One of the best hotels in the world A review of Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort
First thing to say is wow, wow and wow again. To set the scene we went to Tikehau for the final 6 nights of our honeymoon. When you arrive at Tikehau airport (really more of an informal hut that happens to have a runway) you are greeted by the concierge of the hotel with a fresh flower garland. The concierge then quickly collects your bags, tags them with your name and puts them onto the truck which you then ride on to the village pier. At the pier you jump onto the hotels comfortable and fast boat back to the resort, about a five minute ride where the experience truly starts!
You are greeted by conch's being sounded and as you step onto the pier you are handed a chilled scented washcloth and a cold glass of juice. Check in is done at the reception which is just above the pier and it is a lovely experience. Once check in is complete the concierge walks you to your bungalow, we had reserved a premium overwater bungalow and it was beautiful. I have stayed in many 5 star hotels and this bungalow was by far the most beautiful I have ever seen (until later). The room was beautifully set out with fresh flowers all over it, the room is airy and light and the bathroom large and clean. There is a glass section in the floor that allows you to look at the fish! The Premium Overwater bungalows have an upper and lower deck, the upper deck to sunbathe and the lower for direct access to the water. The lower deck also has a freshwater shower and tap. The only bad thing about the bungalow is a lack of air conditioning, it does get incredibly hot in Tikehau and a fan sometimes is not enough.
On our 3rd day we asked if there was a possibility of upgrading to one of the Overwater suites. We were told the cost would be $100 per night which we agreed however at the end of the stay they said it was complimentary as the resort was quite quiet, a very nice surprise.
Overwater Suite - If we had of paid for the upgrade it would have been worth every penny. The suites are amazing; this was now the best room I have ever seen!! Key highlights:
- On the other side of the island so very quiet, basically no noise other than the water
- Much bigger, the suite is huge
- Bathroom has a tub and double vanities
- Deck is 3 times the size of the premium overwater deck and is screened on the sides so it is totally private, there is also a table with an outdoor sofa and two chairs in the covered shaded area of the deck
- Glass sections in the fllow of the room and bathroom that also opens so you can feed the fish!
- Air conditioning, no more really needs to be said!
Food - There is not a lot of choice a there is only one restaurant! But do not fear, the food is excellent:
Breakfast (was included for us so don't know price) - Is an American style buffet with lots of fresh tropical fruit, lovely French pastries and is you would like eggs the chef will prepare them every which way!
Lunch - Very extensive menu, we only ate lunch a couple of times but it was good, we usually had salads ($15-20), food is expensive but if you make it Tikehau you will understand why, it is just so remote.
Dinner - Every night the chef (Thierry) would prepare a menu with 3 starters (1 salad, 1 soup and hot dish), 3 mains (1 meat, 1 fish, 1 pasta) and 3 deserts. All three courses run about $60 but we would always share an appetizer, each have a main and share a desert and we were full every night. The food at dinner is excellent, it is of a quality that you would expect of a gourmet restaurant, we did not have one bad meal. There is also a surprisingly extensive wine list and the price per bottle starts around $25.
Bar - There is a small bar that serves every drink you could pretty much want along with snacks in the afternoon, we often went along for an afternoon ice-cream delight which was lovely in the 90 degree weather.
Scuba Diving - The diving is fantastic, the resident dive master is very good and knowledgeable, the clarity of the water is incredible and the marine life highly diverse.
Snorkeling - Is fantastic all around the little island that the hotel sits on, lots of marine life.
Canoeing - The hotel has sea kayaks you can borrow for free, it is fun to go and explore some of the next door motus, but take lots of sunscreen, it gets very hot on the water.
Village Visit - A must do, the village is small but it is interesting to see how the people of Tikehau survive and go about their business on this remote atoll. You will also want to go to the one and only grocery store and buy lots of water and soda as the hotel is incredibly expensive, the store manager will run your purchases to the pier to save you lugging them the half mile!
Nightlife - There is none
Service, if you expect the best then you expectations will be exceeded, the staff at Tikehau are superb, everyone quickly learns your name which is very nice. All of the staff do everything they can to ensure you have the best vacation in you life, I really can not speak highly enough of the staff.
When the time came for us to leave we were both very sad, my wife came close to crying on the boat back to the airport. Tikehau is incredible; I would highly recommend it over visiting Bora Bora which is equally expensive but far more touristy. If you want exclusivity, luxury, incredible service and total relaxation then Tikehau is the place for you.