Tahiti/FP Help

May 16th, 2007, 02:31 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Tahiti/FP Help


Can anyone who has been to Bora Bora, Moorea/Tahiti give me some advice? We will be on our honeymoon next May 2008 and would like to stay on Bora Bora/Moorea for approx. 11-12nights...the big problem is the $$$. I almost gave up my dream of honeymooning here because of the expense....are there any cost saving deals anyone can share with me? I would love to stay in an OWB, but a garden room would do just to be able to be on the island. Any places with meal plans that are worth it? Wanted to keep our budget to $10,000...including tours/excursions. Also, any recommended travel agents with great deals? Any help from anyone who's been there is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


scoots1299 is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 08:32 AM
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Well, ALF can probably give you some good advice, but in the meantime let me chip in here with my 2 cents worth.

Yes FP is VERY expensive - especially in regards to those amazing OW bungalows. It is in fact a "rich and famous" type destination and OW units will run from over $500/night up to over #1,000 night for the top-end places. In addition, meals at those resorts will cost you at least $100/pp/day - all in all pretty darned steep.

I would think you could find a nice package for near to that (though admittedly most packages are more). I looked on the Tahiti-Explorer site for example and they have an 11 day package to Tahiti/Moorea/Bora Bora that includes 3 night in an OW bungalow on Bora Bora for $4585/pp (it does NOT include meals though). With the meals etc it will run a bit more than your budget, but they also have 9 day package for $4395/pp with 8 of the 9 nights in OW units. So, I think if you stay in a garden or beach unit for some of those days you should be able to get the price down to something you can live with.

There is also the option of staying at the small mom&pop type resorts which are MUCH cheaper than the big hotels. They generally do not have OW units, but they will be much more reasonably priced (including for your meals). The hard thing is to find these places on the web as they are not widely known. these are not very fancy (often quite basic actually) so they may not suit you (especially for your honeymoon) but the fact is, they often share the same fabulous beaches as many of the big, expensive resorts.

Here's a few to check out:



AlF can direct you to more of these if that approach appeals to you.

LordBalfor is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 08:32 AM
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PS - also check out Costco's website.

LordBalfor is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 08:48 AM
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A cruise is a good way to see the various islands of Tahiti without breaking the bank.
judilie is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 09:08 AM
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I just returned last week and here's what what we did. We spent a couple of days on Tahiti and then a did a cruise with Regent's Paul Gauguin. It was wonderful. We spent two entire days on Bora Bora and two entire days on Moorea. So we saw everything on the islands we wanted, did the excursions, went to Bloody Mary's on Bora Bora for lunch one day and still had wonderful meals on board the ship. We'll go back and do it again!
Knowing is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 07:23 AM
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Consider indulging in a o/w bungalow for a few nigths only at the end of your holidays so you won't miss it for the rest of your trip it you do it at the beginning! We did it for 3 nights and it was fine (mind you we spent the rest on the Paul Gauguin, the ultimate overwater accommodation!).

Keep in mind that you're not going that far for a bungalow. It's worth doing it at least once, but it shouldn't be the focus of your trip. Enjoy the culture, the sun, the beach, the pearls! Just being there is a treat in itself. Take it all in!


AndieB is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 07:51 AM
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Thanks Ken, but I'm not sure that I can give good advice about high-end accomodations, being a 2-Star sort of guy myself. This is as close as I've come to an OW bungalow:

I agree that you cannot get a good deal on an OW bungalow, but there are some very nice 'garden' or shoreside choices. I know Moorea much better than Bora Bora:

For example, you can get a garden bungalow at the very nice mid-range Les Tipaniers (www.lestipaniers.com/cadres36.htm) for $200/night. Places like this are usually not on the travel agent 'radar'.

Garden rooms at the higher-end hotels Moorea Pearl, Intercontinental, Sheraton, Sofitel) go for about $300/night and garden bungalows are about $400/night, and OW bungalows are at least $500/night.

In Bora Bora, the above rates will be higher still (add $50-$100 more per night). Again, there are some very nice mid-range resorts that you will never hear about from agents. One nice choice (as Ken noted) is Village Temanuata (www.temanuata.com), where you can get a shoreside bungalow for about $250/night). If you want a really secluded experience, check out Mai Moana Island (www.mai-moana-island.com), where you will stay on a small motu with only a few other guests, again for about $250.

I think that $10K for 11-12 nights is do-able, but only if you stay in mid-range places. You should look at some packages offered by travel agents. We have had good luck with Tahiti Tourismé (www.tahiti-tourisme.com), which represents several agents. The Costco idea is a good one too.

Have a great honeymoon!

Al F.
ALF is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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You answered just fine. I was actually directing them to you in reference to the small, family-owned places that you know so well (as an alternative to the "big" resorts).

