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“Loved it, wished we'd stayed longer”
Review of Royal Huahine

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Royal Huahine
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Huahine
Reviewed April 15, 2014

I was getting worried about this hotel because of some of the negative reviews on here. However, we had a wonderful experience here and found this to be a very special place. We were in an overwater bungalow and while it is a little dated it was extremely clean and spacious. I was particularly impressed with the size of the deck. We faced the sunset and it was very serene and calm.

The grounds are very well cared for and the pool and beach are lovely. Unfortunately we were only there for a day and a half of our 17 day trip to 4 islands in French Polynesia. It rained very hard on and off for the full day we were there, but we had the hotel boat drop us into town and we wandered around the few shops that were there and went into the grocery store. We also bought an amazing baguette sandwich from the blue "roulotte" (food truck) at the far end of town.

When we arrived there was a lovely bottle of wine from our travel agent Custom Tahiti. A very nice touch (they did a great job organizing the trip for us).

The first day we were there, there were only a few other people at the hotel - there was only one other couple at dinner. The second night, we seemed to be the only people at the hotel which was alternately very cool and a little creepy. We certainly had great service and the staff were very friendly and helpful.

Since there were so few people at the hotel, they didn't open the buffet for breakfast, but brought us a big selection of pastries, fruit and made whatever we wanted (eggs, eggs benedict, pancakes...whatever). We ate dinner there twice and enjoyed both meals - I had fish one night and my husband had the pasta.

This place is definitely off the beaten path and a bit quirky, but it has a serenity to it that was very non-commercial and different than the rest of French Polynesia.

I really hope that more people discover this beautiful paradise.

Room Tip: Definitely worth getting an overwater bungalow.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Gillian_M112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 - 70 of 471 reviews

Reviewed March 24, 2014

I recently stayed at the now Royal Huahine, formerly Te Tiare, for four nights. The weather was not good during our stay, which of course isn't the hotel's fault, but the resort still failed to meet even my low expectations, as I had read the recent poor reviews before arriving.

The food was mediocre at best. The overwater bungalow was spacious and clean but had many maintenance problems from a broken shower on arrival they had tried to fix with duct tape, to a broken aircon unit, broken sliding glass doors, and the extra bed was a stone hard mattress set on a plywood box. Our one large bed was two mattresses pushed together that weren't the same height. To their credit, maintenance always came quickly when called. The fake plastic "thatching" they use on the bungalows is unattractive and very, very noisy in the wind and rain. The deck chairs and loungers were not padded and were uncomfortable. The pool and beach loungers were cheap, uncovered plastic. The lobby and restaurants areas are very dark, almost cave-like.

Our snorkeling/motu/picnic tour was cancelled due to weather but I was able to find little windows to get in the water around the OWB and while the coral isn't great there were lots of fish, including some regal angelfish and other nice species.

Wireless internet is slow, was only available in the dark, depressing lobby and restaurant, and costs 500 cfp for an hour.

The resort was severely understaffed during our stay. Basically it was very difficult to find any staff member outside of the short, set meal times. All of the staff members however, were very friendly except one gentleman, a front desk clerk, who was unsmiling, rude, and dismissive. One staff member told us that since the new owners took over they won't allow staff to come to work in the boat they have to find their own rides which has resulted in several staff members losing their jobs, which could explain the understaffing. However on the day we left, a large group was coming in and they clearly had added staff for that purpose, we for the first time were actually able to find staff at the bar area during the day.

Both we and a couple we met while there had an absolute debacle with transfers to town and/or the airport. The couple was left abandoned in town and not picked up until 2 1/2 hours after what they had arranged as the scheduled pickup time. When my friend left to fly home, the boat transfer to the airport was cancelled due to weather so they sent her wandering around the property to try to find a driver that was supposed to meet her and take her to a car transfer but they never showed. She texted me that she couldn't figure out where she was supposed to go, and I asked the front desk clerk (the previously mentioned rude gentleman) to please send someone to help her. He seemed annoyed. Finally just as she was panicking she was going to miss her flight, someone showed up and directed her, and she had to walk *into the ocean* around a point and past several private houses to get to a Fiat full of luggage waiting at someone's house down the beach . When asked how long to the airport, the driver said "ten minutes". In fact it took more than a half hour. The truck transfer had apparently already left without her with two other couples and they met that truck at some point and continued on. The only reason they didn't miss their flight is that it was delayed.

We did see the town on the way to and from the airport, and my friend took the boat into town one day to do some shopping, and she enjoyed it although it's very rough around the edges and she was approached by some sketchy characters. We were told the boat from the resort did not run on a specific, regular, schedule but you could use it to go into town with plenty of advance notice on one of the trips when it was already scheduled to take to take people to/from the airport, but it seemed rather casual and vague with regard to getting you back to the resort, and as mentioned the other couple we met ended up stranded one day.

