5 days in Pape'tee - Mistake?

Old Mar 12th, 2006, 04:13 PM
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5 days in Pape'tee - Mistake?

We will be taking the Paul Gauguin Cruise in early May and decided to get to Tahiti a few days ahead. We booked our 3 first night at the Sheraton Tahiti and 2 nights are still up in the air. After reading some comments about Papeetee and the Sheraton on Trip Advisor, we are now wondering if this is a good idea... Our dilemma is that if we're going to see Moorea, Raiatea and Bora Bora on the cruise, it doesn't make much sense to get there and see it again...Any suggestions?
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 08:27 PM
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I don't know what you will be seeing in Moorea during the cruise, but I am sure that you could easily spend another few nights there and see new sights. There are nice spots on Tahiti, but they are not close to Papeete. In particular, head out to the east end of the island, called Tahiti-iti.

If you are going to stay on the west side, near Papeete, at least head south to where the really nice beaches are, south of Fa'aa, near Punaauia and Papea.
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 09:27 PM
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I agree with ALF - who's pretty darned knowledgable about French Polynesia - There's more than enough on Moorea to keep you occupied for a couple of more days. Since you are already spending 3 nights on Tahiti I'd spend the remaining 2 nights on Moorea as the beaches (actually the lagoon) there tend to be more beautiful than on Tahiti. Keep in mind too that it's just a short ferry (maybe 40 minutes or so?) to go to Moorea from Tahiti so it's not like you're going a long way to get to it.

Ken
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 01:40 AM
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Personally I would spend 2 nights on Tahiti and 3 nights on Moorea.
You will enjoy Moorea alot more...
It's a beautiful island that's alot less congested than Tahiti.
Debbie
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 04:34 AM
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Our "problem" is that there are only flights arriving in Tahiti on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The cruise leaves Saturday pm, so we definitely want to be there ahead of time. Our original plans were to be there Mondays (one day to get settled after long flight), Tues-Wed in Papeetee (do the shopping as we hear that there`s not much on the islands) and Thurs-Friday were "in the air".

If we decide to stay on Moorea for those days (or even 3 days as Debden suggested and come back Saturday am in Papeetee for the cruise), is it easy to get around Moorea? Buses? bikes? We just concerned that having spent 2 or 3 days there before the cruise, it might be an overkill when we get there with the cruise. Or maybe I`m totally wrong and will regret not spending the extra time if I don`t do it!

The alternative is to arrive on Thursday and stay in Papeetee until the cruise with maybe taking the ferry to Moorea for the day.

I was really put off by the comments I read on Papeete and I`m afraid to be disappointed and bored if we spent too long there. CONFUSED!! THanks for the advices.
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 05:50 AM
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First of all a couple of things to consider:

1) The vast majority of folks who visit Tahiti ONLY see Papeete so they really cannot comment on the interior of the island nor on Tahiti-iti (the smaller and more rural of the 2 lobes of the island). Personally I found Papeete to be interesting. In truth, it is not a beautiful city, but it is worth a visit. I think part of the reason Papeete gets such a bad rap is that folks inevetably compare the place to the beautiful picturesque beaches and lagoons of the the other islands - usually Moorea and Bora Bora, which often considered the #1 and #2 most beautiful islands in the entire South Pacific. This is NOT a fair comparison, nor do I think it should it be extrapolated to include rural Tahiti. Everything I read says that the ISLAND of Tahiti is quite lovely (like "everyone" else, I only saw Papeete) so spend one day seeing Papeete (the market etc) then spend the remaining time of your Tahiti stay seeing the often-missed interior of Tahiti-Nui and the southern lobe of Tahiti-iti.

2) As I mentioned, I'd spend the other 2 days on Moorea. Once you see Moorea, you'll understand immediately why foiks keep raving about the place. Quite simply, Moorea is to die for and I assure you, the amount of time you'll have there on your cruise will not be nearly enough. Once you get your first peek at the incredible water of the lagoons, it will become abundantly clear why Moorea is held in such high esteem. As I mentioned earlier, it's very easy to get to from Tahiti (40 minute ferry ride or 15 minute plane flight) so getting there will NOT be an issue.

Ken
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 06:13 AM
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Hi Ken,

Thank you so much. That reassures me; we were quite excited to spend some time exploring Tahiti itself but the comments I fell upon last night raised major doubts in our mind. We do like to experience "the people" when we travel; this is how you really see a country, not only by its beaches and upscale resorts. So I think we`ll stick to our plans, if not, I would probably kick myself saying I should have spent the extra time...Thanks for the boost! Oh, what about getting around Moorea? We`re thinking about staying in a B&B or guesthouse; is it recommended or should we stick to bigger hotels? However, what I`ve been reading about the Sheraton in Papeetee didn`t give me a fussy feeling so I`m concerned about smaller places. Thanks again for your help.
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 07:04 AM
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ALF is the person to ask about getting around on Tahiti and suggestions of where to stay (besides the larger, more expensive resorts). ALF is particularly knowledgable about the smaller, less expensive places.

