Le Taha’a Resort is most beautiful places on earth!

October 24, 2016

Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa on the island of Taha’a in Tahiti must be one of the most beautiful places on earth! My husband and I were enjoying our first vacation without the children in over 20 years and this resort exceeded our expectations! The resort is actually on a small, private islet just off the coast of Taha’a, so guests have the islet to themselves. It is surrounded by a white sand beaches and the water is crystal clear–just as in the photos.

More details below, but first I must RAVE about my travel agent, Teresa Nelle of Luxury Hideaways (800-644-6659). Teresa is a specialist in French Polynesia.

I usually plan our own trips, but was busy with work and needed help–especially with the inter-island transfers. Teresa was extremely responsive and prepared the perfect itinerary in no time! The entire trip was flawless and the transfers seamless. We stayed in two resorts during our 10 day stay. Teresa arranged for a perfect beach bungalow on the first resort, and then saved the best for last with a stunningly gorgeous over-water bungalow at Le Taha’a Resort & Spa. Our bungalow was spacious and well appointed. There was a TV but we never turned it on as the view was so mesmerizing. The resort is beautifully designed and integrated to blend into the islet.

Also, I must congratulate the Resort for having the foresight to support an organization that maintains a wonderful marine preserve with fabulous snorkeling right off the beach and just inside the reef (called the Coral Gardens). Take your GoPro! In short, Le Taha’a is the epitome of understated elegance with a superb and very attentive staff. They arranged for a two-tank dive with the dive shop right on our island. While the dive folks were great and the water so beautiful that we enjoyed the boat ride to the dive spot outside the reef, sadly the local government has not created a marine preserve outside the reef and it has clearly been overfished–not much to see. The staff also helped us rent scooters for the day on Taha’a–which I would highly recommend! The scooters were well-maintained and in great shape (unlike other places we’ve been to). Scooters give you so much freedom and they are only little 50cc vehicles, but perfect for getting around the island. The locals we spoke with were lovely and happy to chat. Visit the Vanilla Farm and patronize Bruno Francoise French MaiTai restaurant in Haumene–lots of fun. The cuisine at Le Taha’a was excellent! I just can’t say enough about this resort and would go back in a heartbeat.

The one small knock is that while the spa was beautiful, our massages were rather average. The masseuse was a very nice local person who gave a nice rubdown, but was not truly professionally-trained, so they could up their game in this one instance.

Vera E. Oct. 2016

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The trip you planned to Tahiti was fantastic!

April 21, 2016

My Guests just returned from an amazing trip we planned to Tahiti - here is their lovely letter:

Teresa,
We wanted to give you a summary of our Tahiti trip.  In a word, just fabulous.  We have never taken such a purely luxury, relaxing type of vacation in the past and it was an absolute delight.

The island of Tahiti: The Intercontinental Tahiti Resort in Papeete, despite being fabulous was the weakest of the three resorts we visited.  Gorgeous view, great room but the only real problem was that the food was not particularly good and actually the most expensive of the three places that we stayed.  We actually ate canned fruit from the buffet table.  Once we started eating from the ala carte menu, it got much better.  The 4 x 4 Mountain Safari trip into the interior of the island was a great trip, the guide was very interested in telling us about life in Tahiti and I would recommend the excursion to anyone who wants off the beaten path.

Moorea was beautiful and I’m glad we chose it as one of our islands.  The Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort was outstanding and the water was sufficiently shallow that we were able to snorkel off the beach.  There were actually several small outcroppings of coral with many many colorful fish about thirty feet from the shore.  Debby is not a good swimmer but she loves to snorkel and we spent hours just snorkeling around the beach.

We again came to realize how we don’t like French food or the French style of cooking very much and although better, the more elaborate meals at the resort were of much less appeal to us then the simple dishes served from the a la carte menu.  We liked the Polynesian food the best and it was not always easy to get.  The trip around the island was excellent and we used the opportunity to buy some black pearls.

