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Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa {PYF}

Old Jan 9, 2014, 6:39 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: JDiver
BP 1005, Papetoai, 98728, French Polynesia
TEL: +689-55-1111
Honors Reward Category 10 - 80,000 points a night
Karine Peyras, General Manager / Directeur General (May 2014)
E-mail contacts:
info <at> hilton-moorea.pf ("vacation planners" - also +689-551-056)
and fo.mgr <at> hilton-moorea.pf (front office manager)
Check-out: 11 AM; check-in: 2:00 PM (late checkouts and early check-ins are unlikely)

Accommodations: (link to PDF of accommodations layout)
  • 29 Panoramic Overwater Bungalows
  • 25 Overwater Bungalows
  • 3 Lagoon Bungalows
  • 26 Deluxe Garden Bungalows with Pool
  • 2 Garden Pool Suites
  • 19 Garden Bungalows with Pool
  • 2 Garden Bungalows
Ownership: Socit des Htels Tahitiens of the Louis Wane Group of Companies, with management provided by South Pacific Management since 2009.
Apparent dissatisfaction of Mr. Wayne with Sheraton ultimately caused the property rebranding. (FT thread)

Looking north and out on the 54 Over Water Bungalows

Information has been updated as of our last stay, December 2012 and updated after as well.

Entry requirements: For citizens of Australia, Canada, EU, UK and USA: return tickets and passports required, passport must have six months validity left beyond last day of stay (practically, 9 months after arrival) and up to 90 day visa is issued on arrival.

Arrival: From the USA, you will usually fly Air Tahiti Nui (A340-300, codeshares with AA, AF, NZ and QF), Air France flight (both from CDG via LAX) or the Saturday only flight from HNL on Hawaiian. (Note that the latter may arrive to late to make your Paul Gauguin trip, if booked, but is fine for most Gauguin disembarkations.)

Airport: You will arrive at PPT / Faa'a Inernational Airport south of Papeete, as all longhaul flights to the islands arrive here (since 1961, when PPT / Faa'a airport replaced BOB / Bora Bora as POE). PPT offers:
ATMs / cash machines are available at the entrance to the airport and near the TN counter. Banque de Polynsie charges less than half of what Banque Socredo charges for ATM withdrawals; these may be empty of cash Fri - Tues, so in this case it may make sense to purchase XPF / CFP before arrival, given US Dollars and Euros may be accepted (Euros are better and are fixed XFP 119.332 = EUR / 1.00), but USD especially are often subject to significant differences between bank rate and local exchange rates. Banks offer better exchange rates than hotels and shops.

Car rental: Avis, Hertz and Europcar have a reservations counter, and a taxi stand and taxi phone are available.

Credit cards: VISA and Maestro / MasterCard are preferred, AMEX next and Diners rarely - unless it is the MasterCard Diners, of course. In larger establishments your charge may be in Euros, but most likely in XPF / CFP.

Duty-free shops and a waiting lounge with bar and snacks in the in-transit zone, after you have passed through Immigration.

Left luggage / baggage storage at PPT is open two hours before each international flight and at varying times during the day.

Lounge: The Salon Manuhiri lounge is airside on the second floor for those departing in Poerava First or Business, also available with your Diners Card, Airport Angel and Priority Pass (as of 1/1/13) ; open ~150 minutes prior to and 60 minutes after departures (not including Hawaiian or LAN) even though TN ticket agents will tell you Diners and Priority Pass are ineligible. Non-smoking, children 2 or under admitted free; guests extra. Various amenities including disabled access, air conditioning, Internet access, Wi-Fi, newspapers, television, snacks, buffet (minor), soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. There is no arrival facility. LAX departing pax are issued invitations to a shared (Korean Air) lounge if departing in Poerava Business - also AA, DC and PP lounge.

Other services include a boutique, newsstand, and flower and shell necklace stand.

Snack bar is located on the ground floor, another snack bar/restaurant is on the second floor.

Ticket counters open approximately 3 hours prior to departure.

VAT Tax (6%) refund kiosk just airside from security opens 2 hours prior to an international flight's departure - you must present your VAT refund forms and the items you purchased, plus a stamped preaddressed envelope for one of the copies to be sent to the merchant (who will give you the forms in triplicate and the envelope) for your eligible purchases (not services).
N.B. If you must overnight in PPT for any reason (late arriving or early departing flights,) the Tahiti Country Club in Punaauia is Faaa / airport-close, not outrageously expensive, small, higher up a hill (cooler) with a pool. N.B. Tahiti Country Club seems closed now, and many have good things to say about the humble but friendly Fare Suisse (we used the InterContinental this time, and it isn't cheap, so try to get a prepaid rate with breakfast to save). (The PPT-close Sheraton Tahiti was rebranded to Hilton and then shut down; it is not predicted to reopen at any time soon.)

Aspects: Moorea is 12 miles / 20 km from Tahiti, and is 60 km / 36 mi around, shaped like a heart with the apex south; the Hilton is on the "middle finger" between picturesque Cook's and Opunohu Bays, with views of Mt. Mouaputa, a sharp volcano with a hole in it, according to ancient Polynesian legend made when the god Pai chucked a spear through the mountain to secure if from thieves.

Distances are listed in km on PK (post kilometre) kilometer posts, but km zero is at the airport, and the km numeration goes south and west - they join together at Le Petit Village in Haapiti district on the west coast, km 35 via the Cook's and Opunohu bays / northern route, km 24 via the east and south coasts. Starting at the airport at Temae, the air strip is 3 mi / 5 km from the ferry terminal at Vaiare (south, and marked "PK" kilometers on white signs shaped like the island). 1 mi = 1.61 km.

Moorea island map

Getting there: Air Tahiti from PPT and connecting to other airports usually is ten minutes in a small aircraft and expensive with 20 kg / 44 lb baggage limits (slightly more for higher fares) to the remote airport at Temae / MOZ. 2012 fares for one adult: 51.60 EUR single, 78.60 EUR return. (IMO, not worth it unless you have an Air Tahiti pass deal.)

Aremiti ferry from Papeete, Tahiti is 1/2 hour on the Aremiti V comfortable enclosed high speed catamaran ferry, XPF 1,500 per adult / XPF 950 child 2 - 17, one way, twice that round trip (30 minutes - 1 hr on the older, slower ferries). You can buy your ticket at the counter at the huge ferry depot in Papeete, or often from the activities or concierge desk at the overnight hotel near Papeete.

Getting around: A taxi is often waiting for arriving flights at Vaitape / MOZ, but sometimes not. From Vaiare (ferry), a taxi will cost about 3,000 XPF; an arranged van from the hotel about 2,000 XPF; Albert (see below), 1,200 XPF per person; "Le Truck", previously a semi-open truck with bench seats but now "upgraded" to a bus, goes between Vaiare past the Hilton, Le Petit Village (n.w. corner) in a northerly and westward direction and is timed to meet the ferries, more or less, rather than tied to a specific schedule. Not brilliant with baggage and less than excellent patience, but the cheapest, XPF /cfp 300 per person for any ride of any length (~USD $3.31 Dec 2012).

Car rentals: Avis and Europcar (usually ~5% cheaper than Avis, also rents "Bugsters",) have rental locations at the ferry quay at Vaiare, and some have rented in Tahiti and brought their cars on the Aremiti ferries. Albert's also rents cars, buggies, scooters and offers a lot of tours, at lower rates - Albert tours is located across the road from Club Bali Hai on Cook's Bay, but like Enterprise in the USA, they will deliver your car to the hotel or elsewhere.

Taxis from the hotel: I have used Johnny / John Teamo (call 77-57-56 cellular) recently and he has a very nice new small SUV wagon, speaks English well and is a native Moorean so very knowledgeable.

Link to Moorea map. You can't rent a car and get lost - the only significant road goes all 'round the island! Also be aware - weekends half of Tahiti travels to Moorea - it gets crowded and there is higher demand for services, and twice as much for all during the French holiday season (July and August.) Also be aware of the weather patterns - one can get truly gobsmacked by torrential rains at times December - April, (though most days will see rains afternoons or nights, it will be humid and warm, albeit less crowded.)

