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Tahiti Intercontinental - which OWBs do you like better?

Philadelphia...
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Tahiti Intercontinental - which OWBs do you like better?

Okay, still preparing for my sweepstakes-winning trip to Tahiti, and I have now read literally hundreds of reviews of the IC here on TripAdvisor, but I am still having trouble deciding which bungalows to coerce my travel agent to get us into. To those who know the property, which overwater bungalows would you recommend, the Motu ones, or the Lotus ones? I know the Lotus ones are supposedly quieter (and I believe much newer facilities!), but the water looks much clearer and shallower (i.e. better for snorkeling) near the Motu ones.

The idea of being in a quieter location — away from reception, loads of families with kids, people partying — is very appealing, however, I also really want to have the experience of snorkeling right off our own deck. Is the water too rough for that by the Lotus bungalows?

If anyone here has been to the IC and has an opinion, I'd be very grateful to hear it! My hunch is that the travel agent will put us in the Motu bungalows, but since we are upgrading our Priority Club membership to Ambassador status before the trip, we expect we will be able to get the upgrade if we want it. Thanks!

Las Vegas, NV
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1. Re: Tahiti Intercontinental - which OWBs do you like better?

Th lotus ones are much more private...BUT...they are over much deeper water, so the snorkeling is not good and right near a lot of boat traffic leaving the marina nearby making the water very choppy.

Believe it or not, the hotel is not a haven for lots of families and kids. It is mostly a transit hotel...people stay for a night on either end of their trip to accommodate the air schedules. Plus there is a pretty good distance between the motu bungalows and the main pool...where most of the people would be hanging out anyway.

There is one particular bungalow among the Motu bungalows that is a mock up of the ones they build out at the IC Bora Bora Thalasso. Not sure if you could get that one...but if you can...go for it!

Philadelphia...
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2. Re: Tahiti Intercontinental - which OWBs do you like better?

Ah, I can see that one in the satellite view, Patti! Thanks! Looks like that is the one the property map (www.spa-moana.com/ic/PLANIC%20TAHITI.jpg) is calling the "Villa Motu." I will try to get that one! I agree that the boat traffic makes the Lotus bungalows less attractive. Great advice, thanks a bunch!

Las Vegas, NV
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3. Re: Tahiti Intercontinental - which OWBs do you like better?

The newer Lotus bungalows are larger than the older Motu ones though....328 sq ft vs 414 sq ft vs. Sooo.....if size matters....

Petaluma, California
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4. Re: Tahiti Intercontinental - which OWBs do you like better?

You might be pleasantly surprised as to how quiet the IC actually is...

Can't recommend an OWB, but love the sand bottom pool and Le Lotus restaurant, both were our favorites on the last trip.

And make sure to get over to Moorea, even if for only one night...

Enjoy,

TC

Philadelphia...
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5. Re: Tahiti Intercontinental - which OWBs do you like better?

Thanks again, Patti, and thanks to TC_in_CA, too! We are indeed doing an overnight in Moorea (getting there early, leaving as late as we can, so trying to make the longest two days possible). I'll have to look at the menus for Lotus — we were just in Paris for three weeks in the fall, and as much as I love good French cuisine, I am much more eager to try a lot of local (native) cuisine. My mouth is watering at the thought of the poisson cru, and I may have to try to make some before we get there!

Food is definitely always a 'thing' for us when we travel: neither my husband nor I eat red meat, and I am highly allergic to shellfish. Other than that, we are fairly adventurous and willing to try things! And, I love fish (just not shellfish), so generally an island means I get to eat well. :-) The only thing that concerns me a little is that every photograph or video showing food in Tahiti seems to include buffets and platters HEAPED with lobster and shrimp. Are the locals eating a lot of shellfish, or is that just for the tourists?

Columbus, Ohio
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6. Re: Tahiti Intercontinental - which OWBs do you like better?

If you are a foodie then you must head to the downtown dock area at night for the food trucks....

they all gather in one spot and the crowds come---it's a foodies paradise.

that being said I would spend as many days on Moorea as possible.

Philadelphia...
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7. Re: Tahiti Intercontinental - which OWBs do you like better?

Thanks, rue143! I have read about the roulottes (the food trucks), and they remind me of what I read about the kioskas when I went to Puerto Rico — and that is *exactly* the kind of food experience we love: local foods eaten by local people in a non-touristy locale. (And yes, I realize there is a lot of Chinese- and French-influenced cuisine there, but also pure Polynesian!)

And yes, I know Moorea is GORGEOUS, and we would really like to have stayed there, but (since you are just tuning in): I won this trip, and it's hard to turn down the free stay at the Tahiti IC. We'll definitely do an overnight in Moorea (at the Hilton; I am waiting to see what rate our Sears travel agent can get us — Sears and ShopYourWay Rewards are the people from whom we won the trip). And we can always go back on the ferry every day if we like!

Columbus, Ohio
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8. Re: Tahiti Intercontinental - which OWBs do you like better?

Yes that price (free) is hard to beat---LOL

To fully enjoy Moorea when you do go--- you can reserve a rental car with Avis (right at the Moorea Ferry dock) and hit the ground running......

Have a great trip and tell us about the Food Trucks !!

Philadelphia...
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9. Re: Tahiti Intercontinental - which OWBs do you like better?

Thanks! I am thinking of starting a more general thread about the trip, just so people can chime in with whatever advice they want to give me. I do love the idea of having our own car (we love to be independent when we travel), but here is how I was thinking of spending our time on Moorea: most of it in the OWB, snorkeling and relaxing! Then possibly going to Tiki Village in the evening. I have mixed feelings about this; in some places, I've read that it's really the *only* place in Polynesia to get a taste of the old ways. But in my further reading, it seems to me that there are really two aspects to Tiki Village: the village and crafts part, which is only open until about 3pm every day, and the dinner show part. If we are going to see the dinner show (for free!) at the Tahiti IC, maybe we should skip it at Tiki Village and just do the daytime activities there? We really, really want to get some kind of taste of Polynesian spirituality while we are there in Tahiti, more than just driving/hiking up to the maraes. Ideally, we would like to see a tahua perform a ceremony, and maybe get to fire walk for ourselves. I need to find out if Tiki Village is where we can do that, or someplace else on Moorea or Tahiti, or what. More research is needed! :-)

Las Vegas, NV
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10. Re: Tahiti Intercontinental - which OWBs do you like better?

Never seen or heard of a fire walk over there.

While you are staying at the IC Tahiti, you would probably be best to just opt for the Tahitian dance show there as opposed to doing it at Tiki Village on Moorea. Those 2 shows (the IC Tahiti and Tiki Village on Moorea) are the only 2 "professional quality" shows in FP. All the others are basically families and extended families putting on the shows at the various resorts.

To be honest...you're not going to experience much in the way of Tahitian culture and spirituality over there...especially on Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora....other than the demonstrations at Tiki Village The locals tend to live very modern lives...especially on those islands. Best chance of finding some local culture and flavor on Tahiti is attending some of the events during the annual Heiva Festival. When will you be going? Any chance it'll be June or July (during Heiva)? One other thing you may consider is attending a church service....for the spectacular singing.

Edited: 5:25 pm, April 12, 2013