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Where to Stay in Tahiti in 2023 | Best Areas & Hotels

Where to Stay in Tahiti in 2023 | Best Areas & Hotels

Tahiti is a true paradise on Earth. White sands, lush greenery, volcanic mountains, fresh seafood, and lots of cocktails — what more can a person want?

If you’re interested in finding out a bit more about this oasis in the Pacific, read on to learn where to stay in Tahiti. We’ll show you the best areas, why we love each one, their restaurants and things to do, and more — let us be your guide!

Why You Should Visit Tahiti in 2023

A woman wearing a red beach dress and a summer hat, standing beside a short coconut tree on the shore, staring at a distant native houses and tall green mountains.


Tahiti is a majestic place and counts as the largest island of the French Polynesian archipelago. It’s surrounded by a number of smaller idyllic islands called the Society Islands, one of which we also decided to include in our guide here because of its proximity and beauty — the island of Moorea.

On a map, you can find the Society Islands halfway between Los Angeles and Sydney. When you look at the map, they seem like they’re in the middle of nowhere amidst the Pacific Ocean, but they’re an eight-hour flight from Los Angeles and in the same time zone as Hawaii.

Despite their raw natural beauty, Tahiti and Moorea are more approachable than they might seem. On the islands, almost everyone speaks either French or English, and there are a lot of restaurants that serve international food.

And yet, they also remain somewhat elusive. Lagoons and mountain peaks surround and crown these paradisical places and beckon travelers to explore their peaks, snorkel in the lagoons, marvel at the wonderful coral reefs, and peer into the ocean’s depths with scuba diving.

There are so many adventure opportunities on these islands that you probably won’t be able to try them all, and you’ll be left hungry for more, we’re sure!

The 3 Best Parts of Tahiti

Where to Stay in Tahiti map in vector format featuring the best areas of town

To make sure you make the most of your trip to Tahiti, we recommend visiting the following part of the island.

  1. Papeete: The perfect place for people who want a taste of tropical nature and city life.
  2. West Tahiti Nui: Best for families and people who are looking for a bit of peace of mind.
  3. Moorea: Perfect for adventurers, as this island has some exciting natural spots to explore.

The Best Areas & Hotels in Tahiti

Let’s take a deeper look into these three wonderful spots in Tahiti and its surrounding island Moorea. We’ll share the best restaurants where you can munch on great food, the best hotels, the best adventure options, and the must-see beaches.

But, most importantly, you’ll learn which place you’re bound to love and which area you should pass on and move over to something that suits your interests and desires more.

1. Papeete

Local men and women wearing traditional tropical clothing and headdress, joyfully dancing on green grass near the sea, while a tourist is shooting a video in background.


Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia. It has a characteristic circular shape and is divided into two parts. There’s the larger part, which is in the northwest, called Tahiti Nui, and the southwest part, called Tahiti Iti.

Here we’ll talk about Tahiti Nui and the capital city of Tahiti located in this part of the island — Papeete.

Tahiti’s Papeete stands in stark contrast to the other, quieter, and more secluded areas of the island. It seems to blend well two very different worlds — the one with the perfect tropical paradise and the one with the city museums, busy streets, cafes, and nightlife.

That’s why Papeete and the whole northwest Tahiti Nui area are an excellent choice for travelers looking for both — a tropical vacation and a dynamic city experience.

Tourists who want more options for a luxurious or more romantic stay should instead opt for a place like Bora Bora, another of the Society Islands, or Moorea, which we’ll cover in section three of this guide.

Papeete is a terrific spot to stay in for those who are visiting Tahiti for the first time. It has everything you need, from supermarkets and stores to great restaurants and vibrant city life.

Papeete is a port city, which also makes it a good spot for easily getting to other areas of the island or other nearby islands.

