For those wanting a quick summary only: great resort, well run, very friendly, great food, clean and spacious bungalows, location is excellent, multiple activities you can on and off the resort, and issues, if they may even come up, get resolved in a very amicable way. If there is only one place you want to go to in French Polynesia, pick this resort. Chances are you don’t want to leave there.
Now the long version:
We've been to several places in the Pacific, and we decided to try French Polynesia for our 25th wedding anniversary. Rather than staying at several islands we focused on one spot with enough time to discover the surrounding area. After reading the reviews on Le Taha'a Resort & Spa and the Taha'a island itself we selected that place for our stay. And we were not disappointed!
Flying to French Polynesia during COVID times is possible, and the country has puts proper measures in place before guests can arrive. You need to show a negative COVID-19 test at the departure airport (LAX), we had our temperatures taken at time of check-in, and we were presented with face masks, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer at boarding. Every guest also needs to agree to an additional, self-applied COVID-19 test on the 5th day of your stay.
Taha'a island does not have an airport, so you arrive at Raiatea island's airport. We received a very friendly welcome, and within minutes after we had our luggage the boat departed to the private island that hosts Le Taha'a Resort & Spa. The boat transfer between airport and the resort is about 30 minutes.
Le Taha'a Resort & Spa is not directly on Taha'a main island, but on a small island in the same lagoon. The resort provides a scheduled shuttle boat service between the resort and Taha'a main island (about a 5 minute boat ride). It's free during the day, in the evening they charge 1000 XFP per person and ride.
Arriving at the resort we were greeted by Monsieur Campi, the general manager, who took his time to welcome us to the place and to provide us with an explanation of the resort and the available amenities. Even though we arrived early in the morning, our over-water bungalow was already available for check in.
We got a bungalow facing Taha'a island with a very nice view. You can swim or snorkel right off the bungalow. One thing to mention is the resort starting activities to restore the coral reef in damaged areas ("Biorock"), and one of those areas is right within the bungalow area. It seems that many people don't know where it is, as we've not seen many people snorkeling there and enjoying the various fishes that live in that new reef. We also discovered several stingrays in that area.
The other snorkeling opportunity is right off the resort island, it's a coral garden in a small channel between two of the small islands. The "Fare Pool Boy" has equipment at hand as well as directions on how to get there the best way. We were told that it can get busy at times, but as it was off-season and COVID time we never had any issue there. There is a constant current flowing through the coral garden, so all you need to do is get afloat and let yourself drift through this water wonderland. We did that every day we stayed at the resort, each time with something new to discover.
The resort itself is very well run, the bungalows very clean and comfortable, the staff exceptionally friendly and welcoming. One might say that this is due to the resort only, but we experienced the same friendliness when we cycled around Taha’a island. We always were greeted “Ia Orana” and waived at with a smile.
Breakfast and dinner are presented in the main resort complex, lunch is served at a restaurant next to the pool area. Food is outstanding and well prepared, the ingredients fresh and delicious. It is worth pointing out that the kitchen caters to individual needs – if you are lactose intolerant, prefer vegetarian or gluten-free food, there are options available.
Breakfast is provided buffet style and features a large variety of fresh fruit, dairy and non-dairy products, cold cuts and cheese, as well as hot items like egg, tomatoes, et.al. You can also order items like omelet and crepes. One of my favorites was “poisson cru”, a traditional Polynesian dish of marinated fish and vegetables. I already looked up the recipe, as this dish will stay with us!
Dinner is normally served eat a-la carte, except for two nights a week where they provide dinner buffet style. The a-la-carte menu is a mix between French and Polynesian cuisine. Compliments to the chef and the crew at the restaurant for making dinner always a wonderful experience.
Le Taha’a Resort & Spa provides various activities, many of them are included, like snorkeling equipment, canoes, stand-up paddle boards and similar equipment. There resort includes a pool, a tennis court, and Spa. I had a 50-minute massage treatment, the hands of the massage therapist were magic. Other activities are jet-ski rental and scuba diving. Unfortunately, the latter was not available at the time we are at the resort.
The resort also includes a small shop and a pearl store.
