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“Le Taha'a was like visiting the set of Robinson Crusoe!”

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Le Taha'a Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Tahaa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 11, 2012

I loved everything about my visit to the Le Taha'a! Other than being too short a visit!

From the moment I was picked up by boat and got a glimse of my little island getaway to the lovely overwater bungalow, the ultimate deep tissue massage to the quaint little letter they send you when you depart...it was magic!

Really the place looks like Tarzan or Robinson Crusoe might have buildt it. It is amazing.

The coral gardens are right there to snorkel in. Really shallow though when I was there but that is why I like it.

If you want to get away from everything this is the place. If you need lots of nightly entertainment, don't bother with this private little getaway perfect for couples or someone who wants some solitude!

Next time I am bringing my husband!

Room Tip: Choose a sunset or Bora Bora view for the best views!
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank Gayle Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 10, 2012

We had a great experience at the La Taha’a. Like a previous reviewer, we started at this resort then moved on to Bora Bora. I'm so glad that we didn't do it the other way around. Le Taha’a is much smaller and slower paced. We were there for Christmas and it couldn't have been better. Before Christmas Eve dinner we had a champagne reception on the beach with local singers singing Polynesian Christmas songs and a few more familiar traditional Christmas carols in Tahitian. It was very special. It was comfortable, relaxing and totally unexpected. Most of their staff was there and they treated us like family. The Christmas Eve dinner was a set menu with a few options. The food was excellent, but there was no kid’s menu. They really went all out with local entertainment that was just great. The Polynesian music and dancing were authentic. My wife and some of the other guests got to participate. It was just plain fun. When we got back to our room there were Christmas gifts from some of the staff! This was very touching! The next day Santa arrived in an out rigger canoe and distributed gifts to all of the guests. Again, this was totally unexpected and quite special. I have to say that traveling with children (12 and 14) over Christmas can be a challenge. This Christmas was a home run that the whole family will remember forever. Thank you La Taha'a.

I don't understand the criticism of the food. The croissants were the best I’ve had outside of France, and way better than the Four Seasons on Bora Bora. There was so much food a breakfast, we didn't need to eat lunch (or porbably dinner for that matter). They make the best French toast I've ever eaten. I didn't have a bad meal. People like what they like, but my wife and I are foodies and we had few complaints. I think my wife did have a fish dish that was a little over cooked and the chicken fingers on the kids menu are pretty bad. Not a big deal. We didn't do the meal plan. We will the next time.

There was a lot of rain when we arrived, so there were a lot of mosquitos. I don’t understand people who travel to the tropics and then complain about bugs. I lived in Hawaii for a year and the only way you can cut down on the bugs is spray, spray, spray and then spray some more. Finding a cock roach in your room is a drag. But sooner or later it will happen. We had one. There were lots of gnats especially when the food was brought out. On our last day they sprayed and it made a difference. It would have been better if they had sprayed every day, but they said the rain made it ineffective. I worry about the toxicity of every day spraying, but if I were them, I’d spray because it seems they get a lot of complaints. It also seems to work on Bora Bora.

We didn’t have an over water bungalow because they don’t allow families. We really enjoyed our beach front bungalow and thought we might have been better off. It was nice to step out and walk 20 feet into the water that barely got knee deep 100 yards from shore. They warn you about the corral on the beach and they will give you beach walkers. Use them! The small dipping pool was great. The room was large. The bathroom didn’t smell too good and that was a bit of a drag. The bed was comfortable. The AC was worthless. The ceiling fans were minimally effective. When the breeze stopped the room was uncomfortably hot. The lack of breeze also allowed the mosquitos to camp out in our room. On the last 2 nights we got some floor fans which helped immensely. I wished they had told us about the fans the first night there. Our bungalow was #49, the furthest from the restaurant and reception. The breeze was from the south east while we were there and the beach bungalows are shielded from the breeze from that direction. If you can’t get an over water bungalow, get a fan.

