First, the Club Bali Hai web site directs you to Tahiti Discount Tours - a firm with which they apparently have multiple arrangements: Based on our experience with them, I advise
avoiding this agent because they 1) Misrepresented the resorts (both on Moorea and Bora Bora), 2) Provided guarantees for renovated lodging that was not fulfilled, 3) Did not deliver tickets within promised time frame, which preventing our having seat selections (resulting in my wife and I sitting apart from each other.) and 4) did not tend to the logistics of arrival / check-in time, check-out time / departure, resulting in 1/2 day of lost time on both ends of the trip.
For what we paid for 2 weeks in French Polynesia (Moorea and Bora Bora), we expected honest service. We were given excuses which later were proven to be lies. The agent had supposedly just returned from the resort, and assured us that we would have a renovated unit: In fact, NONE of the 1 bedroom over-water bungalows have been renovated (This was confirmed by Jay, one of the founders of Bali Hai); only the one 2 bedroom unit has been renovated, and it is beautiful). Had Geri been honest with us, we would have had time to work things out with the airlines and resorts. While I accept agencies needing to be profitable, I find great fault with a dishonest agency that profits by exploiting customer trust. Caveat Emptor! (Let the Buyer Beware!)
The Club Bali Hai itself
Prior to booking, we did extensive research. The reviews were fairly bi-polar: either great, or poor. We spent 8 days there, and have a mixed review: Some aspects of the property are excellent, some aspects poor. The beginning point is one of the worst: the website, and all of the Club's contact information are routed through "Tahiti Discount Tours," which appears to be a one-person agency. (discussed above).
Many of the amenities (promoted on the web site and in their sales efforts) are not there. Indications are that they were at one time, however, the property is in an obvious state of deferral and minimization (Rose, the manager feature on their web site retired 3 years ago, the and it's now little more than a motel-type operation. The "day" unit we were shown to (since we couldn't check in on arrival) was old, broken down, and the toilet didn't work. When we finally were able to check in, the unit we were given was "tired," and not maintained. (doors not closing properly, drains not working properly, screens torn, bug-infested, dirty). We immediately asked for another unit, and were told that there were none available. Bianca misrepresented herself as "the manager" (she is not), and said they had no other bungalows. (one day before we left, when we told Jay (the manager, and one of the three founders) of our frustrations, he showed us the renovated two bedroom, and offered that we could move there "at no cost." Had this been done earlier, it would have been gracious and appreciated. One day before we were leaving? It wasn't worth packing and moving after having put up with it for a week already. The staff is courteous, but not "friendly," hospitable, or well informed on the island. We were given conflicting information about what is, or is not available, and what hours different activities occurred. Our favorite activity on the island (the Lagoonarium) was unknown to two of the ladies, and one of the ladies assured us that it was closed (it isn't). The Avis rental was not manned until the morning we left. Bicycles are not available, there was one kayak - however, it was locked, so only available while there was someone at the front desk.
1) Facility: At most, 2 stars: Room wasn't cleaned - check the mirrors, furniture was broken down, inadequate lighting, toilets kept running, limited hot water (barely enough warm water for one shower), maintenance is inadequate, and what was performed is of poor workmanship and quality.
2) Staff: At most, 2 stars: There are basically four women that rotate at the reception desk. Hella is the most knowledgeable about Moorea - but even she was limited in knowledge about activities and facilities (we were told restaurants were closed when they were open, and open when they were closed). Having a complete menu of activity possibilities (up to date) would be extremely helpful. Room service (maids) would deliver towels (sometimes every day, sometimes only every other day; which we expected), and pick up trash (daily). They changed linens once, but did not clean our unit (floors, bathroom, kitchen sink) during the 8 days we were there. After we had acquired a floor rag (to at least wipe our feet when we came into the unit), they provided a floor mat (the day before we left).
3) Location, grounds: Unquestionably, 5 stars. We were fortunate to be on the south end (away from the road, away from the fishing harbor), which not only gave us privacy, but a phenomenal view of Cook's bay, the mountain opposite, up the valley, and out to the sea: a unique and magnificent vista.
4) Amenities: At most 2 stars: While they posted the "happy hour" sign, there was no happy hour (Turns out Muk has been sick for a while). The Polynesian dance (the only on-site activity, which occurs on Wednesday evening) was good. We saw it twice, different entertainers each time (second time, had no male dancers), and while short (20 minutes), was entertaining, and appreciated by many of the guests. The natural entertainment (cats, chickens, and crabs) brought a lot of grins. We did "train" a nice group of fish to come to our balcony for feeding, which we enjoyed. While they had a rack for activity fliers, it looked like it hadn't been filled in many months, and any requests for booking (requiring a phone call) were charged (1.4F local, 2.5F cell).
5) Availability of Information: 1 star: completely unacceptable. The web site is misleading since it does not appear to have been updated for some time (excepting, perhaps for now listing WiFi is available), and knowledge (and brochures) of Moorea and activities are limited. I ended up going on-line to get information on activities, and called or drove to restaurants and shops to determine hours. Be advised, that the economic difficulties of 2008 have had severe impact on the island, and many businesses are closed or have changed hands with entirely different offerings and attitudes.
6) Restaurant: 2 stars: The Blue Pineapple is actually NOT part of the Bali Hai, but is located on site since their original location burned down a few years ago. The breakfasts, while of limited choice, were good. Yolanda was the friendliest person within the entire Bali Hai facility. Lunch (my wife wanted to try one of their hamburgers, which had been praised by other reviewers) was disappointing but tasty (half a meat patty?). The promised sea-food barbecue after the Polynesian show on Wednesdays had to be reserved (not because of crowd, but for them to determine whether to open or not). We reserved the second time to try the Poisson Cru, however, they did not open because they didn't have enough reservations. A big negative for us is that they did not clean (launder) the table cloths the entire time we were there: food stains remained from the previous multitude of guests).
Overall, we would have been better off to spend the comparatively little bit more (although, I'm not even sure it would have cost us more) to stay at one of the other facilities (either the Pearl or the Intercontinental). The entire Island has suffered economically the past 3-5 years, and it shows.
Bungalow 35 and higher are to the south, more private, with a better view across cooks bay.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.