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Reviewed 20 January 2012

For the price I expected more. The beach was beautiful and room was excellent, but I can find a great room in lots of places. There's also beautiful beaches that also have snorkeling and dont have ferry's and jet skis coming in and out.

My husband and I were told this property had snorkeling. Well . . . I'm not sure I'd call the turtle nursery real snorkeling. Same old fish, day in and day out. It's a snorkel zoo where the fish and turtles are all caged into a little area. It's ok, but I thought there'd be more natural coral and snorkeling opportunities in the "real" ocean. After our arrival we were told there wasn't any snorkeling close to the beach other than the fake snorkel set up.

The food was horrible. I'm not a picky eater, but this was pretty bad. Breakfast was usually ok, but dinner was usually disgusting. DO NOT GET THE MEAL PLAN. There were dinners where there would only be a few edible items out. Of course those items would run out immediately. That was usually followed by the constant surveying of the waiters whilst you waited for them to replenish that dish. Once it was replenished, hoards of guests would swarm around the tiny plate which would be empty within seconds. Kind of pathetic.

The staff also seemed very lazy. The staff in the dining room would oftentimes have no shoes on. Also, when you asked for advice or serivce the general attitude was one of disregard- like, they couldn't be bothered.

The hotel also offers some excursions. These were over priced and there weren't that many offered. Maybe 10. 1 snorkel, 1 shark snorkel, 2-3 "jungle" tours, and hiking. Other excursions available which were an extension for addtl $$ of other tours, ie you get lunch on a beach after the snorkel. All of these trips were well over $100 a person

Also-prepare to pay around $28 for a martini. Please.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Tahiti in general. I think the place is a tourist trap and I woudln't go back on my own volition. It's a poorer and dirtier version of Hawaii. The pearls though gorgeous, are grossly overpriced like everything else. I can find the same pearls at home for half the price. Do your homework.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank nicahan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2012

Having spent 7 days in an over water bungalow you see all the fishes the ocean has to show off. We had Rays and sharks and every type of tropical fish imaginable.
The rooms where spacious and well appointed service was good tbe staff are very helpful.
All the tours we had organized for us where professional, fun, informative and safe.
I would recommend this for a romantic escape my wife and I are in our forties and we meet some younger couples there so a very diverse place. Not really a kid friendly resort.

  • Stayed: January 2012
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Thank Aussie-in-paradise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2012

A great promise fulfilled. An inpeccable service and great location for families. The only one disappointment was that contrary to expectations (photos uploaded to TripAdvisor) you can NOT actually swim with sea turtles - any more, I guess. Those lovely creatures are kept separately in a side lagoon and you can only watch them from the outside - it is not permitted to share pools with them at all. On all other aspects the place delivers true experience - food, activities and overall staff attitude. We just loved the live music played in the Miki Miki bar at sunset - do not the experience if you are there.

Room Tip: Go for the connecting Beachfront bungalows - not only spacious, but offers its own jacuzzi pool.
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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Thank SzeZso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2012

I stayed at this property for two nights during Christmas 2011. I also stayed two nights on the mainland at the Sofitel, two nights at Le Meridien in Tahiti, and two nights in Huahine. Everything I imagined and hoped the experience would be came to fruition. Upon arriving at the airport in Bora Bora, we were greeted by a very friendly employee of Le Meridien, who gave us leis and helped us load our luggage onto the boat reserved for Le Meridien guests. This really set the tone for the rest of our stay. We took the boat with three other couples to the hotel. It took about 15 minutes to arrive, and when we did we were taken to the check-in area, given tropical fruit drinks, checked in, and taken on a tour of the facility. When we got to our bungalow, our bags were already inside, which was a nice touch.

We stayed in an overwater bungalow close to shore. I had read reviews on Tripadvisor saying that the bungalows closer to shore had calmer water and better marine life. The water was definitely very calm, and was in fact, incredible, but I didn't see a ton of fish directly around the bungalow. At night though, the light from the room panel would attract fish, including juvenile sharks, which were very fun to watch. The bungalow is just as pictured on the website. It's thrilling to be over the water in such a way, and I found the interior of the bungalow very nice and the bed to be very comfortable. I wasn't able to sunbathe on the deck, however, as there was no direct sun there.

