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“Paradise island and fabulous staff, made our vacation perfect”

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Tikehau Ninamu Resort
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Tikehau
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 23, 2012

Staying at Ninamu has been one of the best experiences in our travels.
The hotel is set on an amazing motu with stretches of pink sand all about; surrounding waters are shallow and vibrant with life, including reef sharks and sea eagles.

The hotel has less than 10 rooms and the atmosphere is really informal; impossible not to make friends there.
But what actually makes the stay at Ninamu unique is the staff, the most friendly you can imagine. Tours, all included in the hotel rate, thanks to the staff and the beauty of the place are a fabulous experience.

Although I would rate our experience at Ninamu outstanding and never trade it for one in a more "conventional" resort, for sake of completeness I must say that rooms might not match everybody's expectations, and this is the reason why I did not rate this hotel top score.
Rooms are indeed large, immersed in nature and and very nicely appointed and decorated, all built with natural materials, such as wood and stone. Nonetheless:
- they are partially open under the roof, this allowing insects to get in at night (not a real problem in my opinion since the area of the bed can be closed through a net; in other hotels I have staied at, though, where rooms were partially opened onto the nature, one could close all spaces through nets, and not only the bed's area)
- warm water comes and goes, and at times water flows just stops for some moments
As I said, these elements had no impact on my stay (and notice we are used to very high standards), but I can understand somebody might not be fully comfortable.
I would just stongly recommend those who might have doubts for this reason just to give it a try, and not to miss an incredible experience.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank MatteoMilan_Italy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 10, 2012

I am a travel agent and have travelled widely for many years. But Ninamu is unique in my experience. Even the best review cannot do it justice. You have to go there, stay a while, and become part of the Ninamu family.

Ninamu essentially covers its whole motu (tiny Polynesian island), one of the circle of islets that make up the atoll of Tikehau. It isn't all that easy to get to--but that's the point. The motu has pink sand beaches and coconut palms, and good snorkeling right off the beach. The architecture of the resort, designed and built by the owner, Chris, and his wife, Greta, is wonderfully whimsical. The dining hall/lbar/lounge/library and the six guest bungalows, each unique, are built of coral and tropical woods (including polished tree trunks and limbs to support the ceilings), with thatched roofs. They feature indoor/outdoor spaces, and are furnished with low-keyed good taste and attention to detail.

The food, included in the price, is very good. There's freshly baked bread and eggs to your liking at breakfast, freshly caught raw fish with tasty dressing at lunch, and fish cooked in a variety of creative ways at supper. Alyssa, at the bar, invented a yummy frozen rum Margherita while we were there.

Chris leads boat expeditions that include the remarkable bird island. The birds have no natural enemies, and thus are unafraid of people. We could get right up close and the birds didn't seem to mind. We saw noddies, white terns, and red-footed boobies. Best of all, the birds were nesting, so we saw eggs and baby birds at all stages of development--from a tiny ball of fluff with a beak to a youngster almost ready to fly. The expedition also visits Eden, a Korean/Chinese religious community that grows all the fresh vegetables and salads served at Ninamu. Plus there was a stop for snorkeling with Manta rays.

But the most outstanding feature of Ninamu is the staff. Chris, an Aussie, is full of energy and adventure, and tells good stories over a beer. His boyhood friend from Sidney, Marty, also pitched in to help on all our adventures. My friend and I were fortunate as well to have Chris's charming Polynesian-Chinese wife, Greta, join us after supper on a few occasions. (Your Auntie says hello, Greta.) Her stories of growing up in Tahiti and of the building of Ninamu fascinated us. Alyssa and Colton are always there to help out when you need anything.Then there is Christiane. She bakes the bread, runs the store, handles the books, creates windchimes out of shells, looks after the dogs, and even babysits as needed. She is also a warm and engaging conversationalist.

The other guests were also a high point. We arrived as strangers, but by the time we left, we all hugged one another goodbye.

And, I, as an aging, hefty, and klutzy creature, am deeply grateful for the help that everyone gave me. Chris and Marty hauled me up onto the boats and lifted me down again. They steadied me over the tricky terrain of Bird Island. And most touching, when we left, Christiane presented me with a homemade twine bracelet with three pearls in it--one each from Chris, Greta, and Christiane. Thank you, thank you!

