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We were there last March, we came in on a trade directly with an owner. The reviews are pretty accurate. The resort is old and needs an infusion of capital. If you want the amenities of a Westin or a Marriott this is not the place for you.
The place is steeped in history and the happy hour (BYOB) with Muck is a lot of fun and you get to meet others that are staying there.
One couple we met owned two weeks and wound up buying a third. Another couple we met had been coming there since 1976. So some people really like it.
The motu picnic and snorkle is well done and fun. The crab races are a good tiime too. They also have a Tahitian show and we enjoyed that. The on-site restaurant is more than adequate.
There is not a lot to do on the island, we rented a car for a couple of days.
Be ready for prices that you can't believe.
There is a market within walking distance, but it is a walk. Coooking, however, is on a two burner hot plate.
How long are you going to be in Fr. Polynesia? Going to other islands?
Thanks for the info. What type of unit did you have and were they clean? If I have a choice, which type of unit should I be requesting? We have a week booked at the Sheraton Moorea and I have the option of either spending the other week at the Sheraton in Papeetee or taking this getaway at the Bali- Hi. I dont expect 5 star but I dont want mold or dirt? Is this realistic? TIA
We had a 2nd floor studio unit. We met some people there who had one of the over the water 1BR units and, while not large, was nicer than what we had. Cooking was still a hot plate. Our unit looked like it new drapes.
Bali Hai not withstanding, two weeks on Moorea is "more than enough time." I would seriously recommend that you consider staying on one of the other islands.
On our trip we stayed on Moorea and Bora Bora for a week each. The highlight of our trip was the week on a catamaran with Archipels Croisiers and we sailed from Huahine, to Taha'a and Raiatea, and then back to Bora Bora. We were in French Polynesia for three weeks. The cat is expensive, but it includes all your food, beer, and wine. Check it out. It is very relaxing and unforgetable! :whoopie:
I can't speak to Papetee we just flew in and out. If there is a Sheraton on Bora Bora you might want to consider that property. We stayed at the MaiTai on Bora Bora. It is a 4 star, and nice. We had an over the water unit and it was just great.
I don't remember where the Sheraton is on Moorea. I will check it out.
As someone who has always liked the look of those over-the-water huts, can I ask you who have been there: Is there any special advantage to those rooms? Other than seeing water outside, that is? Are there viewing windows or something that makes them advantageous? What am I missing?
Secondly, how does one exchange into one of those units? All I ever see offered are hotel-type rooms on the beach.
I've been trying to get into that resort for the week before our cruise on the Paul Gauguin. We're going to need some time to recover from jet lag and the hotel prices on Tahiti are incredibly expensive, while the cost of an Extra Vacation week at Club Bali Hai is amazingly affordable.
I saw somewhere on their website http://www.clubbalihai.com/ that it might be possible to purchase an upgrade from an exchange to an over-the-water or beachfront bungalow, but otherwise, I think those accommodations are rentals.
Yes I took it (going this February)... reviews about it were all over the map but it was only $251 for the week and I only need it for 5 days anyhow so I thought that we'd try it...if its really bad we can always go to back to Papeetee earlier and book into the Sheraton.
Well we stayed at the Club Bali Hai for 5 nights (as planned). It was very very basic accomodations (no radio, tv, phone, clock, hair dryer, iron etc in the rooms at all) but as I had talked to others beforehand I was not surprised. The staff was great (they definitely deserve the RCI hospitality award). I submitted a review - guess that it will be out shortly.
AKE, Your post appeared at just the right time. I have a question I'd like to ask you. Tahiti Discount, the agency that rents units at Bali Hai contacted me and offered us an upgrade from our timeshare exchange unit to an overwater or beachfront unit for $120 + taxes = US$146 per night. The price would include american breakfast for two persons, which they say is worth $25 each per day. The utilities surcharge of approximately US$225 per week would be waived.
What do you think? After having stayed at Club Bali Hai in a timeshare unit, do you think it would be worth paying the extra money to get a "better" unit, breakfast and avoid the utilities charge?
I guess it would depend how many nights you are staying - if it was only a couple then it would be ok to upgradfe but I wouldn't pay for anything longer. There is NO beach and the waterfront units are really not over the water like you see in some pictures of resorts - rather they are at the water's edge (though I believe that all 4 legs do stand in the water.) As well, the water is murky and the bottom dark at the resort as the resort is in a bay (no coral bottom as coral does not grow where there is a fresh water inlet ... i.e. the valley leading into the bay). As such you would not see much looking into the water, either from your bacony or the glass panel in the floor of the over-the-water units. One thing you may want to check out is whether the units are air-conditioned. I read somewhere that over-the-water units were not air-conditioned (the hotel is) and given the high humidity and heat there (90+ at 9 am), AC is a must. The cost for the breakfast is correct BUT you can apparently buy the breakfast vouchers from reception for 1100 xpf each (which, x2, is around $25).
I saw no difference in the furnishings between the hotel (timeshare) unit and the individual huts - both are VERY basic. If you do go for the timeshare, see if you can get unit #11 or at least a 2nd floor unit - much better views there. Think of it more like camping, not Club Med - but don't get me wrong, the staff was fantastic and we would go back for a few days as it gives you a real taste of Tahiti (no clock, radio, TV, hairdryer etc etc in the room... actually have to read a book!)
One thing is to be sure and bring lots of heavy duty (SPF 60+) sunscreen - the sun is brutal from early on in the morning. We had a good tan already, don't burn normally, always sat under large umbrellas etc, and even then we got sunburned AND went through 2 large containers of sunscreen in 2 weeks (normally this amount would last us for a few years}. As well, bring aloe vera, bandages etc etc as everything is very expensive. I went to the drug store in Papeete to buy a box of bandaids (got a blister from walking) and the box of 12 (yes 12 bandaids) that sells for $1 here was 800xpf = $10 US (I decided to change shoes instead - ).
Restaurants are also very expensive - talking to locals we were told that they normally don't eat in restaurants because of the price. In Papeete go to the roulottes at the ferry dock at night (these are large vans which fill up the parking lot after the last ferry which sell everything from BBQ'd fish (right on site) to BBQ beef, hamburgers, chinese food, etc. The food is good and very reasonably priced (500 xpf = $6 for a fresh fishkabob; around 1000 xpf for BBQ'd veal etc.). In Moorea go to Terpanier (need a car for this), the pizza place about a 10 minute walk from the resort, or some of the local restaurants recommended by staff or Muk.
We got an exchange, so the numbers work out something like this:
value of deposited week + RCI exchange fee + $225 utilities fee + $23.90 city tax + cost of breakfast = one week in a timeshare studio
value of deposited week + RCI exchange fee + $1022 = overwater "bungalow" including breakfast.
If the 2 for 1 breakfast special that AKE mentioned is still available, then the value of 7 days breakfast for 2 persons is $175, making the extra weekly cost for an overwater bungalow about $598. (If my math is correct)
Its not a 2 for `breakfast, rather you can purchase breakfast vouchers for 1100 xpf each (that is what one of the servers in the restaurant told us) ... so for 2 people it would be 2200 xpf / day = $25 US. This is a pretty good price in Moorea (or Tahiti).