We commenced our journey to Tapu Lodge from Moorea airport and were picked up with our pre-arranged bus transfer. The airport is located roughly on the opposite side of the island from the airport and as such it is around a 40 minute journey, however as there is only one road around the island it’s a great opportunity to look out for anything of interest you may wish to visit later.
Tapu lodge comprises of six self-contained houses of varying sizes built into the side of a hill. The reception is detached from the six houses and is located on a large green lawn. Often this will not be manned by the owner however there is a bell located at reception which you should use (as the owner lives next door)
Our luggage was taken by the owner’s car to our house (thankfully as there is a steep driveway up to the houses) and we were shown our house. The house we had booked had a full cooking facilities (being a refrigerator, gas stove and oven, microwave, various pots and pans and necessary cutlery) and was clean and well maintained. Also on the first floor (as it was a double storey structure) was a dining table, some wardrobes and a single bed. The bed/bedroom is upstairs which is accessed by a rather steep staircase (its more akin to a ladder) and again it was clean and tidy.
Our house did not have air conditioning, however ceiling fans are provided and all the windows have mosquito nets. Cable TV is also provided however most channels are in French. There are a few supermarkets from which to purchase your food depending on what transport you have. There is one available which is about a 10-15 minute walk and a few more further away which you would need a car to get to.
One of the best features Tapu Lodge has is that it offers a complimentary ray and lagoon tour ending in a visit to Tapu’s private motu. If you are interested in taking this tour please make sure you book ahead as the tour is only run with sufficient guests together. It may or may not be available every day. The tour itself commences from the beach opposite from Tapu Lodge and you are taken on their boat to an area where the rays are fish are fed. It is a beautiful area and is the same area that other commercial vessels go to for their ray tours. The water colour was fantastic as the water was very shallow and there were more rays and sharks (there were many that you can swim, touch and feed) present than our lagoon tour in Bora Bora which was held in deeper water. We had 6 people in total on our tour and we loved the privacy and attention we received with so few people in our tour.
Following your swim with the rays you are taken to Tapu’s private motu where you are free to snorkel and lounge around. Beach chairs are provided and our guide was even kind enough to open fresh coconuts for everyone to enjoy. The beach is clean and clear and there are a variety of fish you can see amongst the corals just off the beach.
The entire tour itself was about four hours in length and we had a better time than we expected to. For a complimentary tour we felt that it was great – especially as we saw another tour boat as we were returning home with 100 people jammed on board we were very pleased with our choice.
We had a good stay at Tapu Lodge overall. It is a reasonably priced honest place to stay with self-cooking facilities and the included tour is an added bonus. The only downsides would be the distance to other facilities such as supermarkets and restaurants. However for families or couples wanting something different from your usual resort experience we recommend Tapu Lodge as a clean and friendly alternative and with the money you save you can easily afford to rent a car for your stay to give you the freedom to roam around the island at your leisure.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tapu Lodge offers 6 holiday family houses "fare" located in a tourism area at just half a mile of the shopping center "Le petit village" (banks, doctors, grocery stores, car, scooter, bicycle rentals, local shops and restaurants). A beach is just 50 meters from the houses. Nautical activities available during your stay where turquoise water with its different varieties of fish and rays will enable you to discover the beauty of the Polynesian aquatic environment. Pool, paddle canoes and a pontoon are also available. A child playground is installed in the large garden where older can also play basket-ball, and a FREE INTERNET wifi connection is available Those "fare" are located in height with a view on a splendid lagoon, from where you will appreciate beautiful sunsets. ... more less
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