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Moorea Travel Tips!

Hotel:

We did quite a bit of research and found out some of the best packages were via Costco. From there, it was a debate on where to stay. Given that we seemed to hear more about Bora Bora than Moorea and the majority of the cost was going to be incurred in Bora Bora, we were more focused on finding a good hotel there. Costco multi-island packages tend to lump the resorts together. One of Sam’s requirements for Bora Bora was that we could view Mt. Otemanu. That knocked out some of the resorts and we ended up with a good list. Price being a factor, we ended up choosing the Hilton Package and noted that the OWB in the 100’s section have Mt. Otemanu views. Moorea Hilton was also rated the best resort on the island of Moorea and Hilton Bora Bora is rated 4th. In the end, if it was good enough for the Victoria’s Secret models, it was good enough for us.

We chose the Hilton Moorea Lagoon and Spa resort. After booking and scouring the internet for blogs, I found out that our Visa Signature card was offering free Hilton Gold status. I nabbed that deal and called the two resorts to give them my number to link up with the Costco reservation. It was great because it gave us two free upgrades at Moorea and one upgrade at Bora Bora.

Tips:

  • Request a west facing bungalow (leeward side) since there are strong East-West gusts in French Polynesia. The bungalow blocked the brunt of those winds so we could enjoy and lay out on our deck.
  • Food packages aren’t really needed in Moorea because we were on a motu and with a rental car we had the run of the island. We did opt for the breakfast buffet which was very delicious and wandered out and about for our lunches and dinners. The hotels try to sell you the package to keep you “stuck” in the resort.

Food:

  • Best Poisson Cru on the entire trip from Snack Mahana. The islanders seem to have a weird sense of time. Most eateries that have “Snack” in the name are open fro 11-2:30 or whenever they run out of food. Roulettes are open from 5PM and onwards.
  • We got larger portions and better food from the local run places.
  • Roulette Jules and Claude in Pao Pao was delicious! Best mahi mahi steak with au poivre vert sauce I’ve ever tasted.
  • Rudy’s was a disaster, the owner/managers were rude and foul. The parrotfish that everyone raves about on Tripadvisor tasted like flounder and didn’t knock my socks off.
  • Aloo Pizza offered up delicious food but the service like any of the other European run joints was on the pretentious side.

Transportation:

  • Rental Car through Albert’s Rental Car. It was easy to rent and renting beyond 2 days offered room for negotiation. Service was amazing and prompt and they offer pick up and drop off from your resort. The ladies (Albert’s daughter in laws) that run this place are sweet and charming. They accept CC so Visa was our best friend on this trip.

Money:

  • We got the best exchange rates via our CC and ironically at an ATM in Papeete. The banks didn’t offer such a great rate in Moorea and they seemed to open and close at odd hours of the day. The people really run on Tahitian time…

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