Things to Do

  • Musée de la Perle Robert Wan (The Robert Wan Pearl Museum) is the only museum in the world dedicated to pearls. If you’re even remotely interested in jewels, you’ll find this museum impressive because it tells the history of pearls, as well as the extraction process. Here, you’ll also see the largest Tahitian pearl to date and get an opportunity to buy pearls to take home.
  • There are lots of great beaches around Papeete. Our favorite is the Plage de la Pointe Venus — a beautiful volcanic beach with black sand surrounded by towering mountains. On this beach, you can swim, sip delicious cocktails, or sunbathe; it’s up to you. Just don’t miss the beautiful sunsets!
  • Another beach we love in Papeete is Hitimahana. It’s a beach that gets a lot of wind, making it the perfect spot for paragliders and other water sports, like windsurfing and kite sailing. So, if you want to try something new and fun, visit Hitimahana Beach!
  • It’s a shame not to try scuba diving or snorkeling in Tahiti. Scuba diving is for deeper waters, but you can also go snorkeling if you’re afraid of the ocean’s depths.

Where to Eat

  • Bora Bora Lounge is a bar-restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere in the center of Papeete, perfect for chilling in the long evening hours and drinking cocktails.
  • Coffee Shop Tahiti is a great coffee and brunch spot in the middle of Tahiti’s capital.
  • Brasserie Hoa is a hip brewery that offers enjoyable craft beers and pub snacks. If you want to relax after a long day with a glass of well-chilled quality beer, this is the place to be!
  • Meherio Tahitian Bistro is a beautiful French-style bistro restaurant on Papeete’s marina, serving delicious food and views of the many docked ships.

Tahiti Nui – Papeete Budget Hotels

  • TEA TAHITI Holidays is a one-star hotel with nice clean rooms and a private bathroom. The rooms also have air conditioning, a TV, a coffee machine, and a microwave. If you’re a bigger family, you can also rent family rooms. There’s free Wi-Fi on the premises, a garden with BBQ facilities, and free parking. You can have continental breakfast every day for an additional cost.
  • Mahana Lodge Hostel & Backpacker is a budget hostel with dormitory-style rooms and shared bathrooms. The hostel has a shared kitchen where you can cook and a lounge where you can hang out with other visitors. Rooms are non-smoking and have free Wi-Fi. There’s also breakfast included in the price.

Tahiti Nui – Papeete Mid-Range Hotels

  • Hotel Tahiti Nui is a three-star hotel in the heart of Papeete, just a five-minute walk from the waterfront. It has an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and a Turkish bath and offers massages and body treatments. Each room has air conditioning, a TV, a minibar, and a private bathroom. The hotel also has a restaurant called Le Velvet and a lounge bar where you can sip cocktails and enjoy your stay in Tahiti.
  • Royal Tahitien is a three-star hotel in Papeete, alongside the lagoon facing Moorea Island. It has a private volcanic beach with otherworldly black sand, as well as an outdoor pool with a hot tub. Rooms are spacious and have a private bathroom, a safe, a work desk, and a TV. The restaurant has some amazing views of the seaside and serves tasty European cuisine.
  • Hotel Sarah Nui is a three-star hotel five minutes from Papeete Ferry Termina. Rooms are cozy and have private bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, and a TV. Some room types also have a kitchenette. As a hotel guest, you can sign up for a fishing or helicopter tour to explore the island better.

Tahiti Nui – Papeete Luxury Hotels

  • Hilton Hotel Tahiti is a five-star hotel from the famous Hilton brand. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center. Rooms are spacious and beautifully decorated, with private bathrooms, a safety box, and some even have a kitchenette. You can also have breakfast in the hotel — or in bed by calling the hotel’s room service. The hotel also has a superb restaurant serving French and local dishes.
  • Le Tahiti by Pearl Resorts is a fantastic five-star resort hotel in Tahiti. It’s just a ten-minute drive from Papeete. The hotel has a free shuttle bus that can take you there six days a week. The spacious rooms have a private patio deck, private bathrooms, and breathtaking views of Matavai Bay. Want to do Tahitian dancing? Yoga or aqua aerobics, anyone? The hotel organizes classes for free, alongside other activities. You can also use the hotel’s spa, massage, sauna services, and fitness center. Visit their restaurant for a mix of Tahitian, South-East Asian, and Mediterranean food.

