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“Enjoyed the Stay But Have Doubts About Staff Here” 3 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
Saint Charles, Illinois
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“Enjoyed the Stay But Have Doubts About Staff Here”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

If an overwater bungalow is on your bucket list and if you can swing the price (we got a stay 3 nights, pay for 2 deal) do 3 nights at the end of your trip to top it off in style.

The bungalows are lovely, one large room with a large open bathroom area. There are sliding doors to enclose the bathroom area and the toilet is separated by a door and ventilated to the outside. There is no tub but there is a nice rain shower. The best part is the roomy deck with stairs leading down into the lagoon. The lagoon is perfect for a “private” dip (the bungalows are only about 30 feet apart), weather and currents permitting. Our first day the water was very calm and clear but each day after that the currents ran a bit stronger so be prepared. Bring your snorkel gear or use the hotel’s gear. Fins are helpful.

There is a small unstocked refrigerator in the room so save yourself hundreds of dollars (sorry, Sofitel) by self-catering a bit. There is a large grocery store a ways down from the ferry terminal (if you are exiting the ferry terminal parking lot, turn left and about a half mile down it’s on your right). The fresh pastries in the back right-hand corner of the grocery store are excellent!

The Sofitel itself I felt it was not up to the usual Sofitel standard in some ways, and here they are: 1) The front desk staff seemed a bit snooty and tired of covering the same ground with each new arrival. 2) At checkout I asked if they sold ferry tickets and there was just “no” which surprised me because I was able to purchase them from the Intercontinental in Papeete for my trip over. My experiences with Sofitel in other locations had been so favorable I really did expect some sort of help – at least an inquiry as to what my plans might be to determine how they could help me. 3) On arrival there was a plate of sliced fruit as a welcome gift that had clearly been sitting there for some time as it was warm and mushy. 4) I noticed bits of trash and cigarette butts on the property.

I don’t doubt that anyone would enjoy their stay here but if you’ve been to Sofitel in Siem Reap, Ho Chi Minh City, Chicago or Queenstown…don’t get your hopes up and think you’ll get the same level of service or perfection in Moorea.

Room Tip: We were in bungalow 212 which was out close to the end it had wonderful views
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  • Stayed May 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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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 (234)
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Wollongong
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

Had a terrific 6 nights at the Sofitel Moorea in October 2012. The staff could not have done any more to make our holiday and our stay more enjoyable. Nothing was too much trouble. The food at the restaurant was top quality. Spent 3 nights in a Lagoon Bungalow and 3 in an over Water Bungalow - everything went smoothly. Looking forward to reacquainting ourselves with this wonderful and beautiful part of the South Seas.

  • Stayed October 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vail, Colorado
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

I believe that reviewers who raved about this hotel had not stayed at any of the other well-managed hotels and had "honeymoon eyes". We chose this Sofitel for the location and the beach, and indeed, those are wonderful. Their concierge staff was excellent, helpful, honest and friendly.

However, after that, it completely falls apart. The main dining room serves breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner; the menu for lunch AND dinner were exactly the same EVERY DAY! And even the bar menu has the same selections. Can you imagine? And the food is mediocre, at best, and expensive! But, let's be fair, everything on Moorea is expensive.

They advertise a Fitness Center but there is none. So, we rented bicycles -- no helmets available, and the only place to ride is along the one paved road around the island.

We stayed in a deluxe over-the-water bungalow, but it was difficult to find the "deluxe" -- there is one lounge chair in the corner of the room and two straight-backed desk chairs. If you want to sit together to enjoy a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, etc. you either go outside on the lounge chairs or sit on the bed. In this land dripping with flowers, we didn't have one flower placed in our room, not even on arrival.

Well, I could go on and on, but bottom line, we would not recommend Sofitel Moorea!

Room Tip: To find the perfect room, go to the Bora Bora Pearl Resort!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Linwood, New Jersey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

Not for couples. There were more kids running around here than a preschool. The overwater bungalow next to us had a family of 8-10 staying inside. The service is lacking, I was served soup without a spoon and my entree arrived before my spoon. Maintenance comes to my room for repairs 5 minutes after I finally get my room. I was told by management that this is what it is like all over the world. Well I have been all over the world and it is not like this.He should check out Le Tahaa private island resort or the Four seasons bora bora to see how a resort is run! In addition to all this they had the nerve to tell me breakfast was not included even though it was stated in my reservation. One bottle of water for entire stay. It is easy to get from Tahiti by ferry but do yourself a favor any fly to one of the many other islands.

Room Tip: End pontoon but do not expect to get one
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Luanda
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

We stayed for 5 days there before moving on to another island, and I must say it was one of a kind stay... I was really impressed with the place.

We stayed in an overwater bungalow (217), on the furthest place from land. It was just perfect to wake up in the morning, open the courtain and see nothing but the sea and Tahiti in front. The bungalow was very clean, people were always nice and room service perfect. We did not even went to the beach because diving there in the surroundings of the bungalow was really cool.

On the food side, breakfast was good but in the restaurant it was kind of repetitive and with too much sweet sauce (vanilla, coconut) for my european liking, but again this is a personal opinion that doesn't tuch nothing the whole experience.

We went around the island in a rented car, and for me the hotel is situated in the best possible place.

