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“Beach bungalow is the way to go here”

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InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort
Ranked #4 of 17 Hotels in Bora Bora
Certificate of Excellence
Calgary, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Beach bungalow is the way to go here”
Reviewed September 6, 2010

Stayed at IC Le Moana from May 22-25 as part of our 12 day honeymoon to French Polynesia (5 days at Hilton Moorea, 4 days at IC Le Moana Bora Bora and 3 days at IC Thalaso Spa Bora Bora). After much thought and considering the fact that we were staying in overwater bungalows at Hilton Moorea and IC Thalasso, we decided on a beach bungalow at IC Le Moana and were definitely not disappointed. After snorkelling in thigh to waist deep water all the way out to the end of the overwater bungalows and barely seeing any fish, we were most happy that we choose the beach bungalows. Readers, please listen to me and do the overwater bungalows elsewhere such as Hilton Moorea or IC Thalasso. Who wants to stay in an overwater bungalow where you can’t even jump or dive into the water off your dock because the water is so shallow? Not only is the water only thigh to waist deep but there is no coral or reef anywhere, which means no fish, which means poor snorkelling and no fish viewing through your glass bottom floor. Let me say it again, I do not recommend the overwater bungalows here. Try the beach bungalow here as it really is a gorgeous little hotel and do overwater someplace else.

To be fair, there were a few stingrays in the lagoon that we saw however, which was very cool because they were not there because they were being fed, which is why you see them at most other places (IC Thalasso)and on all the tours. You could also take a kayak for free from the resort and paddle about 15 minutes to a reef where there was excellent snorkelling. Don’t pay for a snorkelling tour as you will likely just end up at this place.

Our beach bungalow was perfect. It was spacious with a king size bed, separate living area and separate bathroom with a very cool open concept floor to ceiling tiled shower, well organized closet and mini bar (which we quickly emptied so we could fill it with our own booze and mix). There was a huge picture window that looked out of the bedroom onto the most turquoise blue water and white sand beach you will have ever seen. The best part about it was that one step off of the large deck and you were on that gorgeous white sandy beach with hardly a soul around. I recommend bringing water shoes as there is a lot of tiny coral on the lagoon bottom here which would make walking through the water tough.

The only blemish on our beach bungalow was that one day it seemed as though there was an all day rave or something going on as the music was quite loud all day from right next door (severely impacted our normal 5-7pm nap time).

Important Tip
If you don’t mind the hooligan-esque looking teenagers staring menacingly at you (you’d think they’d never seen a tourist before), you can walk to the well equipped store (about 10-15 min leisurely walk out of the alleyway entrance into the hotel and to the right) to pick up essentials such as beer, excellent French wine for a bargain, mix, food munchies and bottled water. You can even rent bicycles from a couple of places very close to the hotel (right across the street and a couple of doors down) to use to go to the store or to go touring into the town (Vaitappe - to the left coming out of alleyway entrance). Riding the bikes to town is ambitious as it felt like about a 6-8km ride one way. Save the work and use the bikes just to go to the store as they have racks on them to put your groceries and liquids on. Rent a car for 4 hours to drive around the island and stop in the town to do some shopping. Also stop at the WWII ruins as they are very cool to see and provide an excellent view of the lagoon from high up. Get good directions from car rental person as it is tough to find.

Food
The food at IC Le Moana was average to good. I do not recommend the Polynesian show and buffet. I found the show to be very amateurish (part of this could be because they had my wife up and dancing for bit) and the food was not bad but nothing special. I definitely recommend the place right next door – Faire Manuia (out of the alleyway and to the right). Great food and very friendly service for a fraction of what you pay at Le Moana (we actually went there twice a few days apart and the waitress remembered us). There are more than a few restaurants within walking distance of Le Moana so I would not recommend the meal plan for dinners. I recommend the breakfast meal plan as the breakfast buffet was solid. We also did lunch at Bloody Mary’s, (possibly the islands most famous establishment). If you don’t actually eat there you should at least stop by for a drink as it is very cool inside and the list of famous people who have been there on the sign outside is impressive.

Booze
Booze is one place where you can save money in Bora Bora. The drinks at the hotel are ridiculously expensive, even the two for one drinks during happy hour are stupid expensive. Listen to me. Bring a couple of good sized insulated travel mugs. Buy your hard booze at the duty free at LAX and then go to the aforementioned store to get bottled water, mix, beer and wine (and food munchies). They have a great variety of fruit juices as well as local beer, Corona, Bud and Bud light and even Red Bull. You can also pick up excellent French wines for dirt cheap at the store here as well. Empty your mini bar fridge and load it up with your own goodies (let hotel staff know this as they may try and charge you for it all). Ice is plentiful from the machines to chill your beer in the sinks and to make frozen foofoo drinks. The hotel staff does not at all mind you bringing your own drink with you wherever you go. A reasonable corkage fee was charged to us for bringing our own wine in (this was still way cheaper than buying from the menu).

Tours
We did our touring in Moorea. I already mentioned the bike and car rentals. We also heard that you can possibly see the Manta rays (the really really big ones) if you are a diver certified for something like more than 50 ft.