I paid about the same price here for an OWB as I did for a beach suite at Vahine Island, which is a better property by about a thousand times. You do have to pay half board at Vahine, but the price is very reasonable for the quality of food. At the Royal Huahine, the food is relatively inexpensive but not good quality either. I've also paid similar prices for an OWB at the Moorea Pearl which is a much, much better property. All in all, I'd say our experience aligns closely with the recent two poor reviews and I won't be back, which is a shame since I really did want to explore Huahine and due to weather wasn't able to. I would consider another hotel here although none of the other options thrill me.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank SheaG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2014 via mobile

We are here now and I just love how relaxing it is. They currently have low occupancy and it feels like we are the only ones here. Our own resort. The resort itself is a bit secluded as you need to come over on a boat. We have an awesome deep over water bungalow that is spacious for 2 of us and our 5 year old daughter. The deck is huge. Oh and it is awesome jumping into the ocean at 7AM and throughout the day. Warm calm sea water! Enough friendly fish to snorkel with. The food has been excellent, considering we are vegetarian in a seafood heavy country. If you want serious R&R, you'll love this place.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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2  Thank Mak P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2014

We were upgraded to an overwater bungalow for free although we did have to debate this for sometime on check out, so be careful. The transfer boat was not working on arrival so we had to drive along a narrow and bumpy dirt track, it was quite exciting to get ditched onto a beach and having to walk the last stretch with all the crabs scrambling for their holes.
WIFI was not working.
Lovely pearl shop and owner Jerome has been in FP for 25 years running pearl farms so her as a great source of information.
We hired a car £60 for 24 hours and drove around the island visiting a vanilla farm, pearl farm, the famous blue eyed eels and some archeological sites. Fascinating island.
The hotel has a pool, a beach side hut to eat at, a volley ball net, canoes, and we saw a spa but heard nothing about it so it must of been closed.

Room Tip: I can't rate the fitness centre or spa as I didn't realise they had one/it was open.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Claudia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2014

We stayed at the Royal Huahine Hotel 3/12 thru 3/15 2014. It is the off season. The only way to get there really is by boat. Their boat was small and kept breaking down. On one occasion we went to town on a trip to see the island and they failed to pick us up . We almost missed our flight and we're stranded. It was raining and we finally got back to the hotel by a long 4x4 drive and a walk up the beach. We arrived to find our hut leaked water onto floor soaking my clothes. The staff told us that new management cut staff from 44 to 20. The management wasn't interested in trying to compensate for a bad experience.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
5  Thank William N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2014

We stayed here for 5 nights in early March. What an amazing location! The resort grounds were beautifully landscaped, with wildlife abound. The food was delicious. The omelettes at breakfast were really good, as were the baked goods. We also stayed at Intercontinental Tahiti and Sofitel Bora Bora, and I thought the food here was the best we had on our entire trip. Others commented about problems Internet and access to town, but we did not experience those issues. The boat was out of order for 2 days, but as others mentioned, there was a 4x4 transfer available to take guests to town whenever they wanted. It was a little bumpy for my wife, who gets motion sickness on anything that moves, but I found it to be completely acceptable. While their boat was being fixed, they still hired a boat for all the airport transfers.

They are in the process of renovating the rooms. Ours had not yet been updated, but we found the "dated" decor to add to the charm. The only reason I give a 4/5 rating is because the room wasn't entirely spotless. We had one dirty teaspoon and the bathroom corners could have been cleaned a little more thoroughly. If this type of thing is going to ruin your vacation, do yourself a favor and stay at the Hilton on Bora Bora. This place was perfect for us and we would go back in a heartbeat. We stayed in an overwater bungalow closer to shore. A deepwater bungalow obviously would have been preferable, but we were on a limited budget. Someone complained in their review about cutting their feet on barnacles on the ladder leading into the water. They obviously had not read the reviews written by EVERYONE traveling to French Polynesia and the suggestions by the resort itself (in the informational booklet located in the hotel room) to wear protective footwear in the water. Fact: There are sharp things in the ocean. You can sometimes get away with going barefoot on sandy beaches, but there can be broken coral and other sharp underwater unknowns everywhere. Its best just to play it safe and wear some type of water shoes. If the ocean isn't for you, their pool and the area around it was very clean.

We took the Poe Island 4x4 tour. Our guide, whose name I don't recall, but was Tahitian for "Pearl", was amazing. She clearly had a passion for the island and it's culture. The tour circled the island and stopped at several local artisans homes, where we were given fresh fruit and Tahitian coffee. We also got to pet the sacred eels. If you want to buy vanilla or pareos, this would be an excellent opportunity. The views on this tour were beautiful. It was a great way to experience a bit of what island life is really like in French Polynesia. I can't recommend this tour enough.

