Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Papeete - Le Mandarin Hotel

Le Mandarin Hotel room

Hotel Le Mandarin
51 rue Colette
Tel: (689) 50 33 50
Fax: (689) 42 16 32
Web site: www.hotelmandarin.com but it is down at the time of posting.
Email: chris.beaumont@mail.pf

The Mandarin gets lots of points for being easy. Emails are responded to quickly and professionally. The hotel will arrange transfers for you from the airport in a shared van through Tahiti Nui Travel, an inbound travel agency. The transfer will be charged to your hotel bill. It cost me only 1000 xpf plus I was given the most beautiful lei.

The location is good, only a few blocks from both the market and ferry.

However, I was disappointed with my stay. Including tax it cost me around $130 per night. The receptionist was a sullen woman who did not want to be working. My room, which was spotlessly clean, technically looked like the photo but instead of feeling warm and inviting, came across as dark, dingy and shabby. The walls are painted in a trompe-l'oeil style to appear old. The effect works too well.

I read somewhere that all rooms have small balconies but mine didn’t. The windows opened up over a lower building, meaning someone could have easily climbed in. I locked the window and turned on the AC and was fine. It was just a surprising choice of room to be given to a woman traveling alone.

The room had a refrigerator but no coffee maker.

If you are booking I’d suggest asking for a balcony and the possibility of a view.

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