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“WOW” 5 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Maharepa
San Diego, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“WOW”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

We stayed in an over water bungalow and couldn't have been happier. It was like being in a fish tank with a superb view. Every day there was something new to see... black fin sharks would swim by, manta rays - I saw an octopus one day and a sea snake another. It's truly breathtaking and I've been to a few amazing places but never experienced this. DO IT..

The snorkeling is fantastic. You're right there. I am an Advanced PADI diver but honestly I didn't feel the need to dive. You have a deck off your bungalow and off you go any time you want. The coral is all around you and I mean all around you. Great service. Great staff. Always friendly especially Anna. Every moment is to be enjoyed because every moment something new is happening. Big stars at night.

Rent a car an go around the island. Lots of fun.

  • Stayed March 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
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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 (243)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

My wife and I just finished an 8 night stay at the Sofitel on Moorea. We could not be more pleased with the hotel and the island. We arrived in Tahiti near 11pm and had a room at Le Meriden in Papeete on Tahiti our first night. It was ok, nice enough, yet we were looking forward to shifting to the Sofitel. We arranged our own ferry after visiting the downtown and market area of Papeete. The Aremity 5 ferry is quick and a pleasant way across to Moorea - 1500 island francs per person each way. The exchange this past week was 80 francs to 1$US. So reasonable ferry rates. We bought our tickets for going and coming at once as they are open ended with no time or date limits. Made it easier for the return - especially as we pushed the time envelope catching the last ferry outbound coming back.
As we approached the island of Moorea we noticed the lush landscape and we were pleased at the first views. A short taxi ride to the Sofitel, 15$US and we checked in. No problems with dates or rates and the property was very nice. A huge improvement over Le Meriden, no contest. We got to our luxury overwater bungalow and it was nicely appointed. We were in 118, but 119, 120 and 121 would be fantastic over looking the East and Tahiti. We looked out our porch at the interior lagoon and the lush island hills. The sun set on our porch each day and settled behind one of the high cliffs. It was great.

Food and service at the Sofitel were great. The staff tried to help in anyway. There have been reviews that knock the service, but we felt that it was the island way to leave you alone. If you need something you can ask for it and requests are quickly met. If you want to be waited on at all times you need to go to New York. At the Sofitel or Intercontinental or other local restaurants - we visited many for meals and activities- the service is similar- more reactive than proactive. This was evident at the local shops too. People tried to sell you things but did not hound the hell out of you. They would address you and leave you alone.

Items that you should try include the Sashimi and poisson cru. Fantastic!!!! If you venture out make sure you have lunch at Snack Mahana - their breaded mahi-mahi with coconut milk is not to be missed.
Be prepared though, this is not an inexpensive place for anything. All has to be transported in. Even breakfasts and lighter meals can be pricy. An option is to visit a local supermarket and purchase croissants and preserves or ham or brie or all the above and make your own breakfasts to save a little more money.
But back to the discussion on the Sofitel, what a great place with good food, service and activities. We will be back!! DLE 12/9-12/17

Part of me wants to tell you that Moorea and the Sofitel were terrible to help preserve them but that would not be truthful.

Room Tip: While the beach bungalows are fantastic, the overwater bungalows, either level are a great way to en...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

We stayed here for 3 nights in an overwater bungalow (got upgraded), during our honeymoon which we booked through Tahiti.com. We were really pleased with our stay. The resort is very beautiful and well maintained. The site is on the most beautiful beach on the island. Our bungalow was on top of the coral so there were lots of fish and rays around that we could see from the glass floor of our unit. We took a canoe out one day (which was free to borrow) to check out the coral, it was pretty awesome how many fish you can see.

Couple tips:

1. sign up for accor hotels membership program and get 1 hour of free internet daily. Internet there is very expensive and is only really strong by the pool or main desk - terrible in the room

2. if you want to surf the internet, plan a lunch at the moorea beach café. They will come pick you up from the hotel, the food is excellent (best meal we ate on the island) and they will give you wifi access for free.

3. get out of the hotel to eat. we ate at "K restaurant" at the hotel, in our Lonely Planet guide it was a Top Pick, but we didn't enjoy it that much and it was very pricey. We had the breakfast buffet included in our package, which was good, pretty standard. There are a number of restaurants around that will pick you up, ask the concierge and they can arrange it for you.

4. when you got to eat at a restaurant outside the hotel, pick up some bottled water - there was a supermarket 1 min walk from the Moorea Beach Café

5. bring bug spray - lots of mosquitos on the island

I would argue this is probably the best resort on Moorea, we were very happy with our stay and the customer service was excellent.

  • Stayed December 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014

Incredible service, room and view. Everything was top notch here. I thought the room was incredibly clean, updated and the views were great. The lunch at Pure was average but other than that I thought everything was excellent. Especially the front desk staff. I would visit Sofitel again. I also visited the Hilton Bora Bora during this trip and Sofitel was far more updated. I stayed in the over the water bungalows at both locations.

