Wednesday, February 24, 2016

InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora Review and Trip Report

The boat taxi from the airport was like it's own tour! It was about 25 minutes and took us passed some drop dead gorgeous sights. 


There were so many different shades of blue we passed. The volcano looks so different from each angle. 

The first thing we saw when pulling up to the resort is a bungalow with a Denver Broncos jersey flying. This was the week after their Superbowl win. As Chiefs fans this made our stomachs upset thinking we could be staying with our rival who was celebrating a win we wanted. 
Broncos Jersey

When the boat pulled up to the dock at Intercontinental Le Moana, a gentleman thanked us for being loyal IHG rewards members and then escorted us to the Ambassador Check in. We sat down in a chic and exclusive part of the bar and were promptly brought 2 fruity mocktails. They were so delicious and refreshing! 
Welcome Drink

Then we were brought cool towels which were terrifically scented with Tahiti's signature fragrance, Tiare. Even Air Tahiti's airplanes were filled with this fragrance! I am buying soaps, lotions and oils in this scent to bring home! Some call it gardenia and others simply Tahiti Tiare. 

I was thanked again for being loyal to IHG. We filled out forms with our credit card info, again thanked, then was told I will be receiving a surprise upgrade to the Overwater Bungalow. We had booked a beach bungalow. I thought I was going to be completely okay with the beach bungalow, until I stepped foot into the overwater bungalow! We were told that they normally do not do upgrades on point stays, but because of my Platinum Ambassador status they would love to thank me. If you are set on an OWB you could always email the concierge at the hotel directly and ask what the cash prices are for upgrading an award stay. Before Timi took us to our bungalow he took us on a tour of the resort, which ended with a visit from the GM. We thought she was really genuine and lovely. She thanked us for our loyalty and wished us well on our trip, amongst other small talk. I really felt at home. Throughout the tour every staff member we  encountered spoke with us and explained what their job was and what they could do for us. At this point I was truly blown away at the level of service. This is exactly what I had dreamed it would be, and more. 

Our bungalow was #3. 
Intercontinental Le Moana

The deck and the view from bed look out into the deep part of the ocean, which I love because the blue is the most unique shade I have ever seen. It also looks directly to the motu. The bathroom is large with double sinks, a separate shower, bath and a closet size toilet. I love the bath tub's design. It fits even not-so-tiny humans. I was also very curious about the bath amenities that would be offered, and I was very pleased! It was papaya shampoo, conditioner and lotion and shower gel. There was also a hair dryer provided and a nice sit down vanity. The closet itself was roomy. Both the bedroom and living room had a tv. There was a sliding door in between the living room and bedroom. The living room had a nice size sofa, a desk and a coffee area with a electric water kettle. At the desk was 2 USB connections which comes in very handy if you do not have converters. 
The internet speed was great! We FaceTime'd with the kids back home a lot with zero issues. It worked out on the deck, but not the bottom deck near the water. 
The deck here is a two tiered deck. The top deck has a built in wooden table and bench seating, as well as a sun lounger. The bottom deck has a ladder for direct sea access.

Panoramic view off of bungalow 3

ladder for easy lagoon access

USB ports on the wall to the left of the desk

TV with electric water kettle


View from bed in bungalow 3

Vanity area in bathroom

Tub and shower

We were left with a fresh fruit kabob plate, a bag of coconut bites and a water on our coffee table as a Thank You for being an Ambassador.
Coconut bites

 The coffee table is just as awesome as every other review I had ever read. The glass top slides open to the water below the bungalow and you can feed the fish. Fish food is available at the boutique for around $6 for a small packet. 
Coffee table opens

We were still in our cold weather clothes so we eagerly freshened up and changed.  Brian had his heart set on eating at this small snack shack down the beach towards the town, so off we went (after spraying SPF 100!) 
We walked out of the front of the resort to the public beach. This is where you can go to watch the sunset. It is a large beach that has the softest, whitest sand.  It is maybe a 5 minute walk to get to Snack Matira. They were out of fish, so Brian ordered steak and fries and I ordered a croque madame sans ham. Plus a fresh coconut to drink.   I had never drank coconut milk straight from the source. I did not think it tasted much like coconut and found it very refreshing, as it was served chilled. The seating is covered outdoors overlooking am uninterrupted view of the lagoon, the clearest water in the world (I do not know if that's a fact but I am going with it.)

View from table at lunch at Snack Matira

Snack Matira's menu

Chilled coconut milk

Croque Madame sans jambon

Steak and frites

Afterwards we walked back towards the hotel, passed it by a minute or two and opposite side of the street was a small convenience store. We got bread, water, coke and fruit juices to mix with the rum we brought with us. 
Convenience Store

Right at the entrance to the resort is a small cannon left by the US during WW2. Pretty cool to just stumble upon!

When returning to the resort, we got into our swimsuits and finally climbed down from our ladder and into the ocean. I was really surprised with the waves. I always believed the lagoon was pretty still and that's how the OWB were protected. It wasn't rough by any means, and I actually found it quite fun to play in the waves. We both brought water shoes because there is coral all over the bottom of the ocean floor here. I could feel it through the shoes but it did not hurt. Later we saw manta rays swimming in "our backyard" right where we had been swimming. 
After using the outdoor shower to rinse off the saltwater, we moved to the resort pool. It is an infinity pool. At the bottom of the infinity pool is a sandy bottom pool. That was my favorite. It felt like I was sitting in the ocean without waves. Amazing. 

We met another couple who lived 2 miles from us! What a small world! 
We took some sunset pictures, ordered a pizza from the bar to go, and ate it in the OWB while watching the fish swim below the coffee table. Later we laid outside and watched the stars above. They looked so close and so magnified. 

I was concerned at the number of reviewers speaking of wild dogs, but we only encountered 2 and they seemed tame like pets. We were told there are around 8,000 people living on Bora Bora,  and 6,000 wild dogs! But day 1 is complete without me being mauled.

Relaxing and taking in the view

Picturesque view everywhere you look

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