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Tetamanu French Polynesia
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Tetamanu French Polynesia
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Faaite Airport15 miSee all flights
Fakarava Airport34 miSee all flights
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We came to Fakarava to dive both the North and the South Pass. Given the vagaries of the weather and the long trip (2 hours' boat ride from north to south), our travel agent at E-Tahiti travel recommended we stay in the South Pass area to be sure to be able to dive here during our time here. GETTING HERE: Upon arriving at the teeny-tiny Fakarava airport (open-air building, watch for mosquitos), we got a ride to the little marina in the village to meet Manihi on his boat (open-sided, with a canopy). After a 2-hour boat ride in the sunset (prepare to get wet/cold depending on conditions), you arrive at the Motu. OFF-GRID LIVING: this place uses solar power, with a generator (occasional noise that you get used to quickly). Rainwater collectors feed the plumbing, so there is little water pressure. No hot water heater! Be ready for the trickle from the sink, the dribble from the showerhead. DIVERS: We only rinsed our electronics after dives, but not the rest of the gear. The neoprene survived just fine anyway. TopDive will coordinate pickup times with Manihi and pick you up from the pier; you can leave your BC and regs with TopDive if you don't want to bother with setup and takedown for multi-day dives. You can dry gear on the concrete seat and table in the cabin - there is one in the room and another right outside the back door of the cabin. There were also lots of hooks and concrete benches around the walls and entrance that could be used to put your stuff. SECURITY: You are the only ones here: there are no locks on the doors to your spacious beach cabin, just latches to keep them closed. These are the size of toilet stall doors - they don't reach the ground but the only things that came in were the occasional resident cats who would took off when we came in. The windows have no glass but a swinging door that can be propped open with a stick to get air circulating; curtains maintain privacy of the cabin. A bit disconcerting at first, but got used to it by the end of our stay. BATHROOM: The toilet area has a curtain, not a door; shower is open-air (showerhead above an area of flat rocks where the water drains) and lacks privacy. Hope you trust your cabinmates to respect your privacy! Flush the toilet only when needed: you can wash your hands above the toilet (instead of the sink) so the grey water helps with the flush. AMENITIES: Local bar soap is provided but we used the biodegradable camp soap (liquid and sheets) we brought - it rinses off easily and works well. Beds have light sheets but they have heavier blankets if you're afraid of being cold. They also have plug-in things to help keep the mosquitos away if the mosquito net around the bed isn't doing the job. We didn't get any bites. FOOD: Mini pancakes every day you eat with your hands, with jam. Tea and coffee available. Lunches and dinners are menu choices decided by the house (no forewarning or menu selection), usually a house salad, main, simple dessert in more than adequate portions. One evening Tila made delicious fresh fish two ways, sashimi or seared with garlic soy sauce, OMG. Water available anytime in the dining area, where we filled our reusable water bottles. CONNECTIVITY: There is no internet available here. Cell service is intermittent. SERVICE: The Motu Aito Paradise is a pension - a BnB (except with all meals included), NOT a hotel: you are staying at Manihi and Tila's house as their guests. They built the place, they live here: treat them, their land, their ocean with deep respect and you will be accorded the same. They are not your servants so don't expect white glove service. ACTIVITIES: Relax, disconnect, watch the sunsets and the stars, watch sharks and crabs and the tails of triggerfish waving in the air whilst they root for food in the shallow water. There are friendly cats who will beg for food at the table if you let them, and the help brought a friendly puppy a few times who loves getting scratchies. Explore the lovely garden and snorkel around the motu, check out the knickknacks in the common areas. My only complaint? The place could use more seating around the rocky beach. tl;dr plan for the same conditions for outdoor camping for an unforgettable experience at the end of the world. You will gain a true appreciation for the privilege of having unlimited electricity, water, and every blasting hot shower after you leave, but also the fragility of our world, oceans, and reef systems.
