Hiva Oa Pearl Lodge
Clouds form around heady peaks. Surge pounds relentlessly against a rocky
shoreline. Jagged mountains rise from forested valleys. Gorges
are craved into lush plateaux. This is Hiva Oa, a mystical
island that has inspired writers, painters and singers through
the centuries. Herman Melville gained inspiration here, while
both French Impressionist Paul Gaugin and Belgian singer Jacques
Brel were so inspired by Hiva Oa that they are both buried
in the same cemetery above the island's capital, Atuona. Atuona
lies at the head of the Bay of Traitors and is a popular and
safe anchorage for yachts from around the world.
Island highlights include a visit to Puamau Village, where Gauguin's
descendents live. In the steamy jungle above the village is the Oipona
me'ae temple and the 8-ft. tall tiki (statue) Takaii, the largest stone
tiki in Polynesia. Several other stone carvings adorn this quiet spot.
Visit the very picturesque village of Hanaiapa; the petroglyphs carved
in stone in Eiaone and Punai; the meae temple and black sand beach
of Taaoa and the pretty bays of Nahoe and Hanamenu.
Hanakee Hiva Oa
Our recommended resort in Hiva Oa is the Hanakee Hiva Oa Pearl
Lodge. 20 minutes from the airport by 4x4, and with a 180
view from the bar & restaurant terrace of 4000ft Mt Temetiu,
Traitors Bay, the Bordelais canal, the small island of Hanakee
and in the distance the precipitous volcanic island of Tahuata
this resort offers accommodation in just 20 bungalows, each
individually decorated by a local artist. The bungalows are
built in a semi circle below the resort's infinity swimming
pool, each with commanding views of the ocean or mountains.
All have an outdoor terrace, air conditioning and/or ceiling
fan, TV & video channel, IDD telephone, mini bar & in room
safe, and an en suite bathroom with shower. 6 of the bungalows
are classed as family suites and can accommodate a family
of 4 with ease and comfort.
The restaurant and bar have spectacular and elevated views of the surrounding
scenery, and here you can enjoy breakfast in the warm sunlight or a romantic
dinner under the light of the moon. Polynesian cuisine with French twist
is what's on the menu, and a fine selection of wines is also available.
The hotel's activity desk can arrange a wealth of tours, including hill
walking, hikes, sailing, helicopter rides and a visit to the neighbouring
island of Tahuata, where the villagers of Hapatoni will tempt you with
their traditional carving and artefacts.