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Manava Beach Resort & Spa - Moorea
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Reviewed 27 April 2012

I loved this place so much...everything was wonderful..the rooms were cleaned several times a day and I thoroughly enjoyed snorkelling straight from my room and watching the fish from the glass bottom. The only thing I had to get used to was the sound of the palm leaves on the roof when it was windy....very good for couples..honeymooners..Moorea is simply paradise.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank mangotea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2012

The most beautifull island and resort I have been to in the world the accommodation prices are ok but the food is to expensive, I asked my gf to marry me she said yes so it made it even better thank you

  • Stayed: April 2012
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2  Thank Lainward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2012

My wife and I signed up for the stay 5 nights / get 5 nights free deal from SPM Hotels, although we extended it to 6 and 6. Our first 6 nights were at the Moorea Pearl Resort, then we went to Manihi. Excellent deal! Grab it while you can.

First off, I've got to say that the staff at SPM Hotels in the USA were fantastic. Thank you, Sandra and Sabrina!

We went all-out and booked a Premium Overwater Bungalow. We got #426, which we liked a lot. A slight downside is that this bungalow is right beside the "dock" and swim ladder, so we occasionally got some noise from people talking. However, we had fantastic sunset views. We spoke to some folks who started out in garden bungalow and then moved out to an over-water. They said that it made a huge difference, and I can believe it. It's well worth the extra price to be in an over-water.

The restaurant has a good variety, so we managed to go for 6 days without finding the menu getting monotonous. The breakfast buffet is top-notch, although the two coffee / espresso machines seemed a bit cranky. We alternated dinners in the restaurant and in the bar. The pizza in the bar is a great deal. It's huge - easily enough for two - and reasonably priced.

Cocktails at the bar were a bit of a disappointment. Generally too sweet and not very interesting. After a while, I just stuck with Hinano beer.

The grounds are lovely and well-kept. The pool is pretty, and has a huge shady tree with a few (very popular) lounge chairs underneath. We seemed to have hit Easter break, and there were a lot of families with young children, so the pool was a bit noisy. There's no beach to speak of, so if you don't have an overwater bungalow, you are stuck at the pool.

Service was OK. The staff was professional and courteous, but distant (with the exception of one really great woman who worked at the bar). Since this was our first time in French Polynesia, we though this might just be a cultural thing. However, the staff at the Manihi Pearl which we visited later, were all very open and friendly. We learned that the Moorea resorts generally have a pretty high staff turnover, and they probably feel less invested in what they are doing.

A quick word about wildlife. Chickens are the National Bird of French Polynesia, and indeed of many tropical Pacific islands. Expect roosters crowing. Not a problem in the over-water bungalows, but I expect that they might be a bit of an annoyance in the garden and beach units. Mosquitos were present in the evenings, especially at the bar. I am a mosquito magnet, so I got one or two bites a night. That's actually not too bad for me. My wife got away relatively unbitten.

The village (I believe its name is Paraoro) is just down the street (5 or 10 minutes walk), and has a few shops and restaurants. We had lunch at the bakery. Food was good, but we got taken for a ride when we paid with US dollars. We had intended to get some money changed that the bank, but forgot to bring our passports so we were stuck with dollars. The bakery / cafe also has Internet access via a computer and WiFi. Internet access is $10 an hour at the resort.

We signed up for a day of diving with Moorea Blue Diving at the resort. We did two dives with Lino. He was pretty relaxed and made the dives pleasant. Visibilities were only about 40-50 feet. The water was warm - 80-82F / 27-28C - even at 60-80 feet. The coral is completely chewed up. Lino told us that there was an infestation of Crown of Thorns stars a few years ago, and the corals have not recovered yet. Maybe in a few more years... There were some large curious Lemon Sharks and some Black Tipped Reef Sharks that followed us around. A few larger fish, like Barracuda and morays, but not much in the way of reef life. This in not the place to go for a diving vacation. However, we felt happy doing a day of diving just to see what was there.

Snorkeling in front of the bungalows was OK, but it's well worth it to swim across the channel to the main reef. The corals are healthy, and there are lots of nice reef fish. Once across the channel, the water depth on the reef is no more than 10 feet, so it's ideal for snorkeling. There is a bit of a current that pushes you back toward shore, so you get back easily. The current increases as you near the reef break, and when you get to the surf line the coral is pretty much flattened. Not much to see out there except the surf.

The Moorea Pearl is a great place if you want to be mellow in your over-water bungalow or hang at the pool.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Marc_Majka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2012

This was our fourth stay at the Moorea Pearl resort; we started coming here shortly after they opened. For comparison's sake, we've also stayed twice at the Moorea Intercontinental and once at the Moorea Sheraton (now Hilton). Honestly, I've never met a Moorea resort that I didn't enjoy, but there's a reason why the Moorea Pearl has become our go-to resort: location. We've also found that they tend to price lower than the Intercontinental (as much as we love the snorkeling at the Sofitel and the Hilton, the isolated location just doesn't work for us when we're traveling with kids). Bottom line is that this resort is one of the best values on Moorea if you're looking for a resort experience.

