Where is Tahiti? Did you know there are 118 islands?

August 19, 2014

Everyone dreams of visiting the islands of Tahiti so lets learn a little bit about this piece of paradise - making your dream of visiting one step closer to a reality!

There are non-stop flights out of LAX to Tahiti.  The main airport is Papeete (ppt).  The flight time is between 7 and 8 hours and is non-stop.  I suggest departing on the red-eye flight, that way you arrive in Papeete early in the morning and can transfer immediately to an outer island.  Otherwise you will need to have a “forced” overnight in Papeete.  The airline of Tahiti is Air Tahiti Nui.

The islands officially known as French Polynesia but widely known as “Tahiti” are actually 118 individual islands located in five island groups: the Society Islands, the Tuamotus, the Marquesas, the Austral and the Gambier archipelago.

The Society Islands are the most popular island group including the main island of Tahiti and its capital city of Papeete, as well as popular vacation islands of Moorea,Bora Bora, Huahine, Raiatea, and Tahaa.

The Tuamotu Islands are known for their outstanding diving and snorkeling including the islands of Manihi, Tikehau, Rangiroa and Fakarava.

The Marquesas Islands are historically significant with their ancient stone tikis, as well as the final resting place of poet Jacque Brel and painter Paul Gauguin.

The Humpback whales enjoy the waters around the Austral Islands between July and November.

You are now 2 steps closer to enjoying your umbrella drink under a palm tree - call me, the Travel Gal for more information and lets begin planning your vacation of a lifetime!

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Escape to the St. Regis Princeville Resort

January 31, 2013

An iconic tropical luxury hideaway and one of my favorite resorts is the St. Regis Princeville Resort located on the exclusive North Shore of Kaua’i in the Hawaiian Islands.  A luxurious haven, overlooking Hanalei Bay (so majestic that many songs have been written about this paradise) explore the quaint communities of Kilauea and Hanalei, ride horseback along the majestic Na Molokama mountain range or kayak the gorgeous Hanalei River. Resort guests enjoy a wide range of ocean sports and eco-adventures from surf lessons, snorkeling, stand up paddle boards and scuba diving.  Make sure you fit in hiking the dramatic Napali coastline.

Princeville Ranch Adventures offers exclusive ziplining, kayaking and hiking tours on 2,500 acres of private lands on the North Shore of Kaua’i. These guided tours take you away from crowds to pristine areas that are otherwise inaccessible to the public.

Contact the Travel Gal about free nights, upgrades and current airfare promotions.

Call me at 800-644-6659 or email Teresa@Luxuryhideaways.net today!

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Travel Tips - Guideline for Money & Phones in Tahiti

December 22, 2012

Whether you are visiting a luxury hideaway like Le Taha’a Resort & Spa or cruising aboard the luxury cruise ship m/s Paul Gauguin, you do need to bring some $$$ - here is a money guide to assist you.

Money & Currency

Travelers checks, US dollars and credit cards are accepted in tourist areas. The hotels will also exchange money for their guests;
The currency used in French Polynesia is the French Pacific Franc  (CFP or XPF);
There is approximately 100 CFP or XPF to one U.S. dollar, depending on the rate of exchange fluctuations;
Major credit cards are widely accepted;
ATM’s are available in Papeete, Faa’a airport as well as several locations throughout the islands;

Phone Service in Tahiti

Phone cards can be purchased at the local post office. NOTE: Phone calls from Tahiti to the US are very expensive, so we advise calling your party and then having them call you back. Fax services are also available at the hotels;

Cell phone service

Cell phone service may be available in Tahiti.  However, check with your provider before departure to check for availability and international rates - NOTE: When you call your carrier, do be sure they are not listing your plan under “France” instead of French Polynesia - it can get expensive - last year AT & T did not have a plan for the islands of Tahiti.

For more information and to assist with your trip to the South Pacific call me, the Travel Gal at

800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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Are you Ready for a Family Adventure in New Zealand?

