Fare Suisse, Papeete, Tahiti

Fare Suisse, Papeete, TahitiWe've all heard how expensive things are in French Polynesia, so the opening of a new budget hotel in Papeete is always welcome news. Fare Suisse has only been accepting guests since September, 2006, but it's already a winner. The location is very central, off rue Venus, just up from Rue des poilus tahitiens, three blocks inland from Papeete Harbor. Basically, it's up the hill from Champion Supermarket on rue du Commandant Destremeau. However, you don't really need to know that because Beni, Fare Suisse's friendly manager, will collect you from Faaa International Airport at no additional charge provided you book ahead through his website.

The four rooms at Fare Suisse start at 75 euros double, which works out to around 9,000 Pacific francs or a bit under US$100 a night. That may sound like a lot if you're coming from Fiji or Rarotonga, but hey, we already knew Tahiti wasn't cheap and CFP 9,000 a night is pretty good for tourist accommodations in downtown Papeete. If you're willing to share your room with other travelers, the price drops to 40 euros per person per night. In case you don't get a chance to book online, Beni asks that you call ahead because Quartier Buillard (where Fare Suisse is located) is a gated community and you'll need to know the security code to enter.

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