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“what a place!!! wou!!”

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Tikehau Ninamu Resort
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Tikehau
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 20, 2011

Ia ora na !!! this is true Polynesia.Everything is Wou!!! the island, the people,the sunsets, the lagoon,the ocean and the waves, the manta rays, the corals, the reef and the fish,the pass,the food, the bungalows,the poti mara (the boat), even the dogs and the crabs...everything is wou!!! and I tell you this by the eyes of an artist.Thanks Chris and Greta, Kaena,Christiane and everyone there, will be back next year on our "search of Polynesia" This is our seventh time in Polynesia and I can tell you this is the place of dreams, "dreams of Polynesia"
Happy Christmas!!! and new year!!! Manuia, Nico and Sole

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank nicolas c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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104 - 110 of 227 reviews

Reviewed December 6, 2011

We are not easily impressed with places but this place was impressive.

OK, we knew we were going to stay on a motu but we had seen enough previously to know that this was something people promise and it just turns out to be an island......Anyway, this was like a supercharged version of an motu experience.

Firstly, the people. What a great collection of people Chris and Greta have put together. Nini and Guyenne (is that how you spell it?) picked us up. A beautiful young couple full of energy and laughter. Just looking at these guys made you happy :-). Then there was the ever vivacious and lively Christianne - she was so youthful and so friendly, it was a joy to have someone like that at your service. Then there was the chef, Alex I believe (sorry, I only caught your name once and then too embarrased to ask and my wife says it was Alex....). Then there was also Hugo, who did a lot of work in the background and we also have him to thank. Carissa was also there on a month long reconnaisance trip from California and she was all too happy to extol the virtues of the island as she was selling the concept to the American community. I don't think she'll have much trouble given the uniqueness of this place. Let's not forget the owners, Chris and Greta. Chris is Australian by the way, this says a lot as to his outlook. Very relaxed and very straight talking. Lovely guy who was there to make sure your stay was activity filled or as relaxed as you like. Greta has a great sense of humour - a lot of jokes and teasing made us feel at ease and we loved this part of the holiday a lot. Chris's friend, Jason was also there when we were and he was a super nice guy too who was very hospitable and funny.

Secondly, our stay/ accommodation. Our first night, there were a number of couples staying. A couple from Canada, a couple from LA, a couple from Frankfurt. All lovely and it was good to go fishing with some of the guests the day we arrived - unfortunately, we didn't catch anything though as Chris was looking for large tuna and we lost a bunch of lures so our options were limited when we got to sea. Anyway, the very next day, everyone left so we had the island to ourselves and about 6/7 people looking after us :-) This made the honeymoon truly special. We changed from our 5 bed bunngalow to a smaller more secluded bungalw at the end of the complex. It had a lovely outdoor seating area and a nice cool breeze blowing through the bungalow at night. The decor is lovely. The stained wooden branches made the place feel designer looking (even though it was all built by Chris and a couple of helpers) and the choice of coral and shells decorating the wall gave this place a polynesian feel. The shower always had hot water and we always had electricity - there was no need for air conditioning and it was dead quiet given we were on our own island. The island was also special. Walking around it took about 30 minutes at a very slow saunter and it was amazing to know it was close to the main island in Tikehau but far enough to know you are away from it all. There were a few of felled trees (probably from the tphoon last year) which made the island feel like a deserted island. Long stretches of lovely sand which you could just lie in and relax. Lots of hermit crabs with varying shells on crawling around; very cute. It was simply stunning.

