Many of us dream of Tahiti and some enjoy its pleasures. Only a few discriminating voyageurs experience the remote, private island resort of Le TAHA’A Island Resort and Spa.
As the only Relais & Châteaux property in French Polynesia, Le TAHA’A Island Resort and Spa is entrusted with the expectation to uphold the high standards of this renowned luxury collection of over 500 properties worldwide—and it does.
Your adventure at Le TAHA’A begins when you are greeted at the Raiatea airport by the private boat that whisks you to the offshore islet, or motu, in the lagoon that circles the island of Taha’a, which is known for vanilla plantations and black pearl farms.
When you arrive to the gracious smiling staff at Le TAHA’A escorts you to the reception pavilion of the authentic Polynesian compound and leads you to one of the 48 over-water bungalows, 10 private beach villas, or 2 Royal enclaves. Each of the 60 accommodations is Polynesian in décor, luxurious in comfort, and immediate in its access to the stunning, warm, impossibly transparent, aquamarine lagoon that surrounds the grounds.
We jumped into the crystalline waters before every meal, lounged on our private deck, sipped Nespresso and vanilla tea, viewed and fed the fish, rays and baby sharks, toasted the sunset, howled at the moon, stared at the starlit sky and were lulled to sleep by the gentle, lapping waves—all from our over-water bungalow.
The multilingual staff was at the ready, eager to make our stay more than memorable, including a quick response to our 3 AM call for assistance with an air conditioning issue, as well as the impromptu history, dance and language lessons.
If wellness is part of your holiday regime, the fitness center, the endless variety of water and land activities, and the popular spa will fill the bill for endless hours of recreation. The Tahitian masseuses come from a long traditional of body work and incorporate their skills, knowledge and training into their therapeutic hands to put their guests into a state of blissful relaxation.
The activities concierge can organize just about anything you’d like to explore. Don’t miss the tour of the newly opened Tahha’a Rum Distillery. This project, started by Laurent Masseron, uses indigenous, organic sugar cane to produce boutique rhum that rivals the best. A tour of one of the many black pearl farms, such as Love Here Pearl Farm, is a thoroughly educational experience, even if this item is not on your shopping list. Of, course, a visit to a vanilla farm is also a must for anyone who enjoys this ubiquitous flavor.
Lest we leave out one of the highlights of your stay, we’ve left the food for the finale with a drum roll. As is the Relais & Chateaux tradition, quality cuisine is of utmost importance. Here at Le TAHAA’A, Executive Chef Julien Roux ensures that wherever you dine on property, you will have a gourmet experience. The breakfast buffet, replete with authentic French baguettes, brioches, and croissants will tempt your will power.
Lunch at the Beach Bar or La Plage offers delights well beyond the typical poolside fare. The “Carpaccio of Angus Beef” is as good as any in Italy, the raw fish cured in coconut milk and spices is as good as any ceviche and the local fish are prepared in a variety of ways to appeal to the international clientele that have discovered this spot.
Dinner at Le Vanille Restaurant offers a wide selection of items to ensure that guests who enjoy an extended stay always have dishes to tempt their palate. Executive Chef Julien Roux combines his French technique with local ingredients to create a distinctively delicious island cuisine.
The most memorable dishes included a “Sautéed Foie Gras, Coconut Crust, Pineapple Caramelized with Vanilla Rum, and Gingerbread.” This was served with an Alsacienne Riesling that was selected by Food and Beverage Manager, Jerome Gabe whose knowledge of food and wines made for intriguing pairings through our meal. The “Shrimp Risotto with Ginger and Coconut Milk” was creamy, flavorful and healthfully prepared without the usual butter or cheese. The local caught “Parrot Fish Meniere with Asparagus, Sweet Potato, Pine Nuts, Arugula and Capers” was sublime. Desserts, especially the “Vanilla Crème Brulee and the Home- Made Ice Creams” were worth every calorie. Guests who have stayed at some of the top resorts on the islands confirmed that the cuisine at Le TAHAA’A is top tier.
Far from the already discovered islands and motus of French Polynesia, lies this serene sanctuary that has garnered numerous, well deserved accolades including Conde Nast Traveler Gold List 2010, Virtuoso Life, 2009, #6 Top Dream Destination and Islands Magazine, 2009, World’s Best Private Islands. Le TAHAA’A Resort and Spa discreetly prepares and anticipates your arrival.