Stay moments from Papeete’s ferry terminal at Kon Tiki Boutique Hotel

Kon Tiki Boutique Hotel is the place to stay for visitors to Papeete. The Tahitian accommodation is perfectly located directly opposite the bustling port centre, from which all French Polynesian cruises depart as well as ferry services to Moorea. Kon Tiki is within walking distance from top attractions such as the pearl markets, local shops and the waterfront promenade. Soundproof, spotless and comfortable, the rooms are complemented by casual meal areas, a panoramic restaurant and a popular rooftop bar.

Traveller: Cynthia Dammerer
Room: 602 – Sunset Room
Address: 23 Bd de la Reine Pomare IV, Papeete 98714, French Polynesia
Date: March 2024
Price range $130 to $403

Kon Tiki Boutique Hotel is best for…

People who will be embarking on a cruise departing Papeete, including the Aranui 5. As well as solo travellers and surfers. The hotel has myriad room types from spacious doubles, to cabins with shared bathrooms.

Sunset Room

The curtains open automatically when I put my room key into the electricity card slot. The light that rushes in reveals a huge room with minimal furnishings and a relaxed surf vibe, including a giant photo behind the ultra-comfortable bed. The room has a small well-equipped kitchenette, coffee machine and high-top table for four. The small balcony that overlooks the harbour guarantees a stylish yet homely feel. The oversized bathroom has a giant bathtub and tiare-scented (French Polynesia’s national flower) scented shampoo, conditioner and body wash.

Sunset room at Kon Tiki
Nature room at Kon Tiki Boutique Hotel

Claim to fame

Celebrating the history of the Kon Tiki expedition (a Norweigan explorer’s 1947 journey by raft from Peru to French Polynesia across the Pacific Ocean) and Tahiti’s surfing glory, local stories are told through wall murals, framed pictures and bedside bookmark-size cards that tell the story of Kon Tiki adventurers.

The showstopper

Kon Tiki’s Reeftop Bar boasts 360-degree views, the best in Papeete. Head here at sunset to see Moorea painted in golden hues and the mist-shrouded mountains beyond the city, the bustling harbour and the waterfront tourist precinct. The Reeftop Bar has a lively bar atmosphere with great tunes and cocktails every night.  

Reeftop Bar boasts 360-degree views of Papeete
Reeftop Bar boasts 360-degree views of Papeete

Green thumbs up

While at first a bit confusing, the energy-conserving room key card operation automatically switches off every light and air conditioning, closes the curtains (to keep heat out) and works in reverse on return. The double-glazed glass doors effectively keep heat and sound out from outdoor balconies.  

The family factor

Families would feel welcome and comfortable here, with large rooms and casual dining options, but there are no dedicated facilities for children.

Beyond the rooms

The hotel does not have any outdoor areas or facilities such as a pool, other than a small recreational quiet spot which you can find on an outdoor deck.

Within a short walk, you can find…

Waterfront walkways leading to cafes, bars and restaurants, a newly established coral conservation plantation in the harbour, supermarkets, touristy shops and the famed Mapuru-a-Paraita markets, known as the Papeete Markets. Only a five-minute walk away is the the Aranui 5 embarkation area. 

Staying in

Fast free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. My room has a huge TV with international channels, a sofa for reading and a balcony for people and port watching from the quaint table and chairs.

Tattoo room at Kon Tikki Boutique Hotel

Stepping out

Kon Tiki’s next-door neighbour is Paradise Night Club, one of the most popular nightclubs in town, and side streets offer up Chinese, Thai and Tahitian options for dining out.

I wish I could take home…

The wall mural of a perfect sunset, and the whitewashed driftwood ceiling linings.

Dish to dine for:

I had the freshest fish poke bowl I have ever eaten at casual Kon Tiki Coffee on the hotel’s ground floor. At the Surfhouse try the salmon lasagna.

Before booking…

Be aware, I was shocked to find 602 (and some others) only feature a bathtub with a small handheld shower and no screen. So for mobility challenged, or those who love a good shower this is not the room for you, ensure you book a shower room.

Insiders’ tips

Taxes are usually charged separately and upon checkout, so even if you pay in advance you may still have to queue at a fairly busy reception to pay your taxes. Allow time. 

Where to find Kon Tiki Boutique Hotel

Kon Tiki Boutique Hotel is located the northwest corner of Papeete, approximately 20 minutes drive from the international airport and directly opposite the main port entrance.  IT is within walking distance to the markets and harbourfront restaurants and bars.