It is worth taking a day or two to check out the windwards. The islands of Tahiti (and Papeete town) and beautiful Moorea, a short ferry ride away. A day or two to shift into paradise mode.
Papeete Rooms …
For the full Tahitian resort experience … there are a couple nice, sprawling hotels along the coast, southwest of the airport. Their grounds have infinity pools and islandy stuff stretching down to the turquoise lagoon and the sea. A view of Moorea on the horizon.
We stayed at The Intercontinental last time, very nice and airport close – $290 on Hotels.com. Sofitel Tahiti Maeva, is right there but showing full prior to our Adventure. A little further down the road, Manava Suite Resort looks nice, $204 Hotels.com. Further south in a more peaceful part of the island, Le Meridian, right on the water, $258 Booking.com.
For fast, easy and relatively cheap, the Tahiti Airport Motel get’s it done. Think vertical Motel 6. It is walkable from the airport if you want to cross a busy street and hike a hill and some stairs. $156 Hotels.com.
A couple of ‘Pensions’ (Inns and Hostels) that are less expensive. Farehau is a hostel in the hills above the airport, free transfer/simple breakfast/wifi, but shared bathroom, $68 Booking.com. Fare Arearea is on the other side of the island, bungaloes by the water, free kayaks, $108 Booking.com. Pension de la Plage (Diving) is down by Le Meridian, free snorkel gear, $124 Booking.com.
And there are hotels right downtown, $131+. I have not stayed in any of them so I don’t have an opinion. There are parts of Papeete that are not that pretty so I am inclined not to book there.
We had people stay at the Royal Tahitien last time. Northeast of town, right on the water, seemed nice. $197 Booking.com
I’m a fan of TripAdvisor.com as you get fellow traveller’s reviews on rooms, food, sidetrips etc. The Trip Advisor page on Papeete, Click Here.
This is where the boats are. See the map below. The little airport is at the top of the island. Marina Apooiti, TYC and our boats are to the west. The town of Uturoa is to the east.
Except for the little Pensions, the normal hotels require a two night stay. Booking.com seems to have the most hotel/pension options. Use search words – Raiatea, French Polynesia.
The Hawaiki Nui is on the other side of Uturoa. It has garden and over water bungalows, $203/358 Hotels.com. To contact them directly, +689 60 05 00. HawaikiNuihotel.com
The Raiatea Lodge was popular last time, $250 Booking.com, requires two nights though.
Just noticed, an AVer booked at this little place. It says it is between the airport and the town. If they mean Uturoa, that is a convenient location. http://raiatea.com/tiarenui/
Update, I heard back from my friend Max at the Bed and breakfast Raiatea Bellevue. We stayed there last time. The place is a very simple B&B with only a few small rooms. It sits on the hill overlooking the bay. Quaint and simple with a great view. Max picks you up at the airport. Tell him Woody sent you. Raiateabellevue@mail.pf
Mahana Relais Resort info, Click Here.
Is a short ferry ride away from Papeete. It is Idylic. No population centers just some beautiful lagoons and small resorts and a flower lined road that circumnavigates the island through villages and art shacks.