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“Pleasant but not a 5 star hotel” 3 of 5 stars
Review of InterContinental Resort & Spa Moorea

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InterContinental Resort & Spa Moorea
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Papetoai, French Polynesia   |  
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Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Papetoai
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Pleasant but not a 5 star hotel”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

I thought I booked a 5 star hotel and then I discovered when checking out it's actually a 4 star hotel. It made me think any nit-picking I did now made sense.. but then I assured myself no, wait a minute think of the price you're paying! A 4 star hotel should not be charging 5 star prices. Especially, if the quality isn't outstanding. The service was great but the food was bad. Hold your thumb and index finger together like a circle.. that's the size of the $50 steak your given from room service [see pic]. Noone at any of the bars or restaurants know how to make a drink either! We spent a lot of money on drinks trying to feel the buzz that never came and didn't find it until staying at the next hotel. I feel we should be refunded for every drink we had but I don't care cause we had such a great time.

Don't pass the jet-ski tour to feed stingrays and sharks it is so much fun! And even saw whales along the way, BONUS!

Also, somebody should let those dolphins out. Every time you cross the bridge it just keeps swimming into the barrier stopping it from the ocean which looks heart-breaking. If the stories are true and they're blind or disabled in any way then put their story on a plaque up on the bridge overlooking the enclosure so people don't think they're there for extortion.
p.s. check out the price tag for just a photo with the dolphin. Ha! I'll go to Sea World back home for $80 thanks.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thierry B, Directeur général at InterContinental Resort & Spa Moorea, responded to this review, November 22, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
All I can say is that I feel sorry for you that you have not brought your feeling to my attention while on site. There is a lot we can do even about personnal expectations and personnal appreciations.
About our dolphins: The hotel has accepted to be home for the Dolphin centre some years ago because the site was found to be the best in the area. The centre is member of a reknown worldwide association that ensures the dolphins are very well taken care of. On another hand it is important to know that they were born in captivity and letting them out would lead to some tragedy for them.

Sincerely
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1,119 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (197)
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NorCal
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2013

After hours of online surfing & chats with our Travel Agent, we settled on the InterContinental Moorea mostly for the kid-friendly appeal online. Unfortunately, once you're there - you find out that there isn't really a Kids-Club - that's for School Groups - and, other than playing with the Dolphins - it's just another Resort. But, that was okay - we had a PHENOMENAL time! We had stayed on Moorea before & knew we most certainly wanted to go back with our daughter. What our Travel Agent didn't know is that this property is the furthest from the Ferry Terminal of all the Resorts...or close to it. So, after traveling all day from home the day before - the last thing our 5 yr old wanted to do was sit in a van on a windy road for 45 mins. The food selection was adequate - although, service is beyond slow at all restaurants. We're not slow eaters - when we sit down - we want fed. That was rough. Breakfast buffet used the day priors left-overs, so freshness wasn't always there. Dinner show was Traditional & fun. Our room was beautiful - although our over-water bungalow at what is now The Hilton was much more picturesque then here. And, their staff was much more inviting, as well! For $750/night - I think we'd stay elsewhere next time. LOVED snorkeling the lagoon & just BEING in Tahiti! What a magical place to be able to tell our daughter she snorkeled for the very 1st time! Concierge staff was very hit or miss. Certain ones knew a lot - others were useless & left me to figure out Transfers on my own. So glad we did the day-use at the sister Property on Papeete! Very nice option for the late night flights home!

Room Tip: I would think the rooms near the Dolphin Center offer a better view. Our over-water Bungalow just lo...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thierry B, Directeur général at InterContinental Resort & Spa Moorea, responded to this review, November 26, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback.
We are delighted that you enjoyed your time with us.

I am surprised that you were expecting a Kids Club as no where to our knowledge do we claim to have one. Did you see this online?
As you rightfully mention the island offers numerous activities for children of all ages and it is such a special place for one discover nature.

We are indeed further away from the ferry and airport, however this tends to not be a problem as the numerous unique benefits we enjoy highly make up for it: direct sunlight from dawn to dusk, small local village with shops, restaurants and cafes 3 km away, shark & ray spot 500m away and simply a really nice vibe emerging from the north western neighbourhood of Moorea!

We are sorry that you found service too slow. Most of our guests enjoy taking their time and as we cannot guess everyones' preference simply let us know right from the start how you like things done and we can adapt accordingly to ensure you have a frustration-free holiday!

