More about InterContinental Resort & Spa Moorea
Better than the Intercontinental
Our rooms were gorgeous (we had both a deluxe garden bungalow and a premium overwater bungalow)! Both had very nice decor and amenities. Be warned though, the garden bungalows do not have bathtubs ~ makes shaving very difficult for a woman. Each bungalow has an A/C unit, but there are also louvered windows that you can open to let a nice breeze through. The garden bungalow had its own private backyard with a strategically designed fence to eliminate people from being able to see into your yard/pool from anywhere else. I would have been happy to only stay in this bungalow the whole time, but we tried out the overwater bungalow. This too was very nice. It was about the same size as the garden bungalow, but it did include a very nice bathtub in the bathroom, and of course, we had our own deck out on the ocean. I will say that the privace on these decks far surpasses what I saw as I passed the Intercontinental Resort. They use canvas on either side of the deck to sheild you from view of your neighbors. There is also a shower on your side deck to rinse off after a dip in the ocean. The coral below your bungalow takes a sharp dive just under your deck, so it is perfect for snorkeling. The bungalow has a glass bottomed coffee table inside, so you can watch the fishes. Television has several channels, but nearly all are in french. The overwater bungalow did also include a dvd player. Both rooms were decorated very nicely with flowers and hearts for our arrival (since it was our honeymoon).
Service was fantastic ~ nearly every staff member was exceptionally helpful and friendly. There are two beach areas, but both have fairly obstructed views of the open ocean. The pool is gorgeous, but there could be more poolside chairs ~ get there early to ensure you snag one.
Food here was good, but like everywhere else, it was pricey. I would recommend only eating here one night during one of the free shows, and take the rest of your time to visit the restaurants in the area. The privacy of the deluxe garden bungalow is wonderful! Do mind the mosquitos once dusk sets. The staff here are very friendly and helpful. The resort has plenty of room and never seems crowded. Breakfast was included in our package and consisted of a breakfast bar with pastries, lots of fresh tropical fruits, several juices, coconut milk, yogurts, eggs cooked to order, toast, sausage, bacon and crepes. Very yummy.
The staff are all multi-lingual, so no worries about not being understood. On our last day, as we were awaiting our cab to the ferry dock, we made some final purchases at the gift shop. Again, most everything was more expensive than at roadside shops, but the shop attendant rang up my order, had me pay, and then gave me a second box of the coconut tea that I had just purchased for free. Very nice! :)
The resort has kayaks and snorkeling equipment available for free, and the area of ocean under the overwater bungalows houses a coral nursery where they try to rehabilitate coral that has been damaged. There is a large educational poster centrally located on the boardwalk to educate guests about the nursery program.
The Manea Spa located at the resort was wonderful! We spent nearly $600 on our treatments, but they were fantastic! For a once in a lifetime experience, it was worth it. Very, very nice facilities, refreshments during treatments, relaxing music ~ it was all great!!!
I don't think we could have gotten any better experience for the price that we paid. Overall, this was a great resort!
Very nice, but next time we'll skip Moorea
After the 12-hour flight from New York and one night at Le Meridien Tahiti, we arrived at the Intercontinental Moorea. We stayed in a beach bungalow, no. 307, which was beautiful and very private. We had our own stretch of private beach in front of the bungalow and it was one of the few areas where you could actually swim right in front of the bungalow (most of the beach bungalows had a stone wall in front of them). We also were close enough to the dolphin area so that we could seem their glorious leaps in the air, but not too close, so the noise did not bother us. The bungalow itself was gorgeous and very luxurious, with a living and bedroom area, and a lovely open shower and bath. The dolphin experience was absolutely thrilling (though painfully expensive)--it was the experience of a lifetime, so it was well worth it. I agree with the other reviewers--go for a beach bungalow at this hotel. The overwaters are not overwater!! It's not worth the money. And from what I've read, they do often upgrade honeymooners, though that did not happen to us.
The cons about this hotel: The mosquitos were very bad. I got eaten alive almost every place we went! The water is not that crystalline color you expect to see in Tahiti (and that we saw at Le Meridien Tahiti, Le Meridien Bora Bora, and Taha'a). The lagoon around the Intercontinental is murky in many spots, and not very inviting for swimming. We mostly stuck to the pool. The beach area was not extremely attractive, and the pool area could have been anywhere--nothing special. The food at the hotel was just average, and extraordinarily overpriced. After 3 nights, we were dying to change islands and try something new. (We never left the hotel as we were too tired post-wedding and journey! Perhaps if we had, we would've found better food options...) Oh, however, the Moorea Delight at the fancy restaurant at the hotel was by far the best dessert I had on the whole honeymoon. Wow!