The only issues with the bungalow were a faulty door handle and frame on the door leading to the deck, and an ultra modern, open shower, which was aesthetically pleasing, but sprayed water all over the bathroom floor. The shower drain could be bigger to help with this problem. When we politely told someone at reception about the issues, we were told that a handyman would come check them out right away, which he did, and the door issue was resolved.

As for meals, we saved money by bringing things like oatmeal with us to have for breakfast. For lunch, we ate at the pool bar and had croque monsieur for about $12. We took advantage of the coupon for free coffees/cappuccini as well as free happy hour drinks, which were beautiful and delicious. We ate dinner both nights at the a la carte Te Ava restaurant. I was very excited to see several vegetarian entrees on the menu. Unfortunately the one my husband and I wanted was not being served either night. I ordered a vegetable pot pie with gnocchi on the side instead, and received a bowl of vegetable broth with some vegetables in it. Maybe something got lost in translation? That gem of an entree cost about $25. My husband's entree was very good though, and the bread was delicious. One thing I found odd was the high cost of things like fish and salad throughout French Polynesia. Vegetables, fruits, and fish are not in short supply there, so why do they cost the same amount or even more than other dishes? Salads were terrifically expensive at $24 each.

I had read on Tripadvisor, thanks to my fellow reviewers, that the hotel has a turtle conservation program, and guests are invited each morning to listen to an explanation of the program while watching the turtles and other fish get fed (great photo opp). I was not informed of this, however, when checking in, so I would not have known had it not been for research on Tripadvisor.

In general, I found the facilities of the hotel to be excellent (I was so grateful to be able to use the two computers with free WIFI), the staff very accommodating, sweet, and able to speak English well, and the atmosphere awesome. I loved knowing that the staff were being nice, not to score tips, since tipping is not a common practice (although Americans are working hard to make this not the case), but because they wanted to help guests have a positive experience.

Moana Tours shark and sting ray trip was really great.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank Countrybound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2012

While Bora Bora has been on my bucket list for years, I was unprepared for the natural beauty, warm hospitality and array of activities that exsist in this paradise.
Getting to Bora Bora is an adventure in itself - a twin engine plane ride from Papaetee, Tahiti and then a 20 minute boat ride to the motu from the air strip (built by the US military during WWII). Weather caused a two hour delay in our arrival, and yet we were still greeted with song and leis at the LeMeridien dock.
We stayed for 6 days over Christmas and were delighted! All of the staff was superb, but I would have to give props to the beach house staff. We rented a small skiff on Christmas day to do some snorkeling in this unparalleled lagoon. The motor quit on us, but the staff provided us with a cell phone to call them and they came out to our rescue - the cost of the rental was removed from our bill!
We were treated to authentic polynesian dance and song with a free, intimate show on the beach. Woot!
The entire property suffered damage in a 2011 cyclone and was closed 4 months last year for renovations. The results are spectacular! Rather than kitchy polynesian decor, the over the water bungalows are european in style and function. The glass in the floor provided us with many "ahhh . . " moments as rays and colorful fish passed by.
There is a adequate internet salon, game room, turtle sanctuary and full service restaurant on the property. While snorkeling, kayaking, and windsailing gear is complimentary, plan to pay dearly for meals, jet ski rental or taxi service on the island. A 20 minute taxi ride to the small island for shopping was $75 per person! Since most everything is imported, food is outrageous - Our Christmas eve dinner was $200 per person and the morning continental breakfast was $40 each. Just think of it as monopoly money!
Don't miss watching the sun slip beyond the horizon at the bar - some live music added to the romance of the evening.
EVERYTHING far exceeded our expectations - and the resulting photos are promotional video material. Just GO! You'll thank me later!

Room Tip: Choose a room away from the dock for quiet and privacy.
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank 1roundface
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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