Thirdly, the activities. On the first day by ourselves, we wanted to do a bit of snorkelling as we didn't manage to get round to booking the diving yet. Guyenne took first took us to the farm i.e. where the manta rays are. Just snorkelling, the view of the manta rays is amazing. They are huge - maybe 3 metres wide for the largest one we saw; and we saw 4 different rays. They are simply the most graceful creatures we have seen. We have seen stingrays and swum with them in Bora Bora and they were stunning. But because of the sheer size of the mantas, they accentuate the slowness of their actions and it looks like they are swimming/ flying in slow motion. Once in a while, they were showing off and showed how quick they could be as they ascended very quickly to give you a glimpse of their true speed. It was all so beautiful. He then took us to the coral garden and all I can say is WOW. We were stunned by the abundance of undamaged coral and sheer size of the coral. There were huge tables of coral which looked like mini-bonsai trees, lots of different colours from pinck, blue, green, yellow, etc which stood out in the shallow waters. Lots of different species of fish and, again, a few black tipped sharks swimming around. The next day, Chris took us sailing in his Weta trimaran. This was cool as we like our sailing but don't really know what to do so it was good of Chris to teach us. We also went fishing again, and this time we caught a tuna and some other fish (which we felt bad to haul in as it was a beautiful blue and yellow fish). Both were pretty tough to reel in as they were medium sized fish so we got a bit of help closer to the end of the line :-). We also went diving with Raie Manta Diving Club and we were very happy with our dives with them. ONe other cool thing we did (when I say we, I mean Chris) was that we anchored a buoy to a rock near the coral garden so boats could anchor onto to ensure that the coral remains in tact for years to come. This also made the place feel so special that people truly treasure the nature that surrounds them.

Chris also offered us to use the jet skis, surf boards, wind surfing, paddle boards; he also offered to take us on trips to, for example, Eden garden and it felt so nice for someone to want to imprint on our mind how special this place was. And he did well. I have already said to the wife that this is one of the best places I have EVER stayed (and this beats a lot of 5/6/7 star hotels all over the world) as the formula is simple; make your guests feel genuinely appreciated! I will go back at some point in my life and if flights from Hong Kong become easier, maybe we will be back sooner than we think.

Room Tip: Get the bungalow at the end of the resort. Great outdoor area and the most secluded.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank HKFooey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2011

Ninamu is a real paradise, and Tickeau is the most wonderful place we have ever been. The motu is incredible, wide white sand beach, crystal clear water, the reef with very big waves really near to the island. It is also possible to go from the motu to another little island that was in front of Ninamu, walking for about 1 km!!!!
The bungalows are very nice and very well built, with a lot of corals and shells to decorate the interior.
Common areas are the best part of the pension. Very wide and comfortable with a nice atmosphere. Also on the beach there are nice facilities with very comfortable sun loungers (with cushions), tables and palms.
All the excursions are included in the price, and every day the staff of the pension propose you some nice things to do. For example we went to snorkel with Manta Ray (very nice and close!!! It was completely different from the fake Manta Ray snorkel that we had in Bora Bora), we went to the bird Island (nicer and nicer from the one we visited at the Blue Lagoon), we went also to the incredible coral reef. Only scuba diving and Ocean Fishing are not included
The food is very good and all the people of the staff are very very very nice and helpful. They are some kind of superman starting from the "Boss" Chris to Cristiane, Greta and all the guys.
ABSOLUTELY THE BEST PENSION OF THE ISLAND!!!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank SEBMBS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2011

I am reprinting from the "forum" section to add pics . . .

This was perhaps our best vacation ever, but for sure, a phenomenal way to spend (part of) our 25th wedding anniversary. Perhaps the best way to describe Ninamu is to liken it to a Dude Ranch, South Pacific style. You don’t just stay here on the Motu, you experience the essence of what it is to survive on an atoll, while having the time of your life!

The resort has only 6 lodging accommodations on the Motu. We stayed in the bungalow known as Miki Miki. The space is delightful and playfully designed as a Robinson Crusoe like loft with a lower covered open air seating area. The view from the bedroom is a priceless one right out into the lagoon. The main central building has a “to die” for view while you are dining and a beach there that is spectacular. The island can be circumnavigated in about a 20 to 30 minute stroll, and the far side of the island is a deserted dream come true, coconut palm swept, idyllic hideout for anyone with even a remotely romantic bone in their body. I could snorkel that side into the current created by the distant offshore pounding waves just outside the main reef break of the atoll, and then let myself go adrift a ways, then get out and do it all over again. We spent more than a lot of time on that stretch of sand . . .