See All Hotels in Tahiti

2. West Tahiti Nui

A a long exposure on a small waterfall with large rocks.


The west coast of Tahiti Nui is another great spot on Tahiti’s map, where you can find lots of accommodation options, great beaches, and places for exploration.

Faa’a, Punaauaia, and Paea are some of the larger towns and areas of Tahiti Nui’s west coast. But you can find accommodation along the entire stretch of the west coast — there are plenty of options — most of them guest houses, even in the smaller towns and villages.

One of the best things about the west coast is that it’s not as crowded as Papeete. We know this might be a relief to you because — let’s face it, traveling with kids in a crowded place may be challenging and nerve-wracking.

There are also many attractions on this side of the island, from sea parks to spectacular beaches and aquamarine lagoons. Our advice is to rent a car so you can easily go around the coast and the island.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for less movement and more relaxation, you can simply spend as much time as you can basking in the sun, swimming, reading a book, and soaking in that fresh tropical air!

The west coast of Tahiti is perfect for families and people who want to go hiking, visit waterfalls and caves, or look for hidden beaches. Those who want extra luxurious spots should stick to the capital.

Things to Do

  • The Museum of Tahiti and The Islands is devoted to the history of Polynesia and opened in 1974. To learn more about these fascinating islands, check out the museum’s collection of ethnographic artifacts and exhibitions.
  • Water Gardens Vaipahi are beautiful natural spots filled with tropical flowers and vegetation along Tahiti Nui’s southern coast. There are more than 75 species of plants from around the globe in the Vaipahi gardens,  a waterfall, and mountain trailheads. If you’re a flower enthusiast and want to find out more about the special flora of the island, then this is a must-see.
  • The Fautaua Waterfall is well worth a visit if you want to spend some time exploring the inland. Just make sure to have enough stamina and good hiking shoes!
  • For those who want to go on hiking adventures, the area surrounding Mount Aorai is a not to miss!
  • If you’re into local archeology and ancient history, you’ll love the Marae Ta’ata archeological site.

Where to Eat

  • Le Lotus is a beautiful overwater restaurant, part of the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa. It offers mouthwatering dishes made by the finest chefs in Tahiti.
  • Tahiti La Plage is a great Polynesian and international restaurant with a waterfront terrace. It serves burgers, local fish, grilled crayfish, many types of meat, and homemade ice cream and desserts.
  • Taapuna Restaurant Tahiti is a waterfront restaurant in the Te Moana Tahiti Resort. It serves local Polynesian food. If you want to taste the best and freshest of the island while enjoying the aquamarine waters before you, this is the place!

West Tahiti Nui Budget Hotels

  • Tahiti Airport Motel is a three-star motel very close to the Faa’a International Airport. Rooms are budget-friendly, comfy, clean, and bright, all decorated in the Polynesian tropical style. There are rent-a-car options next to the hotel if you want to explore the island by car.
  • Rava Lodge is a guest house in Punaauia. It’s a nice affordable place to stay on Tahiti Nui’s west coast. It’s located in an area that’s great for hiking and offers stunning mountain views. The guest house has homestays with private bathrooms and kitchenettes.

West Tahiti Nui Mid-Range Hotels

  • Bungalow APETAHI is a guest house located in Faa’a. It offers a free airport shuttle and has free private parking. You can also rent free bikes from the 24-hour open desk. The rooms have private bathrooms, a TV, and a kitchen. As a guest, you can also use the guest house’s barbecue equipment and chill in the shared lounge in the afternoon.
  • Ninamu Pearl Guest House is a lovely place to stay in Tahiti’s west Punaauia part. It has an outdoor pool, a hot tub, and an amazing breakfast you cannot miss! All rooms have private bathrooms, and some are even equipped with kitchen appliances. The guest house also rents family rooms.