Stocking up en route: There are also shopping areas near Vaiare, where the ferry arrives - Magasin Chez Meno (small market) is immediately south there, as are others at Paopao, as well as in Maharepa (Maharepa is the best place to stock up en route to your hotel if you can get your driver to stop at the "supermarch" in town - bank with working ATM across the street, a clinic and laboratory, post office - look for the "OPT" sign with a stylized fish).

Property History: Originally, the Hotel Moorea Lagoon stood here, owned by a Chinese family (we stayed here before it was razed). It was sold and demolished (only three coconut palms near the pool exist from the original property) to make way for the Sheraton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, built by Tahitian cultured pearl farmer turned entrepreneur Louis Wane and open October, 2002. In 2002, the operators proposed to add 31 more overwater bungalows, which brought an overwhelming negative response from many Moorea residents. Hilton took over the management of this hotel, as well as Bora Bora and the soon-closed Papeete property in 2010. The beach is not natural; the sand, of a different color from the lagoon floor, was dredged and brought in.

Award stays generally book into the lowest level of accommodation offered here, Garden Bungalow (62m/667 sq ft bungalow with upgrade to King Lagoon Bungalow (one just over the water, two at the water's edge, 62m/667 sq ft) or possibly a Deluxe Garden Bungalow with private terrace, plunge pool situated in the garden, high wood fence surrounding and providing privacy (88m/963sq.ft, located near the beach and pool). The latter have private (unheated, can be chilly,) plunge pools and private terrace, 37" flats screen TV, WiFi. Deluxes include marble bathrooms with rain shower and claw-footed tub, iPod station, as do OWBs.

Upgrades can sometimes be paid for with points, sometimes to Lagoon Bungalows (there are three available, they are actually beachside with a deck over the shallows and do not have pools), more recently to other categories. Further upgrades can be arranged directly with the property, nonrefundable and paid for with money, usually by filling out a credit card authorisation form returned to the property. The property will likely e-mail you with a confirmation a week or so after you book, with a variety of offers including upgrades to a variety of accommodations and offering various services, dinners, canoe-delivered breakfasts, etc. Gold and Diamond will get courtesy two bottles of water, WiFi, a generous and nice Continental breakfast in the Are Vahini restaurant, 1,000 points and a complimentary (one level) upgrade if available. (One can upgrade to a hot breakfast with the crepe chef cooking omelets, French toast / pain perdu, etc. for USD $10 per person - IMO not necessary unless you are truly a prodigious breakfast eater.)

Cancellations less than 14 days out may result in a full charge of one day at BAR; early departure will result in forfeiture of all points and deposits / payments / no refunds.

In our situation for December 2012, we were offered upgrades to as high as Garden Pool Suites (there are only two positively hangar-like 159 m/1,712 sq ft units) or Panoramic Overwater Bungalows, the highest accommodations offered, for the equivalent at the time (11/12) of ~$182.50 a night, when the AARP / Senior rate was $934.50 daily with 14% tax ($986.88 BAR), charged out in Euros. In my opinion, in the rainy season, the GPS might be preferable to the POB, but it's strictly a matter of personal preference. (I've endured very windy, rainy weather during the rainy season, and felt the relatively short walk to the restaurant, etc. was far preferable to the windy, wet and long walk down the piers and being subject to buffeting by winds and the noise of waves). We took the POWB and got #109 ^.

OWBs (Overwater Bungalows and Panoramic Overwater Bungalows) are generally smaller at 62 m/667 sq ft than the garden bungalows at 75m/800 sq ft and 88m / 963 sq ft, have a glass floor insert so you can see the fishes below. There are 106 rooms including 56 overwater bungalows, 2 restaurants, 2 bars and a small spa.

Be aware, at only 20 km / 12 miles from Papeete, many Tahiti residents come spend the weekend on Moorea, kind of a "weekend in the country", meaning it's more crowded on the average weekend (and more drunk drivers), and it may me more difficult to secure an upgrade on a weekend as well (because the more desirable accommodations are paid for (or maybe assigned because of relationships) by relatively well-off Tahitians and French expats).

Resort bungalows layout
Full page PDF from here.

