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Hotel Highlights

  • Contemporary rooms with Polynesian design details
  • Seductive lagoonside pool with swim-up bar
  • Handy for the airport, capital Pape'ete and surf spots


Multi-tasking Manava Suite Resort hotel in Tahiti works for both pleasure or leisure travellers, with contemporary Polynesian rooms, a spa, swim-up bar and lagoon-side pool, all within easy reach of capital Pape'ete. Tour black-sand beaches and surf spots by day, then wrap up with sunset cocktails overlooking sister isle Moorea at night.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Manava Suite Resort with us:

A bottle of atoll-grown Tahitian wine

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Manava Suite Resort

20% off advance purchase rates: low season Stay longer offer: save 20%


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Need To Know


121, including 66 suites.


11am; check-in, 2pm. Late check-outs in low season, subject to availability, cost 50 per cent of the room tariff before 6pm; after 6pm, you'll need to pay for an extra night.


Double rooms from $201.19 (XPF19,500), excluding tax at 14 per cent.

More details

Rates usually exclude breakfast.


Work out those surfing knots at Manea Spa, where facials, massages, body scrubs and mani-pedis draw on swoon-worthy local Monoi oil (a heady mix of coconut and tiare flowers).

At the hotel

Spa, boutique, gym, excursion desk, ice-machine, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen satellite TV, DVD player, minibar, desk, kitchenette. All feature a bath and shower; above entry-level Guest Rooms you'll also get a terrace.

Our favourite rooms

All bedrooms are fairly spacious, with bold modern Polynesian interiors care of local architect Bruno Hervochon, and a choice of garden/mountain or lagoon views. The latter definitely tick the Tahiti paradise box, so opt for a Lagoon Studio Suite or Lagoon Suite if you can. Larger one- to three-bedroom duplexes and suites flaunt space to swing an even bigger cat.


With a sexy outdoor infinity pool cheek-by-jowl with the milky-blue lagoon, Manava has stylish swimming sorted. Chill out on a lounger, perch at the tune-toting swim-up bar or pop to the pontoon to large it up in the lagoon. Water-jets pour from the curvy stone wall fringing the pool for a faux-waterfall feel.

Packing tips

Bring an extra bag for stashing souvenirs from Pape'ete's vibrant market, perfect for picking up tropical-print pareus (sarongs), tiki (sacred figurines) and vanilla, coconut and tiare-flower toiletries. Manava's lobby boutique is a savvy spot for styish buys, too.


Pets are not permitted.


Kids up to age 14 can dine on children's menu meals gratis, and can stay in your room for free on a converted sofa-bed (or bag an extra rollaway bed for a fee).

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Manava recycles, uses eco cleaning products and sources food locally.

Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

Clean-lined Vaitohi Restaurant draws in-the-know locals with its smart take on Polynesian cuisine laced with French influences. Sporting floor-to-ceiling windows and an airy terrace, this sophisticated space sits to the right of the ground-floor lobby. Order tasty treats such as mahi-mahi with vanilla sauce, duck breast with honey-glazed vegetables or tuna sashimi with coconut milk. Gallic gastronomy rules the desserts, too; all hail the crème brûlée.

Hotel Bar

With a space-age ovoid white bar, zingy red stools and curvy grey banquettes, Punavai Lounge Bar is a sassy spot for a tipple. Set beside Vaitohi restaurant, its suck-you-in seating spills out into the lobby. When it comes to wow-factor, though, you've got to hand it to the alfresco Taapuna Pool Bar, where you can sip a Polynesian-inspired Mai Tai (which means 'good' in local lingo) while dangling your feet in the water and saluting the sunset. Cool tunes are spun and its swim-up side means you don't even have to exit the pool to dive into a drink.

Last orders

Vaitohi sees action from 6.30pm until midnight; Punavai Lounge Bar pours drinks until 1am; the pool bar wraps up at 7pm.

Room service

24-hour room service is yours to command, with minibars stocked with beer, soft drinks, water and nuts.

