Driving up to Villa Papeete, 15 minutes out from Papeete Beach, it seems as though you are in no man’s land. No houses, no shops, no sea – just lots and lots of land. Then you enter the villa, greeted by women dressed as if from the Garden of Eden.
We started the night “early” at 10 pm in the dining area. Ordering food was the quickest I have seen for a group of 20 – the menu only gave you two choices. One was your typical five-course italian meal, which almost everyone ordered. I have an obsession with sushi and felt a bit deprived for the past week, so I chose the japanese alternative. When my friends warned me about how good the sushi could really be in an italian restaurant, I thought they were just showing national pride. In the end, I ate more of their food than my own.
By the time we finished eating, there was music pumping and people dancing on the other side of the villa. We took a table behind the DJ, which seems to be a coveted spot in Papeete’s world. There were dancers in front (pictured above), but I was more distracted by the ragazze immagine that were coming and going from the V.I.P. section. Prime Minister Berlusconi seems to have set a trend.
Aside from good music and great service, what got me most about this place was the open atmosphere. No matter how crowded it became, I didn’t have an attack of claustrophobia since 70% of the space is uncovered and the other 30% has open walls.
The drinking and dancing went on until sunrise, by which time no one could drive. Fortunately, four euros gets you a spot on the shuttle bus back to city center. Even if you have a personal ride, I highly recommend taking the shuttle. Listening to friendly drunk people singing and having random conversations is oddly entertaining.