Prior to writing this article, Matt and I would like to send our special thanks to Rhonda who was our Travel Agent with Park Cities Travels. With the Covid pandemic, Matt and I had absolutely no idea where to start or what to do when the time came for us to start planning our Honeymoon. Rhonda was an excellent travel agent and has a worldwide network of resources (literally), she was such a huge help to us as we planned our trip. We highly recommend booking your next big trip through Rhonda at Park Cities Travels!
We started planning our wedding and our honeymoon prior to COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, our plans was to take a small trip a few days after the wedding and a BIG trip to New Zealand later in the year. Then the COVID pandemic arrived and like many things our hopes on going to New Zealand were thwarted. To further complicate our goals, many other countries (like New Zealand) had also closed their borders to tourists. At that point we were stuck in a quandary and did not know what to do or where to start. Our Travel Agent, Rhonda, was such a huge help. Once we finally decided where we wanted to go, we just gave Rhonda our final budget and she did all the rest. She booked our hotel, transportation, excursions, meal plans and more! What is better, is she also was able to meet all our needs and desires and still come up a few hundred dollars under budget!
On the Island of Tahiti Nui, we stayed at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa. First, my absolute favorite feature of this resort was the Lagoonarium. This lagoonarium is an artificial (man-made) lagoon that is fed by sea water and is filled with some of the most colorful fish that are native to the area. So when you go to swim in the Lagoonarium, you are literally swimming with the stunning fish that are native to the area and some of the most beautiful coral in the world. I highly recommend bringing a snorkel and goggles when you visit the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa, so that you can observe these sights as you swim! There are also two other swimming pools on the complex. One pool is right next to the Lagoonarium. Then there is a smaller infinity pool that overlooks the South Pacific and includes a swim up bar as well.
The InterContinental Resort & Spa in Tahiti does have amazing Overwater bungalows available to rent. They also have a few different types of Overwater Bungalows so that you can pick the perfect one for you. The smallest bungalows are called the Jr. Suite Overwater Bungalow Lagoon. the prices for these start at ~$520.00/night. This bungalow is a perfect location as it is right next door to the lagoonarium and has fantastic views of Mo’orea Island. However, if you are looking for an overwater bungalow that is a little more high end get the Overwater Motu Villa Suite. This suite can sleep up to 4 people and includes a balcony with stunning views, a luxurious bathtub, and is perfectly secluded. The price of Villas start at ~$650.00/night.
Early Check-In & Courtesy Rooms
It is also worth noting that most flights coming from the United States arrive in Papeete either early in the morning (ours arrived at 5:04 am) or late in the evening (around 09:00pm). Also the hotel is only about 10 to 15 minutes away from the airport. Therefore, if you are arriving early, be sure to request an early check in. The hotel does have courtesy rooms (which include toilets and showers) for their guests who arrive earlier than the check-in. I highly recommend making use of these courtesy rooms while you are waiting to check-in. These courtesy rooms include showers (with shampoo and bodywash), towels, toilets, and sinks. However, if you are arriving late. Check-in is a 3:00 pm. Be sure to call the front desk before you board you flight to Papeete and let them know that you will be arriving late in the evening.
Island as a whole reminded me of the French Polynesian version of a small sea side town in Florida, USA (like Seaside or Key West). While Tahiti Nui had more of an urban feel, Mo’orea was more quiet and felt more rustic. Due to the size and slower paced lifestyle of the island, Matt and I found the that we more and better access to beaches and the ocean. So if you wanted to go for a swim in the ocean, it was definitely much better.
Rooms and Bungalows:
Manava Spa and Resort (compared to the InterContentental Tahiti) was also smaller and and more quaint. However, Matt and I really enjoyed our time here! There are plenty of different styles of bungalows and rooms. While the Overwater bungalows seemed wonderful; they were not what Matt and I really wanted. We felt that they were a little too close to the other overwater bungalows around them. We also did not think that they gave us the privacy that we really wanted. With it being our honeymoon, Matt and I really needed something with much more privacy than what the Overwater bungalows could provide. Instead, we stayed in the Garden bungalow. These bungalows were fenced off and had a small private dunking pool. This bungalow ended up being everything that we needed it to be. If you are travelling with a family with kids, the Overwater and Beach Bungalows would be better suited for your needs. For couples definitely go with the garden bungalows during your stay.
Dinner and a Show
When booking your trip to Manava Beach Resort & Spa, be sure to make sure you are there on a Saturday night. Every Saturday night at 7:30 pm there is a show featuring Traditional Polynesian dancing! Dinner is included and but it is by reservation only! Make sure to be sure to make reservations as soon as you can for dinner on Saturday.
In town there are a few restaurants Restaurants, a Tahitian Black Pearl shop and a small grocery store. Also if you are searching for a second home in a stunning destination there is a Sotheby’s Reality office just a five minute walk away from the Resort. Other souvenir shops are also in town.
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