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“Six days and nights in a garden bungalow: outstanding!”
Review of Pearl Havaiki

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Pearl Havaiki
Ranked #1 of 10 Fakarava B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Minnesota
Level Contributor
730 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,434 helpful votes
“Six days and nights in a garden bungalow: outstanding!”
Reviewed October 26, 2013

I used the Havaiki Pearl Guest House as home base for a week of scuba diving on the island. I’m happy to report that I had almost as good of a time above water as below. The specifics:

Check-in: You don’t really “check-in” at this place as much as you “arrive.” I really didn’t know what to expect when the flight landed but just assumed the island was small enough I could find my way to the property. I was actually met at the airport by the owner (!) and staff. Our luggage was taken quickly and within 15 minutes we were on our way to the bungalows. The process was relaxed and informal which properly reflected the island atmosphere.

Bungalow: Being a solo-traveler more concerned with quality scuba-diving than a quality honeymoon, I chose a two-story garden bungalow on the edge of the complex. It had electricity, housekeeping services, and an excellent bed with functional mosquito net. The lower level had a private bathroom with a large couch, the upper a split floor with a sitting area and enclosed bedroom with a small desk. The bathroom was spotless and spacious, my only small quibble being a lack of hot water.

Service: Fantastic. Joachim (the owner) is involved in every aspect of the operation here and it shows. He transports the guests, assists with the dining service at breakfast and dinner, serves at the beach snack house, and gives tours of the pearl farm to boot. The entire staff reflects this, as I had an almost flawless experience at every dinner and breakfast. I think service is a tricky balance at a place like this as there is a high turnover rate and probably a little more desire for privacy at a beach resort but they manage to pull it off well.

Setting: Two things struck me on this topic. First, welcome to paradise! This truly is what most people imagine when you say the term. The water is clear blue, the sunsets gorgeous, and the temperature almost perfect. Second, paradise isn’t what we picture it to be some of the time. The weather can be occasionally cloudy and stormy, and there is an underlying harshness (read: poverty) to local life that may surprise some. All of this aside, the actually location of the resort is quite scenic and you have the option of experiencing real island life (via a bike) at your leisure if you have the inkling to leave.

Dining: A smaller but adequate buffet breakfast and excellent dinner are included in the price of lodging, with lunch at the discretion of the guest. The latter gives you a little opportunity to explore other parts of the island, or you can eat at the beach restaurant. The biggest surprise for me here was dinner. It’s a set three course meal that changes nightly; I didn’t notice a single repeat dish the entire time I was here which for a resort that has to import virtually all of its food was quite impressive.

Overall: First, a caveat: this was my first “island resort” experience so I don’t have much to compare it to. Second, it’s tough to please everyone here as I would imagine expectations for a location such as this vary widely. For every person who wants an “everything that I have at home” experience with AC and cable TV there is likely another that would like a more rustic “I’ll catch my own fish for dinner, thanks” vibe. I thought this guest house was a perfect balance between these two with great service and opportunity (scuba diving down the road, kayaking on site, bikes for a trip to town, etc.) to boot. I would definitely stay again and would recommend a visit without reservation.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank midway42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
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English first
Provo, Utah, Usa
1 review
Reviewed July 25, 2013

This place was clean, the owners happy and looked out for our needs. The food was excellent and we had a wonderful time. My wife, our 50 year old daughter and myself were there. We had all that on could ask for and were pleased.

Room Tip: Great accommodations right on the shore.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Philllipk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 7, 2013

Havaiki was simply the most amazing retreat from the rest of the world. Joaquim the owner does his absolute best to plan excursions out to sea and other tours of the island, and was very accommodating. His son Hugo is also very helpful and we made friends very quickly. If you are looking for the most beautiful place on earth, you can't go wrong with Havaiki on Fakarava. I will be going back very soon!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Thomas T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schweiz
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 7, 2013

Havaiki Pearl farm was the most beautiful and charming place we stayed at when we spent 4 weeks in French Polynesia! Joachim made us feel more than welcome and was incredibly attentive and nice. He and his wife have created a place full of charme, love for details (shells and fresh flowers everywhere), great dinner and breakfast, interesting pearl farm tour, wonderful daytrips and and and. We spent 4 unforgettable days there and will definitely come back! Highly recommended!!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank BettinaCH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westport, Connecticut
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Havaiki for 4 nights. We are both divers and this came highly recommended from tripadvisor reviews and top dive in Fakarava. Joachim, his wife and his staff make you feel right at home. This is a jewel of a place in the middle of paradise. We were concerned, having stayed in resorts previously, but our fears were put to rest the minute we entered our room. We stayed in a beach bungalow and the view was priceless. Yes, the shower water is tepid but it is hot outside. We had airconditioning and minimal mosquitos. The food was amazing. They annouce the menu in the morning for dinner so that if there is something you don't like, you can mention. We ate everything on the menu with the exception of parrot fish. I couldn't eat it because they are simply too pretty. My husband loved it. I am also very thankful to Joachim for being as environmentally conscious as they are and their business savy to continue in business where many fail. Definitelly try the pearl lottery, it is a lot of fun! We will be back for longer next time!

Room Tip: I highly recommend the beach bungalow. You have the ocean right there and the view is just amazing.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lale V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Papeete
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2013

We spent four nights at Havaiki, a laid back guest house with lovely owners and helpful staff, everything was clean and tidy, the bungalow we had was right on the beach two steps and you were in crystal clear water, this bungalow was like new, had A/C and hot water and the most amazing lagoon views which were changing all day, Sunsets were off the scale - 10 plus.
We enjoyed the diversity of nationality's staying at Havaiki from locals to people from the other side of the world. Mostly seafood was served very nice and more than adequate servings.
Plenty of activity's to do, diving and snorkeling were excellent as was the green lagoon cruise, kayaking, pearl shopping, bike riding, checking out the town or just kicking back, all great stuff. No negatives here, maybe would like to see the bar open a little earlier for those liking sundowners. A great place to unwind in a laid back setting that is friendly, clean and tidy. Highly recommended and certainly our top pick for Fakarava accommodation.

Room Tip: The new bungalows right on the beach with A/C and hot water are the top pick.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank KPiesch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, Michigan, Usa
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2013

Loved, loved, loved our stay. Great place to relax. Well run, kayaks and bikes lots of fun, beautiful views, staff friendly and helpful, meals great. Beach hut worth the extra charge over a garden hut. Bring any sun supplies you might need, shopping is sparse on Fakarava. Check out my blog, http://www.travelblog.org/Oceania/French-Polynesia/Fakarava/blog-781220.html, for photos and story.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Sheri S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pearl Havaiki

Property: Pearl Havaiki
Address: Rotoava, 98763, French Polynesia
Location: French Polynesia > Tuamotu Archipelago > Fakarava
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 B&Bs / Inns in Fakarava
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Pearl Havaiki 2*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
6 bungalows on the beach and 3 gardens with a restaurant in the oldest pearl farm ... more   less 
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