I do have to say that if I was returning to Moorea I would be tempted to check this place out:

http://www.labaiedenuarei.com/

I've not been there so I really can't say much about the accomodations themselves (maybe the place is as nice as it looks, maybe not) but I have seen the beach the place is one (the same one as the Sofitel resort - often considered to be the best on the island) and it is drop-dead gorgeous, with beautiful views across the "Sea of the Moon" (does that sound romantic or what?) over to Tahiti.

The beach is the same one seen in the background here:
http://community.webshots.com/myphot...ity=cgmNyLjbGG

and here:
http://community.webshots.com/myphot...ecurity=IZUqZl

Ken
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 07:52 AM
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Well, I would not consider myself an authority, but I have been to the Society Islands a few times, mostly poking around the interiors (I'm a geologist).

As noted above, the ferry between Papeete and Vaiare, on Moorea, only takes about 45 minutes; and a ferry leaves every hour or so during daylight hours. It should therefore be quite easy to get from Moorea back to Papeete to start your cruise.

As for transport, Moorea is a fairly small island, so you can easily get around on the bus 'system', but there are also taxis, rental cars, and mini car/motorbike rentals as well. One suggestion would be to use public transport to get to your lodging, then hire a car for one day of around-the-island exploring on your own.

There is a good selection of accommodations for every budget, ranging from backpackers hostels to luxurious overwater bungalows. If you tell me your price range, I could possibly make some suggestions.

Al F.
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 07:55 AM
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Ken, I think you sealed the deal! I already sent an email to La Baie de Nuarei for availability. Did you actually see that place? Looks very decent and not expensive. I just can`t bring myself to pay $2000 for 2 nights for an OWB somewhere else...So neat, but it`s ridiculous! It`s nice to put a face to a name (hoping it`s you on the pics!). I may contact ALF as you mentioned but what you gave me looks pretty good. Maybe Ì`ll be the one recommending it to you...!
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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ALF:

That would be very useful - thank you. I`m looking for something similar to the place Ken recommended (La Baie de Nuarei). Unfortunately, they don`t have availability for my dates.

Price around $200 would be reasonnable. Could go higher if really worth it.

Thanks for your help.

Ken, looks like I won`t be able to test drive the place for you...
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 08:51 AM
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Good luck.

You're in good hands with ALF.

Ken

PS - Had not been to that particular place, just REALLY liked the location and thought it looked very interesting.

Here's a few links to some other Moorea places. Again, no idea how nice they really are (some may be quite basic) - but ALF may be able to tell you that:

http://www.hotel-hibiscus.pf/infoe.html

http://www.hotelkaveka.com/

http://www.tahiti.com/english-versio...a-village.html

http://www.lestipaniers.com/cadres36.htm

http://www.clubbalihai.com/

http://www.linareva.com/introA.html
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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PS2 -

Yeah, that's me in the photos (with my wife in the 2nd one).

Ken
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 09:04 AM
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Ken, those are good suggestions too! I`m checking them out! TX!
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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KEN! Good News! La Baie de Nuarei has availability! I`ll see what ALF is suggesting also and make my decision tonight. But you did see that place right? Nice spot? Why did you like it?
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 09:34 AM
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No. Did NOT actually see the place, I just came across the web site and noted where it's located. I really liked the look of the water from up on the vantage points in the photos I posted the links for so it's always intrigued me. It's actually directly below where the view point is on the beach that is considered to be perhaps the nicest on the island.

Ken
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 09:42 AM
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Ah...! It does look really nice. I sent emails to a few others you suggested also. I`m stil waiting for ALF, but I don`t know where he is...Maybe Zzzzzz! (Different time zone maybe!) Cheers!

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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 12:36 PM
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Jeez! Its not like I sit on my computer, waiting for new postings on Fodors! I would have listed many of the same places that Ken did, most notably Les Tipaniers, Linareva, Kaveka, and Hibiscus. I particularly like Les Tipaniers, which actually has two different properties across from each other.

Here are a couple more choices:
http://www.tahiti.com/english-versio...a-village.html
www.pacific-resorts.com/tahiti/moorea/vai-moana/
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 01:08 PM
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Yeah, you're just too highly thought of ALF. You need to start telling folks that rather than go to the South Pacific, they should instead go to fabulous Hobiken N.J. - or maybe Detroit.

That would destroy your reputation in a real hurry.

Ken
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 02:53 PM
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Sorry ALF! I'm pressed by time as air tickets need to be issued within the next day or so and didn't have much time to decide. Just wanted to make sure I could find a place for 3 nights otherwise, I may have had to revert to plan B.

Are the places mentionned scattered around the island or in the same area? Would you recommend one area more than the other?

Thanks a 1,000,000 for your help and same to you Ken.
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