Bora Bora - I didn’t think anyplace could be more pretty than Hawaii but it certainly was.  The Bora Bora Pearl Resort was an outstanding resort and once we got away from the French food at the main restaurant, everything was delicious.  The end of pontoon premium overwater bungalow was amazing with our perfect view of Mt. Otumanu.  Again, the water was just a few feet deep and perfect for snorkeling and we spent much of our free time just swimming around and under the bungalows at the various pieces of coral.  The resort has actually created a coral garden and a coral nursery and this was a major attraction for everyone at the resort.  It was perfect for those not really comfortable with swimming and an ideal place to learn how to snorkel.

We had one adventure that was apparently disturbing for the staff at the resort.  We took the island tour and the guide (a native Tahitian) took a liking to us and invited us to his house for “real Polynesian food”.  Now this is something we would never do at home but we said yes and came back to the pier just at dark and he met us in his private car and took us to his home a few miles away.  We met his wife and 8 year old daughter and sat out on the porch and had dinner.  We had a tuna ceviche, some type of a beef dish and breadfruit which he cooked and peeled in front of us. Delicious.  We talked about various things Tahitian and he gave us the local perspective on tourism, the French, the Americans, the native economy, etc and it was all very interesting and exactly the type of experience we like to have when we travel to different countries.  The other people at the resort were absolutely astounded that we would have done such a thing but it was great.

Probably our favorite experience on the trip was the shark and manta ray feeding trip.  I thought this would be somewhat hokey but it was great fun.  Swimming with the sharks was a novel experience and even Debby with her limited swimming abilities had a great time.  I was actually able to dive down and bat one of the lemon sharks on the tail.  The mantas were like puppies in the way that they crowded around us, swimming over our shoulders in order to get to the food.  We laid out the money for the video of the trip and its been the most popular picture of any trip that we have ever brought home.  And we would recommend that anyone who goes to Bora Bora take the opportunity to eat at “Bloody Marys“, a superb place to get the fresh seafood that we were looking for and it was very reasonably priced.

I could gush further but suffice it to say that it was a fantastic trip and just the type of relaxation that we needed at this busy time in our lives.  Thanks for planning a wonderful trip for us
Ken and Debby R. - 2016

If you too would like to enjoy the South Pacific Islands of Tahiti - contact me,

the Travel Gal at 800-644-6659 today!

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We LOVE our trip you’ve planned for us to Tahiti!!

November 20, 2015

This is a glimpse into a vacation I planned for a lovely couple - I am hoping they will continue to send me updates of their amazing holiday to the Islands of Tahiti:

Hello Teresa,

Thanks for your expert help in planning out trip to Tahiti.

After less than 48 hours after leaving Denver we are now at out beach bungalow at the Sofitel Hotel in Moorea Atoll.

The Air Tahiti flight from LAX was less than 8 hours and the service was incredible;  2 nice meals and great service.

Upon arrival in Papeete, Tahiti, we had the private car to the Ferry terminal  and then a great ferry ride (30 min) to Moorea Atoll.  We got here at about 10 am.

Staying at the Sofitel hotel…………..what can I say: it is French and the service is impeccable.

Your suggestion to spend our first few nights ‘on the beach’ was sterling.  Fortunately we got our bungalow at about 11 am and we went right into the water.

We snorkeled for about 2 hours and it was the very best !!!  I bought a new GoPro camera and it is a life-renewing experience to be able to film under water like this, especially in crystal clear water!

Tomorrow we are on a 6 hour snorkeling tour to a ‘private island’ where we are to snorkel with  manta rays and sharks..

What a hoot!  So far, this is one of our very best trips ever (and we have been to 75 countries)

We are so excited!!

Will continue to give you feedback..

Walt W./2015

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Order a coffee & chocolate croussant aboard the Aremiti Ferry

November 3, 2012

When I visited the islands of Tahiti my favorite mode of travel was the Aremiti Ferry between the main island of Tahiti and Moorea.

It was a real treat to board the ferry, stop at the coffee bar for a fresh chocolate croussant and strong cup of coffee before climbing the steps to the top deck to bask in the sun for our 30 minute ride to Moorea.

This was not a “Tourist boat”, this is their main form of transportation! We were joined by school children and Mothers shopping at the Market as well as a few Tourists.

