Tag Archives: tahiti

O' Belvedere Pool View

Dining in the Clouds: O’ Belvedere

A great weather presented itself so we hoisted the sails and left for Tahiti.  We arrived in less than 14 hours.  With lots to do, errands to run, projects to plan, and people to visit, we hit the ground running.  We visit a new restaurant called O’ Belvedere which boasts of being the highest restaurant in Polynesia.  At an altitude of 600 meters, it offers spectacular views of both Tahiti’s lagoon and Mo’orea. 

Two of our Texas friends, Bill and Jan Streep were visiting French Polynesia with a few other Texans.  As it turned out we were able to meet up with them for an afternoon. We had them onboard Sugar Shack before we made the drive to O’ Belvedere.

Bill and Jan Streep

O’ Belvedere Pool View

We hop in the rental car and make our way to O’ Belvedere.  The road up to the restaurant is ridiculously steep with sharp hairpin turns, on roads barely big enough for a small compact car.  And yes, it is a two-way road.  Lucky for us, each time we came across a vehicle coming down, we were somewhere we could slightly pull off the side of the road so they could pass.  It was a “hairy” drive!

Crazy road to O' Belvedere

Crazy road to O’ Belvedere

O’ Belvedere

After that drive, we all needed a drink to calm our nerves.  The outside of the restaurant is really nothing to look at (see top right photo).  They did not put much effort into making you feel welcome as you approach from the outside. 

However, the inside is amazing!  Immediately when you walk in you pass through the kids play area with a small foos ball table, cards, games, and puzzles.  Then you pass the glassed-in kitchen where you can watch your dinner be prepared, and a fully stocked bar.

O' Belvedere

O’ Belvedere

The bathrooms, which are off to the side, offer the best views in the world.  As you sit on the pot you have sweeping views of the valley and Tahiti lagoon through the floor to ceiling windows.  In one bathroom, you can even do your sewing.

Bathroom view from O' Belvedere

Bathroom view from O’ Belvedere

We were here mid-day to enjoy the pool before dinner.  So, the dining room was pretty empty, but we still grabbed our table and had a few cocktails before heading to the pool.

There is also an adult game room with a pool table, darts, foos ball and more games.

The Views

From every angle you have amazing views.  So beautiful.

The Pool

As you descend the stairs you come to the pool level with a negative edge.  They have a small lounge area and a lift to deliver your cocktails.

The pool offers beautiful views as well.

It was a beautiful day to hang out at the pool.  Cocktails in hand, cooling off in the water, and enjoying good company.

Matt always has me laughing.

The sunset was magnificent.

And it just kept getting better and better.

The Food

I must admit that I was not too impressed with the menu selections.  They had a lot of red meat, which I don’t eat.  No fish, chicken, or port.  I ended up with Camembert au Four which was baked brie and cold cuts for a whopping $29!.  It was a super-duper expensive restaurant, but the views make it worth it.  The others had the Rib steak with a pepper sauce and said it was delicious.

In our last blog, we shared delicious photos of the underwater pearl Champon pearl farm and of Bay Nao Nao.   Events from this blog post occurred early October.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.

Aremiti 2 Ferry

Fun, Ferry Adventure

Typically, we are not too fond of ferries.  They cause huge wakes and can be a bit noisy disrupting the anchorage.  We’ve been watching a variety of different ferries come and go at an unusually high frequency during the last 5 weeks of confinement.  Then one day, we decided, let’s take the ferry to Tahiti.  We needed to run some errands and see a few friends who were departing in October.  Fun, a ferry adventure to change our opinion of ferries!

There are several companies that run between Tahiti and Mo’orea.  There is Aremiti which has 2 boats, Vodaphone, and Teravau. 

Vodaphone and Terevau ferries

Vodaphone and Terevau ferries

We wanted to go on the largest ferry, the Aremiti 2.

Aremiti 2 Ferry

Aremiti 2 Ferry

The tickets are normally $10 (1000xpf) each way / per person. But since we are considered residents, we got a little discount.  Sweet. 

The Aremiti 2 Ferry

You enter from the stern of the boat where the cars load.  It is massive space with multiple floors!  This enormous aluminum boat takes my breath away. 

Aremiti 2 Stern Entrance

Aremiti 2 Stern Entrance

We walk up 4 flights of stairs to get to the main passenger area.  And boy oh boy were we pleasantly surprised.  The first section is the “café” area where they serve snacks, hot and cold drinks, and sandwiches.  You can sit in comfortable seats while on your passage.  Once you pass through this area you go to the “front” of the boat where they have more seats.  Which by the way, I loved the seats as they slightly reclined and had great lumbar support!  None of this straight up and done like in the states (I mean really, who sits like that?).

Before we enjoyed a cold beverage and a seat, we decided to go upstairs to the viewing outdoor area.  Another expanse of seating.  How many people take this ferry?  Gesh!

