How far in advance to book Kia Ora Sauvage?

Old Jul 29th, 2003, 11:18 PM
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How far in advance to book Kia Ora Sauvage?

We are researching a possible trip to Moorea and Rangiroa for next summer, and have our hearts set on the Sauvage on Rangiroa. I know they only have five bungalows and it seems kind of popular...I tried to email the place and get out of them how far in advance they sell out but she wouldn't tell me. Has anyone tried to book in advance and found it sold out, and what time of year was that for? Has anyone been there and it's been totally full or empty? Thanks!

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roxy
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Old Jul 30th, 2003, 02:03 AM
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If you don't get a response here. Try the tahitiexplorer.com message board...a lot more activity there re FP. Have to admit, the KOS is a great idea and have only heard extremely positive comments.

Roxy, any reason why you're skipping Bora Bora? Althouh it is the most expensive and considered over-touristed these days, it still is one of the most beautiful places on this planet...especially from the air.
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Old Jul 30th, 2003, 10:03 AM
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Bluefan,

Oh my gosh, I don't WANT to skip anything! I think we're only going to have seven nights and want to do one island and one atoll--Rangiroa because it looks awesome and really because of the Sauvage, and Moorea because...well, yes, I've heard that Bora Bora is considered over-touristy and have noticed it's more expensive...we'll have a lot of solitude at the KOS, but even so, we don't want to be in crowds on the other island...I don't know, Moorea just seemed like a very good alternative, as does Huahine, and I was especially lured by pictures of those green jagged toothed peaks of Moorea and hoped to explore those mountains and waterfalls. I heard someone, I think it was here, say that the lagoon of BB was great but the land itself seemed scrubby to her...agree, disagree, comments?

Also, I know that FP doesn't get a fraction of the visitors Maui gets, which is where we just returned from, but how would you describe "crowded" on BB, or any of the FP islands?

Thanks!

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roxy
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Old Jul 30th, 2003, 04:35 PM
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My feelings are that if you're planning to travel so far, you might as well go visit arguably the most beautiful island of them all...Bora Bora, unless you plan on revisiting soon thereafter. It has by far the most luxurious resorts and the lagoon is not to be missed! If cost is the prohibitive factor, save FP and Bora Bora for when you can truly afford it and go to the Cooks instead.

BTW, the land of Bora Bora being considered "scrubby" is a horrific comment as many can attest to. How anyone can ascribe that to the incredibly beautiful Mt. Otemanu and the lush, green interior is astounding! Maybe they were attributing such comments to the outlying habitats of natives around the island, sort of like if you venture away from the resorts on Jamaica, but no one ever said it's absolutely perfect in paradise. Some people are overly critical while others have too much sunshine up their...the truth lies somewhere in the middle. If you can overlook the island-time service, snooty guests, exhorbitant meal prices, lack of nightlife, etc and maintain a positive attitude, you'll have a fabulous time visiting Bora Bora.

After you've been to Hawaii, I wouldn't describe any of the FP islands as being "crowded." Although there has been a rapid amount of resort development on the islands in the past 5 years, it's still immaterial compared to Hawaii. There's no high rises and accom are usually in a hut (overwater, beach or garden), which is tons more exotic and romantic than a hotel room! And the only times I've heard of Bora Bora being crowded is when the cruise ships dock; but even then...

So roxy, to do FP justice on a 1st visit, do it over a span of at least 10-12 days: (Tahiti 1, Rangiroa 3, Moorea 3-4, Bora Bora 3-4). You'll probably love it so much, you'll want to return to visit Huahine, Tahaa and Manihi!

Lastly, although it would seem quite the adventure, the incredible interior of Moorea is awfully difficult to explore. There might be some outfits that provide a tour, but I don't know of any off the top of my head. On a typical 4x4 "jungle" safari, the furthest you'll get inland is Belvedere Point overlooking Cook's and Opunohu Bay, which is still a very scenic ride, and there's only 1 waterfall that's easily accessible and it's only worth viewing if it has rained. Still, Moorea is a wonderful island to explore and much more friendly than Bora Bora.
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Old Jul 30th, 2003, 08:27 PM
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Geez, so much to mull over...

Yeah, it's not really a money issue, I guess maybe it's dumb to be willing to spend that much money and then say Bora Bora's too expensive...I just noticed that hotels are expensive and then BB is ludicrously expensive, like 59.000 CFP for an OWB vs like 90.000 CFP starts to make at least a little dent, and I just thought Moorea looked just as awesome. But yeah, I know the lagoon on BB is supposed to be the best.

I did notice Jan Price raving about absolutely everything, which does make me a little nervous, especially coming off of Maui Revealed...I'm trying to use her book as a basic facts guide and using forums and stuff to get different opinions about hotels, etc. Can you tell me what islands you visited and where you stayed in FP?

How would you compare BB to Moorea? How are they different or the same? From what I've seen so far, they just seem really similar to me, and I just want to know that it's worth the trouble of switching from island to island.

Do you not recommend Huahine, Tahaa, Manihi, etc for a first visit? Why not? And is Bora Bora unfriendly??

Last but not least, should I try to visit Marlon Brando and make a "no man is an island" joke?