Needless to say, I will recommend Ninamu to all my clients. Mary Ella

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank MEF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2012

Having read all the reviews of Ninamu before booking, I seriously doubted if it could actually be as good as it sounded; overwhelmingly good reviews are often a recipe for disappointment. But unbelievably, it was even better than I could have imagined (and I can imagine a lot!!). Quite honestly it was the best holiday we have ever had.

My husband and I stayed at Ninamu for 14 nights and within a day or two we were already contemplating quitting our jobs and staying there indefinitely. The bungalows are incredible works of art, the fresh food plate-lickingly delicious and the surroundings beyond picturesque. But what truly makes this place completely unique is the people. Chris is absolutely tireless in catering to everyone's needs, going above and beyond to ensure that every guest gets to have the experience of a lifetime. Whatever you’ve dreamed of doing, he does his utmost to make it a reality. Greta, Christiane and all the staff are incredibly warm and friendly and really go the extra mile to make you feel special. The whole place as an aura of fun, relaxation and enjoyment about it and you soon feel more like you are hanging out with friends than staying at a resort. It was so good we have already begun planning our return next year!

My only 'criticism' of Ninamu is that it has set the bar so high that it has probably tarnished every other place we will stay at in future which will now be compared to its excellence.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Patricia555_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2012

As a single "older" and a frequent traveler to Tahiti 2x3 times annually I was perfectly content to R & R... and not get "busy". The minute I arrived, I literally unpacked my bikini and snorkelling gear and was on a wonderful boat trip, meeting up with other guests, Chris and the staff on a snorkelling trip....so much for R & R. From that day on..there was nothing but a great desire to get on the boat and do what everyone or no one did..be it fishing, tanning, snorkelling, surfing, enjoying dolphins play at the hull, observe Mantas, touring Bird Island ( and falling flat on my face 2 times ..too busy and not paying attention) discovering where Ninamu gets their "organic food stock" on Eden island...just amazing... the interest level here.
On The staff..they are small in numbers but huge on graciousness, helpfulness...and amazing patience. Chris and Greta are wonderful hosts.
Chris has the capacity to keep everyone and everything happy and moving...accommodating every need with the patience of Jobe...Greta Chris's wife, though we did not see her much prepared wonderful meals ( Thanks for putting up with my early morning invasion of the kitchen for coffee) When we did see and talk with her she is fun to be around)
We start our vacation as individuals...sitting at different tables...in a couple of nights we were like one big family....all seated at one big table, laughing, talking, hearing the funniest tales of Chris's adventures as a steward on Qantas.... we just seem to meld very well as a group.
Christiane....for all your help and friendliness, Merci et Mauruuru. I promise I wont feed the fish your bread... I will wait for the old baguettes!! GUILTY! Colton and Alyssa...Thank you..(Alyssa ...One Pina Colada pls..they were great!) Thomas...where in Sydney are you from??? Yes I stll remember ....The Northern Beaches...about time Huh?
Every bungalow was designed and hand-hewn by Chris....they are great...Beds are amazing...I would have been just as thrilled to have been strung-up in a hammock between 2 coconut palms..but no, I had a wonderful bungalow to go to at the end of an activity packed and fun day. I just used it to sleep in.
Ninamu is a small island 45 min walk around it's perimeter...can become 3 hours like I could do checking out the amazing shells, wading the rock-pools, floating or swimming the far channel discovering coral, sea-creatures.. The island is Chris and Greta's personal home..and they and their staff really make you feel as welcome as you want to be... Chris your patience and helpfulness to everyone's need is amazing Thank-you for sharing your personnal paradise with such graciousness towards all of us...
When do you have your next vacancy ??? for the next 10 years...will contact you soon... I rated your "pool and spa"...which is the fabulous waters that surround the motu as excellent....better than any "artificial pool and spa"

