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“Good spot - not great” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort

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Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   B.P. 28, Moorea, Maharepa 98728, French Polynesia   |  
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Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Maharepa
Boston
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Good spot - not great”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

My husband and I stayed 3 nights here on our honeymoon. Moorea is a lovely island and a great stop before Bora Bora - it has great snorkeling (more coral) and is bigger so you can rent a car/scooter and drive around to see the island. When we first arrived the door to our hut was broken - after spending over an hour waiting for someone to fix it, I went to the front desk and asked if there was something they could do - possibly, move us to another room. They told me the door would be fixed soon...but another hour went by and I was plain fed up. It was the first day of our honeymoon - we wanted to be by the water not waiting at our hut (since we weren't comfortable leaving our things unattended/unlocked. In hindsight, they probably would have been fine...but it was our first day and we didn't know any better). Finally, I went back to the front desk and pretty much demanded they provide as another room...and that we'd even be willing to pay more for an upgrade if they didn't have a similiar hut available. They ended up offering us an upgrade at no change, which worked out well. Although this door issue ate up 3+ hours of our first day, we were upgraded to an overwater bungalow...so we couldn't really complain. It had a gorgeous view and snorkeling was fantastic right off the porch. Overall, we loved this island and it was the perfect stop before Bora Bora - but this hotel didn't impress us with food. The 2 things I did love though - the AMAZING chocolate croissants and fantastic fresh press coffee. We bought a french press when we got home - just to remind us of our breakfasts in Moorea.

From what I heard, it is one of the nicer hotels on Moorea. We stopped by the Hilton - which was nice - but it had a small beach. In comparison, Sofitel has a nice long beach - I ran down it almost every morning. So, in terms of what's on Moorea, it's a nice spot. I recommend staying here before Bora Bora - we went to the Four Seasons Bora Bora after and that blew us away.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,428 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (216)
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Tauranga
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

We spent four nights at the Sofitel in early January 2013. We stayed in an over water bungalow room 110. The bungalows were well set apart and nicely furnished, though we thought it could have done with a sofa in the room to aid relaxation when it was raining. We had a delux overwater bungalow (which are the bungalows on the righthand side looking from the beach). We had morning sun and afternoon shade on the deck which was a blessing as it was very hot, and we were lucky with the weather only having on rainy morning during our stay. The aircon in the room is fairly noisey so be prepared. There is direct access off the deck to the lagoon which was fantastic, the lagoon is full of tropical fish and we could snorkle from our deck right around the lagoon. The odd number bungalows would have the afternoon sun if that is what you want, the lagoon looked shallower on that side though and all day snorkling wouldn't be possible I think. We thought the best rooms would be at the end of the pier which would be rooms, 118, 119, 120 if you have a choice, these would offer you great views over to the main Island as well as not looking across at other bungalows.
The beach was fantastic with azure blue water and white soft sand. The beach front bungalows looked very nice too. The water sports hut was run by really cheerful guys who were really helpful. We hired a couple of bikes one day to ride into the village and it was a pleasant easy ride. We also hired a car for an afternoon and drove around the Island, this was a lovely experience and one we would like to do again and take our time.
The food at the resort was good but pricey, we didn't have breakfast most mornings, the one morning we did go, the buffet was looking very depleted so we just ordered an omelette which was very good.
There is no free wifi at this resort, though some cafe's on Moorea do offer it.

Room Tip: Choose one of the pier end rooms of the Overwater bungalows; or the beachfront bungalows looked fant...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Bladenboro, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

This was most beautiful Hotel that I have ever seen, Bungalows everywhere. The beach was beautiful and peaceful. Great place to snorkel, water is crystal clear. Great for couples.
Would love to go back everything was so clean.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
Darien, Illinois
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

This hotel is amazing! Each room is its own building, whether your on the ground or over the water. We stayed in both a luxary beach bungalow, as well as a regular over-the-water bungalow. Both rooms were amazing, but the luxary units are REALLY amazing. In fact, I modeled a reconstruction of my house based on the bedroom/bathroom setup. Not only were the rooms great, but the grounds are incredibly well kept and beautiful. We actually chose this hotel because Frommer suggeted that it was on the most beautiful beach on the island and those people were right! The white sandy beaches and blue waters is what we are still looking for everytime we travel to the Caribbean/Central America, but that cannot be duplicated. Snorkeling is the most exciting I have ever experienced. The staff was extremely nice and helpful as well, and everyone spoke English well. The reason you go to a beach destination is for the beach and this resort has the best beach experience possible in my opinion.

Room Tip: The luxary bungalows may be worth th eextra cost if it is not tooo much more than the regular units.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Danville, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

We spent 3 weeks in Tahiti, on 4 different Islands, for our honeymoon. I loved every moment of our stay at the Sofitel. We had an OWB with one of the glass squares in the floor. The food is so good and the presentation is beautiful. The beach is lovely (most of the beaches in Tahiti are). We rented a car for the day and drove around the island... so glad we did. We found great reviews of restaurants on TripAdvisor and went to a few, got pearl earrings and a neckless, and went on a ATV tour. Very fun!