Electricity: French Polynesia is an overseas French dependency, so the usual "type E" two prong plug with 230 VAC / 50 Hz is normal here. Iirc the Hilton offers some 110 VAC outlets in-room. The 50 Hz may interfere with electric clocks and devices with motors from the 60 Hz USA, and power is "dirtied" here, subject to occasional brownouts and blackouts (usually storm-driven). See www.kropla.com for electric, adapter, plugs, cell phone, etc. information. WiFi is decent, if not spectacular, even in #109.

Special offers: This property provides a variety of special offers, such as special menus with private dining, activities, canoe breakfasts, wedding package, etc. If you prepay they are nonrefundable. Here are links to PDFs (good for 2012 - they might change for 2013) you can download:
  • Link to property map
  • Link to SPA Services Menu
  • Link to Activities Menu
  • Link to Canoe Breakfast (delivered to your OWB)
  • Link to Romantic Barbecue Dinner Menu
  • Link to Romantic Dinner Menu
  • Link to Royal Romantic Dinner Menu
  • Link to Vegetarian Romantic Dinner Menu
  • Link to Vegetarian Royal Romantic Dinner Menu
  • Link to Wedding Ceremonies and Services List
  • Link to Credit Card Authorization Form to Book and Prepay
We booked a Romantic Dinner and enjoyed it on the veranda of our OWB #109 - it normally costs XPF / cfp 5,000 additionally to do this, but with threatening weather it's not charged; they will come to the bungalow an hour in advance, set up table cloth, chair covers, extensive floral decoration, etc. and cater the entire dinner for you. Lady JDiver realllly loved it... in remembrance of our Dec 1965 engagement.

Eating: Dining is expensive here, and decent, though some feel not enough for the money - but one can get very decent and filling crepes at the Toatea Crepes & Bar halfway out the OWB pier - 2 for 1 cocktails between 5pm and 7pm, iirc, great for sunset watching in dry season. In the beach restaurant, Caf Rotui, (open for lunch and closing at 4:00 PM), there are specials every day and I love their poisson cru (reasonably priced for the location) (poisson cru, French for "raw fish", is the local version of ceviche, raw fish marinated with lime and coconut milk). Be aware, as mentioned elsewhere, those staying for Christmas and New Year's are required to buy the festive (and truly amazing) buffet dinner with fire-eating and dance cultural show.

In nearby Paopao, a traditional haunt for light meals and snacks is Snack Rotui, with decent baguette sandwiches and even Chinese snacks. At the Club Bali Hai you can try L'Ananas Bleu (Blue Pineapple) for nice views while you eat poisson cru (basically Tahitian ceviche) with an ice cold Hinano or Hinano Ambre (amber) beer. Rudy's in Maharepa is famously good, will pick you up and drop you back at the hotel - and makes you think you are in the US southwest! Sud is nice. Lilikoi Caf is walking close to the hotel and good, and others have mentioned Chez Didier in Maharepa (will pick up, and is also open for lunch - a bonus on Moorea) the brand new Moorea Beach Caf. Le Mayflower also has an excellent reputation. Many of the upscale ones will be closed during low season.

I believe there is a roulotte wagon as well, Joules et Claudine, at Paopao (a half hour walk along the bay, pleasant couple of km walk but it can be hot and there is not much consideration for pedestrians), and another near Le Petit Village; XPF cash, no USD or credit cards, AFAIK. There are ATMs at Le Petit Village and Vaiare near the ferry terminal. (The roulottes are much better at the quay in Papeete.) We have eaten pizza at the Allo Pizza near the cop shop (gendarmerie) on Cook's Bay - Tel 56 18 22 and they used to deliver, but the word is they are now forbidden to deliver to the Hilton. Delicious pizzas, great views even if on the road, and you should not miss the chocolate mousse! Not far is Te Honu Iti, also very nice.

The outdated listing (e.g. Sheraton!) still has some working links and information here.

Diving can be arranged with TOPDive / Bathys (I believe they merged recently), a decent dive company with locations throughout French Polynesia (the alternatives are the very good Scubapiti, operating out of the Les Tipaniers west of here, centre de plonge Moorea Blue Diving out of Maharepa's Moorea Pearl resort and Spa - presumably the shark diving specialists - and others I do not know about so can not vouch for them - only Scubapiti do not participate in shark chumming antics). (Water temps were 80-82F and are cooler in the dry season.)

