The History of Vahine Island
Bernard Isautier, founder of Vahine Island, is originally from La Réunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean.
He comes from a family of entrepreneurs involved in various activities, including the rum industry https://www.isautier.com/en/ .
At the age of 17, Bernard moved to Paris to study at university and, after graduation, embarked on a highly diversified and successful career in international business. In particular, he achieved a spectacular turnaround of Canadian company Polysar Energy & Chemical Corporation, which was sold after a long takeover battle in 1988.
In 1989, Bernard, then in his early fifties, visited French Polynesia for the first time in his life.
By this age, he had already traveled extensively around the world and experienced virtually every type of travel accommodation.
He immediately fell in love with French Polynesia, which he considered by far the most beautiful and appealing place in the world. He was also seduced by the character of the Polynesians.
It was at this point that he had the idea of creating a small hotel on a “Motu”, one of those small islands made of coral and sand on the shores of Polynesian lagoons.
His vision was to build something completely different from big hotels…. that all look alike and are overcrowded… Vahine Island was to be calm, peaceful and exclusive, a place where “stressed CEOs” could enjoy total relaxation. The style was to be authentically Polynesian, made exclusively from local natural materials, but Vahine Island would also offer all the comforts and features of first-class hotels, including gourmet cuisine and a wide range of activities.
The search for a suitable Motu and for sale turned out to be very difficult! It tooked two years ! Finally, Bernard was able to buy Motu Tuvahine in September 1991, immediately began building Vahine Island and managed to open it to his first customers at the end of 1992.
He then met Sandra, a young Polynesian woman, in Paris at “La Maison de Tahiti”. Sandra had her own public relations firm and Bernard hired her to promote Vahine Island.
Sandra then became his wife, and has been an integral part of Vahine Island’s development on every possible front.
After launching Vahine Island, Bernard pursued his career as a businessman, his latest venture being to run PetroKazahstan, but he remained totally involved in the life of Vahine Island, his favorite pastime.
Over the years, Sandra and Bernard have put their hearts and efforts into constantly improving the range and quality of services offered at Vahine Island.
Vahine Island on Motu Tuvahine, Tahaa
Located in the heart of the Society Islands archipelago, right next to Tahaa, lies Motu Tuvahine, an authentic Polynesian island for you to discover.
Unlike most overcrowded tourist destinations, Tahaa has remained untouched and preserved: pearl farms, traditional vanilla plantations, copra cultivation and fishing are its main activities and resources.
Tahaa is an island full of legends and secrets to reveal to visitors seeking to learn more about the magic of Polynesia.
You’ll enjoy 10 hectares of tropical island all to yourself, shared with up to 18 guests. You’ll have no excuse not to relax.
Watch the wading birds as you read on the terrace of your bungalow or admire the deep blue lagoon from the tables of the open-air restaurant, all accompanied by soft, relaxing and local music.
For added entertainment, a Vahine Island beach boy is on hand after breakfast to organize one or two daily activities.
The motu has a magnificent coral garden accessible to all guests from our small beach, but also thanks to the direct access offered by each bungalow. You’ll have the opportunity to observe beautiful multicolored fish, rays and small, harmless blacktip sharks.
Free activities include beach volleyball and badminton, as well as demonstrations of leaf weaving and coconut cutting.
Island walks are fun too, and there are nature excursions if you want to learn more about flora, fauna, shellfish and life on the reef.
Fancy a shopping spree? The Vahine Island boutique offers wonderful jewelry created from local elements, Tahitian shells and pearls, as well as typical Tahaa ingredients such as delicious vanilla. Did you know that Tahaa’s vanilla beans are famous for being the best in the world, but are hardly ever exported?