Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Intercontinental Tahiti Review

Our trip to Bora Bora, Moorea & Tahiti

We took a taxi from the Aremiti ferry to the InterContinental Tahiti. It was about $45. We arrived just before 1pm. We were thanked for our loyalty and handed two fruity drinks. 

I was a tad sad there were no complimentary hand towels in that wonderful tiare scent and also no special place for ambassadors to be taken during check in. We used the front desk. But we were still treated very well amd thanked often. I try to use my French as often as possible.  The front desk agent asked where I learned French as not many Americans speak or try to. Our room was ready for us. They had upgraded us from a basic room to a premium garden view room. Since this was our last night in Paradise, we asked what the rate was to upgrade to a bungalow.  A regular over the water bungalow was $150 to upgrade to, and the new Motu Overwater Bungalows were $180. We toured the motu one and once I saw it I didn't want to look any further. It was perfection. When they say new it is really really new. It still had the fresh wood scent and everything was immaculate. I would love to know the designer of these bungalows as they are far superiorly decorated than any of the other hotels I have ever been in. Ever. They really tied the outdoors into this bungalow, making it feel serene like a spa. They used all different materials all with a natural color scheme. The door was etched wood that matched the desk. On the desk was a Nespresso machine. This location charged $4 for a pod. There was also an electric water kettle, glasses and coffee cups provided. Above the desk were outlets. There were several USB outlets and also built in outlets that work with American plugs! I thought that was a great idea, although the USB outlets are a perfect solution for everyone.  The night stands and table were wood with mother of pearl tile inlets, there was a sofa bed built out of wood with amazing canvas like colors and floral palm pillows, set perfectly with two hanging brown lamps with dim lighting for ambiance at night. The head board was white with crystal pieces, the curtains were beautiful and the window to the ocean was a whole wall that slid all the way open. There was a see through natural colored curtain that could be ran all the way across to keep the mosquitos out, but with the wind from the storm while we were there, we were afraid they would get in as it kept blowing the curtain up. Even with the door-window closed, you could hear the waves crashing. This bungalow is actually in the Pacific Ocean, where the others were in a protected lagoon with no crazy waves. I really appreciated a night of listening to the waves in a completely peaceful environment. It rained for a couple hours overnight and I was bummed  because I could only hear the rain hitting the bungalow and not the waves crashing. The bathroom was a spa itself. It is an all white luxurious room with mother of pearl tile covering everything. The shower was a dual rain shower. The bathtub had a nice view through a window in the bedroom out to the ocean. Robes and slippers were provided. The bath amenities here were different than the other French Polynesia IC resorts. The fragrance was lemongrass, and my guess is that they have chosen this scent to help detour the mosquitos. I have read they do not like lemongrass. There is an amazing large spa light above the sinks. There were two closets, one with nice wood built in dressers. I love that they use different types of wood throughout. The builtins were more of a grey wood that is really in style now. This bungalow has really inspired me to redo our master bedroom. I need it to have this spa retreat feel since I spend more time there than any other room. I am going to completely copy the style. 
The outside of the bungalow needs its own review. It was crazy beautiful. First off, when the golf cart brings you to your bungalow, you get dropped of at your "porch." Its a large covered area with a bench. There is a covered walkway to your bungalow that has lighting built in to the wood. You use your room key to get into an outside door, which opens to the actual door to your room and also continues your wrap around porch. If you walk straight ahead you will walk to your deck. The deck had brand new top of the line and top style seating. There was a huge deep outdoor sofa with great pillows, what I call a King's thrown chair, two sun loungers, a table and two chairs, a side table, and wood shelves. The view looked out to the island of Moorea, which is an extinct volcano. There is a lower deck that has a ladder to climb down to the water for swimming. While we were there the waves were pretty severe. We saw no one swimming there and I would not feel comfortable being in that water. We did see plenty of locals rowing back and forth. They also tell you to keep your window door locked so that no one comes up from the water and steals your belongings. 

Sadly the mosquitos were noticeable so we hid inside the bungalow. We attempted to have coffee on the sofa outside in the morning but they were landing on us even after we had sprayed Off bug spray, so we went inside. The same view but I was just bummed not to be able to use the amazing outdoor furniture. The locals told us how bad the mosquito flu is. Especially this time of year when it rains, then the next day is sunshine, then rain again. It is making their breeding ground triple. And they say the flu lasts at least a week. We did not see or worry about mosquitos in Bora Bora. I never even used bug spray there.  But we did see them in Moorea, especially at the Hilton when we were in the garden bungalow. But Tahiti had many. With my autoimmune issues I was pretty scared to add any other illnesses to my plate. Especially since some of the "mosquito flus" cause joint issues.  I don't need any more of those!
Our bungalow, #486 was right in front of the Lagoonarium. The Mister took his underwater camera and went snorkeling there and took some nice videos of fish and coral. The pool was behind the Lagoonarium and was large and had a great view. There was a little grotto with a waterfall where one could hide from the sun but still have amazing views of the ocean. Next to that was a jacuzzi but sadly it is a cold water jacuzzi. Cold as in the same temperature as the pool, not a hot jacuzzi. None of the resorts had a hot one except in the spas. They are called "steam baths" not jacuzzis here. 

We had a fresh fruit plate and a souvenir tin of Tahitian cookies left for us as a Thank You for being Platinum Ambassador. The tin was selling for $15 at the market. The pears in the fruit plate were the same color as a sweet potato. It was so so delicious. I am going to search out that type at home. 
Ambassador Gifts

We were allowed a 4pm late checkout since we are Ambassadors. That was worth the whole membership right there. Our flight wasn't until 11:55pm, so if we would have had to check out at 11am that would have been a miserable day with our luggage. So at 4pm we checked our luggage with the hotel and hung out in the lobby's comfortable seating enjoying the view of the volcano (Moorea.) I eventually wandered down to an ocean front hammock and relaxed while it sprinkled, until the mosquitos appeared. 

We ate at the Tiki Bar, leaving 15 minutes before the Polynesian Show started. I was hoping to watch some of it, but we were worried that it would take a while to call a taxi to get us (it didn't.) If you were to do the buffet, it was $79 per person but included better seating to watch the show. We ate a la carte. 

I am so glad we decided to switch our last night in Moorea for this night in Tahiti. Our reasoning was we would be able to use the 4pm late Ambassador checkout, instead of checking out at 10am to make the 11:30am ferry to Tahiti. Then wandering all day with our luggage. I have read that there is a luggage storage facility at the airport in Papeete that charges $9 a bag for 24 hours, but I did not see it. Instead we were treated to one of our favorite rooms and a relaxing day. I seriously enjoyed this room and I believe it was decorated better than IC Thalasso. Of course Thalasso as a resort was nicer, the room was way larger and the waters are prettier, but the decor was so nice at the IC Tahiti, again it was like a spa trip. 

So we made it to all 4 Intercontinental Resorts in French Polynesia. Hopefully we can help you make your decision of what is best for you.

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