December 7, 2012

If you are an adventurous, energetic and athletic family that loves to explore the outdoors and take in all that nature has to offer, this is the trip for you. This trip includes New Zealands only native forest zipline canopy tour, Hobbiton movie set, a tour the village movie set from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, visiting Waitomo Glowworm Caves as well as experiencing a Maori Village.  We can even add bungy jumping into the mix, if interested.

We can organize a car for part of your journey, then set up tours along the way.  I would suggest quaint hotels for your journey, then end at a fabulous resort for the last few nights.

Along the way, you will experience:

* Waitomo Glowworm Caves - Today see the Waitomo glowworm, Arachnocampa luminosa, which is unique to New Zealand. Thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light as expert guides provide informative commentary on ‘The Waitomo Glowworm Caves’ historical and geological significance.

* Tamaki Tours Hangi & Concert - This evening you will be met at your accommodation by a representative from Tamaki Tours for your evening’s Hangi and Concert excursion at a Maori Village.

* Te Puia 90 Minute Guided Tour - This geothermal valley is a special place, home to Te Arawa people for generations. The environment alone is of enormous geological significance, with thermal activity ranging from boiling mud to the world-famous 30-metre (100-foot) Pohutu geyser, erupting up to 20 times each day. Hot springs, boiling sulphurous pools, silica terraces and bubbling mud pools are among the natural wonders.

* Rainbow Springs - Breathe deeply, and take in the native bush, ferns, trees and plants that grow and flower all around you as you wander through the tree lined pathways at Rainbow Springs Nature Park. Enjoy the tranquillity of the crystal clear mineral water that flows tirelessly from the subterranean springs throughout the park, and marvel at the silent grace of the magnificent specimens of Rainbow, Brown and Tiger trout and feed them as they cruise the fern-fringed pools.

* The Agrodome Sheep Show is a one-hour performance where you will see nineteen sheep breeds introduced onto the stage, and be shown the art of sheep shearing, along with sheepdog demonstrations, cow milking, bottle feed lambs and an exciting sheep auction.

* Hobbiton Movie Set - tour the village movie set from the Lord of the Rings trilogy is situated on a working sheep and beef farm with scenic views across to the Kaimai Ranges.  The Hobbiton movie set has been returned to its natural state however, Hobbit holes and some structures from the film set are still present.  Your tour guide will escort you through the 10-acre site, recounting fascinating details of how the Hobbiton set was created.

* Experience New Zealand’s only native forest zipline canopy tour - A 400 metre walk through native forest leads to the first launch platform where your guides familiarise you with the forest, birds and history of the area. You’ll experience trail walking, 10 platforms, 6 ziplines and 2 swing bridges mixing thrill and slow paced observation of the forest.

* Breathtaking Lake Taupo - The start of the Waikato River signals the proximity of a huge watery crater - Lake Taupo. Your drive winds along the shore of this extinct volcano before ascending the plateau to view the ominous snow-clad peaks of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro.  Continue along the desolate and barren Desert Road to windy Waiouru before dropping down into the farming community of Taihape.

* Fly from Wellington to Queenstown - From Wellington Airport fly across Cook Strait which divides New Zealand’s North Island from the South Island, before following the Southern Alps mountain range towards Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital.

* Milford Sound - Today you will undertake a scenic cruise day trip from Queenstown to Milford Sound. Milford Sound is frequently referred to as the Eighth Natural Wonder of the World. The cruise is out to the open sea which takes you past towering Mitre Peak and the spectacular Bowen Falls.

* Safari Of The Scenes - When JRR Tolkien created Middle-Earth little did he know the magical landscapes of his imagination actually existed, 12,000 miles away from his homeland.

This morning you will be met at your accommodation for your 4WD sightseeing excursion.  It took Peter Jackson 10 years and millions of dollars to bring The Lord of the Rings to life on the big screen.  You can visit it today.

Many of the areas that the tour visits provide spectacular backdrops to much of the action in Peter Jackson’s “The Fellowship of the Rings”; The Ford at Bruinen, The Misty Mountains, Isengard and Lothlorien, better known as Skippers Canyon, Macetown and Paradise, to name a few.