When you stay here, the activities are as varied as your imagination, and all included. We went to the main pass of Tikehau lagoon and did free diving with white tip sharks and even a Napoleon Wrasse. I was excited as I was trying out free diving with a 4 pound weight belt I had lugged to Tahiti, and it worked perfectly getting me down about 15’ to 20’ or more each dive. We toured Bird Island, got some great pictures, and had a picnic then snorkeled around the docks there. One evening after dinner, I was quietly and stoically invited to join the daily staff (Two mates and a fellow Californian) to go out next day at 5am to view them catching our lunch and dinner - a wonder to see the ocean change and glisten with the rising sun. Dolphins joined us, and they told me I must have brought them luck, as we caught Wahoo and Trevally. They had been without a catch for several days! But you really felt a part of something, not just like you were being “catered to”. Sure enough, we had some of the catch later for lunch and dinner.

My wife and I kayaked on two occasions out to the nearest Motu with vegetation, probably a 20 or 30 minute paddle north. Here we pulled the boat in and spent time just the two of us making first tracks in the pink sand, walking from one sand spit to the next. (I was so glad to be that close to the ends of the earth with my wife of 25 years – sorta brought a tear to my eye – but that’s a story for another place and time!)

The snorkeling just around Ninamu was really quite spectacular. The clams growing in the coral are more colorful than the most vivid fabrics you’ve ever seen – Red, Green, and blue – and I wish I had bought an underwater camera. I really can’t begin to name all of the variety of fish that abound around there, except to say, it seemed to be every variety I can find here on the internet, and of course the obligatory octopus that would change colors as quickly as he would sweep past and crawl into a new hiding place. Perhaps a pinnacle to the water activities was the morning snorkel with the Manta Rays, an “out of body” type experience in the water if ever I’ve had one – a family of 6, plus another pair, for a total of 8 rays, just circling us, seemingly as curious of us as we were of them. Again, with my weight belt, I could transcend down and actually swim with them - phenomenal animal to look eye-to-eye with. I was fortunate to get some pictures from a French family with us who HAD their underwater camera, and had it going the whole time with the rays.

They encourage night jaunts walking around the Motu with flashlights to see the Coconut Crabs in their nocturnal activities, of which we did each night. These are some of the most amazing of God’s creatures that I have ever seen. We did not attempt to pick any up. They varied from about as big as our fist, to much, much, larger. Their colors are orange with a blue hue around their legs and claws. But as I was walking the first night – a moonless night – I glanced up and saw the Milky Way in all of its incomprehensible glory. It was as clear and obvious to the observer as if we were on the Hubble telescope itself. As we came back that night from the trip around the island, a group of jovial crew from a sailing yacht anchored there and visiting the resort, (who granted had thrown one or two back ... OK maybe ten!) blocked our way, and told us “we needed the password” to get back in – just too much fun!

Ninamu gets her food from the ocean and from the Eden Isle farm across the lagoon. They have a pair of pigs, which had 8 piglets while we were visiting. Watching mom with her first litter trying to manage her babies was way entertaining! As is the way with nature, at least 1 little piggy didn’t make it, so sad. Water is scarce, they capture all they can. The electricity is off-grid solar, supplemented by an old but reliable diesel generator that was actually on the island when they originally bought it. I went to go help get that started one day when the main solar batteries were low. Near sunset at the end of one day a staff member who we became particularly close to, was seen silhouetted way out in the lagoon on stand up paddle board with three dogs swimming along behind – she told us later they love to go for a swim and she wants them to exercise. Sometimes they chase the small black tip sharks and nip at them, but sometimes they get nipped back, as happened one day while we were there. Not bad enough for stiches, but they have sutured the pups up before, and probably will again.

