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Reviewed 23 October 2018 via mobile

We stayed here for the first four nights of our honeymoon and it was just wonderful. The island is so perfect, and we loved just walking around it. But by far the best way to explore is by kayak! Just stunning. They have all the equipment there, even reef shoes, to make your stay more comfortable.

The food is a set menu which changes each night. I’m vegan normally and that did present a few issues (which were expected) but all in all they coped very well. And the service is excellent! The service was actually better than the Brando (which we also went to)!

Our only issue was the awful jet lag we had. We didn’t make dinner 2/4 nights as we flew straight from Europe and were just exhausted. Elizabeth and the team did seem a bit concerned about this, and did call both nights to make sure everything was ok, but I’m guessing they are used to it! It wasn’t a problem for us as we just wanted to sleep, but I’m only sad because the food was delicious and I’m sure we missed out on this two nights!

My last words on Vahine are a bit of a plea really: I would love to see them take Foie Gras OFF their menu. It is such an unbelievable cruel and needless practice (google it if you dare) that is banned in the UK and has no place in such a beautiful place. It just seems a bit dated and not really what educated, intelligent, people want to see on the menu while relaxing on holiday.

Date of stay: June 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank KatieDeloyde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2018

Where do you start? I was skeptical when my husband found the Vahine and said ‘let’s stay here’. I thought I needed more busyness and ‘life’ and thought nine villas, accommodating no more than 18 people would be dull and lacking in atmosphere. How wrong was I?! We were greeted at the airport and taken by boat about a 40 minute ride away to the Island. Upon arrival we were greeted by Elisabeth who gave us a run down of the island, what there is to do, where to find things before proceeding to a tour/walk around the island and then showing us to our room. Then she left us in peace to do our own thing. We were here for six nights (wish I did an extra night) and upon reading another review we decided to split our accommodation. We did two nights first in the beach suite and then four nights in the overwater bungalow. First to the beach suite, as soon as Elisabeth left, I unpacked, got onto a sun lounge and slept for two hours!!! The beach suite was very spacious with double basin and very generous deck with sun lounges and a hammock. The view was pristine and so very private (more than the overwater bungalows). After the second night in the beach suite, I wasn’t ready to leave. Then we moved into the overwater bungalow for four nights. They are slightly smaller than the beach suite and you are more exposed to the other guests and guests arriving by boat. Be careful what you leave on the deck as I dropped my pen into the water and had to retrieve it! It took me a good day to adapt to the overwater bungalow having thoroughly enjoyed the beach suite but it was relaxing sitting on the deck after breakfast and watching the sun set over Bora Bora, watching the boat of people coming and going. There is a ladder for you to enter the water from the deck and a glass coffee table that you can open and feed the fish. The restaurant/bar can provide you with bread to do this. Having divided my time between two sorts of accommodation, next time I would evenly divide the time. Although I loved both types of accommodation, I think I had a slight preference to the beach suite. Now when we needed to move out of the beach suite to the overwater bungalow we were lucky that our overwater bungalow was already free and the beach suite wasn’t being filled until late afternoon so we had plenty of time to move out. Upon leaving the overwater bungalow, our departure wasn’t until 4pm, unfortunately they had guests arriving early in the morning so we weren’t able to go past the check out time of 11am. I thought this might be a problem but it wasn’t. Behind the restaurant was a rest room with a shower so we could still be in our swimmers and freshen up before leaving the island.
Now the island is no more than 23 acres, small. If you want busyness, full of tourists and one overwater bungalow next to another then Bora Bora is your choice. If you want tranquility, quality time with travel companion and some days hardly seeing anyone on the island and an intimate setting, then Vahine is for you. I didn’t think I’d like all that quietness but I absolutely loved it. We were never bored. Elisabeth showed us where to get reef shoes and snorkel and fins and we were able to keep these at our room for the duration of our stay. It is highly recommended to wear reef shoes whenever in the water as there are sea urchins and coral. The water depth barely went over the knees around the beach suite area and the waist at the over water bungalow areas. There was plenty to do on the island, swim, snorkel, badminton, golf, puzzles, games, DVD’s. Most days (depending on the boat being free, Thierry would take you out complimentary on the boat to deeper waters to snorkel). This was great (and he was very funny), he helped us find eels and all sorts of sea creatures. We had sting rays and sharks swimming past us. We did this twice in our six days. Also complimentary is paddle boards, kayaks, wind surfer, giant inflatables. Elisabeth showed us where to go kayaking to another small island, walk to the end, snorkel back to the kayaks. We also did this twice. We were never bored as I mentioned, we always found something to do. We also did a half day tour to Tahaa which is a short boat ride away. There we learnt about vanilla beans, pearls, coconuts, the local distillery and our guide was so friendly and informative.
Now onto the food!!! Since arriving back home I can barely fit into my jeans anymore. Breakfast was the same or similar most days. A fresh juice which changed daily, choice of ham and cheeses, and then your choice of eggs, pastries and bread every day and a plate of fruit. We found we only needed to do the half board. We’d get to breakfast at 9am, fill up and didn’t need to eat again until dinner time. Dinner every night was three courses and each morning at breakfast they would show you the dinner menu to check there wasn’t any thing you didn’t like (you can let Elisabeth know upon arrival if you have any dietary requirements). We never had an issue with not liking anything. They’d ask you be seated between 7pm and 8pm. If you plan to get there right on 7pm, you may end up waiting until a few more guests arrive so they can serve the meals at similar times, remember the restaurant is very small. We would go to the bar around 7pm and have a cocktail before proceeding to the restaurant. Now my stomach is not use to three courses every night and by the end of the trip, I was struggling to get through my food. I tried so hard as I didn’t want Pierre seeing an uneaten plate. Pierre’s food was truly extraordinary.
Vahine far exceeded my expectations. Celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary was a wonderful experience. I truly hope to return one day. Elisabeth, Pierre and the ENTIRE staff should be commended for their positive and friendly attitude. They take true pride and passion in making sure you have a wonderful time and enjoy the beauty of the island.

