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Ia Orana from Gayle Zielke, your Tahiti Tiare Specialist!




I feel like I have the whole world in my hands when I am in Paradise..I mean Tahiti!









Polynesia, the South Seas, Tahiti and Her Islands

When you have heard someone mention Tahiti I bet you think it is just one big island.  The legendary name "Tahiti" not only identifies this main island of Tahiti....Papeete,  but also the whole group of islands that make up French Polynesia.  

Choose the right Tahitian Island waiting just for you!

Each of the islands of French Polynesia have their own unique history and personality.  All of them are naturally beautiful and are loaded with a special charm of their own.

Choosing an island to visit in Tahiti is like going through your jewelry box to choose from a diamond, ruby, emerald, black pearl or tanzanite!  As a Tahiti Tiare Specialist I can help you choose the right JEWEL for YOU!  I would say that Papeete is the SAPHIRE of the group!

Papeete, Tahiti

Papeete, Tahiti is the Island of Love!

Papeete is the bustling capital of Tahiti and one of the most romantic ports of call in the South Pacific!  This busy port has the two highest peaks, black velvet beaches, best shopping on the islands and even pink coral reefs.  Papeete is the largest of the 118 islands that comprise the beautiful French Polynesia and this is where the international airport is located.  So almost everyone that enters Tahiti will visit Papeete by boat or plane.  It will probably be your first Tahitian island experience. 

Downtown Tahiti is a busy little area that reminds me a bit of Honolulu.  It has the Le Marche (markets), don't forget to visit the Pearl Market here for best prices for Black Pearls, there are a few shopping centers in Papeete and near your hotels.  Most of the population of all the islands are here too.  In the evening you will not want to miss the Les Roulottes (a great way to see a bit of the locals and tourists for less expensive casual dining).  You can not miss it right in the center of town near the piers.  This is the local name for the catering trucks that offer a variety of cuisine and appear nightly on the waterfront in Papeete.  Not to be confused with the public transportation system called Le Truck which will pick you up at your hotel and take you downtown.  These trucks are about $1.30 (francs) per person during the day and about $2 CFP / XPF in the evening.  So try and exchange money when you are there in small amounts for any small purchases or expenses you might incur.  If you use US money in Tahiti you will receive their money back.   

If you travel to the other side of Tahiti it will be very different just like Oahu has 2 sides of the island.  There are wonderful waterfalls and a side of the island (ask me about the Gaugon Restaurant) so surprising I thought I was back in the 1950's or 60's.  Not that I remember those years...I must be thinking of the old movies I used to watch like Mutiny of the Bounty which was made 3 times, once with Clark Gable in (1935), Marlon Brando in (1962) and Mel Gibson (1984). An Affair to Remember (1957), starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, was filmed on Moorea, as was A Love Affair (1993). De Laurentis chose Bora Bora for his 1979 film Hurricane.  But no worries... there are NO Hurricanes there, it was just the setting. 

You may have read this book or saw the movie or musical. In 1942 a young naval officer named James Michener was stationed on Bora Bora. He began writing about Polynesia. And the rest, as they say, is history. Michener's Tales of the South Pacific became a huge success as a bestselling novel, inspiring a Broadway musical and a movie named South Pacific. Bora Bora became Michener's enchanted island of "Bali Hai."

While I was in Tahiti and Bora Bora a couple years ago there was another movie being made in the eternal island of Bora Bora.  There was quite a few paparazzi because Vince Vaughn, Justin Bateman and Kristen Bell were there filming!!  Alas I didn't get a glimse of them since I was at another resort entranced with my overwater bungalow!!!  Oh well, I will see it at the theatre.

On one of my last visits to Tahiti I stayed at the Intercontinental Papeete in one of their panaramic rooms which was newly remodeled and wonderful.  I had the opportunity to take in a Polynesian show there since it was Saturday and we all loved it.  

The Saturday night show on Tahiti is called "Bounty Night" as it is a re-enactment of the mutiny on the HMS Bounty. The dance group ("Les Grands Ballets de Tahiti") is one of the best in Tahiti and doesn't perform at any other hotel.  A must see!!!