LordBalfor is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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Which neck of the woods do you live in? Air Tahiti Nui have packages from LA and NY or from New Zealand and Australia, you could check out their website and see if the prices offered are better.
KathyNZ is offline  
Jun 8th, 2007, 12:21 PM
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Hi again to all,

Thanks for all your previous posts...I've been busy trying to narrow down my options! I think we've picked the islands we want to spend time on (wish I could visit all of them)! Thinking of doing the most nights (approx. 7-8) on Moorea and then (approx) 3 nights on Bora Bora. I'm still researching the resorts, but any opinions are appreciated!
Thinking of doing an OWB in Bora Bora and maybe beach/garden bungalow in Moorea to keep the cost down.
Opinions: FOR MOOREA- Sheraton, Pearl or InterContinental and which accomodations (Beach or Garden)?
FOR BORA BORA: B.B. Lagoon Resort, Pearl, or Le Meridien???? For best OWB-view, snorkeling, privacy?
ONE LAST QUESTION (for now) lol.....Has anyone ever heard of TahitiMoons and booked through them?
THANKS AGAIN for all your help!

scoots1299 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2007, 10:55 AM
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Hi Scoots,
We stayed at the Sheraton Moorea in and OWB and loved it. We were a bit skeptical after having read some lukewarm reviews on the Sheraton, but we were not desappointed at all and really liked the place. The lagoon is one of the best for snorkeling. The garden bungalows look exactly the same as the OWB. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. I think the bad reviews were written by travellers with an attitude! I have pics of the garden bungalows and surrounding. If you'd like to see, just let me know. :0)
AndieB is offline  
Jun 10th, 2007, 05:34 PM
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Hi AndieB,

I would love to see your pics.! It is so hard to pick a resort. So many choices!

scoots1299 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 07:26 AM
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Hi Scoots,
Email me at [email protected] and I'll email you the pics or the link to my album.

AndieB is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 09:56 AM
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Sheraton Moorea is a really nice place and I don't think you will be disappointed. If you are going to splurge on an OWB do it in Bora Bora! Bora Bora is am amazing place.

Have a great time on your honeymoon.

Check a couple of different sites and agents for your package because they do vary.
Travcarib is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 07:33 PM
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Thanks again AndieB!

Thanks Travcarib.....that's exactly what we are thinking of doing....OWB in Bora Bora and a beach/garden Bungalow in Moorea...possibly at the Sheraton.
scoots1299 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 01:54 PM
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I just got back from both Moorea and Bora Bora for my honeymoon and wanted to give my two cents.

First, unless there is something specific that you want to do on Moorea that may take awhile, you really don't need to spend 7-8 nights there. The island is small, and outside of restaurants, black-pearl shopping, and day tours, you won't be leaving your resort too often. We stayed in an OWB at the Sheraton Moorea (loved it), and only left for Albert's 4 x 4 tour, to SCUBA dive at Top Dive, and for restaurants (the restaurants all pick you up). We stayed for 4 days (3 nights) which was perfect.

You can spend the majority of your time in Bora Bora. May is still considered low season, and most of the resorts there offer 5 nights for the price of 4. You can always add another night if you wish. We stayed for 6 days and 5 nights, and it was perfect. We had a Horizon OWB (facing the mountain and motu) at the Sofitel Motu, and we still kept our honeymoon at $10,000. This included our food (I wouldn't recommend a meal plan) (this even included the top table at Villa Mahana), flight, OWB, shopping, and SCUBA.

I would recommend using a travel agent. There are a lot of reputable ones out there, but I would stick with ones that specialize in Tahiti. Some web-based agents don't have options for things such as airport transport or inter-island transportation.

Here is a message board that is chock-full of information about all of the French Polynesian islands, as well as things to do, places to stay, and restaurants at which to eat.


Again, you can do Bora Bora and Moorea in style while staying in OWBs for $10,000, but you would have to cut the trip by 2-3 nights. And if you're going to do it, I recommend not staying in Moorea for so long.

Good luck.
Chris_H_2 is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 01:35 PM
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I would agree that 7 nights might be a long time in Moorea- but then again that depends on what kind of traveler you are... some people like to unpack and just relax and enjoy every bit they possibly can. I think the more you can stay in Bora Bora- the better- but I know budget was your concern too and so you might have to have some extra in Moorea- which will be lovely too. Since you are going for so long you can even think about adding another island into the mix. I haven't been to Huahine but have heard great things about the island and it is certainly more affordable then Bora Bora.

