Recommend October 2014 - (Page 22)

©TIM-MCKENNA/TFS southpacific & BLUE LAGOONS, WHITE BEACHES BLACK PEARLS When a trio of American hoteliers envisioned Raiatea's first overwater bungalow in the 1970s, they did more than create blissful accommodations. By mounting traditional Polynesian grass huts onto stilts in aquamarine lagoons, the "Bali Hai Boys" established a Tahitian icon. An overseas territory of France, Tahiti is a tapestry of 118 atolls and islands in five archipelagos spanning across more than two million sq. miles. The fact that the largest island is actually named Tahiti spurs an identity issue of sorts-one that Tahiti Tourisme continues to clarify through branding. "For North America, we refer to the destination as 'The Islands of Tahiti,'" says Jonathan Reap, North America's president and managing director. "This suggests there are more islands beyond the island of Tahiti itself." He says that Tahiti Tourisme adds a "Just 8 Hours from L.A." subtag onto the market's messages to resolve distance misconceptions. "With as many tourists visiting in a year as Hawaii receives in seven days, Tahiti's privacy and seclusion is ideal for both romantics and families alike," says Reap. Thanks to visibility up to 150 ft., divers also dominate. Advise your clients that it's "always summer" in Tahiti, with December-April slightly warmer and wetter. Average yearly temperature is 79ºF, with lagoon waters averaging 80ºF. taking flight Last year, Air Tahiti Nui made the journey from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Papeete's Faa`a International Airport (PPT) even more pleasant when it rolled out a $17 million seat 22 october 2014 22-25 SP Tahiti.indd 22 dawna robertson enhancement and entertainment expansion on its Airbus A340-300 aircraft. During a recent visit to the Islands of Tahiti, I took an afternoon flight and checked into InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa less than 10 minutes from the airport. Fringing a lagoon with Moorea dazzling on the horizon, the 258-room property features infinity pools, a fitness center and spa, Tiki Bar, fine dining restaurant Le Lotus, and open-kitchen restaurant, Tiare. While many visitors quickly springboard beyond, the 403-sq.-mile island is well worth exploring. During my visit, I stuck close to the resort, perusing Papeete's Le Marche Public Market where mellow vendors display fruit, soaps, monoi oil, vanilla beans, woven baskets and colorful pareo fabrics. Waterfront Vaiete Square changes its evening demeanor with a cluster of roulottes (food trucks) prepping global fare ranging from French crepes and Peking duck to burgers and coveted poisson cru, Tahiti's signature raw fish salad with diced vegetables soaked in coconut milk. No worries if trucks are sold out. It's on nearly every menu in French Polynesia. rangiroa From there, I took an Air Tahiti (not to be confused with Air Tahiti Nui) flight to Rangiroa; as with any island-to-island flight, recommend your clients grab a window seat for the stunning scenery. Tallying a modest 13 percent U.S. business annually, Rangiroa in the Tuamotu Archipelago is a natural aquarium where 240 palm-laden motu (islets) ring a luminous lagoon brimming with harmless black tip sharks. 9/24/14 10:17 AM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend October 2014

Editor’s Notes
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
Who is Today’s Luxury Client?
New Upscale Hotel Offerings in the U.S.
Tahiti: Blue Lagoons, White Beaches & Black Pearls
I’ll Have a Brunello After My Facial
Guadeloupe Islands Travel Planner
Silver Spirit
Crystal Serenity
Five High-End Stays
Morocco: Gem-Filled Destination
Ah the Spas, Latin America-Style

Recommend October 2014