There are some activities, but the resort is best for quiet relaxation. We took a tour of the island of Taha’a and visited a vanilla farm and a pearl farm. This was a great tour and I highly recommend it. Our guide, I think his name is Teva, is a local and he taught us a lot about his island. He turned out to own the vanilla farm. We went back to his home and had a great time. He invited us to his village’s “3 day” New Year’s celebration, but we had other plans. I was taken by his friendliness and his love of his island. I’d like to go to that New Year’s party. Maybe next year! We went to the top of the mountain (great views) then over to a pearl farm. Very interesting and potentially very expensive, but if you have an interest in pearls, that could be a good bet.

Had we started at the Four Seasons and finished at Taha’a, we would have been disappointed in our room and the mosquitos might have been more annoying Starting in Taha’a we had time to unwind, relax, and learn a little about the people and their beautiful island. We definitely would go back and it started the Christmas vacation of a lifetime on a really good note.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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7  Thank TucsonTim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

This was the first of two resorts for us, with the second being the St Regis, Bora Bora. Both were recommended by our agent, Richard, at Custom Tahiti Travel.

Let me start by saying, I've not used a travel agent since the dawn of the internet, but having never been to French Polynesia, and the need to book the various internal flights and discuss plans with the hotels, we are very glad we did. We had a couple of hitches that Richard worked out for us, and generally speaking I think the overall cost of the trip was very competitive.

This trip was our weddingmoon (hate that term!), with a ceremony at the end of the first week at Taha’a, and then the actual honeymoon at the St Regis. Organizing the ceremony turned out to be a little more difficult than expected, though it was nobody’s fault. We already did the official bit back home, since getting officially married in French Polynesia requires quite a bit of effort, so all this was meant to be was a picturesque photo opportunity, and something to remember for the rest of our lives. The problem was, we wanted a very simple ceremony, just the two of us, a beach and an official. This is something Le Taha’a is not used to doing, and due to several disconnects with the hotel, it was not until a few weeks before arrival before we tied up all the plans. Not the end of the world, but, weddings are stressful, so what can seem trivial can turn into an issue fairly quickly. In any case, with the assistance of Richard, we worked it out, and the hotel also upgraded our accommodation and provided a free moonlight meal for two.

On Richard’s recommendation, we stayed in a beach villa at Taha’a, saving the overwater experience for Bora Bora. The arrival at the Island is everything you expect from the South Pacific. The boat transfer from the main island is only about 10 minutes, but as you approach the crystal clear waters of Taha’a, you know you’ve arrived in paradise. After staying somewhere like this for a couple of weeks it’s easy to become complacent about the beauty around you, but having been back home for a couple of months now, I can look back with amazement at the spectacular scenery. The room (#52) was very, very nice, with a small plunge pool, completely private garden, and a deck which was just a few steps from the shore. The style is definitely more traditional, with rattan walls and vaulted, thatched roofs, but still with the modern comforts. It was certainly plenty large enough for the two of us, and provided sun and shade as required, depending on the severity of our sunburn. On that note, the sun really is quite strong. We’re from Texas and are out in the sun a lot, so had a bit of a tan when we arrived, but still managed to burn. If you wait to buy the lotion on the Island, you’ll be paying $20+. The maid service was discreet and reliable, I think they made it to the room every time we were at breakfast, so we were never disturbed later in the day.

Being a relatively isolated location, your only real choice for food is at the hotel. As we found out by the end of the trip, food in French Polynesia is expensive, and generally speaking, very average. This is despite the fact that most of the food is caught locally, so you’d think it would be fresh and very tasty. And being French, you’d expect the food to be expertly prepared. It’s not. The food, at best, was mostly average. The always-popular mahi-mahi was invariably over-cooked and dry. So, with all of this in mind, the food at Taha’a was , by French Polynesian standard, probably quite good, but compared to anywhere else, decidedly average. The other thing that gets you is the sheer cost of everything. No matter how many reviews you read warning you that French Polynesia is expensive, only when you get there do you realise that stuff is really expensive, especially for the quality. If you can have a meal for two, with two courses and a glass of wine each for less than $200, you’re doing very well. I don’t mind paying that kind of money when the food is exceptional, but when I could get the same, or better, for $30 in the US, it does grate on you a little.

