Review: Tikehau Pearl Resort, Tahiti (French Polynesia)

Bucket list (def.) – a popular way to indicate the places to see and things to do before you die.

Some people’s bucket lists are more extensive than others.  If your bucket list includes the obscure, out of the way, rarely-visited destination gems, consider adding Tikehau.

Tikehau is a small Tuamotu atoll in French Polynesia, located just west of the much larger atoll Rangiroa.  An atoll, by the way, is a ring island where the original volcanic peak in the center of the lagoon has been eroded back into the sea.  Nothing on the island stands taller than a coconut palm.

Other than obscurity, Tikehau’s appeal is water the clarity of a swimming pool, with an abundance of sea life, sea birds, and starlight evenings.  This is a great spot for seasoned travellers who truly want an off the beaten path sort of experience.  It’s also excellent for divers and snorkelers.

Tikehau Pearl Resort is THE resort on the island (though there are a couple of modest pension-type accommodations in Tikehau, too).  There are four room categories:  beach bungalows (with a/c), overwater bungalows (without a/c and direct water access), premium overwater bungalows (without a/c but with direct water access), and suite overwater bungalows (with a/c and direct water access).

The most impressive quality about the Tikehau Pearl Resort is that a four star resort can actually operate in such a remote location.  All the food is flown in, and guests and employees arrive by boat from the local village and airport.

If you need a comfortably cool room to sleep at night, you’ll want to book one of the categories that offers air conditioning.  Bungalows are large and well accommodated, including a great bed.  The beach bungalows have an outdoor bathroom area that is fun and charming, and is just steps from the lagoon shoreline.

If you are here, you’ll want to sign up for some of the day excursions, including a visit to nearby Bird Island sanctuary, secluded motu picnic, snorkeling the coral gardens, and scuba diving.  The snorkeling is excellent at the resort, and there are also manta rays just off the resort location.

The food here is mostly good, with a few disappointments (grilled fish is overcooked).  The restaurant waitstaff ranges from great to flustered, while the front desk is always cheerful and helpful.  You’ll see employees wearing many hats, and all your favorite staff members will know your name with a smile by Day Two.

The resort has a modest pool and spa, with a few land activities (such as a volleyball net).  However, if you aren’t an underwater fan, this is NOT the place for you.  Also, you’ll need a willingness to function on the slower, island time and you’re comfortable with lazy days and water excursions days to define your itinerary.

Bring along sunscreen and bug spray, and the houseflies can be annoying.  Don’t expect any sort of Internet connectivity while you’re here (there is Internet for a fee, but is at speeds 20 years behind the US).  The natural beauty above and below the water will move you, and will stay with you long after the suntan has faded.

With air schedules, Tikehau is not a destination that stands alone.  You’ll want to pair 3-6 nights of Tikehau with another Tahiti island or two.  I would recommend Tahiti + Tikehau + Bora Bora, or maybe Tahiti + Tikehau + Rangiroa for the dive enthusiasts.

Contact me to put together your upcoming vacation to Tahiti and Her Islands.

Diver’s Dream Sample Itinerary

  • 1 night Papeete
  • 3 nights Tikehau at Tikehau Pearl Resort
  • 3 nights Rangiroa at Kia Ora Resort
  • 4 nights Bora Bora at Bora Bora Pearl Resort

Happy travels ~Cindy Grant CTA, Travel Consultant at Reconnect Travel/Expert Family Travel.  Located in The Colony Texas near Frisco, Little Elm, Dallas, Irving, Plano, Ft. Worth, Arlington.  Tahiti Tiare Travel Specialist.



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