HOME & AWAY
French Polynesia is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the world’s first overwater bungalows but while Moorea and Bora Bora claim the majority of these abodes on stilts, the capital also has a few examples. InterContinental Tahiti Resort and Spa, 10 minutes by road from Papeete international airport, is a favourite transit hub. The hotel, which sprawls across 12ha of flowering gardens, has had various phases of renovation over the past few years, including the addition of an enclave of suite-style overwater thatched-roof accommodation (pictured). The feel is island-style with ample use of woven textiles, botanical motifs and polished timbers, a theme that continues in all guestrooms, each with balcony or garden terrace. The sandy-bottom Le Lotus pool was undergoing maintenance during my recent stay but the main pool was in full swing, with even better swimming available in the meandering Lagoonarium with its carefully maintained reef ecosystem where more than 200 species of marine life creatures are in residence, including luminous turquoise and pink parrot fish. Te Tiare restaurant features a massive breakfast buffet and, if departing early for home or the outer islands, the 24-hour Lobby Bar Terrace, with its groovy cane chairs and light fittings, serves superior coffee. More: tahiti.intercontinental.com; tahiti-tourisme.com.au.