* This holiday should be one for the family memory books - time to fly home and share all of your amazing stories with friends and family.

NOTE:  The best months to travel to New Zealand would be in the spring and fall.  Their winter is our summer so if you wanted to visit Queenstown for skiing, the optimal time is right around the 4th of July.

If you too want to plan an amazing trip, contact me, the Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@Luxuryhideaways.net

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Mahalo for our Amazing 10 Year Anniversary trip to Maui!

November 7, 2012

Hi Teresa - Sorry I have not written sooner to thank you for helping us with a wonderful and memorable trip to Maui.  The trip was all amazing! We especially loved Hana and the drive was very fun.  We stopped at a few places on our way to Hana, did a few waterfalls.

Travaasa Hana was great and very relaxing.  I could have spent a few more days there.  We went to the Seven Sacred Pools and then hiked to the Waimuku waterfall, but mostly chilled out.

We also enjoyed Feast at Lele in Lahaina. We also made it over to Mama’s Fish House and walked around Paia, watched the windsurfers and got to Makawao. All in all packed quite a bit in.

Michele and I decided that we want to come back in a few years with the kids.  I think both of them would love it.

Thanks for all your effort in making our 10 year anniversary trip awesome!

Kevin S.

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Traveling to Tahiti? Here is a 2nd guide on the language

October 31, 2012

Give yourself a reward for learning some of the language - here is a massage at the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa on the island of Bora Bora, French Polynesia!

Lesson 2 is about to begin - but here is a refresher course on the Tahitian alphabet:

The Tahitian alphabet contains only thirteen letters.

Tahitian Vowels: a as incar, e as in may, i as in machine, o as in cold, and u as in salute.

Tahitian Consonants: f,h,m,n,p,r,t,v pronounced as in English with the exceptions of theh pronounced sh when preceded by i or followed by o and the r sometimes having a trill sound.

doctor - taote
police - muto’i

man - tane

woman - vahine
child - tamarii

yes - e, oi

house - fare

no - aita

small - iti
big, large - nui

islet in the lagoon - motu
ancient temple - marae
traditional quilts - tifaifai
traditional dance - tamurei
fenua - land
flower - tiare
ocean - moana
sun - mahana
moon - avae
star - fetia
earth oven - himaa
feast - tamaaraa

morning - poipoi
evening - ahiahi

For more information on the islands of Tahiti - call me, Teresa your Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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Traveling to Tahiti - A Guide to the Language

October 30, 2012

Congratulations!  You’re packing your bags and finally the holiday to the islands of Tahiti is becoming a reality!
The Tahitian culture is fascinating - to take a peek inside, here are some words and phrases to guide you on your way - although english is spoken and understood in most hotels, restaurants, and shops, learning a few Tahitian words and phrases is encouraged and appreciated.

It can also be helpful, but not mandatory, to brush up on a few basic French phrases as French and Tahitian are the official languages and both are commonly used.

The Tahitian alphabet contains only thirteen letters.

Tahitian Vowels: a as incare as in may, i as in machineo as in cold, and u as in salute.

Tahitian Consonants: f,h,m,n,p,r,t,v pronounced as in English with the exceptions of theh pronounced sh when preceded by i or followed by o and the r sometimes having a trill sound.

hello, good day, friendly greeting - ia ora na!
goodbye - nana
welcome - maeva
thank you - mauruuru
no problem!, no worries! - aita pe’ape’a
how are you? - eaha te huru?
good! - maita’i
to your health, toast - manuia

Here are a few more for you:

bank - fare moni
church - fare pure
post office - fare rata
hospital - fare ma’i
store - fare toa

For more information on the islands of Tahiti - call me, Teresa your Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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The Queen Flower of French Polynesia

July 25, 2012

Tiare Tahiti flowerThe “Tiare Tahiti” is the queen of all flowers in the Tahitian islands. It is symbol of all things pure and exotic. This white flower from the Gardenia family graces the air with an intoxicating scent.

