Family Accommodation in Bora Bora, Papeete & Moorea

Old Sep 28th, 2004, 02:45 PM
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Family Accommodation in Bora Bora, Papeete & Moorea

Hi there,

Any recommendations for "moderately" priced family accommodation in Papeete, Bora Bora & Moorea? This is part of a six month trip so we can't blow the whole budget on the first stop but also want a clean, safe, relatively attractive place to stay. We are a couple with a 7 year old & 5 year old girls.

I'm thinking we need to stayover in Papeete for a few days to recuperate from the long flight from Canada and then go on to either or both of Papeete and Bora Bora.

Thanks for any advice.
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 11:42 PM
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Moorea is at most a 1 hour ferry ride from Papeete. We have never found Papeete to be an attractive place to visit or stay, particularly with young kids. If you are flying out of Vancouver, then you will probably arrive at Fa'aa Airport in the early morning. You could then take a taxi to the Gallieni Quay ferry dock (15 minutes), and catch one of the morning ferries (http://www.thetahititraveler.com/isl...ansferries.asp) to Vaiare, on Moorea. Another taxi or shuttle can take you to your accommodations, where you can recuperate before exploring.

A more expensive option would be to fly straight from Fa'aa to Temae Airport, via Air Tahiti or Air Moorea. Personally, I'd take the ferry, as it is an interesting experience.

On Moorea, one nice place is Les Tipaniers (www.lestipaniers.com), which has nice bungalows along the north coast for about US $90 - $100 per night. They have smaller rooms for a bit less as well. We also stayed at the delightful Hotel Moorea Village (www.mooreavillage.com), where we stayed in a beachfront bungalow for about US $140. Another recommendation is the Hotel Hibiscus (www.hotel-hibiscus.pf), which also has some very fine beachfront bungalows. It has been a long since we were there, so I don't know if they are still reasonably-priced.

Its tougher to find good and inexpensive lodging on Bora Bora. Maitai Polynesia is very nice small resort on Matira Point, and has great bungalows for about US $150. We also visited friends who stayed at the TopDive Resort, which is tiny and beautiful - probably aroung $175 per night.

I don't know how you feel about staying in small family pension-type places, but these are also a good choice on Bora Bora. Our family stayed at Village Pauline, and we were very happy with the accommodations, friendly hosts, and the rates. We paid less than $100 for a small clean bungalow that fit our family of four quite well.

Al F.
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 09:05 AM
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Thanks for the great information, Al.

Do you (or anyone) have any opinion or advice on a split between Bora Bora and Moorea - we will probably stay here for two or three weeks in total before heading to the Cooks.

Also, is it at all worthwhile to get the half board meals i.e. are the restaurants incredibly expensive if we eat a la carte at these mid-range places or relatively affordable for a treat?

We're actually flying from Toronto, to Los Angeles and on to Papeete so it will be a very long haul. That's why I was considering an overnight in Papeete but it doesn't sound worth it.

Thanks very much.
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 08:36 PM
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If you have 2-3 weeks, you might want to consider also going to another one of the Society Islands. Raiatea and Tahaa were our favorites, particularly as they are far more remote and less touristy. You can ferry or fly to these islands from Tahiti, on the way to Bora Bora. Alternatively, fly to Bora Bora, then take a ferry back to Raiatea and/or Tahaa.

We found Bora Bora to be very beautiful, but more expensive than any other Society Island, and it feels more developed, because all developments lies along a narrow coastal strip. I would suggest allowing more time in Moorea, compared to Bora Bora, because of cost, and there might possibly be more family-friendly things to do on Moorea.

Restaurants are generally very expensive, so if you could get a good deal on dinner or dinner/breakfast at your lodging, I would go for it.

That LAX - Fa'aa flight gets in at around 5:30am, as I recollect. Taxis and 'Le Truck' shuttles start running into downtown Papeete around 6am. Those Le Trucks are a great bargain, costing less than half as much as a taxi.
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Old Oct 1st, 2004, 09:15 AM
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Thanks, Al, for all the info. I've looked into Les Tipaniers, Hotel Moorea Village and Hotel Hibiscus on Moorea and they all look great and within our budget. Is there one that you would recommend over the others - we prefer something a little quieter, with great beach and hopefully good, easy access snorkelling and of course somewhere good for the girls. They all look amazing.

