Sofitel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort in Puna’auia

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Updated: August 29, 2019

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Sofitel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort Tahiti – First-rate pool and tropical gardens, but inferior beach and a little isolated.

Serenely set way back from the main road, this resort is instantly underwhelming – probably because during mid-2018, all the above-water bungalows were being completely renovated or rebuilt. So, at the time, only rooms were available in the blocks with curved tipped roofs and an unappealing crimson hue. All face the sea, but those without a balcony would only catch possible glimpses of the ocean because of the distance and lofty palms. The beach is small and unremarkable, but the lagoon-style pool with rocky ‘islands’ and sandy ‘shores’ is divine, and the gardens and ponds are extensive. Other attractions are as expected – e.g. a seaside café and water sports centre – but the outdoor ping-pong tables seem a token effort at pleasing families.

Sofitel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort – The Basics

  • Location: In an area called Tamanu, midway along the west coast of Tahiti Nui. About 10km from the airport; 14km from downtown Pape’ete; and a little further from the ferry terminal for services to Moorea.
  • Guests: The key focus seems to be couples on packaged deals. Tries to cater for families, but fails, e.g. no kids’ club or family-focused activities.
  • Beach: Long shoreline, but only a small beach. With limited access for swimmers, the sand is commandeered by kayaks and jet skis and extends for barely 40m.
  • Views: All rooms face the sea, but most views are distant and/or blocked by trees. Some rooms on lower levels directly overlook lily ponds, which is unusual and rather pleasant.
  • Wi-Fi Internet: Not provided for free, except to guests who sign up as a hotel member (which is free to do).
  • Parking: Plenty of free and secure places at the lobby area.
  • How to Book: will have the best rates.
  • Phone: (689) 40 47 07 27
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website:

Sofitel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort – Amenities

  • Pool: Massive and inviting pale-blue pool. Claims to be the ‘largest sand-bottom pool in the South Pacific’.
  • Spa: The Wellness Center (40 47 07 17) offers the usual array of treatments and massages in an intimate setting.
  • Fitness Center: None. A resort of this standard would be expected to have a gym.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided in this sort of high-rise resort.
  • Activities: Kayaking, snorkelling, tennis and classes in yoga and aqua aerobics – but nothing offered for free. Also, beach volleyball and ping pong. Onsite art gallery, L’Atelier, provides displays and workshops.
  • For families: No kids’ club, but baby-sitting available.

Sofitel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants: Le Carré Restaurant (40 47 07 23) – fine-dining alongside the water. Intimate, with extensive wine list and impressive menu offering French and Polynesian flavours • La Plantation Restaurant (40 47 07 73) – open-air and casual. In tropical gardens and alongside a fish pond. International cuisine and themed buffet nights. For breakfast and dinner only.
  • Lounge/Bars: L’Astrolabe Bar – recently renovated lounge bar with fetching Polynesian décor. Popular with local workers for signature cocktails. Open from 4pm to midnight • Le Puna Bar – poolside, for snacks and all sorts of cocktails, wines and beers.
  • Breakfast: Not normally included in the rates, but this depends on the type of booking.
  • Room Service: Available 24 hours.

Sofitel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort – Rooms

  • Room Types: Deluxe Garden Rooms • Deluxe Lagoon Rooms • Panoramic Rooms • Junior Suites • Senior Suites • Presidential Suites
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking allowed in the rooms, but OK elsewhere around the grounds.
  • Best Room: Befitting the name, the Presidential Suites are exceptional. On the top floor for maximum views, they’re very spacious and opulent, with all the latest gadgets and an extended balcony loaded with outdoor furniture.
  • For Families: Most rooms easily fit in 1 extra single bed, while the spacious suites can accommodate a family of 4.