As you board Air Tahiti Nui, flight attendants will give you one of these delicate flowers  as a “welcome” to your Polynesian escape. Locals wear the flower behind their ear… A cute story tells that worn behind the left ear, your heart is taken. But worn behind the right ear, it means that your heart is available for love…your exotic South Pacific island adventure begins!

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Mahalo for Our Wonderful Maui Destination Wedding!

June 28, 2012

Hi Teresa,
I just wanted to write and thank you for all your work the last few months helping to make our trip to Hawaii for the wedding so wonderful.  Also in working so hard to get Shannon and Alan situated for their continued stay. They are very pleased with Napili Shores and are planning to have breakfast at the Gazebo tomorrow morning. The babies are doing better and they’re able to enjoy their extra days which, thanks to your making sure they had travel insurance, will be mostly paid for.

It really was a great time.  Hard to believe it’s all over.  We were all pleased with the Kaanapali Beach Villas, the Pioneer Inn and the breakfast at the Hyatt-great suggestions all of them.  The cruises and tours people did were good too.  It was VERY busy with trips to and from the airport and people coming and going all the time but we knew that would be the way it was.  We were blessed to have so many people there for the Maui wedding and happy to assist in their travels.  I would have liked about two more days, one for a trip north and one for a trip up towards the volcano area, and I never tire of spending time in the ocean and on the beach.  But hopefully we’ll be back and can do all those things.

I’ll send some wedding photos when we get them.  Take care and let us know when the grandbaby comes-there’s nothing better!

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Royal Lahaina Resort - Golf, Jazz Club & the Spirit of Aloha!

May 28, 2012

The Royal Lahaina Resort is Maui’s original beachfront resort - located direct oceanfront in North Kaanapali.  This luxury hideaway reflects the spirit of aloha with its laidback atmosphere and island ambiance. But don’t let that fool you, there is a lot going on, including the newest (and only) Jazz Club on the island.  Join David Choy and friends to enjoy world class music and entertainment at Jazz Club Maui, where Hawaii’s most talented musicians will be performing smooth jazz, rhythm & blues. Saturday Nights from 8:30pm to midnight, starting May 26, 2012.

The resort was refurbished in 2008 but still maintain the island flare - the oceanfront cottage accommodations are reminiscent of Hawaii’s Plantation Era, while the 12 story Lahaina Kai Tower’s luxurious guestrooms and suites feature state of the art amenities and island inspired décor.

The resort is surrounded by 2 championship golf courses.  Take advantage of the “Royal-Tee Golf Package” listed below:

From $279 per night valid March 1, 2012 - November 30, 2012
Five night minimum stays receive a reduced rate in an Ocean View room, full American buffet breakfast for two daily, four rounds of golf per stay at either of the two championship Kaanapali Golf Courses, plus complimentary golf club rentals.

*Royal-Tee Golf package tee times are available after 11am at either the Royal Kaanapali Golf Course or Kaanapali Kai Golf Course. Tee times can be made within 90 days of arrival directly with the hotel. Not applicable for groups

If you’re not a golfer, then take advantage of the 5th night free package.  There are plenty of activities, the Resort is known for its popular nightly luau, drawing visitors from all over the island.  Resort guests will also find 2 oceanfront swimming pools, shopping, an 11 court tennis ranch, ocean-view dining and classic tiki bars.

Valid Apr. 1, 2012-Mar. 31, 2013. Blackout Dates Apply: Dec. 22, 2012-Jan. 2, 2013.
For every 5 nights booked your package price will be reduced by an amount equal to one night’s room revenue in the Oceanfront Cottage Room and Lahaina Kai Tower: Ocean View, Deluxe Ocean View, and Ocean Front View Rooms. Valid on consecutive night stays only.

Visit the Royal Lahaina Resort and step back in time when life moved at a slower pace and the beaches are virtually empty except for a few snorkelers and shell seekers.

For more information and island inside scoop, contact the Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or Teresa@Luxuryhideaways.net

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