There is no greater view of the islands, than from a helicopter!
Here you’ll see every imaginable shade of blue as the lagoon turns from turquoise to sapphire and azure. You’ll see volcanic mountains covered in green velvet.
One of my favorite helicopter rides is between Bora Bora & Tahaa. It’s a quick ride (under 30min) and I promise, great fun. Besides, don’t you love the idea of avoiding the airport and landing right at your resort’s helipad?!
Today I’ve decided to do a little Q+A with my husband James.
If there was a National Dish of Tahiti, Poisson Cru would be it.
I know it is hard to put down the iPhone and truly disconnect but believe me, it’s worth it when you’re in Tahiti. French Polynesia is the perfect place to disconnect. It’s funny because when I book family vacations, the parents are often worried their children will be bored. I always tell them, they’ll be shocked at how much their children enjoy nature and how easy it is for them to give up the electronics!
I recently had a mother/daughter getaway to Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa. The last time Fiona had been there she was 2 years old. Now soon to be 13, this was an entirely different trip and one she will remember for a long time. Oh how I love this resort. So beautiful and so authentically Polynesian. We stayed in the Beach Villa which by the way, is my absolute favorite. Save the Overwater Bungalows for Bora Bora. At Le Taha’a it’s all about the Beach Villas. While Fiona spent much of her time in our private plunge pool taking selfies, I enjoyed bubble baths in our private garden. Yes, there is a bathtub in the garden! Imagine a hot bath under the stars. Simply wonderful. Although it rained a lot while we were there, we still took time to snorkel in the coral garden and were thrilled with the abundance of fish following us around. Fiona loved the restaurant perched high in the trees and will be the first to tell you to order the lime sorbet. She had a whopping 11 scoops during our stay. Yes, it really was that good. We also took advantage of the spa. My recommendation is to book your massage around sunset. It is a magical experience to see the sun setting over the water. Both Fiona & I concur; we LOVE Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa.
p.s. If you book a minimum of 3 nights in a Beach Villa, True Tahiti Vacation will offer you a complimentary 50min couple’s massage (certain blackout dates do apply).
Q. How about we start with you telling us a bit about your background. Where were you born and how did you end up in Moorea? I was born in Lourdes, in the Pyrenees region. I always wanted to travel. Spontaneously I sent CV out there in the tourism-world, and got lucky to be contacted by a recruitment office to work on cruise ships. So I left Lourdes, and traveled around the world, working on cruise ships. A SUPERBE experience, 13 years at sea. I ended up working on the Paul Gauguin for 8 years, from 2001 to 2009. For personal reasons I stayed in French Polynesia, and started as EAM at the Hilton Bora Bora Nui in 2009, got promoted to GM, and then came as a GM at the Hilton Moorea in September 2013…
Q. I know that prior becoming the General Manager here, you were managing the Hilton Bora Bora Nui. Dare I ask….Which is your favorite island and why? Both islands have their own charm…I have favorites here and there, but cannot tell which one is my favorite, in a way they are different and unique.
Q. The Hilton Moorea is the only 5-star resort on Moorea. What do you think sets the Hilton part from the other resorts here? Everything! The product itself, the location, our garden villa with pool, the lagoon is ideal for snorkeling here, the sunset and the sunrise visible from the resort and the STAFF.
Q. I just had the pleasure of working with you on a destination wedding. 30 people at your hotel for one week and according to the groom’s family, it was flawless. He said your entire staff was so helpful & happy that it made the wedding & vacation so much more enjoyable. So first let me say, “thank you.” Then I’d like to know if working with large groups is something you find stressful? Not at all, this group was a pleasure to welcome. Groups are not stressful as long as it is all arranged properly, communication prior and during stay is the key to have it work perfectly.
Q. Now that foreigners may legally marry in French Polynesia, are you seeing more weddings at the hotel? I have to be honest that Bora Bora remains the myth as a honeymoon destination, so I have seen more legal wedding in Bora Bora, going to the town hall by boat in your wedding dress, through the lagoon of bora bora what more can you dream of … here in Moorea I have seen so far only traditional weddings, not legal ones yet…but still it is one of the most beautiful places to be married, or to renew vows. Here guests can get married anywhere, it can be on the white sand beach, or in the pool or in the lagoon or at the end of the pontoon…it is their own choice…
Q. Do you have any advise for couples thinking about having their wedding on Moorea? Just do it, don’t think, and choose your spot, because it is your day …
Q. When you have friends visiting, what are your favorite things to do & see on Moorea? I like going to the motu to do a shark and ray feeding especially by jet ski. I like to go walking up to magic mountain or go up to the belvedere, go through the pineapple road…and I like my family/friends to meet local people to experience the real feel of the French Polynesian islands…
Most people think of honeymooners when they think of Tahiti & Her Islands but the fact is, it’s a fantastic destination to travel with the whole family. Children absolutely love it here and believe it or not, they will willingly give up their iPads & iPods in order to play in the lagoon all day. What you may not know is there are some wonderful special offers geared towards children.
Air Tahiti Nui has a Kids Fly Free program. Children up to 11 years of age and traveling with their parents, can fly free from LAX-PPT.
The Hilton, Pearl & InterContinental Resorts all let children under 12 years eat free.
Both the St. Regis & Four Seasons have Kid’s Clubs. These clubs are great because they keep the kids completely entertained and at the same time, allow the honeymooners the quiet solitude they typically desire.
So when you get ready to plan your next family vacation, think about Tahiti. I promise, you’ll be amazed at the amount of fun you’ll have together!
Ryan and a Friendly Sting Ray
If you visit Moorea, you absolutely positively must feed the sting rays! There are excursions that take you on a tour of the two bays and include a ray feeding. There are also tours that end with a picnic on a motu (islet). If you’re more independent, I can tell you where to rent kayaks so that you can venture out on your own. But no matter what, you must get up close and personal with these amazing creatures. I fondly refer to them as the puppies of the lagoon.