West Tahiti Nui Luxury Hotels

  • InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa is a five-star hotel, just a ten-minute drive from Papeete and only a five-minute drive from the airport. The resort offers bungalows over water with sun terraces and direct access to the lagoon. As a guest, you can access the resort’s diving center, visit the open-air aquarium, and play tennis on the courts. You can also relax in the Deep Nature Spa or dine in Le Lotus, a wonderful French-Polynesian restaurant that is part of the hotel.
  • Te Moana Tahiti Resort is a four-star luxury hotel, just a ten-minute drive from Faa’a airport. For a luxury resort, though, the prices are pretty decent. It has an outdoor pool, a spa, and a fitness center available for its guests. All rooms have private bathrooms, and most even have a kitchenette.

See All Hotels in Tahiti

3. Moorea

Bungalow houses erected few feet above tropical waters with a foot bridge and a green mountain.

MOOREA, FRENCH POLYNESIA -30 NOV 2018- Landscape view of the Intercontinental Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa Moorea, a luxury hotel with overwater bungalows on the lagoon in Moorea, French Polynesia./EQRoy/Shutterstock

Moorea is considered to be one of the most beautiful islands of the Pacific, and it’s certainly one of the most scenic islands from the Society group. Even though Moorea might seem unapproachable at first, it’s anything but.

This island offers plenty of adventure spots for those with restless spirits, but it also has a peaceful and relaxing vibe that’s hard to resist once you’re there. Moorea is not far from Tahiti — only ten nautical miles away, and it’s easy to get to by plane or ferry.

This makes it an attractive destination for all kinds of trips — whether you’re coming with your spouse, family, your friends, or just by yourself.

While Moorea has beautiful and expensive resorts where you can truly feel like you’re on top of the world, it also has a small island feel that gives off a modest and unpretentious vibe. In terms of geography, the island is similar to the others surrounding it.

Its volcanic peaks rise from the center of the island, surrounded by an aquamarine lagoon. Moorea is a place that families and couples would absolutely love since it perfectly reflects the Polynesian way of life, with its welcoming character, warmth, and love for life.

But this is a more peaceful island, so people who would like a more urban area should maybe look somewhere else — Tahiti would definitely be a better choice for that.

Things to Do

  • Plage des Tipaniers is an idyllic white sand beach in Moorea that’s a great spot for snorkeling.
  • Green Pearl Golf Course Moorea is a paradise golf course for people who love the sport. If you’re a golfing enthusiast, then you have to try yourself for a hole nine at this spot!
  • Snorkeling at Motu Fareone and Motu Tiahura is something you must try while on Moorea. These two beautiful islets off the coast of Moorea offer stunning underwater scenery that’ll fill your heart with joy.
  • Hiking is also a popular activity on Moorea. You can climb two beautiful lookout spots — Belvedere Lookout and Three Coconuts Lookout and enjoy the wonderful view of the island.  
  • If you’re a fan of sea life, you can also go whale watching on Moorea. There are tours led by local marine biologists which can tell you all about the wonderful sea life that inhabits the Pacific Ocean around the Society Islands.
  • You can also go skydiving if you’re more adventurous. Some tours allow you to jump from 10,000 feet or more and experience the island in a way few people can!

Where to Eat

  • Rudy’s is a French-Polynesian restaurant that offers fresh fish,  meat, and vegetarian dishes.
  • HOLY STEAK HOUSE is, as the name suggests, a steak house in Moorea that offers mouthwatering meat specialties. For the meat-eaters out there, this steak house will be the ultimate experience.
  • Snack Mahana is a local’s spot by the beach with great fresh Polynesian food, amazing views, and a relaxed atmosphere.
  • TOATEA CRÊPERIE & BAR is an overwater eatery and bar that specializes in French pancakes (aka crepes). Sweet or savory, pancakes are turned into art here!
  • Tropical Garden is a family-owned business that sells juices, jams, fresh fruit snacks, ice cream, and quirky things like sweet potato fries with vanilla sauce that are all the rage.
  • Coco Beach Moorea is a gorgeous lunch spot on the nearby island Motu Tiahura, just off the coast of Tiahura town. Great local food paired with an amazing tropical atmosphere.