Service
Unfortunately, our experience has shown us that quick and attentive service is one of the things that is seldom found in all of French Polynesia (Moorea, and Bora Bora) no matter how high end of a hotel you stay at. I am sure there are one-offs where people get excellent service, and we did receive excellent service occasionally too, mostly from the non native workers. In general we found the service from the native Tahitians to be slow and inattentive. Maybe this is a cultural thing (island time) or maybe the people of Bora Bora are still adjusting to the whole tourism industry.
We also found the people in Bora Bora to be a little less friendly than the people in Moorea (maybe it was just the teenagers on their BMX’s trying to intimidate me or maybe it was just me). Either way, this resort was still fantastic and we had the time of our lives. Remember, do the beach bungalow here, overwater someplace else.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
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8 Thank PhilandJodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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atlbride09
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2010

We stayed at this hotel for our honeymoon in November. I loved ALMOST everything about this hotel. First, it was gorgeous and very cute. It is on the main island, but very secluded. We never saw anyone wandering around the property that didn't work there or that wasn't a guest there. The beach was very quiet and beautiful and we only saw a few couples walking around on any given day. We loved the fact that we weren't tied to the resort for meals (which is a big deal...make sure to keep this in mind). The one night that we ordered room service for dinner, we paid nearly $200. They wanted to charge $75 per person for the Polynesian dinner and dance show one night. However, when we went out to one of the nearby restaurants, we never spent more than $130 (including an appetizer, alcoholic drinks, and our main courses). The room was super clean and, unlike many reviews I had read, they did drop by almost every night for turn down service and then cleaned our room the next morning. They always put fresh flowers around the little bungalow and left little treats on the coffee table (brownies, mints, etc). We stayed in the Over Water Bungalow (OWB) the entire time and, if you have the option, I'd say this is the way to go. At other resorts, you could split your time between a garden or beach bungalow and the overwater bungalow to save some money, but for the same price at this resort, we stayed in the OWB the entire time. We figured that this was one of our main reasons for going to Bora Bora, since this is one of the only places in the world that offers these types of suites) and it was just magic sitting out on our lounge deck every morning sipping coffee and reading with the water below us. AMAZING.

Now, there were a few negatives, but nothing that made this resort a deal breaker for us. However, it is something to keep in mind so you're not disappointed.
1.) Service is extremely slow here. They are on island time. So, whereas in the US, allotting 45 minutes for lunch (a pizza) should be plenty of time to get it and eat; that was not the case here. We almost missed our boat back to the airport due to this, which was a little annoying considering we had asked before we ordered if we had enough time.
2.) Requests aren't really expedited. We joined the ambassador program prior to coming so that we could get a few extras on our trip (a bottle of water every morning, a free room upgrade and complimentary bar beverages). We only got the bar beverages. We did not get a room upgrade (or there was none available-they never even addressed this) and although I talked to the front desk almost every morning, we still did not receive water. The only reason I was a little annoyed by this is because you are on a freaking island; the supermarket is a 15 minute walk in the blazing hot sun and the teeny tiny bottle of water in the mini fridge that I could swallow in two gulps is $6. Just a tad annoyed by this. haha

Other than those minor details, the hotel was great and we would highly recommend it to anyone else going!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank atlbride09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Negril, Jamaica
Level 4 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2010

Beware - this is an expensive destination! The rooms are nice but the food is terrible for the price. The seafood buffet was over $100 per person which was outrageous given the quality. Unless you want to pay for a taxi there is no option but to eat at the one restaurant. The grocery store in town has much lower prices for things like beer and wine and munch food - I recommend getting a ride there to stock up if staying more than a few days. Taxi ride into two was over $15 for a ten minute ride, one way. The phrase "everything is expensive in Polynesia" is used way too much when explaining why they had 500% mark ups on basic things.

The beach is nice but shallow. Do not expect a great snorkel adventure or much other than lots of sting rays and plenty of hungry little fish eager to consume scraps of french bread tossed from the overwater rooms or the boardwalk.

The views are great when the sun is out, about half the day, and July is considered the dry season. Boat traffic near the horizon views is a bit much sometimes with parades of tourists on wave runners and jammed into little boats. You can hear the music from other resorts that seem to offer entertainment (this one did not have anything going on).

I was hoping for a more luxurious experience however I felt that was not provided. Overpriced drinks, food, and just a lot of sandy views. The second part of our vacation was spent on the Paul Gauguin cruise ship (owned by the same company) and that was excellent. I'd recommend skipping the over water huts and go straight for the ship - you will be glad you did.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank NoneProvided
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2010

