web Musings of The Global Traveller

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Reader question - Tahiti

Melissa asks for information on Tahiti.

"We’re off to Bora Bora & Moorea for 10 days – we’re lucky enough to be able to stay in the OWB at both Hilton’s but, not into posh places to eat within the hotels. We’re more into eating where locals go – will have a car in Moorea and will venture around the island, however, got any recommendations for Bora Bora. Also, just how light should we pack? Any info you can throw our way is greatly appreciated!"

Congrats on securing some nice rooms over the water. I can't help you with current suggestions for local eateries, however on the baggage front I have this info.

Air Tahiti, which operates the inter-island flights, has a baggage allowance of 10kg checked (or 20kg if you buy the more expensive fares) and 3kg cabin. Excess baggage is around US$5 per kilo for the round trip if pre-paid.

Can any reader (perhaps Tahiti expert Gary Leff of View from the Wing) help Melissa with more information and advice?


The CF said...

I suppose this isn't exactly what she's looking for, but on Bora Bora, Villa Mahana is outstanding. It's a very small, very nice restaurant that requires reservations, so it's fancy and not necessarily where the locals go. Still, absolutely worth going.

Tamatoa AUDOUIN said...

You can eat at Snack Teina in Ma'atea, Mo'orea. This is one of the place where the average locals like to go for "tahitianized" chinese food. They also serve i'a ota. You can also go to one of these "roulottes" - fastfood-vans - dispersed all around Mo'orea.

And if you're interested in local island life, Huri Translations
publishes the PUNA VE'A, a bimonthly article about cultural and linguistic stories related to French Polynesia at

Enjoy your stay,


Gary said...

Villa Mahana (on Bora Bora) really is a very special place. It's expensive, but not really more expensive than dinner at the resorts.

The chef is outstanding. There are only a half a dozen tables inside, if I recall correctly there may be a couple more upstairs outside. Early reservations a must -- I suggest emailing the chef, drop me a note at gleff -at- if you want the address.

I actually had the single best piece of foie gras I've ever eaten there. I told the chef how much I enjoyed it and he sent out another portion complimentary.

Just excellent, really, can't recommend it enough. Very quaint atmosphere. Wasn't a fan of their signature cocktails, though, and those are quite pricey.

Anyway, I stayed at Bora Bora Nui when it was managed by Starwood. It's a phenomenal physical property. But you're in French Polynesia, service won't be up to what one might expect for the price you pay. Just enjoy the beauty! Everything really is a picture postcard there.

I will offer one baggage tip: when I flew Air Tahiti out of Papeete they were quite persnickety about weighing bags, and charged me an overweight baggage fee. They offered a 20% discount for prepaying the overweight baggage charges for the return. This is NOT a good idea! Odds of the airline weighing your bags on the other islands are much lower. ;)