InterContinental Resort Tahiti
What We Love
- In-room Internet access, not necessarily a given on these islands
- A choice of a bustling restaurant with nightly entertainment or romantic overwater bistro
- A full service spa offering Algotherm treatments or more traditional Polynesian massage
What To Know
- The private beach is actually imported sand along the edge of a lagoon
- There’s a surcharge for Internet access of around $10 per hour
- There’s a fee for childcare
- Airport shuttle fee is approximately $44 per vehicle (one way)
- There is a fee for breakfast
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The InterContinental Resort Tahiti sits on almost 30 acres of lush greenery and features two infinity pools (one with a swim-up bar), 32 overwater bungalows and 226 rooms in a collection of three beachside buildings. Bungalows have thatched roofs and mix chic furnishings with traditional wicker chairs and woven wall coverings. Dry-land accommodations have less Polynesian touches and dark wood furniture, but all feature private terraces or balconies. The Tiare Restaurant has an open kitchen, which serves healthy dishes including salads and freshly caught fish, best enjoyed while watching the nightly Tahitian dance performances. It’s a quieter vibe over at Le Lotus restaurant in an overwater building with a tinkling piano, romantic views and French cuisine. After dinner, head to the Tiki Bar (a local favorite) and go native by having your cocktail in a coconut.
In the Area
Local attractions in the nearby town of Papeete include Parc Bougainville, a good place to find some peace and shade, as is Tahiti’s oldest Catholic church, Cathédrale de l’Immaculée Conception. For those looking to spend, try Robert Wan for black pearls, (visit the Black Pearl Museum he set up too), and Papeete Market, where you can buy produce as well as souvenirs. Be sure to buy a crepe from one of the many roulottes (food trucks) on Vaiete Square near the waterfront, which is where the action is come evening.
How to Get There
Stayed here a few days on the way back from Australia. Can't think of a better way to ease back to our own time zone.
The breakfast buffet was good, remarkable only for lots of fish that you wouldn't normally find for breakfast, but for picky eaters you can find anything you want for a standard American or European breakfast.
They had a touristy dance event by Marquesean warriors while we were there, great fun, maybe not as authentic as sharing a dinner in their homes, but convenient.
The grounds and pools are great, water temps warm and beautiful to take a swim after dark and look up at the stars.
Being tired of buffet food, one day we walked down to a nearby Carrefour grocery store to get something we could take out by the beach. The odd economics of being on a French provincial island came into view. Potato chips and wine were outrageously expensive. Pate and French Brie were cheap. We ended up with Duck liver pate, Brie, cornichons, whole grain French mustard, crackers, and rum punch for one of the best picnics of our lives.
Would go back here in a heartbeat, only 8 hours out of LAX, and much warmer and less touristy than Hawaii.
When we arrived at the hotel, after a short bus trip from the airport, we were able to check in at a Nat Geo desk set up in the open air lobby. Our checked bags were delivered to our Day room fairly quickly, and we had time to change clothes and regroup after our 8 hour flight from Los Angeles. We also had time to explore the property a bit. Their infinity pool looked very inviting, but we did not get in the pool. Next to the pool is a lovely area where one can snorkel in protected waters. The variety of fish there is quite good, and they were clearly visible by standing along the edge of the water.
Our group dined in a room off the restaurant-also open air. A buffet was set up, and there were several main course choices as well as various salads and fresh fruit. The most interesting salad was Tahitian tuna in coconut milk. There is not much to say about the buffet, as it was not significant in any way. We were just happy to have a meal after our long flight.
Our day room was clean and well-appointed; however we had no time to sleep there. The view was very good, though.
On the return to the hotel after our cruise, we had to wait for a long time to get into our room. By 2 pm, we were able to rest in our room and had time to clean up prior to our return flight. We walked through the rest of the property, taking note of their overwater bungalows (they were not very enticing).
For dinner, we went to the Tiki Bar and ordered a special drink. Then, we took Croques sandwiches to our room. They were nicely packaged for us and the sandwiches were tasty, but the French fries accompaniments were not very good. We departed the hotel around 7:30pm, since our flight was at 10:30 pm. We waited in the open air lobby longer than we would have liked, both on arrival and at departure.
We stayed one night upon arrival to Tahiti and spent our last full day here as well since we had a late outgoing flight. We did not do a day rate on our return date, rather booked the full room. The room was freshly updated, clean and comfortable. The hotel concierge was a pleasure to work with in advance of our trip and made all of our arrangement for transfers to/from hotel and to/from the ferry dock. During our return stay, we enjoyed the pools and the grounds, the staff was friendly and accommodating.
