I already talked about the rest on the two islands of French Polynesia – Bora Bora and Tahaa. And now (winter is coming) it’s time to talk about the rest of the Society Islands. And about other opportunities, pros and cons of traveling to those parts… First, of course, a few words about the famous islands of Hua Hin and Raiyatea. Of course, the places are beautiful, they can be compared with Bora Bora and Tahaa – in the sense that they also have breathtaking views and beautiful beaches … But with hotels … with hotels, the situation is somewhat worse there. Hua Hin has several village guesthouses and family guesthouses, as well as a hotel Te tiare beach. But I must say that this hotel is more of a “do not recommend” category. The rooms are very mediocre, the staff is poorly trained, the restaurant is not worthy of discussion at all. So take care, friends.
As for Raiatea, this is a hotel hawaiki nui. Modest and simple. If you really need to spend the night here, then take it. The beach is dirty, but at least this hotel has a clean pool… In other words, I do not recommend you to stay in Polynesian Hua Hin and Rayatea for the night at all. It is quite enough to look here, walking around the outskirts of the archipelago on a yacht.
Of the inevitable evil, it should be noted the need to spend the night in the capital, Papeete on the island of Tahiti. Despite the fact that this city has firmly entered history as one of the places of long residence of the great and misunderstood genius of Paul Gauguin, now the city is nothing special and remarkable. And by the way, now I’m reading a wonderful book about Gauguin – “Gauguin in Polynesia”, and, judging by this dramatic story, already in Gauguin’s time, Papeete was not such a super-beautiful place. In any case, Gauguin kept trying to move from there somewhere.
However, here, in this bustling and noisy city, is the international airport of French Polynesia. And since most flights arrive in the evening and depart early in the morning, you will inevitably have to stay here overnight. I recommend the hotel Intercontinental Tahiti. Again, as the lesser of evils. The hotel stands apart from many commercial establishments and is a predictable 265-room resort, similar to the Krasnodar sanatorium they are building there for tuberculosis patients and party members. The hotel is located on 32 acres of land on the ocean, next to the airport. Guest rooms range from standard Garden View Rooms overlooking the garden to more spacious Panoramic View Rooms overlooking the sea and Moorea.
By the way, on the island of Moorea, separated from Tahiti by a canal, you can fly by plane (10 minutes of flight) or take a ferry (30 minutes of sailing). It is an island of stunning beauty, adorned with volcanic peaks, deep plains and sparkling lagoons. Personally, I rented a car right at the Moorea airport and hit the road for a day to Cook Bay, and then to Oponohu Bay, these are the most important sights of the island.
But, alas, there are no decent hotels here at all, and if you really need it, then stay there at the InterContinental Moorea Resort. (I ate there, it’s a good place for lunch, but judging by the reviews, you can spend the night – and the exterior here is just great, see the photo below).
But now, enough of the sad stuff. Let’s talk about more pleasant matters than what you sometimes have to try on yourself out of necessity. Commemorative cruise in French Polynesia. Here is one of the best ways to get to know the islands of French Polynesia. Especially if you have a whole company or, say, a family there. A 10-day cruise on a yacht allows you to explore the entire archipelago, and from a variety of angles. Bora Bora, Tahaa, Raiatea, Hua Hin and Moorea give a very different impression when viewed from the sea: their magnificent silhouettes are either buried in clouds or welcome the traveler with green peaks, flowering valleys and sparkling lagoons with many peaceful scenic views. And if you turn around, then – and this sky, and these clouds – everything seems to accompany you during this completely blissful journey.
We rented the yacht ASKARI with crew. The ship is comfortable and spacious. Africanist design – all sorts of ornaments, masks and more … A whole collection of artifacts. Four air-conditioned cabins with all amenities and bathroom. A gleaming wood-trimmed salon, dining room and kitchen. The chef cooks from freshly caught marine reptiles, right in front of your eyes, as well as from fresh fruits and vegetables purchased from ports along the way. Straw furniture, on deck there is a hot Jacuzzi pool, which is especially nice to sit in at night. You can: go diving, fish, go boating and water skiing … And sometimes take trips to the islands.
And now I highly recommend it! Yacht charter costs around $60,000 per week for up to 10 people, not including fuel and provisions (usually another 25% of the charter price).