My wife and I went to French Polynesia for our honeymoon in early May, starting at the IC Tahiti, Maupiti Residence in Maupiti, IC Le Moana in Bora Bora, and Hilton Moorea. All of the above resorts were great but the IC Le Moana was our favorite, offering exquisite accommodations, crystal clear water, and truly fantastic scenery. Upon our arrival later in the evening we were picked up by the hotel shuttle boat, handing off our luggage at the dock and not seeing it until we stepped into our room later on. After our arrival at the resort dock we were seated in comfy chairs and offered (complimentary) cocktails while completing the check-in process. We had booked 2 nights in a lagoon OWB and 2 reward nights and were upgraded to a horizon OWB due to our ambassador status. The bungalow was AMAZING - when we walked in they had set out a bottle of champagne on ice, a fruit platter, cookies, and a variety of other welcome gifts. From that point on the service at the Le Moana never disappointed. Due to the expensive price of drinks at the resort (~$18-$20) we took advantage of happy hour each day around 5PM where 2 for 1 drinks specials were offered. Food was also pricey but nothing untolerable (think Manhattan prices). I would strongly recommend that anyone staying at this resort take advantage of the local restaurant options to get a taste of the local flavor. Our best recommendation would be to have dinner at "La Bounty" down the road within walking distance where the food is exceptional and the atmosphere is nice and relaxing. Another recommendation would be to take a circle island tour with Nono Tours. They are literally 2 mins walk down (to left) from the entrance of the resort, offer an outstanding tour, and cost way less than booking through the concierge. On this tour you get to swim in the water with reef sharks and stingrays and see the beautiful island of Bora Bora all the way around. My last recommendation is to spend the better part of a day at the IC Thalasso Spa. While it is quite expensive it is totally worthwhile, as you can spend the entire day using the abundant amenities of the spa after getting a massage in a private (glass-floored) OWB while watch fish swim around below. The hotel even offers a free shuttle boat to get there. All in all the Le Moana was exceptional with great service, accommodations, atmosphere, and location. We highly recommend!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Chicagotraveler83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2010

The people were very friendly, the food was good (however very little variety for an 8 day stay). I normally would expect more luxury with an Intercontinnetal. The resort was a bit smaller than we expected, however it was very accesible to town, to the public beach which allowed us to venture. If you want quiet and want to enjoy very calm beautiful water for miles, this is the resort for you. Unfortunately their was very little sealife for snorkeling.

Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank BradV4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marlton, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2010

We stayed here for the first part of our BB trip and then spent the second half at Thalasso. We chose to do it this way so we could experience both the over the top luxury of thalasso and the polynesian feel of Moana. I'm so glad we did it this way. Though not as modern or grand, the Moana has a polynesian charm that is utterly romantic. The water at the beach is probably the clearest I've ever seen in my life. The grounds are beautiful and there are flowers everywhere. The staff are dressed in traditional polynesian style and the location is very convenient, close to local shops and restaurants. I would recommend getting the breakfast plan, the breakfasts are terrific!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank esoif001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tacoma, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2010

We chose Le Moana Intercontinental as the place to have our Polynesian beach wedding because we wanted to stay at a different resort this time on Bora Bora. It was a great choice in spite of the fact that they were repairing some of the cyclone damage. It wasn't much of an interference. The staff were very friendly and helped make our wedding very lovely. We felt catered to very well. Le Moana Intercontinental was so stunning with its brilliant array of lagoon colors and attractive leaning palms. Great white sand beach! Le Moana is situated on the main island as opposed to being on a motu like Le Meridien or The Pearl. It's on 'Matira Point', the Southern tip of the island, on a beautiful white sand beach with a mesmerizing lagoon view. The lagoon gets deeper on one side of the bungalows where it changes from the aqua of its shallows to deep blue. Our bungalow was out at the tip of the dock in that transition zone. We even had our own eel that lived right underneath our glass floor. He swam away eventually, but then he probably got tired of all our excessive happiness. The snorkeling was pretty good, too. Le Moana has two pools, one with an elegant waterfall and another with a sand bottom right on the beach. Both were so soothing... it was very hot when we were there... probably in the upper 80's the whole time with one teeny rain shower. The pool bar had excellent pizzas and lunch menu. I loved the strawberry piña coladas. The grounds of Le Moana were very lovely. I'm a gardener and tropical plant enthusiast so I just loved walking the pathways and seeing all the exotic plants and varieties of palms. It was very clean, no garbage on the sand. The bungalow was lovely. There was a teeny gecko living behind our mirror over the sink. So cute! The only thing we didn't like was the closet door was hard to open. The food was delicious! Great breakfast buffet every morning. Very good dining at night. We had no complaints... except that I don't have three stomachs! I wanted to eat everything! We would definitely go back. It was very Polynesian and very worth it. If you want to see the ebst photos I have of this resort, check out my web site: http://drinkofbeauty.com and hit the 'Bora Bora 10' link after you enter the site. It's worth a peak... there so much to see and there's video, too. Also, you can see our wedding album on there under 'Wedding Bora Bora'.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank firefly242
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort

Property: InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort
Address: Pointe Matira, BP 156, 98730, French Polynesia
Phone Number:
Location: French Polynesia > Society Islands > Bora Bora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Bora Bora
#4 Luxury Hotel in Bora Bora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 62
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
L'InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort is located to the south side of the main island, at the famous Matira point, considered as one of the most beautiful beach in the world. The hotel situated only 8kms away from the main city of Vaitape, offers you a breathtaking view on the lagoon, but also on the impressive Mt OTEMANU and PAHIA. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Intercontinental Bora Bora Le Moana Hotel Bora Bora
Intercontinental Le Moana Bora

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