I've seen some of the mixed reviews Raimiti has gotten, and they make me sad, because they might turn people off. If you know what you are signing up for, it's heaven. It's a quirky, small property that really emphasizes going with the rhythm of the island -- they have created something truly charming in spite of the difficulties posed by their remote location. It is not a 5-star luxe resort, but in its own way, it is very posh. I think their website is a fair representation of what they offer. If you are coming to Raimiti after an overwater bungalow on Bora Bora, it will be a huge change and you might not perceive the subtle luxury of the place, but if you enter into it in the right spirit, you will feel pampered and so incredibly lucky to be there.
A few people on TA have commented on the staff, and feeling unwelcome. Analyzing our own experience, I have a guess as to what might be going on. Most of the staff are local to Fakarava, young (and sometimes shy), and the young ones are just learning the tourism business. Some of them don't speak English (I observed the same shyness when an Italian couple arrived and nobody spoke Italian, but as soon as they found someone who could serve as interpreter, it was all smiles and sunshine). I also think they've been told to be very respectful of guests' privacy, which they definitely are. However, if you get them to chatting, they are friendly, good people. I think it's all about treating the stay as an adventure (and an opportunity to have a cultural experience if you want one) -- it's not like a regular hotel stay.
My husband and I stayed for four nights in September, and had a fabulous time, despite some mishaps. We had the island to ourselves (along with the staff) for most of our stay there, which was a delight. We got an ocean-side bungalow because I need a breeze. Our bed was incredibly comfortable, as were the soft, wind-dried linens. Although interiors of the bungalows don't photograph well, trust me, they're nice (the lagoon side bungalows have less of an elegant feel but are very charming in a more rustic way). The shower was a bit of a challenge, because the on/off nozzle is set up to minimize water waste (you need to squeeze a lever on the hand-held nozzle to make water come out). You'll get the hang of it, although it does work better with a partner to help. Bring along some of the special shampoo made for people traveling on yachts, as the water is semi-desalinated but still has some salt, and chlorine is added for sanitary purposes. We had a few night-time water outages due to a technical glitch, but they have redundancy on the island for all essential systems, so things were up and working ASAP. Drinking water is supplied for free and is good.
We were very happy with the food on our trip. My husband has food allergies, and neither of us eat lobster. We let them know that well ahead of time, (reminding them when we arrived) and it was no trouble at all. Our food was very tasty -- our favorite was the BBQ night, where our food was caught in the lagoon and slung onto the grill. Mmm. You cannot get fresher than that.
Raimiti is a place to hang out, go with the flow, and let the island breezes sweep away all your problems. It's really unique and special.
- Also Known As:
- Raimiti Hotel Fakarava
- Raimiti Resort Fakarava