We stayed on Moorea so that we could have 2 weeks in Tahiti (we couldn't afford 2 weeks just on Bora Bora and Taha'a). But if money were no object, we would probably just go to Bora Bora and Taha'a, or maybe try Rangiroa or Huahine instead of Moorea. The Intercontinental is supposed to be the nicest hotel on the island, but reminded us a little of a really, really nice camp, not so much of a luxury resort. However... if you are a dolphin lover, it IS a must, and it was a wonderful start to our honeymoon. If you've already booked here, not to worry, you'll have a wonderful time! (Just don't go here AFTER Bora Bora or Taha'a--it is not nearly as nice.)
Alot better than IBC Tahiti
My wife and I arrived on 6/20/05. We had just been moved for IBC Tahiti (read my review of Tahiti if you would like to know why we moved). When we checked in the front desk employee Isabell was a nice and helpful as a person could be. She informed us that because of our situation they only had one OWB availible #518. Isabell told us that in two days they will have a couple of openings and to check back at that time. We got a ride to #518 it was as far from the main building as you could get.
Upon walking in to the bunglow, we noticed right away the layout and how much more condusive it was with what we wanted to do on the trip (Relax with the only the two of us) than what Tahiti was. You can sperate the bedroom/bathroom from the sitting area with a deck. We walked out on the deck and noticed a walkin bridge right off our deck! (No privacy) Then the ladder leading down to the lagoon, you had to nagoiate a lare bush just to get down to the water.
The following morning I went to the front deck and found Isabell's smile again. I asked the status of moving bunglows and she gave me a list of 4. She said, "Here are the 4 to choose from. Go look and see what one you like best and we will have you moved." We decided on #602, so we went and told her. We went down to the Natical center and got our free 1 hour rental of a ocean kayak. By the time we were back our bags were in #602. This is where we spent the next 7 days.
The benefit of 601-603 is they are the only three bunglows on the small island of the resort. The views of the motus with sunset, ample sun all hours of the day on the sundeck, and to get to the room you had to walk past the dolphin encounter everytime.
The only two complaints about the bunglow is that the floor was fairly dirty (sand) and the bed wasn't comfortable to my liking (very firm as well as the pillows)
The staff at the hotel (local Tahitian) very hospitible, pleasent and not speedy. But you are on vaction what is time. Speaking of time you won't find clocks anywhere, not a bad thing though. But the only problem is you need to make reservations for many of the excursions and dinners.
We did a couple of the excursions; deep helmet dive, ATV tour, rented a buggy, and jet skiing. Our favorite was the deep helmet dive. You go out to the motus, where between the two motus is about 20ft deep with coral everywhere. We had 3 sting rays swimming around us, a 6ft baracuda, and hundereds of tropical fish. Renting the buggy was the second best. The island is 37 miles around, we rented the buggy for 8 hours. Then we toured the island on our own. The was an excellent way to stop and see the sights at our own pace. We drove up the Mt. Belveder (highly recommended) the view of the 2 bays and a mountain peak between them is undiscribable.
The dinning experence was a bit of a shock. The prices were pretty high. First the breakfast was a buffet style or a la carte. The American buffet was roughly $60US. The a la carte you could get the egg dish for $11US. Lunch was about $50US there wasn't much of a choice for food options. Then dinner ranged from the pool side resturant (same as lunch menu) or the gormet dinner ($100-$150US). The food was good borderline great. The hotel puts on a traditional Tahitian dance on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays (reservations are needed). The dance includes a buffet dinner on the beach. There three different nights have differnt themes; Seafood buffet, BBQ buffet and a tahitian buffet. You can start seating for dinner at 7pm but the show doesn't start until 8:30pm at the earliest. Room service is a good way to go. It take 30 minutes you have the same selection as you would in the casual resturant. It is only a 5% bump to have it in your room instead of in the resturant.
One thing that was fun to see was a tradional tahitian wedding ceremony. The hotel shop was rather expensive. Make sure you have most of the things you need, so you have to buy a little as necessary from there. I had read someone complaining about stray cats everywhere. Well I saw one and that was on second to last day. It was milling around the pool area, not jumping up on tables and being a distraction. A nice little touch at the end of your stay, the hotel leaves a bottle of champaign, ice bucket, and two glass for you before dinner.
