Papetoai, (formerly Sheraton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa), Moorea, 98729, French Polynesia
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No Longer Sheraton- Now a Hilton
My wife and I went there for a 4 night getaway and we were impressed with everything from the start.
The desk staff was exceptional, upgrading us to an overwater bungalow as soon as we checked in. My wife told them how great it was because it was somewhat of a birthday/anniversary trip, to which the lady replied, "Oh! We didn't know that! Would you prefer a bottle of red or white wine to celebrate?". An hour later a bottle of champagne showed up and I thought that while it wasn't what we asked for, who would complain about a free bottle? Well, the champagne was just for us checking in. The wine showed up a couple of hours after that!
The facilities were absolutely amazing! Our room was an overwater bungalow with a glass bottom section of the floor so you could see the fish swimming and had a great bathroom that could be opened up into the sleeping area making a fairly large open living area. Couple that with the fact that you could go out your sliding glass door and go snorkeling and it was truely exceptional! We didn't take advantage of many of the amenities but there were plenty of excursions to be had (at a cost) and free use of a number of aquatic accessories (snorkeling gear, kayaks, etc.).
The actual land that the property sits on is at a lagoon that is crystal clear and goes probably a 1/4 mile out without going more than 4 - 4.5 ft deep. You can literally sit on your balcony and look out as if you were snorkeling!
As far as the service is concerned everyone was awesome with the exception of the staff at the main restaurant which seemed a little put off by us bothering them. The crepe bar was just as exceptional as the desk staff and seemed very eager to please anytime we visited them.
Overall, I would highly recommend this island, and this resort, to anyone that is looking for a great vacation.
Unique Quality: The exceptional qualities of this place were the lagoon itself, the overwater bungalows, and the majority of the staff.
Opinion of Price: more expensive than average
Related to: Spa and Resort, Romantic Travel and Honeymoons, Beaches
Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa Photo: View from our deck the day of arrival
4 more images
A little piece of paradise
My wife and I loved this hotel. The rooms were perfect, well maintained, and very big. The staff were all friendly and accomodating. The food was delicious, and drinks plentiful. The overwater bungalows have an opening in the floor to see underneath, which was quite entertaining. Each bungalow has its own private balcony to enjoy the wonderful views. We loved that the sliding door opens up practically the entire length of the bungalow. We spent time each day, lying in bed with the breeze blowing through, folding the curtains inward. It was very relaxing. I enjoyed snorkeling every day while my wife enjoyed watching me. The fish are plentiful and so colorful. I even saw a very large eel. Luckily, I had an underwater camera to capture these memories.
Unique Quality: It's a hotel room over the water! When you open the sliding glass door, the blue hues of the water refresh you while the bold greens of Mt Rotui captivate you. It's an amazing experience.
Opinion of Price: about average
Related to: Romantic Travel and Honeymoons, Beaches, Diving and Snorkeling
Our stay at the Moorea Lagoon Resort was delightful. Service was always prompt, helpful and friendly. The reception staff were typically French, but spoke very good English. Room staff were generally Polynesian, and spoke French and adequate English. The hotel's pool and pool area were beautiful, set against the backdrop of the island's mountain at one end, and against the beach at the other. The gym faciities weren't the best, but I didn't use them at all during our trip. You can have use of a kayak and paddle around the reef off the hotels private beach (for free). The hotel has a restaurant that overlooks the beach, although expensive, the food is of very high quality and very well prepared. A pearl shop in the hotel which is part of a larger chain, we found to be reasonably priced and has very good designed jewellery. As you will gather from other posts in this site, the hotel has garden villas and outrigger style fares. The outrigger fares are more expensive, but for the price, you will have the convenience and privacy of your own sundeck and platform that leads into the reef. Topless bathing is acceptable and quite common on the hotel's beach and poolside. Most of the guests (which seemed to be European) walked around the resort in their swimsuits (but of course getting dressed for restaurant and shop areas). Another great service at the hotel is their spa/massage facilities. It's very popular and difficult to get a booking, but if you book ahead you should be able to get a treatment sometime during your stay. The treatment rooms are on an outrigger fare. You have to try the traditional Polynesian massage!
Opinion of Price: more expensive than average
Paradise on Earth!
The Sheraton Moorea Resort was gorgeous! We stayed there 7 nights during our honeymoon and I loved it! We started out in a garden bungalow, where we stayed 5 days and just upgraded to an overwater on our last 2 nights. The interior of the bungalow was just as nice in the garden one except of course it didn't have a spot in the floor to see through to the ocean.
The pool was also heavenly! We took a dip in it several times in the evenings when there was no one else in it... I loved how you could just walk right in to it... it had an sloping incline into one side of it.
The bungalows range from about $350 to about $900 per night, depending on the exchange rate... but another alternative is to save up Starwood points (you can also get a credit card that saves points for you).
The restaurant there was good, but I would suggest trying some of the restaurants in town - almost all of them have free pick-up.
You can easily sign up for a ton of activities at the desk in the main lobby. The prices may be a bit more than if you researched online and booked ahead directly through the tour operators, but if you aren't sure what you want to do til you get there, it is a good option to just book thru the hotel.