Snorkelling: Snorkelling in Cook's or Opunohu bays is not recommended during Nov-Apr wet season - the rains bring silt and the visibility is nil. The reef between the hotel and the fringing barrier is shallow and has better visibility, but can get choppy in high winds and does have live and dead coral, sea urchins, etc. There can be currents with the incoming / outgoing tides. "Reef walkers" are highly recommended, and can be had cheaply at Amazon.com or other locations, with soles to protect your feet and netting so they dry quickly over your foot top. Note: shuffling rather than step-walking on sand will chase the occasional sting-ray - you do not want to step on one of these, or the many Diadema sea urchins in the lagoon - these latter stay close to the rock bommies daytime, but come out for a wander at night. Though the hotel offers some gear, it's used and possibly not ideal for you. If you really love snorkelling, you might consider bringing your own your mask, snorkel and snorkel vest and use their fins. Be aware of the sun - you can get burned here quickly, so ideally a rash guard / dive skin is good, or at least waterproof sunscreen.

Synanceja stonefish - not cute or your friend

Also note Opunohu means "Belly of the Stonefish", so here you have a fantastic reminder not to step on coral or "live" rock - a potentially lethal encounter with a stonefish. Sea snakes are rare but very venomous, as are some of the prettiest cone (shaped like a cone) shells, some jellies and of course sea urchin spines - be aware and do not handle or step on them, and any fish with long flowing spines as well as those well-camouflaged that look like grotty stones (yep, that's why they are called "stonefish") with eyes are to be avoided. Enjoy, don't touch and don't step on live coral.

Shopping: Generally and summed up in one word, expensive! The big deal here are black pearls (poerava) - be aware, pearls will vary in quality depending on size, roundness, color and tint, and thickness (only x-rays will tell) of the nacre covering - and cheap Chinese freshwater pearls might be sold for high prices by the unscrupulous, so find a good, reputable and registered seller. Black pearls are evaluated by size, nacre thickness, luster, shape, orient, color and surface perfection. Figure on $500 for a genuinely top quality aubergine (eggplant) pearl and a graduated pearl necklace of top quality $5,000 or more; baroques and half-pearls are much less expensive.

See here , here and here for some basic information on evaluating black pearls. (Regardless of what anyone tells you, there are no actual pearl oyster farms on Moorea - some adults may be immersed in a pond for display purposes, but the Tuamotus are the usual source of most "Tahitian" black pearls due to the purity of water and lack of silt year around.) If it's Akoya, South Seas, freshwater - it's NOT certified Tahitian poerava! N.B. In Dec 2012, I did notice good pearls are about half the price they were ~8 years go, due to an expansion of the industry meeting the decrease of tourism - but the best gem grade aubergine-colored evenly matched large pearl necklace I saw was still a hefty USD $55,000!

Pareos - the colorful cloth pieces used by many Tahitians and tourists as coverings and can be tied many ways into various kinds of dress - most are made in Indonesia. Shell goods - some lovely carved pearl oyster shells from the Tuamotus may be found, but I recommend against despoiling the oceans for other kinds of seashells, mostly imported from the Philippines. Handcrafted wood and coconut fiber crafts are a good buy, as may be some handcrafted jewelry. Monoi (coconut oil infused with natural floral fragrances) is a good buy, and some natural, purely vegetal coconut soaps are also. Vanilla may be, but I suspect you can source vanilla back in the US without the hassle of taking it - and vanilla beans would likely be confiscated by Agricultural authorities in your country. Beware many "crafts" and textiles are imported from Indonesia and the Philippines; French Polynesian crafts are out there and lovely, just look for them. Tahitian quilts, or tifaifai ("tea-fye-fye) are lovely handmade items.

But you can go into Paopao, the nearby town to the crafts market and iirc there was also a roulotte (Tahitian version of a "roach coach") that was very popular with the locals at lunchtime, or to CREATIV at the beat up old shopping centre (Le Petit Village) near the old Club Med / Hotel Les Tipaniers, etc. and get some respite on the prices. Better yet, with some spare time in Papeete go to le march / the market second floor - you will see some nice Polynesian and Marquesan crafts there.