Moorea Budget Hotels

  • Pension Motu Iti is a two-star hotel that rents shared rooms and bathrooms, as well as separate rooms with private bathrooms. One of the best things about this place is that you can get free kayaks to go and explore Moorea’s fantastic tropical waters. There’s also a hotel restaurant where you can munch on local and international food paired with some fresh tropical cocktails.
  • Moorea Vaiare Lodge is a very affordable two-star hotel that is great value for your money as it offers all the basic comforts for a superb price. It has a nice garden and terrace guests can use, as well as free parking. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, a private bathroom, as well as a fridge and a microwave, and a coffee machine for that fresh early-morning shot of caffeine.
  • PainaPaopao Backpacker is a dormitory-style hostel with shared bathrooms and a shared kitchen. There’s also a garden and a terrace where guests can hang out. The beach is very near to the hostel and easily accessible by foot.

Moorea Mid-Range Hotels

  • Hotel Kaveka is a two-star hotel that offers traditional bungalows for rent, each one equipped with a private bathroom, TV, minibar, and patio. There’s also an overwater restaurant that serves Tahitian, Asian, and French cuisine, where you can find the most exotic French wines and cocktails. As a guest, you can try various water sports, like snorkeling and canoeing.
  • Hotel Hibiscus is a three-star hotel with an outdoor pool and a beachfront restaurant that serves Polynesian, French, and Italian dishes and lots of amazing cocktails. The hotel offers bungalows and studios for rent, all of which have a private bathroom, a private terrace, and a kitchenette. There’s also a leisure room with a library and a TV room you can use as a guest.
  • Linareva Moorea Beach Resort is a charming three-star upper-mid-range hotel in Moorea. It has spacious, clean rooms, a private bathroom, and a small kitchen. As a guest, you can also rent bicycles, canoes, as well as equipment for snorkeling from the hotel.

Moorea Luxury Hotels

  • Hôtel Fenua Mata’i’oa is a four-star hotel located within a tropical garden and a lagoon. Its luxurious suites have Wi-Fi, a TV, a minibar, and a private patio. The hotel offers all kinds of fun activities like snorkeling, windsurfing, and canoeing. There’s also a great restaurant within the hotel and a cocktail bar. This place is particularly convenient for people who want to get married soon – you can even do it on the spot and have the hotel arrange a Polynesian wedding ceremony!
  • Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is a five-star hotel from the famous Hilton brand. You can rent overwater bungalow suites with a balcony or a terrace and wake up every day above an aquamarine lagoon. This hotel has it all — a fitness center, a swimming pool, a spa, and even a tennis court for the tennis aficionados among you! Through the hotel, you can also sign up for a bunch of fun sports activities like water skiing, scuba diving, windsurfing, and many more.
  • Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort is a five-star beachfront resort with amazing lagoon views. You can rent entire bungalows and can choose between rooms with beach views and garden views. The resort has two restaurants whose specialties are French and Polynesian food. There’s also a beach bar where you can try out all the cocktails you can think of.

See All Hotels in Tahiti

So, Where Should You Stay in Tahiti?

🌳 Best for NaturePapeete
👪 Best for FamiliesWest Tahiti Nui
⛰️ Best for Outdoor ExperienceMoorea

Tahiti is certainly a jewel of the Pacific. It is the most versatile of all of the Pacific islands. It offers stunning beaches, amazing hiking spots, but also great places within the cities on the island where you can feel the best of both worlds – the tropical and the urban.

So, with so much to see and do, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Tahiti has to offer. Happy travels!