InterContinental Le Moana Resort Bora Bora4.0 out of 5.0
Recent guest reviews
Everyone wanting a tropical and exotic escape on a beautiful island, clear, blue water, peaceful and serene surroundings, without a worry must take a consideration of Bora Bora, French Polynesia (just off of Tahiti). To us it was a 'bucket list' we planned for over 2 years. And it didn't disappoint. A trip like this is not cheap, not close to home (Texas) and not done on a whim. We stayed 7 nights on the island of Bora Bora and didn't visit other islands (unnecessary in our opinion). As a point of reference, we've lived in 7 countries, 7 USA States and visited over 100 countries in the world (business and pleasure). Our perspective covers both the most luxurious to the grungiest of holiday trips. Thus, I hope this helps those considering a trip like this. First - the Good: Bora Bora is exactly like what it looks like in pictures..but better. Its hard to have a multi-dimensional experience in a 2D picture. As a little island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, just getting there is part of the experience. We took a business class flight from Texas to LAX and a Business Class on Air Tahiti Nui from LAX to Tahiti, then a 'puddle jumper' prop plane to the island of Bora Bora (about 45 min) then a boat (each hotel has one) that takes you from the airstrip to the hotel. Tip: Once you get to the first outbound airport, leave all burdens, pains and worries behind. Make the trip part of the experience and have fun. Grab a drink at the airport, buy all the magazines you haven't read in months, wear your most comfortable clothes and don't worry about being stylish. Tip: When on the last flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora, sit on the left slide of the prop plane.This will give you view of the islands as you fly over and to Bora Bora upon landing. Hotel choice: As one would do, we researched Tripadvisor, travel sites, friends, and hotel reviews to select the right place to stay. Tripadvisor has always provided great reviews and truly make a difference in our decisions. This was also the case. We chose the Intercontinental La Moana. Why: - Its still '4' star - the 5 Stars were St. Regis, etc. but for a $1000 or more difference per night I just didn't see (or read) that the difference was worth it. However, we did not stay or visit those hotels, so in fairness we don't have much comparison. - Its connected to the main island. - The other hotels are on the outer island atoll which does give a pretty view of the mountain in the middle of the island, but La Moana does as well. Problem is that if you are on the outer island, you have to take a water taxi to go anywhere off the resort. Each person is about $35 one way...it gets expensive. And you do want / need to get off the resort to visit the Pearl Shops, just explore the mainland or get some dinner location variations other than at the hotel. - Now, as an IHG frequent traveler (as I am for Ritz, Marriott, Starwood), I signed up for the Intercontinental Ambassador program to ensure I received the better elite options for room upgrades, recognized as elite member. The Intercontinental La Moana is the sister hotel to the Intercontinental Thalasso Spa (which is on the atoll). We did visit this property and had reserved it initially. However, we changed our mind based on some of the reviews that there was loud work being done to expand the huts and the fact that it was not connected to the island (see above). The La Moana is a great hotel. Its small and intimate. Approx 60 huts but not full. It felt very personable and private. We literally only saw about 8-10 couples at any one time. Even the beach has 7 umbrellas and chairs and those were not all taken. We loved the ability to get to the pool or beach at anytime without worry of a great place to sit. Meals are all in one restaurant. Its split to have a deck area, a lunch area and a dining area, but its all one kitchen. This was fine with us as we ate there for dinner twice (one was a theme night for the Tahitian dance). The other dinners we had were on the island at the various restaurants. These added a variety of food types, different ambiance and price. Eating is never cheap on an island where everything is brought in (other than coconuts and grapefruits). We enjoyed BloodyMary's. Cool ambiance with sand floors, good variety of meat (ribs, steak, porkchops as well as local fish, shrimp). We also went to 3 other restaurants: Villa Mahana (6 tables...needs reservations. Where we had my wife's b-day dinner) its expensive (wine and meal was close to $350). , Saint James (on water and nice, also just 10 or so tables), and Lucky's. I think that's about all the restaurants on the island...other than hotel restaurants. If you are a foodie, you'll be disappointed overall for any restaurant. We ate seafood everytime...mostly