Smith Insider

Dress code

So Frenchy, so chic – this is French Polynesia's capital so work it in the main restaurant, but take a sartorial chill pill down at the pool bar.

Top table

We're partial to the terrace at Vaitohi for breezy grazing.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

The Manava's sinuous, kidney-shaped pool and swim-up bar is a bit of a scene, and is one of the biggest infinity pools on Tahiti. Twice-daily water-aerobics sessions should appeal to fitness fiends, or you can enjoy aquatic activities in the tranquil lagoon off the pontoon, including free snorkelling.


It's worth making a date with Manea Spa, open daily from 9am until 6pm, on the first floor of the lobby. Polynesian rituals and natural products star here, including a Motu massage facing sister isle Moorea so you can soak up sea views. The spa is one of the 22 stops on Tahiti's self-guided tour The Monoi Road, exploring the island's famous Monoi coconut and flower oil, used in treatments here. Ask for a map if you fancy taking in flower fields, coconut groves and botanical work shops.


For exploring further afield, pop to the lobby excursions desk. Water-bound thrills include surfing and body-boarding, scuba diving, dolphin-watching, jet-ski rides and sunset cruises. On land, 18-hole Atimaono golf course is 25 minutes' away, or embark on jungle treks or tours of Tahiti, taking in ancient marae (temples), verdant valleys, waterfalls, blowholes, lava tubes and black-sand beaches. Hiking and horse-riding can be arranged, or for a nature-meets-culture hit stop off at the Jardin Botanique and art gallery Musée Gauguin, which both share a car-park and boast pretty gardens. French Post-Impressionnist Gauguin lived on Hiva Oa island in the far-flung Marquesas, and was known for his seductive paintings of Polynesia.


Harbourside capital Pape'ete may be small and scruffy around the edges, but it passes for the Big Smoke in Polynesia and is as buzzy and urban as the country gets. You can take in most of its parks and plazas on a half-day stroll, but make time to check out the famous Marché du Pape'ete, a humming two-storey covered market that's packed with local life. Fabulous food, veg, fish and flower stalls mix it with local handicrafts, fragrant soaps and oils, art, ukeleles, shell jewellery, straw hats and gorgeous, colourful pareus (sarongs), illustrated with everything from flowers to manta rays and canoes. Snack bars upstairs host bands for lunchtime tunes. Find it a block back from Boulevard Pomaire, between Rue du 22 Septembre and Rue F Cardella.


Polynesia's number-one purchase is black pearls, and a great place to buy certified, quality ones is the Robert Wan Pearl Museum (, at 850 Boulevard Pomaire near Paofai temple. This sleek, air-conditioned space teams a quirky exhibition on the history of the pearl industry with a smart shop selling pearls grown on several outer islands, and contemporary jewellery. Considered Tahiti's 'black gold', pearls get more expensive the larger and more perfectly round they are, and are judged on shape, size, colour, lustre and surface quality. Hues actually span a rainbow of black, purple, pink, green, blue, gold and white, and some of the loveliest are actually the less perfect tear-drop or irregular shapes or those with flaws such as grooved rings around the pearl. You can visit pearl farms in the Society Islands and Tuamotus, but you'll get expert advice and guaranteed goods here.


If you're into surfing, you'll find beginner breaks at Papenoo on the island's north coast; for more advanced surfers, local reef breaks Taapuna and Sapinus are just a hop from the hotel. On Tahiti Iti, the smaller of Tahiti's twin isles to the south, you'll find challenging breaks at Vairao, but only big-wave experts should tackle famous monster-wave Teahupoo, home of the Billabong Pro. It's worth swinging by just to scope the action. Although not the most rated Polynesian island for scuba thrills, there are still about 20 lagoon and ocean dive sites to discover here, mainly clustered around the north-west coast. St Etienne Drop-off, La Source and Turtle's Plateau are all near the hotel off Puna'auia. Contact Topdive ( for qualified instructors.