Whatever you do- don't miss Bora Bora and stay in an OWB for the most amazing experience.
Travcarib is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 04:34 PM
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I have been looking at clubmed.com They have all inclusive deals in Bora Bora. The stays that I have looked at for ten days was around four to six thousand, not including air fare. Good luck and let me know if you find anthing else.
Paraprincess is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 06:00 PM
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Just an FYI - When I was on Bora Bora in May, I was told that the Club Med had just closed their doors, and would not be re-opening anywhere in the French Polynesia.
Knowing is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 02:18 PM
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Just a few comments:
- FP is a trip of a lifetime for most. I personally feel that it is best NOT to do it on a tight budget. It is worth pushing off until you can save more.
- with your budget, I suggest omitting Moorea and just staying in BB and doing an overwater bungalow. For us, that was one of the highlights of the trip. Like the previous posts somewhat mentioned, there's not that much in Moorea that's truly and remarkably significant that you MUST go visit. We only stayed in BB and the waters/views were just spectacular. We've heard from others who've stayed in both and agree that BB was much better. Besides, I've never heard of anyone say, "Moorea is such a dream vacation!"
- Here's a rough trip commentary I quickly drafted when we returned from our honeymoon in May 2007:

Tahiti: 5/11-13/07; Hotel Intercontinental
Bora Bora: 5/13-19/07; Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort
$1 USD = 85 CFP
We loved that place! It's on a secluded motu so you definitely do not have the sound of motorist traffic. They have a boat shuttle that takes you to the mainland and on certain times, a free shuttle that picks you up from the boat dock and drops you off at the shopping center. Very convenient.
With the exception of Keishi Tours (private motu picnic), we booked all our tours with the hotel (they have an activities desk). Since I speak French, I tried to book the excursions on my own by calling the companies directly, but it becomes a hassle. For example, BB Parasail costs 15,000 CFP if you go to their office; if they pick you up from the hotel, its 25,000 CFP. I asked why the big difference and it's because of the transportation to and from the hotel/office. Call it a collusion but hey that's how it goes. Also, I booked dinner with Kaina Hut on my own using their website. When we arrived at the Pearl I called the restaurant to confirm once in French, and then another time in English. We wait for them to pick us up and nothing. When the hotel called the restaurant to find out about the mixup, they seem to have lost the reservation. So you see, it's worth just booking with the hotel who will do the confirmations for you. Plus, everytime you call out, you get charged 100 CFP per minute.

We were there for 7 full days. We did one main activity per day and filled the rest of the day with just swimming around our bungalow, napping, swimming some more, and other fun honeymoon stuff
- private motu picnic (we were so stuffed we did not eat dinner that night). 65,000 CFP local currency cash only. Expensive but worth it. First you go feed/swim with sting rays and fish and sharks. Then you go snorkelling at the Coral Gardens. Then you have a private motu picnic where your guide personally cooks you a feast of salad, poisson cru, lobster, shrimp skewers, steak, tuna steak, potatoes. Then a full bottle of champagne, water, and pineapple juice, which your guide keeps refilling. Real plates and silverware and champagne flutes. Since it's private, you swim at your leisure. The whole activity takes about 5-6 hours.
- went into town to go grocery shopping and pearl shopping. Load up on bottled water and beer at Chin Lee grocery store (where the shuttle drops you off) because it costs 65 CFP at the store and 583 CFP at the hotel.
- Bloody Mary's restaurant. It's a must do because it's an institution, but in my opinion it was just ok. Bring a $1 bill. You'll find out why when you get there. Appetizers cost around 1,200 CFP, entrees 2,700-3,300 CFP and drinks 600-1,300 CFP, desserts around 850 CFP.
- Jet skiing -- 25,000 CFP for two hours. Our guide was Jonas who loves American basketball. I drove first for about 45 mins, then we stopped at a private motu for a coconut show. Then DH drove back. You go all around BB. My arms hurt!
- In room couples massage from the Manea Spa. The ladies come and set up the massage tables on the deck of our overwater bungalow and all we could hear were the waves and the water while being massaged. Talk about heavenly! Rates on their website.
- Scuba diving at Blue Nui at the hotel. We have never been so we did the Initiation dive where they only go down 20 feet. It lasts about 45 minutes. I now know that I could not be bothered scuba diving for real. 8,000 CFP per person for the initiation dive.
- Parasailing was fantastic. We brought our digital camera with us up there and just held on tightly. We did the duo 300 meters for 30 mins. 35,000 CFP per couple. Pricey but the pics and experience are phenomenal.

The one thing we did not like about the Pearl was their Polynesian Dance Show on Friday (with the seafood buffet, about 7,500 CFP. The buffet itself was great though). Perhaps because they are a small hotel that they could not afford the best dancers? We had seen the Le Grand Ballet de Tahiti and they were pros. At the Pearl, we had 14 year old girls, who, while admittedly those dances are not easy, were immature and kept giggling throughout the routine. This was distracting to the audience and to themselves as they missed some steps. Plus it seemed wrong to be taking pictures of half-nake 14 year olds. I suggest seeing another show in another hotel. If you're staying at the Intercontinental in Tahiti, it's a good one. Though I also hear that the Hotel BB is the best one...but you have to pay for transportation.
- we prepaid for their breakfast buffet everyday. Well worth the $25 per person we paid over the 3,700 CFP pp they were charging. We filled up on breakfast (I swear my stomach developed an extra pocket) and either skipped lunch or dinner, or combined the two. With the heat and other activities, we just weren't that hungry. But we made sure to eat a healthy breakfast to get us through the activities for the day.

Cherriescd is offline  

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