Best Boutique Hotels in French Polynesia

View all French Polynesia Hotels

For travelers who'd rather skip the crowded mega-resort scene, French Polynesia is a dream destination. (Actually, French Polynesia is a dream destination for, well, everyone.) Small-scale, non-chain boutique resorts are prevalent here, with many hotels offering somewhere between two and a few dozen rooms. These boutique hotels in Tahiti, Taha'a, and Moorea are the best of their class in French Polynesia.

  1. One of the world's most exclusive private island retreats, the Brando harbors 35 stylish and eco-friendly private villas with plunge pools and direct access to empty stretches of pristine white-sand beach. The calm waters of the sheltered lagoon allow guests to explore the crystalline water via paddleboards or outrigger canoes. Diving trips, tennis, Polynesian dance lessons, cooking classes, and yoga are also available to motivate guests to rise from their lounge chairs. The no-expenses-spared all-inclusive services include cuisine from a Michelin two-star chef, one treatment per day at the holistic spa, and unlimited activities. Arriving at the resort via a private plane adds to the resort's exclusivity, and its high price. 

  2. An exclusive Relais & Chateaux hideaway with a serene atmosphere, Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa is a luxury property with 57 overwater and beach bungalows. Built with local materials around preexisting vegetation, the resort has a subdued elegance that doesn’t feel as over the top as some of its neighbors in Bora Bora. Guests spend their days lounging around the freeform pool, snorkeling in the shallow waters off-shore, or relaxing at the on-site spa. The resort’s three restaurants and bars make great use of local ingredients, especially famed Taha’a vanilla. Besides a weekly Polynesian show, there isn’t much to do here in terms of nightlife. And though the resort offers a free shuttle to the main island of Taha’a -- famous for its  locally grown vanilla and exquisite black pearls -- there isn’t much to do there either. Many of Polynesia’s islands are tranquil places where people come to relax and take in the stunning natural beauty, but it’s hard to describe just how quiet Taha’a is. Don’t expect many shops, restaurants, or bars, because there really aren’t any. But travelers in search of quiet seclusion and an authentic Polynesian lifestyle will find what they’re looking for here. 

  3. Opened in 2010 by a French couple, Isabelle and Jean-Luc, Green Lodge is a charming beachfront "pension" (guesthouse) with six Polynesian-style bungalows. Green Lodge is best suited for independent families, couples, and solo travelers looking to explore Moorea. Its location behind the airport is convenient for arrivals and departures, but is far removed from popular tourist attractions, so guests will likely want to rent a car. On-site amenities include a small pool and a beautiful beachfront, as well as exceptional meals prepared by Isabelle.

  4. Fenua Mata’i’oa is an eccentric upscale property that appeals to a limited clientele. With five rooms, a stunning lagoon-front location, and a hospitable French owner, some travelers will find Fenua Mata’i’oa to be a charming boutique hotel with unique decor and nice amenities. But some may find it a bit strange or even uncomfortable, thanks to the sometimes stuffy Victorian decor, loads of cats, and the stale smell of cigarette smoke throughout the hotel. Expensive on-site dining and Wi-Fi are additional downsides.

  5. Pension Au Phil du Temps is a charming three-room guesthouse on Taha’a, a tiny, quiet island that shares a bay with neighboring Raiatea. Owners Muriel and Franck welcome guests like members of their family, and treat them as such by personally escorting them on private excursions and preparing fantastic daily meals. The majority of guests here are families, but Pension Au Phil du Temps is also suited for couples and solo travelers. Rooms have an authentic Polynesian feel, and are a bit on the rustic side (with no air-conditioning or TVs). But with bright local artwork, fresh smelling linens, and spotlessly clean bathrooms, rooms here are a far cry from many of the old, run-down pensions in Polynesia. 

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