OK, here's the deal - if you want a resort hotel, then book a resort hotel. If however you want to stay in a beautiful hillside location, with sunset views and landscaped gardens, then this is the place.
The bungalows themselves (we stayed in Kava) are basic but have everything you need. The bathroom has a shower made of stone, and the kitchen has hob, microwave, fridge and toaster. We didn't find it to be dirty at all although we did have to ask to have our bin emptied at one point. It was done without fuss, and very quickly. The bungalow is open to the elements. It has windows round the living area but the dining area has an open balcony. We were there in the wet season, and although we were lucky to have only one wet day, as others have commented there was a smell of dampness after the rain. But that's Tahiti. It's hot and humid.
The pool is small, but perfectly clean and the water's a nice temperature. But why swim in the pool when you're surrounded by a tropical lagoon? The beaches are a few minutes drive away, and are not like you'll see in other parts of French Polynesia, but you can jump into the sea pretty much anywhere you can get to it without going through private property.
The only big problem we had was mosquitos. However, once we used all the (supplied) armoury at our disposal (mosquito coils, plug-in insecticide, mosquito net round the bed and aerosol of insecticide) we had no more bother. Make sure to kill any mozzies inside the net before going to bed though...!
The owner, Karine, was nothing other than friendly and helpful on the several occasions on which we needed to speak to her. Yes, she and her family keep themselves to themselves, but that's better than being in your face 24/7 in my opinion.
If you don't like geckos and lizards scampering round your living room, or snails crawling into the shower, then don't come here. But this is made clear on the website, and it didn't bother us at all. In fact, we found the geckos quite fascinating as they snapped up insects for their dinner at the window each evening.
Downsides - you'll need to be quite fit, because the bungalows are up a steep hill from the car parking area (you will need a car, because you're 75km from Papeete), and it's hard work hauling heavy suitcases up the hill. Also, the interior stair up to the bed is very steep and requires care.
But we enjoyed every minute of our stay in Vanira Lodge - come here with the facts and you'll love it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Works of art these all natural "fare" create a univers as magic as a child dream. On a plateau, facing the sea and the sun set, each bungalow can sleep 1 to 4 persons with private kitchen and bathroom. Vanira means vanilla in Tahitian. Vanilla, as in the sweetness, harmony and tranquililty you'll find during your stay at Vanira Lodge. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vanira Hotel Teahupoo
- Vanira Lodge Tahiti/Teahupoo