Mo’orea’s Intercontinental for a Luxe Stay in French Polynesia

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We’ve stayed at a lot of 4 and 5 star “chain” properties over the years, but not at as many InterContinentals as other brands for some reason. And so, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to be guests at the InterContinental Mo’orea Resort & Spa during a recent press trip to Tahiti and Mo’orea.

InterContinental Mo'orea Resort & Spa Mo'orea

Paradise at the InterContinental Mo’orea

There’s actually an InterContinental in Tahiti as well and although we didn’t stay there, our group attended a cocktail soiree on-site one evening. See our write-up on where we did stay and other hotel suggestions for Tahiti when you first land in French Polynesia.

The InterContinental Mo’orea location is about as idyllic as it gets. Imagine a sheltered bay, a clear, turquoise lagoon, and a stunning serene setting between the mountains and the sea.

InterContinental Mo'orea

Mountain serenity and magic on the horizon

InterContinental Mo'orea

Quiet and relaxing on all sides

InterContinental Tahiti

Mystical mountains and crystal clear turquoise waters in the foreground

Set on the northwest coast of the island of Mo’orea, amid 18 hectares of lush, unspoiled tropical terrain, the InterContinental Mo’orea location boasts a whole lot of solitude if that’s what you’re looking for — it certainly is a key consideration for us when we do hotel picks.

Intercontinental Mo'orea

Turquoise clarity and wispy palms

InterContinental Mo'orea

There are many bungalow “types” to choose from and views/ambiance.

Nature, Wellness & the Environment

The InterContinental Mo’orea property is set on 11 hectares of beachfront gardens, is only 15 or so minutes from Belvedere Lookout and only 24 kilometers from Moorea Green Pearl Golf Course. 

This place is ideal for nature lovers since the resort is nestled in a tranquil cove, with jagged volcanic peaks behind and the great expanse of the South Pacific in front. The beach is protected from the elements, the waters teem with sea life and the gardens bloom with more than 200 species of tropical plants and trees. Yes, really.

InterContinental Mo'orea

InterContinental Mo'orea

InterContinental Mo'orea

If you’re a turtle lover, you’ll love their Turtle Center on the property, which is really great if you’re traveling with children. The Turtle Center is a rehabilitation centre which was established in February 2004 by the Te Mana o Te Moana Association, in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment in an effort to protect the French Polynesian sea turtles.

Even though all sea turtles are protected globally, they remain at risk of extinction. And so, they take in turtles who are sick, injured, maimed or were seized by customs – and do their best to rehabilitate them, at which point they are released into the sea.


InterContinental Mo'orea

One of their turtles taken on site from my iPhone

On the five sea turtle species found in the French Polynesian waters, the Clinic has welcomed four different species in 11 years : the green turtle, the hawksbill turtle, the Loggerhead sea turtle and the Olive turtle. Most of the time, you will encounter the green turtle and the hawksbill turtle, which are the ones we saw during our stay there. Read more about the foundation here.

If you love turtles, chances are you have a soft spot for water and marine life. If this is the case, you’ll be thrilled to learn that they also have a Dolphin Center right on the premises. So cool, right? We thought so.

The Moorea Dolphin Center is a marine mammal’s education center which houses three bottlenose dolphins: two males, Lokahi and Kuokoa born in a Hawaiian facility, and one female, Hina, a San Diego US Navy retiree.

They offer educational and interactive programs, and you can register to experience a dolphin up close and I mean, really up close. You can swim with them in one of their programs, or in the one we did, give them a kiss, pat their tummy, hug them around the center and feel their fins. At the same time, you learn about marine mammals and their ecosystem which is an incredible opportunity for kids if you’re heading there for a family getaway.

InterContinental Mo'orea

Swimming with Dolphins. Credit: InterContinental Mo’orea.

Even if you don’t do one of the programs, you can walk at the vicinity of the center, observe the dolphins in their lagoon, and chat with the trainers. Apparently, 5% of their gross income supports diverse local programs and foundations, like the non-profit organization Te Mana O Te Moana and La Saga, dedicated to disadvantaged children.