The main island of Taha’a offers highlights such a cycling around the island (you can rent a bicycle from the concierge desk at the resort), a lush greenery with many different flowers, several pearl farms and vanilla farms to visit, as well as two rum distilleries (one producing the rum on site, one shipping fermented sugar cane to another island for distillation). You can also take the boat to Raiatea and do various activities there, including the visit of a UNESCO world heritage site and several hikes. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to do that – a good reason to come back!
Overall, the experience we had a Le Taha’a Resort & Spa were outstanding and exceeded our expectations. I highly recommend putting it on the list of places to stay when traveling to French Polynesia.
If you're looking for a romantic, private, totally relaxing place to stay, this is it. The resort looks just like it does in the pictures online - you won't be disappointed. You fly into the Raiatea airport (tiny, one gate!) and the hotel staff will be waiting for you with flower leis to personally take you by small boat to the resort on Taha'a. There you'll be welcomed with a delicious vanilla punch at check-in, which went quickly and smoothly for us. My husband I stayed for 4 nights as part of a 10th anniversary trip. Not very many kids when we stayed, so perfect for couples and especially honeymooners.
We had a Taha'a overwater bungalow. Very spacious, both inside and outside where your private deck features a covered cabana area, two large lounge chairs and direct access to the lagoon. We requested hypoallergenic bed linens when we booked and they were in the room as promised when we arrived. Room service was great. Mini-bar included two local beers, bottled waters, juices and a few snacks every day. Views were lovely and sleeping was easy because the bungalows are spaced a decent ways apart from one another - expect quiet nights and peaceful days. The resort is doing some coral preservation near the bungalows and each side has its own small but wonderful reef. There is also a coral garden at one end of the resort. Be sure to bring or purchase reef-friendly sunblock so you don't inadvertently damage the reefs while swimming and snorkeling. There was an excellent dance and fire dancing show one night. Service at La Vanille restaurant was on the slow side by American standards, but all staff was very nice and helpful, and all spoke English fluently. Benjamin at the front desk was especially nice. Poor bar service was good (hi to Big Love!) and the infinity pool was lovely but we spent no time there because the ocean was clear, calm, and enjoying it was one of the main reasons we went to Tahiti.
We also spent a few nights at the Sofitel Moorea and the coral reefs are totally amazing there but the bungalows aren't as spacious and the property in general isn't as luxurious or private. I would recommend both for different reasons. This resort is basically the only thing on Taha'a, so it's super private. We could see staff cleaning and generally remaining vigilant against COVID. This is the perfect place to stay if you are anxious about COVID, as you can check in, opt for room service for your meals and almost never even see anyone else. It's a total delight.
We booked our entire trip through Costco Travel and it was an easy and completely seamless experience. We priced the trip out through three different agencies and Costco beat all their quotes. We plan to return and use Costco again.
My wife and I just finished up our stay at Le Taha’a and we thoroughly enjoyed it though there were a couple things which we did not enjoy so much. On our first day, we at the pool restaurant (only restaurant open during the afternoon for lunch) and everything seemed to be going well until the food came out. The second the food came out, we were swarmed with flies and gnats, the staff came over and brought “coffee smoke” which is a local method but honestly, it just was not enough. We must have received 10 bug bites each and then they started landing on our food. Everyone else looked fine at their tables so we attributed it to the fact that we were sitting in the indoors portion of the restaurant. The same night we ate at their fancy restaurant, Ohiri, which was absolutely delicious, I have to say. The biggest frustration was the amount of bugs at the lunch spot and they don’t really warn you. We ordered lunch to the room and it was perfect. The other fix was the dinner service, it just was a bit slow, the first night we ate at Le Vanille, it took 21 minutes just to get menus, we just felt very invisible the whole time and other tables received more attention, the staff they have running dinner just did not seem to be “true waitstaff”. We stayed in room #3 which was beautiful and provided a beautiful view of Bora Bora. The room was nice and clean and the deck was large and for the most part felt pretty private. The lagoon to swim in right there is a beautiful and at times is waist deep which was so nice to swim in. Overall, our stay was great and the resort and location are absolutely beautiful.
