Review submitted by Suzy's friend Sarah. Sarah's opinions are not necessarily the views of SuzyCruisy.com.
Moorea is beautiful and the InterContinental was a very relaxing place to be. We would definatly stay here again. With that said, Moorea is very much a place where you go to relax or entertain yourself - if you are looking for constant activities or lots of nightlife, Moorea will not provide either of these things. We did a LOT of relaxing and some snorkeling (even paddled around in a kayak for a couple of hours) and had a great time.
Pretty easy process. We arrived with two other couples before the posted check-in time of 2pm. Our rooms weren't ready so a member of the reception staff took us over to an area by the bar to fill out our paperwork and brought us some yummy tropical juice. Once our paperwork was complete she told us to check with the reception desk around 1:30pm to see if our room was ready. We went to the restaurant and had lunch and checked back in with reception. Our room still wasn't ready so we went and walked around the resort for a while and then just relaxed in the reception area, at about 2:15 they gave us our keys and loaded our luggage on to a golf cart and took us to our room.
We had booked into an Overwater Bungalow. We weren't really sure what the difference was between the overwater bungalow and the premium overwater bungalow when we arrived, but figured it couldn't have been too much. In fact the only difference is that the premium overwater bungalows are completly over the water (all four posts are in the water) - our particular bungalow had 3 of the 4 posts in the water.
The interior of all the bungalows is exactly the same, regardless of whether it is a garden bungalow, a beach bungalow or an overwater bungalow. The only difference is the location. The deck has two chairs, which you can recline to be sort of like a lounge chair and a table. They were wooden and fairly rustic looking, so not terribly comfortable for spending an extensive amount of time sitting in. If you want to spend a long time in a comfy lounge chair, the loungers on the beach and at the pool were very comfy.
In our opinion we had the best bungalow at the resort, #523. We were FAR away from the main part of the resort, so we didn't have a lot of people walking by or noise. We had a pretty good amount of coral right next to our ladder into the lagoon and saw TONS of fish. We also had an octopus that was hanging out behind our ladder throughout our stay and a very large eel living in the coral right there. We were also just a few steps away from the Turtle rehabilitation area, which was nice since watching the turtles float around was pretty relaxing.
If you don't like walking and want to be located more in the area where everything is, beach bungalow #319 looked to be the best option. It was right next to the main beach area (where the theme nights are held on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday nights, so if you are staying here you would probably want to attend all of the theme nights or prepare for some noise), watersports rental office and the pool and restaurant areas.
The resort offers two restaurants: Fare Nui (Breakfast and Gourmet Dinners) and Fare Hana (Lunch and Dinner).
We ate at Fare Hana several times for lunch and dinner and found the food to be fine. The fish and chicken were both very fresh and the portions were pretty big. Service was friendly and relaxed, however you can't be a hurry when eating here (or anywhere else in French Polynesia) as everything moves at a relaxed pace, just accept it and have fun!
We did not eat at Fare Nui as we just munched on ceral for breakfast and then ate lunch, and the dinner menu was mostly all Gourmet French cuisine (Foie Gras, Escargot and Tartare). We both stick with food that is more simple so nothing really appealed to us from here.
Snorkeling equipment is provided free of charge, however, you have to pick up the equipment at the watersports office and return them before 5pm, everyday. Which is somewhat of a hassle if you plan on doing a lot of snorkeling. Also, many of the masks available let in water, so it is sometimes a chore to find one that will work and then its disappointing to have to return it at the end of the day. Brining your own masks, snorkel and fins is probably your best bet.
There is a HUGE area to snorkel around in as the lagoon winds around through the entire resort.
You can also rent a kayak and paddle around the lagoon - the first 2 hours are free and they charge after that.
We spent a lot of time snorkeling since we had tons of fish and coral right near our bungalow.
Sea Turtle Care Center
The InterContinental has an area of the lagoon fenced off from snorkeling devoted to Sea Turtle Care. This is done in partnership with Te Mana o te Moana. The turtles in their care are Green Turtles and Hawksbill Turtles.
The resort and Te Mana o te Moana provide much care for turtles that are injured and tag and release them when they are healed. There are two turtles in their care at the resort that can not be released back due to injuries that make them unable to dive completly under the water. Tortilla is one of the turtles who will not be released and has been at the resort for about 5 years.
Turtle feeding happens around 4pm and is quite interesting to watch. Sit on the outer ledge near bungalows 518 and 519 to see the turtles get dinner (and watch the fish swim around looking for any small pieces that the turtles miss). If you have any questions, Te Mana o te Moana staff is happy to answer them.
We saw a lot of differnt types of fish around the resort. Here is just a partial list of what we saw:
All in all we had a great time!
-Sarah and Alex
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