We have been looking forward to Moorea ever since we first visited French Polynesia. I remember one couple saying that Bora Bora was great, but Moorea was amazing. Fast forward over a year and our dive master in Cairns is from Moorea and tells us how amazing of a place it is. Needless to say we were super excited for our trip there. We had a bunch of IHG points, so we decided to stay at the Intercontinental Moorea. This hotel is a category 7 hotel costing 40,000 points a night. I booked two nights with my account and Brittany booked one.
If you book a stay at the hotel using points, you get booked into a base level room, which they call a Lanai room. These rooms are hotel-style rooms that share walls with one another.
I was not super excited to be staying in one of these rooms. A few weeks before our stay, I checked my 2 night reservation and I had been upgraded to a beach bungalow! I was ecstatic. I assume this was because of my IHG Spire Elite status. Unfortunately, Brittany’s 1 night reservation was still a Lanai room.
Upon checking-in to the hotel, we were offered even better news. We had been upgraded to an over-water bungalow! We also found out that Brit’s 1 night reservation was upgraded to a beach bungalow, but after some sweet talking, we were able to get the over-water bungalow for all 3 nights!
The Good News Continues…
We were also told that it was “meet the managers cocktails” that night and we were welcomed to join the managers of the hotel for some free cocktails. Score! We were also given a certificate that was good for 50% off breakfast one day or for 2 free cocktails at the bar. Upon arriving to our room, we were given a welcome gift of pineapple, macaroons, and a full bottle of wine. I was blown away by the amount of free stuff they kept giving us.
The room had everything that we could possibly want. It was very luxurious. However, it was the small details that made this resort not quite as nice as the Intercontinental Thalasso Bora Bora. The sliding door was kind of broken and took a ton of force to open and close. The outdoor hose to wash salt water off your body was very leaky and almost broken.
After wandering around a little and speaking with the managers at the cocktail hour, we found out that the main pool was undergoing repairs. The pool is right next to the Lanai rooms, which made us feel like we discovered why we were upgraded to bungalows that reside further away from the pool. This pool situation didn’t bother us at all. We never used the pool in Bora Bora and didn’t plan on using the one in Moorea. We came all the way to French Polynesia to swim in the beautiful ocean. It was actually better for us that the pool was undergoing repairs because it meant we did not need to stay in a Lanai room.
While we mostly did some serious resting and relaxing, we did take advantage of one benefit of the hotel. You can get a free mask and snorkel for your entire stay and you can also rent Kayaks and SUPs for hour-long intervals for free. The best part about this free equipment was that the hotel is a 5-10 minute kayak-ride away from a famous spot in Moorea where you can swim with a bunch of rays and sharks. This is a spot where almost every tour company brings people and we got to go for free. We liked this spot so much that we went each day we stayed at the hotel.
The hotel also offers some pretty cool features. They have a dolphin center on site. They have 3 dolphins and you can pay to swim with them. These were rescued dolphins so we felt a little less bad about them being in captivity. We did not pay to swim/touch them, but it was pretty cool to see them up close every time we walked back to our bungalow.
They also have a turtle sanctuary on site to help turtles recover from injuries. There was one massive turtle that we fell in love with. We went to visit the turtles every day.
The grounds of the hotel are beautiful. I’ll let some pictures do the talking.
We actually used the hotel gym every day here! Pretty impressive for us. The gym was small, but adorable. They converted one of the bungalow rooms to a gym and called it the “Bungalow Gym.” On some days they even had a basket of apples for a nice healthy snack.
Our stay was way too short. We could have stayed on Moorea for much longer. If I were to stay at one of the nice resorts on the island again, I would not consider any other resort. The Intercontinental Moorea’s proximity to the location of the sharks and rays is priceless. If you have some sort of top tier status with IHG, you may be upgraded to a bungalow. At 40,000 points a night, that’s a steal.
I do want to note that most of the “over-water” bungalows are not truly over-water; half the bungalow is on land and half is over the water. That is the type of bungalow we had. We didn’t care about this detail, but if you are looking for a true over-water bungalow experience, you may want to look elsewhere. All this being said, even if you are not upgraded, the grounds and amenities of the resort can make up for the basic Lanai room you will be staying in.
Have any questions about the Intercontinental Moorea? Are you planning a trip to French Polynesia (you should be)?