Shark feeding here consisted of taking the fish trappings from lunch and dinner preparation and tossing it into the lagoon one day. First the birds circle and dive, and it is these vibrations of the birds that within minutes bring in the Black tips – straight and direct on a B-line right for the carcasses - amazing thing to see in person.

The meals were delicious, always included poison cru and various other fish dishes, and vegies and potatos to die for. They were served family style by the same group of folks who were taking us out on the boats, etc. during the day. Phini (spelling) the chef was great! He would be pouring over recipes during the day, and joined us to bird island for that trip, preparing our picnic lunch, etc. He is local and from the village on the main Motu. Breakfast was eggs cooked to order, or other cereals, breads, and of course papaya and other fruits. You do need to enjoy fish, raw as well as cooked – but if you do you will love this place!

By the time we left, we really felt we were leaving a little of ourselves behind. We knew everyone by name, we understood a lot about what made Ninamu what it is – The love and care in creating it, the challenges in operating it, and the unbelievable experience of living within it. When I came back my neighbor asked how my trip was. My explanation sorta threw him for a loop when I told him it was “rather life changing” to be honest. He didn’t understand, and frankly I couldn’t really explain.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank OCDaddy1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2011

Ninamu has forever changed my idea of an island paradise.
Ever dreamed of staying on your own private island complete with everything you need to relax and have fun? This is my idea of the perfect getaway from all vacation.
Can't say enough about Chris, Greta, Marty and all the staff. Made us feel like family.
Fantastic diving, snorkeling all around you. boat trips whenever you desire to dive, fish, surf. Most of all relaxing on the most beautiful, untouched beach I have ever seen.
Would love to visit again with the entire family when my kids are older. or maybe leave them with grandparents and enjoy it on our own again.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank julia h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2011

You expect a lot before arriving when you have read through all the perfect marks and positive comments provided on Tripadvisor. Well, in short, all is true. Absolutely stunning island and accommodation, fantastic food and more activities to chose from than time available. Probably best of all, Chris, Greta, Christiane & the team immediately manage to make you feel like you're home away from home. Everyone looked after us with passion and the daily activities where out of this world (Snorkeling at Manta cleaning station by yourself anyone?). We will be back and hope that nothing has changed!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sventor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2011

Seventeen family members went for a one week trip, but we could have easily stayed for a month. Chris (manager) and his staff had an activity for every one of us..surf, kitesurf, windsurf, paddle boarding, scuba diving, fishing, sparefishing, snorkeling, etc... in sum: a watersports paradise! Additionally, we had the whole island to ourselves, plus no phones, cars, internet. If you ever want to "get out" of the map and have a terrific time, don't hesitate, it is awsome!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank Carlos150800
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tikehau Ninamu Resort

Address: Tikehau | Tikehau, 98778, French Polynesia
Phone Number:
Location: French Polynesia > Tuamotu Archipelago > Tikehau
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Tikehau
Price Range: $839 - $926 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tikehau Ninamu Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ninamu Resort is an all-inclusive destination catering to luxury seeking outdoor enthusiasts. Hidden away on a motu in the southwest corner of the French Polynesian atoll of Tikehau, Ninamu serves as the perfect launch pad for divers, fishermen, kiteboarders, surfers, paddlers or anyone who simply loves relaxing in and around tropical waters that are bursting with life and energy. Everyone should experience a pristine atoll in the middle of the South Pacific once in their life, your private paradise awaits! You'll stay in an artisan solar powered bungalow built from material found on the island. Dine on gourmet food grown on our 100 percent organic farm and fish that are caught in the surrounding ocean. Daily activities include all water sports, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, spear fishing, kite-surfing, kayaking, atoll excursions and memories to last a lifetime. The best pink sand beach in French Polynesia surrounds the island. We are an all-inclusive rate of taxes, water transport, all meals, all water excursions and equipment, excluding alcoholic beverages, deep-sea fishing and SCUBA. Children 12 years and under are half off. Children 2 years and under are free. ... more   less 
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