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Hilton Honors points collectors are in luck when visiting French Polynesia, as there are several places to earn and redeem points. One of them is the beautiful Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa — a favorite of those traveling beyond the famous island of Bora Bora.
For many people, the best way to redeem their hotel points is to use them on bucket-list, dream destinations like Tahiti. Hilton Moorea could be the perfect spot for that. Before you visit, learn what you can expect from a stay in French Polynesia in this Hilton Moorea review.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
About Hilton Moorea
The Hilton Honors hotel loyalty program no longer has award charts. Instead, the company prices its award redemptions using a dynamic model; the number of points needed varies by night depending on demand.
While the price in points is sure to be high (on the dates we checked, redemption nights cost from 270,000 to 572,000 points per night), the experience is worth it. The hotel has the quintessential overwater bungalow accommodations, in addition to more standard rooms. It's also home to the island’s only overwater restaurant, making it a favorite for both guests and visitors from other resorts.
Elite Hilton Honors members can take advantage of familiar perks like free wireless internet, room upgrades based on availability and a credit to use toward food and beverages each day at the resort. If you're paying with money rather than points for the stay, the number of Hilton Honors points you earn will be based on your status, ranging from 10x points per dollar spent for general members all the way up to 20x for Diamond members.
If paying with a Hilton Honors credit card like the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card — which comes with automatic Diamond status — you can earn up to 34x points per dollar spent. Terms apply.
» Learn more: The NerdWallet guide to Hilton Honors
Where is Hilton Moorea? The hotel sits on Moorea-Maiao, an island just northwest of Tahiti island.
The resort is situated between two of the island’s beautiful bays and offers breathtaking views. Even more beautiful is the scenery from its overwater bungalows and restaurant. The waterfront property is located on the northern part of the island, which makes it perfect for watching both sunrise and sunset.
The property is a 10-minute drive from the airport and a 15-minute drive from the ferry dock.
Hilton Moorea provides two accommodation styles: overwater bungalows and land-based rooms with views of the gardens or sea. The main resort building and pool area provide most of the relaxation and dining spaces for guests. Like most resorts on the island, many spaces are open-air, allowing for a relaxing breeze to waft through.
The resort's general design shows off Polynesian influences. An eco-friendly focus is a growing trend on the islands, and this resort is no different. Some of its offerings concentrate on energy and water conservation, as well as biodiversity protection.
Food and beverage
The breakfast buffets and dinner menus at the open-air Arii Vahine would be considered the star of the show if it weren't for the resort's beautiful turquoise water views.
Drinks at sunset are best enjoyed from Eimeo Bar, where a daily happy hour is available overlooking the lagoon.
The option to dine with your toes in the sand at Rotui Bar and Grill is a popular one for lunch and dinner. It's convenient for both pool- and beachgoers, making it a great spot for a midday snack. Toatea Bar & Creperie also garners attention as an overwater restaurant serving traditional French crepes and drinks, with marine life swimming below.
» Learn more: The best Hilton credit card strategy
You’ll want to choose your rooms carefully here as the views are quite different. Since the land-based accommodations are less expensive, some travelers may prefer splitting their stay, spending a few nights in a Hilton Moorea overwater bungalow and the rest on land.
Many of the resort's land-based accommodations are labeled bungalows. Some have garden views, while others — like some of the king bungalows — offer a lagoon view. The king bungalows are actually on the beach, and because each room's balcony juts out over the shoreline, it can feel as though the room is overwater, even though you're on land.
Some of the garden-facing bungalows offer a private pool, but not all of the resort's land-based accommodations do so. If that's important to you, be sure to book that type of room.
Other non-bungalow, land-based stays are more affordable; these rooms don't offer the generous living space you'll find in the more premium bungalow option.
As the most premium category stay, the overwater bungalows are labeled as suites. These accommodations are lovely and synonymous with a Tahitian resort visit. You reach the bungalows after walking along a wooden pathway to get to your private oasis above the turquoise water.
Even if you're staying inside to enjoy the air conditioning, you can see the fish swimming beneath your room through a glass panel on the floor. The outdoor terrace allows you to climb down from your bungalow directly into the ocean below.
Whether you're here to relax by the pool or beach, swim in the lagoon or get out and explore, there's plenty to see and do at Hilton Moorea. Lounging by the pool is a great way to decompress after a long flight, and the resort’s spa offers numerous Tahitian-inspired massage and beauty treatments. Other activities include tennis, a fitness center and even a business center or meeting rooms.
If you prefer to go beyond the resort’s address, there are lots of activities on the island, including Jeep riding and nonmotorized water sports. Seeing the island’s landscape from the water is a beautiful way to experience it.
How to get to Hilton Moorea
The main international airport in Tahiti is Faa'a International Airport (PPT), and there are nonstop flights from U.S. cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco. United Airlines flies from the latter, making the trip a great way to earn and redeem MileagePlus miles. The airline’s frequent flyer program is based on a dynamic pricing model, but on the dates we checked, a one-way business class redemption started at 70,000 to 178,000 miles, depending on the date, while economy class tickets cost from 35,000 to 142,000 miles.
Local airline Air Tahiti Nui isn’t part of an airline alliance, but the carrier does partner with American Airlines to earn miles (but only when booked with an AA flight number). It's also a partner of Alaska Airlines.
Photos courtesy of Hilton.
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