Annoyances: Do not leave items in cars or on the beach unattended - and secure your rooms (use the capacious safe at the Hilton), as theft is becoming increasingly common. Drunk and poor drivers with not much consideration from some toward pedestrians and cyclists, especially weekends. Mosquitoes are present and ubiquitous day biters, particularly during the wet season; especially day-biting Aedes mosquitoes that transmit dengue fever: a serious 2001 dengue fever epidemic and in 2006 one less so. Little "nono" biting flies appear on some beaches about 4 PM, and any oily lotion will bog 'em down. Ciguatera fish poisoning has been too common, so eat fish from reputable sources (check out self-caught with locals before eating!) - disruptions to reef ecology are causative factors.

If a shop / vendor offers to wrap and box your item, have it done before your eyes. We purchased a lovely extensively carved pearl shell in Bora Bora once - only to arrive home, unwrap the "protected" package and find they had substituted a plain, polished shell worth much less! Be aware of what is hopefully a few unscrupulous sellers fleecing those who are not likely to return for some time. And beware of US Dollar prices - you may find yourself stung by the convenience and exchange rates they are goring you with (or not, depending on where you are shopping).

Those concerned about normal human body nudity should be aware that French Polynesia is welcoming to women going topless on the beaches etc. All in all, Moorea is pretty safe - but neither getting hit by a drunk whilst cycling or hiking nor getting dengue are any fun (permethrin on clothing and mosquito repellent are useful, especially in the rainy season).

Major attractions: The Church of St. Joseph (1848, colorful and scenic,) Paopao Market (Le March de Paopao, local crafts), Marae Titiroa (ancient sacred worship and archery sites) sites, Mt. Rotui and the Belvedere Lookout, Opunohu Bay and old Kellum Homestead, Tiki Theatre Village (Tahitian culture and art, with dance performances, fire shows and canoe rides on the lagoon with picnic on a motu (island); traditional ahima'a (a meal cooked in an underground oven) is offered on Friday and Saturday nights,) Tahitian Tamaara'a Show, Glass-bottom Boat Tours, shark feeding, surfing, diving (including diving with blacktip, whitetip reef, lemon and sometimes other sharks), water sports, walking & climbing. (The Hilton has free shows culture Wednesday and Saturday - Wednesday they offer a full-on barbecue feast prior to the show, and those buying it get the best seats for the Polynesian tamure and fire dancing spectacle.

Instead of the expensive and frankly exploitive dolphin "experiences" at the Intercontinental's "Dolphin Quest", I strongly recommend Dr. Michael Poole's tours to observe and learn about spinner dolphins (and other critters you will encounter - and May - October that often means humpback whales!) He moved to PF to study cetaceans in 1987 and has been there ever since. About USD $80, Mondays or Thursdays, be sure your hotel or operator books you with Dr. Poole and not some of the many substitutes (but note, he can appear abrasive to some, and he is not in favor of snorkeling with whales just so people can say they did it). (I have to admit bias about the dolphins - I never recommend captive dolphin interactions, and most dolphins are taken from the Solomon Islands and basically, as intelligent and gregarious animals, imprisoned for life and exploited for obscene prices - twice in two weeks before our most recent visit to Moorea, tourists were attacked by captive dolphins in Isla Mujeres and Cayman Is.)

Other links: some shopping and restaurants here.

Weather : be aware, if you want to warm up in winter, you might also get quite soggy! It might rain afternoons anytime during the year, but in the wet season (Nov - Apr) you might get days of high winds and cloud-busters (as we did twice nea New Year's, the peak of rainy season). July- August can be windy in the dry season. Diving is affected here during the wet season - visibility is reduced (and very poor in Opunohu and Cook's Bays) due to silt being washed into the bays. Rainy season is high mosquito season on Moorea, as stated previously.

