About us

The Story of Vahine Island

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, 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 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.


Vahine Island on Motu Tuvahine, Tahaa

Located in the heart of the Society Islands Archipelago, in close proximity to Tahaa, the Vanilla Island, lies Motu Tuvahine, an authentically Polynesian island which you will have the opportunity to discover.

Unlike most overrated tourist destinations, Tahaa has managed to stay refreshingly real, unspoilt and preserved: pearl farms, traditional vanilla plantations, copra farming and fishing constitute its principal activities and resources.

Tahaa is an island full of legends and secrets to reveal to the visitor who seeks to know more about the magic of Polynesia.

Having 23 acres of blissful tropical island all to yourself, shared with a maximum of 18 guests, there’s no excuse not to unwind.

Watch wading birds while you read on your bungalow terrace or scope the too-blue lagoon from the breezy outdoor restaurant tables, sound tracked by chill-out tunes.

For more animation, a Vahine ‘beach boy’ is on hand after breakfast to organise two or three daily activities, such as snorkeling, windsurfing, sea-kayaking and outrigger canoeing (locally known as pirogues) offshore.

There are rich coral gardens to explore, and you’re likely to see Technicolor fish, rays, dolphins and small, unthreatening black-tip sharks. Complimentary activities on land include beach volleyball and badminton, as well as demonstrations of leaf weaving, sarong (pareo)-making and coconut chopping.

Strolling round the island is also fun, and there are nature tours if you want to find out more about the flora, fauna, shells and reef life.

Feel the need to shop? The Vahine boutique sells wonderful modern jewels made with local elements, shells and tahitian pearls but also typical ingredients from Tahaa such as its delicious vanilla. Did you know that Tahaa vanilla beans are famous to be the best in the world but almost not exported?