Kayaker or Paddleborder?

I took a paddleboard out while I was there – so serene and so beautiful. I could hear a pin drop on the water.

Want a l’il meditation and wellness time? They’ve got you covered. The InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa is home to the first spa in French Polynesia: Hélène Spa. See our write-up on our spa experience with them in our Spas & Retreats section.

Food & Wine

They have other restaurant options outside the Buffet however the Buffet nights are wonderful because you can sit outside on the beach and there’s no shortage of options to choose from. The great thing about Tahiti and Mo’orea is that fresh raw fish is in abundance so you can eat sashimi every night and it won’t break the bank.

Below are some of the items on the buffet – there was also a massive chilled crab plate, fresh raw oysters, shrimp and a meat carving station as well. We paired our dinner with a French Chardonnay — because of the French influence, you find a lot of French wine on nearly every restaurant menu.

Tahiti food

Tahiti food

Tahiti food


On certain nights of the week (Wednesday is one of them), they have themed nights and live entertainment. The show consists of French Polynesian dancers and performers who create magic for you while you dine. It starts at around 8 pm and goes for roughly an hour or so.

InterContinental Mo'orea

Fire dancers perform at the InterContinental Mo’orea over dinner from their buffet

You can even get your photo taken with the performers if you wish to ham it up with them. I happened to also get up and dance with one of them — why not?

InterContinental Mo'orea

Meet the dancers afterwards

Walking through the grounds, you’ll also find other eateries, bars, a dive centre, water sports facilities and several boutiques. You can walk, hitch a ride on one of the carts or who knows, borrow a bike.

InterContinental Mo'orea

The Pools

They have a couple of pool options to swim in and they are both directly facing the stunning ocean on one side and the breathtaking mountains on the other.

We love that there’s statues (stone, wood and other) of Tahitian Gods and Goddesses everywhere! The culture is so connected to the Earth and ancient wisdom.

InterContinental Mo'orea

Tables set up outside on the beach for the evening buffet

Snacks around the pool. Ooooh – fresh coconut!

The Rooms

The rooms are warm in ambiance and filled with wood and wicker furnishings. There’s plenty of modern infusion as well with their large flat-screen TV’s and Wi-Fi, as well as minibars, tea and coffeemakers. Some bungalows add plunge pools or direct beach access, while others are set on piers over the ocean.  

Below is a shot of my bed upon arrival.

Tahiti hotels
Décor is inspired by traditional Polynesian design, with bamboo parquet, thatched walls and soft and white linens. There’s also wicker furnishings and tropical flowers throughout for that added island appeal, with wide windows for those fabulous views.  Each of their 138 rooms have air conditioning as well.
InterContinental Mo'orea

Junior Suite Garden Bungalows. Credit: InterContinental Mo’orea property.

Junior Suite Beach Bungalows. Credit: InterContinental Mo’orea property.

InterContinental Mo'orea

Terremoana Lenai Suite. Credit: InterContinental Mo’orea property.

InterContinental Mo'orea

Junior Suite Bathroom. Credit: InterContinental Mo’orea property.

Did I mention the breathtaking sunsets?

Mo’orea Sunsets

InterContinental Mo'orea

Taken on my first night from one of the pools, looking out to the ocean.

Although many of these photos were taken on my Canon 7D, the sunset and food shots were shot on my iPhone. Go figure. Stunning South Pacific skies right?

Would we return? You betcha. It’s a great place to escape, especially from Australia or from America’s west coast. Frenchbee is now offering direct flights from San Francisco to Tahiti so you’re in French Polynesia in under nine hours.
Before we sign off, how about an arial view?
InterContinental Mo'orea

Credit: InterContinental Mo’orea


The InterContinental Resort & Spa Mo’orea
Tiahura, Moorea, 98729
French Polynesia
 +689 40 55 19 00
For more information, you can visit their website.
Disclosure: This trip was taken in collaboration with and hosted by French Bee Airlines and Tahiti Tourism but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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