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“Perfect getaway in a beautiful setting.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Relais Royal Tikehau

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Relais Royal Tikehau
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French Polynesia   |  
Hotel amenities
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Perfect getaway in a beautiful setting.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2011

My husband and I have traveled several times to French Polynesia and have stayed in a variety of accomodations. The Royal Tikehau is certainly at the top of our list of best places to stay. The owners are wonderful, the staff is multi-talented and always willing to help in any way they can, the grounds and beach are beautiful. We are seafood eaters and the food was great -- all the way from the poisson cru (raw fish) to the coconut crabs (a first for us). The bungalow had everything we needed and nothing we didn't want (no TV, phone, no intrusions from the outside world).
The resort is situated with water on two sides -- out front is the beach and lagoon, along the restaurant side is the hoa, or channel between two motus. We were in Bungalow #6 which faces the lagoon and has a covered porch on it where we spent many afternoons sipping our drinks and reading. Just a few steps down from the porch is the white, sandy beach, complete with lounge chairs and a few steps from the water. In total, there were four bungalows facing the beach (one listed as superior, it was slightly larger than the others) and three along the hoa, where there is no sandy beach.
Dining was a fun experience since the restaurant is partially over the hoa, which is teeming with many species of hundreds of fish, along with the resident black tipped reef sharks. Everyone at one time or another threw chunks of bread or leftover pieces of dinner into the water to watch the feeding frenzy! We snorkeled one afternoon in the hoa with no worries about the sharks as they scattered when we got in the water.
During and after dinner in the evening, after everyone was served, the each of staff would pick up an instrument and start playing and soon they all were singing in French, English or Tahitian. It was great fun. A couple nights a week they would invite the guests up and teach them a simple native dance. I'm not sure who laughed more, the guests trying their best or the staff watching us! A good time was definitely had by all.
We would love to go back there again and highly recommend the Relais Royal Tikehau to anyone going to the Tuomotus.

Room Tip: Definitely pick one on the beach facing the lagoon.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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103 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Minnesota City, Minnesota
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2011

The staff at the Royal Tikehau really makes the evenings fun. During dinner they play music and sing. They usually have the guests join in with a very simple fun dance that they teach you.

The dinners are almost always some form of fish and was always very tasy food. You need to be prepared for some raw fish. one of the three dinners was raw fish similar to Poisson Cru, which I loved but my wife was a little less impressed with because it was raw. Bread was always served with every meal as this is French Polynesia. Alchohol and lunches are extra and not included and will add up fast if you are a big drinker. Prices are similar to elsewher in French polynesia. A MaiTai (big glass) was about $14 USD and a ham sandwhich about $9 USD.

The staff can get by with some basic English but it is best if you know some French if possible.

Two of the staff picked us up at the airport and found us before we even started looking for them. They played music on the boat ride over to the Motu which was really fun.

It wasn't very clear how to setup tours and we ended up hiking around the Island one day to the Pearl beach resort instead of setting up a tour. It takes a while to get around because there are no roads( big positive to me). This makes the location very quiet and peaceful. You hear the sound of the wind, palms, and waves and that is about it. It took a couple hours to get to the pearl beach resort and there was only about one house in between. You can cross the channels at low and high tide. At low tide most of the channels were ankle to knee deep water. At high tide a few areas were over my head and I had to swim a very short distance with our backpack out of the water.

The only scuba diving shop was the Blue Nui. I was told that Rai Manta went out of business, I wasn't clear if this was true or not as I had setup diving with them and they never showed up. I setup diving with Blue Nui the next day and let me say they had the worst safety that I have ever experienced in 40 dives. The following are some examples of the safety issues: Leaking tank, No Depth gauge, Dive master deviated from dive plan by going into the channel during an outgoing current to follow a hammerhead shark, Dive master ignored when all divers were at or below 50 bars to start accent from 75 ft, two divers ran out of air, one had to buddy breath and the other did an emergency accent from 40 feet, dive master instructed my wife to ignor safety stop after the problems with the other divers. Be careful if you go and go with your training!!! Make sure you have a dive computer. Also be aware that since Tikehau is more remote they have no decompression chamber so you really should be more careful. Diving near the pass was incredible, the amount of fish was staggering.

Beach bungalows vs. ones overlooking the channel I would say were about the same. The channels are actually a little more beautiful in my opinion, but they have beach chairs right outside the bungalow.

They seemed to have kayaks but I did not have time to use them.

Snorkeling right by the beach side of the resort is just so so in my opinion.

Small blacktip reef sharks are right in the channel and it is one of my favorite things about the resort as you could see them at anytime. They were beautiful but they were afraid of you if you tried to snorkel and take a picture in the water.

Bring reef shoes if you plan to do any significant walking as the coral is very sharp around the island. The land is basically all ancient coral and if you walk around it can cut through thin soles if you are not careful. There is a lot of sand as well if you walk only the beach.

When compared to the Pearl beach I think this was a more personal experience since there were only one or two other couples staying at the same time when I was there. There Pearl has more people. It looked like a very nice places as well and had a slightly nice water. I think I made the right choice though by staying at the Royal Tikehau.

