. The location of this pension is ideal: in a magnificent setting close to the village of Tuherahera. Be careful with the unpleasant surprises of the prices without VAT and extra charges for the payments by credit card. Otherwise, we had a very good stay!
- The Tikehau Village is also well known: the bungalows are a bit aging, but the welcome is nice and the view on the lagoon sublime.
- The Pearl Resort: ideal location for snorkeling and possibility to see manta rays at about 15 minutes by boat. The bungalows on stilts are great, with a nice space and a local decoration, for a good quality/price ratio.
- Hakamanu Lodge: you will stay on a private island, a bit remote (17 km from Tuherahera village). As to the accommodations, there is something to suit all tastes: luxury tent for 6 people, fare with two bedrooms, or guest room with private bathroom and balcony.
- Ninamu Resort: a hotel establishment that blends into the nature. Each bungalow is original: outdoor bathroom, mostly wooden construction or private Jacuzzi. A change of scenery and uniqueness guaranteed!
- Fafarua Private Island: it’s a whole villa you can rent on this private island, 30 minutes by boat from Tikehau. Many services are offered free of charge: transfers, kayaks and paddles, and even a boat with a captain to explore the surroundings!
I told you about my experience at the Ariihee Vai guesthouse, where I spent several nights. Ideally located on the beach, simplicity is the keyword here. Little extra: the hosts propose excursions to discover the atoll.
There is another pension (Mataiva Village), but the setting is not as good as the one of Ariihee Vai pension.
Atoll of Ahé
On this atoll, I recommend staying at Chez Raita, rather than at the Coco Lodge, following the quite disappointing experience we had. (see our review here).
At Raita, the welcome seems much nicer, the bungalows more comfortable and the quality/price ratio much better. In short, don’t hesitate between these 2!
I didn’t have the opportunity to discover this atoll yet, but I hope one day I will!
- Pension Poerani Nui: I had only good feedbacks about the accommodation and the hosts. The bungalows are functional and spacious, food is excellent. The lagoon is perfect for snorkeling, you will feel like you are in a huge aquarium.
- Pension Manihi Pearl Village: very good address also, with a good quality/price ratio. The location is perfect to watch the sunset.
- Pension Nanihi Paradise Manihi: travelers who have stayed in this place all agree that it is a paradise. Luxury is not the priority here, but the setting is enchanting and the welcome warm.
I know 5 of the 6 populated islands in the Marquesas. The only one I haven’t been to yet at the time of writing is: Ua Huka.
The island of Nuku Hiva
I spent one week there. On the island, you will find several types of accommodations.
- I don’t have too much information about this campsite. It does not have a website, but you can get information via their Facebook account, if you are interested in this cheap accommodation.
- Bed&Breakfast à Taiohae-Nuku Hiva: 3 rooms of which only one has a private bathroom and toilet. It is possible to take half board, and if you are vegetarian, vegan or allergic to certain foods, the owners will arrange a special menu for you.
- Maison Aakua: here, the whole first floor is reserved just for you. You can be up to 6 people, and you have all the necessary equipment for cooking and washing your clothes. Very nice view, and apparently the internet connection is good!
- I recommend you first of all the Pension Mave Mai. Its location is ideal: 200 m from the beach, the mountain at 2 km if you want to go hiking, and the first restaurant at 300 m. Special mention for the fresh fruit plate at breakfast as well as the view which seems to be just wonderful!
- Pension Punahaa: this colorful house is located near the village and can accommodate up to 8 travelers. Dinner and airport transfer can be ordered at an additional cost. The rooms are simple, but the hospitality is there!
- There is only one on the island: the Nuku Hiva Keikahanui Pearl Lodge. Located on the hillside, it enjoys a beautiful infinity pool and an exceptional view. Far from being a big complex, it is a lodge of 20 bungalows decorated by local artists: Marquesan atmosphere guaranteed!
The island of Hiva Oa
I know this one very well as I have been there several times.
- Room at Simone’s: you stay with a local in a room that can accommodate up to three people (be careful, the accommodation is not suitable for children under 12 years old). The bathroom and toilets are shared.
- Hiva Oa Taaoa: rent a Polynesian-style house, ideal for a family of four. Your host even offers electric bikes or a car for rent, which is useful for visiting the island!
- The pension Kanahau: for having experienced it, I highly recommend it! Tania, your host, will make you love the island. Bungalows are spacious and all have a beautiful view of Taha Uku Bay and the valley.
- Hanakee Lodge: beautiful family hotel nestled in the vegetation, here you can enjoy concierge services, luggage storage, a store and a beautiful pool overlooking the ocean.
The island of Ua Pou
I also spent a week there (here is our article).
- Pension Chez Dora: you can find my detailed review here. I don’t regret having spent these few days at Dora’s. You feel incredibly well, like at home. It is the only pension I know on the island, but I really recommend it.
