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Destination: Rangiroa, French Polynesia!

February 16, 2017 Travel

When I started Turtle Creek Lane I knew I wanted to include travel because not only do I love to travel, but I get so much design inspiration from the places I visit!

I’m literally that crazy person you see at your hotel who is taking photos of the floral arrangement in the lobby or the fixtures in the bathroom! I think I took at least 30 pictures of the draperies at the George V in Paris, and don’t even get me started on the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg!!! Oh. My. Gosh!

In Rangiroa, it was the color palette – made by Mother Nature herself!!

Tiffany and Co. must have visited here before they came up with their signature color because the water is seriously Tiffany Blue!!!

Is that color not unbelievable?! WOW!! I had to take a picture of just the water so I could remember it! I was in heaven!!


So, my goal with sharing travel adventures is tri-fold:

1. I want to share some of the most beautiful places on the planet in an up-close and personal way!

2. I want to share my itinerary with you so if you decide to visit, it will be easy — just book a few things and pack your bags!!!

3. I want to share decor inspiration!


First Stop: RANGIROA, French Polynesia!

Ok, so I have to admit… I wasn’t even pronouncing Rangoria (Ron-gi-row-uh) correctly until after the first day of hearing the natives say it to me! And frankly, I had to look at a map to see where it was!

Rangoria is just northeast of Tahiti in French Polynesia and is one of the largest atolls in the world. I also didn’t know what an atoll was (I guess I must’ve been absent the day Mrs. Thompson taught that in geography class). If you are like me, this is what we missed in class: it is a ring-shaped reef, island, or chain of islands formed of coral.


Ok, now that all the cerebral stuff is checked off… let’s get down to the “Oh-my-goodness-why-have-I-never-heard-of-this-place-before” stuff!

We stayed at Hotel Kia Ora in an over-the-water bungalow. This is by far the nicest hotel and where you want to stay!

There are only 3,000 people on the whole atoll so there are not many other options. The natives wear several “hats” and have to be be willing to sell pearls in the gift shop by day and perform native dances in the restaurant by night!

And speaking of hats! Be sure to pack several large ones!!! The sun is extremely intense in French Polynesia, and even with *the best sunscreen available (my friend Kimberly in this picture is a dermatologist and always keeps me stocked) I still got a major burn on my legs!

I brought 3 so I could share! The ones we are wearing above are made by Mud Pie and so great because they really do protect your face and shoulders!

Check out a few other fun choices below!


*The BEST sunscreen*

I’m not exaggerating….this is my favorite thing in the world!!! It’s a loose powder brush-on sunscreen and it’s actually waterproof! I wear it every day and it’s truly magic…my husband and kids even wear it! We take it with us skiing, to the beach…anywhwere! I promise if you try it out, you’ll never want to use anything else!

After I posted an Instagram Story I had several messages asking where I got this pink bathing suit! I beyond LOVE it!! It is made by Kate Spade and it comes in pink and black.

Despite the fact it is just sweet with the ruffles and bow, it is so comfortable! The fabric is ultra soft yet it still holds my belly in – and after giving birth to 5 kids I need a little extra help!! Also, it doesn’t cut into you any weird place! Don’t you hate it when you feel like you’re being cut into in all the wrong places?! You won’t with this suit!

Ok, I really need to learn photoshop so I can give myself a tan — giggle :)!!

These are my go-to beach sandals. They are made by Hermes and come in multiple colors. I also love these cute ones I found at Coach! I just checked stock — they’re half off for only $69!!



Let’s talk fun things to do in Rangiroa, French Polynesia!

Rangiroa is known first and foremost for scuba diving! 

But if you are not a diver, the snorkeling is amazing! There are sharks…. but Rangiroa has NEVER had an incident of a shark biting. I was in the water with them multiple times and they just acted as if I wasn’t there!

We even fed these little black tip sharks!

There is a small island that a gentleman has a 99 year lease on… and surrounding the island is a body of water called the Blue Lagoon!! It’s a must see!!! It is about a 45 minute boat ride to the island, and while you are there he will fix you lunch while you explore the island and play in the water!

There are no fish in the lagoon because it is so warm!! I would recommend wearing a long sleeve swimming suit to protect against the coral if you are really adventurous!

I found this one last summer and it’s no longer in stock…but there are some SUPER cute new options out there! See a few of my favorite picks below!

They bring in a custom tablecloth for lunch!!

The fishing is also amazing! And I’m not even a big fisherwoman! We chartered a boat and went out harpoon fishing for mahi-mahi and spear fishing!! It was a blast!

I even caught a mahi-mahi!!

We have a rule in our family, if you catch it you eat it!

The chef made pepperoni mahi-mahi-mahi!! I never even knew that was a do-able combination!! Giggle : )

We also spent an afternoon riding around the island on mopeds. You can literally get from one side of the atoll to the other in about 15 minutes : )).

And they do offer a Cafe Rio in French Polynesia…… well, kind of – giggle!

And for any of you looking to further your education… you may want to check this out!

Rangiroa was such a fabulous place to visit, and it is not nearly as pricey as Bora Bora!

Being kind of in the “middle of nowhere”, don’t expect the service to be what you may get at a Four Seasons. BUT I will say… the kindness of the people make up for anything lacking!

All in all — we LOVED it!!

 Resort: Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa  // Pink Swimsuit: Kate Spade at Bloomingdales  // Sleeved Swimsuit: Quicksilver– Similar Here // Sunscreen: Colorescience // Hat: Mud Pie– Similar Style Here  // Sandals: Similar Here

Hugs…. Jennifer


P.S. In case you’re wondering how we got there… I’ve listed our route below!

Virgin America: Dallas –> Los Angeles// Air Tahiti Nui: Los Angeles –> Papeete, French Polynesia // Air Tahiti Nui: Papeete, French Polynesia –> Tikehau, French Polynesia // Air Tahiti Nui: Tikehau, French Polynesia –> Rangiroa, French Polynesia


  1. The waters are so beautiful! We’ve considered going to Tahiti maybe we should! Your trip looks so fun and I like your great tips–never knew about long sleeved swim suits! I’m going to get one for our trip this summer! I need to try the sunscreen, too!

  2. Maria Black says:

    Bora Bora has always been #1 on my bucket list but I ruled it out due to the enormous expense so this is good info to have!

  3. Blair says:

    We are looking to book this trip (and visiting Le Sauvage) and I was wondering if you had any tips about a meal plan? We saw we can add on a dinner meal plan and I was wondering if you did this and if you ever ate off property? If there are any tips we should know please let me know! We are very excited!

  4. Stacy Stewart says:

    Love this post! I’ve been to French Polynesia numerous times, mainly to Tahiti, Morea and Bora Bora. I did it differently than you did though! I camped on the beach each time and stayed with the locals. It was amazing! I love this part of the world so much. It’s an incredible place. Thanks for sharing!

    • kimberly says:

      Camping on the beach!! HOW FUN!!! I, too, love that part of the world!! There are many local in Rangiroa – giggle – but we met a great family there that we are going back to see next March!

  5. Oh my gosh…my dream destination! Love the pictures!! Maybe one day…my focus on making a difference for children in palliative care come first since several years through art therapy…but, definitely on my bucket list…lol! I agree with the others, the pink bathing suit is gorgeous, but, because of skin cancer, I’ll go with the blue covered up one. Life is too precious and short…and being with our children the longest possible is sooo important! Congrats on all your site!