A great way to get to know the island is by joining a half-day Jeep Safari tour.  You will meet other people from other resorts and see the temples, the vanilla plantations and end at a pond with a waterfall where you can jump right in!  It is really fun and you will see a part of Tahiti that you would not see otherwise.  The Dolphin Experience is wonderful too.  There is the shallow water version or you can actually snorkel with the dolphins.  Ask me about the version that is just for Honeymoon couples! 

If you can break yourself away from the snorkeling and other watersports, try renting a car for a day.  It is very easy to rent a car and see the sights yourself.  It would be hard to get lost on this island and it is a great experience to drive around the entire island. 

TIPS:  Suprise your significant other with a canoe breakfast if you are staying in one of the overwater bungalows.  You can also have a romantic candlelight dinner under the stars!
Don't miss the Polynesian show at your hotel, very authentic and exciting to watch.

Bora Bora
I think everyone loves the name...BORA BORA!  So exotic and Polynesian.  Brings to mind all the Polynesian stories you have heard about the South Pacific. Everyone should go to Bora Bora at least once in your life.  Put it on your Bucket List!!

Even those beautiful brochures do not do justice to your first glimpse of Bora Bora.The different shades of blue waters will really impress you.  Shark and Ray Feeding is a big thrill that you will love and be able to brag about when you return home.  The helmut dive is amazing!!! "I still cannot believe I did it and I wouldn't have missed it for the world", says Gayle Zielke, Tahiti Tiare of First Choice Travel and Cruise. 

You cannot miss a visit to Bloody Mary's restaurant owned by Americans with sand on the floor and tree trunks you sit on.  Listen to live ukulele music and pick out your own fresh seafood.

I like the snorkel with the stingrays and sharks in Bora Bora best.  Snorkel with so many fish first before you get to the big boys!!

Ask me how YOU can actually swim and snorkel with the TURTLES!!! 


In Tahiti you will find some really nice hotel chains that are located on almost all of Tahiti's islands. There are also some really nice boutique hotels and resorts that might interest you too.  Here are a few of my favorites:

The Intercontinentals have many Tahitian resorts to choose from.

InterContinental French Polynesia

What do you get when you combine the world's most prestigious hotel chain - InterContinental with the world's most beautiful destination - Tahiti?

InterContinental Tahiti Resort is world-class resort facing the beautiful island of Moorea and conveniently located between the airport and downtown Papeete. Lovely property with their own Dive shop right here.  What a way to begin or end your trip to Paradise!

InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa combines luxury and casual elegance with the comfort and friendly service you would expect from a truly international Polynesian resort. Only place I know in Tahiti with the swimming with the dolphins...right on property!!

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa is a luxurious resort sets a benchmark in elegance and service and offers a private 1,000-ft. white sand beach and two restaurants and bars.  One of my favorite resorts in Bora Bora.  The views are amazing here from your over water bungalow!  The infinity pool view might be even better.  It is a toss up!  Truly Paradise!

InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora has recently remodeled their beautiful...very Tahitian resort.  The overwater bungalows, beach, lobby and restaurants have been updated but still kept the charm of Polynesia!  You can use the InterContinental Thalasso Spa and some amenities of that resort too.  Like two trips ...stay at one, play at both!

I recently visited all of these resorts and would love to share my experiences at each of these resorts with you.  I have lots of inside tips, I can share the highlights and hidden secrets of all the islands.    



Manava Suite Resort Tahiti




I have stayed at this wonderful resort in Papeete.  I can highly recommend it for a night or two.  I have met guests who were there for months though too.  With only 121 guest rooms which were very deluxe and modern up to the apartment suites. The resort boasts the largest infinity swimming pool facing the lagoon. Everything is fresh and new at this resort.  The food was excellent as I tried breakfast and lunch here. The internet is free and that is definately a plus. 




"Travel is not a luxury is a necessity! I would love to recommend a vacation for you that will exceed your expectations!"

Gayle Zielke, MCC, President
First Choice Travel and Cruise
Wedding Specialist

Tahiti Tiare and Hawaii Akamai Specialist