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Tahiti & Her Islands, Part I

By Michelle R. Mangio
Honeymoon & Destination Wedding Specialist of Magical Escapes Vacations


     To many, the word “honeymoon” conjures up idyllic images of pristine white sand beaches overlooking an ocean of blues which could never be captured in a painter’s palette. A hammock swings lazily among the palm trees on the edge of the beach, and the honeymooner’s hideaway sits over the water. The island may not be deserted, but it feels that way – a hidden paradise to enjoy the start of one’s married life.

     But in this day of crowded tourist locations and beaches, can such a romantic honeymoon hideaway truly be found? The answer is yes – and Magical Escapes Vacations and the Western New England Bridal Show can take you there.

     The Grand Prize Honeymoon Giveaway at the Western New England Bridal Show on November 20, 2005 will consist of an unforgettable honeymoon escape to Tahiti & Her Islands for 7 Nights, including international and inter-island airfare. While some restrictions apply, this prize will give one lucky couple the honeymoon of a lifetime.

     Tahiti makes a honeymoon experience unlike any other. The islands that make up French Polynesia and the Marquesas – commonly referred to as Tahiti & Her Islands – lay in an ideal location in the heart of the South Pacific, where warm winds and blue lagoons create a tropical paradise. These South Sea islands have been seducing honeymooners to its shores for generations, yet the “secluded island” feeling remains, with intimate luxurious resorts on the edges of pristine beaches and turquoise blue lagoons. Tahiti receives in an entire year the number of visitors that Hawaii does in a typical day, allowing you to escape the crowds and enjoy a special honeymoon retreat.

     As far south of the equator as Hawaii is north, Tahiti is halfway between California and Australia, on the same side of the International Date Line as North America, and in the same time zone as Hawaii. As of July 4th, non-stop service to Tahiti is available out of JFK Airport in New York City on Air Tahiti Nui, a pleasant flight just under 12 hours (or eight hours out of Los Angeles). For those who would like to visit Australia and New Zealand, you can now combine a stay in Tahiti with a vacation in either destination.

     Your magical Tahitian escape begins with your flight to Tahiti on Air Tahiti Nui. The international airline of Tahiti operates one of the youngest fleets of Airbus A340-300 aircraft in the world. Even their coach class has spacious seating, with personal video systems for each passenger on most of their aircrafts. Once you take off from New York, the crew changes into their native Tahitian garb, and the smells and sounds of the Islands fill the cabin. You will quickly see why flying Air Tahiti Nui is one of the most unique flight experiences in the world.

     Once you arrive on the island of Tahiti, you are greeted as you disembark, given floral leis while a band performs as you walk into the airport to claim your luggage, or connect with an inter-island flight.

     The turtle-shaped island of Tahiti is the largest of the 118 islands of French Polynesia, and home to the only city on the islands: Papeete, the country’s capital (pronounced “Pah-pay-ay-tay”). Polynesia’s two highest peaks crown the islands, while black velvet beaches and pink coral reefs surround it. Papeete boasts a famous, and recently renovated, waterfront, where entertainment, great food, and hand-made crafts can all be found. A stay in Tahiti would not be complete without a visit to Le Marche, Tahiti’s open air market. Away from the bustle of the city, the scenery turns to the lush tropical valleys and foothills with swaying palms and cascading waterfalls. Many tours are offered into the interior of the island, offering a glimpse at a beauty so at odds with the upbeat modernism of the city of Papeete.

     While there are many great resorts on the main island of Tahiti, winners of the Grand Prize Honeymoon will spend one night on this great island at the new four-star Radisson Resort Plaza Tahiti. This resort is set in acres of lush tropical gardens on the exotic black sand Lafayette Beach, and features breathtaking views of the reef and the island of Moorea. Many rooms offer whirlpools and balconies, and the hotel also boasts a restaurant and bar, full service Spa, and many activities and entertainment, all within a few minutes of the heart of Papeete.

     Moorea, located ten minutes by plane from the island of Tahiti, is what one dreams of when they think of the South Pacific. The beauty of this island is at once both rugged and captivating: from emerald mountains that rise majestically from the sea, to ivory beaches, blue lagoons, and pineapple plantations. Moorea has captivated the imagination of countless writers and artists with its magnificent reefs, mountains, bays, and waterfalls, coupled with an easygoing lifestyle. Villages, as well as boutique shops and restaurants, dot the waterfront road, while safari-style tours of the islands interior offers breathtaking views of Cook’s and Opunohu Bays.

