There are 15 hotels and resorts—the greatest number of any island in French Polynesia—and about a dozen family hotels (sometimes called pensions, lodges, or the name of the owner, i.e., "Chez Rosina") spread over the main island and motu. Some hoteliers believe there are too many, but this oversupply has its benefits as attractive deals, such as "stay five nights, pay for four" abound in the
off-season (wet season).
International hotels have a selection of restaurants (and offer half- and full-board meal plans at extra cost), a choice of garden, beachside and overwater bungalows, and spas. Honeymooners are feted with private dinners in romantic settings, and breakfasts can be delivered by canoe. Overwater bungalows feature glass floor panels that allow you to see into the lagoon and feed the fish—the locals call them "Tahitian television." Hotels provide boat transfers from airport to resort. The major resorts usually have one Polynesian-themed buffet and dance show per week. Children are welcome at all resorts, most of which offer babysitting services at an extra charge.
The family-run establishments, most often near the lagoon, have no more than 15 bungalows or rooms and offer a traditional Polynesian experience with limited facilities, which sometimes include self-catering amenities. Many don't have restaurants and may not have in-room TVs or a/c, and the most basic don't have hot water. A few have dining rooms where a three-course-meal will be served at night (which will be a set meal and change nightly), while most are located near a restaurant district.
You'll probably encounter the term fare (pronounced far-ay) throughout French Polynesia. It means "house", however, in the accommodation business it means a little thatched bungalow. "Bungalow" is an introduced word (and adopted by most of the big resorts) whereas "fare" is a Tahitian word.
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