Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort
What We Love
- Swim-up access to overwater bungalows through a lagoon full of fish
- Hot stone massages in the Zen spa
- Barefoot gourmet dining under a thatch roof
What To Know
- It’s a half-hour high-speed catamaran ride from Papeete, Tahiti, to Moorea
- Expect early evenings; the resort and island are all about the quiet life
- The Green Pearl, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus–designed golf course, is nearby
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
This elegantly understated resort maximizes Moorea’s extreme natural beauty. Thatch-roofed overwater bungalows blend Polynesian touches with 21st-century luxuries. As part of a $40 million overhaul in 2006, 19 overwater retreats were added to the complement of 60. On land, another 35 feature either beach or garden views.
Bed and Bath
There are no tubs in the overwater bungalows — but who needs one when there’s a gloriously blue lagoon right outside the door? (There’s also a lagoon viewing window set into the bungalow’s floor.) Instead, the bathrooms feature a stone tile rain shower and double sinks. Romantic netting tumbles from the ceiling to drape the comfy MyBed. If you’re more of a landlubber, you can opt for garden or beach villas, which have private terraces with hammocks and bathrooms with deep-soak tubs.
Don’t leave without dining in the restaurant, K, where romance is raised to a whole other level. Ditch the footwear and walk on sand to a table lit by crystal candle centrepieces. Enjoy a spa treatment or loll in the pool, which adds another layer of blue to the scenery.
In the Area
With sawtooth mountain ridges, vertiginous fern-cloaked cliffs, deep ravines and dramatic waterfalls, Moorea’s lush interior is worth exploring. Ranch Opunohu Valley’s horse treks travel past pineapple plantations sprouting from rich, red soil. Use your own legs on a half-day, full-day or summit hike with Tahiti Evasion. Or add wheels and go on a quad bike or 4WD tour. Full-island tours usually include a stop at Belvedere Overlook, in the island’s center. Play a round of golf on the Green Pearl course or explore the placid lagoon’s marine life. Water activities run the gamut from kitesurfing to kayaks to jet skis.
How to Get There
This was a Costco trip and so far really organized and what I had hoped for. We went for the beachfront bungalow and although I asked for a quiet bungalow, we were a little too close to the beach bar. A double edged sword there. The room was beautiful and the cleaning crew silent and amazing. K restaurant with beautiful French food that was equally delicious. We loved the breakfast buffet that came with our room. We ate late and ate an early dinner so we saved on lunch. Not too hungry anyway with the heat. The bar was a nice dinner option but twice our food took forever and then we figured out something happened with the computer and our food hadn't been ordered. Ugh.
We had an incredible day at the beach. I went snorkelling in the incredible blue water. While I was underwater I saw something sparkling...... it was a wedding ring. If you can identify this ring I will mail it to you. 15877832227
We stayed here for 3 nights before moving to the Intercontinental Le Moana in Bora Bora. To be honest, I wish we stayed at the Sofitel in Bora Bora because this place was amazing. The staff was so kind. The bungalow was beyond our expectations. The cleanliness was on point. The beach was gorgeous and not crowded. The food at both Pure and K restaurant was amazing. Also the pool was amazing and the views are to die for!