My Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort review is about to take away any hesitation you may have in also visiting Moorea, rather than just spending all your time in Bora Bora, because Bora Bora, while beautiful, glamorous, gorgeous, *insert any term of amazingness you’d like here*, doesn’t have the snorkeling Moorea does. In fact, I’m going to do an entirely separate post on the snorkeling in Moorea, because it was just THAT GOOD (you can find it here). In fact, while in Bora Bora, we heard multiple people voice how unhappy they were that they saw no fish or coral under their bungalow, and that’s because they most likely didn’t do their research. Because if they did, they’d know they won’t find a plethora of fish, because Bora Bora doesn’t have the reefs and coral that Moorea does – and boy does Moorea have them!
I loved Moorea. Like, I totally fell head over heels in love with it. It’s such a tiny island (which is actually bigger than I thought it was going to be). I seriously loved it. Moorea, home to the smallest, half outside, hottest (literally) airport I’ve ever been in. With no security. Like, none at all. I’ve never just walked on a plane. It was crazy!
Moorea, where the Polynesian culture is amazing, and the weather is unpredictable. It’s a VERY tropical environment, after all, and the weather can change LIKE THAT. One minute, it’s gorgeous and sunny, and the next it’s cloudy and rainy, then, two seconds later the sun’s back out and it’s beautiful again. We joked about it being where the author of the Hunger Games (Catching Fire) got her idea from, because the island is like a clock. One part is one way, the other different. I’ve really never seen so many different shades of blue, all depending on where the sun and or clouds are. My pictures were taken over the course of the three days we were there, and you can see such a drastic difference in some of them, all depending on that wonderful sun. I’ve never been in a more unpredictable climate! Also, a note for the ladies, don’t even attempt to do anything to your hair, because it will flatten out within five seconds.
The Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa isn’t your typical Hilton hotel. For one, it’s tiny, and I mean it’s like crazy small.
Everything is completely open-aired, and really, my advice to them would be to add on an addition, because if more than three people are checking in at the same time it’s a madhouse. This happens often, as there aren’t many ways to get here, so everyone kind of all comes at once. Although, you see this right off the lobby and you’re sort of like, whatever, it’s all good! I’ll get to my room eventually.
Luckily, we didn’t have to wait with the crowd, thanks to our Hhonors status. A lady from the concierge greeted us and took us over to her desk immediately. This leads me to another place for improvement… obviously, Hilton has standard check-in/out times – all hotels do, and this one is no different. Obviously we were very early. However, because of the limited transportation to/from the island, they really could help guests out by having rooms ready earlier, or at least stick to the check out times, so those who are exhausted from traveling can get into a room. It’s not like we could help getting there early. We had no choice! However, I have to say, the staff on a whole was absolutely wonderful, but at times, they just needed more of them.
Unfortunately, we ended up having some issues when checking in. We had requested a view of the beach, but they had no record of this, which was kind of crap considering I had the proof right there in my email. Obviously, it was just a request, which is never guaranteed, however, they should have at least made note of it, which they never did. After a rather long “short while,” we got our desired room, about two hours after the designated check in time. They did give us an interim room in the meantime, which wasn’t nearly as nice as the one we got, and two free cocktails for the inconvenience, however, after a 6 hour flight, a layover, another 8 hour flight, yet another layover, followed by a ferry ride, all we wanted to do was to settle into our own room!
We ended up showering in our interim room, changing into our bathing suits, and relaxing by the beach/pool, which are literally right next to each other (the property is that small!). And really, the setting is just so drop dead gorgeous. It’s one of the nicest pools I’ve ever been in as far as upkeep and cleanliness go, and while the beach is small, it’s just so damn pretty. At one point, we heard another couple say, “even the water smells good!” We nearly died laughing, but didn’t disagree.
When it came time to head to our actual room, boy was it worth it to wait for that beach view bungalow! I mean, this was our view. From our room.
Watching the sunset wasn’t too shabby either.
The room was actually much more private than you would think based on the pictures, and for being right on the beach. Here’s a view of our bungalow from the beach. You can’t even see our pool or anything from here!
The best part, aside from our beach view, was we could also see the amazing mountains Moorea is famous for. Seriously, best. bungalow. ever.
So overall, our bungalow was fabulous! It was large, and I really couldn’t believe this was cheaper than an over water bungalow, because I thought it was so much better. We even had our own plunge pool!
My advice: save the over water bungalow for Bora Bora, and stay beachfront here. It’s a hop to the ocean for amazing snorkeling, a quick walk to the pool, and when we didn’t want to go to either, we had our very own private pool right outside our bedroom.
I know people complain about the food in French Polynesia, but I have to say – we loved it. Especially our peppercorn steak at Arii Vahine. It was fantastic and a highlight of our meals at the Hilton Moorea!
The best part about the restaurants here is they all have fabulous views, no matter which you choose. Or, you know, if you don’t want to actually go anywhere, you can always order pool or beachside.
Internet ran 1,000 xpf per day (about $10). Check your Hhonors status, because if you’re a certain level, it’s free (along with breakfast). One evening, the Internet wasn’t working (finally found out that they were having problems that wouldn’t be fixed until the following morning). I wanted to call my parents, so they wouldn’t worry that they couldn’t get in touch with us. I ended up calling from the room. From French Polynesia. With no idea how much it was going to cost.
It was a quick call (less than a minute), and I was pleasantly surprised by the hotel’s 400 xpf rate (about $4). Not too shabby at all! Of course, that doesn’t compare to my “free” Wifi calling via Talkatone. Even when I ran out of my free minutes, it only cost .99 for 60 minutes (total!).
Anyway, overall, this is definitely where to stay in Moorea, and Moorea should absolutely be on your must visit list, especially if you’re already making the trip to Bora Bora!
Next up, all about the snorkeling at this fabulous resort!