Sofitel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort in Puna’auia

SDTahiti › Sofitel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort Review
Updated: January 20, 2021
By Santorini Dave

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Review of Sofitel Ia Ora Beach Resort in Tahiti

The massive lagoon-style pool at Sofitel Ia Ora Beach Resort is beautiful.

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

Serenely set way back from the main road, this resort is instantly likable. All the over-water bungalows have been completely renovated or rebuilt recently. Rooms are located in the blocks with curved tipped roofs and a crimson hue. All face the sea, but those without balconies would only catch possible glimpses of the ocean because of the distance and lofty palms. The beach is small, but the lagoon-style pool with rocky ‘islands’ and sandy ‘shores’ is divine, and the gardens and ponds are extensive. Other attractions include a seaside café, water sports center, and a few outdoor ping-pong tables.

Sofitel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort – The Basics

  • Location: In an area called Tamanu, midway along the west coast of Tahiti Nui. About 10 km from the airport, 15 km 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 to families, but there are 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: 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:
  • 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 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, snorkeling, tennis, and classes in yoga and aqua aerobics – but nothing is offered for free. Also, beach volleyball and ping pong. Onsite art gallery, L’Atelier, provides displays and workshops.
  • For families: No kids club, but babysitting available.

Sofitel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants: Le Carré Restaurant – Fine-dining alongside the water. Intimate, with an extensive wine list and impressive menu offering French and Polynesian flavors • La Plantation Restaurant – 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 a fetching Polynesian décor. Popular with local workers for signature cocktails. Open from 4 pm 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 Room • Deluxe Lagoon Room • Panoramic Room • Junior Suite • Senior Suite • Presidential Suite
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking allowed in the rooms, but okay elsewhere around the grounds.
  • Best Room: Befitting the name, the Presidential Suites are exceptional. On the top floor and featuring maximum views, they’re very spacious and opulent, with all the latest gadgets and extended balconies loaded with outdoor furniture.
  • For Families: Most rooms easily fit in an extra single bed, while the spacious suites can accommodate families of 4.

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

Best Nearby Restaurants & Bars

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

  • Restaurant Chez Rémy – Classy bistro with Arabic influences. Indoors and courtyard setting in the carpark.
  • Le Fournil Hautbois – Bakery offering all sorts of tasty goodies. Eat in or takeaway.
  • La Pâte à Crêpes – For French-style light meals: e.g. crêpes, waffles, and salads.
  • Beach Snack – Adjacent to the public beach, about 500m south down the road. All-day, casual, and inexpensive meals right on the sand.

Local Transport

  • The large Super U supermarket is in the shopping center alongside the resort entrance.

Local Transport

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

Sofitel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort – The Hotel

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

Rooms are in crimson 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 filled with 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 breakfast is served.

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 Carré Restaurant offers great sea views.

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

Le Puna Bar has outdoor seating with sea views.

Also at the hotel, Le Puna Bar extends to the 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 partially blocked by the over-water bungalows.

The Overwater Bungalows were recently closed for renovations.

The over-water bungalows were renovated in 2019-20.

Rooms have balconies but views tend to be blocked.

Many rooms in the blocks at the back of the resort have balconies, 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 center.

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

About 14 km from the resort by bus or taxi is downtown Pape’ete, where a shady sidewalk 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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