because its absolutely so fresh and you can't get some types of fish anywhere else. The island has a main staple of fresh tuna, chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and coconut milk (not water).mmmmm good. The hotel hut bungalow over water is great. Very comfortable and private with bed area separate from sitting room area, with sizable bathroom that has both an open shower and sunk-in tub (albeit that's a bit small...not for 2). It has a TV but only english station is CNN...we never turned it on. Instead we brought our ipads with plenty of movies and TV shows recorded. The huts also each have their own private multi-level deck. Top deck has table and lounge chairs to sunbathe and read. Lower deck is swim platform (about 2 feet off the top of the water). We loved waking up, jumping in the water and grabbing a cup of coffee to watch the beautiful scenery. Each morning I would walk down to the restaurant and get breakfast and bring it back to the room. (don't order room service, takes too long and no need to eat at the restaurant when you can enjoy privacy and scenery from your own deck). At night its great to have a bottle of wine (or a few drinks from the bar) to have in the rooms refrigerator... The whole area pretty much shuts down by 9pm...which is fine because the place is to relax, sleep, drink and eat, jump in the water...repeat. Tip: There is a little convenience store about 1 block from the hotel where you can buy beer, wine, chips, peanuts, and other basics. Its accepted by the hotel to do this and save you $. Plus the bar hours are based on who's at the bar..if its empty it shuts down, if its got a few couples, then it stays open. Tip: Get instant coffee from the store there too...as hotel coffee is bad,but the rooms have a hot water maker. The rooms have a great over the water glass table where you can remove the top and feed the fish below. While the hotel encourages purchasing fish food, the fish don't care and leftover breakfast bread works just fine. Its fun to get snorkel gear and go under the hut while bread is dropped from above. the fish are beautiful and seems they are used to humans. I was even able to feed them out of my hands and touch them ! Tip: Bring your own snorkel gear. It fits better, hasn't been used by others, and you don't have to walk down to the activity center to check it out each time. Best of all for this hotel was the service. We befriended a number of the staff - just by being nice. Seems French Polynesia gets a lot of international visitors who aren't so nice to the hotel staff. Its a cultural thing, but we believe in being grateful and appreciative of hospitality workers. This paid us back with equal kindness, minor benefits (like free wine and insider tips on things to do, go, eat), and a great feeling of family and community at this hotel. Vahine Paitia and Ricardo (bartender) as well as Josh (bartender) were a treat to have serving us. (Vahine means 'Woman' in Tahitian)... For activities we chose to just lay on the beach most of the time, mozy to the bar deck and snorkel. One day we did rent jetskis with a tour guide. This lasted about 2 hours and was a great way to circle the entire island, crack a coconut, and observe some stingrays. There are lots of other activities, which have a hefty fee, but none are required. If you want to go to the main town 'Vaitape' there are only about 20 stores ...most are pearl stores a few gift shops and some banks...not much there, but its a good way to get out of the hotel and change the scenery for fun. Other items: Budget is always a concern. No matter how you look at it, it will cost about $7-$15K. We used FF miles and got biz class one way for 2 to bora bora. Return trip we had to pay for biz class (approx $5K). I fly over 150K miles a year and to fly overnight (only way to go there/back from LAX) for 8 hours since this is a bucket list trip, I'm splurging for the extra comfort. The hotel is best saving if you reserve a year or more in advance. Most hotels allow you to cancel up to a month before the trip...so even if you are just thinking about it, make the reservation. Cancel later. We went direct to the hotel to reserve vs Orbitz or other. But I'm sure there are other ways to bundle or get a package deal. I tried a few of these 3rd party Tahitian Travel agencies and the cost was about the same $7 - $15K all in for hotel, flight, food, and 'extras' like activities and gifts. Bora Bora is a great place to visit. I would like to have seen Tahiti proper, but given our objective was rest, relaxation, and enjoying each other, this achieved our objective in a once in a lifetime trip. Ironically we met a few people who had come during their honeymoon 10 or 20 years earlier and this was their 'reunion' trip. We did our honeymoon in Santorini, Greece ... but we're glad we did Bora Bora. Hope you enjoy it too.