We may just stay on Moorea to recover from the loooooong flight from Toronto. From there is on to Rarotonga where, again, we may just stay on that island for a few weeks before hopping off to New Zealand, Australia, etc. Thanks again, I'll be back to the board again for more questions I'm sure!
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Old Oct 1st, 2004, 09:34 AM
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Conny,

I STRONGLY recommend that you visit Aitutaki while in the Cooks - especially so if you do not hit Bora Bora while in FP. The reason is because Tahiti, Moorea, and Rarotonga all rather similar in the sense that they are all "high islands" - that is, mountainous, and with the bulk of their area taken up by the actual land of the island rather than the lagoon of the island. Especially in regards to Moorea and Rarotonga, the similarities between these places far outweigh their differences.

Bora Bora and Aitutaki on the other hand are "near atolls" (or at least something similar in the case of Bora Bora). This means that the islands' area is mostly made of of lagoon rather than actual land. While Bora Bora is much more dramatic than Aitutaki (because of Bora Bora's massive peaks), the fact is, that the most memoriable thing about both of these places are their incredible lagoons.

A visit to such a "near atoll" is a far, far different (and much more exotic) experience than a visit to a "high island" and I think that if at all possible, you should try to see both - especially when you are so very close to these 2 amazing places.

Trust me, you and your children will never forget a visit to such a place. A boat trip out onto the lagoon - or better yet, out to the motus along the reef, will do nothing less than blow you away.

Ken
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Old Oct 1st, 2004, 11:06 PM
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Probably Hibiscus is the quietest of the three. All are located along the NW coast, not far from each other. I think that Moorea Village has the best beach, but they all are pretty good in this respect. If I were there with small kids, I think that I might choose Moorea Village, even though it is a little bigger and busier. There are more activities, and the little town of Haaru is easy walking distance, with several boutiques and restaurants.

I agree with Ken that you should consider visiting Aitutaki when you go to the Cooks. Actually, if it were me, I'd skip Bora Bora and replace it with Aitutaki, which is a similar sort of island.

I asked my kids what they enjoyed most about Moorea, and they cited the 'Shark Trip' that we took out of Moorea Camping, just north of Moorea Village. Several places run similar trips, which go to a spot where you can view sharks lounging along the bottom, then to a shallow area where you can swim with some large manta rays, then finally to lunch out on one of the motus. Also, Moorea Camping hosts a Polynesian dance practice a couple of nights each week - it was interesting to see locals practice, as opposed to the big professional shows. Our kids' favorite restaurants were the roadside creperie just south of Haaru, and the outdoor wood-fired pizza oven place, right near the creperie.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 08:14 AM
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Okay, so it sounds like we should include either Bora Bora or Aitutaki. As per this moment (it changes by the hour I think) I'm leaning towards Aitutaki. Any suggestions for family accommodation there? It seems like many on Aitutaki are geared for +12 year kids and ours are younger than that. Good beach, clean, screened self-catering bungalow with kitchen, decent snorkelling is what we'd be looking for. Thanks again, you guys, for all your help!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 09:44 AM
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Well, we stayed at the Are Tamanu Resort which was on a wonderful beach. However, the Are Tamanu does not allow children as young as yours. Since I'm not sure exactly what your budget is ("moderately priced" can mean very different things to different people), I recommend you take a look at sites such as Jetsave (http://www.jetsave.co.ck) and look at the listings for Aitutaki. With kids, you might consider the Coconut House (it's a rental house available by the week and is on more or less the same stretch of beach we were on).

Also, since you are planning on staying on Raro for a couple of weeks or more, you might just want to consider renting a house there as well as it's a much more cost effective stay. We rented a house for week on Raro's south shore, went to Aitutaki for a week (as I've stated previously, we stayed at the Are Tamanu), then returned to Raro for another week in a different rental house. The houses were great and we saved a lot of money. If you are interested in this approach, you might want to take a look at the following sites as well:

http://www.islandhoppervacations.com/home/welcome.aspx

http://www.webcentral.co.ck/ac_rental.htm

http://www.rarorealty.co.ck/rentals.htm

http://www.cookpages.com/

... or just do a web search on things like "Cook Islands Rental", "Rarotonga Rental" etc.

Ken
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Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 09:49 AM
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PS - Keep in mind that prices will be in New Zealand dollars (the currency used in the Cooks) - worth about 67 cents US.

Ken
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