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We booked here due to the proximity of some world class scuba diving in the Tetamanu Pass in Fakarava. We dove with Top Dive that keeps a remote diving operation here about two miles away. This is not a suitable place to enjoy a Tahitian vacation but rather a place to really “rough it” with no water pressure and no potable water (you will drink rain water collected in barrels), solar electricity, no internet (although it’s coming), no air conditioning, no pool, no beach, very limited menu and a very long boat ride from the very north part of Fakarava to the very south. (Two hours one way). This can be very challenging in stormy or windy conditions. If you are a scuba diver this is a great place to stay. Manihi is the proprietor, boat Captain, Chef, Tour Guide, and the builder of this entire settlement on a remote portion of the reef. He is the original Robinson Crusoe inasmuch as he has built everything here and has maintained it for decades. The logistics of managing such a far flung lodging is astonishing and you will feel amazed at this unique property and the married couple who have made this their life’s work. The cabins are quaint and comfortable. Open walls and a private open air bathroom and shower are typical (with less than RV water pressure for bathing.). The rooms have solar lighting and mosquito nets (we saw no mosquitos but had maybe ten bug bites all week with little protection.). Pretty normal for a tropical location. You can get in the ocean water if you wear reef shoes. There are no water sports available other than diving but Manihi was generous in taking us for excursions to “Bird Island” and “Pink Sand Beach” Island in his boat. Meals are mini pancakes for breakfast, with grapefruit and bananas. Lunch was pasta salad or curry chicken. Dinners included pizza, chicken casserole or vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese. Only water to drink. This is not a menu place, you eat what is served. Dessert was Coconut Cake or Banana Cake. No bar service. We dove with hundreds of sharks and the fish counts and the beauty of the coral was astounding. You have to be lucky to match your stay with the incoming tide during daylight hours. We very much appreciated our stay here and it felt like camping, being on Survivor, or being part of the history of Fakarava. We do not recommend this place for children, honeymooners, or non scuba divers.
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We were on live on board and book the place for the evening for pizza. The pizza were amazing. One of the best pizza I had. They also offer accommodation. The room are simple and cosy. It’s a must to visit here. This place also have an amazing story. Ask the staff or owner how this place is found. :)
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Three years ago we stayed in a very small, hot bungalow over the water. This time we had one of the larger ones with a "backyard" area on the lagoon -- much nicer and more comfortable. There is still a ramshackle feel to parts of the resort, and the main lounging/dining area is a bit dark, but for some reason it didn't bother me this time. They've got some more plastic chairs that can be taken to the main area to sit and read, drink a beer and watch the fish and little blacktip sharks. The rooms are built with overhanging roofs, which does make them dark, but also helps keep them cool. And the food is pretty darn good, considering everything has to come by boat. (Some variation for breakfast would be nice, though -- pancakes again?) Having taken a look at the other nearby lodging, at the village, this is definitely your best option for staying near the extraordinary diving at the South Pass.
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Don't come here, it's overpriced and poor quality. The place looks like the perfect setting for a horror movie, dark, ugly and with creepy characters walking around. The owners of this "pension" had the dream of building their own paradise from scratch, so they looked for the most inhospitable "motu" in the south of Fakarava, a place where they could decide the position of every single plant. And they did. Unfortunately, along the way they forgot customers come here hoping to enjoy a drink while admiring the sunset in the lagoon, diving, swimming and relaxing on the white and pink sand beaches. There is no beach at all here, no lounge chairs, no sandy area, and the lagoon side of the "motu" is used as a workshop. None of the units I saw has either sea views nor an outdoor sitting area. Actually they have no sitting area at all, which means you either lay in bed or go to the dining room, which is kept in such darkness that it's imposible to read in there. The rooms are dark, day or night, with barely any lighting. To increase the Robinson Crusoe feeling customers are encouraged to share the owner's austerity by not flushing the toilet. Food is ok in terms of quantity and preparation, but quite repetitive. They served twice pasta bolognese in three days and breakfast consists in a sliver of pomelo and tasteless pancakes. Rooms are not serviced and towels are not changed, not even if you stay there four nights as we did. Internet access and beers may be purchased if you make your way to another resort a few motus away, either braving the sharks in the lagoon or by bribing the owner's cousin to ferry you on his boat. Both could be easily offered by the owner. Transfers are arranged at their convenience, not the customers'. We were kicked out of the resort at ten in the morning with a minimum picnic bag, and sent to wait for more than two hours to another motu where a boat could take us to the north.
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ALSO KNOWN AS
motu aito hotel fakarava
LOCATION
French PolynesiaTuamotu ArchipelagoFakarava
NUMBER OF ROOMS
6
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Frequently Asked Questions about Motu Aito
What food & drink options are available at Motu Aito?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant during their stay.
Does Motu Aito have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Motu Aito offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.