Overall this hotel was unbelievible. It truely was paradise. Yes, it was pretty expensive to do things, as well as eating. But what do you expect the US dollar isn't as strong anymore. It is fun to say that we went to Tahiti/Moorea for our honeymoon but next trip would be back at the Atlantis on Paradise Island, Bahamas. Both trip would cost about the same with only a 4 hour flight instead of 12 hours(from Minneapolis).
Great Resort, exceeded expectations
Hi all. I used this site a lot in planning my honeymoon, so I definitely want to give something back and write a report. Here we go...
I left on the maiden voyage from JFK on July 4th. It was a 12-hour flight that went pretty smoothly. A little delay taking off, but no worries. FYI, the coach cabin is 2 seats next to each window and 4 seats across the middle. It was pretty empty, so a lot of people slept across the 4 seats. I landed in Tahiti at midnight and stayed at the IBC-Tahiti for the night. I only stayed the one night, but from what we saw before our flight to Moorea, the hotel was very nice with great views and nice grounds.
We took the 10-minute, very cramped plane ride to Moorea for a 4-night stay at IBC. Due to some reviews I read, I didn't have high expectations, but overall my wife and I were very impressed. On a scale of 1-10, we'd rate it a 9.5 We enjoyed our stay there and would probably stay there again if we ever to go back. I'll list the key points of the hotel as we saw it.
BUNGALOW: We absolutely loved our beach bungalow (#308). We had our own little strip of beach with enough room to lay out and direct access to a lagoon where we could snorkle. We were also pretty close to the dolphin center, so we swam up there on occasion to watch the show. The inside of the bungalow was really nice, especially the bathroom. A nicely tiled, open shower with a separate tub. It had A/C and plenty of room for 2 people. The only negatives were the uncomfortable couch and lack of referigerator. The location was great b/c it was close to the main lobby and main beach, but far away enough where there were no noise distactions.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not get an OWB at this resort. They are mostly over land with only the deck over water. Plus, there is alot of seaweed on Moorea which all drifted under a few of the bungalows making them smelly and unable to swim off of. A couple we met there were lucky enough to be moved, while their neighbors weren't. I only saw a few bungalows, I think #510-514, that were really over water.
SERVICE: Our check-in was delayed 45 minutes, but they allowed us to use a transit room where we changed into our bathing suits and layed on the beach until it was ready. The service was the main negative in most reviews, but the employees there couldn't have been nicer. We never had any problems, so I can't speak to that aspect of their service, but the couple I mentioned earlier were moved within a day of asking. The maid service was relaible and kept the room very neat. I never felt like we were treated rudely at all.
FOOD: I'm a meat and potatoes guy, so I wasn't expecting to enjoy he food much. We only ate at the restaruant twice, one of which being the polynesian BBQ and dance show. That was pretty cool, with plenty of food and entertainment. A little pricy, but worth it. I don't remember the our other dinner to well, but I know it wasn't bad. Just watch out, if you order juice, fresh-squeezed juice was 980 Francs per glass compared to 290 Francs for pre-canned. That's about $10 US for a glass of fresh squeezed juice, I almost fell off my chair.
GROUNDS/MISC: We were very happy with the beach. Certainly big enough to accomadate everyone, and they had 5 or 6 big coconut-shaped umbrellas to provide shade for those who wanted it (like me!). That was a big plus. The water was clear and nice to lounge in on the water chairs they provided. The pool was rather non-descript, but I can't imagine going in a pool at a place like Moorea. The whole place was clean and well-manicured.
We also exchanged money at the reasonable rate of 90 francs/ per $1 US with no comission charge. I am unsure of the bank rate, but I was happy with that rate. My AMEX card gave me a rate of 96.78 francs on my charges.
EXCURSIONS: Since we were only there for 4 days, we only snorkled around the hotel and did the 4X4 safari. The snorkeling was OK, but I heard the Sheraton was better for it. The 4X4 safari was pretty fun and worth the $50 US per person. The waterfall and liquor factory were closed, but it was still a good time. Moorea has many nice views and varying landscapes, making it nicer to tour than Bora Bora. We definitely enjoyed our stay there and are glad we made that our first stop.
Would not recommend this hotel at all. We moved to a room inside the hotel after staying overwater and they stole our wedding rings and my wife's purse. The service was terrible and they ruined our honeymoon.
Loved the ICB Moorea!
We stayed at this hotel in June in a Beach bungalow and had a great time.
Food, staff and accomodations were all excellent.
On our first day there, I lost my wallet at breakfast. Discovered that while we were in Le Petit Village shopping. Rushed back to the hotel and they had my wallet, fully intact with all my money credit cards etc. under lock and key waiting for me. Can't say enough about how relieved I was.
Highly recommend this hotel.