Travel to the island of Bora Bora as well as the outer islands is a short airplane ride aboard the domestic airline, Air Tahiti.  It is located at Tahiti Faa’a Airport and is also a laid back and enjoyable experience.  No TSA lines of course!

As the major inter-island airline, Air Tahiti serves 40 islands, including Moorea, with newer, twin-engine, jet-prop aircraft. Flights to the neighboring islands depart from Tahiti Faa’a Airport with frequent daily service between the most visited islands. This is the same airport where the international flights arrive in Papeete (PPT).

When I assist Clients with a trip to Tahiti, I suggest they visit 2 or 3 islands, depending on the length of their vacation.  We organize the Ferry boat and any other inter island transportation needed prior to departing the U.S.

Contact me, the Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

to assist with your French Polynesian adventure!

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Cruising options in the South Pacific

September 10, 2012

Ia Orana!

Lets plan a romantic adventure to the Islands of Tahiti - are you pondering the shores of Bora Bora, Moorea, Tikihau, exploring Hauahine, Tahaa & Riataea.…how about cruising the Marquesas Islands?  Sailing is a great way to see the islands of French Polynesia. Here are some options for you - but you need to act fast these ships are small - which is exactly the way you want to experience these tropical islands of the South Pacific...

Tahiti Yacht Charter
- this is a private catamaran with just you, the skipper/cook.  They can do 3-7 night sailings out in Raiatea, Taha’a, Huahine & Bora Bora.

Paul Gauguin Cruises - This is the only boutique 5 star luxury cruise line sailing through the Society Islands, usually they have 7 night itineraries and some 10-11 nights.   They cruise with a maximum of 311 passengers - really more of a very upscale yachting experience.

Dream Yacht Charter (formerly Archipels) -These are 4 cabin catamarans with up to 3 other couples and the skipper/cook with a variety of itineraries in the Society Islands and Tuamotu Islands.

Aranui III - This is a 13 night sailing aboard a working freighter which will take passengers up to the Marquesas Islands.  There are a few cabins on board for guests.

NOTE: I priced the Aranui 3 in a stateroom cabin with private bathroom, including airfare from LAX, transfers on a 13 night cruise beginning the first week of April 2013, the price for 2 is $10,383.00 just to give us a ballpark.

Contact the TravelGal at 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net for more ideas and options.

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m/s Paul Gauguin 7 Night Itinerary Around French Polynesia

April 27, 2012

The small, luxury cruise ship m/s Paul Gauguin offers 7 night cruises around the islands of Tahiti. Below is a sample itinerary. One of the benefits of cruising is that when you spend 1 day on an island, you will know if you’ll want to come back for a week.

Day 1: Embark m/s Paul Gauguin in Papeete, Tahiti - mid afternoon - set sail in the evening

Begin your journey to a paradise in the capital of Tahiti, the largest and most populated of the French Polynesian islands. Here you’ll embark Paul Gauguin. This luxurious yet casual, ultra-deluxe vessel will be your home for the next week. With an endless choice of things to do, from relaxing poolside with a book to playing the slots in the casino, you will never be bored.

Day 2: Raiatea 11:00am - 6:00pm

You will have the day to explore the island that was once the cultural, religious, royal and political heart of Polynesia, and, according to legend, and lore, as well as Tahiti’s most significant archeological sites.

Day 3: Taha’a (Motu Mahana) 9:00am - 5:00pm

Motu Mahana, an islet adjacent to Taha’a, is our very own South Seas paradise featuring white sand beaches with swaying palms, crystal-clear waters and gentle breezes. As an exclusive Paul Gauguin event, guests will spend a full day exploring this idyllic, isolated island, and relaxing with a delicious barbecue lunch and Polynesian entertainment featuring strolling musicians and singers.

Day 4: Bora Bora 8:00am overnight

Immediately recognizable by the basalt tombstone of Mount Otemanu rising from the ocean, this half-atoll, half-mountain is surrounded by a spectacular lagoon and a series of smaller islands. Ancient Polynesians called it Parapora, or “firstborn,” because they thought it was the first island created after Raiatea.