Basic vocabulary:
 aita = EYE-tah) = no
 e (AY or EH) = yes
 fare (FAH-ray) = house; fare moni (FAH-ray money) is, of course, the bank ;)
 ia orana (EE-ah oh-RAHN-ah) = hello
 iti (EAT-ee) = small
 maeva (muh-AY-vuh) = welcome
 Ma'ohi (mah-oh-hee) = Polynesian
 manuia! (mah-noo-EEH-uh!) = cheers!
 mauru'uru (mow-ROO-roo = thank you (mauru'uru roa = thank you very much)
 motu (MOH-too) = island
 nana (NAHN-ah)  goodbye
 nono = tiny biting no-see-ums
 nui (NOO-ee) = big, large
 pia (PEE-ah) = beer (the usual is Hinano, hee-NAH-know)
 tamarii (tah-mah-REE-ee) = child
 tane (TAH-nay) = man / men (men's WC may have anything from "tane" to a tiki style with , er, a large organ indicating male gender)
 tiare (tee-AH-ray) = flower (the white gardenia used in perfume is tiare Tahiti or tiare maohi)
 vahine (vuh-HEE-nay) = woman / women ("vahine" or various depictions of women may indicate a women's WC)
 Maitai oe? (my-tai OH-ay) = How are you?   Maita'i roa (my-tai ROH-ah) = I am fine  
 Good vocabulary source here
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Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa {PYF}

Old Feb 12, 2004, 2:50 pm
Moderator, Hilton Honors
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: on a short leash
Programs: some
Posts: 71,419
Arrow Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa {PYF}

Posts older than 2016 for this OPEN THREAD can be found in the

ARCHIVE THREAD for Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa

Links to moved posts should still work.

Kiwi Flyer
Hilton HHonors forum moderator

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Dec 25, 2017 at 3:39 pm
Kiwi Flyer is offline  
Old Jan 1, 2016, 10:03 pm
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 112
Lightbulb Business class

Originally Posted by kamchatsky
Thank you so much for the photos! It brings back great memories of my 2 stays there in 2009. It is still my favourite place and hotel on earth after all these years!

How do you find TN Business Class? Is it good? I have never tried it yet (I've only used NZ J to get to Tahiti in the past).

I was very happy with the TN Business Class. I booked the seats using AAdvantage miles - not cash. The aircraft has angle-flat seats on which I can sleep really well. This is a significant advantage on overnight flights compared to the poorly padded economy class seats.

The Business class in-flight service (meals, wine) were fine, but not not up to the same standard as Air New Zealand. Spring for business class if you want a good sleep - not if you are looking for a world-class business class experience like Air New Zealand or Singapore.

See the first four pictures of this gallery for our business class seats and food:

See this thread about the new vs. old seat configurations on TN:
mercruiser is offline  
Old Jan 8, 2016, 2:28 pm
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 45
I have a few questions about this resort:

-Does anyone here have experience with visiting in early December? Is it full days of rain or quick rain storms?

-Also, the discussion at the opening suggest avoiding snorkeling during December in the bays to the east and west of the resort, is the snorkeling around the bungalows and resort decent during December?

-Prices for the restaurants at the resort in USD? Reviewed 20 pages and didn't see this.

Thanks in advance

Last edited by widemmj; Jan 14, 2016 at 12:29 pm
widemmj is offline  
Old Jan 19, 2016, 2:38 pm
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 68
Looks like something is definitely going on with the reward space for this property. A couple weeks ago there were plenty of dates available throughout the year at 70k points.

Now, only two days available at 70,000 points for the entire rest of the year. Beyond Jan 1, 2017, nearly all dates are available for 70k.

Not sure why all the dates in 2016 are blacked out.
toade is offline  
Old Jan 19, 2016, 6:55 pm
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Japan
Posts: 5,577
Originally Posted by toade
Looks like something is definitely going on with the reward space for this property. A couple weeks ago there were plenty of dates available throughout the year at 70k points.

Now, only two days available at 70,000 points for the entire rest of the year. Beyond Jan 1, 2017, nearly all dates are available for 70k.

Not sure why all the dates in 2016 are blacked out.

I see the same problem, nothing available at the "low" rate for 2015. Booked
my three weeks this year at the IC instead.
Exleftseat is offline  
Old Jan 22, 2016, 3:37 pm
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: UK
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 671
We are staying in April and I'm trying to decide whether to rent a car for the week from Avis or just a few days. We definitely want the flexibility to go out and stock up on groceries to avoid very high prices on resort and explore for at least 1 or 2 days.

