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Reviewed March 17, 2008

We spent a week in New Caledonia early last year. This included four nights at this beautiful island resort.

This resort on the Ile des Pins looks like paradise. The crystal blue waters and pine covered shores are absolutely breathtakingly stunning.

The position of our bungalow (one of the best rooms at the resort we thought), perched on a ledge by the edge of the water (with a ladder down to the water) was picture perfect. The bungalow was very spacious with a separate bedroom, lounge room, sunken bathroom and outdoor sitting and lounge area. The housekeeping was 'invisible' and extremely thorough and the hotel staff were friendly and laid back (don't expect big city service efficiency because it's not big city living here - put your watch in the safe and go with the flow).

With not much to do other than swim, read, eat and drink it was stress-free holidaying at its best.

As for the wonderful French culture, we loved the food and wine -it is a French colony afterall - don't expect Parisian standards though (it is a small, remote island afterall). We also noticed a large number of 'winter-escaping' fashionable tourists from France (confirmed by the local staff) which added to the glamour of the place. We can highly recommend the Ile de Pins escargot - delicious and available no where else but this island apparently. We thought the local staff were friendly and truly lovely. Their laid back style helped us to relax but could see how some guests could be unfairly critical if they are used to snappy service. This is a place where everyone chills out.

Each morning we enjoyed walking to breakfast the 'longer way' - we climbed down our bungalow's ladder and waded through the shallow waters surrounding the island to the restaurant - it was a wonderful way to start the day. One morning we encounted some locals net-fishing along the way. Similarly, we can highly recommend the nearby beach restaurant you wade to that serves lobsters in the lovely beach shack - wonderful.

Our only low points include a word of warning about security - a young local tried to enter our bungalow while we were watching a movie in our room. It taught us a lesson about keeping valuables in a safe no matter where we are in the world. We reported it to the hotel manager and the response was prompt and outstanding - we were very impressed. This unfortunate issue could happen anywhere in the world - it's up to us to be security conscience.

Another important point to highlight is that New Caledonia is expensive - it is EXTREMELY expensive (no doubts about it). You need to brace yourself because the cost of living is one of the highest we have ever encountered (and we thought London was expensive). For this reason, we would not recommend New Caledonia to most of our friends - although for a French experience so close to Australia (particularly Brisbane) it certainly is cheaper than going to Paris for a quick French culture fix (we couldn't even find an Australian newspaper in Noumea).

However, if you can deal with how much a meal or even a can of soft drink costs we believe the experience is worth it for a romantic, rejuvenating and relaxing holiday. Despite not really being sun or water people, we can't wait to return.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank ClassyLad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2008

We have just returned from 5 nights at Le Meridian, Isle of Pines. The island, resort itself, view and the rooms were beautiful. Nearby is the natural swimming pool which is an absolute must, the snorkelling amazing.

Unfortunately the food was terrible and expensive. There were a large number of Japanese tourists and I think the prices catered towards them. We ordered a picnic for 4 as we were going fishing for a day and were charged over $AU100 for four average rolls, four small bottles of water and rotten kiwifruit.

The breakfast for the price you are paying is appalling with no muesli and very little fruit.

You need to have a car if you want to dine elsewhere and it is some distance away.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank wineluva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2007

We spent 5 days in november for our honey moon, after a week in sydney and 2 days in ouvea (The Paradis).

This hotel is breathtaking, the bungalows very spacious and well decorated (try to get one right on the beach). The food is very good for that kind of destination, and the only location in the island where you are sure to eat without bookings!

Go and eat lobsters on the beach, 5mn walking from the hotel.

Only one minor thing, the service is not fully to the 5 stars level that is encountered in the south east asia area, but it is largely surpassed by this incredible spot.

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank nanard37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2007

My dreams came true....the hotel is a 5 star resort, absolutely.
You don't have to expect a 5-star hotel like in hong kong, there is luxe, but the luxe is the island itself!
the food is good, and the prices are not at all upmarket! try to eat in any other part of New Caledonia, and it's everywhere very expensive. You are in paradise, and you should pay for it! But you don't! TThere are many other resorts set in beautifull spots that cost a double but are not as beautyfull as this place.
I would not recommend this place only for one reason: I don't want any other person in this world to go there!! I want it to remain secluded!
I feel like this place were mine!
There are many activities to do, but not in the evening...it's a perfect place for couples.....!
go to secret beaches by yourselves using a canoe for exemple.

oh, I can't wait to go there again!

ps: in August the water is a bit cold.

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank noemicam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2007

We have recently returned from Le Meridien at Iles Des Pins, we spent 8 days there which is not only costly but too long. The resort itself is paradise, we had a bungalow on the lagoon which was heaven on earth, the bungalow was excellent, housekeeping 6 stars-brilliant so was room service. The management and staff were very easy to talk to in broken english and went out of their way to assist in anything we needed. The food leaves much to be desired, it must be 3 star quality very repetitive, not very tasty, very bland food and most of all outrageous prices, drink and wine prices extortionate prices out of control, the menu and variety really need changing or the chef does!!! In the evenings there is nothing to do at all, no music no entertainment, the hotel needs someone to go in there and liven the place up a bit. We would class the whole holiday as very expensive and certainly would not return at those prices which is a shame as the setting is superb.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank QLD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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