Heavenly Huahine is just about the most peaceful and breathtakingly beautiful island among French Polynesia’s Society Islands’ archipelago. The minute you arrive in this surreal, jungle-like environment you feel you’ve escaped civilization, and reality blurs with every passing day. Balmy breezes blow, warm, clear blue seas flow and friendly natives welcome visitors. There are luscious places to stay sprinkled around the tiny area and one that’s about as enticing as it gets is the relatively new Maitai Lapita Village.
Owned by the MAITAI brand, the property, managed by Hotel Managements & Services, belongs to the Pacific Beachcomber group. Ideal for couples who want to just stay put and rekindle their love while basking in sunshine and swimming in crystal clear lagoons, the hotel has a good restaurant, bar and pool with magnificent views of a white sand beach bordering a crystal clear lagoon from which you can see Raiatea, Taha’a and Bora Bora.
Romance is in the air around its 15 ‘Premium Lake Bungalows’ each decorated with beautiful water lilies, five ‘Premium Garden Bungalows’ and 12 ‘Garden Bungalows’ throughout the property, each with a partial view of the lake and surrounded by tropical plants and vibrant native flowers.
Each cottage looks like a Polynesian canoe house with stylized canoe prows, traditional paddles, and other canoe shaped features. Other design elements include a reception area and restaurant/bar inspired by the architecture and cave adornments of the houses of ancient Polynesian Chiefs. The terracotta color of the Lapita pottery is consistently represented throughout the bungalows, and archaeological artifacts found on site also inspired the decor.
The term “Lapita” refers to the ancestors of French Polynesia, and to the people who navigated from South East Asia 4,000 years ago through Melanesia to Polynesia in great doubled hulled sailing canoes. The rich history of Polynesian culture served as an inspiration for the development of the hotel as well as the atmosphere that was created. The Maitai Lapita Village is told through the chronological exhibition in the hotel museum, tracing the ancient settlement period, through the arrival of Europeans, and to the present.
The environmentally-correct hotel respects the planet with its use of photovoltaic renewable energy that employs a combination of local and traditional as well as modern and recycled materials. The area’s eco-system is preserved through the use of non-polluting waste treatments and cleaning products. Native trees and traditional medicinal plants were planted around the hotel, recreating an authentic atmosphere. Across the grounds, a traditional flora is combined with natural species for color and variation.
To learn more about Maitai Lapita Village click on www.hotelmaitai.com or: www.pacificbeachcomber.com
Travel tips: Air Tahiti Nui is the best way to get there and the carrier has lots of special packages and fares to consider. Everything is very expensive in French Polynesia so be prepared for sticker shock. Bring plenty of sunscreen and other supplies as they really are costly here. Check out the video for some other tips on preparing for a trip to French Polynesia.