Local restaurants

If you dine out in one place in Pape'ete, make it the popular roulottes ('caravans' in French), or mobile food-trucks, which gather nightly from about 6pm until late on Place Vaiete near the harbour. Like an alfresco hawker market, the balmy square is filled with plastic tables and chairs, and you just order and pay from the truck you fancy. There should be at least 20 to choose from, whipping up steaming treats such as chow mein, grilled fish, steak frites, pizza and waffles, washed down with soft drinks and music at weekends.

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Surf-lapped west coast

Manava Suite Resort

West coast of Tahiti (PK 10.7), , BP 2851 Punavai, 98703 Punaauia, French Polynesia, Tahiti

Set between a lagoon and dramatic mountains on the west coast of Tahiti Nui (the larger of Tahiti's two islands), the Manava Suite Resort is just south of the airport at Puna'auia.


All international flights to French Polynesia touch down at Tahiti's Faa'a Airport (, five kilometres west of compact capital Pape'ete. National carrier Air Tahiti Nui ( covers the key routes, taking around five hours from Auckland, linked by Qantas code-share from Sydney (three hours 10 minutes), Melbourne (three hours 45 minutes) or Brisbane (three hours 20 minutes); eight and a half hours from Los Angeles (with 12-hour connections from Paris) and 11 hours 35 minutes from Tokyo (with links from other Japanese cities with Japan Airlines). Also look out for flights to Tahiti with Air New Zealand (, Air France (, Hawaiian Airlines (, Lan Airlines (, Japan Airlines ( and Air Calédonie International ( The hotel is just a five-minute drive south of the airport, or 10 minutes from town.


Tahiti, like most of the other Society Islands, has one main, paved road running around its perimeter, with a few smaller roads fanning into the interior. If you fancy circumnavigating the isle with your own wheels, hire a car at the airport or through the Avis desk in Manava's lobby (guests get 10 per cent off). There's free underground parking for hired cars at the hotel.


French Polynesia is a popular yachting destination, and Manava is just two minutes' drive from a marina, so feel free to rock up with your own boat. You're also just 10 minutes away from the capital's main ferry quay in Pape'ete for island-hopping.


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Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Every hotel is visited personally by members of our team and given the Smith seal of approval. As soon as our anonymous reviewers have returned from a stay at this lagoon-hugging boutique retreat, a full account of their French Polynesian escape will be with you. In the meantime, just to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from Manava Suite Resort in Tahiti... Perfect for a he…
Read more

Manava Suite Resort

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Every hotel is visited personally by members of our team and given the Smith seal of approval. As soon as our anonymous reviewers have returned from a stay at this lagoon-hugging boutique retreat, a full account of their French Polynesian escape will be with you. In the meantime, just to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from Manava Suite Resort in Tahiti...

Perfect for a hedonistic holiday in Tahiti or a sussed stopover en route to other islands, the Manava Suite Resort on the island's west coast lives up to the old adage 'location, location, location.' Who's going to argue with views over the turquoise lagoon to peak-peppered sister isle Moorea? The scene is best surveyed from your perch at the swim-up bar astride the curvy infinity pool fringing the lagoon. There's no doubt the gorgeous pool/bar zone here is the star, backdropped by a monumental stone wall with refreshing waterfall jets, sexily illuminated at night.

Sunset vistas can be yours from the spacious terrace of your room, too, so long as you bag a lagoon-facing pad (although the garden/mountain-oriented rooms at the back of the hotel's five boudoir blocks are also quiet and covetable). Rooms are set over two floors, so the higher you go, the better the panorama. Interiors hit the right Polynesian notes (strong red, black and brown hues, tattoo-inspired abstract patterns and photographic prints) without going all ethnic-folksy on you, and mod-cons span smart gadgets and kitchenettes.

With rated dining, a spa, boutique and gym, Manava should keep you, and your partner/brood, easily entertained, but if you fancy missioning out, Tahiti's capital is just a short drive away for shopping, feasting and bar-hopping, or drive around the island to sample its world-famous surf breaks and black-sand beaches.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Manava Suite Resort's Guestbook below.


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