The staff here was also incredibly helpful and polite. We were lucky enough to have the resort almost to ourselves (maybe 6 other couples), so it was a very intimate experience for us.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank EclecticApricot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2014

We were lucky enough to stay at the Royal Huahine for 10 days, we got a great deal on Agoda and booked a deep water bungalow. We are very well travelled, we have been all over Europe, Mexico, South America, North America, this was our first visit to French Polynesia. We have stayed at many 5 star resorts, our standards are quite high. Was the Royal Huahine up to 4 Season standards, no, and it cost a tiny percentage of a 4 Seasons resort, too.

We were greeted by the water taxi, and dolphins followed us to the resort, SO cool!! We requested a private facing room through Agoda, we were skeptical as to whether the resort received or would honor our request. WOW, did they ever!! Adorable Felicia at the front desk made us welcome, check in was a breeze. We were then escorted to bungalow 41, THANK YOU, Royal Huahine, AWESOME!! A bottle of wine and a lovely note from the manager were in our room. The bungalow is huge, wrap around deck, pure paradise!! The decor appears to be face-lifted, from the photos, lovely Polynesian linens, comfortable furniture. It was also impeccably clean, and our standards are high. We went to the beach bar to relax, the lovely bartender gave us drinks and snacks. I am such a clutz, I broke a glass when toasting our arrival, the bartender laughed and quickly served us more, LOL. We also had a yummy lunch, my husband had spaghetti and I had a salad with grilled fish, delicious. Certainly nothing frozen and microwaved! NICE staff, each and every one of them, absolutely wonderful and welcoming. The pool area is pretty, not an infinity pool, who cares? Perfect temperature, gorgeous beach views, impeccably clean. The beach area is also stunningly beautiful, spotless, always loungers available.

Breakfast was included, delicious breakfasts!! Lovely meats, cheeses, fruits and the fresh croissants, be still my beating heart. The omelettes were impeccable, light as a feather, bursting with yummy ham and cheesy-ness. Delicious coffee, too!!

The water taxi is available for ALL excursions, not just airport transfers. It leaves on the hour, and picks up on the half hour, how hard is that to figure out? If you want to use it after 4, there is a small fee, no big deal. The water taxi was broken for 2 days and we rode in the truck, they scheduled it at our total convenience, we used it for our horsebackriding at La Petite Ferme. The driver was then kind enough to take us to the grocery store and wait for us. Several days later we needed to top up some of our supplies, we needed another quick run into town. The driver drove us, waited for us to shop telling us to take our time, then ran us back, totally cool! It was not a bumpy ride, a few yards down a dirt road at the end of the trip. We NEVER felt tied to the resort, they bent over backwards to make sure we got everywhere we needed to go, promptly and cheerfully.

The grounds of the resort are just gorgeous. Impeccable, awesome landscaping, and chickens, we love chickens!! The deep overwater huts are the way to go, we loved our hut! We did the following activities, horsebackriding at La Petite Ferme, we rode horses in the water, yowza!! Sailing with Claude and Martinique, pure joy, and Eco Island tours, a great way to see the island. We could have easily stayed another ten days on Huahine, we fell in love with Huahine and it's real Polynesian vibe. Lush, gorgeous, and the nicest, coolest people.

I am so bad at names, but the lovely lady manager at Royal Huahine treated us like, well, royalty. She introduced herself, and was gracious, warm, true hospitality!! Royal Huahine is lucky to have her!! Our last night, a knock at our door. Wonder why. WOW, she sent us a fruit basket and a bottle of wine, SO COOL!! Did we mention we love the Royal Huahine?

The last 2 bad reviews are baffling, were they at the same resort? Awesome food, awesome service, wonderful staff, impeccably clean, outstanding service. Easy-peasy transfers. When a place is THIS perfect, we can be picky, free internet would be good. Also, please sell Royal Huahine t-shirts, I want everyone to know the MOST amazing place we were privileged to stay!! Other than that, NO other issues. The opposite. When we get home we are going to lift the couch cushions for change to come back here, ASAP! We LOVE the Royal Huahine. We are now at the Intercontinental in Tahiti to go home, and we miss our friends at the Royal Huahine, our deep water bungalow, Royal Huahine is now tied with some other vacations as one of the best in our lives. Paradise FOUND!!!! THANK YOU Royal Huahine, for making our dream vacation a dream come true!!! =)

Room Tip: Deep water bungalow, SO worth it!!
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank weloveiguanas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Huahine

Address: BP 36 Fare, 98731, French Polynesia (Formerly Te Tiare Beach Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: French Polynesia > Society Islands > Huahine
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Huahine
Price Range: $157 - $226 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Royal Huahine 3.5*
Number of rooms: 40
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Also Known As:
Te Tiare Beach Hotel Huahine
Te Tiare Beach Huahine

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