I will add some more pictures to a travelogue! I will never forget the Sheraton Moorea! Maybe Mark will take me back for an anniversary sometime :)
Unique Quality: The overwater bungalows are very unique and not found in many places. Even more special about these, is that the water is shallow and clear right below the bungalows, so you don't even have to get in the water to be able to see all the beautiful fish and coral. See my picture! Those are my feet while I am sitting on the deck of our bungalow.
Opinion of Price: most expensive
Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa Photo: My Feet & the Clear Water!
7 days of Fun!
Let me first comment on the state of French Polynesia as a whole. It is a very expensive venture to truly enjoy FP. I believe that had I not spent so many nights in the US hotel rooms that make up Starwood Preferred, I would never have had the chance to stay in a hotel like the Sheraton Resort. The seven nights here ran me roughly 60,000 Starpoints, which are not easily accrued! If you are truly interested in making FP a trip reality, I would recommend getting the Starwood Preferred AMEX card, and start putting all your purchases on this card, then paying it off every month. With some discipline you can enjoy this resort after a couple years!
Having said all that, I would highly recommend this resort as the ultimate place to stay while visiting FP. The other Sheratons in FP were either too luxurious, or not luxurious enough, this one hit the mark directly. The Garden Bungalow we enjoyed the first 5 evenings was wonderful and convienent while we explored the island, and the OWB (overwater Bungalow) we had for the last two nights was perfect for the snorkelling and Tahitian Breakfast which arrived via outrigger. There were several restaurants on the resort, all of which were decent, but the location was wonderful for getting around to most of the attractions!
Unique Quality: The overwater Bungalow snorkelling was unique and wonderful!
Opinion of Price: more expensive than average
Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa Photo: Sarah in our Lagoon Resort Paradise
Lovely cane furniture
Our hut had gorgeous cane furniture and I loved the quaint little bathroom but we didn't always have hot water. Never mind it was all part of the holiday atmosphere & fun.
Now I guess things have changed heaps since Sheraton took over. Shame,.... I hope the warm friendly atmosphere hasn't changed.
I loved the cute little huts. I loved the tropical feel with beautiful cane furniture. Even the cute little bathrooms had cane accesseries. I could see myself living in one of these with a little verandah and hammock on my own secluded beach bay :o)
I bet it's all changed now. The little polynesian huts have probably now been updated :o)
We stayed at Moorea Lagoon resort and the staff were very friendly. William the PR man was excellant. Andre, the barman kept us all laughing. The island band were great, and Animal (obviously his nicname), friend of the band, was a scream. We met lots of people from all over the world and we all felt like we had been friends forever.
Of course this was in 1989 and I've just noticed Sheraton has taken it over. I definately reckon things just won't be the same!!
This hotel opened in October 2000. It's in a spectacular location, nestled between Cooks Bay and Opunohu Bay. There is a small private beach, a nice pool, a good spa, several restaurants, shops, a fitness room, and a good activity center. We stayed in one of the overwater bungalows. Check out my Moorea travelogue for more pictures.
Where to stay???
Your postings are very informative and enjoyable to read. My fiance and I want to go to French Polynesia for our honeymoon but would like to avoid the expense of Bora Bora and the hustle of Tahiti. I have researched quite a bit and Moorea sounds wonderful. Have you any advice on either the Moorea Pearl Resort of the Sheraton Moorea?? Also, Tikehau in the Tuamotus looks lovely for a few days' getaway. Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and happy holidays, Cammarie
RE: Where to stay???
Hi Camille and welcome to vt! Well hubby and I reckon Moorea is the place the go! Tahiti is Tahiti, Bora Bora is gorgeous but very expensive,...so Moorea is the best. Just off the main island Tahiti, Moorea is exotic and a tropical paradise. We stayed in the Moorea Lagoon Resort which has been taken over my Sheridan. Obviously more expensive now, but I would still recommend it because of the location! Anyway, have a wonderful time! and don't forget to come back and share your holiday memories and pix with us here on vt!
Cheers, Ann :o)
RE: Where to stay???
I agree with Ann (G'day Ann, Seasons Greetings). I don't know the Pearl but the Sheraton is in a great location and has everything you'll need. Moorea is only a short flight or ferry trip from Tahiti so is very convenient and it's a fabulous island.
Re: Where to stay???
We stayed at the Sheraton Moorea last year about this time. The Sheraton was great, but we were in a large group with stuff planned all the time, so we never tried their restaurants, except the breakfast bar in the middle of the OWBs (overwater bungalows). Sheraton is not really close to any restaurants or markets, so if you like to get around a lot but won't have a car, you could get a bit of resort fever.
The rooms were nice, but 5-star in FP is different than 5-star in the US - you're there for more than just a room, so adjust your expectations NOW. They weren't shabby, just different than US rooms.
If you look at reviews on other sites, you'll see them running hot or cold on service. You will be in a foreign country with a different culture - again, adjust your expectations, learn please and thank you in Tahitian and French, and you'll do fine. The whiners are "princess and the pea" types, in my opinion.
If you don't plan to stay in an OWB, then you might check out some of the less costly alternatives to the Sheraton or the Pearl. In my opinion, the OWBs are the only reason to pay the price of staying at a resort.