Day 5: Bora Bora Depart 5:00pm

Explore more of this magical isle on your own or on a choice of optional shore excursions. Choose from several, like a jitney tour on “Le Truck,” or a 4-wheel-drive safari, or a glass-bottom boat ride. We will set sail before dinner, enjoying a relaxing evening on board.

Day 6: Moorea 8:00am - overnight

Covered in an abundance of fresh fruits and flowers, spectacular mountain peaks, peaceful multi-hued lagoons and palm-fringed beaches - Moorea’s awesome beauty is unsurpassed. During your visit, you might wish to shop for local crafts, embark on a dolphin-watching expedition with a marine biologist and witness these fascinating animals in their amazing natural habitat, or try out some of the local pineapples - said to be the most delicious in all of French Polynesia. An overnight here affords us two full days on Bora Bora’s gorgeous sister island.

Day 7: Moorea depart 7:30pm

Explore more of this peaceful oasis. Perhaps you will choose to trek on the “Trails of the Ancients” or snorkel one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons. At the end of the afternoon, we cruise to our home port in Papeete, docking for the night.

Day 8: Disembark Papeete 8:00am - Maururu - thank you for visiting these beautiful islands!

Life aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin:

Watersports Marina - Watersports are a highlight of the Paul Gauguin Cruises’ experience. The ships’ small size allow for them to navigate in shallow lagoons and narrow channels where larger ships may not sail. On the m/s Paul Gauguin,with the specially designed retractable watersports platform, guests may descend to sea level where they can conveniently hop aboard a windsurfer, launch a kayak, or set out for a SCUBA diving expedition. A SCUBA certification program is offered on The Gauguin.

Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program: Explorer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau is committed to the belief that the survival of the world’s oceans depends on capturing the imagination at a young age. In order to ensure that conservation remains a priority among future generations, he created the Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program under the auspices of the Ocean Futures Society.

Some of the benefits and features of this luxury cruise:

  • Spacious, all-oceanview suites and staterooms
  • Complimentary beverages incl. select wines
  • All onboard gratuities included
  • Complimentary select spirits & soft drinks
  • Complimentary 24-hour room service
  • Refrigerator replenished daily with soft drinks, beer and bottled water
  • Watersports Marina
  • Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program
For more information, special pricing and upgrades contact the Travel Gal
at 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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Christmas in Tahiti - It is possible & affordable!

April 19, 2012

Paul Gauguin Christmas Cruise - Save 50% off PLUS Free Air from LAX for the first 2 guests in a stateroom. Below is a sample itinerary that is offered on most sailings year around.  However, Gauguin does not offer this incredible discount very often.

Check out this itinerary:

21/Dec 12  LAX - Papeete depart 11:30pm arrive 6:05am

22/Dec 12  Meet/greet and transfer to pre-cruise hotel

22/Dec 12  Dayroom reserved

22/Dec 12  Transfer to Paul Gauguin

22/Dec 12  Embark Paul Gauguin in Papeete, Tahiti -  Mid afternoon - set sail 11:45pm

23/Dec 12 Raiatea - 11:00am to 6:00pm

24/Dec 12  Taha’a (Motu Mahana) - 9:00am - 5:00pm

25/Dec 12 Bora Bora 8:00am overnight - Merry Christmas!

26/Dec 12 Bora Bora Depart 5:00pm

27/Dec 12 Moorea 8:00am - overnight

28/Dec 12 Moorea depart 7:30pm

29/Dec 12 Disembark Papeete 8:00am

29/Dec 12 - Transfer to post cruise dayroom

29/Dec 12 - Transfer to airport

29/Dec 12  Papeete - LAX depart 11:50pm arrive 10:00am 30/Dec

Some of the benefits and features of this luxury cruise:

  • Spacious, all-oceanview suites and staterooms
  • Complimentary beverages incl. select wines
  • All onboard gratuities included
  • Complimentary select spirits & soft drinks
  • Complimentary 24-hour room service
  • Refrigerator replenished daily with soft drinks, beer and bottled water
  • Watersports Marina
  • Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program

Watersports Marina: Watersports are a highlight of the Paul Gauguin Cruises’ experience. The ships’ small size allow for them to navigate in shallow lagoons and narrow channels where larger ships may not sail. On the m/s Paul Gauguin, with the specially designed retractable watersports platform, guests may descend to sea level where they can conveniently hop aboard a windsurfer, launch a kayak, or set out for a SCUBA diving expedition. A SCUBA certification program is offered on The Gauguin.

Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program: Explorer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau is committed to the belief that the survival of the world’s oceans depends on capturing the imagination at a young age. In order to ensure that conservation remains a priority among future generations, he created the Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program under the auspices of the Ocean Futures Society.

Reserve thru Park Avenue Travel/Luxury Hideaways and also receive an additional 5% off PLUS $100.00 per person shipboard credit for select cruises.

Contact the Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net

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m/s Paul Gauguin ship just completed a $7 million renovation

March 17, 2012

TahitiThe m/s Paul Gauguin - our favorite boutique, luxury cruiseship that is actually more like a large yacht is now even better then ever!  The Gauguin just completed a $7 million renovation.

Guests can now enjoy the following brand-new amenities:

- New décor, including new flooring and replaced carpeting, elegant furniture, new window treatments, and decorative wall panels in all suites, staterooms and public areas
- New furnishings and lighting in the ship’s elegant dining areas
- A new built-in banquet and expanded gaming in Le Casino
- Improved dance floors, where guests dance the night away under the South Pacific sky
- A new integrated display case for books and art
- New signage, providing a lighter, brighter feel

The Gauguin offers all-inclusive pricing - especially when you consider that you’ll also save 50% off standard cruise fares plus FREE airfare from Los Angeles–an additional value of up to $3,200 per couple on select sailings.

Contact the Travel Gal for specials and exclusive Virtuoso amenities!

800 644-6659 or Teresa@luxuryhideaways.net

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Tahiti Restaurant Recommendations

March 13, 2012

Here are a few of our favorite restaurant suggestions when you travel to French Polynesia:

Bora Bora:  Maikai, Villa Mahana, Kaina Hut, Bounty

Moorea:  La Villa des Sens, Mahogany, Mayflower, Rudy’s, Te Honu Iti, Les Tipaniers.

Tahiti:  Le Coco’s and Le Lotus (located at Tahiti Intercontinental, the overwater restaurant)

Note: I found the islands of Tahiti are a wonderful combination of the South Pacific and Europe - the best of both worlds!

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Take Your Sweetie to Tahiti aboard the M/S Paul Gauguin

January 31, 2012

Bora bora beachThe premier luxury small ship in the South Pacific, m/s Paul Gauguin is celebrating Valentines day by offering an exclusive gift package for guests celebrating romance.

From January 30 through February 18, 2012, guests booking any seven-night sailing will receive a special gift package, including Leonidas chocolates, flower turndown service, and a $100 per person credit at the Deep Nature Spa by Algotherm, compliments of Paul Gauguin Cruises (a $230 value)*.

As with all 2012 sailings aboard The Gauguin, guests also receive 50% off standard cruise fares and FREE airfare from Los Angeles.

There is no place as tranquil and romantic as the picturesque islands of French Polynesia. Designed and decorated to sail the seas of the South Pacific, the cozy 332-passenger ship offers the perfect setting to celebrate love or commemorate a wedding, renewal of vows, anniversary-or simply each other.

Couples can take in the beauty of the South Pacific from the privacy of their suite or stateroom, sway to the sounds of a chanteuse at La Palette Lounge, explore paradise on island excursions, dine al fresco under a starry sky, and enjoy a Polynesian blessing ceremony.

With one of the highest crew-to-guest ratios at sea, The Gauguin is renowned for the extra touches and attention to detail that make every occasion special.

Paul Gauguin Cruises also offers a Gift Registry, where guests celebrating their honeymoon, anniversary, or other milestone event can choose a “wish list” of gifts, ranging from shore excursions to dining and spa options.

**One Valentine’s Day gift package per booking. New bookings on 7-night sailings only.

Please refer to promotion code: Valentine’s Package - call the Travel Gal at 800 644-6659 or email Teresa@LuxuryHideaways.net for more details.  Offer expires February 18, 2012. Call for details.

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