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Accomodation

Small family-run hotels

In Polynesia, hospitality is not just an empty word. These smaller lodgings, family hotels, and guesthouses, offer an authenticity and a deeply experiential means of connecting to the lives of the Tahitians. Staying in a small family-run hotel is first and foremost an adventure within an adventure, and, based on the type of accommodation you select, is an opportunity for total immersion in the daily life of a Polynesian family.

Family pension in Tahiti and in french polynesia
© tim-mckenna.com

Don't miss a chance to share, see, understand, feel and experience life in the islands as if you were a long-lost relative returning home. Some of you will fish in the lagoon with your hosts; others will follow the children as they hike the mountains in search of waterfalls and pools to swim in. Others may, based on the advice of the owners and occasionally even joining with them, discover local products and cuisine.

Living in a traditional Polynesian fare, whether constructed of traditional or modern materials, in locations that are not too well-known yet very scenic in the welcoming and spontaneous warmth of a Polynesian family is a unique experience that combines tourism in search of authenticity with friendliness, quiet and intimacy, discovery and open space. It is also a way to play a role in safeguarding and protecting local heritage and the environment.

Classification

The five archipelagos offer 256 facilities that can welcome more than 3,519 guests in 1,298 bungalows and rooms. For the first time, a legible classification system, precise criteria and continuous control of services offered in this type of lodging allows visitors to plan their stay under the best possible conditions.

Classification is a voluntary procedure that pension owners subscribe to. The very rigorous rating is established by the French Polynesia Government's Tourism Department, which monitors the application of some 100 rating criteria.The classification commission has the power to downgrade, or even exclude establishments that no longer meet the initial required criteria (hygiene and safety standards).Small family hotels and guest rooms are rated from one to three Tiare Tahiti flowers. The quality and attractiveness of the site, the level of comfort and amenities and the services offered are paid particular attention. 

One tiare : Simple comfort, excellent quality-to-price relationship.
Two tiare : Good comfort at the best possible rate.
Three tiare : Excellent comfort, attentive service, at reasonable rates

A wide range of lodgings, divided into into 4 categories

Small Polynesian hotels, available on every island to cater to the needs of tourists, offer more than 1,500 units rated according to comfort and service quality.

  • Bed & Breakfast: bed and breakfast accommodations include furnished rooms or bungalows (four rooms at most). Located adjacent to the family home, they come equipped with private or shared bathrooms. The overnight stay includes breakfast served in your room or in a common area, which could be the family dining room.
  • Farés: farés or “family residences” include furnished bungalows (nine units at most), located near the family home and are equipped with private bathrooms and facilities for cooking and relaxing. They have a front desk, a common area reserved to guests and, if desired, they will provide daily housekeeping.
  • Family-run boarding houses: family-run boarding houses offer furnished rooms and/or bungalows (nine units maximum), located near or adjacent to the family home, and are equipped with private or shared bathrooms that are separate from those of the proprietor. In addition to breakfast, which is included in the price of your overnight stay, they offer at least one meal in a common area or perhaps in the family dining room.
  • Small, family-run hotels: : small, family-run hotels offer furnished rooms (twelve units at most) located in a block of flats or low-rise housing equipped with private bathrooms. They have a front desk, a bar, and a restaurant. In addition to breakfast, which is included in the price of your overnight stay, they offer complete food and beverage service and à la carte dining. They also provide daily housekeeping.

Activities

Family hotels and pensions offer fascinating activities, sometimes directly, often through the most competent excursion operators. 

Pension owners know, better than any guidebook, the hiking trails, the secret beaches, the surfing spots, the ancient ruins hidden in the valleys, the lagoon or ocean locations where fish are plentiful. They can help you organize excursions and picnics on motu (islets inside the lagoon) or on remote beaches. In some places, you will discover sea kayaking, in others you’ll visit a Tahitian cultured pearl farm, or be initiated into the mysteries of weaving by a Tahitian “mama”. 

Armed with their experience and their local contacts, your hosts can provide you advice on other activities, such as scuba diving or horseback riding. For those who like giving their holiday a theme, be it sports, nature or exploration, pensions in Tahiti and Her Islands are the ideal accommodations, providing the closest to what you’re seeking.

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