Similarly, you found the Hiltons' bungalows more picturesque, last week I received a comment saying the exact opposite! Tastes and preferences are so divers that some things are just not black or white.

On the contrary, hygiene regulations are and I can guarantee that day priors left-overs are NEVER re-used. Any hotel having such practices in French Polynesia would rapidly be closed down.

As the French saying says "pas deux sans trois" [not two without three] - maybe we will see you back in Moorea one day!

Sincerely,
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Mansfield, Texas
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

The Room was very nice and private. The Property was very average. We went out to dinner every night, so the Hotel arranged for pick up- The Restuarants will only pick you up at the Hotel, if there is another couple at your Hotel that is going to the same Resturant. We were lucky, we had another couple going out every night. My favorite is Rudy's. We went on excursions everyday, so we did not spend much time at the Hotel. While reading a response from Thierry B,(Manager) to another reviewer- I was taken back. Thierry B. stated that bringing your own alcohol- is considered misbehaving. Well I guess I misbehaved alot. What is wrong with bringing your own bottle in the Privacy of your room- and having coctails on your deck while enjoying the view. I did buy several beers at the bar-not finding it too expensive $7.00 dollars. My husband and I would fix a cocktail in our room at night. I thought his/her respond was unprofessional and rude. Every morning the front desk would have local artist that would come in and set up tables with their goods. I bought several items everyday-Not too expensive. I did like this Hotel, but it did not have the "WOW" factor. We left and went to the InterContinental Thalasso in Bora Bora, now that Resort had the "WOW" factor. And yes I did misbehave every chance I could get.
Everyone at the Hotel was very friendly and nice. The Beds were very comfortable, Had alots of bugs in room- They looked like sand ants- all over the sink and vanity. But thats normal for a tropical paradise. Also watch out for the geckos- all over the walls and the ceilings. I am used to them, I live in Texas, so I embraced the little critters. They also have swim with the Dolphins- did not partake in that activity-

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thierry B, Directeur général at InterContinental Resort & Spa Moorea, responded to this review, November 18, 2013
Dear Guests,

Thank you for your stay and comments.

This is not Thalasso... Indeed Moorea is not Bora Bora, in many ways...

I very much understand your stand point when comparing this hotel to Thalasso in Bora Bora which is our sister property that we know by heart and for the pre opening of which I worked myself a year prior. I perfectly know that Bora Bora enjoys a reputation that Moorea does not. Known to be the Pearl of the Pacific, Bora Bora can afford a level of price and luxury far above Moorea .Hence the difference in products that we all agree on and that Moorea cannot match however offering another kind of interest. The confusion comes from the fact that most times these so different islands and their properties are packaged together by travel agencies into a global quote which hides the huge price differences to the eyes of the customer and brings confusion in expectations hence appreciations.
This being said, this hotel and the island have a lot to offer in a different way and are worth the trip so that Moorea is the choice of most repeaters.

Talking about "misbehaviour" which I agree, was a strong word, please do not make me wrong. I am sorry for having hurt some sensibilities in not being clear enough which I am going to try and fix:
I very much understand that our guests get some drinks on the plane or in the shops around which they always did. Sometimes our bellmen take our guests for a lift to the shop, up the hill with the hotel golf karts. I happen to take my guests to the village nearby for shopping or dining with my own car. We are most happy to help.

However taking away goods (drinks or food) from the buffet is not part of the game. The staff himself feels uncomfortable with such attitudes understandably seen as detrimental to their hotel. Thanks God this is rare and we willingly avoid an embarrassing situation for both sides by not telling the guest that this is not what he should do. I knew my words would not please, I would not have pointed out that troublesome subject if, cherry on the cake, we had not been told that "no one cares about it !!!". I was upset and found myself kind of forced to answer and say that we are professionals, we care about our clients and we care about doing a good, sound and responsible business.
I am sorry I have to explain this understandable position of mine and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to do it.

Sincerely,
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Charlotte
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

We stayed in the Intercontinental Moorea Resort & Spa after our Paul Gauguin cruise. This was a great place to unwind (not that we needed more unwinding) before flying home. There's a swimmable lagoon what winds through the chain of bungalows. And the beach offers all kinds of water sports. You won't want to miss the weekly (Sunday evening, I think) Polynesian dinner on the beach. The dancers are excellent. The Intercontinental seems like a good place for kids, too, because of easy to access water sports. BTW, Moorea is right across from Tahiti and an interesting island to visit...lots to see and do.

