The Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is part of the Hilton hotel group and one of the well-known tropical 5-star luxury island resorts in French Polynesia. It is one of only two resorts Hilton owns in French Polynesia. We stayed two days at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa during our French Polynesia visit. This review takes a closer look at the resort’s highlights and reflects our personal experiences at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa.
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Moorea is one of 118 islands in French Polynesia. The small island is located about 20 kilometers northwest of Tahiti. The luxurious 5-star Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is situated in a private lagoon in the North of Moorea nestled between Moorea’s two iconic bays – Cook’s Bay and Opunohu Bay. The island of Moorea offers crystal clear, azure lagoons as well as lush tropical landscapes paired with volcanic peaks. It´s a true paradise!
The Transfer & Check-in
When visiting French Polynesia, you will first arrive at the International Airport located in Papeete, Tahiti. To get from Tahiti to Moorea, you have two options: you can either take a short flight or one of the local ferries. We opted for the ferry at 8:10 am. The ferry dock is about 20 minutes away from the International Airport of Tahiti and easy to reach by car or taxi. The ferry ride to Moorea takes about 30 minutes and is considerably cheaper (about $22 for a return ticket) than the 10-minute flight.
It’s important to know that ferries and flights between Tahiti and Moorea don’t run after 5:30 PM. So, if your international flight arrives after this time, make sure to book one night at a hotel in Tahiti.
To get to the Hilton resort, we booked a shuttle service. Hotels on Moorea aren’t allowed to offer shuttle services to preserve the local economy but the Hilton organized the shuttle for us with a local tour operator. The costs were about $32 one-way for two persons in a shared shuttle and it took about 30 minutes. The small shuttle bus usually stops at different hotels along the way but we were lucky to be the only guests, so we practically had a private transfer and went straight to the resort.
All in all, the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa offers a great location and is easy to reach.
Arriving at the resort, we went through the usual check-in procedure. We received a refreshing towel and some iced tea when being welcomed. After the refreshments, we left our luggage at the reception area and headed to the hotel beach because our room wasn´t ready yet as we arrived very early. The room was ready at around 2 pm and our luggage was brought to the room.
The Property & Amenities
The Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa offers around 100 bungalows and features 3 restaurants and 1 bar. The resort has a relatively moderate size and provides all the amenities you expect from a luxury beach resort.
The reception area and all the resort buildings are designed in a contemporary Polynesian style. The spacious open-style lobby includes an ample seating area with multiple sofas, a concierge desk and a separate tour desk.
The Hilton resort features a central lagoon-style pool facing the beach area with sunbeds and umbrellas, and the lagoon’s over-water bungalows. Besides, the hotel offers a spacious gym including yoga classes, a spa area and a boutique shop where you can buy typical Tahitian pearl jewelry.
If you arrive by car, you will find plenty of free parking spaces at the resort. There is also a helipad available.
Moreover, the hotel’s location in the lagoon makes it a perfect snorkeling spot to see hard and soft coral and beautiful marine life.
Unfortunately, the resort underwent a partial renovation at some of the water villas and the Rotui Bar & Grill when we stayed there. So, we weren’t able to have lunch at the Grill and were faced with some renovation noise. However, we got a $50 credit to spend in the resort for the experienced inconvenience.
The Hilton Moorea features 104 bungalows divided into three categories: garden bungalows nestled in lush exotic gardens, lagoon bungalows and over-water bungalows inside the lagoon. Within these three categories, the resort offers 10 different bungalow types.
We booked a King Garden Bungalow with a private pool and got a free upgrade to a King Deluxe Garden Bungalow with a private pool because of our Hilton Honors Gold Status. We also got offered to further upgrade to an over-water bungalow for a fee of around $200 per night.
In the room, we got welcomed with a personalized message on the TV, a bottle of French sparkling wine and some chocolates. The Polynesian style bungalow was really spacious and measured about 89 square meters. It also offered a private plunge pool with two sunbeds and a private terrace. Thanks to being in the front row (room #47), we had a beautiful view over the lagoon from the terrace’s seating area.
The bungalow was equipped with a comfortable king bed, wood laminate flooring, a sofa, a small dressing area, air conditioning, and free WiFi. The elegant marble bathroom featured two sinks, a rain shower and a separate free-standing bathtub. All in all, I really loved the modern yet authentic design and the pleasant features of our King Deluxe Garden Bungalow.
The Restaurants & Bars
The resort has 3 different restaurants that provide Polynesian and French cuisine and also offers in-room dining.
