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When In Tahiti, Do As the Le Méridien Does

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Tamanu, Tahiti, French Polynesia, 97718
February 27, 2009 at 1:25 PM | by | ()

It's sad, but it's true: if you're in the midst of a dream vacation week on Tahiti, there is a point at which you will get antsy to do something other than slather yourself in tanning oil and kick back with John Grisham. This is exactly what the Le Méridien Tahiti discovered last year after it launched L’Atelier du Chef, a series of intimate cooking classes with hands-on instruction from Executive Chef Sebastien Philizot. The program ended up being so popular as an addition to the all-inclusive escape that Le Méridien is back in 2009 with an entire series of "culture offerings" at L'Atelier, the resort's artist space.

With room rates beginning from $185, or $260 if you crave one of the over-water bungalows, a week here is easier on the wallet than one spent in the grimy summer heat of New York City, and now they've got the culture to match. Return from French Polynesia with more than a Versace-worthy suntan, but a few new skills to show off from one of their three programs:

· L’Atelier du Jardiner: Guests can examine the resort’s trees and flowers, each identified along with details of its place and purpose in Polynesian culture. In addition, a new kitchen garden has been established featuring Polynesian fruits and vegetables used by Executive Chef Sebastien Philizot at La Plantation and Le Carré. This program is provided complimentary for guests of Le Méridien Tahiti.
· L’Atelier du Sommelier: Join Le Méridien Tahiti’s resident wine specialist, Georges Guilhot, for a series of intimate, instructive oenology classes. Upcoming classes include the Diversity of Rosé; Discover Bordeaux with wines of the Medoc and St. Emilion; Variations on Chardonnay; and a Trip around the East Coast of France, with wines of Côtes du Rhône and its neighbors. L’Atelier du Sommelier runs 5,000 XPF (approx. $53 U.S.) per person per class.
· Les Café des Artistes: On the first Thursday of each month, Le Méridien Tahiti invites artists of all genres – amateurs and professionals alike – to exhibit their works for the public eye. With the resort bar, L’Astrolabe, as the backdrop, Les Café des Artistes presents a unique opportunity to hob-knob with other artists, share experiences and garner attention from their peers, and perhaps even the press. No charge to exhibit; simply contact Le Méridien Tahiti to arrange display.

Just in case you skipped reading all those juicy details, we noted that all of the programs (save for the wine-tasting) are free. After shelling out on airfare to get to Tahiti in the first place, who is going to say no to free stuff? That's right: no one, which means the opportunity to interact with more than parrotfish during your vacation, but we'll let you finish that John Grisham first.

[Photo: Le Méridien Hotels]

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