Would Avis drop off/collect from the resort or do they only allow the ferry terminal and airport as options as per the website? Are we crazy to rent a car?! Thanks in advance for any advice ^
DocS is offline  
Old Jan 22, 2016, 4:12 pm
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Originally Posted by DocS
We are staying in April and I'm trying to decide whether to rent a car for the week from Avis or just a few days. We definitely want the flexibility to go out and stock up on groceries to avoid very high prices on resort and explore for at least 1 or 2 days.

Would Avis drop off/collect from the resort or do they only allow the ferry terminal and airport as options as per the website? Are we crazy to rent a car?! Thanks in advance for any advice ^
It has been some time since we were there. When we were, the best car rental rate we could find was over $100. We rented a car twice, picking it up midday and returning it midday. That let us go out for lunch both days, a bit late one day, a bit early the next. My memory is that the agency either brought the car to us or sent a car to pick my husband up and bring him to them. There was an rental agency in a hotel much closer than the airport.
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old Jan 22, 2016, 5:22 pm
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Japan
Posts: 5,577
Originally Posted by DocS
We are staying in April and I'm trying to decide whether to rent a car for the week from Avis or just a few days. We definitely want the flexibility to go out and stock up on groceries to avoid very high prices on resort and explore for at least 1 or 2 days.

Would Avis drop off/collect from the resort or do they only allow the ferry terminal and airport as options as per the website? Are we crazy to rent a car?! Thanks in advance for any advice ^
Avis is right across the street at the Moorea Ferry Terminal. They do drop off/collect at the Hilton. In my opinion it's not a bad idea at all to rent a
car for exactly the reasons you mention. Plus you need to circle the island at least once during your stay and stop at some outlooks along the way. I have a tentative reservation with them for 12 days for a total of around $ 500.00. Not cheap but I find it necessary to be mobile whenever i feel like it.
Exleftseat is offline  
Old Jan 22, 2016, 8:52 pm
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: SE Asia
Posts: 1,274
do they rent scooters, see no reason to rent a car?
kmcbrid2 is offline  
Old Jan 22, 2016, 9:22 pm
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Japan
Posts: 5,577
Originally Posted by kmcbrid2
do they rent scooters, see no reason to rent a car?
I would argue that renting a car in Moorea is way safer than renting a scooter. Seen ( and heard about of ) too many accidents with scooters.
Exleftseat is offline  
Old Jan 26, 2016, 3:08 pm
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 501
Rental Car

$500 for 12 days is dirt cheap. We have paid about $80-$100 for a day. You really only need a car for one day. If you want to go to the Lagoonararium then add a second day. You can see all that there is to see in about 4-6 hours and that includes stops at many, many shops. The one day lets you see everything, lets you shop, and if you keep the car overnight you can eat at a restaurant that does not provide free transport from the Hilton.
flightmedic is offline  
Old Feb 2, 2016, 1:31 pm
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: Jose Cuervo Gold, Bud Light Platinum, Schwab 401K, VW Bug 2MM
Posts: 1,095
Originally Posted by toade
Looks like something is definitely going on with the reward space for this property. A couple weeks ago there were plenty of dates available throughout the year at 70k points.

Now, only two days available at 70,000 points for the entire rest of the year. Beyond Jan 1, 2017, nearly all dates are available for 70k.

Not sure why all the dates in 2016 are blacked out.
noticed this too. has this happened before?
exmike is offline  
Old Feb 29, 2016, 10:03 am
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: ATL
Posts: 126
Originally Posted by exmike
noticed this too. has this happened before?
I'm not seeing anything in 2016 or 2017. Anybody have any luck finding anything?
TravelingFitzMe is offline  
Old Feb 29, 2016, 11:00 am
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Japan
Posts: 5,577
Originally Posted by TravelingFitzMe
I'm not seeing anything in 2016 or 2017. Anybody have any luck finding anything?
same here, looking daily.
Exleftseat is offline  
Old Mar 8, 2016, 7:16 pm
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: SE Asia
Posts: 1,274
Does the hotel have a lounge for Dia with free drinks?

It appears there is only one garden bungalow? So as Dia min upgrade, depending on availability, is garden pool?

Last edited by kmcbrid2; Mar 8, 2016 at 7:23 pm
kmcbrid2 is offline  

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