One of the more popular resorts in Tahiti, the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa, is a jewel that captures the essence of French Polynesia. From check-in to check-out, you’ll feel your troubles melt away under the warm tropical sun and be swept away by the warm breezes. Our recommendation is to plan ahead and reserve an over-the-water bungalow. For more pictures of our visit to this gem in the South Pacific, visit our Facebook site here.
If you skip the over-the-water bungalow, there are standard rooms with balconies or patios in several buildings. Some are garden view for the most economical choice on property, but ocean-view is also available. While it’s a property with more rooms than its sisters, the Intercontinental Moorea, Le Moana Bora Bora, and Thalasso Bora Bora, it’s still got all the charm one would expect from a stay in Tahiti. If you’re looking for a night-time scene for a little dancing/night club, more shopping options, and hiking/surfing in addition to Polynesian charm and romance, the Intercontinental Tahiti in Pape'ete might be the better choice of the four properties.
All of the rooms offer a fantastic view of Tahiti’s twin island, Moorea, in the distance. The ocean is the focal point all throughout the resort. As a complement, a lagoonarium offers guests the opportunity to snorkel and swim in the ocean in a very controlled environment. The lagoonarium is teeming with fish and some lovely coral growth. Its controlled environment between the infinity pool and the premium over-the-water bungalows offers guests a chance to snorkel, but be away from currents. It’s excellent for children, as well.
The infinity pool off the main building offers a swim-up bar and waterfall along with views of the ocean and Moorea in the distance. The open-air restaurants overlook the pool and lagoonarium. The Polynesian shows and are held every Wednesday and Friday evening in La Tiare restaurant. During the day, the restaurant serves up a lovely breakfast buffet (included in your room sometimes when the right promotion is going on). Lunch is also available at La Tiare starting at 11:30 AM. Also located in the main building is another bar next to reception, the concierge desk, a Paul Gauguin Cruises desk (when the ship has guests staying at the Intercontinental), bell hop, boutique, pearl jewelry store, and seating areas.
When we arrived on our Air Tahiti Nui flight into Papeete the night of our check-in, it was a quick jaunt from the Fa’aa Airport to the Intercontinental by taxi – less than 10 minutes. The rain didn’t dampen our spirits by any means – we were in Tahiti! The open-air reception area is standard at all the InterContinental’s here. The gentlemen bellhops in sarongs tagged our bags and set them aside as we received our room keys and refreshed with a welcome drink. Read more about our voyage to Polynesia here.
Room key and resort map in hand, we loaded up into an interesting truck-meets-wagon vehicle so we could be driven over to our Motu Junior Suite Over-the-Water Bungalow. It’s premium view of Moorea is unobstructed by any boats on moorings. While not sitting atop cerulean waters like the bungalows in Bora Bora, it’s still uber private, totally chic, and oozing romance. We thoroughly enjoyed our rain-shower head in the shower after a long day of travel. The little door that opens in the toilet room was also a nice touch in the absence of a “fart fan.” If you were spending more time and could use the tub for a soak, you’d get to gaze upon the ocean and Moorea.
I normally don’t sleep very well in hotels. People slam their doors, talk down the hallway, or bang things against the walls. The bungalow doesn’t have any shared walls and it was silent inside except for the pitter patter of rain falling gently on the pandanus-thatched roof. We were super tired, but the quiet also made for one of the most amazing nights of sleep in a hotel EVER.