Having said all of that, it’s not really directed at Taha’a, it’s a general statement for all of the dining in French Polynesia. To keep our spend down a bit, we tended to go large at breakfast, then skip lunch and wait for dinner. The breakfast (buffet), was generally pretty good and well presented. The best breakfast buffet we’ve had is at the Banyan Tree Mayakoba, and this didn’t come close to that, but it was still very good. The evening meals were all ok, but honestly, writing this 9 weeks after being there, I cannot remember a single meal, except for the moonlight meal, which we took on the patio in our room. The service, presentation and taste was excellent, which given that every course was biked to our room, is pretty amazing.
The resort itself is serene and beautiful. It felt like a more traditional French Polynesian resort than the St Regis, which was more ‘manufactured’. Ultimately, both are 5 star resorts, so I’m not pretending either of them are ‘back-to-nature’ type places with no A/C or internet access, but Le Taha’a certainly felt more authentic, and the perfectly compliment to the St Regis.
The service was also very good, if a little tiny bit austere at times. I’ve convinced myself this is because it’s a French resort (Relais and Chateau), in a French location, so the service will always be a bit more uptight. I don’t know if this is a fair judgment, but compared to the St Regis, it was definitely a bit more formal.

Our stay ended with the wedding ceremony, on the small motu just offshore. It was a sunny (but breezy) day, and the hotel was not able to track down the local photographer, so Charlotte, who also coordinated the event, stepped in, and did a great job. In the end the ceremony was, perhaps, still a bit too traditional for us, but by then we were so relaxed and laid back having spent a week there, we really didn’t care, and just went with it. Everything was timed so that we could have our 11-11-11 ceremony, and luckily everything, including the weather, came together perfectly.

On a practical note, the wifi sucks and is expensive. It’s nothing to do with the hotel, the provider also serves many of the other islands, so the theory is that you can use the time you purchased at those locations as well. The reality of it is that the wifi sucks there as well, so, make sure you download any books before you arrive! For a trip like this, I almost couldn’t care that there’s no 3G at all on this island, very limited wifi, and the only English TV channels were CNN & BBC World, but it might make a difference to some.

Overall, Le Taha’a is a wonderful place. It’s easy to pick holes in something that’s nearly perfect, but the truth is that this is a true 5 star resort in a stunning location. We probably managed to relax more here than at any other hotel we’ve stayed at. There’s absolutely nothing to do after 9pm, but somehow, that’s perfectly fine. You’re mysteriously lulled into waking up (naturally) early, and being in bed by 9, or 10 on a late night! It’s the strangest thing, and neither of us are morning people, but you just get caught up in the island rhythm. If you are after peace and quiet, in a natural setting with efficient and discreet service, this is an excellent choice, and a perfect complement to one of the other larger resorts.

Room Tip: Choose the beach villas over the over-water bungalows
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank pwhite8314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2012

My husband and I went to French Polynesia for my 50th birthday and this place was the highlight of the trip booked by Pacific for Less (also recommend for great service). In addition, to the beautiful scenery of the island the hotel is just right. The staff is low key but ready to help if asked. The food is delicious albeit very expensive as is anyplace in FP. The rooms nautically themed are just the right size without being obnoxiouslyy large. This place is truly relaxing with just enough to do if you decide to do anything other than hang out at the beach in a hammock or in your room. The coral gardens are amazing with great fish and coral. Suggest taking the island tour of Taha'a with lunch on a motu. Finally, I would reccommend making this a last stop if visiting other islands as it is very relaxing and isolated.
Te'Orana

