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Just a 15-minute boat ride away from the airport is the small private motu that is home to the luxurious Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort.
Built in traditional Polynesian style with palm-thatched roofs and woven bamboo walls, the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort boasts 37 rooms. All have air-conditioning and but the constant breeze means you probably won't need it and it is a joy to leave the doors and windows open to be lulled to sleep by the sound of the lapping waves.
The rooms at the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort are both beach and overwater. The beach bungalows are set amidst swaying palms, are all the same size and feature raised decks and internal-external bathrooms. The overwater rooms come as standard and premium bungalows with the latter having direct access to the lagoon.
The atmosphere is low-key and relaxed, with no apparent dress code. If you want to use the resort as a chill zone, you can lie on the white sand beach or in the small freshwater infinity pool, and gaze out over the gin-clear waters of the lagoon; if you'd rather venture elsewhere, there is a limited range of activities available, from line fishing to lunch on a deserted motu. Whatever your priorities, the Pearl Beach Resort offers a true escape.
The food is delicious in part due to the French influence. Breakfast is full of fresh pastries, while other meals, served at the Porteho restaurant, are all based around a simple but delicious French-inspired menu focused on fresh seafood.
Squeezed next door to the front desk of the resort, the dive centre is small but perfectly placed. Run by English-speaking French instructors, it's a laid-back affair, and you're given the shortest indemnity form you're ever likely to sign. The briefing is simple: the main point is that by law the maximum diving depth is 100ft unless you are suitably qualified.
Why we love it
There aren't many places you can feed the fish through the glass viewing panel in your overwater room. The Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort is one of them. Throw in some bread and watch what happens.