Part 1: Relaxing In Tahiti On Points Breaks Bookings
TN 101 was scheduled to leave at 11:30pm, a red eye. I arrived at the Tom Bradly International terminal at LAX with enough time to enjoy some especially ridiculous TSA security theater and to visit the Sky Team business class lounge, accessed with my Priority Pass.
Boarding commenced on time, and I made sure I was the last person to board the plane – consistent with my strategy to score an empty 4 seat middle row. I planted square in the middle of empty row 19 in preparation for my coach ‘lie flat’ ride to PPT. Doors were closed, and FAs prepared the cabin for take off. Just as I was starting to nod off, ‘is there a doctor on board the aircraft?’ came over the PA, an announcement no one ever wants to hear. Thankfully, we hadn’t taken off, and after a two hour or so delay the sick passenger was removed, we were on our way. I slept like a baby.
Before I knew it, we were being woken up and served a small breakfast. We landed a short time later, and having made up some time in flight, only an hour late.
We were warmly welcomed by singing & dancing Polynesians while waiting in the fairly long lines to get through immigration. Nobody seemed too bothered by the wait, we were in Tahiti!
I picked up what was probably the smallest rental car I had ever seen, just outside of the international arrivals area. I opted for the lower per day cost + an additional charge per km knowing that I would’t drive enough to justify the unlimited mileage daily charge which was significantly higher.
It was about a 15 minute drive to the entrance to the Intercontinental Resort from the airport. I passed a couple decent sized supermarkets on the way, and made note to return later to stock up on water and snacks. Food is expensive in French Polynesia, more so on an isolated resort.
The first thing you see when you approach the lobby is Moorea in the distance. That and the ultra blue water as far as the eye can see. Simply stunning.
I was initially assigned an obstructed ocean view room, in a less than desirable area of the resort (by the tennis courts,) so asked if I could switch to a different room that was quieter and had a better view. My request was granted and I was very content for the next 3 nights.
The rooms were well maintained even if the fixtures were a bit dated, but everything worked fine. The bed was very comfortable and there was a kettle and empty mini fridge in the room. I didn’t use them, but there was a full spa, gym, and several bars and restaurants.
There was a huge lagoon with fish and coral sanctuaries, and several infinity pools with incredible views where I spent many hours reading and taking in the beauty.
The resort is pretty big, and as I experienced, some rooms are better than others. It was low season, and aside from the first night in which a whole slew of pre-cruise guests overnighted, it was empty. It’s a little ways away from anything (though there are restaurants and markets within walking distance) great if you want peace and quiet. I was glad I had the car and the flexibilty to come and go as I wished. Overall, a steal at 5k IHG points per night!
I had initially planned to spend some time exploring the island, but given that this was my second visit, aside from a few trips to town for shopping and dinner, I stayed put and took advantage of the unusually quiet and tranquil resort.