At the lagoon-side Arii Vahine restaurant, you can enjoy buffet-style breakfast and evening dining with fantastic panoramic views as well as theme dinners twice per week.
For lunch and daytime cocktails at a casual waterfront location, you can head to Rotui Bar & Grill. Unfortunately, Rotui was closed due to renovation when we were there.
Ultimately, the over-water Toatea Bar & Creperie serves French Crepes and Galettes for dinner in-between the over-water bungalows.
We decided to have dinner in the privacy of our villa at the outside deck and ordered room service using our $50 voucher. We went for the soup of the day with bread rolls and the fish of the day with fries. The soup was fabulous, the fries were okay, but the fish was very dry. That was rather disappointing, and we finished just half of it. As this meal’s cost equaled our credit, it was bearable for us, but the fish wouldn’t have been worth the money if we had to pay for it.
Thanks to our Hilton Honors Gold Status, our breakfast was included, which usually costs about $30 per person. Generally, restaurant prices at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa are rather on the expensive side of things. That’s one thing to consider when booking this resort but the same applies to all luxury resorts in French Polynesia.
The resort also features one bar – Eimeo Bar – with a lounge atmosphere and a panoramic view over the beautiful lagoon. The bar is open from 4 – 10 pm and offers happy hour drinks and snacks from 4 – 7 pm. Eimeo bar is also a fantastic place to enjoy a sunset cocktail. We ordered two Pina Coladas, and they were absolutely delicious.
The hotel staff was overall very welcoming and friendly during our short stay. There was only one exception at the reception: one lady we talked to three or four times barely provided any information and never had a smile on her face. Altogether, the staff perfectly arranged everything regarding our Hilton Status (including a room upgrade, late check-out and two complimentary water bottles). The room service waiter that brought the French wine and chocolates as well as our dinner was very kind and thanked us for the honest dinner feedback. The housecleaning was also helpful when we forgot my flower crowns in our room’s fridge, which we only noticed after check-out.
The Hilton Moorea provides a range of recreational activities. The central hut for water sport activities is located at the pool, where you also get free beach towels. You can borrow snorkeling gear, kayaks and SUPs, with the latter two being available at the beach. Jet-skiing is possible (at a charge) and the resort also has its own dive center if you are interested in scuba diving.
We absolutely loved exploring the crystal-clear waters of the lagoon. The lagoon of the Hilton is the best spot to snorkel in Moorea because the lagoon is very calm (due to the reef barrier further out), and the visibility is one of the best we have ever seen – even better than in the Maldives. We saw hard and soft corals close to the shore and lots of tropical fish, stingrays, eagle rays and small reef sharks. Next to snorkeling, we also went stand up paddling in the lagoon which was a lot of fun.
At the tour operator desk, you can further book excursions such as a guided island tour. You can also rent bicycles and cars to take a trip around the island yourself. Besides, a tennis court is available across the street.
If you want to experience some Polynesian culture, the resort offers daily activities by the pool and live Polynesian dance shows in the Arii Vahine restaurant twice per week.
Spa & Wellness
If you are looking for a place to unwind, the Hilton welcomes you at the Polynesian-infused Moorea Lagoon Spa. The spa offers various treatments and massages inspired by Tahitian techniques using natural ingredients such as the sacred Polynesian Monoï oil. You can book spa packages, couples’ experiences and lots of other massage therapies. Unfortunately, we haven’t been to the spa because we didn’t have enough time during our short stay.
Upon check-out, you will notice an Ecoreef fee on your hotel bill. This fee is for the Ecoreef program which the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa implemented. The program will help grow and regenerate the lagoon’s corals that have suffered due to climate change.
The One Unique Thing
The Hilton Moorea’s One Unique Thing is the Toatea Bar & Creperie. This restaurant is the only over-water restaurant on the island of Moorea and boasts an intimate atmosphere with incredible views over the lagoon and Moorea’s majestic peaks. Get ready for aquarium views from the restaurant, where you can see tropical fish and stingrays passing by underneath you.
The Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is a magnificent island resort located in the most beautiful tropical setting. If you are looking for a once in a lifetime luxury hotel experience in French Polynesia, I can highly recommend this resort. I´d go back in a minute! I had such a memorable stay at the Hilton Moorea and it will always hold a special place in my heart because we got engaged here.
Even if the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa´s pricing is at the higher end, it´s still a considerably cheaper option for a French Polynesia holiday than staying on the well-known island of Bora Bora while being just as beautiful. The Hilton Moorea is the perfect location for couples, honeymooners and families with older kids. Altogether, the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is a wonderful place for spending an unforgettable vacation in French Polynesia.
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