  • Stayed December 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.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014

We stayed here in a beach bungalow for the first half of our honeymoon and loved it! Some will note that it is right near the airport, but you have to put that into context - you are not next to a giant international airport with multiple flights per hour - you will notice a handful of small planes that whir in throughout the day. We spent a lot of time at the pool and on our deck and either did not hear planes, or did not really think they impacted our stay or our ability to enjoy the peacefulness.
The beach here was beautiful and coral to explore right off the sand. The resort lends snorkeling and other water sport equipment for free which was great on days that we felt like being more leisurely and did not venture into the island. The food at the resort was good, but similar to Bora Bora, we found that the quality, variety and value of food was much better if you left the resort and took restaurant recommendations.
The pool area (infinity pool) was clean, private and relaxing, which was a truly great way to begin our honeymoon. The grounds were well-kept and peaceful.
The beach bungalows were great and the deck overlooking the lagoon was a great way to enjoy a morning coffee or an evening cocktail.
We did find that there were much more mosquitoes in Moorea than Bora Bora. We took advice from our travel agent and brought a citronella candle with us for our deck and I always had bug spray on!
Overall, I would definitely recommend this hotel for its all-around good service and amenities.

  • Stayed July 2013, 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
    • 4 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.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

We stayed as a family for a week in middle of December - apparently it was just before it got busy. The hotel service was excellent, the weather hot and the water/beach was just beautiful.
We had a garden room, and it was less than 30m to the beach and in many ways we think it was better than the over the water units.

The one trip we'd recommend that everyone does is to take the 1/2-day boat trip around the island that includes some snorkeling - its expensive, but was the highlight of the holiday for us. Lovely, informative crew and a great way to see the island. From what we saw, the Sofitel appeared to have the best beach of all the hotels.

There aren't 100's of activities to do, but there is enough if you plan it out and are willing to spend some $ to keep everyone (including kids) interested.

We'd highly recommend it to anyone wanting the picture perfect vacation.

Some notes/recommendations:
- everything is expensive - the walk to the local shops is about 4k and is well worth it to stock up on beer/wine etc. Recommend walk to the shops after 4pm and do watch out for the local dogs!
- it helps to speak a little french when you are outside the resort, but is not essential in the hotel.
- the menus in the bar, room service and restaurants are ALL different - so if you are wanting some variety while staying, try them all. We found the serves in the bar to be generous and tasty, so ended up eating their quite often.
- Get the buffet breakfast included in your package - its well worth the additional cost. It seems to be commonly accepted that everyone takes a few of the pastries on the table back to their rooms - which we did and appreciated as it meant we didn't have to worry too much about lunch or snacks.
- Many of the local restaurants will come and pick you up and drop you off.
- Smoking near tables where other people are eating is normal (this is still france!)
- Take plenty and sun tan lotion AND bug spray.
- A proper gym would have been a nice addition.
- The international airport on the main island is small and hot - try and plan to spend as short time at it as possible.

Room Tip: If you are getting a garden room, try and get it close to the beach.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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.
Auckland Central, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

Great honeymoon, stayed there for 7 nights, bliss! we got an upgrade to the overwater bungalow which we were ECSTATIC about! Fantastically nice people, constantly coming by to service our room and even turn down service till we realized we should put out the DND sign if we wanted a sleep in! Always extra nice about it though.

We had the included breakfast package which was completely worth it as they are not within walking distance of the shops (maharepa is great for food, but you probably need to rent a car, which you can do from the front desk for about 9000 XPF once you include full insurance cover, petrol ( you need to fill up before returning the car) fees, tax etc (was 6800 XPF) before including those items. They bring you to AVIS in vaiare for free which is great.

We snorkelled all day when we werent on tours, rooms service was great no service charge, got a complimentary honeymoon dinner, champagne, chocolates, and t shirt n pareu which was very very nice of everyone. Everyone was lovely, always smiling and very friendly.

The only minor gripe i had was that when things got slightly busy (ie more than 4 tables at vue bar) they got slightly flustered and disorganized and forgot our order twice and even asking us if we were done eating when we hadnt received our last order and i had to go to the counter in the end to check on our drinks and food..but this only happened once! During breakfast when it was slightly more packed, little things that were usually there were accidentally missed out (ie. a teaspoon for coffee sometimes, no butter another, no coffee) but i would definitely return to stay a million times over. Oh and its not good to be on wifi on your honeymoon usually, and i wouldnt recommend the wifi unless really needed as it is quite slow on the island generally and tends to cut out.

Bathrooms could do with a slight refresh/ maintainence/tidy as some mosaics were missing and some fittings were abit greeney at the rims. Bedroom was immaculate, you get s nespresso machine too! Very cool.

Also on our last day for checking out we were due for a late checkout at 12pm and the cleaning lady arrived 10 minutes earlier and stood by our door waiting for us to leave eventhough it was wasnt 12 yet, so felt abit ushered out of the our room trying to grab all our stuff when we were not quite set to go trying to enjoy the last 10 minutes.....was abit awkward!

Dive shop guy is very cool and surfey which is loved, tama the pool/bar/ all around helpful guy was awesome too. Thanks for a lovely stay.

Room Tip: Room 216,217, 218 are standard overwater bungalows but they have premium views!!
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort

Address: B.P. 28, Moorea, Maharepa 98728, French Polynesia
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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