Date of stay: August 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
9  Thank Kazm76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2018

This truly was an exceptional experience and we enjoyed it thoroughly!

We stayed in an over water bungalow which had stunning views over the lagoon and Bora Bora - we watched beautiful sunsets from the terrace every evening. The over water bungalow was typically Polynesian which looked and felt very authentic. There was also a glass coffee table that could be lifted up to feed the fish in the evening - just so cool! We also had an opportunity to see one of the beach bungalows which also had beautiful views of the next motus and was possibly, sightlier roomier.

The island has amazing snorkelling all around it and we were privileged on all occasions to see reef sharks, sting rays, trumpet fish, turtles, clams, and a variety of other fish and corals. The motu over the lagoon was also quite cool to explore.

The food was AmAzInG - and I am now fat from the sheer deliciousness that was that food. And that's OK because it was completely worth it. Breakfast - fresh pastries, lovely breads, YOGHURT - I don't like yoghurt - the most amazing yoghurt, fresh fruit and eggs. We were given a menu every morning to check we liked the food - all the food in the evening was delicious and it was a fantastic opportunity to taste a variety of different Polynesian fish.

We also did the vanilla plantation and black pearl farm tour on Ta'haa which was very informative experience and a lovely opportunity to see a bit more of the surrounding area.

Everyone on the island was incredibly friendly and warm - Elizabeth, you have a truly lovely and infectious manner; but we hope you visit Southampton one day ;)

Thanks again everyone! We loved our time there!

Date of stay: August 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank GunnerGirlYuffie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2018 via mobile

Much of the reason Vahine Island is fabulous is due to the staff: BIG thanks to Elisabeth, Pierre, Landry, Thierry, Raita, Vivi, Flavia, Maima, Moea, and Poema. Lovely people, all.

Here are highlights from our 2-week stay.

The food is fantastic. Breakfast is so wonderful and substantial we skipped lunch every day. Tip: we ate a late breakfast (9am) and then an early dinner (7pm). We did have lunch on our last day, b/c we had to leave before dinner
:(

Having avoided seafood for the first 60 years of my life, I took a chance on Pierre and tried eel, sashimi, salmon, calamari, roe, shrimp, scallops, marlin, parrotfish, Opah, lobster, octopus, and swordfish, all of which were great. Eyes opened!

We did substitute one appetizer, and got the best salad we’ve ever had (a goat cheese salad).

Don’t miss the bar drinks, all we had are great.

Don’t tell Pierre that portion sizes in French restaurants are typically skimpy. He gives you so much great food that we took to making six 15-minute circuits of the island every day to avoid ballooning. He would sometimes see us and run out with a freshly-opened coconut for us to drink from.

While walking we enjoyed watching the crabs (they dig holes all over the island). Look 20 feet ahead while you’re walking and you can see them scuttle back in.

Even with all our walking the island seemed practically deserted, because there are at most 18 guests. The best times to walk are early morning, when it’s cool, and late afternoon, when there’s lots of shade, the light is great, and the sun is setting.

For the first nine days we were lucky enough to stay in Fare Ono, the farthest-away beach suite. We’ve been all over the world, and Ono is not the fanciest room we’ve ever been in, but it is the best.

Because it is at the end, and the landscaping is brilliant, you are by yourself in this paradise, looking out on a lagoon, a distant island, a very distant Bora Bora, and great sunsets.

Also because it’s at the end, you have fantastic breezes coming through large windows and sliding doors on all sides - once we discovered this we never used the air conditioning.

The beach suites are huge and beautifully appointed in Polynesian style. Importantly, the bed is great (firm). They also have two decks, in the front and back. When we read about this we poo-pooed them. Who needs two decks? Well, it’s brilliant. When the equatorial sun rotated to the front deck, we rotated to the back deck’s shade and fresh breeze. Heaven.

Our last five days we were in the farthest overwater bungalow. It’s smaller than the beach suites, but still very comfortable. We enjoyed feeding the fish through the floor, a one-of-a-kind experience. There’s less privacy than the beach bungalows, but still enough.

Don’t forget to look up at the unobstructed 180-degree night sky view. With almost no light pollution, it is, to use my wife’s now-favorite term, AWESOME.

Between the beachfront and over-water bungalows, you can’t go wrong. We preferred the beachfront, your mileage may vary.

It was a steady 83 degrees with 70 percent humidity while we were at Vahine Island. A great thing about a tiny island like this is you can wander from one end to the other and always find a sun / shade / breeze combination that works, no matter which direction the wind decides to come from that day.

There are no TVs to disturb the quiet, but you do have adequate Internet.

We went to Vahine Island for a quiet, relaxing way to celebrate our 30th anniversary. It could not have been better. Mauruuru!

Date of stay: August 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
3  Thank Michael F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2018

My skepticism was totally unwarranted and this was the finest vacation with my wife we have ever taken. Small (max of 18 guests), very friendly, great food, incredible scenery, crystal clear lagoon water. This is the ideal way to enjoy French Polynesia. No crowds or tourist attractions, just being immersed in the ambience tis tiny island has to offer. Elizabeth and Pierre are wonderful hosts. What was intended to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience will become a several-visits-in-a-lifetime experience.

Room tip: The 3 over water bungalows are wonderful and the 6 beach-front bungalows are also very nice. You cannot go wrong with either.
Date of stay: July 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
7  Thank 340hanks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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