- Pension Hakamoui Plage: the pension is a bit isolated (15 min from the city), but you are at the edge of the beach. The bungalows are in the local style and you can choose either half or full board.
The island of Ua Huka
Small island I don’t know yet, but which I would like to discover! Here is what I was often recommended:
- Ua Huka “Horse House” Lodge: if you like colors, you’re in for a treat! Red, green, blue and yellow decorate the walls and the bedding of this pension, located in the center of the island. Your hosts will welcome you with a smile and many activities are offered.
- Pension Le rêve Marquisien: if you come with your family, you can stay in one of the 4 bungalows which can accommodate up to 5 people. Completely immersed in the vegetation, you will have the leisure to discuss the beauties of the local nature with the owners.
The island of Fatu Hiva
On this island, a little cut off from the world (as it can only be reached by boat), you will mainly find the following accommodation:
- At Leonie in Omoa: 3 words to summarize this guesthouse that I know: simple, basic but friendly. Leonie is passionate about her island, which she knows by heart. It is a pleasure to stay with her.
The island of Tahuata
I only spent one day there but didn’t stay for the night. I know by name:
- Taniava Guest House: it is located a few minutes’ walk from Vaitahu (and its exceptional handicrafts), and on top of that it is on the beach. You can taste Jeanne’s excellent cooking
Made up of 5 main islands and 2 groups of islets and atolls, there are in fact 4 islands that are visited by tourists: Tubuai, Rurutu, Raivavae and Rimatara. I exclude Rapa, which nobody visits as it is only accessible by boat and is way too remote. As far as I know, there is no campsite or hotel on the 5 islands.
Personally, I only know the first 3 large islands that I mentioned.
I stayed at friends’ house, so I can’t give you a personal opinion but only some feedbacks from people I know.
- Pension Taitaa Tubuai: the 5 renovated rooms have a private bathroom, the welcome is friendly and the home cooking delicious.
- Tavaetu Guesthouse: the location is ideal as the guesthouse is located on the lagoon. The kitchen of the house is available to the guests, so here, you are the cooker! There are trailers a few minutes’ walk away anyway.
- Mara’ai le Spot vacation house: this beachfront bungalow is ideal for a couple, as it is composed of only one room. The rate includes half board: breakfast and dinner à la carte.
The island of Rurutu
…that I know very well! I slept at the Teautamatea pension. What I liked in this simple but pleasant place: the meal shared with the hosts, dishes made with local products and the beach just a step away.
A little more upmarket: the pension Vaitumu Village Rurutu. It is a small family hotel, composed of 7 bungalows of 3 persons maximum each, with private bathroom. You can enjoy the swimming pool and the beach which borders the establishment.
The island of Raivavae
I went there once and stayed at the guesthouse Chez Linda. You will definitely spend a great time at this guesthouse. Linda and her husband John will introduce you to Polynesian life with their advice, cooking and tours. From your bungalow, enjoy a magnificent view on the garden or on the lagoon. A very good address I highly recommend!
On the island, you can also stay at the pension Vaimano-Raivavae, which I know by reputation. Located a bit further inland (about 20 min walk from the nearest beach), it overlooks the lagoon and the motu. The cuisine is local, and you can choose between half board and full board. Several excursions are offered, and bicycles are available for a ride on Raivavae.
The island of Rimatara
I don’t know this island yet, but I had good feedback for:
- La perruche rouge: in this guesthouse, bungalows are spacious and nicely decorated, the welcome is warm, and the hosts are keen to share the Polynesian culture. If you have the choice, ask for one of the two upper bungalows so you can enjoy the magnificent view on the ocean, and red parakeets will come to visit you early in the morning and in the evening.
- Homestay: Angélique and Simon rent out rooms with a view of the motu pool and a private bathroom in their house. Breakfast is offered, and for activities, it is possible to rent bikes and kayaks.
In this archipelago (composed of islets and atolls), you will find only one inhabited island: Mangareva. I had the pleasure to stay there twice, for a week each time, so I can easily tell you about it!
On this island, there is no campsite, no mid-range or high-end hotel, nor Airbnb (at least, not to my knowledge!). There are a few guesthouses, which I know by name, but the one I recommend is the Maro’i guesthouse. It is really a great place! Marie and Michel spare no effort for their guests, and you can also taste the excellent Polynesian cuisine.
Well, yes, this is (already) the end of this very long article! It is not exhaustive, but I tried to share my opinion and my experience (when I can) on these different accommodations. You are now ready to prepare your next trip to Polynesia! You just have to make some choices, according to your budget and your desires. I am waiting for your impressions in comments and, as usual, if you liked the article, don’t hesitate to share it! Finally, as I said in the introduction, if you have other addresses that you have personally tested and that you find worthy of being mentioned here, I’m interested too. Tell me all about it in comments.
See you soon,