Best location on the main island! For us would have been a disaster to stay on a motu, where you are literally closed in your resort. IC Bora Bora is just a few steps from the wonderful Matira public beach, a well equipped grocery store and an excellent pizzeria!! Everything is just behind the hotel and Vaitape just a few km away. Staff is very friendly and always helpful. They always try to make your stay wonderful. On the second day they called us on our name, which has never happened in any hotel in the whole world!! (And we travel a lot ;) I recommend this small resort for every honeymooner, because the staff makes your stay special! P.s.: doesn't worth to rent a scooter, because it is expensive and the island is so small, you can do it by bike ;)
We stayed at the Moana in June the hotel is really pretty rooms are beautiful and well arranged, the lagoon is just breathtaking! I hope to have the opportunity to come back with my family we left here with a lot of beautiful memories. We thank the staff a which was very nice during our stay and thanks to Isabel from the bar that we really laughing during our stay.
My wife and I recently spent three nights at this amazing hotel. We both travel a lot, and found this to be one of the best managed, most friendly, and perfectly delightful places in our recent memory. The staff here are friendly, helpful, and courteous. The hotel is immaculate, with a great beach and many free amenities, and being on the island rather than off shore, it is handy to many attractions, including Matira Beach (across the road). Like all of Bora Bora, this hotel is not cheap, but it still offers very good value. Count on a near perfect stay in a very welcoming and competent atmosphere.
The hotel "indicate' its mandatory to take their boat shuttle from the Bora Bora airport to the resort but this isn't true. We took the free boat into the village and a taxi to the hotel. The cost comparison (for all 3 of us) was boat to hotel $270NZ compared to our other mode of transport of $39NZ. HOWEVER, on our arrival we were greeted by friendly people, seated and the check in papers bought to us as well as a welcome virgin cocktail. After a few minutes chat we were given a guided tour of the place and had pointed out what was happening where and how to find the breakfast etc. Beach towels and kayaks also. We were booked for a beach bure and thought we were being given a tour of the over water bungalows when our host opened one and showed us in. They had upgraded us which was a lovely surprise. The bure is lovely but nothing compares to having your own over water place with a ladder and deck and even a glass bottomed coffee table that slides open to feed the fishes. Spotlessly clean, serviced every day, genuinely friendly staff, lovely buffet breakfast, crystal clear water, free water kayaks etc, and helpful guides to tour information. Quite a few people on honeymoons here and they could choose to be left alone in private or join in as much as they wanted. A boat shuttle goes to their sister resort for a days spa treatment, feeding the stingrays or simply have a change of view. A very relaxing holiday and well worth the visit.
When we arrived, we got upgraded to an over the water bungalow. This place grew on us every day more and more. The staff are a delight. We went and spent a day at the Intercontinental Thalasso and while more luxurious that place is less personal. All people on the shuttle back seemed to agree: "We are in the better place" . Le Moana is romantic and there is a feeling of inclusion . It might not have the best breakfast we've ever had, it might not have the most modern facilities but it certainly made us fall in love with it and feel sad to leave. Thank you all at Le Moana for a great stay!
This is a small-medium sized resort. We spent four nights in an over-the-water junior bungalow. I found the staff to be friendly and helpful without exception. The grounds were clean and well-kept. The seafloor around the resort is sandy, so to give visitors some sea life to view, there is a big chunk of live coral placed below each OTW bungalow. The bungalows have nice views with chairs, so there was no problem with people "reserving" the few beach chairs. Other reviewers have complained about dated rooms. I thought our room was pleasantly quaint. The problem I had was sliding doors and louvered windows that were difficult to open and close. Each OTW bungalow has a ladder into the water. Our ladder broke and was replaced the next day. The restaurant: The breakfast buffet is standard fare and I didn't notice it varying. I was fine with it, and felt there were enough choices to keep from getting tired of it. The dinner was also fine. Like almost all of FP, prices are very high. The wind: Yes, this area is very breezy. Except for our last day, it was almost non-stop. At night it whistled through the window slats in our bungalow, which was distracting. It also made the water around the resort very choppy. The wind was probably the one thing we truly disliked about our stay. Television: If you only speak English, CNN is your only choice. I didn't come to FP to watch TV, so no big deal. Internet: The free wifi may not be high-speed, but I found it perfectly usable. If you want to spend all day watching streaming video you might have a problem. Other thoughts: For most of the resort, the water is no more than chest high, so no diving from your bungalow. Even though the seafloor is sandy, there are many sea urchins wandering around. Many have camouflaged themselves by picking up bits of coral and rock, so it is best to wear water shoes when walking in the water.
