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.