Traveling to French Polynesia was on our bucket list for many, many years. Finally, we bit the bullet and decided to make it happen. Traveled to the Caribbean most of our lives and always did the reservations myself. Not for this trip - this was beyond my expertise and I didn't know where to begin. Luckily, a coworker went to FP years ago and used Lisa Corso of Tahiti Legends. I had a scrap of paper with her name on it for so many years and dug it up when we decided to do this trip. Thank goodness I didn't throw away that note. Lisa was wonderful to deal with. We knew we wanted to go to Tahiti and to Bora Bora, but I had never heard of Tahaa -- and I had never heard of Le Taha'a Island Resort. Lisa highly recommended that we include that as part of our vacation - and she wasn't wrong.
We spent 5 nights at Le Taha'a -- and was said to see check-out day come. Could have stayed here much longer. Due to Covid, the resort was not booked to capacity - perfect time to go!
Everyone that we met was so very friendly. The food was very good. Loved the breakfast buffet (hand sanitizer station at the entrance to the restaurant) - the French Toast was "to die for".....delicious hash browns....good amount of fresh fruit. And the pastries -- think every morning I had at least 5 on my plate! French are known for their wonderful pastries -- and this was the case at Le Taha'a. With the exception of one night where we had dinner, we usually just ate at the breakfast buffet and then did a late lunch at La Plage. This might sound silly to rave about this, but they serve the best chicken club sandwich I have EVER had!!!! Also had some other wonderful lunches there - tuna curry dish, chicken teriyaki lunch special. And I feel guilty (almost) at how often I finished up my lunch with the creme brulee! After all - it IS vacation. ;)
Tried paddle-boarding (free) and it was a great experience. Never got into the pool because the water was so wonderful. They also have jet skis. I always wondered what it would be like to go on a jet ski, but was hesitant to sign up for a tour.....fearful I would find out 5 minutes into it that it wasn't for me. My husband talked to the operator of the jet ski.....he was waiting on someone who signed up for the tour, but they hadn't shown up yet. Wish I could remember the person's name, but he was kind enough to take me out on the back of his jet ski.....we zipped around the lagoon area for about 10 minutes -- enough for me to have the thrill...and enough for me to realize I didn't want to sign up for a tour. He was so kind to do that for me.
Our room (#15) had a great view of Tahaa. We enjoyed the spacious room and the deck area was also very spacious. It included 2 loungers in the sun....and a large shaded area with a table. So serene to spend the evening laying on the loungers staring up at the star-lit sky. We did have internet access in our room - but tried not to use it - instead just experienced the beauty of the island.....the peace and quiet. Loved snorkeling around the Bio-Rock spheres. Also loved that the Coral Gardens was so close. And lack of many people at the Coral Gardens due to no cruise ships -- again, the perfect time to go! One of our delights every evening was opening up the "coffee-table"-type lid to the water under our bungalow and watching the variety of fish. Was hard to tear myself away from that - I would just plop a pillow on the floor and stare there for a couple hours.
If I had tried to book this trip myself, I highly doubt I would have known about traveling to Tahaa.....let alone to Le Taha'a Island Resort. That is why I am so very thankful for talking with Lisa Corso of Tahiti Legends. It was a stressful many months worrying about Covid -- our trip had to be postponed from May until October. But made so much better because all I had to do was make a quick phone call to Lisa when FP closed its borders....and asked that she schedule us for later in the year. She made it happen! And, most important to me, she is a down-to-earth person who "held my hand" throughout my stressing out....and it was so, so worth it. Le Taha'a Island Resort is one of the best places we have visited - we were sad when it was time to check out.
Hubby and I told each other that this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip.....but after returning home, all I can think about is planning another trip there!
I really loved this hotel. Service was amazing, all the staff were really friendly and helpful. Food at the restaurant was great and they had a fantastic dinner show one night. Our room was perfect, beachfront with a private pool and outdoor bathtub, and a separate a study/living room, atrium, and bedroom. Don't miss snorkeling at the coral garden, which is teeming with colorful fish and corals. I definitely would stay here again.