Room Tip: go for an over water bungalow.... WORTH THE EXTRA $!
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  • Stayed March 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

I'll keep it short. The best parts of this resort are the rooms. We had an OWB which was amazing, well worth the money to have the deck and the ladder right into the water. The resort only has bungalows which make the resort feel open and uncrowded. One of the nights we were there it was sold out but you never would have known it. The resort is very close to the ferry and airport. This also means that the resort isn't close to anything else. Taxis are expensive to get anywhere. We did the 4X4 safari tour which was a great way to see highlights of the island. We also rented a car and drove around on our own. We visited the Intercontinental and the Hilton. They are both much bigger and felt more crowded to us. We thought the Sofitel was good because it was smaller and had less of an "American" feel. After seeing the other hotels I'm glad we were at the Sofitel. Our only complaint is that our room wasn't ready until almost 4 (check in is at 2) but they did give us lunch and drinks for free at the bar. (the bar and the restaurant had identical menus and with food prices the way they are in French Polynesia it turned out to be a $60 lunch)

Room Tip: Rooms 117 to 120 are the best OWB's
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
San Francisco
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

My husband and I spent 2 weeks at the Sofitel Moorea and loved every minute of it! We visited in January (slow season) and booked a garden bungalow but on arrival decided to pay the extra money for an overwater bungalow. It is worth every penny!

We rented a car and drove around the island and checked out all the other hotels; Sofitel is by far the best! The beach is the best beach on the island and the water is the clearest (even after a rain). Also, we noticed that at several other hotels the overwater bungalows obstruct the view from the beach areas; the Sofitel has overwater bungalows to the side of the resort allowing for an excellent view for all guests at the beach.

The staff was extremely friendly; we knew almost everyone by the second week. There were 2 interns, Alexandre and Pierre, who were extremely helpful and friendly. Keep up the great work!

We booked several trips with Nicolas at the dive shop; snorkeling with sharks, a trip to the Lagoonarium to swim with sting rays and we did our very first scuba dive with him. He took amazing pictures of our excursions with his underwater camera; a great memory of the trip. He answered all of our questions about the area and the various fish! Thank you Nicolas for the great experiences!

I highly recommend the raw fish dishes at the restaurant (sashimi, poisson cru and ceviche). The sashimi is some of the best tune we have ever eaten!

The cons for this resort:
- other than the raw fish dishes, most other menu items at the restaurant are so-so with some being pretty bad (e.g. the croque monsieur). Also, the menu never changes and there is no separate bar menu if you just want a small snack or small lunch.

- considering this is a 5-star resort, the service was not always the best. For example, I called reception and asked if they could send beach towels to our room. I was told that I had to go to the pool and get them myself. I didn't mind the 5 minute walk to the pool, however it was a response I would expect more from a 3 or 4-star resort.

- internet is not included in the room and is quite expensive. We paid approx. $10 per hour. Also, beware - if you don't properly log off when you are finished your credit will run out.

- lastly, there are no shops (groceries) within walking distance - a cab ride is approx. $35 round-trip. This is mostly irritating as water in the hotel is about $6 per liter and no complimentary water in the room. We went to the store to buy water for our stay.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort

Address: B.P. 28, Moorea, Maharepa 98728, French Polynesia
Phone Number:
Location: French Polynesia > Society Islands > Moorea > Maharepa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Maharepa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort is located on the North-East Coast of the island, just 5 minutes away from Temae airport, Vaiare ferries docks, the 18 holes international golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus®. This landmark hotel is built on the longest and most beautiful white sand beach of the island, within a protected marine area maintained by the CRIOBE®.From this hotel, guests have a unique panoramic view on the lagoon and the island of Tahiti. The hotel offers a wide range of accommodation with a total of 113 Luxury Bungalows located in the gardens, directly on the beach or over the water. Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora has the only Luxury Beach Bungalows on Moorea that have unobstructed views of the island of Tahiti, located directly on the beach. Historically, this hotel is the first of the island that built bungalows over the water. Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora has now the largest Luxury Overwater Bungalows in Moorea (83 sq. meters).Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora also features 1 Luxury Villa with 2 bedrooms (150 sq.meters). It has 2 bathrooms, 1 lounge, 1 deck and 1 outdoor jacuzzi®, with a direct access into the lagoon and panoramic views of the island of Tahiti.Dine in Polynesian authenticity at the Pure restaurant with outdoor terrace dining offering complimentary and traditional dance shows every night or choose the barefoot elegance of K restaurant, gourmet dining, feet in the sand experience, with a unique dance show.For light snacks and exotic cocktails or premium alcohols while admiring the view, try the Vue bar overlooking the infinity pool, the lagoon and Tahiti with weekly live concerts. For light snacks and exotic cocktails during a farniente day on the beach, only steps away from the lagoon, try the Beach bar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Hotel Maharepa
Sofitel Moorea Beach Resort
Sofitel Maharepa
Maharepa Sofitel
Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort French Polynesia

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