InterContinental Tahiti: Something for Everyone
Updated: Nov 5, 2020
Make sure the InterContinental Tahiti is your resort of choice if you are planning to spend time in Tahiti—either as a stopover or your final destination.
Chances are, if you’re headed to French Polynesia and planning to travel to the outer islands (Bora Bora, Mo’orea, Rangiroa, Tikehau, Taha’a and others), you’ll probably need at least a night in Tahiti as a stopover. By far your best bet for places to stay is the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa.
Located just 6 minutes from the airport, the InterContinental Tahiti offers a convenient, yet also still exciting option as a place to stay a day or two so that you can also experience beautiful Tahiti. Though islands like Bora Bora get all the attention, don’t skip Tahiti! Here, you’ll see what a “big city” in French Polynesia looks like, have space to drive around and explore varying beaches, waterfalls and surf breaks, and be able to visit the infamous Pape’ete Market.
The InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa also offers rooms in varying levels of luxury and corresponding price points. For example, budget travelers can get a base rate room for around $250 USD. Or travelers seeking luxury can book a Superior Overwater Bungalow Suite for around $1,000 USD per night.
The resort itself is perfect for couples and families alike. With an expansive pool, “lagoonarium” (a lagoon located on the resort property where you can sit and watch the fish swim through a planted coral reef), tons of amenities and varying restaurant options, you’re sure to find plenty to do while you’re there. They also have a well-equipped gym and beautiful spa, so you can either work out some energy at the gym or relax and de-stress from plane travel at the spa.
There are a number of different swimming pools, with varying options for guests traveling with children and those looking to relax. There's also plenty to keep you entertained: from myriad water sports options to Polynesian dancing shows at night, you're sure to never get bored.
How InterContinental Tahiti is protecting its guests from Covid-19
InterContinental properties worldwide are committed to doing everything they can to protect their guests from possible exposure to Covid-19. Since long before this pandemic began, IHG developed a partnership with leading industry experts Ecolab and Diversey to develop top of the line hygiene and cleaning technologies and services at all of their properties. Since July of this year, all IHG properties have also instituted procedures requiring face coverings to be worn in all public spaces at all hotels in the Americas. In most cases, that also extends to other IHG properties across the globe.
The safety measures that the InterContinental Tahiti has put into places to protect its guests from Covid-19 are apparent immediately upon arrival. Guests will find arrows and signs on the floors indicating which direction to walk, and where to enter to check in at registration. They've reduced the contact at check-in, with touchless transactions, sanitizer stations, sanitized key-cards and paperless checkout.
In public spaces and facilities, they've instituted additional deep cleaning procedures for high traffic areas. Signs are placed denoting 5 feet of distance and—most notably—all guests are advised that they are required to wear a mask at all times throughout the property, except when they are eating dinner at the restaurants, drinking cocktails at the bar, or lounging by the pool.
At breakfast, you’ll be delighted to find the buffet is back—but with some adjustments. Guests are of course required to wear their masks, and again will find arrows on the floors direction where to start, and where to go throughout the buffet so people aren’t milling about. Each guest also gets their own pair of tongs so no tongs are shared. So you grab your plate, keep your distance from other guests, and fill your plate with food using your own set of tongs. Brilliant!
In the room, communal items such as menus and other high-touch items have removed. The room service menu, for example, was available on the TV instead of in a booklet on the desk or in one of the drawers.
What to do in Tahiti
Visitors to Tahiti must go to the Papeete Market. Be sure to go early though if you have a car and are on a tight schedule: parking is difficult, as there is virtually no on-street parking and the garages aren’t easy to find. Here is the best place to buy gifts for friends and family at home; you’ll find everything from soaps and oils to jewelry and pearls. It’s also an open air produce market, so you can grab some fruit to take back to your hotel to either make a quick breakfast or snack on throughout the day.
If you’re looking to take photos while in French Polynesia—or just want an insanely beautiful accessory to wear while you’re there—you can also pick up beautiful flower crowns. Located just outside the market to the left (if you’re looking at the entrance from the east), you’ll find a number of stalls with women hand-making flower crowns right there. Prior to traveling to Tahiti, I read that the flower crowns cost around $50 and expected to pay as much. I later found out that it can be even more than that—I was charged $60 at the InterContinental Thalasso and read later on while staying at the St. Regis that they charge $100! However, I bought two crowns and ended up paying $10 (1,000 XPF) for one and about $15 for the other at the Papeete Market, so picking flower crowns up here is the best way to save money (and pick the crown you want!).
Because Tahiti is French Polynesia's largest island, there's also a lot more to do. There are famous food trucks to stop and eat at, awe-inspiring waterfalls and incredible hikes that take you up into the lush mountains and two extinct volcanoes, and visit their famous black sand beaches. Though most of Tahiti's beaches are black sand, the infamous La Plage de Maui features stunning pearly white sand. The Vaipahi Gardens are also a wonderful—and free—way to kill an hour or two out of the day.
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If you’re an experienced surfer, there are a number of little beach breaks along the southwest side of the island, or head all the way south, to the tip of the island, to surf famous Teahupo'o. Note that it’s about an hour and a half drive to the lower end of the island (Teahupo’o quite literally means “end of the road”).
If you’re spending more than a day in Tahiti—or just have time to kill—I would strongly suggest renting a car and driving the island. This way you’ll be able to visit the black sand beaches, see waterfalls on the northern end, and stop by all the amazing fruit stands on the side of the road.
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