Paul Gauguin Cruises Announces 2016 Voyages

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Paul Gauguin Cruises announces 2016 voyages that feature popular favorites along with a new 7-night Tahiti, the Society Islands & Tuamotus itinerary and an 11-night Society Islands & Tuamotus voyage.

Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering savings of 50% off standard cruise fares on all 2016 voyages of both ships, plus included airfare from Los Angeles on m/s Paul Gauguin itineraries.

New for 2016 on The Gauguin is a 7-night Tahiti, the Society Islands & Tuamotus voyage that adds the Tuamotus archipelago to the line’s most popular Polynesian itinerary with visits to Papeete, Tahiti; Huahine, Society Islands; Fakarava, Tuamotus; Rangiroa, Tuamotus; Taha’a (Motu Mahana), Society Islands; Bora Bora, Society Islands; Moorea, Society Islands; and Papeete, Tahiti.

The Gauguin is also offering a new 11-night Society Islands & Tuamotus sailing featuring a second full day on the line’s private island paradise of Motu Mahana. Ports include: Papeete, Tahiti; Huahine, Society Islands; Taha’a (Motu Mahana), Society Islands; Bora Bora, Society Islands (overnight); Rangiroa, Tuamotus; Fakarava, Tuamotus; Taha’a (Motu Mahana), Society Islands; Moorea, Society Islands (overnight); and Papeete, Tahiti (overnight).

The Gauguin will also be featuring its most sought-after itineraries in 2016: the 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands; 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus; 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands; and 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands, which all feature complimentary access to Paul Gauguin Cruises’ two exclusive retreats—Motu Mahana and a private beach in Bora Bora. At Motu Mahana, guests enjoy a day of watersports, Polynesian activities, a sumptuous barbecue feast, and cocktails from full-service and floating bars. In Bora Bora, guests can relax on a white-sand beach and enjoy refreshments, a game of volleyball, and snorkeling in crystal-clear waters.

The Brando Recognized on Travel + Leisure It List 2015

The BrandoThe Brando has been named to the Travel + Leisure It List 2015, the publication’s 10th annual editors’ choice awards for best new hotels around the globe.

The Brando, which opened July 1, 2014, is among 43 properties that made it on to this highly esteemed list. Selected by Travel + Leisure editors, this annual list of hotels that are transforming their destinations, is available at http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/it-list-the-best-new-hotels and is featured in the March issue of Travel + Leisure, on newsstands February 14, 2015.

“We are thrilled to be selected for this prestigious list,” said Silvio Bion, General Manager, The Brando. “Thank you to the editors of Travel + Leisure for this honor. It’s a testament to our talented staff who provide exemplary service to our guests and deliver extraordinary experiences at The Brando every day.”

The Brando Joins National Geographic Society Unique Lodges of the World

The BrandoThe Brando today announced it is a founding member of National Geographic Society’s newest foray in world-class travel experiences: National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, a collection of boutique hotels in extraordinary places around the world with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability, authenticity and excellence. The Brando is a unique, luxury resort on French Polynesia’s private atoll of Tetiaroa, and is a pioneering model of sustainable technology, with sea water air-conditioning and renewable energies, whose mission is to preserve Tetiaroa’s natural beauty, biodiversity and cultural richness.

Selected through a rigorous evaluation process, each lodge offers an outstanding guest experience while supporting the protection of cultural and natural heritage and embracing sustainable tourism practices. The initial collection — numbering 24 properties on six continents — further builds National Geographic’s travel portfolio, which includes National Geographic Expeditions, Traveler magazine, travel books, photography courses and the @NatGeoTravel digital and photography community.

“We are proud to work with National Geographic and be a founding member of Unique Lodges of the World,” said Richard Bailey, Chairman and CEO of Pacific Beachcomber, owner of The Brando. “Sustainable development and tourism is core to our mission and guides everything we do. The Brando provides our guests a luxurious, authentic, and enriching travel experience, in an environmentally sensitive, sustainable and culturally rich manner.”

As part of a comprehensive vetting process, every lodge in the collection was judged on the following criteria:

  • The Property— The design and character are unique and authentic and the property provides guests with a true sense of place by celebrating the surrounding landscape and cultural heritage.
  • Guest Experience and Quality of Service — Guests are offered top-quality service and exceptional and inspiring experiences — from activities that enable them to engage with local people to wildlife encounters with seasoned naturalists.
  • Sustainable Tourism Best Practices — The property demonstrates a commitment to conservation and green operations; it actively supports the protection of cultural heritage; and it provides tangible benefits to local communities.

