Tahaa is one of the Leeward Islands of the Society Islands Group in French Polynesia. Its vanilla island nickname comes from the fact that 80% of French Polynesian vanilla is produced there. This is an exceptional vanilla, the fruit of an orchid, Vanilla tahitensis, regarded around the world as the best, most fragrant and most fruity one.
Tahaa, THE VANILLA ISLAND
Tahaa is a volcanic island of 88 km2, located 4.5 km north of Raiatea and sharing with its sister island one and the same lagoon of 290 km2. The west coast of the island offers a breathtaking view on the Pacific Pearl, Bora Bora located 22 km away. Four deep bays cut the coastline of the island: Hurepiti, Apu, Faaaha and Haamene, the former being the deepest bay of French Polynesia. Its highest peaks are Mount Ohiri (590 m / 1,960 ft) and Mount Puurauti (550 m / 1,825 ft). You can access the island by boat from Raiatea. As the coastal road does not go fully around the island, some areas of the coast are only accessible by boat. This is the case for the Dassin Estate.
Tahaa, THE “Dassin ESTATE”
A SITE, A STORY, A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY…
Before disembarking, when you arrive by sea, Tahaa introduces itself by releasing delicate vanilla scents that float over the lagoon, carried by the sea breeze. A light and discreet scent that reminds that this island produces what experts onsider as the best vanilla in the world.
Is it the sweet aroma of the Polynesian orchid, the quietness of the island, the lush beauty of its nature or the immaculate whiteness of its beaches that seduced Joe Dassin when he acquired his magnificent property on the island in 1972? We do not know exactly, but here, everybody knows he was deeply attached to this exceptional land.
Son of American director Jules Dassin, Joe Dassin was a French singer and composer who was tremendously successful in the 1970s. He sold more than 50 million records worldwide. Enamoured of French Polynesia on his first trip he had an immediate crush on the island of Tahaa and especially for this large area along the lagoon, accessible only by boat. Despite the disappearance of the singer, who died in Papeete in 1980 and the change of ownership of the land, it is still known today as the “Dassin Estate”.
Now the owner of this estate and the almost -kilometre long beautiful white sand beach, the Government of French Polynesia has listed it as a high-end hotel development area to support the development of the site and its exceptional potential.
“THE DASSIN ESTATE”
THE ASSETS OF A PRESERVED LAND
ON AN IDYLLIC SITE
Located in Ruutia on the west coast of the island of Tahaa, the 1.72 hectare site is accessible only by the lagoon, preserving the true tranquillity and the unique calmness of the area and of its future occupants.
The arrival by the lagoon and the short pontoon a few dozen meters long over the water up to the shallows not only allow yachts to secure berthing close to the shore, but also enable the Raiatea airport shuttle boats to sail across the lagoon in twenty minutes, gliding on crystal clear waters, and presenting visitors with an already unforgettable arrival.
Bordered to the south by a long beach of white sand 800 metres long, the proposed piece of land, while being flat on almost all of its surface, also includes a small mountain barely 170 metres high, adding a unique and unexpected charm to the landscape, a sort of model illustration of the silhouette of French Polynesian volcanic islands.
Since the Master Development Plan of Tahaa was made official in 2019, the Dassin Estate is listed as a UT area. It is therefore considered as a preferential tourism development site, for accommodating hotels and their associated infrastructure (theme parks, sports courses …). Such listing has been made according to the site’s specific qualities: optimal orientation, high environmental quality and breathtaking landscape.
Joe Dassin, son of American director Jules Dassin, was born November 5, 1938 in New York. In sixteen year career, he has sung 320 songs including one hundred performed in English, German, Spanish, Italian, Greek and even Japanese. He has sold over 50 million records worldwide including nearly 17 million in France. He died suddenly on August 20, 1980, at the Vaima Centre, in downtown Papeete, where a commemorative plaque was laid.
All Polynesians remember him today, like other stars and artists who came to seek happiness and appeasement in the Polynesian islands: Jacques Brel, Marlon Brando … Joe Dassin is buried in Hollywood, next to Valentino or Douglas Fairbanks.
In addition to its specific assets, the Dassin Estate boats a unique advantage: it is located right next to a major archaeological site: land Vaima’i that includes a large marae, an ancestral sacred place, enclosed by high walls. This site is as important as the famous site of Taputaputea on the neighbouring island of Raiatea. This is a real chance for a hotel that could well offer cultural tours or visits on a site that has remained almost secret despite its size.
Since Joe Dassin passed away, the Estate was acquired by the Government of French Polynesia and therefore now has the status of government-owned land. Today, the Government wants to promote this site to the best of its significant tourism potential and offers upscale hotel project promoters the opportunity to give new life to this exceptional site, a project that will benefit from subsidies and tax incentives dedicated to investment.
The quality, assets and exclusivity of the Estate call for an upscale project. The future hotel complex could legitimately offer a product specifically designed for the romance and honeymooner market, being distinct from what Bora Bora offers, an even more exclusive, intimate and privileged offer. The development of water sports, nature-oriented excursions, trekking, and soft adventure also seems to be a promising line of development. The upscale hotel project on the Dassin Estate site may contain additional tourism projects such as a mini golf course, a nautical centre and a marina … etc.
THE ADVANTAGES OF THE SITE
Site is listed as premium hotel development area.
The natural and unspoiled beauty of the Estate offers unique and varied landscape between sea and mountains.
The exceptional length of the beach (800 meters, 2600 feet) which allows for a maximum number of accommodation units being arranged facing the lagoon.
The proximity to Tahiti and a total travel time of one hour between Tahiti and the Dassin Estate.
The possibility to access the area by sea and the presence of a pontoon in deep water that will allow pleasure yachts to anchor in the immediate vicinity of the future hotel.
The major marketing assets consist of the history of the site and the omnipresent memory of Joe Dassin.