My wife and I spent a week at the IC on Moorea this April (2012) and it was heaven on earth. I can't say enough about the warmth and friendliness of the staff. I've been to a lot of nice hotels in my life and this is by far the best.
There are a couple of different types of units on the property. A garden-regular hotel room unit, a unit with its own outdoor pool and the overwater bungalows. For the love of god please get the overwater bungalow. I know... it's expensive but you are thinking about going to Tahiti. There's nothing budget about it. We splurged and spent the extra money to get an overwater bungalow and are so happy we did. Our unit was #610 and it was perfect. It was over a gorgeous coral reef section that was full of the most colorful fish you could imagine. All you had to do was climb down the ladder of the deck and get into the perfect water. Another big advantage to the IC over other hotels is the size of the overwater deck. We also stayed at Le Meriden on Tahiti and saw their overwater bungalows. The decks are tiny with no access to the water and no shade! What's the point! The Intercontinental does it right with their units. The deck is spacious with two deck chairs for laying out along with a small table and two regular chairs. There's a covered and sunny section as well as access to the lagoon. It's heaven on earth. My wife and I spent our whole day just on our deck. We never ventured to another beach because it was so perfect.
The bungalow rooms have a large soaker tub as well as a shower and our unit had the airconditioning. The room was beautiful with a Tahitian feel but it felt clean, up to date and romantic. The resort went through a renovation and it was noticed.
The deceptive thing about this property is that there is no one "beach". The whole property is along the ocean and it's ringed by a white sand beach and you have access to the ocean from any point. The primary beach by the pool isn't the most impressive because a lot of the coral has died off there but once you go to the lagoons near the units it is totally different. Some have said that the pool is small but honestly I didn't see it. Yes, it can get crowded at times when there's a "rush" but the pool is fine with two separate pools. the first is essentially a kid pool and the other is an infinity pool with a swim-up bar for guests to eat/drink from the pool. I spent very little time at the pool because the lagoon was so inviting and gorgeous.
Some of the reviews have griped about the cost/quality of the food at the resort, but remember you are in Tahiti. Everything in Tahiti is expensive so if you want a budget vacation go elsewhere. Yes, you pay $20 for a Mahi burger and fries but it's really good! A better deal is the Poisson Cru or raw tuna and coconut milk. It's about $20 as well but a much better deal. We had heard some negative reviews about the food but it was good --not mindblowingly good-- but tasty. Yes, you are paying a premium for being at a hotel but all hotels charge more for their food.
A quick tip is to go to the market right across the road from the resort. It's simple but every morning they get a fresh batch of tarts, baguettes and other bread items. I especially like the pineapple tart. Get breakfast there which is really cheap and then eat breakfast on your deck before taking a nap or going into the water. This is what my wife and I did each day and it was amazing!
At night there are about 4 restaurants that will pick you up for free and feed you. We didn't have a bad meal while we were there. The French have imported their food and love of all things tasty so you won't have to worry about the quality of your meals. There is a small "town" with a few shops about a 10 minute bike ride away and it's worth checking out for souvenirs and pearls but the IC is tucked away from other resorts.
Final tip is regarding money. When you arrive there are two ATM machines at the airport which routinely run out of cash!! I guess the locals make a rush on weekend days to get money for the weekend and use the ATMs at the airport. We mistakenly cashed a couple hundred American dollars into the conversion machine and got promptly ripped off by a 20 percent service charge. Check with your hotel to see if they will give you a cash advance charged to your hotel room. The Intercontinental did that for us at a much, much lower fee and it resolved our money issue.
- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Resort & Spa Moorea Hotel Moorea
- Intercontinental Resort And Spa Moorea
- Intercontinental Resort & Spa Moorea Hotel
- Intercontinental Hotel Moorea
- InterContinental Resort & Spa Moorea Papetoai
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa is nestled between mountains and a lagoon on a stunning French Polynesian island. Right on the resort grounds is Moorea s widest range of activities, which includes the Moorea Dolphin Center, Bathys Diving Club, tennis, kayaking, canoeing, skiing and Jeep tours. The Arahurahu Marae temple is also worth a visit. ... more less
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