Part 2: Taking The Ferry To Moorea And The Intercontinental Using Free Nights
Rather than take the short 15 minute flight to Moorea, I decided to keep my rental car and ferry both it and me over to the island. I had done the math and even though expensive, was cheaper than renting a car there. I hadn’t been able to explore the island the last visit, so wanted the freedom to do so this trip.
I arrived at the ferry terminal 30 minutes before departure to secure my place in line. There were mostly service vehicles and cargo trucks waiting to board.
I kept my luggage in the car, but those without had to ‘check’ their bags as they weren’t allowed in the passenger area. There were no tracking tags or receipts given, security was on the honor system!
The ride was a quick 45 minutes and before I knew it I was driving off the boat and on my way to the Intercontinental.
The hotel was on the exact opposite side of the island and took about 45 minutes to get there at a leisurely pace. The drive was beautiful and I was again glad I had the car to be able to stop and go as I pleased.
I arrived to another nearly empty resort. Check in was handled in the lobby lounge area, and I was brought a cold towel and some juice while I waited.
The property is beautiful, though smaller than I had expected. One main building houses standard garden view rooms, while the remaining accommodations are bungalows from garden to ocean to lagoon view. Some even had plunge pools. I was assigned a bungalow which overlooked the lagoon. And even though I expected to see abundant over water bungalows, in reality most were situated on land, with only their decks jutting out into the water.
Another great attraction of the resort is the Dolphin Experience and Turtle Rehabilitation Centers. I was initially skeptical (yeah, I saw The Cove) but when I inquired, was told the dolphins were either former military, or had been born in captivity. They certainly were cute, seemed to be well looked after, healthy, and provided lots of entertainment. All the turtles were rescues, injured or sick and brought in to be rehabilitated and then returned to the sea.
There were definitely fewer food options around the hotel than in Tahiti. A small market area with limited shopping and a couple of local restaurants was situated 25 minutes walk away. There was also an ATM. Again, I was glad to have the car to be able to venture out to eat more local. I didn’t try the food at the hotel. I did spend a lot of time at the beautiful infinity pool.
Two nights wasn’t long enough, but alas it was time to move on to Bora Bora. I caught the last ferry back to Papeete and spent a final night at the Intercontinental Tahiti before catching my flight early the next morning.
NEXT: Part 3: Amazing Bora Bora