I recommend some Mosquito spray. They do provide a burning product that seems to work well. There were one or two Mosquitos in the room at night. As everyone knows that can be irrititating. The product they had seem to work though. I did not need Mosquito spray during the day. I am from Minnesota and can tolerate a couple in exchange you get a very remote and one of the most quite places I have ever stayed.

I generally loved it. If you are a high class perfect hotel type, stay away. If you like general comfort, peace and quiet, and new experiences this is your place.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Santa Cruz, CA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2011

In all honesty the accomodations would be a solid three star but the experience is five plus. Clean, roomy, comfortable bungalows make for a home away from home experience. A large shower with hot water made my better half very happy. No, there aren't any flat screen TV's, mini bars, blow dryers, whirlpool tubs, etc., here. Just a wonderfully quiet and peaceful place to spend quality time with someone special. Our stay here was only three nights but it was the highlight of our French Polynesian vacation. We would have stayed longer but flight schedules and time constraints didn't allow us the luxury. Other than one luch on a lagoon excursion, we ate here exclusively. There just aren't a lot of other options on Tikehau. Breakfast and dinner were included with our stay and were served in an open air restaurant overlooking the lagoon. Fresh, quality ingredients prepared with care by a friendly staff made for satisfied tummies after every meal. Breakfast is typically European. Bread, butter, jams, a little cheese, and lots of coffee. Dinner took advantage of the abundance of fresh fish and lobster. Both were probably swimming in the lagoon only hours before. At night, I couldn't help but have the Eagles song run through my head, "Peaceful, easy feeling..........", and "a billion stars all around". I have NEVER seen so many stars in the sky in my life and I have been in some remote places. There is one high end resort on Tikehau and I'm sure it is excellent, but if you truly want peace and quiet you should consider the Royal Tikehau.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Stoughton, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2011

We had the whole little resort and island to ourselves for 5 days! Very comfortable bungalow, tastefully decorated. The grounds are gorgeous, lots of beautiful tropical plants, restaurant is cute, so is the bar, the beach is wonderful. Flo, who took care of us with her husband, is a super cook,( we don't eat any seafood, but she still managed to feed us good), very nice person too. The owner, Monique and her husband came back the last day of our stay, we liked them very much. It was the perfect 5 day stay.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2010

We stayed 6 days with my wife and two children aged 3 and 5.

We stayed in the family bungalow on the HOA (channel between two islands) this is an awesome fare with two seperate rooms one with a large king size bed and the other with two singles. The price for the fare was very reasonable and exceptionally so considering which part of the world you are in.

The island is close to the village, a 20 min. walk. It has a beautiful beach and the swimming in the HOA (channel) is exceptional, there are lots of fish and ray's and even on occasion some baby sharks to see. our kids loved it!!! A real island paradise.

The restaurant is very good the menu changes every night and is largely based around the abundance of fresh seafood available. The service is friendly and the portions of the meals good. They have a very good wine list and although this is at extra charge the prices were very reasonable . Lunch was available on request and Roland (chef) was happy to oblige our demanding kids:).

After dinner on some nights the staff would play local music Roland sings and plays the piano and invites the guests to dance and have a good time. Jean-Claude (owner) even tought our kids a local dance (they still dance like little Tahitians every time we play polynesian music) these nights offered exceptional entertainment with very talented musicians.

Monique and Jean-Claude are great hosts and have done an exceptional job creating this island paradise.

I hope we can go back again soon.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Jackson WY
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2008

We stayed in a beach front bungalow for four nights...could have stayed a week. Jean-Claude, and his wife, the owners, were away during our stay so we had little opportunity to meet them. The first three nights we were the only guests on the motu (small island in the reef). The chefs, Isabelle, and Roland, as well as the dog Puppy (best to let her come up, as she is protective), took amazing care of us. The food was some of the best we had during our time in F.P. and the hospitality incredible!
The setting is superb on a private motu with the outer reef to the ocean on one side, the beach on another and two Hoas (small passes) on teh other two. The bungalows are very nice, and brand new, with hot brackish water, which was suitable for showers, laudry and brushing of teeth, but maybe not so tasty for drinking. There are mosquitoes, but we had few bites so long as we kept the doors shut and used some herbal repellent at night. Of course geckos are all over, along with crabs, and hermit crabs. While it is not a super long walk to "town" it can get warm. Access is by crossing the hoa closer to the pass which entails getting wet above the ankles.
Breakfast and dinner are at set times each day...but there was some flexibility. The diving is a blast, and the beachcombing and snorkeling even better. One can walk/swim for miles and even go for cocktails at the Pearl resort...which made us realize how fortunate we were to be staying in such a nice pension instead of the impersonal resort.
All in all, we loved our stay, and highly recommend this place for nature lovers (bird island tour is worthwhile), but not for city slickers in need of excitement.
Maruru to the whole gang of Relais Royal Tikehau.

Stayed November 2008
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Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2008

We stayed at Les Relais Royal in September 2008 for our honeymoon.
We'll never forget this place!
Everything was perfect: the bungalow, the beach, the dishes (fantastic food!), the smiles of the people...
It's a quite place inside the nature with a fantastic sea and a lots of fishes in the lagoon. Little sharks, raya and many others types.
Simply perfect!

  • Liked — the food and the beach
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Additional Information about Relais Royal Tikehau

Address: French Polynesia
Location: French Polynesia > Tuamotu Archipelago > Tikehau
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Tikehau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 7

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