National Geographic deployed experts to each site to evaluate operations, meet staff at all levels, scrutinize the lodge’s impact on the local environment and community and ensure that these criteria were met.

“By creating this carefully curated group of hotels, lodges and retreats that meet internationally recognized sustainable tourism criteria while providing top-notch guest experiences, National Geographic opens a new chapter in the power of travel to protect our planet,” said Costas Christ, a world-renowned sustainable tourism expert and editor at large for National Geographic Traveler magazine, who coordinated an international team to inspect each of the lodges. “Travelers can feel confident when they stay in one of these lodges that they are helping to safeguard cultural and natural treasures in some of the world’s most incredible places.

The Brando is proud to offer guests who book their stay through National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World a special “National Geographic Exclusive” experience, which includes stepping behind the scenes on a private, guided visit of Tetiaroa’s Ecostation. Then, guests can enjoy a meal or go on a walk with one of the center’s researchers to get an insider’s perspective on ongoing projects such as introducing sustainable fishing initiatives and protecting green sea turtle populations.

“The National Geographic brand is universally recognized for its commitment to exploring and protecting the planet, so we are uniquely positioned to unite and promote these exceptional properties and to set a new standard for tourism,” said Lynn Cutter, National Geographic’s executive vice president for Travel. “These lodges share the Society’s vision of preserving the planet for future generations and they demonstrate that sustainability and a world-class guest experience can go hand-in-hand.”

InterContinental Resorts French Polynesia and Maitai Hotels Announce Promotion of Raphael Bernard to Director of Sales & Marketing North America

TAHITI, FRENCH POLYNESIA – February 5, 2015 – InterContinental Resorts French Polynesia and Maitai Hotels are pleased to announce the promotion of Raphael Bernard to the role of Director of Sales & Marketing North America.

Bernard’s responsibilities encompass all North America sales and marketing efforts for the InterContinental Resorts French Polynesia and Maitai Hotels in French Polynesia. He will report to Philippe Brovelli, Regional Vice President of Operations for InterContinental Resorts French Polynesia.

“Raphael has skillfully expanded the presence of our French Polynesia resort and hotel brands in the North America market and has built key relationships with our travel partners,” said Brovelli. “We look forward to his continued success in his new appointment.”

Bernard joined InterContinental Resorts French Polynesia as Sales Manager for North America in 2011. Prior to this role, he was Sales Manager, North America, for Sofitel Luxury Hotels and Resorts French Polynesia. In addition to his hotel industry experience, Bernard holds a bachelor’s of arts degree from The American University of Paris in France.

For additional information on InterContinental Resorts French Polynesia, visit www.tahiti.intercontinental.com. For more information on Maitai Hotels, visit www.hotelmaitai.com .

St. Regis Bora Bora Announces the Appointment of Richard Schilling as General Manager

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Schilling to the position of General Manager.

Prior to this new assignment, Richard held the position of General Manager for the Martinez Hotel in Cannes France. He has an extensive background with Starwood Asset Ownership, Accor Hotels and The Leading Hotels of the World oranization. Richard has held various regional leadership roles in the hospitality industry. His professional work experience includes positions in southern France, Spain, Indonesia and several resort locations.

Richard will be arriving December 27 and will transition with Christian Langlade through January 2nd. Richard is relocating to Bora Bora with his wife, and they look forward to joining the St. Regis family.

Please extend your congratulations and support to Richard as he begins his new assignment with The St. Regis Bora Bora.

Harris Chan
Regional Vice President

Hawaii and French Polynesia

wedOtahiti: Winner of a WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award® 2015

The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2015 recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The esteemed awards are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their professional achievements from the previous year.

While many industry award winners are selected by the host organization, the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with wedOtahiti. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients.

“It’s always exciting to start the year by honoring the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Network who represent more than two million reviews on our website,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Each of the businesses recognized are committed to quality, professionalism and all around top-notch service. We applaud wedOtahiti for their impressive achievements within the wedding industry.”

As a Couples’ Choice Awards® winner, wedOtahiti is highlighted within the WeddingWire Network, which is comprised of more than 200,000 wedding professionals throughout North America and abroad.

wedOtahiti: Tahiti’s First Life-Cycle Wedding Celebrant

Celebrancy became an establish institution in the 1970’s in Australia and New Zealand. Since then, the Celebrant movement has picked up steam worldwide, particularly in Europe, Canada, and the United States.

