I only spent one night there prior to a cruise. Upon arrival at 7am the staff was very welcoming. They let me check in, offered me a transfer room, and told me that I would be given an upgrade from a superior lagoon view to an over-water bungalow. I was pleasantly surprised, as I am a solo traveler and not a Starwood member. Then in a very sincere voice they told me that my room would be available as soon as possible.
The transfer room offered showers, toilets, and seating area. After a quick shower and change into a bathing suit I had an ala carte breakfast (rather than the $40 buffet) in the restaurant that opens onto the gardens. I explored the lush, flowering gardens. There were garden pools full of Koi which gobbled up the left over bread and croissants thrown in by the wait staff. There is a large sandy bottom swimming pool surrounded by chaise lounge chairs and umbrellas. There is also a pool bar which offered paninis and chips. Some sort of aqua fitness program is offered, as some women did participate in that.
Retrospectively, I was very foolish to believe that my room would be ready "as soon as possible"; it wasn't ready until 1pm. So, I had plenty of time to explore the multiple seating areas inside which were comfortable enough, but there were many other people waiting to check-in so it wasn't very restful. The entire place is open, i.e. no walls or windows, so that the breezes cool the place, no A/C. Did I mention it was raining, on and off, so didn't get to use the pool too much. I checked out the atelier which took up 10 minutes of my wait.
Finally I checked into my bungalow. Wow, what can I say, but this was extra special. I was worried that after reading previous reviews that my bungalow would be full of bugs and hot. The bungalow is not constructed like a Western house, It doesn't have glass windows but unscreened wooden slatted windows. The doors and walls have lots of air and light leaks. When another rain storm passed over, the wind blew through the bungalow, and the rain blew in under the front door. But, and this is a big but, it does have wonderful A/C and as long as you keep the slats shut, I didn't have any trouble with bugs. Trust me, as bugs love me, and I didn't get bitten once.
The bungalow had a great bathroom with double vanity, huge tiled shower, and big bath tub. Lovely toiletries, plush towels, robes, and coffee pot. There was a private deck with two cushioned wooded lounge chairs. In the water I spotted multicolored fish and an octopus stalking those fish. REAL cool. And in the near distance, the waves breaking over the reef into the lagoon. Very quiet place.
That night there was a native dance party with feast. I did not participate as it was about $100 and I was quite tired from my journey. I ordered ala carte in the restaurant (the fancy place was closed for roof repairs). Dinner was not very good and unmemorable. For a fancy hotel, this was truly disappointing. In the morning I partook of the big buffet breakfast and it is not worth the money. Better off ordering coffee and the bread basket.
After check out and prior to my cruise I walked to the Museum of Tahitia and Its Islands. This was excellent and I highly recommend doing this.
I ended up with the bungalow by luck. But if you have the dough do it.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
March 6, 2013
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First of all I would like to thank you for sharing your comment with us.
I am glad you have enjoyed our nice Overwater Bungalows.
Thank you also for pointing out our staff friendliness and the Resort’s environment.
However, i am sorry to hear about how was the diner.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.