In the far-flung islands of French Polynesia, you’ll find a unique accommodation style, spread across the paradise atolls and archipelagos that make up this region. Known locally as pensions, these tiny local guesthouses are run by friendly islanders who can’t wait to welcome you into their beautiful homes.

Stay in a local guesthouse in Tahiti | Photo credit: Helene Havard and Tahiti Tourisme

Although French Polynesia is famous for the gorgeous overwater bungalows of Tahiti and Bora Bora, there are plenty of other accommodation options that can deliver a brilliant holiday to the South Pacific. Staying at a guesthouse in Tahiti will give you a glimpse into local life and add real character to your trip. 

At Travel Nation, we love including these guesthouses in our itineraries. Here are just a few reasons why…

Meet the friendly locals in French Polynesia | Photo credit: Tahiti Tourisme

1. See French Polynesia more affordably

If you’re trying to keep your holiday within a specific price range, a trip to the South Pacific can feel intimidatingly expensive. However, choose the right guesthouses and you can enjoy a spectacular holiday in this beautiful region for an incredibly reasonable price.

Another brilliant way to make the most of your money is to include French Polynesia as part of a round the world holiday – the flight routes and tickets that Travel Nation can put together are both fantastic value and full of exciting combinations of places.

If you want to fill your days with activities, then staying in guesthouses is the perfect way to adjust your budget to include this. Go quad biking in the mountains of Moorea, learn to dive in the crystal-clear lagoon in Rangiroa and soar over Bora Bora in on a scenic heli flight – a few nights in more simple accommodation can allow some brilliant activities to fit into your budget.

2. Enjoy a more varied holiday

Although sometimes a luxury holiday is just what the doctor ordered, it’s also exciting to mix up your accommodation and enjoy a more varied holiday. Why not start with a stay in a high-end hotel, perfect for shaking off the jet lag and relaxing for a few days before moving to a couple of different islands to enjoy an authentic local guesthouse experience?

Meet the locals, learn about life on a tropical island and generally soak in the fascinating culture that French Polynesia has in droves. Then, you can finish with a luxury hotel at the end of your trip, with an overwater bungalow over the blue lagoons, as a real treat before you head home. We love combining these experiences together, you don’t just have to choose one!

Stay in local guesthouse in Tahiti | Photo credit: Helene Havard and Tahiti Tourisme

3. Get further off the grid

The most popular islands of Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora have a pleasant mixture of accommodations – small guesthouses, excellent 3* hotels and luxury high-end resorts with overwater bungalows jutting out over the pristine water. However, if you are looking to venture further afield, then many of the outer islands only offer guesthouse-style accommodation.

Look for dolphins in the large lagoon of Rangiroa, dive into the pristine depths of Fakarava and get off the grid in the coconut groves of Ahe, in the Tuamotu Islands. Or why not head to the northernmost archipelago, the Marquesas Islands, to hike the rugged mountains, see the famous horses on the volcanic beaches and learn about the local Marquesan culture?

Sleep in rustic, cosy bungalows at Ninamu Resort, Tikehau | Photo credit: Ninamu Resort

4. Experience authentic Tahitian culture

If you’re looking to really learn about Tahitian culture, staying in a Tahitian guesthouse should be your top priority. These tiny places are run by real locals, often living onsite and cooking your breakfast and dinner for you each day. You can learn so much about their lives; not just the history and cultural ancestry but also what modern life is like in such a unique place.

It’s also a fantastic experience for children – bringing your family to this beautiful place would not only be a relaxing beach holiday but also a fascinating lesson into a culture on the other side of the world and how they are affected by the political and climate issues we all share.

See traditional dancing in Tahiti | Photo credit: Vincent Wargnier and Tahiti Tourisme

5. Disconnect from the world

Sometimes we all need to disconnect for a while – no internet, no phones, no problems, right? French Polynesia is the perfect place to live by this mantra, getting out into the vast corners of the Pacific to just soak up the relaxing tranquillity of these tiny islands.

The further out you go, the quieter it gets – you can find genuine peace in islands like Rangiroa, Ahe, Nuku Hiva and Tubuai. Spend your time immersing yourself in a new culture, trying brand new foods and soaking up the ocean landscapes of the South Pacific.

A guesthouse stay is the best way to enjoy this – while lots of them do have wifi, many guests choose not to use it, only taking out phones to snap some photos and heading to bed to views of the sunset rather than the television. Digital detox? Yes, please!

Explore castaway beaches from Le Mahana on Huahine | Photo credit: Le Mahana Hotel

Ready to book your guesthouse stay in French Polynesia?

If you’d like to book a holiday to French Polynesia with a stay in a Tahitian guesthouse, then look no further! Whether you want to swim with manta rays in Tikehau, learn about local culture in the Marquesas Islands or admire the views of Mount Otemanu in Bora Bora, we can plan your dream French Polynesia holiday.

To start planning, simply give us a call on +44 1273320580 or request a quote. We are experts in planning tailor-made holidays to French Polynesia, as well as round the world flights, so we can work together with you until we’ve created your perfect trip.

Request a quote

Explore castaway beaches from Le Mahana on Huahine | Photo credit: Le Mahana Hotel

Visit Huahine Island: a little slice of heaven

Milly Gill

Product Manager
at Travel Nation
Swing in a hammock on Tikehau in French Polynesia | Travel Nation

Which French Polynesian island is best for you?

Milly Gill

Product Manager
at Travel Nation
Swing in a hammock on tropical Tikehau | Travel Nation

11 Enchanting French Polynesian islands you’ve never heard of

Bryony Dunn

Marketing Manager
at Travel Nation
Request a quote