The view out the front section was spectacular.  As the ferry runs smoothly across the turbulent waters, you can hardly feel a thing.

The ferry averaged 22-23nm per hour and arrived within 45 minutes of our departure.  This trip would have taken Sugar Shack several hours and would not have been nearly as pleasant.

Arrival in Tahiti

Many of you know we have two inflatable paddle boards that we bought used in Bonaire 5 years ago.  They are ok.  1) they are meant for kids so they are short (like 8’9″) and they only  work/float for about an hour before they deflate.  We have had to patch them numerous times.  In fact, Matt has patched the entire seam around each board at least once!  Needless to say it was time to replace them, especially when you consider the fact that Matt uses the board at least 3-4 times a week.  Matt had been watching the Facebook Marketplace for the area and found a hard board for sale.  On the ferry, we texted an offer and he accepted.  Wowza, we were not expecting that!  So, immediately when we disembarked, we found an ATM and met the seller downtown Papeete.

This is a 4-year-old paddle board and is made by Riviera, and designed by Jerry Lopez.  It stands at 11’3” and is 29” wide.  It is a HUGE board!  The seller met us promptly with the board tied to the top of his truck.  Matt had to carry it from there to our friend’s boat which was about ½ mile.  The bottom left photo is the board coming off the ferry in Mo’orea.  It is at the top extending beyond the front and the back – too funny!

Matt buys an 11' stand up paddle board

Matt buys an 11′ stand up paddle board

Errands and Friends

Matt and I run a few errands.  We go to both ACE mart stores, NautiSport, and Sing Tung Hing.  We end up separating as he continues on to Ocean 2000 and HyperBrico.  I had to go to a store in downtown Papeete and the post office before meeting my friends for lunch.

I meet up with my friend Jen from Slingshot and Wendy from Due South.  We did not take any photos as Wendy is in the middle of chemo treatments and was not feeling it.  But, we had a spectacular time with tasty food and a beautiful view!

It was a crazy busy and productive visit to Tahiti. It was time to head back to the ferry.  On the way back to Mo’orea on the ferry we enjoy seeing Sugar Shack at anchor!

Can you see Sugar Shack in the distance?

Can you see Sugar Shack in the distance?

Here is the route while underway in each direction on the ferry.  We though the ferry, Aremiti 2 hit speeds in the 30’s but we never saw anything above 22-23nm.

Faces of Tahiti

Being in Mo’orea gives us a great view of Tahiti.  We have seen many different faces of Tahiti over the last month.

Disaster strikes time and time again, read the gory details In the last blog.  Events from this blog post occurred the end of September.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.

Vaiare Bay, Mo’orea

Our last stop before returning to Tahiti is Vaiare Bay.  This is a new anchorage for Sugar Shack and one that we are eager to explore.  There are technically two anchorages in this large bay.  The north anchorage which is near the Sofitel Hotel and the south anchorage which is also called the sand flats.  We decided to stay near the hotel with the hopes of having another luxurious beach day with cocktails.

Vaiare Bay

Vaiare Bay

We pulled up to one of the two dinghy docks and I jumped out to ask permission.  In my broken French, I asked if we could purchase drinks and take them to the beach.  The bartender was more than friendly and said, yes, yes!  So, I gathered the troops and we headed for a shady spot on the beach.  We were stopped half way down the beach by a hotel employee who very firmly told us that the beach and all of its facilities were reserved for guests only.  Well, it wasn’t like we were going to plop down on their lounge chairs and use their very cool outdoor rain showers.  Shesh!

We walk all the way to the public beach which was full of rocks and coral.  But still privy to the gorgeous turquoise waters.  We play a wee bit of volleyball, take some short walks, and play in the water.  Since we had hoped to buy drinks we did not bring anything to drink or snack on so it was time to mosey back to the bar.

Sofitel Hotel

This is a beautiful hotel!  The Sofitel does not disappoint as a 4-5 star resort.

We situate ourselves on the upper deck and enjoy the cool breeze and beautiful view of the bay.

Over the water huts.  Isn’t this the same thing as living on Sugar Shack?

Once we get back to the boat, the boys take the SUP out to the reef.  Cameron explores the amazingly healthy sea life just past the break and drags Cole out with him.

Return to Tahiti

The next day is a slow motor back to Tahiti. It was a little rough for our guests. They did well by holding on to the boat at all times.

It is always hard to say so long – especially if you know you won’t see them for 9-12 months.  So, I won’t bore you with the sad details.  We head to Casa Bianca for some cocktails and my beloved family heads back to the States.

In our last blog with the Konis family we visited an underwater tiki garden, juice factory, and introduced them to our cruiser friends.

Events from this blog post occurred during the first week of August, 2021.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.