The Many Shades of Blue in French Polynesia

Oct 12, 2012 Avatar Kathleen Schultz Kathleen Schultz

Eight members of TravelStore’s Honeymoon & Destination Wedding team had the privilege to visit Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora on an educational trip in May. After an eight-hour direct flight from Los Angeles on Air Tahiti Nui, we were greeted with song and fresh flower lei’s. Our transfer company was

right outside of customs to take us to Manava Suite Resort for a one night stay.

After breakfast and a site inspection of the property, our Papeete city tour included visiting the waterfalls and blowing hole of Tiarei and the James Norman Hall Museum, with its rich history. We had a wonderful lunch prepared by the museum staff. There was time for shopping at the open air market, where one can purchase anything from vanilla beans, coconut Tiare oil, to fresh fish and pearls. We then boarded a catamaran for a 30-minute ride to Moorea, Tahiti’s sister island.

The Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa is the only 5-star property on Moorea, and the only resort where you can view both sunrise and sunset! We were escorted to our individual over-water bungalows with time for a swim in the lagoon before meeting Olivier Larcher, the general manager, for dinner. The food was phenomenal, the service impeccable, and the atmosphere wonderful. Couples were dinning under the full moon and stars on the beach at their private table for two. Perfect for a romantic dinner for newlyweds.

The next afternoon we went on an Eco-tour expedition with Dr. Michael Poole on the hunt for spinner dolphins. Our guide explained everything you ever wanted to know about dolphins and the eco system Tahiti has adopted. We had time for another swim, enjoying our over-water bungalows, sipping champagne before cocktails and dinner with our gracious host. One more sunrise before leaving beautiful Moorea.

The 45-minute flight to Bora Bora with stunning Ariel views is amazing. We took a short boat ride to Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa, the only floating lobby where the staff meet you at the dock with smiles and song. Karine and her staff escorted us on a tour of the property and the spa, before we were dropped off at our individual over-water bungalows. The over-water bungalows are spacious with a separate living area, a huge bathroom with tub, dual sinks and a large shower. The outdoor deck is lovely and private. The water is amazing. We had time to swim, relax and rest up before meeting our host and general manager, Sebastien Maingourd, for dinner at the Iriatai Restaurant, where we were wined and dined — an end to a perfect day.

After a restful sleep, and a great breakfast, we met at the lobby and departed for our 4×4 Safari mountain excursion where the views are breathtaking and the roads challenging. There are several stops made for pictures, and an array of fresh fruit served by the guides on the top of the mountain. After a trip to the famous Bloody Mary’s for a cool beverage, we returned to our bungalows. Our last evening was a private dinner at Black Rock with Hank, our host for this incredible trip, and we enjoyed music, song and laughter. Private dinners can be arranged for couples at this lovely spot.

Our last day in beautiful Bora Bora was spent on motu Tapu, a private island owned by the Hilton Nui and used exclusively for hotel guests. Only minutes away, yet a world apart. We can arrange for private candlelight dinners here for honeymooners and romantics.

We spent the day snorkeling, sunbathing and enjoying a wonderful lunch while the crystal clear waters lapped at our feet.

It was the perfect way to end a Tahiti vacation.