The friendly greeting with drinks and cold towel were a really nice touch. The room wasn't too bad tho I would suggest spending less for a beach bungalow. Internet was super slow. Happy hour drinks are limited to two.
Coming from Moorea while on honeymoon, we were expecting a lot from this hotel, as we really enjoyed the Intercontinental Moorea. However, it proved to be disappointing. We had booked a "Jr. Suite Horizon Overwater Bungalow" with our travel agency, as it was supposed to be further away from shore and provide better views. On arrival, we were given a bungalow (#76) that was part of a larger unit, with another bungalow very close to ours (#75). We found that strange, as well as the fact that it was so close to shore. The views were mostly ok, but we had that piece of land close by, and also the other bungalow. Still, it was quite silent at the time (the other couple didn't make much noise) and we supposed all horizon bungalows would be like this. On our third night, however, a larger group (apparently) moved to the adjoining bungalow and noise increased. It seems that they started using the space that was closer to us, and not only could we hear them more often, but also their A/C was on all night, and being so loud, it prevented us from falling asleep. So we decided to take a look at the resort map and found out we were actually in a "Poevai Horizon Overwater Suite", which includes 2 adjoining bungalows, where we were placed together with the other group. In older resort maps, this suite was even called "family suite". Go figure... This cannot happen. Especially when you're on honeymoon. We booked a standalone "Jr. Suite Horizon Overwater Bungalow" so we could get enough privacy and views. That doesn't happen when you're placed in what's, in reality, part of a family suite. You're not supposed to hear the A/C from your "neighbors" because you're not supposed to have neighbors at all. You're supposed to be in a standalone bungalow. Additionally, we felt frustrated that we didn't have the chance to report this on check-in, but on a second thought, guests are not supposed to having to know the resort map beforehand in order not to be misled. It's the hotel's obligation to make sure guests receive proper accommodation and that didn't happen. We brought this matter to the hotel, verbally and in writing. That day, we were offered a complimentary non-alcoholic cocktail (don't really want to extend myself on why this wasn't the most appropriate response). Some days after checking out, we received an e-mail from the hotel's general manager, apologizing for what happened (which we appreciate) but offering no real compensation whatsoever. So the bottom line is, if you can (not sure it's possible), make sure you know which bungalow you're getting. It may well deceive you too. Some positive points: hotel grounds are well taken care of, concierge was helpful, beach and swimming pool are nice, good cleanliness, breakfast was ok (could be more varied), changing room is helpful on checkout, complimentary canoes/paddle boards. Some other negative points: - On checkout, we were billed for breakfast (standard and canoe), which was already included in our travel agency's package. First the receptionist didn't believe us when we said it was included, and then asked for the travel agency's documentation (again, as we had already provided necessary information on check in). Worse than that, we were offered no apologies. - Half of the staff is very friendly, but the other half is miserable. This should be looked upon. - The room in our bungalow faced east, and the window blinds let the light through, so if you're like me and require a dark room to sleep, you'll be waking up with sunrise. Comparing to the Intercontinental Moorea, we felt that people were way more friendly there than at Le Moana. They really made sure our stay exceeded expectations. Also, the Moorea resort is bigger and has more to offer. We did prefer the dinning room at Le Moana (though it's a bit more expensive). Breakfast was a lot more diverse in Moorea.
We 100% recommend staying over the water. There is no reason to travel this far and not stay over the water. This hotel is not the best in the area, but far from the worst. The better hotels in the area however are double or triple the price however making Le Moana by far the best deal for the money in Bora Bora. We stayed for 8 nights for our Honeymoon and it was the trip of a lifetime. The rooms were great, everywhere was very clean and in fantastic shape. Staff was all very helpful, always welcoming and I never saw anyone without a smile on their face. The GM, Laurence Levy, welcomed us personally when checking in and saw us off when we left. Its very rare to see service like this and it was very much appreciated. Food was great at the restaurants, however the cocktails were consistently made too strong and you couldn't taste anything but the alcohol. I was there to enjoy my drinks, not to hate what I drink like in highschool. Other than that very minor issue however, the resort was fantastic and I couldn't recommend it enough. Would definitely stay there again if I didn't want to spend the more money for the more expensive Thalasso sister hotel.
Reviews from Trip Advisor
92% of guests recommend this hotelTotal of 1691 reviews