     The magnificent four-star Moorea Pearl Resort & Spa is where our lucky honeymoon winners will find themselves for three magical nights. Located on 7.5 acres of white sand beach within 2 miles of Cook’s Bay, this resort boasts 65 Bungalows (overwater, beach, and garden locations) and 30 garden rooms, as well as two restaurants, a bar, a vast array of entertainment and activities, onsite dive center, and a full-service Manea Spa to pamper you as you deserve.

     From there, our lucky honeymoon winners will be whisked away to the remote island of Manihi, deep in the Tuamoto Atolls. This archipelago is the largest collection of coral atolls in the world. Far from the bustle of any city, the three nights on Manihi will fulfill your dreams of a secluded, yet romantic, tropical island escape.

     Manihi is a string of islets where palm trees sway on stretches of white sand beaches, encircling a perfect emerald lagoon – an almost fairytale-like setting. This island is home to the first Black Pearl Farm, as well as amazing coral and sea-life.

     Here, our lucky winners will spend three nights at the four-star Manihi Pearl Resort, an intimate resort with only 41 Overwater and Beach Bungaows. Its 19 overwater bungalows (with glass lagoon-viewing coffee tables) invites you to snorkel its emerald waters among colorful coral, while its 22 beach bungalows invite you to relax on its sugar-white sands. Boasting one of the best restaurants in Tahiti, the Manihi Pearl Resort offers a lagoon view terrace for dining and a bar overlooking a beautiful pool. Many activities are offered here, ranging from an onsite dive club to visiting the Black Pearl farms to the ultimate in romance: motu picnics.

     Tahiti truly is a romantic destination unlike any other, and the perfect honeymoon to start any marriage. In its idyllic palm trees, pristine beaches, and crystalline lagoons, you will create an experience that will provide memories to treasure for the rest of your life.


About Michelle Mangio
Michelle Mangio is the owner of Magical Escapes Vacations, based in Attleboro, MA. She is a certified Honeymoons & Destination Weddings Specialist, with expertise in many popular honeymoon locations, including Tahiti & the South Pacific, Australia, Aruba, Hawaii, Cancun, and more.

About Magical Escapes Vacations

Magical Escapes Vacation is a full-service travel agency specializing in complete destination planning for any occasion. “Don’t just make reservations. Make experiences. Create memories. Live your dreams.” Let Magical Escapes Vacations take the stress and uncertainty out of vacation planning by assisting you in creating a vacation to remember for a lifetime. Our unique personalized approach will exceed your expectations. We treat each vacation like it was our own, and will work with you to find the perfect getaway. So escape away today… because everyone deserves a vacation.
For more information, contact Michelle at Magical Escapes Vacations toll-free at 866-698-7849 or locally at 508-717-2535, by email at michelle @ magicalescapes.com, or online at http://www.magicalescapes.com


The Grand Prize Honeymoon Giveaway at the Western New England Bridal Show will consist of Roundtrip International Airfare for 2 out of New York City on Air Tahiti Nui, Inter-Island Air from Tahiti to Moorea on Air Moorea, Inter-Island Air from Tahiti to Manihi on Air Tahiti, 1 Night on Tahiti at the Radisson Resort Plaza Tahiti, 3 Nights on Moorea at the Moorea Pearl Resort & Spa, and 3 Nights on Manihi at the Manihi Pearl Resort & Spa. Some restrictions apply. Must be redeemed by December 12, 2006. This prize is brought to you by Magical Escapes Vacations, in partnership with Air Tahiti Nui and Pearl Resorts, and with Air Tahiti, Air Moorea, and Radisson Resorts.


Magical Escapes Vacationshttp://www.magicalescapes.com
Air Tahiti Nuiwww.airtahitinui-usa.com
Pearl Resortswww.pearlresorts.com
Air Tahitiwww.airtahiti.pf
Air Mooreawww.airmoorea.com
Radisson Resorts - http://www.radisson.com/aruefrp


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(This article originally appeared in the October 2005 Edition of the Wedding Day Sourcebook)





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