Poolside Resort Relaxation Overlooking Black-Sand Beach
Perched in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles from any continent, Tahiti seems almost otherworldly in its seclusion. Ancient volcanic activity helped to shape the island, a seismic legacy still visible in the form of the black, basalt sand that lines shores such as Lafayette Beach, where the Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti nestles among palm trees. Balconies in guest rooms overlook the striking contrast between chocolate-colored dunes and turquoise waves, as does the outdoor pool, whose smooth, infinity-style border gives it the effect of melting into the oceanic horizon.
Stories of deluxe ocean-view rooms rise up just behind the pool deck and its surrounding lanai-style, open-air patios. Inside, wooden floors and furnishings help lend a natural ambiance, and a lounge chair and white railings deck out the balcony, where guests can watch for rogue lifeguards wearing cardboard shark fins swimming in the waves. The onsite day spa, Le Spa, maintains the relaxing feeling with massages and scrubs incorporating traditional Tahitian goods such as vanilla, hibiscus, and coconut.
Various onsite dining options await: the hotel’s signature restaurant, Hiti Mahana, complements fresh seafood with views of the beach and bay. The Lafayette Bar boasts similar ocean views as well as specialty cocktails and local beers. To further absorb the local cuisine and culture, a free daily cultural program explores subjects such as cooking traditional fish dishes and dyeing a pareo, a type of sarong.
Arue, Tahiti: Tropical Beauty near Capital of French Polynesia
The beauty of the Tahitian landscape has long attracted distant visitors, from painter Paul Gauguin—who created iconic masterpieces there—to actor Marlon Brando, whose family still owns the atoll directly across from the community of Arue. Ruins of ancient religious sites such as the Arahurahu Marae elucidate the centuries-old native Polynesian culture.
An open-air bus known as le truck travels frequently to the nearby capital of Papeete, where the municipal market exhibits local wares every morning. As an overseas French territory, the area abounds with imported wines, French cuisine, and patio furniture made out of stale baguettes. Roulottes, or wheeled snack carts, serve up cheap meals. From Papeete’s wharf, ferries take off frequently for the neighboring island of Moorea. There, white-sand beaches face an encircling ring of barrier reefs that houses colorful fish and gently fanning coral.
Must book by 5/24/12. Travel must be completed by 5/31/12. Not valid 12/30-12/31. Limit 2 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. Limit 1 per visit. Valid only for option purchased. 72hr cancellation notice or fee of applicable one-night's stay up to the amount paid for Groupon applies. Must be 18 or older to check-in. Name on Groupon must match ID. Not valid with reward points. 14% tax and 150 XPF (about $1.75 USD) city tax per person per day not included