For many people, Tahiti conjures up images of a tropical paradise. And while that is certainly understandable, the island of Tahiti itself (specifically, the island’s capital of Papeete) is often not what people are expecting in terms of its natural beaches. It is amazing, however, what talented landscape architects can do to create the feeling of the real thing on resort properties.
Because Papeete is the location of the only international airport in the area, many visitors will spend at least one night there. If you’d like to resort-up for a couple of days to get into the island mindset before moving on to Bora Bora or Moorea or such, the InterContinental is the best place on the island to do it. Without a doubt, the resort exceeded expectation.
Looking at the photo above, do you think you would even miss the fact that there isn't actually a beach at the ocean's edge? We didn’t! This pool (one of two) has a sloped entry, like the ocean, and an infinity edge that overlooks an enclosed lagoon available for snorkeling.
Here's the second pool, with a swim-up bar and an infinity edge that goes right up to the expanse of the ocean.
This is also the second pool, with its own imported sandy beach.
My Aussie friend Karen and I loved our stay here prior to our Paul Gauguin cruise. Making our plans across the miles between Melbourne and Pasadena, we decided if we were going to do this, we should do it up right. And that meant an overwater bungalow!
I fell in love with the resort's Junior Suite Motu Overwater Bungalows. They’re about 400 square feet with a 344-square foot deck and a great peaked roof.
I hadn’t anticipated how relaxing the sounds of water would be, gently lapping under us. It’s one of those things that, if you can do it, you should stay in one at least once in your life.
Both bedroom and bathroom were beautiful. There's a deep soaking tub with window. When needed, a sliding wooden shutter in the bedroom (seen to the left of the bed) provides privacy for bathing. We decided that having to share a bed—it was king-size—was a small price to pay for such an amazing experience.
Of course, the real beauty of an overwater bungalow is not the inside, but the outside.
My husband laughs at me for how excited I get about different colors in the water. But look at this! How many times do you see bands of color like that? And it’s especially exciting when there’s a high spray of water.
Le Lotus, the resort’s overwater gourmet restaurant, would have been a pretty cool place to eat dinner.
However, Karen brought a wonderful surprise with her, so we shared that and decided to follow up with room service on our deck.
After all, what better place to enjoy the sky’s changing colors?
I don’t always stay in Tahiti, but when I do, I stay at the InterContinental. It's the ScheckTrek Pick for Tahiti.