PEW studies reveal that a growing number of people aren’t connected to a specific religion and many are not religious at all, yet they still consider themselves spiritual. Life-Cycle Celebrants® provide an alternative way for these people, as well as for interfaith or multicultural couples, and of course same- sex couples, to blend their family traditions and faiths through highly customized ceremony.

The Celebrant Foundation & Institute believes that “affirming life’s milestones through customized, thoughtful ceremony strengthens the bonds of families, partnerships and communities and deepens the human connection across generations”.

Quote: “It was really exciting to extensively practice ceremony writing and public speaking, learning how to powerfully integrate personal story and history into each ceremony and ritual.” said Grange. “With years of experience in event planning in the Islands of Tahiti, I have identified a need for simple yet meaningful ceremonies for couples not willing to have a traditional Tahitian ceremony, and all the fanfare that goes with it… I therefore decided that I will be the very first (and only) professional Western wedding celebrant in the Islands of Tahiti.” http://www.wedotahiti.com/tahiti-wedding-celebrant-home

Manava Suite Resort Tahiti: Welcomes Chef Patrick Mariot at Vaitohi Restaurant

Delicious news at the Manava Suite Resort Tahiti :  with the arrival of  talented chef Patrick Mariot, the Vaitohi restaurant becomes an absolute must for gourmets. And it is quite naturally that Tahiti’s most recent resort teams up with a prestigious young chef, to blow the winds of change on local gastronomy.

Vaitohi’s new menu offers a choice of eight starters, four fish courses and four meat courses, as well as five mouthwatering desserts. Combining French gastronomical tradition and local Polynesian products, Patrick Mariot’s cuisine will delight anyone who likes time-honored classics revisited with a sense of invention.

Such as this refreshing mint-infused green pea vichyssoise, flavored with Tahitian vanilla oil and topped with mascarpone foam. Or the mahi-mahi supreme with red pepper spaghetti and garlic cream, or perhaps the lime and vanilla-flavored foie gras. The chef also proposes korori, the pearl oyster in a delicate carpaccio, one of Tahitian cuisine’s best-kept secrets.

Multiple experiences with starred chefs, from the Basque country to Andorra, have left the undeniable imprint of the French Southwest on Patrick Mariot’s cuisine. He likes to work with foie gras, porcini mushrooms, and fillet of duck breast, all featured on the menu. The fragrance and the strength of his native region radiate from his piperade, served with slices of Noir de Bigorre ham.

The dessert menu also is a mix of two traditions. The lime mousse meets fresh raspberries, island fruit swing with Grand Marnier and soursop sherbet, the chocolate lava cake cools off with Tahitian vanilla ice cream.

Patrick Mariot is not just a great cook, trained with famous chefs such as Ferran Adria, the guru of molecular gastronomy. He’s also an executive chef, graduate of the University of Toulouse and capable of designing and implementing all the restaurant services of a resort. His restaurant is also the only one in Tahiti serving quality cuisine until midnight. He is a great new asset to the Manava, for his guests’ greatest pleasure !

Angeleno, January 2015, Print

“A Life Exotic” – Patti Dickey

In this lifestyle magazine, author Patti Dickey recounts her three-island hop journey in the South Pacific and engages the reader with her imagery of the islands and resorts on Tikehau, Moorea and Bora Bora. Patti was part of a SPM Hotels, Resorts & Spa press trip in May 2013.

“The South Pacific is, after all, every bit worthy of its legendary status—particularly for searching for much-needed rejuvenation and refreshing relaxation, all while escaping in picturesque surrounds and first-rate accommodations.

Partner Update February 2015- Promotions

Despite the chilly weather in Chicago, the Travel & Adventure Show was very well attended by local consumers looking for warm destinations. The show was very busy for the Tahiti Tourisme with a surge after our destination presentation given by Tekura Kelley in the destination theatre on the tradeshow floor. We were joined by CPTM Aranui and Certified Tahiti Specialist®, Chole Cipollone of Tahiti Travel Planers. Final attendance numbers for this are not yet available

The New York Times Travel Show was held just before one of the biggest snowstorms in history was about to blow through the city, so attendees had warm weather on their mind! Attendees steadily flocked to the Tahiti Tourisme booth for travel information to our sunny spot in the South Pacific. We were joined by Air Tahiti Nui, CPTM Aranui, Pacific Holidays, and two Certified Tahiti Specialist® – Sharon Gordon of Let’s Go Travel and Lisa Mazzillo of Power Travel. Additionally, since it was a consumer show many Tour Operator Partners provided flyers with package to the Islands of Tahiti from the greater NY area. Final attendance numbers for this are not yet available.