Your Guides to the World's Most Beautiful Islands May Be Disappearing
My name is Bill Goodwin and I was the author of Frommer's South Pacific, Frommer's Tahiti & French Polynesia, and Frommer's Fiji.
I say "was" because Google bought the Frommer's brand and all its digital content from John Wiley & Sons in 2012. According to news reports, Google has decided it will no longer publish Frommer's guidebooks. It did announce, however, that it will license some content to Arthur Frommer, who founded the guidebooks, so that he and daughter Pauline Frommer may publish up to 40 guidebooks under his name, starting in the fall of 2013. No one has said anything to me about my South Pacific island guides being among them.
Google continues to post my content online. I have no idea whether it will be kept up-do-date.
I assume the same applies to my other book, Frommer's Virginia, a comprehensive guide to the Old Dominion, the beautiful commonwealth near which I was born where I have lived—and prowled—most of my adult life.
So even though the information in their pages may be getting a bit stale, there is one good reason to buy my books: They may soon be collectors items!
I recommend the best activities and the best places to stay and dine in all price categories. Unless there is no other choice, I recommend only those resorts, hotels, and hostels I would stay in myself. The same goes for seeing the sights, enjoying the great outdoors, or picking a restaurant. And I tell you if I think something or someplace is overrated.
My Readers Say . . .
"I just returned from two days in Tahiti and ten days in Bora Bora. Frommer's Tahiti & French Polynesia was my constant companion. You are so in tune to the needs of the tourist and how to navigate the islands to get the most out of your vacation. Your recommendations for lodging, restaurants, and activities were right on point. I am a scuba diver and I really appreciated the information you gave me in the book. Thank you!!!!!!!!" – Dr. Lester Joern
"We traveled with your wonderful guide to the South Pacific and would very much like you to know that more than ever before the guide became our faithful companion and Mr. Goodwin a long-time friend." – Rosa Lombardi
"My wife and I recently returned from our first trip to French Polynesia. We found the Frommer's South Pacific guide an invaluable companion in planning interesting activities, determining where to dine, etc." – Lawrence Walz
"I purchased your book, Frommer's Tahiti & French Polynesia, as a guide to plan a recent trip to Moorea and Bora Bora. We are very grateful for the detailed information you provided and found it very helpful. We followed your advice and took the circle island tours on both islands. On Moorea, we had dinner at La Mahogany Restaurant. And you were so right about Belvédère Lookout . . .so stunningly breathtaking it brought tears to my eyes." – Patricia A Whalen
"Thank you for your book, which has just guided us happily around some Fiji islands." – Jan Fletcher
"We've found your guide books very useful on both of our trips to French Polynesia: the one to Moorea and our visit to Bora Bora and Huahine." – William Lundquist
"It is very obvious that the author of this book has actually been to the South Pacific—he is very enthusiastic about the area—and sincerely wants his readers to love it too! We have followed the books on two trips and have found the advice to be 100% accurate. I highly recommend this book—it can be trusted." – Sandra Kyle
"If you are looking for information to help you decide where to go in the South Pacific, [Frommer's South Pacific] is a great place to start. If you know you are going to a specific Island you may want to consider a book on just that Island but this is a great overview and a resource for traveling between the islands." – David Khachadoorian
"If you are traveling to French Polynesia, this is the best book we have been able to locate." – Bill A. Belt
"I recently purchased Frommer's Virginia before a trip that my husband and I took to Richmond. As a long time user of another guidebook that starts with F, I was not sure how I would like the Frommer's Guide, but I have to say I loved it. I am now a convert to Frommer's!" – Allison Ariti
"Thank you very much for writing such an excellent travel guide." – Eric Stamper
A travel guidebook takes at least six months to research, write, edit, and publish, so none of them is up-to-the-minute accurate.
Consequently I would check with the airline, hotel, restaurant and other websites for current information.
From Politics to Travel
I was surprised on a trip to the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia to find Gérard Bourgogne, one of the world's top concert flutists and music teachers, serving as general manager of a fine little hotel known as the Hanakee Hiva Oa Pearl Lodge. I couldn't resist asking him over dinner, "How did one of the world's top musicians come to manage a hotel in the middle of nowhere?"
His wife Nathalie, herself a noted Parisian interior decorator, answered with another question. "And how did an award-winning political journalist come to write travel guides?"
As I answer on my About Me page, travel—especially to these phenomenally beautiful islands—has been in my blood since I was a youth growing up in Edenton, North Carolina. But more than the breathtaking scenery is the prospect of running into fascinating people like Gérard and Nathalie Bourgogne in the middle of nowhere.
I took the photos on this site—except for those in which I appear, of course.
Text and photos ©2013 by Bill Goodwin. All rights reserved.