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Where to Stay, Play and Dine in the Islands of Tahiti

Waking up in an overwater bungalow, swimming with sharks and dining on Tahitian favourite, Poisson cru are three things EVERYONE must experience while visiting the Islands of Tahiti.

While I could easily add twenty more activities to this list, I’m a strong believer that vacations should be tailored to the individuals taking the trip. Thanks to the ‘Pick Your Paradise‘ quiz, planning a trip to the Islands of Tahiti doesn’t need to be so daunting. It’s as easy as answering a few simple questions to help you navigate the 118 islands and determine how and where you should spend your time in paradise.

I recently planned my dream elopement in Bora Bora and spent another week exploring Tahiti and Mo’orea. While our wedding stood out as my favourite day, I checked out quite a few hotels, spas, activities and restaurants and have rounded up my top picks in a list below. Happy planning!

Taken at Omati Lodge, Tahiti



Manava Suites Resort Tahiti is only a ten-minute drive from the airport. A large infinity pool with swim-up day instantly sets the tone that you’re on vacation!

Intercontinental Tahiti Resort and Spa is also minutes from the airport. It also offers overwater bungalows and day rates for those that are in a rush to catch a flight. 

Omati Lodge is quiet private oasis hidden in the hills of Tavaro. This guesthouse is the perfect escape for someone looking to stay off the beaten path in Tahiti Iti. 


Whether you opt to jet ski or ATV (or both), Safari Iti Tours will teach you a lot about the island, wildlife and customs of Tahiti. Picking and eating fresh pineapples and lychees from the plantation was definitely a highlight.

I can’t imagine exploring Papenoo Valley with anyone other than Teiva and his company Tahiti Discovery Tour.  His business card tagline is ‘Let’s discover my Island’, and I truly believe we did.

Tahiti Discovery Tour in Papenoo Valley


Blue Banana offers a number of specials to ensure you have the freshest catch possible. Their wood-fired pizzas are also a local takeout favourite. Ask for a seat on the pontoon dock to watch rays and fish swim as you dine. 

Vaitohi Restaurant is located in the Manava Suites Resort, this restaurant prides themselves on crafting local dishes based on what is in season. Ask for a table facing the garden for a peaceful dining experience. 

Tuna four ways



St. Regis Resort Bora Bora is top-notch in terms of cleanliness and service. The rooms and grounds are gorgeous. The St. Regis is the only resort on the island to offer staff accommodations on-site complete with their own beach, bar and restaurant. I believe the level of service and the general happiness of the staff is largely attributed to how well the staff is treated.


You haven’t experienced Bora Bora until you visit the lagoon. We spent the day with Narii of Bora Bora Cultural Lagoon Tour. In the morning we swam with blacktip sharks, lemon sharks and stingrays. The afternoon was spent on a private motu enjoying lunch, making bracelets, chopping open coconuts and learning to paddle the outrigger canoe. 

Whether you there for a holiday or honeymoon, hiring someone to photograph you in paradise is the way to go. No awkward self-timer or wasting the day trying to get the perfect Instagram. Damien Gobron (Bora Bora Photographer) was a pleasure to work with and captured our elopement perfectly.

Sunset cocktails at Lagoon Restaurant


Sunset cocktails overlooking Mount Otemanu are the perfect way to end a day in Bora Bora. Lagoon Restaurant has the best views and signature cocktails. Following sunset head indoors to dine and catch a glimpse of the baby sharks beneath the glass-bottomed floor while enjoying your meal.

Far Niente Ristorante is an Italian restaurant located in the St. Regis. The orecchiette with braised veal ragout was too tempting to pass up, even the night before our wedding.

Bloody Mary’s is a lively bar and restaurant on the main island. Don’t be surprised if you bump into a celebrity or two, as they are known to attract quite the guestlist. 



We spend two nights following our wedding at Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort. It was the perfect place to shut off and hit the beach. They have an onsite dive shop and a number of watersports available.

Sofitel Mo’orea la Ora Beach Resort


I’m a believer that all vacations should include a trip to the spa. I had one of the best massages of my life at Le Gardin Spa and Garden.

There are a number of excursions offered in Mo’orea. If you can’t get to the lagoon in Bora Bora, it’s worth visiting the one in Mo’orea to swim with sharks and stingrays. There’s also a whale-watching excursion which lets you swim alongside humpback whales.


Enjoy fine dining with your feet in the sand at K Restaurant. Pre-set menus and wine pairings make for an easy and delicious way to explore local offerings.

Rudy’s is a no-frills French restaurant that hits the spot after a long day touring the island. They offer a free shuttle service to and from most resorts. The french onion soup is a must! 

Check out Tahiti Tourisme for more information.

Chelsea Broderick

Chelsea Broderick is the Project Manager and contributing writer at Notable Life.