Few names evoke a dream destination like the island of Tahiti, the economic center of French Polynesia and the largest of its islands. Tahiti event venues are clustered around the vibrant port city of Papeete, which is also the islands' largest with a multicultural population of about 27,000.
Papeete is the site of the country's only major airport, Faaa International Airport (PPT), where all journeys begin and end on major airlines such as Air Tahiti Nui and Air France from the U.S. west coast, Air New Zealand and Qantas Airways. Upon arrival, travelers are welcomed with the traditional tiare flower lei and lively island music. Downtown is about four miles away, and there are plenty of vans, taxis and some hotel and resort shuttles to take guests to their nearby lodging.
Many larger groups opt to keep their entire meeting or conference based in hotel venues in Papeete rather than venture to the other islands. There are plenty of luxury chains represented, including the 165-room Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti with 14,000 square feet of space; and the 150-room Le Meridien Tahiti, with 60,000 square feet of meeting space. Located on 32 acres of gardens, the Polynesian-style InterContinental Tahiti Resort accommodates groups of 20 to 300 in 172 renovated garden and lagoon view rooms, 32 overwater bungalows and customized group services. Theme nights can be organized for groups including Tahitian dance shows, seafood buffet and Marquesan dancers and warriors. Other venues in Tahiti include boutique hotels, family-run pensions, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops and ample island tours and specialized excursions.
Dining venues in Papeete offer a variety of Asian, French, Italian and continental cuisine, along with popular and affordable rolettes (food trucks) downtown. For shopaholics, the bustling Papeete Market downtown is the ultimate in one-stop shopping: fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, French pastries, Tahitian vanilla and monoi oil, black pearls, colorful pareos (sarongs worn by both men and women) and much more.
For day trips, companies such as Aremiti provide modern and comfortable ferries from Papeete's waterfront to the island of Moorea, about 12 miles away. You can also take the inter-island airline Air Tahiti to the islands of Bora Bora, Huahine and others.