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French Polynesia Uncovered (Part 4 of 6): Huahine, Te Tiare Beach Resort, and Gecko Droppings

(My favorite photo from Huahine is of the overwater bungalows at sunset.)

If you’re like us, you’ve probably never even heard of Huahine.   We added this island to our French Polynesia vacation mainly to see the “real” French Polynesia.  We were forewarned that it would not be as luxurious as Moorea or Bora Bora, but Kleon assured us there was a 4 star property, Te Tiare Beach Resort, on the island, and a quick Google search turned up search results that Huahine — with all it tropical foliage, azure waters, and gorgeous mountain peaks – was the most picturesque of all the Society Islands.  So, we bought it.

The airport code for Huahine is HUH, which was a funny coincidence because that’s what we said to each other after arriving at Te Tiare Beach Resort.  I had mixed feelings about this resort since I knew Huahine wasn’t set up to cater to visitors (so how nice could the resort really be?), but it was on the 2011 Conde Nast Gold List so that meant something!

(The beach bungalows at Te Tiare Beach Resort)

Anyway, Te Tiare Beach Resort is located in a remote part of the island so the only way to get there is by boat.  Sounds cool, right?  The only downfall is that the resort is quite small and the only activities at the resort include sunbathing (as long as you don’t mind ants crawling on you– “Garden Island” comes with all the garden insects), the spa (but we had just had a spa day in Moorea), and kayaking (pretty much a staple at French Polynesian resorts).

We stayed in a Beach Bungalow here, which reminded us of a cabin you’d stay at in the woods (unfortunately, we were not looking to “camp” in French Polynesia).  The room was spacious but the décor looked like it belonged in another decade (or two… or three).  Oh, and there were ants.  A lot of them.  All over our deck!  Mr. T had originally wanted to surprise me with a night dining “under the stars”, but he cancelled it when he saw all the ants on the deck.  I love romantic surprises but that was his best decision ever.

Oh yah, there was also the incident of the mysterious droppings on our bed.  Mr. T spotted it and asked me what the milky white dollops were on the comforter (and by “comforter”, I mean “knit”).  I hadn’t the faintest idea.  It looked like bird droppings but there was no way a bird could get into our bungalow.  When housekeeping came to change our sheets they told us it was gecko droppings!  Gecko droppings!  How sick is that?  To top it off, this happened BOTH nights we were there.  Ugh.

Anyway, I don’t want to make it sound like Huahine was a complete “waste” because we did enjoy the island tour we took on day 2.  We saw ancient Polynesian ruins, toured a vanilla bean plantation (so fragrant!), stepped in a canal full of eels (well, Mr. T did, anyway), and saw some of the “picturesque” scenery that Google promised.

(Real Tahitian vanilla beans)

(Our tour guide feeding the eels sardines)

(The water color striations look unreal)

(One family makes that motu its home)

We both agreed, however, that one night in Huahine would have been plenty for us!

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Walter - March 20, 2012 - 1:23 pm


Thanks for compiling this review. Finally a destination I don’t necessarily need to go to 😉

Just Wanderlust - March 20, 2012 - 3:51 pm

Haha, yep! Well, you could still go if you want to see the less touristed version of French Polynesia, but not if you’re hoping to relax at a nice resort… 😉

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