We stayed at the Moorea Pearl Resort and with a late evening arrival we opted for a hotel garden room for the first night and a Deluxe Beach Bungalow for the rest of our stay. The Hotel Garden Room was large and very nice. It was on the ground floor and there is a porch, which is open to the garden. It has two chairs and a table where we had a cup of INSTANT COFFEE and waited for our Bungalow to get ready.
The breakfast area in the Hotel was in two levels and open to the pool. The buffet was good, but not as elaborate as is should be for the price, we were able to get a good cup of BREWED COFFEE. There are six deluxe beach bungalows. We had one near the property line, with an almost unobstructed view. As described in many trip reports all the Bungalows are beautiful with good amenities and no (brewed) coffee maker. The air conditioning run strong with the bathroom door closed. The small beach is sandy and always clean. Everyday we had hotel guests lounging and sunbathing right in front of our bungalow deck. The snorkeling is good at the dropout with calm water. The sunrise is gorgeous. The resort is small and offers a variety of rooms to suit everyone comfortably.
The town of Maharepa, which offers much convenience to vacationers and residents, has a post office where we bought stamps and a telephone card. There are shops and small businesses surrounding the place and a music and stereo store where we went in to look for the new CD from “Kutia”, a much recommended Tahitian music but it was sold out ( we found later it in Bora Bora ). The Maison Blanche (a white house) down the road has good souvenirs to take home and for the first and only time we got badly bitten by mosquitoes inside the house. The lady from the shop was kind to give us some soothing spray lotion to use. We brought mosquito repellent but forgot to use it and later gave it away to the people in Bora Bora.
On Sundays all shops are closed with the exception of the small food market which stayed open until noon .The wines, mostly French, are decently priced. The large bottle of Hinano beer was popular but it gets warm before you could finish it. There are no alcoholic purchases on Sunday.
We did not reserve a car in advance as suggested, because we do not like vacationing with a committed schedule. Albert transport has a small booth across from the Pearl Resort where we got a car just before the closing of lunch break. The car had air conditioning with no extra charge. We drove the 36 miles round-island road one afternoon, and with some local recommendations, we got to see Moorea at our leisure. We visited the Island focus spots and we stopped at the Sheraton, IC Moorea, and Les Tipaniers for lunch at the beach restaurant.
We also discovered the beautiful and maintained public beach “Mareto Plage”.
The restaurant Te Huno Iti was very good and we thought the Le Cocotier was excellent. The meal was wonderful along with the great wine and service. The place was filled with local residents and regular diners and a couple from Texas (us). The Le Sud restaurant had a great selection in the Menu du Jour for lunch; the salad nicoise was tasty and generous. Carameline has good but simple omelets for breakfast. The pastries are delicious.
Moorea is beautiful and we understand why it is a good place to reside. It is so convenient to commute to the main Tahiti Island. Every import comes daily via Aremiti ferry from Papeete. We saw new homes in constructions and in renovations; a lot for sale at Maharepa city limit…The island life is slow in Moorea but not monotone and the residents are very proud of that.
The 3 main Resorts we visited in Moorea are different in many ways and we had difficulties selecting the right one for our stay.
We picked the Pearl Resort because it’s smaller and for its location. We wanted to experience a Beach Bungalow during this stay and with some disappointment due to the no privacy of the beach front we did not regret it. The clear water and abundance of coral at the Sheraton resort looked much more appealing for snorkeling. The beach is longer but was not cleaned as well as the Pearl; there were seaweeds in the afternoon when we visited it.
The Intercontinental resort is very big and open with great air conditioned lobby and has a Robert Wan Pearl shop. It offers more activities but we find it somehow remote. A rental car is suggested if staying longer than 2 days.
As suggested on a another board we purchased round trip airport/hotel taxi transfer tickets at the Air Moorea ticket counter in Papeete. All you need to do is call the phone number on the ticket a few hours in advance before your departure time. Ben Tours showed up on time at the hotel lobby.
We browsed the shops at the airport before boarding and found a beautiful 13.5mm round Tahitian pearl with a greenish undertone at Mehiti Black Pearl shop. The sales person was very nice and willing to show us more loose pearls from stock than the ones on display. We have some knowledge on pearls and knew it was a good last minute purchase.
Our nonstop flight to Bora Bora was about 45 minutes. With much confusion on which side to sit we went toward the cockpit and sat on the left inside the cabin. The view was amazing on either side…