Room Tip: Rooms selection here is dependant on guest numbers..as a single traveller my bungalow served me very...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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6  Thank VERA P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2012

well, another day, another 5-star review for ninamu. we have traveled all over the world, and this was the friendliest, most accommodating place we've ever been to. and in a natural, easy way - nothing forced or pushy. all 5 of the staff are superb, but we particularly single out christiene, who doubles as office manager and housekeeping, for her kind attentiveness. chris, the boss, is an australian former champion surfer, and just the competent guy's guy you want driving the boat. his wife greta, was handling the cooking while the usual cook was off, and boy was the food great. greta is so sweet! alyssa and colton, the interns, were warm and helpful. chris joins the guests for dinner, and what a storyteller he is! the atmosphere is so collegial that the first 2 days we ate by ourselves, but by the last 3 days, we were eating at a larger table for 8 and really enjoying the other guests.

oh, the architecture is spectacular: chris calls himself a carpenter, but i gather he's actually a designer-builder-developer. each of the hand-crafted cottages is different, but they all are very spacious and have lots of stone and coral inset into the stucco, free-form windows, and curvy peeled island ironwood as the lodgepoles holding up the thatched roofs

i would give the value as excellent given that your $400 per person includes transfers, tax, tips, 3 meals a day, and all activities except scuba.

and did i mention that the scuba (we used tikehau plongee) is amazing, as is the snorkeling with mantas?

Room Tip: they are all gorgeous. we stayed in a smaller room closer to the lodge for one night, after which ch...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank jonnyss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2012

This was the first stop on our 'once in a lifetime trip' to paradise. We vacation frequently, being to Hawaii and most of the Caribbean 20+ times. Celebrating our ten year anniversary we always talked about going to French Polynesia. Not sure exactly where to go, we spent hundreds of hours online trying to figure out what is the best of the best. In the end, we decided on a 3 island trip - Tikehau, Moorea and Bora Bora. Let me tell you about our first stop.

Ninamu - biggest regret of our whole trip, was not staying long enough here. Although the reviews on tripadvisor have been nothing but 5 star, I was still a little hesitant. Boy was I wrong. Even though each island has it's own perk, this was our favorite. We only stayed 3 nights but by the last night, I was scheming to stay longer.

Previous reviews have already mentioned the staff as being great - but it's bigger than that. They truly make you feel like family. First class staff. Move over Dos Equis man, Chris is the true 'most interesting man in the world'. His stories are fascinating, his activities are unsurpassed, and his character genuine.

Activities - They say you never forget your first. My first day snorkeling in the crystal clear waters I saw my first shark. As a land locked Canadian growing up with the fear of Jaws, this was a little unnerving. But please don't let this scare you. These black tip reef sharks want nothing to do with people and are simply harmless. By the end our 12 night trip I was swimming with 20 at a time.
Each day there would be a new activity planned, whether it be going to bird island for a great tour, over to the garden at Eden for fresh vegetables, spear fishing in the open ocean to catch supper, snorkeling with manta rays, coconut crab expeditions..... There is no shortage of fun here.

Food - Some of the freshest most delicious food of our trip. Never went hungry and never had to worry about cost (definitely a factor at the other resorts).

Grounds - We stayed in the Miki Miki, what a cool set up. All of the buildings are unique and beautiful. Built by Chris and the gang, they are made of materials from the small motu itself. Which by the way, can be be circled in less than 10min.

Overall....this place is amazing. Our 'once in a lifetime trip' has already turned into we need to get back within 3 years. For your first time to FP, I would still suggest to check out Moorea or Bora Bora to see what they're about, but don't miss this place. This was the best. Check out my reviews of the Hilton on Moorea, and Le Meridien & Thalasso on Bora Bora.

We realize FP is 2 or 3x more expensive than most other vacations, but it's magnitudes more satisfying.

Thanks to Chris, Greta and the rest of the staff. Colton and Alyssa, wish my summer job was a cool as yours.

Room Tip: Miki Miki is on stilts and is cozy, the other buildings are a little bigger
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Whylivewithsnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2012

Thank you for an amazing stay at Ninamu paradise. It is small resort with only 6 bungalows and a very relaxed and home like experience. People there are great! Thank you Chris, Greta, Christine, Nini and Bill - I will come back.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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3  Thank Ales11_11
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: $661 - $969 (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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Tikehau Ninamu Hotel Tikehau

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