Royal Tahitien in Pape’ete, Tahiti

SDTahiti › Royal Tahitien Review
Updated: January 20, 2021

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Review of Royal Tahitien Hotel in Tahiti

The renowned restaurant at Royal Tahitien offers magnificent sea views.

Royal Tahitien – Midrange, spacious, and the only beach resort in Pape’ete.

Close to downtown, the layout resembles a beach resort (with a pool and huge grounds) and motel (with rooms in two-level blocks, where guests can park outside). But from the bathmat to the telephone, internal brick wall, and cylindrical lampshades, it screams 1965, though not in a retro Parisienne pension way. Although promoting its apparent ‘1960s ambience’, the hotel seems to need a complete overhaul – from the taps to the plastic lounge chairs on the balconies/patios from which sea views are substantially blocked by trees. Nonetheless, it does face a lovely beach – with black sand – overlooking the alluring Moorea Island, and is in a tranquil suburban location.

Royal Tahitien – The Basics

  • Location: In the northeast suburbs of Pape’ete, the Tahitian capital. In a beach area known as Pīra’e, about 3 km from downtown and the ferry terminal for services to Moorea Island, and about 10 km from the airport.
  • Guests: With a definite resort feel, it attracts packaged tours and families looking for a midrange option.
  • Beach: It faces the only real beach in Pape’ete. Although the sand is grey, bordering on black, it’s still quite attractive. Ideal for walks and sunsets, but sometimes too narrow for sunbathing.
  • Views: All rooms face the gardens, but possible glimpses of the sea are mostly blocked by trees.
  • Wi-Fi: Free around the restaurant (but not the lobby). Guests are charged high rates for access in the rooms.
  • Parking: One bonus is the chance to park outside the room, motel-style.
  • How to Book: will have the best rates.
  • Phone: (689) 40 50 40 40
  • Email:
  • Website:

Royal Tahitien – Amenities

  • Pool: An adequate size, but looks in need of modernization like the rest of the hotel.
  • Spa & Fitness Center: Not really expected (nor provided) at this sort of midrange hotel.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided.

Royal Tahitien – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant & Bar: Underneath a 75-year-old roof of pandanus leaves, Le Royal Tahitien is renowned across the city. With some tables seemingly perched above the sand, the chef offers an eclectic range of international cuisine. Particularly popular among expats for the congenial bar and live music and/or traditional dancing on weekends.
  • Breakfast: Included in some rates, depending on how and where the booking was made.
  • Room Service: Only at meal times, i.e. about 12-2 pm and 6-9 pm.

Royal Tahitien – Rooms

  • Room Types: Standard Rooms and Studios.
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking allowed in the rooms, but permitted on the patios/balconies and elsewhere.
  • Best Room: The Studios are marginally better than the Standard Rooms, if only because they have kitchens (which are useful as there are no restaurants nearby). Ask for 1 on the second (top) floor and closest to the sea for the best possible views.
  • For Families: Standard Rooms allow an extra single bed, while the Studios can accommodate families of 4 and feature well-quipped kitchens.

Royal Tahitien – What’s Nearby?

Best Nearby Restaurants & Bars

    There is nothing within walking distance, which is a problem. Two petrol stations on the main road 300m away sell baguettes, sandwiches, and pastries. Otherwise, organize a taxi (unmetered) or bus into town and try:

  • Les 3 Brasseurs – Microbrewery, street-side seating, and pub-style meals. Very popular for sports on TV, tapas, burgers, and pizzas. Other side of roundabout from the Bora Bora.
  • Bora Bora Lounge – At the roundabout where Ave de Prince Hīnoi meets the esplanade, almost opposite the ferry terminal. At the start of a delightful alley of Parisienne-style bistros and bars. Happy hours, daily specials, and pleasingly inexpensive considering the perfect setting.
  • Star Studio – Worth finding inside an arcade alongside Hôtel Tiare from the esplanade. No views, but solid meals at affordable prices. Plats du jour and fascinating movie-themed décor.
  • Le Rétro – Easy-to-find bistro midway along the esplanade. Very French and très popular for coffee, shakes, and light meals. Also people-watching and live music at night.

Nearby Market or Grocery

  • About 300m away at the junction with the laneway to the hotel, 2 petrol stations along the main road sell basic supplies.

Local Transport

    Ask reception about buses along the main road to downtown. Otherwise, they can arrange a taxi, but rates are extortionate.

Royal Tahitien – The Hotel

The swimming pool has an appealing tropical ambience.

The pool is sizable and exudes a pleasant tropical ambience.

The narrow hotel beach is nice for walking and swimming only.

The hotel fronts a tiny cove of grey/black sand, which is nice for walking and swimming, but a little too narrow in places for sunbathing.

The hotel beach offers calm waters and beautiful sunsets.

The water in front of the hotel is calm and provides magnificent sunsets.

The hotel deck offers great sunset views.

A deck of little apparent purpose alongside the beach at the hotel is ideal for watching the sun set.

The hotel has lush and tropical gardens.

The gardens around the hotel are lush and tropical.

The hotel gardens have several ponds.

The gardens are dotted with ponds filled with fish, eels, and lilies.

The hotel gardens have a lot a large trees.

Large trees around the hotel gardens provide shade, but spoil most sea views from the rooms.

Le Royal Tahitien's bar is very popular with expats.

The convivial bar at Le Royal Tahitien is popular among expats.

Some restaurant tables are perched right above the water.

Some tables at the hotel restaurant almost seem to be perched above the sea.

The excellent restaurant food is trumped by its superb setting.

The food at the hotel restaurant is fabulous, but the setting is probably what attracts most customers.

Rooms are in retro motel-style blocks.

Rooms are in motel-style blocks that seem so 1960s-ish, similar to the décor.

Standard Rooms feature a decent balcony/veranda.

Full-length windows in the Standard Rooms lead to patios/balconies that are a reasonable size.

The spacious Standard Rooms can fit an extra bed.

Standard Rooms are spacious and colorful, with room for an extra single bed.

The Standard Rooms have a retro decor.

Although apparently renovated in 2013, it’s unclear if the décor in the Standard Rooms is deliberately retro 1960s or that nothing much has been updated for at least 50 years.

Star Studio cafe on the esplanade is worth a visit.

Worth trying to find in an arcade alongside Hôtel Tiare on the esplanade in Pape’ete is Star Studio.

Bora Bora Lounge is a pleasant cafe/bar.

Bora Bora Lounge is a likable and affordable café/bar on the esplanade, not far from the ferry terminal.

Le Rétro in downtown Pape’ete has a street-side setting.

Le Rétro is popular for the street-side setting along the esplanade in downtown Pape’ete.

Pape’ete has several pleasant cafes.

Some streets around the center of Pape’ete are lined with pleasant cafés.

The capital is located on the harbour.

The Tahitian capital is nicely located alongside the harbor.

Marinas dot the city center coastline.

Much of the coastline in the city center is lined with marinas.

Downtown Pape’ete has heavy traffic.

Downtown Pape’ete is an agreeable hodgepodge of shops and cafés, but the traffic is usually awful.

Parc Bougainville dominates the city center.

The city center is dominated by the delightful Parc Bougainville.

Pape’ete has a few shady gardens.

There are a few shady gardens around the center of Pape’ete.

The daily market in the city center is worth a visit.

One reason to get a taxi or bus into the city center is the massive daily market that sells all sorts of things, including food and souvenirs.

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