About us

The Story of Vahine Island

Sandra & Bernard ISAUTIER

Bernard Isautier, the founder of Vahine Island, originally comes from Réunion, a French Island in the Indian Ocean. He comes from a family of entrepreneurs engaged in various businesses including the Rhum Industry https://www.isautier.com/en/.

At the age of 17, Bernard moved to Paris to attend University and after graduation started a very diversified and successful international business career. In particular, he achieved a spectacular turnaround of the Canadian Company Polysar Energy & Chemical Corporation (click to download the PDF), which was sold after a protracted takeover battle in 1988.

In 1989, Bernard then in his late forties visited French Polynesia for the first time in his life.

At that age, he had travelled extensively all around the world and had experienced virtually all types of travel accommodation. He fell at once in deep and intense love for French Polynesia which he felt was by far the most beautiful and attractive place in the World. He was also charmed by the character of the Polynesian people.

He then got the idea of creating a small hotel on a “Motu”, one of these small islands made of corals and sands on the edges of the Polynesian lagoons.

His vision was to build something completely different from the large hotels… which all look the same and accommodate too many people… Vahine Island had to be quiet, peaceful and exclusive, a place where “stressed CEOs” would be able to enjoy total relaxation. The style had to be authentically Polynesian exclusively made of local natural materials, but Vahine Island would also offer all the comfort and features of top-class hotels including gastronomic cuisine and a wide range of activities.

The search for a suitable Motu available for sale proved to be very difficult! It took two years! Finally, Bernard was able to buy Motu Tuvahine in September 1991, immediately started to build Vahine Island and managed to open it in late 1992.

He then met Sandra, a young Polynesian lady, in Paris à “La Maison de Tahiti”. Sandra had her own Public Relations business and Bernard hired her for the promotion and marketing of Vahine Island.

Later, Sandra became his wife and has been an integral part of the development of Vahine Island on all possible fronts. After launching Vahine Island, Bernard continued his busy business career, his last adventure being running PetroKazahstan (click to download the PDF) but has remained totally involved in the life of Vahine Island, his favorite hobby.

During all these years, Sandra and Bernard have put their heart and efforts in search for constant improvements in the breadth and quality of services at Vahine Island.