Sofitel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    Along the road and adjacent to the main entrance to the resort is a largish shopping centre, Centre Commercial Tamanu, with several eateries:

  • Le Nemo (40 81 03 16) – Contemporary décor upstairs for casual meals, e.g. grills, baguettes, seafood and chicken. 4-minute walk.
  • Restaurant Chez Rémy (40 58 21 61) – Classy bistro with Arabic influences. Indoors and courtyard setting in the carpark. 5-minute walk.
  • Le Fournil Hautbois (40 82 29 00) – Bakery offering all sorts of tasty goodies. Eat in or takeaway. 8-minute walk.
  • La Pâte à Crêpes (40 83 23 32) – For French-style light meals: e.g. crêpes, waffles, and salads. 9-minute walk.
  • Beach Snack – Adjacent to the public beach, about 500m south down the road. All-day, casual, and inexpensive meals right on the sand.
  • Market or Grocery: The large Super U supermarket is in the shopping centre alongside the resort entrance.

Local Transport

    Buses hurtle along the main road to Pape’ete about every hour – but more in the morning; far fewer in the afternoon; none on Sunday. Otherwise to the capital, hitch a ride or organise a taxi (unmetered) from the reception.

Sofitel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort – The Hotel

Since mid-2018 all rooms are away from the sea.

As of mid-2018, all accommodation was in blocks quite distant from the sea.

The resort design is a little garish and monotonous.

The layout and colors are a bit garish and monotonous, with little variation.

The resort grounds are vast and have lots of ponds.

The grounds around the resort are quite spacious, with plenty of ponds.

The sand-bottom pool is supposedly the largest in the South Pacific.

Management claims that the pool at the resort is the largest with a sand-bottom in the South Pacific.

The amazing lagoon-style pool has islands of palms.

The pool is exquisite: huge and lagoon-style, with ‘islands’ of palms.

The lagoon-style pool has sandy edges.

The edges of the pool resemble a beach.

The tropical gardens have several appealing ponds.

The extensive tropical gardens are dotted with ponds of fish and lilies.

Many rooms face large ponds.

Some of the ponds are directly in front of the rooms.

The smal beach is mostly used for kayaking and jet skis.

The beach is small, and used mainly as a departure point for kayaks and jet skis.

Facilities for families are limited to just a ping-pong table.

Surprisingly, facilities for families are poor, with a ping pong table just about all that is offered.

La Plantation Restaurant serves buffet breakfasts.

The spacious La Plantation Restaurant at the resort is where buffet breakfasts are served to some guests.

Le Carré Restaurant offers great sea views.

Alongside the sea, Le Carré Restaurant at the hotel offers superb views.

La Plantation Restaurant offers great views of the lush gardens.

La Plantation is a casual place offering views of the tropical gardens across the resort.

Le Puna Bar has outdoor seating with sea views.

Also at the hotel, Le Puna Bar extends to lawns alongside the sea.

The small beach views are blocked by Overwater Bungalows.

The beach is undersized, so lounge chairs are offered along the grass. But views are spoiled by the above-water bungalows.

The Overwater Bungalows were recently closed for renovations.

In mid-2018, the above-water bungalows were closed for renovations and unavailable for bookings.

Rooms have balconies but views tend to be blocked.

Many rooms in the blocks at the back of the resort have a balcony, but most views are affected by distance and trees.

The Standard Rooms are spacious and colourful.

The standard rooms are reasonably spacious and quite colorful.

Most rooms have a sofa bed for an extra person.

Most rooms are capable of accommodating an extra person by converting the sofa to a single bed.

Rooms have balconies but views are compromised.

Full-length windows lead to a balcony, but views are hit-and-miss; some certainly better than others.

The shopping centre at the resort entrance is decent.

The main entrance to the resort is alongside a largish shopping center, with decent facilities for tourists.

Chez Rémy nearby is a good place to eat.

Chez Rémy is one of several places to eat in the shopping center next to the resort entrance.

Le Fournil Hautbois bakery is very popular.

Le Fournil Hautbois is a popular bakery in the shopping centre.

Shady footpaths in downtown Pape’ete offer excellent bay views.

About 14km from the resort by bus or taxi is downtown Pape’ete, where a shady footpath offers views across the bay.

Pape’ete has several cafes and restaurants.

As expected of the busy capital, Pape’ete provides many places to eat and drink.

The city centre coastline is dotted with marinas.

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

The Pape’ete daily market is worth a visit.

One reason to visit Pape’ete is the massive daily market, which sells fresh produce, food and souvenirs.

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