Room Tip: Majority of the rooms are overwater except for the villas and garden rooms would reccommned over the...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank KDR10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2011

Hands down this was the perfect start of one of the best vacations of my life. The main purpose of this trip was to elope and enjoy our honeymoon and Le Taha'a was the perfect starting point. We would have never known about this jem had it not been for our amazing travel agent Jennifer over at Pacific For Less. We told her what we envisioned in our minds and she made it happen. Le Taha'a couldn't have been more perfect. The only thing we can complain about would have to be that we arrived in stormy weather and the storm did not pass for two days. For the two days we pretty much lounged in our room and settled into "vacation mode". After the storm passed we enjoyed everything this little island has to offer. There was such a peace about the island. The food was absolutely amazing and the service was outstanding. We had very little to worry about. One thing everyone has to experience while visiting this resort is the spa. We have been many resorts around the world and this spa was one of the best I have ever experienced. We had the couples massage in the room with the two bathtubs overlooking the lagoon. What a peaceful and serene experience. We had room 13 and I can not complain about anything in our room. The view was fabulous and the room was spacious. The gym was more than sufficient and very clean. Lastly, the food. No complaints. The breakfast was always fresh and everything and more you could ever want. Wow, what an experience...we will definitely return in the future.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank asun_lovr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2011

My husband and I added this island as a stop at the suggestion of our great travel agent for this trip (we haven't used a travel agent in a decade, but found it helpful for this trip). It was a wonderful suggestion and addition to our trip. The grounds are beautiful, the rooms are immpeccable and the overall experience was perfect. The water here is shallow, so snorkeling was so easy and there is a great place to snorkel with a current that pushes you along within swimming distance of your room! We were there at the end of low season, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves! The food choices were limited (due to the low season), but still delicious (only presented a slight challenge to me as I'm a picky eater). If you are looking to relax and enjoy a resort, as part of your Frech Polynesia trip, you should definitely consider stopping here!

Room Tip: We had an over water bungalow and loved it - I think they only have a few rooms not over water here.
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Terri S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2011

We were expecting a first class experience, due to the Relais and Chateau affiliation, but the food and service was poor. The food was very overcooked, and after two days of it, we finally had to ask for everything cooked rare--omelets literally came out burnt brown, and dry...fish was over-cooked so much it was tasteless. Most of the employees don't speak English very well, and seem poorly trained. They are hesitant, and almost fearful. No one goes out of their way to help you do anything. Portion sizes are poor, as a glass of wine is almost a half pour, and a Margarita that cost me $28 US Dollars was two limes squeezed with a shot of Tequila that filled a plastic glass half way...just a joke. The concierge has a paper directory of things to do that was glued together and falling apart, and didn't seem knowledgeable; the dive shop on site is closed. We would never go back. Go to Bora Bora and bypass this place.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank DavidMarino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Le Taha'a Island Resort & Spa

Address: Motu Tautau | BP 67 Patio, 98733, French Polynesia
Location: French Polynesia > Society Islands > Tahaa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Tahaa
Price Range: $668 - $1,422 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Le Taha'a Island Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome ! Ia Orana e Maeva !Part of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux collection,” Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa “ welcomes you to a world of immaculate beauty, a timeless universe of refined authenticity. Located on the secluded Motu Tautau, facing the island of Taha’a on one side and the most perfect view of Bora Bora on the other side, the resort, inspired by traditional Polynesian architecture and style, hosts 60 remarkable suites and villas.Defined by the Relais & Chateaux philosophy, Le Taha’a is the promise of a total change of scenery, a way of life of its own, in harmony with its preserved environment, people and local culture.Welcome to Le Taha’a world… The ultimate Tahitian hideaway… ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Le Taha`a Island Hotel Tahaa
Le Taha`a Island Resort And Spa
Le Tahaa

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