There're coral heads and tropical fish in the protected lagoon - even the elusive Picasso Triggerfish. What a sight! Nothing better than waking up and taking a before-breakfast swim. You'll need a big one to handle the InterContinental's breakfast buffet! Note: our winter (in US) is their hot, rainy season. So plan accordingly.

Room Tip: The bungalows are wonderful, of course. You can choose over-water, right on the beach or just back f...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thierry B, Directeur général at InterContinental Resort & Spa Moorea, responded to this review, November 14, 2013
Dear Kate,
Ia Orana from Moorea!
Thank you for your lovely comments and recommendation.
Effectively, Moorea is an island of nature, deep lagoon full of fish and coral... a magical place to enjoy a natural type of luxury.
Our concierge team indeed works very hard in finding the best solutions for our guests and your comments are very encouraging .
We hope to have the pleasure to welcome you back to our Hotel …
With my warmest regards
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Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013 via mobile

My expectations for this hotel exceeded the actuality of our visit. There was nothing impressive about this hotel. They do not have more then 3-4 true overwater bungalows. While they consider a majority of them overwater~ indeed a portion of the bungalow is overwater while a majority is actually over land.
The food at the hotel and overall on the island of moorea is very average~ in fact we found it hard to find a good meal (and all is quite pricey).
The staff was not very helpful nor were they that welcoming! The amenities were very mediocre. If you are expecting a nice luxury vacation~ the ICH is not for you! The pool and beach are not inviting. Sadly we were counting the days until we left for bora bora~ four seasons (which is UNBELIEVABLE!)

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thierry B, Directeur général at InterContinental Resort & Spa Moorea, responded to this review, November 14, 2013
Dear Guests,

French Polynesia deserves a particular attention before travelling. It is a destination with very diverse islands in terms of landscape, atmosphere, lagoon, hotels…and prices. Bora Bora hotels are roughly twice more expensive than Moorea hotels hence their rating and level of standard are higher. The trip from Tahiti to Bora Bora takes its own respectable share (the cost is more than two hotel nights in Moorea for a couple). This gives an idea of the amounts inherent to each property in a package that has been purchased as a whole to a travel agent.
I hope I make it clear as this means a lot in terms of stars, service, comfort, product quality compared to price paid in each island. This is crucial when comparing apples to apples.

However Moorea is not a sub product, it is just a different product. After 20 years in this part of the world, I can say that Moorea is by far, my favorite island and most French Polynesia repeaters’ favorite place. Moorea is an island of nature, deep lagoon full of fish and coral, great place to visit a mountain with lush vegetation, tropical flowers and fruit trees. And a magical place to enjoy a more easy going, natural, even pristine type of luxury.

Our establishment is a relaxing home away from home; enjoyable for its nature and privacy of its gardens; various beach areas which provide direct access for a marine life exploration.

I am sorry to see that our restaurants (or the others on the island) were not to your liking. Overall, the feedback is rater positive however I understand that culinary preferences are very dependent on individual experiences and tastes. Finally, we make a point in ensuring that the whole team is dedicated to help and does his best to make our guests spend the best time possible.

Travel and service are very much about personal expectations and appreciation. I seriously and most sincerely want to stress on the fact that Moorea in general and this hotel in particular are so different from Bora Bora that it is crucial to get the right information before purchasing and travelling.

This being said, I thank you for your stay, for your comment and for giving me the opportunity to precise this point important to my eyes.

Sincerely
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Laguna Niguel, California
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013

Had I visited Moorea first, I probably would have rated this hotel a 5. Unfortunately, as I had stayed at the Intercontinental Thalasso in Bora Bora previously, my stay here was just not quite as magical. However, I'll try to focus my review purely on this stay.

The overwater bungalow description was somewhat misleading in that only 4 were truly over the water. The majority (such as the one I stayed at) were only partially overwater. However, you do have your own private deck to jump in/out of the water, so in the end, that is what counts!

Outside the bungalows, there were a lot of marine life to see. The hotel provides complimentary gear such as snorkeling equipment and kayaks. Inside the room, I appreciated the extra amenities such as a large bottle of complimentary water. The room was well thought out and nicely designed.