Thanks for all yr great advice and for answering all my questions!

love
roxy
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Old Jul 31st, 2003, 10:25 AM
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1. Tahiti Beachcomber Parkroyal (only 1 nt), Bora Bora Pearl Beach, and Moorea Sofitel Ia Ora back in 10/00. Quite nice then but middle of the road now.

I've exchanged thoughts with many friends and family who've also gone, and it's interesting that no single island stands out as a clear favorite. Says a lot about different things for different people, but one commonality that I've also noticed is that the first island people visit after embarking from Papeete is usually their favorite.

2. BB is famed for its turquoise lagoon. No other island comes close. Just don't expect long, wide stretches of white sand beach. Can't have everything! The immense beauty and popularity comes with a price and draws some of the snootiest people in the world, including a few snobby maitre d'/servers. Ignore them and you'll have an expensive blast. Natural beauty is tops, but the atmosphere can use some laxatives.

Moorean people as well as visitors tend to be more laid-back and hence more friendly. In fact, everyone seemed happier than on BB. More Americans (both young and old) as well, but fortunately it was typically the friendly, appreciative types rather than the rude, snobby "uglys." Hopefully that hasn't changed. Moorea also has more non-resort dining options along with more land-based activities. Moorea is no slouch in natural beauty as you well know, but it doesn't have a very large lagoon surrounding it with only a few motus. Great natural beauty and great atmosphere.

3. Generally, I don't rec moving around a lot, but being that the crowds are relatively light in FP, it makes it a lot easier to get around...albeit public transportation is infrequently avail outside of Tahiti. Pack light and hop around if you're the adventurous active type, but do try to spend at least 3nts on each island...4-5nts being ideal. Each island has its own unique culture, qualities and beauty; so YEAH, go for it and try to explore as many as you can afford! If vac is for pure relaxation, stick to 2 islands.

4. I would definitely rec Huahine, Tahaa, and Manihi as well as other islands for 1st timers but there's a lot less packages that incorporates those islands and also because you seem to have your heart set on the KOS on Rangiroa. Also, there's fewer flights from Papeete to islands other than BB&M. But Huahine is a popular 3rd island on HM packages.

However, if you really want to get away for something more exotic (like the KOS), then I would definitely rec researching those other islands and include them for a visit. I'm sure it'll prove worthwhile. Their accom choices are much more limited, but there's at least one or more avail luxurious choices on each.

5. Nah...skip Brando's island for your first visit. Maybe on a 2nd or 3rd visit just to say you've done it.

Lastly, check out LordBalfors posts and his great webshots and epinions as well.
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Old Jul 31st, 2003, 02:13 PM
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Turn - If I had to choose between Moorea and Bora Bora I would definitely choose BB! We spent two weeks in FP on our HM in 2000.

BB was our favorite island (we also went to Huahine) - we stayed at the Pearl Beach and nothing the entire HM compared to sitting on our deck gazing at the main part of the island and the lagoon! The resort is on a motu so there are no crowds. Some folks when you go to the mainland for dinner, but that's it. I think the stretch of mainland by the Hotel bora bora and many other resorts may be where some feel it's too touristy.

Huahine was our second favorite (got food poisoning at Te Tiare which impacted the vote) - definitely more secluded and very beautiful and romantic.

Moorea was nice, but seemed the most like Hawaii to me. Not in terms of development or crowds, but we just didn't get the jaw dropping reaction we got when we arrived in BB or Huahine.

Just my opinion...I also believe you can't go wrong with whichever islands you choose. FP is a magical place. We can't wait until our 10th anniversary to visit again (Rangiroa is a definite for that trip!)
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Old Jul 31st, 2003, 03:03 PM
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Bluefan,

RE: BB Pearl Beach...what was yr experience like there? It looks pretty cool from what I've seen. And are you saying the Sofitel Ia Ora is middle of the road now?

No long stretches of white sand beach on BB?? Are there at least some small nice stretches, especially hotel-front/easy access? Mostly we love snorkeling more than anything, but having a nice place to dig in our toes afterwards is awesome too. Do you know anything about the beaches in Rangiroa?

I was kidding about visiting Marlon Brando. I just wanted to make the joke.

I looked at Lord Balfor's epinions and photos, they're both awesome.

Maui taught us how to pack light for the tropics...next time I'm wearing my pareo (which was just the best thing ever for Maui) and sandals on the plane and throwing a bikini and some tshirts in my backpack!

Thanks for all yr great advice!

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roxy
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Old Jul 31st, 2003, 03:07 PM
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Purplegoose,

Thanks for the advice about staying in a BB hotel on a motu instead...I really do want something with less crowds (even though I know FP isn't "crowded" per se).

We're thinking about Huahine too... interesting what you said about Moorea looking like Hawaii/not as jaw dropping (up with being spoiled!), I'm taking that into consideration.

Thanks!

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Old Jul 31st, 2003, 08:58 PM
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Bluefan, Roxy -

Thanks for the kinds words.

Roxy - Hope the reviews & photos were of use. Rest assured that whichever of the islands you eventually choose to stay on, you won't be disappointed. We loved both Moorea and Bora Bora, and though Bora Bora would be my first choice, others feel the same way about Moorea. French Polynesia is, quite simply, lovely.

Be aware though that the islands are very small and have very little in the way of nightlife. If you can live without that however, chances are pretty darned good that you will be enchanted and the possiblity even exists that your life may be changed forever (I know).

Ken
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