The location of the Moorea Pearl is just superb for us, particularly as our last two trips have included our kids (now ages 11 and 13). There is a small village within a five minute's walk, where you can go to the grocery story, shop, and absolutely gorge yourself at either Le Sud or Carameline's. You have the White House for shopping, along with several really fun little places in the commercial center.

The bungalows are still quite lovely, the deck loungers are extremely comfortable, and housekeeping does an outstanding job with towels. We also never had a problem getting a lounger at the pool (no one was seriously playing the towel game while we were there, and the poolboy seemed to be cleaning up any abandoned towels with alacrity).

Breakfast was quite nice. Unlike our last visit (when most of the fruit was canned), there was a lovely selection of fresh fruits that varied from morning to morning. There were several different kinds of watermelons, pineapple, cantaloupe, and bananas. A chef was on hand to make eggs to order and there was a miso station, much to my husband's delight. Four mornings out of five there were also crepes and firi firi (much to my delight). The Pearl also has a new space age coffee machine that makes espressos, cafe au lait, hot chocolate, etc. This was actually quite nice as we could just wander up and get whatever we wanted whenever we wanted it. We were also pleased that the buffet truly opened at 6:30… we had a 7:00 pick-up on our last day and it was great to be able to have toast and hot chocolate before heading out.

What we loved:
(1) We emailed the resort prior to arriving and asked, if possible, to be placed on the right pontoon as we preferred the snorkeling there. Carine Keck (who has been working their customer service for years now) responded and we couldn't have been placed in a nicer room for us. We were given the endmost room (418), which had lovely sunrise and mountain views (in addition to open ocean), and was perfectly positioned for access to the coral. Several mornings we spotted a turtle noodling by. If you snorkel past the Pearl, headed towards the Hiro's boat moored in the water, there are some amazing walls of coral.

(2) The pool menu and pool service is every bit as good as it was on our last visit. They have amazing sandwiches and ice cream sundaes-- and the poolboy will bring it right on out to your lounger for you. The pineapple ice cream sundae is out of this world.

(3) The activities concierge was not only extremely efficient and well-informed, but also very friendly. She helped us arrange several excursions, including a rental car, a motu picnic, and a tattoo with Albert for my husband.

(4) The lady in the onsite pearl shop was also just wonderfully friendly-- even though we were buying what had to be the least expensive pearl in the entire shop. This was my 13 year old daughter's first pearl purchase in a jewelry shop and the lady made it an absolutely lovely experience for her-- right down to the fabulous, elegant jewelry box.

Some minor nits:

(1) The kids-eat-free special is always an interesting challenge to have honored at the Pearls. Each resort has its own interpretation. The Moorea Pearl restaurant staff challenged us our first morning there, indicating that the kids' breakfast was not included. Being rather under the impression that it was (particularly after having spent the first half of our vacation in Huahine at their sister resort, where it was), I said "Kids eat free?" The waitresses conferred in rapid-fire French and then said "Enjoy your breakfast!" Apparently, breakfast was, indeed, free for the kids. Lunch and dinner from the kids' menu was also free (I wasn't aware that lunch was included, so that was a pleasant surprise). I would recommend verifying exactly what is included or not included if it matters strongly to you.

(2) While we weren't charged for eating off the kids' menu, we were charged for a rollaway bed in the room. This was disappointing, although the website does mention in itty-bitty font that kids stay free only when sharing existing bedding in the room; the Pearl now allows 2 children 14 and under in the room and, without a rollaway, there is simply no way to accommodate the second child, short of putting him or her on the floor: there is the master bed and a daybed only. The rollaway was approximately 8400 CFP and was one of those springy fold-up beds. The sister resort in Huahine had provided two futon beds at no charge for the kids, and I do wish the Moorea Pearl could have provided similar quality beds and done so at no charge as well.

(3) There also appeared to be a little bit of confusion as to what was included with our package. Although the receptionist confirmed the inclusions when we checked in (and we agreed), our 8500 CFP resort credit had gone a.w.o.l. when we checked out. It didn't take too long to sort out, but it's worth double-checking your final invoice to make sure all is correct. There is also apparently a 2500 CFP/person deposit charged to your room when you check in, which wasn't mentioned… we saw it on the preliminary invoice the resort gave us the night before we checked out and it was missing from the final invoice. It makes sense, but just a heads up!

Room Tip: The best snorkeling is along the drop-off on the right arm of the pontoon (as you stand facing the ocean).
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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7  Thank amf1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2012

a slight snafu within our room that was quickly accommodated by a switch in rooms! Very comfortable and spa like...just what we needed! Very clean

Room Tip: Delicious meals were large and seemed pricey but could easily be shared between two. Language should be a patient struggle for the tourists
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank 2snorklesRus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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