We had a reservation for a panoramic view room and it was a moderate in its view! The hotel is old and infrastructure is OLD with leaking bar lounge pool roofing moldy shower and lastly the appearance of the resort is dilapidated. A renovation is clearly not needed but to be torn apart and rebuild from the ground ! The locating of the hotel is a seedy area with stricken poverty (ghetto) hence WOULD NOT VENTURE OUT AFTER SUNSET UNLESS WITH A TAXI! The bar server was unfriendly and never smile and I felt is was a burden to serve the drinks but the lunch was excellent in quality appearance and taste! Lastly we were unable to control our room temp and was told by guest services the lowest LOCKED thermostat is at 20 C !!
For pre and cruises would check out
My wife and I were celebrating the silver anniversary of our marriage and stayed at the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa for 3 nights in May, and after our cruise, returned to stay for another night in June. We have mixed feelings about this hotel, and cannot wholeheartedly recommend staying here.
First and foremost, let me relate my top peeve about this hotel. I had booked an Overwater Superior Lagoon Bungalow. When checking in at the reception, their staff informed me that I would be getting an upgrade, which I thanked them for. When I arrived at my room, it looked like what I had booked, and upon further investigation, the floorplan matched exactly the description in their website about what I had booked. So, was there upgrade? Perhaps what they meant was that they had placed me in a room of the category I had booked with a good view, as I was at the end of the walkway, and had a nice unobstructed panorama of the sun setting on the ocean with Moorea in the background. However, the next day, I was woken up at around 9am the next morning by the sound of men shouting and of construction work. After a long 11 hours plus flight, we had hoped to sleep in. I walked out to find that they were renovating the room opposite from mine. I now suspect that the so-called “upgrade” was just a ruse to make me feel better about this disturbance. After breakfast, I lodged a complaint at the reception, and politely requested that the construction starts after 10am, and that the workers avoid shouting. Their staff apologized, which I accepted, and sent me a plate of fresh fruits afterwards. The next morning, they did start at 10am, and there was no shouting, though there was the sound of knocking and hammering all day long until 5pm or so.
Moving on, other negatives about this hotel included:
(1) There was a foul smell in the bathroom, like that of rotting garbage, and we hosed down the whole area to try to get rid of it, but it remained. We lodged a complaint with the reception, and they sent some staff over to fix it whilst we were out. For the rest of that day, the smell was gone, but the next day, it came back again. And our room locked as if it was new and had already been renovated;
(2) As a photography enthusiast, after spending 2 weeks in Japan before arriving in Tahiti, I had some large files to upload to my cloud, and paid for the premium wifi service. Initially, all was great, and my surfing speed was an acceptable 1-2Mbps. However, after a while it dropped to below 50kbps. It would seem that there was some limit to the data usage, after which the surfing speed would throttle down significantly! Whilst such a limitation is not unusual, it is wrong not to highlight this shortcoming when offering a premium wifi service; and
(3) The spa in the hotel was very small. We had arrived at the hotel by late morning, too early for checking in, and were hoping to get refresh ourselves at the spa after having a massage there. However, the bathing area did not have a proper changing room; did not have any amenities; and the small lockers were oddly located outside. Also, the rest area was too small, and lunch could not be served inside. However, the therapists were competent, though not outstanding.
And the positives included:
(1) This hotel is in a very convenient location. It is only a 10 minutes or so drive away from the airport and a mall, and a 20 minutes or so drive away from the city center. Note that, despite being so close to these places, it still managed to retain a quiet resort ambience, except for the sound of a commercial airliner flying overhead no more than once a day. However, disappointingly, this hotel does not offer a complimentary shuttle service to and back from the nearby city center, and the taxi fare is expensive despite the short distance.
(2) The sea in front of the hotel is too deep and too choppy to have a good snorkeling experience. However, this hotel has a “Lagoonarium”, which is an artificial lagoon filled with a large number and variety of marines fishes, and we very much enjoyed snorkeling here.
(3) The food served at the various venues in this hotel is competent, though nothing to write home about, and in line with the overall standard throughout the resorts in French Polynesia. We would recommend sticking to the buffet at Te Tiare restaurant. Note that the a la carte dishes served here were not of better quality. Also, we would recommend going to any of the dinners here featuring Polynesian dance, as well as booking in advance and requesting for a front row table. Note that the food at the upmarket Le Lotus is just marginally better vis-à-vis noticeably higher pricing. Also note that the Lobby Bar Terrace serves good sandwiches and coffee, as well as having a panoramic view, and is an good venue for a light lunch.
(4) The landscaping throughout this hotel’s gardens is beautiful, and their gardening staff should be commended for doing a great job.
(5) The rooms are generally spacious, clean, and comfortable.
Whilst there are certainly positives in staying at the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa, the first three negatives were serious enough for me not to recommend staying here.