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I booked one night at the Intercontinental Le Moana for several reasons. The first reason was to write an Intercontinental Le Moana Bora Bora review, the second reason was to save 5,650 XPF ($65) per person for a one-way transfer to the IC Thalasso, and the third reason was to explore the main island of Bora Bora. We paid 50,000 IHG points to stay at Le Moana for one night.
Upon landing from Papeete, we were able to hand our luggage to the Intercontinental booth at the airport, which would later deliver our bags. We then took the free boat to Vaitape (the main town) because we booked a car transfer from there for 2,000 XPF (about $24). The free boat took about 15-20 minutes to Vaitape, but it took about 15-20 minutes to depart from the dock because we were waiting for other passengers. The boat ride is quite pleasant if you go to the top deck for the clear blue water views. Amazing!
Once we arrived to Vaitape, we didn’t see anybody greeting us and informing us of our hotel transfer. The wife panicked, but I was brave enough to explain the situation to another hotel driver. Apparently everyone knows each other on the island, so she called our driver. She explained that our driver’s car got a flat tire, but she could take us to our hotel. Very kind of her! It took about 10 minutes to get to our hotel and instead of charging 2,000 XPF, she charged only 1,000 XPF! Saved about $130 for taking the free boat shuttle to hotel transfer, not a bad deal.
We arrived at the hotel and was escorted to the main restaurant to have a welcome drink. Check-in is done here overlooking the beach instead of in the main lobby. I had bought Ambassador membership for $200 right before our stay. The staff member informed us we would get 2 free drinks, a gift in our room, and fresh fruit (cut up coconut). We also took advantage of the 4PM checkout for Ambassador members. Unfortunately, we were informed that our room was not ready yet because we arrived about 2 hours earlier than check-in time (our fault). We decided to eat lunch next door at the Fare Manuia. It was pretty decent pizza, which I will blog about in a later post.
Upon returning, we were informed that we would get a beach bungalow room, which was the room I booked. I was okay with that because we would stay in the overwater bungalow for 4 nights at IC Thalasso. The overwater bungalows at Le Moana looked a bit dated (probably still very nice) compared to Thalasso. The beach bungalow was much nicer than I expected. It was literally right on the beach and we could step out and be on the sand right away!
Our room was like a mini suite, which had a small living room, deep soak tub, modern sinks, desk, fridge, and nice lounge chairs right outside. There was even a hammock right outside our room and a shower we could rinse off. Our favorite part was just sitting outside our room on the beach and jumping in the warm water whenever we wanted. You could tell that the outside of the room was starting to age, but I think they did a good job with the modern and traditional aspects. We were literally living in a hut!
The service at the Le Moana was very friendly and I enjoyed the local flair to the resort. I actually thought the service was more personal at Le Moana compared to Thalasso. The service at Thalasso wasn’t bad, but it was just a bit more catered to higher clientele. Le Moana seemed to hire more locals, and Thalasso hired more Europeans. Both resorts are on an island pace, so your food might take a while to come.
I liked the location of Le Moana a lot because it was close to several restaurants and a good convenience store. I was able to buy a beef and rice plate lunch for about $10 and it was easy to stock up on beverages. I even bought breakfast at the convenience store for a few dollars. It was amazing waking up to a nice sunrise on the beach the next morning!
We enjoyed the free kayaks and stand up paddle boards at the resort. You can also rent snorkel gear, but we brought our own masks and only used the fins. We kayaked out to Coral Gardens the next day, which was amazing. I’ll talk about that more in the activities post.
The Intercontinental Le Moana Bora Bora resort is definitely a great hotel and is probably one of the best hotels on the main island. If you want a nice hotel, eat good food on the main island, and like convenience I would stay here. I would have been completely satisfied staying at this hotel the whole time, but we didn’t travel this far to not stay in an overwater bungalow! This hotel was probably one of the nicest hotels I’ve stayed at, but the IC Thalasso would raise the bar even higher! We took the free boat shuttle to the IC Thalasso around 4PM and waved goodbye to the first portion of our trip.