Double the Love for Tahiti

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It’s a magical place indeed if it garners two victories, but there’s no arguing the spell it casts. Recommend readers made Tahiti the clear winner in the South Pacific bestowing it with the Best Selling Destination in the South Pacific and, for the 11th year in a row, theSexiest Romance/Honeymoon Destination in the South Pacific in Recommend’s Readers’ Choice Awards.

“We’re extremely pleased to have the beautiful islands of Tahiti chosen as Recommend readers’ South Pacific’s Best Selling Destination. We’ve had the opportunity to profile our islands through several different TV shows, films, and of course with our own programs over the past few years—and we’re confident that the up-tick in Tahiti’s brand presence is due to these efforts from our team at Tahiti Tourisme in North America,” says Al Keahi, managing director of the organization. “Additionally, to have placed as the region’s ‘Sexiest Destination for Romance and Honeymoons’ for the 11th time is quite a coup! Overwater bungalows, private dinners on secluded islets, turquoise lagoons and ideal tropical weather year-round are certainly elements that help keep our destination at the top of this list.”

Even though a photo alone can often sell the dream of this most idyllic place for romance, properties are also doing their part. SPM Hotels, for instance, has set up an online wedding registry so guests of the Manava Suite Resort Tahiti, Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa and their sister properties can personalize their honeymoon wish list for room upgrades and more. But as it rides high on the wave of this double win, Tahiti is keeping a few grand surprises up its sleeve but allowing a peek of what’s to come. “Currently under construction is a brand-new resort on a private island just 35 miles from the main island of Tahiti,” explains Keahi. “The Brando will be a luxurious, private, environmentally sustainable resort built in Marlon Brando’s vision. We also have the Kia Ora properties on the beautiful atoll of Rangiroa that are currently being completely renovated. These will both open in late-2011 or possibly early-2012.”

The luxury and certainly romantic eco-resort known as The Brando, on the late actor’s private island of Tetiaroa—purchased by the actor in 1965—will offer 47 bungalow villas, each with its own plunge pool, as well as a spa and full roster of island-friendly activities, including archaeological tours of royal sites. The resort will be the only one on the island and is set to follow upon his hopes of developing an environmentally sustainable property.

If you’ve yet to discover the magic of the islands, Air Tahiti Nui is offering a special roundtrip agent rate ($388) between LA and Papeete, good Feb. 1 through 28. The rate is good for a guest, as well. Agents and their guests can save up to 50 percent off inter-island fares through the same dates, plus enjoy special rates in top hotels such as InterContinental Resort Tahiti, St. Regis Resort Bora Bora and Le Meridien Tahiti, which just completed a multimillion dollar renovation that includes new interiors in guestrooms, additional Polynesian touches and a refurbished lobby.