Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hilton Moorea Review

Our trip to Bora Bora, Moorea & Tahiti

When we arrived to the airport in Moorea, I had my camera out ready to take a picture of the person who was going to be waiting for us with a sign with our names on it, which was arranged through the resort. No such person was there. Several minutes a van pulls up and a man walks in with a piece of paper asking if we were one of these four couples. We were, so we loaded up in the van. A French couple was with us as well and they had a small child with them and held her, not worrying about a carseat. It was maybe a 15-20 minute ride from the airport to the Hilton. It was pouring and there was mild flooding going on in low lying areas of the streets. 

View from plane

It was $32 for the pick up of 2 people from the airport to Hilton, with a shared taxi. We were able to charge the taxi ride to our room upon arrival. This saved our cash plus then we were able to get HiltonHonor points for the taxi ride!

We arrived and I was shown where the front desk is to check in. Silly as it may be, I was like "ohhhh, I have to use the front desk!" I have more status with Hilton as a Diamond member than I do with Intercontinental as a Platinum Ambassador, so I was expecting to be wow'ed at least the same. When it was finally my turn, we were told we had been "upgraded" to the same room just closer to the beach. We were also told we were upgraded to a room with a pool, when the room we booked clearly states it has a pool. We were not close to the beach at all. Sometimes through the trees I could see a very small glimpse of blue that I assumed was water. We were offered pineapple juice at check in. I had to ask about the diamond (and gold) member benefit of free breakfast as there was nothing in the envelope she handed me about it. I was told I would get the continental breakfast free and that to upgrade to the American breakfast was $10 per person. Just show up and they would know it would be free. I also was concerned there was no water given to me, but I wasn't feeling well and just wanted to get to my room so I could lay down. We were told that normally the concierge would want to talk to us but because we were diamond she didn't want us to have to wait.  We waited for a porter to take us to our room in a golf cart since it was raining. 

Front desk

The outdoor appeal was okay, nothing gorgeous. 

Garden Bungalow

Inside the bathroom were our 2 waters. No recognition note or amenity. But the wifi worked well so I set it up quickly, climbed into bed and FaceTime'd the kids back home. There was an ice bucket, but no lid or liner. The bucket itself was dirty on the inside. 


View from bed

Bathroom vanity


View of pool at night

For lunch we went to Rotui and shared a Margherita pizza beachfront. 

The restaurant's Margherita pizza has black olives on it, where as room services does not. But room service has a $17 fee for delivery so we opted to go out. It was raining so we did not have a great view, however the insane heat was now just a nice breeze. No need for sunscreen or hats and sunglasses. After lunch we walked around, then headed back to the room as it was pouring and there were no activities we could join. 

I called the spa but they were booked for Valentine's Day. I decided to take a dip in our private pool. Once I got in, about knee deep, I realized it was way too cold for me. The rain may have played a part in that. 

Instead I decided to take a hot bath in the pretty claw tub.

 I went to turn it on and there were hairs the opposite color of mine in there, plus dried old soap. I called and told them and they sent housekeeping to re-clean it. I had to wait about 45 minutes for the cleaning to happen, which meant there was no time for me to take a bath before our 7pm dinner reservations. 
They did provide two robes, but it also had hair on it. No slippers.  Before we left for dinner our phone continued to make a ticking noise. We finally called the front desk and were told we needed to come back and see the concierge about booking their travel for when we left the resort at checkout. I thought that was tacky to bug us to come spend more money. 
The  Arii Vahine steakhouse had just changed their menu, so we each had to pick out new entrees from our previous selections. No big deal on my end as I just picked a different pasta. But the husband was looking forward to swordfish and had to switch it out for mahi mahi. Overall our dinner was good. We asked to be moved inside under the fan because it was so humid. Before we left on the trip, I was emailed a Saint Valentine's Day schedule of events and special dinner. We decided not to reserve the dinner because it was food we did not eat, such as kangaroo steaks. I was eager for the dancing however I never saw any special Valentine's Day activities at all. Obviously the beach dinner had been rained out and moved to the Rotui restaurant. But there was no dancing? Not a huge deal. As we were eating, a lady came over and verified our room number. She said  we were receiving a complimentary bottle of champagne and cookies and we asked that it be taken to the room instead. 

Mahi Mahi
Valentine's Day

The room did have great air conditioning. On the way back to the room we made a stop at the crepe restaurant where we were told at night there are sharks. We in fact were able to see 3 sharks and many fish. 
Reef shark

The sounds of the birds were intimidating. One sounded like a baby crying. We seriously thought there was a baby in the ocean until it dove at our heads and we realized it was a bird. Some birds growl. It felt a little like the Wizard of Oz's flying monkeys were about to make an appearance. 
We also stopped in to the concierge to make those taxi arrangements to the next hotel. We were not offered a late checkout, but I am completely okay with that. I would rather get to the Intercontinental sooner where I feel appreciated. 
The champagne was waiting for us in a nice new clean bucket of ice as well as a thank you card for being a diamond, and a box of cookies. 
Ambassador gifts

The bed was comfortable and I slept well until I was awoke at 5am with roosters crowing.  Another new bird noise, similar to a whooper wheel had decided to make my window its home. They could be heard over the pouring rain. 
Breakfast was served at the same steakhouse that we had dinner at. The continental breakfast was more than enough for us to get full on. I had a taste test of all the local jams. There were doughnuts, pain au chocolate, croissants, breads, cereals, yogurts, fruits, eggs, cheeses and cold sliced meats. Juices, milk, hot chocolate and coffee were also included.

 I stood up from my chair to get more peanut butter and apparently I had been sitting on a lizard. It scurried across my seat and I was sure to switch chairs. 
After breakfast we wandered around taking pictures again. At the front desk, they were giving flower and shell necklaces to those arriving. We did not get either yesterday so I was a little let down. 

Since it is still raining I wanted to finally take a hot bath. No joke, brown water came out. They had told us not to drink the water and only drink bottled, but I was not expecting brown bath water. So I never got to take a bath.  

The grounds crew staff does work very hard to keep the resort grounds beautiful. They were out very early to clean the leaves after the storm had stopped. 

Looking back on the stay, I wished we would have just asked and paid for an upgrade. Maybe it would have made our stay enjoyable, having a great view. 

*edited to add, upon leaving we were given a shell necklace. Apparently on arrival we were supposed to have received the flower lei and departures receive the shells. 

Another note, I was just not happy with how this stay went. When I got home I reached out to customer service with my complaints and I feel they made it right with me. Kuddos to their amazing customer care team. 

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