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
I booked the Sofitel for 3 nights in a lagoon view bungalow for my 50th birthday. The room and location were perfect - away from the busier beachfront ones and not nestled in a garden bungalow without views. I was a little disappointed that they did nothing extra to recognise my birthday (which I had told them of), like a fruit platter or welcome note. Nothing. Besides that, I recommend the location highly for snorkelling (best on the island) and our dive trip from the resort was good and affordable. Food and cocktails are expensive, as you'd expect. The buffet breakfast was extensive, although I noticed that it didn't change from day to day. We booked a jet-ski trip and were picked up and taken to the Manava. This was a load of fun and I'd highly recommend it, even for first-timers. The pool is pretty average at Sofitel, but why would you bother swimming in a pool with such a beautiful lagoon at your doorstep! I would stay here again.
We stayed at Sofitel Moorea for 4 nights last May 2019 and we had the most wonderful time. My husband and I have traveled a lot and this place has the friendliest people and you can tell by their interaction with you that they enjoy their job and their objective is to make your stay very pleasant and memorable. Our over the water bungalow was clean and well stocked with towels and drinks. I loved the glass window on our floor so we can watch the fish below anytime we want to. I personally loved the cut up fresh fruits on our first night and a lovely local treat the night after. We have the full breakfast every morning with a wide variety to choose from that keep us satisfied until dinner time. At times when we've gone to the bar to lounge our waitress Lucinda and Tama has been very friendly and attentive. The concierge, Lisa, Alice and Kahaia at the front desk were all wonderful in getting us taxi service, and restaurant reservation. The clear water of the lagoon in different shades of turquoise was beyond comparison. Being in bungalow 221 was great...it was very quiet and in the four days we were there we only saw our neighbor on the right side of our bungalow once and we wave at each other. We hope to be back someday!! Maururu (sp)
This is a gorgeous place and the staff are friendly and helpful. We stayed in an over-water bungalo for 4 nights on our honeymoon and it was amazing. The spa here is fantastic as well. My wife and I booked the Polynesian couples massage and I would highly recommend it. My masseuse named Tea provided the single greatest massage I've ever had.
I cannot express how amazing the water and beaches are here. We snorkeled around our bungalo everyday and it was some of the best we've experienced anywhere. Just below and around the bungalos are hundreds of tropical fish and coral.
The only slightly negative remarks I would give this place is that the food while good, is a bit expensive. With that being said, just about every restaurant in French Polynesia is pricey. The cocktails are very expensive (~$22 each) and just average. I would recommend bringing your own alcohol or sticking to beer and/or wine.
Beautiful. This is the most gorgeous place to stay. Everything you might want in a relaxing Island holiday is right here. Lots of carefully placed loungers, swing chairs, bean bags and the most beautiful beach and lagoon. The rooms was very comfortable and spacious and the bathroom was fabulous. Our Lagoon view bungalow was superb - we had our own little beach and spend hours in and out of the water - so nice to be able to sit on our own villa deck and contemplate the views while we worked out whether we wanted another swim, to read books or to go for a bike ride, snorkel or kayak! The restaurant and bar are lovely and the staff are very helpful. We loved our time here.
We stayed for 3 nights/5 days at the Sofitel Moorea. This is very close to the Port as well as the Airport so location is great. The concierge was also great getting us into the top restaurants with little notice, as well as arranging the free shuttles.
Check-in was quite a laborious process taking around 45 minutes. We were sat on a table, served by a lady who was slow and clumsy. We’d filled everything in online so no idea why they needed countless forms to be filled in, when all we wanted to do was to get into the sun with a cocktail. We had to wait a few hours for the room which was ok but we would have preferred someone to show us to the room.
The rooms are lovely and the snorkeling straight from your bungalow is unparalleled with other resorts in French Polynesia. Fins aren’t needed if you can swim , but take some reef shoes as we were stepping from the ladder straight onto coral - however the number of fish, coral and water clarity was great.
We also opted for the canoe breakfast which was incredible, a must-do if available. This was one of the highlights of our stay in the Sofitel Moorea.
The only real negative (apart from the slow check-in) was that the overwater bungalows are very close together - meaning you can see into other people’s bungalows and vice versa - get one of the Bungalows at the end if possible and you’ll be ok.
All in all we were very happy but there’s definitely room for improvement!