Staying at the Hilton Moorea
Did you know that Moorea was voted by Conde Nast Traveller as one of the most beautiful islands in the world? Moorea is truly a dream destination! Easily accessible from Tahiti and teeming with natural landscapes and marine wildlife, Moorea also makes for a great family vacation. This volcanic island has a laid-back and authentic Polynesian vibe paired with a crystal blue lagoon and some of the most visually stunning topography.
Direct flights to Tahiti are available from North America, specifically Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Vancouver. Before the pandemic, you could also fly direct from New Zealand and Japan. These are currently not available, but make sure to check your options at the time of booking, as flights are changing rapidly with the times. Once in Tahiti, Air Tahiti offers a 15-minute flight to Moorea, or you can transfer to the ferry terminal for a 30-minute ferry ride. There are two ferry companies that run between Papeete and Moorea every hour or so. We chose to take the ferry, and it couldn’t have been easier. We simply looked over the schedules on the Terevau and Aremiti websites and showed up to the dock 30 minutes prior to departure. Don’t worry about ticket purchases, as you can buy your passage upon arrival at the dock. However, I would highly recommend booking your transfer from the dock to your hotel or the airport. While the airport in Papeete has a taxi stand, we literally saw no taxis at the docks, other than the ones that had been prearranged by arriving passengers. You definitely wouldn’t want to be stuck without transportation and with kids and bags in tow!
Where to Stay
While it is definitely a challenge to find luxurious accommodations for groups of 4 or more in Moorea, we were lucky enough to book a King Garden Suite with Private Pool at the Hilton Moorea. The Hilton Moorea is an eco-friendly resort with over-water bungalows (for parties of 3 or less) and the only over-water restaurant on the island. Our nicely appointed villa is the only option at the Hilton for a larger party or family, and there are only two of these on property.
It boasts a spacious bedroom with king-size bed, a separate living room, two bathrooms, and a large private terrace and pool. With over 1700 sqft of room, this private oasis can comfortably sleep a party of four, or five if you’re traveling with little ones. Enjoy complimentary WiFi, along with an iPod station and a Nespresso machine with 2 coffee pods included per night. Room service is available for those lazy days, and all stays include a scrumptious breakfast buffet as well!
Things To Do
Although most visit Moorea for its stunning waters and ocean activities, and the expansive lagoon-style pool at the Hilton Moorea is definitely worthy of a visit. Affording partial ocean views and a beach entrance, it’s the perfect place to kick back and sip on a mai tai, while the kids burn off some energy. The caring poolside staff at the Hilton will keep the food and cocktails coming, regardless of whether you choose to post up poolside or beachside, or if you’re like us and do both- beach in the morning and pool in the afternoon!
For an even more relaxing experience by the beach, head to the Moorea Lagoon Spa. They offer a wide range of Tahitian-inspired treatments that use the islands’ famous Monoi oil to leave your skin feeling hydrated and refreshed.
Want a more energetic holiday? On property, you can head to the gym, which is admittedly on the smaller side, but has a wide variety of equipment to keep you moving. You can also take up a game of tennis or sign up for a yoga class. For those that want to venture outside the property walls, there is a tour desk at reception that can arrange excursions throughout the island, from hikes and 4×4 tours to snorkeling with sharks and stingrays and sunset cruises. There is truly so much to do on this beautiful island, and the Hilton makes it all easily accessible.
One of our favorite experiences was a half day snorkeling excursion with Voila Moorea. The catamaran was extremely comfortable for our party of 5, and the staff was kind and understanding of our needs as a family with small children. They pick you up at the Hilton’s dock, so you don’t even have to leave the hotel. You will enjoy 2-3 different snorkeling spots, and swim with sting rays, black tip reef sharks, and tropical reef fish.
And once you are ready to head back, feeling exhilarated from your adventures, with a huge smile on your face, the kind crew will serve up a tasty plate of local fruits. Water, juices and sodas are included as well. The experience is truly unique!
Trying new and local cuisine is often one of my favorite parts of traveling. The Hilton has three different restaurants with a variety of foods that appeal to any palate, from more simple dishes, such as burgers and salads, to more local dishes, such as poisson cru. Arii Vahine is their lagoon-side restaurant. It serves breakfast and dinner buffet-style with panoramic ocean views. Before the pandemic, this is also where they held Polynesian dance shows weekly, but unfortunately those were canceled during our stay.
The Rotui Bar & Grill sits pool and beachside as a casual eatery, serving a wide variety of meat and fish dishes and exotic cocktail prepared with a Polynesian flare. Try the passion fruit mojito and the scallop dish (at dinner). If you want a truly unique dining experience, don’t miss the Toatea Creperie. At this over water restaurant, you will choose between savory and sweet crepe, or go all out and have one of each. They are quite big, so good for sharing. Pair it with a dry cider for a perfect authentically French meal!
Considering Bora Bora, read about our stay at the Intercontinental Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa.