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Reviewed 20 October 2011

We stayed at the Sofitel on the first part of our honeymoon, in an overwater bungalow. We were originally scheduled to stay in a garden bungalow. I have to say that had we not been upgraded to the overwater bungalow our time spent in Moorea would have been very different. The garden bungalows looked amazing but there is nothing like staying over the water and having your own access into the ocean to swim and snorkel. The staff was extremely helpful and friendly! The location was beautiful with access to the only real stretch of beach on the island. The only downside to our stay at the Sofitel was the food. The breakfast was only buffet options and it was very expensive. We enjoyed the chocolate croissants but the rest was very mundane. The dinner options were either there specialty restaurant K or a buffet dinner. We only went to restaurant K once. I really enjoyed my beef and potato entire whereas my husband did not enjoy his fish entree. We did not enjoy enjoy the buffet dinners so we had room service every other night. Overall though the Island is beautiful and the resort was quant, tranquil and all together relaxing. I would definitely recommend this resort to my friends and family!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Savanna E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2011

When:
-September 11, 2011 for our honeymoon in a superior lagoon view bungalow for 6 nights.


Things to know:
-The luxury beach view bungalows lack privacy for sure and you will hear people at all parts of the day.
-Garden view bungalows are okay if you aren't concerned about your view (You should be, its so amazing words cannot explain)
-Superior view bungalows are essentially beach front but have a wall that prevents the water from coming closer. You are still "oceanfront" just that you have to go down steps into the water, well worth the savings.
-Over the water bungalows looked amazing and are private, recommended if you have the cash if not I would go with a superior lagoon view. The walk back to the rest of the resort is not far at all. Even if your the last bungalow.
-Water is expensive, about $4.50 per bottle, Alcohol is even more expensive, about $8 a bottle, Mix drinks are nearly $20. BUT....if you go on the safari first thing with Franky Frank he will take you to a winery where they have awesome assortments of premixed drinks that you can buy for cheap and drink in your bungalow, with free samples of course :)
-Very close to the airport which is nicer than you think, low transportation costs
-There is a lookout at the top of the resort and has to die for views. Its also a prime stop for travelers across the whole island.
-Don't use the computer they have with free internet as it stole my password and leaked crazy massages to my email list. lol crazy island internets
-Breakfast is a must, and Dinner Meal plan is a good idea, but leave some nights free for the other restaurant they have, and room service.
-Room service is cheaper and you get more food than you could imagine. 1 Pasta dish is good for two hungry people.


Excursions:
Safari 4x4 -request Franky Frank. (this was an all land tour without the Black pearl destination)
This was a blast as Franky is originally from France and hilarious. He was a genuinely nice guide and made every aspect a blast. We did the tour apparently backwards so that we hit everything at all the best times of the day with no crowds or other people. Including free drinks at our first stop. He has a safe open air vehicle as well. (Pickup truck with seating and cover incase of rain)

Moorea Deep Blue: Whale watching sea adventure for a solid 4-6 hours. (better than Dr. whoever from national geographic as the boats are smaller and you get closer)
These are a set of 4 professionals that look much like surfers living on a boat but know exactly what they are doing. You actually swim with Whales and Sharks in the ocean not in some restricted habitat area. And they will get you close to everything to almost where you could touch it, except the whales as you remain a few yards away so you don't hurt them. We were the only English speaking couple and they catered to our language. Quite well actually, I was surprised.

The Bad:
-Kids: We didn't want to see a kid all week but saw 2 at the resort. (it wasn't that terrible they were good kids and we only saw them once)
-Cost: everything is expensive at the resort
-No cell phone reception-this was because of our plan and were from the US. Other people had service though not sure where they were from.
-The transfer plane to Moorea from Tahiti is crazy as its somewhat windy and we almost crashed and burned, okay a little dramatic but the pilot did have to pull up and go around for a second try at a landing. Total flight time was about 7 minutes lol.

The Good:
-The views...when the sun comes out everyone stops what they are doing to look at the water its breathtaking
-The flight from California to Tahiti is 8 hours and went by extremely fast with 2 full course meals, drinks, etc. You will fly air tahiti nui which has tv's and movies playing with a bundle of blankets, pillows, sleeping mask, headphones, etc. Best flight ever.
-Staff/Cleanliness/Service all top notch
-English is spoken throughout with a french twist which ads a little fun to the language.

Room Tip: Garden View - if nothing else is left I guess this is an option but slightly boring as you cant see much BORING Beach View - no privacy, convenient to the beach area since your on it NOT RECOMMENDED Superior Lagoon View - cheaper, better, more privacy, same views as beachfront just on the other side of the resort HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Over Water - if you got the money HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank derekUS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2011

A garden bungalow with a view of the lagoon is the best of both worlds - the layered blues of the clear water without the traffic in front of beach bungalows and the beauty of the superbly maintained gardens. The bungalows are the height of luxury with a capacious walk in wardrobe and indoor/outdoor bathroom.

The Polynesian evening was the highlight of our stay; watching the preparations in the afternoon, relishing the buffet and enjoying the dynamic evening performance.

An early morning swim in the infinity pool was like an extension of the lagoon and the coral and fish seen from the walkways of the over water bungalows were as varied as we saw on lagoon excursions..

One needs a cars to independently explore the island or to come and go at will from the hotel.

Reception staff were thoughtful and anticipated needs.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank hawdownunder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2011

We stayed at the Sofitel during the first leg of our honeymoon, in a lagoon-view bungalow. ours was #324, it was towards the south end and more quiet and private, with an amazing view of the bay and tahiti. the bungalow was huge, and really beautiful.
the staff was very nice and helpful. our only difficulty was when we first arrived, we got there at 8am and were told our room would not be ready until 2pm, which is understandable but after a long flight it would have been nice to get straight to our room and lie down. however, the room ended up being ready at 1, and the staff was very accomodating. we rented bikes one day and biked to cook's bay, where we bought groceries for picnic lunches etc, this was really nice. we had dinner at each of the hotel restaurants, both were great.
overall a wonderful experience!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank emily042
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2011

Moorea is the most beautiful place I've ever seen, and the Sofitel was perfection.

We stayed in a luxury over water bungalow for 6 nights for our honeymoon. After reading reviews, I made sure to request a few weeks before one at the end of the "pontoon", which they gave us. The view was incredible--sweeping views of open water and Tahiti to the left, Moorea to the right. Being at the end of the poontoon was more private--we weren't facing any other bungalows. The room itself was spacious and clean. The bathroom was huge, and I loved the wide-open shower that could open up to the outside.

We snorkeled every day off of our sundeck on the bungalow. There were lots of bright, tropical fish, and interesting coral. The best snorkeling was off to the right of the end of the pontoon of luxury bungalows. Better snorkeling than I've experienced in the Caribbean. The white sand beach was beautiful here as well, and comprable to the best beaches I've seen in the Caribbean.

The island in general is pricey for food, not just the Sofitel. But we ate at the Sofitel bar, which actually had a decent menu for about $75(US) a person a few nights. I recommend a breakfast package--I looked forward to starting my day off there every day. The setting is breathtaking, looking out at Tahiti, with just this quiet, relaxed atmosphere. I loved the different fruit juices and enjoyed lots of pappya and pinneaple every day.

We could easily have went the whole week lounging around the Sofitel, but there is a surprising amount to do in Moorea--we went to the Polynesian village for a luau dinner, took a 4x4 tour (got incredible pictures), and snorkeled with sting rays and sharks.

The grounds of the hotel were well maintained, and a tropical paradise. Walking around it, looking up at the mountain peaks around us was wonderful.

All in all, if you want a relaxing honeymoon, where you spend your days snorkeling and taking in the beautiful scenery, while having a unique and memorable room to go back to, the Sofitel is a perfect place. It's just a different world there.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Michelle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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