From Tahiti to Bora Bora to Moorea, TPOL has made his way around French Polynesia. With nothing but French television and CNN International to entertain me (or $10 for a DVD rental), I decided to write an overdue a-live post and give a quick run down of my impressions of this island getaway.
1. The weather: When the sun is out, there’s no place in the world I’d rather be. When it rains, the landscape is still captivating. When it’s overcast, the weather reminds me of my Mongolian shower: I try to convince myself that it’s hot but it’s actually depressing. Then the hot water, or sun in this case, comes out and things are fine again. (For those that haven’t lived in Mongolia, substitute the Wifi going out instead for no hot water)
2. The service: Like the weather, the service is hit or miss. The IC Moana was apathetic at best while the IC Thalasso had some pleasant staff and some who couldn’t be bothered to help.
3. The prices: Caution you’re about to enter a TPOL talking about prices episode. I get that I’m on a secluded island and all the rest of that jibber-jab but people also live on this island full-time and they are offended that the Hilton Moorea charges $90 for three crepes. While I’m on the subject, Hilton Diamond members get a free cold breakfast. It’s a $10 up charge for a very bad hot buffet. All the resorts including Le Meridien have had disappointing breakfast spreads. (wait till you read my dazzling reviews of the breakfast in Shanghai in comparison) I would rather have Apple Jacks and skim milk than what I’ve been given here.
4. The excursions: Thus far the drunken duck tour has been my favorite excursion. Nothing like jumping off of your own bungalow into a sea of blue then floating away on a private duck to start off the day. Second to duck times has been snorkeling. Tomorrow is shark and sting ray petting for a reasonable price of $60 followed by a day of golf for $125 inclusive of club rentals, lunch, and a souvenir ball. That’s a spectacular deal.
5. The comparisons: This is a fast and dirty list.
Hawaii: But for points I’d say skip Tahiti for Hawaii.
Mauritius and Seychelles: For activities and beauty, these two are better.
Maldives: I wasn’t impressed with the service in the Maldives but nothing beats the bungalow with the hot tub on the deck.
Overall, I will remember Tahiti for my time spent enjoying Tahiti’s natural beauty. It’s fair to say that the big brands and influx of tourists have tarnished the innocence of this place. On my way here, I met a woman who was not staying at any of the five-star hotels, opting for a tent instead. Apart from dealing with the cockroaches in my IC room which had no a/c, I can’t help but wonder if her approach to Tahiti is better than mine. That is why the next time TPOL goes to an island, he will seek out a place that doesn’t accept points, a bold statement given the ‘P’ in my name.