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“Polynesian Jewel”

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Tikehau Ninamu Resort
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Tikehau
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 14, 2014

Ninamu is a magical place -- so much so, I'm reluctant to write about it -- I want it to stay a secret. The island is intimately sized, beautifully designed and maintained, and a haven for athletes and water lovers. Depending on the season, there's great surf, wind for kiting, amazing spear fishing, sailing, diving… Chris and Greta and Christiane and Thomas and Kaiena make you part of their family. They genuinely care about your goals for the trip and go out of their way to help you achieve them. Chris is also a talented instructor in all water sports. I miss the island and the crew. It is a paradise.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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1  Thank JENKINS H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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72 - 78 of 240 reviews

Reviewed December 7, 2013

Chris and Greta have created a piece of paradise you can share with them. Stay in a beautiful bungalow (built by Chris and staff) and fall alseep to the sound of the waves and breeze in the palm trees. Wonderfully prepared FRESH seafood in a relaxed atmosphere. For us a stay at Ninamu was about experiencing Tikehua. Chris made this happen with adventures every day. We snorkeled with Mantas, toured 3 different islands, deep sea fished and dove for pearls. Other guests surfed or kite surfed or even just relaxed. Chris also helped arrange scuba diving with Top Dive. At Ninamu you can have privacy or interact with the other guests in the relaxed yet intimate open main living/dining area. Ninamu is like no other resort we have ever been. If you are going to French Polynesia you MUST consider spending part of it at Ninamu with Chris and Greta. You will create unforgettable memories.

Room Tip: every bungelow is unique and beautiful, There is no bad choice. We loved seeing and hearing the oce...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MARTYnROSE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2013

If you are going to be in the Tahiti area, or have any desire to experience French Polynesia (and I suggest you do), do yourself an favor and consider the Ninamu Resort on the Tikehau atoll. It's a small, private island run be Chris and his remarkable staff. Not only is Chris a great host, but an exceptional guide to some amazing features that they atoll has to offer (snorkeling, fishing, kiteboarding, surfing, skurfing, diving, among others). From early morning until late at night, Chris was there to see to it that we were never bored. But if you want quiet time, there are plenty of out-of-the-way places on the island to relax with only the sound of the wind and the surf. An unforgettable experience.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank nkornelis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

I will be honest up front. This place is not for everyone. If you want to be pampered like millionaires, have your every whim catered to, live in an air conditioned environment, and spend gobs of Tahitian francs to impress people, you will not like this place. However, if you want adventure,good company, comfy rooms, excellent food, and a unique experience, this is the place for you.

My wife and I stayed 6 days since after reading most of the reviews, people who stayed 3 days or less said they wished they had stayed longer. Going in I was a little worried that I would get a little island crazy toward the end, but my worry was unfounded. We got into a routine of doing two activities per day and spending a couple of hours just unwinding, watching the sunset or lounging on the beach chairs. We spent our time fishing, snorkeling, swimming, motu hopping, sailing, jet skiing, kayaking and urchin hunting. And we just touched the surface of activities we could have done. For the more adventurous, there is surfing, kite surfing, and paddle boarding to name a few. Chris (the owner along with his wife Gretta) has what everyone called a toy-shed. It contained all of the water toys anyone could wish for. And Chris was willing to give instruction on how to use each toy. The best part. It is all included in the room charge. For one outing, we combined a surfing-fishing expedition. I am not a surfer, but two of the guests were. I just went along for the ride since i wanted to see some top notch surfing. Unfortunately, the currents and wind were not favorable. We came up empty on both. It was just the wrong day. Nothing I am complaining about. "No worries" became my favorite expression. There is always the next time. On another fishing trip, we each caught a tuna. Again, if you expect nature to perform on command for you, this is not the place for you.

Onto the food. Most of the food comes from a local organic commune, which we visited one morning. Amazingly, the commune is able to produce wonderful fresh vegetables, fruit, and farm animals out of the sand. Not all food comes from the commune, but enough to keep the meals fresh and flavorful. Most meals center around freshly caught fish (yours if you get lucky fishing), but chicken or pork is offered if you have special dietary needs. We were lucky to have a local Tahitian chef come home from classical French training. He missed his birthplace. Each lunch and dinner presented a different theme, so the fish never got boring. And the desserts were amazing. One night we got a chocolate mousse that was so flavorful, I would dare say it beat every chocolate mousse I have ever tasted. And this is not just the camping food phenomenon talking. Meal times are relaxed, but they usually occur when everyone has a break in the day. Breakfast usually starts at 7:00 AM, but it can be as late as 9:00 if you had a late night. Lunch can be at 12:00, but if fishing is late, it might start at 2:00. Same with dinner. It is usually at 7:00 or later. The staff and the guests just get into a rhythm. Guests can have their own table or share a common table. Our first few days we ate at the separate tables because most of the guests were international (Spanish and Italian). However, that did not stop us from sharing adventures, albeit in simple English. The last several days, the guests were English speaking (Californians and Kiwis), so we ate at the common table. Chris and the quests shared great stories that still keep me laughing. If you ever want a good laugh, ask Chris about the peanut method. Chris truly enjoys his guests and learning about them even after a full day of keeping the place running. He is tireless. If you want a clear division between the staff and guests, this is not the place for you. It is more of a evolving organism as different guests come and leave.