If Moorea is the only island you plan to visit, I still recommend staying at an OW bungalow. However, if you plan to go to Bora Bora and looking to cut costs somewhere, I'd reserve the OW bungalow at the Intercontinental in Bora Bora (they were much larger and nicer).

If you are into activities, I recommend the dolphin encounter, jet ski and ATV tours. For scuba divers, the TopDive center inside the resort was convenient.

We used the concierge services nearly every day. They helped arrange dinner reservations and transportation. Le Mayflower and Rudy's were my two favorite restaurants during our stay. Inside the resort, we ate at both restaurants. If you don't look at prices, the food is very good. The fresh swordfish and tuna (raw) were excellent as was the duck. I was ecstatic to eat foie gras (it is banned in California). Our stay included buffet breakfast (otherwise it's 3500 XPF per person), which was also very good and included standard assortment of hot items, fresh fruit, cold cuts, cheeses and pastries.

This has no impact on my rating, but if you are prone to mosquito bites, bring lots of insect spray!

I chose Tahiti because I wanted to get away from it all and I was somewhat disappointed to see large buses and children running around. Had I known Moorea was going to be this "busy", I would have gone to Hawaii instead for a similar experience at a fraction of the price (though, I do agree Moorea is still a lot less busier than Hawaii).

For these personal preferences, I would not visit Moorea again. However, if I am judging this purely on the resort (amenities, location, service, etc.), I would highly recommend staying here if you are set in going to Moorea.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thierry B, Directeur général at InterContinental Resort & Spa Moorea, responded to this review, November 15, 2013
Dear Guests,
Ia Orana from Moorea!

I would like to thank you for your comment.

As you mention, Moorea is indeed a quitter island than Hawaii... and most other tropical destinations. Its' lush vegetation and traditional lifestyle make it an ideal place to rest and relax. However, like all touristic destinations, it experiences a high season when activity will be higher. Some complain in the low season that it is too quiet, others like yourselves would on the contrary prefer such period and it is therefore important to investigate as much as possible a destination in order to match ones desires.

Thanking you again for your stay.

Sincerely,
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Atlantic City, New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

We stayed in the InterContinental Moorea for the first part of our honeymoon. We booked a beach bungalow and, due to our Ambassador status, were upgraded to a garden bungalow with private pool. The bungalow, infinity pool, and private deck were beautiful and just what we envisioned for a romantic vacation. The concierge was extremely helpful throughout our stay, and the staff was very pleasant and friendly. The snorkeling was AMAZING in the lagoon with more coral and fish than we could believe. The hotel grounds were lush and colorful, and we loved the sea turtle sanctuary at the edge of the lagoon. There was also an abundance of activities available to explore the island - we rented a dune buggy and drove halfway up the central mountain, then hiked a trail the rest of the way. The resort also had regular car rentals available, as well as guided tours and a dolphin center. Moorea itself offers plenty to do, and the local restaurants that we tried for dinner were lovely. Seafood is FRESH and delicious everywhere, especially if you try the traditional Polynesian dishes. We had dinner off the resort each night, but the hotel offered a delicious breakfast buffet which we enjoyed every morning.

Our bed was a king size, but was actually two twin mattresses pushed together. A minor detail, but it did disrupt our sleep a bit. Also the beach had a pretty thin cover of sand, but we spent most of our time at our bungalow pool. We definitely recommend the InterContinental Moorea!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thierry B, Directeur général at InterContinental Resort & Spa Moorea, responded to this review, November 15, 2013
Dear Kate,
Ia Orana from Moorea!
Thank you for your lovely comments and recommendation.
Effectively, Moorea is an island of nature, deep lagoon full of fish and coral... a magical place to enjoy a natural type of luxury.
Our concierge team indeed works very hard in finding the best solutions for our guests and your comments are very encouraging .
We hope to have the pleasure to welcome you back to our Hotel …
With my warmest regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about InterContinental Resort & Spa Moorea

Address: Papetoai, French Polynesia
Phone Number:
Location: French Polynesia > Society Islands > Moorea > Papetoai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Papetoai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — InterContinental Resort & Spa Moorea 4*
Number of rooms: 143
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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Also Known As:
Intercontinental Resort & Spa Moorea Hotel Moorea
Intercontinental Resort And Spa Moorea
Intercontinental Hotel Moorea
InterContinental Resort & Spa Moorea French Polynesia

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