If I ever go back to FP, will definitevely stay again before moving on.

Room Tip: In overwater bungalows, the 217, 216, 218 are the best situated.
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  • Stayed April 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Encinitas, CA
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

We returned last month from a 6 night stay at the Sofitel, and our experience was outstanding. The property is exceptional - just a few minutes from the ferry landing on a spectacular protected lagoon. Flowering trees, koi ponds, well manicured lawns; everything was beautiful. We stayed in a beachfront bungalow the first few nights and moved into #120 luxury overwater bungalow the last few nights; which has to be about the best room there. Located at the end of the pier, it was more private and quieter and had an unobstructed view across the water to Tahiti.
We found the breakfast to be quite good - strong coffee, omelets cooked to your specifications, plenty of juice, fruit, pastries, cereals, pancakes, etc. We had a very enjoyable dinner at the K restaurant was well. Enjoyed a happy hour or two at the bar also. Received a very enjoyable massage at the spa; super relaxing.
We did not experience the sort of issues I've seen mentioned in some other reviews. Service was very good to excellent for us. Cooks at breakfast were quick to please. We had an issue with the locking mechanism on a door and it was quickly fixed. A concierge stepped in and saved the day when a tour abruptly cancelled one morning by rebooking us elsewhere. The cleaning staff were outstanding. The bar was busy and loud Friday night, but never were we adversely affected by parties, locals, etc.
We loved our OWB and did not want to leave. The bed was so comfortable, we slept extremely well. We loved sitting on our deck. We were up most mornings at sunrise to watch the light. Snorkeling right off our deck was extremely good - I kept seeing more and more marine life the more times we went out including rays and eels.
You can get along quite well without leaving the resort, if that is your desire. Plenty of food options, a large enough place that you can find your privacy, a variety of exercise possibilities, and the fantastic lagoon.
A few specifics:
Do be aware the water south of the pier is rocky/full of corals and not a place to swim. You will want to have water shoes or fins on. North of the bungalows, the white sand beach is the primary swimming area.
You can pickup snorkel and fins that you can keep for the duration of your stay.
I rented a bike (by the hour) and road down to the Champion Grocery - less than 15 minutes away.
Really not anything at all to walk to; maybe one pearl store across the street.
The pareo show in the restaurant in the evenings is entertaining and educational.
We did have pizza delivered on day; I believe it was from Allo's and was dropped off at the front gate.
We made our arrangements through Jackie at Custom Tahiti Travel; who was very professional and extremely patient and helpful.
During our visit we also went our with ATV Moorea, rented a car and circled the island one day, and had the motu picnic/shark and ray experience with Albert Tours. We had dinners out at Rudy's and Les Tipaniers and a fantastic lunch at the not to be missed Snack Mahana.
That's about it. We really believe this was a perfect place for our honeymoon (both the island of Moorea and the Sofitel) and we really appreciate everyone at the Sofitel and the other people who took care of us along the way. Plenty of beautiful memories we';; keep until we can return...

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 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.
Porto, Portugal
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

Sofitel supposedly sells you magnifique experiences... Unfortunately, we felt overcharged for an average vacation at this hotel. The good news are that my comments are mostly about service - and that can be easily improved!

Location
Sofitel Morea is located on a beach, very close both to the ferry port (where boats arrive from Papeete) and to the airport.
As for the beach, although the sand is white and the sea is of postcard blue, it has many coral sediments and therefore it is not soft to walk on. (You may want to bring those shoes to wear in the beach) We enjoyed snorkelling there, though!

Activities
If you're planning to have an active vacation, don't come here. Besides snorkelling, there are only a few sports activities at the hotel (kayak, paddle) and they all are paid for! (Even aquagym!) Also, there is no gym and the pool is too small to swim in (but quite nice, actually, except on weekends, when it gets full of locals and very noisy)
We did a full day excursion in the hotel boat. It is a good option to get to know the island, and to do the typical sharks & rays experience. Only two comments for the hotel: please try to start on time, and don’t advertise you will offer cocktails when there are only soft drinks on board.

Rooms
We stayed in a beach luxury room. Be aware that the rooms farthest away from the reception (in this category, 401 is the closest, 425 is the farthest) are in a zone of the beach particularly full of coral sediments and rocks and therefore is not pleasant.
Rooms were spacious and clean. On the downside: the bathroom got really hot during the day, service was unreliable (we broke a glass once and called housekeeping but no one came over to clean it), and the bed wasn't comfortable (we had 2 single beds together instead of one king bed).

Food and restaurants
Breakfast was good, but I missed some healthy options (e.g., no skim milk).
Dinner at main restaurant was quite good on the first nights - we had half board and we were given a choice of a starter, a main course and dessert. However, on our last night, a Friday, the hotel got full of locals and they served a buffet dinner, instead. Food quality dropped significantly. For lunch, there were several good a la carte options (including salads). We did not try the specialty restaurant since no one was able to tell us how much more we would need to pay (!).

Service
Service was very poor. There was no reliable time for pool service (towels, etc.) to open – and the same applied to the water activities boot (where they give you the fins). Anytime we tried to call housekeeping or room service, it took hours. Reception staff always doubted what you told them. And so on…

Room Tip: I would't go for a beach bungalow
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
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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 ( WiFi ) 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*
Number of rooms: 113
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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