Previously reputed for its pearls and vanilla… now the veritable lap of “natural” luxury
Located on the Tahitian ‘motu’ of Tautau, an islet delicately resting on a palette of blues, with lush gardens and the exquisite perfumes of tiare flowers, Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa (Relais & Châteaux) offers all the ingredients for a memorable escape. We asked Julien Bressolles, General Manager at the resort what makes it so special…
Winner for several years of the Conde Nast Gold Award, and the unique Relais & Châteaux in French Polynesia, Le Taha’a Island Resort & spa, inspired by Polynesian architecture, was built in and around existing tropical vegetation. 80% of the materials used to build the resort come from the islands of Tahiti, and 85 % of the staff members are from the Island of Taha’a; so you get a real sense of an authentic Polynesian experience. Le Taha’a is in complete harmony with an untouched environment and exudes romance. The main lobby features a traditional Polynesian canoe, fashioned back in the 1900’s from a single trunk of a Mara tree, an object that became the symbol of the resort.
Please give us a general overview of the property…
Facing the vanilla-fragrant island of Taha’a on one side and stunning views of Bora Bora on the other, the resort, inspired by Polynesian architecture and style, comprises 45 stunning overwater suites and 12 beach villas and public areas built seamlessly amidst the trees. A voyage to Le Taha’a is a true culinary experience, strong symbol of the Relais & Châteaux identity and philosophy. The guest will enjoy creative French, Polynesian and international cuisine, with the three restaurants providing a delicate and exotic culinary experience. “Le Vanille” is beautifully nestled among the trees giving it its uniqueness. The Ohiri Restaurant is the resort’s gourmet and gourmands dining option. “La Plage” – with its feet in the sand – is the meeting place for lunch.
How important is sustainability for you?
Sustainability is an important part of our operations at Le Taha’a. We try as much as possible to be in harmony with our surrounding natural environment. We recycle the wastewater from the hotel in our treatment plant and re-use it for the gardens. At the Spa, we decided to use only natural hand-made products from the main island of Taha’a, enabling us to work closely with local producers. We use coconut oil and Tamanu oil, directly produced from the trees on the property, papaya purée for exfoliations and coconut milk for hydration.
Another project we are taking to heart is the creation of an organic garden to grow our own fruit and vegetables. These will then be used for the creation of dishes served in our gourmet restaurant “Le Ohiri”.
FRENCH POLYNESIA BEING A COMPLICATED DESTINATION TO TRANSFER IN BETWEEN ISLANDS, SO GUESTS PREFER TO BE GUIDED BY A SPECIALIST
Weddings are a speciality… How do they take place and what makes them special?
When it comes to love, there are endless possibilities to celebrate at Le Taha’a. Our concierge has created 3 propositions that are presented as a basis of the traditional Polynesian weddings. However, each ceremony can be custom-designed following the clients’ wishes. The ceremony will take place on the resort’s private ‘motu’ islet, surrounded by crystalclear waters, offering a magnificent view of Bora Bora in the distance. Dressed in a pareo with flower leis and heis, the couple is transferred by outrigger canoe from their suite to the ‘motu’. Tahitian songs and dances will greet them and the Master of Ceremonies will proceed with the whole Polynesian blessing. In the local traditions, the bride and groom receive a Tahitian name as symbol of their union. The ‘tifafai’ (Tahitian quilt) wrapped around the happily married couple seals the ceremony.
How do you work with TOs and TAs to facilitate booking or add value?
We work closely with TO and TA’s as a majority of our clientele book through our partners. French Polynesia being a complicated destination to transfer in between islands, so guests prefer to be guided by a specialist. Several techniques are used to facilitate bookings with our partners. Direct contracts are made, newsletters are sent regularly with updates on the product and our offers, constant contact is engaged to keep a close relationship. Our partners know that any questions or recommendation can be sent directly to the resort for their clients and a real follow up is made during their clients’ stay.