After talking late into the night when every one starts nodding off because they have had a full day, we returned to our room. We got one of the smaller rooms since we reserved late, but it was still nice. Each cottage is wonderfully unique, decorated with sea shells and wood. All rooms even the bathrooms are open air (no glass or screen windows) so mosquitoes can be a problem. Huts are separated with enough space to ensure privacy. We were on the west side of the island, and we were protected from the wind. That made for less wind but more mosquitoes. Beds are enclosed in netting so we were protected while we slept. One of the Spanish guests had never slept outside before, so she had trouble the first night obsessing about the bugs and the coconut crabs. That is just part of the charm. She adjusted quickly. The staff keep the rooms tidy and clean. Our room did not have dressers or closets, so you might have to live out of your suitcase and hang clothes from branches that have been integrated into the structure. Chris collects and desalinates all of his own water. Consequently, there are no tubs. And you have to be conscious of water use (no 20 minute showers), but he is not fanatical about it. There is plenty of tasty, filtered water (cold and room temperature) to drink in the restaurant, so you will never go thirsty. Solar panels and a generator provide the electricity. Do not expect to keep the lights running all day and night. Even an American hair dryer might be a problem. Chris can provide you one to reduce havoc on the electrical system. We kept a flashlight handy for nightly visits to our bathroom in the next room since the nights are so dark. There is a ceiling fan and table fan to keep things cool at night. We were lucky in that most nights got down to 70 degrees F. There is WiFi in the main hall, but it tended to be slow. We just used it for email and for checking in for our flight. For a good story, have Chris explain the Internet connection. These are the trade-offs for living on an isolated island. If you want to isolate yourself from the environment, this is not the place for you.

When it was time to go, my wife and I were actually sad to leave. There were good-bye hugs to go around and email addresses to be exchanged. And we were not shocked with the bill at the end of our visit. Guests have to pay for drinks and souvenirs, but it is reasonable. We brought our own rum and wine and supplemented it with Tahitian beer. Chris even sold us a liter of pineapple juice to mix with our rum instead of charging us by the glass. Chris is not a nickle and dimer. He would rather you have an enjoyable, relaxing vacation than make a few extra bucks from you. That is just the nature of the place. It promotes a lifestyle and philosophy that gets you out of your everyday rut and recharges your batteries. No worries. All in all, it was a perfect fit for us and probably will be for most people.

End note: we downgraded the sleep quality to "very good" because there was a confused, tough old rooster that someone had abandoned on the island. It crowed at all hours of the night. It mostly hung out on the east side so it was not an issue for us, but it was an issue for the other guests. The problem will most likely be fixed soon since it is being hunted down. It already has some pellets in it from prior encounters. Just one more story to add to our adventure.

Room Tip: Book earlier to get the preferred rooms on the east side.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Mike W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

Best travel experience to date and I have traveled many places. First, pictures of this place do not do it justice. Ninamu is a paradise, a luxury hidden in the ocean. Chris and Gretta are charms! I wish we could have stayed here forever. The rooms are amazingly clean, beautiful, and amazing. Extremely private and roomy, unlike anything I've ever seen before. The sports/activities that Chris puts together are fun and lead to the perfect amount of rest and fun. My husband was thrilled - we went deep sea fishing, spear fishing, swimming with the manta rays, swimming with sharks, learned how to husk coconuts, sailing, paddle boarding, snorkelying, kayaking and just had fun reading and relaxing. Every meal was an amazing delight and blew all the food at the bora bora hotels out of the water. Fresh, right of the ocean. Delicious pastries baked fresh every day, fun pizza night, fantastic drinks at reasonable prices - unlike everywhere else in French Polynesia. the waters were more amazing and more alive than anywhere in Bora Bora. We've been all over the world and rarely do we think we'll return to a place since there are so many places to go, but truly believe we'll be back, probably even every year ahead of us!!! If you're wondering if you should come, the answer is yes!!!! You must take the trip to this part of French Polynesia if even just to visit this place. it is worth it! Amazing!!!! Great for couples on honeymoon or families with kids. perfect all around!!!!

Room Tip: 1) miki miki is a great honeymoon spot with an amazing view of the sunrise every morning! 2) bring...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ericamariecolon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

Thanks to Gretta and Chris for this perfect stay in their private motu.
Everything was just perfect, the bungalow, meals, excusions (fishing, bird island, snorkling...)
You can enjoy and relax. Games are available (risk...) if it is rainning oustide.
If you are going to Eden island, do not hesite to bring back some coconut oil...perfect to cook your fishes afterwards.
Thank you to the cook, we had our best meals in Tahiti at the Ninamu pension.
We will be back with the little one when he will arrive!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LL_Bklyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

My husband and I spent several days at Ninamu in March during a trip to French Polynesia. We had decided we wanted to experience a more remote, rustic setting followed by a more commercialized setting and therefore decided to go first to Tikehau, then to Bora Bora. Our time at Ninamu was amazing! From the moment we arrived by boat at the little motu on which Ninamu is situated, we were in paradise. The water was beautiful, clear, warm and teeming with life and the beach was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Chris, the owner, and all the staff including Greta, Christiane, Dane, and Terry were fantastic hosts- they were truly concerned about our enjoyment of our stay and went out of the way to help us to relax and feel at home. Our bungalow was wonderfully decorated, clean and comfortable. Meals were delicious and always freshly made. We spent our days going snorkeling with manta rays, deep sea fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking, jet skiing, snorkeling just outside the atoll in the Pacific, walking around the island and swimming between the little motus that lead toward the middle of the lagoon, all at our leisure and all at the courtesy of Chris and his staff. We also enjoyed lazy mornings and afternoons simply sitting on the beach reading and admiring the water. Our diving experience on Tikehau with Raie Manta was also wonderful, and the abundance and diversity of marine life was amazing. I was truly disappointed to leave for Bora Bora at the end of our stay, and my only regret is not having stayed longer!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Jess0405
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: $658 - $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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