Ia Orana! Bonjour! Do you dream of cotton candy sunsets and flower crowns every day? If so, French Polynesia is the place for you. Over water bungalows and seafood every night were the norm here. This was mine and my husband’s last stop on our honeymoon. We were looking for something extremely calm and relaxing after 2.5 weeks in the South Pacific. We choose to stay at the Le Meridien because it fit all our needs. We did not want an all-inclusive resort as we only stayed for 4 days, but we did want jaw-dropping views. From our panoramic ocean room, we were able to look across at bungalows, pristine beachfront, a turquoise pool and the gorgeous sister island of Moorea! I would like to dedicate this post to Jess; I am posting the Tahiti photos before NZ because she wanted to see them more:) I would also like to state that this review contains only opinions of my own and is not a paid advertisement for Le Meridien or Tahiti. There are over 30 photos in this post, so you may have to view it on your computer!
Overall Ambiance: Le Meridien was a breath of fresh air. It was the most relaxed resort I have ever been to. You are likely to find people with an espresso or cocktail and a book at all hours. If you are looking for a party resort, this is not for you. The hotel has a tranquilizing feeling. The colors of the sea and the quiet demeanor of the people leave you with calm vibes. The dress in resort wear. People are in sundresses and sarong mainly.
Price: The price is around $220-400 a night for a room and the bungalows start at about $600 from what I have seen. This is a resort where you pay for your meals and drinks. At the hotel, the food is pricey. A cocktail is 1800 CFP (about $18). BUT, the food is worth it! I had the most amazing Mahi Mahi and Swordfish. We tried all of the restaurants and they all had very fresh food. The bar has the cheapest food with burger, Panini, and pasta choices. I highly recommend having seafood in FP though!!
Amenities: Since this is a laid back resort, there are few amenities. The white sand pool, art gallery, Friday night Polynesian dance shows, shuttles to the capital city of Papeete, FREE snorkeling, kayaking &yoga. We found there was more than enough to do within our short stay. If you plan on going to a single resort for two weeks, this is not for you. Other than the water sports, pool, and art gallery, all other extras cost more money. We did the Polynesian dance show on Friday night! It was awesome! The food is buffet style seafood. The seafood was all fresh and there was tables of it.
Building: The building was renovated in 2013 I believe. It is designed in a contemporary fashion while paying homage to its native culture. The entrance has several large Tiki statues carved from local wood. When you walk is there is a GIANT orange ottoman for sitting and multiple reception desks to help you. We didn’t have any wait to check-in and received complimentary juice and champagne. All of the restaurants have ample seating and cool fixtures. They have swinging egg chairs, bamboo wall designs, comfy couches, and a big white piano. The resort never felt cramped due to the sprawling layout.
Panoramic Ocean Room: Our room was clean and spacious. There was a jet tub and a separate glass shower. Our room had a balcony with a view of the whole area including the second level koi pond. It was peaceful and decorated in a modern beach style with a lot of white. We got big white fluffy robes to lounge in and the balconies were private from our neighbors. The mattress was fluffy and comfy. The one thing that people may not like is that the TV only has 2 french channels to watch for free (one is the news). Other than that, all movies are paid rentals.
Staff: The staff is mellow and pleasant. They were some of the most kind people we have met. They will help you book excursions if needed as well. If you are looking for snap your finger and food appears service, this is not it. The service is similar to what you would get in Europe. Eating is a calm gift of the day meant to be enjoyed there.
Ease of getting around: Getting around the hotel itself is very easy. They speak english, but please remember it is a French and Tahitian speaking country!!! Please learn a few phrases out of respect to fellow humans sharing their home with you. If you travel off the resort, be sure you are with a safe and reliable shuttle service or guide. Most of the shops only take cash and they will speak very little English. There are parts of Tahiti that are not solo tourist safe, so be sure to book with a registered guide for mountain excursions. Papeete has a beautiful market to visit and has great shopping! You NEED Monoi oil and Tahitian pearls.
Overall Experience: We are very satisfied we choose to stop in Tahiti and stay at Le Meridien. The hotel was easy-going with great food and a gorgeous beach. This is the perfect place to chill with your favorite person for days or start and finish a new book in peace.