Intercontinental Moorea Review (Tahiti, French Polynesia)
Book the Intercontinental Moorea here.
The Intercontinental Moorea is located on the North-Western side of Moorea - the rather large island (for French Polynesia) just opposite of the island of Tahiti.
Intercontinental Moorea Review - Transport Options
To get to Moorea from Tahiti you have the choice between the ferry and plane. We chose to fly since that would be easy to fold into our Bora Bora trip and the flying times would work very well. However the flight is just 10 minutes with a small ATR-72.
From the airport taxis are available (though it took some searching). We ended up sharing the ride to the Intercontinental Moorea with another couple for a grand total of CFP 4,000 ($38) one-way (CFP 2,000 per party). This is the regular taxi fare on the island - no haggling is necessary - everyone will quote that price.
For the return from the hotel the exact same price was quoted by the hotel and literally everyone. There only seem to be a handful of taxi drivers on the whole island so there isn' much in terms of competition. Drivers are kind and speak good English though.
The drive is very scenic along the coast and takes about 45 minutes. Don't be worried of traffic - there isn't any.
Intercontinental Moorea Review - Room
The hotel recognized my IHG Platinum status and to my surprise send us off to complimentary breakfast. Not a published benefit at all but I take it. After breakfast at 11 AM our room would be ready which was in the main building.
I had used 40,000 IHG Rewards points for the room per night. To upgrade to an overwater bungalow (though those are only half over water) it is $200.
The building certainly looked worn from the outside and the room was older as well. However many items were newer and the bed was in fantastic shape and the linen was lovely.
The AC kept the room cold and any time of the day in a super quiet fashion.
The bathroom was spacious and certainly up to brand standard.
The Internet was slow and kept reconnecting every time. The login process also was cumbersome (at least on my iPhone) - no chance to work with this quality of Internet - but hey this is not a place to work!
Intercontinental Moorea Review - Grounds
The Grounds are magnificent and really good shape. Not as refined as with the Hilton Aruba but the location is just so pretty. The green jungly hills right behind you and the blue, calm waters in front of you.
The hotel has two large infinity pools and an artificial beach. You will need reef shoes for the water as there is a lot of leftover coral. The water is rather clear and warm though. While you can swim out to the reef (or use your free one our Kayak) there isn' much fish around (at least not in early march).
I loved how quiet the resort was - you could actually sit at the beach and hear the waves and birds and not just visitors. However on day two it visibly was more crowded.
The resort stretches out quiet a bit into the beach/ water bungalows and has it's own dolphin nursery with 3 cute dolphins right now.
Intercontinental Moorea Review - Food
Ala carte food is expensive at the resort with entrees about $35 for dinner. Snacks during the daytime can be had for about $10-$20.
Breakfast buffet is charged at CFP 3,900 but IHG Rewards Club members can buy it for 50% off if they 'prepay' for the entire duration of their stay. This isn't a bad deal and there isn't exactly a number of coffee shops around it! The breakfast was of good quality with lots of European and American options.
For my Platinum status I also got two free welcome drinks (i.e. a Mai Tai).
Just outside is a Steak House which is literally the only building along the road for a mile. It has decent food and costs just half what you would pay at the Intercontinental.
Another option to keep food costs low is to hot the groceries store on the way to the hotel (which we did ) and stock up on water, alcohol and bread.
Intercontinental Moorea Review - Staff
The staff was cherry and friendly at every interaction. Most visitors will likely come from the US and France and the staff is fluent in both languages.
The staff also was very knowledgeable - perfect interactions!
Intercontinental Moorea Review - Conclusion
This is a fantastic resort by any standard! A beautiful setting, cheery staff, good food and high quality rooms make this a winner. French Polynesia si expensive but it delivers on the quality side and so does this hotel. We only stayed for one night - 2-3 might have been ideal - but beyond that there is only so much to do on the islands and you will run out of the food options soon.
Book the Intercontinental Moorea here.