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“Do not stay here - you can do far better in Moorea for the price” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Fare Vaimoana

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Hotel Fare Vaimoana
Cairns, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Do not stay here - you can do far better in Moorea for the price”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2010

I spent two nights here in early January. I should have read the reviews better. I chose Vai Moana because I thought it offered rustic Tahitian simplicity. Wrong. I think a better word would be 'cheap & nasty', or to be kind a Moorean Fawlty Towers.

I was in the middle of travelling around Polynesia for 2 months, & have extensively travelled in Polynesia (Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands) the past 20 years, so am not a newie at this.

I asked for a beachfront fare & this was given to me. The bed was OK (but pillows low & hard & old) & the room clean-ish. Lots of hibiscus as a welcome greeting on the bed & in the bathroom. However, the bar fridge in the room I had to wrestle with to open each time, & it never made successful ice. The curtains seemed to have been converted from someone's bedding & didn't meet in the middle (the bed was visible for anyone walking outside along the beachfront), The shower & toilet areas were clean with clean towels. Being mid-summer & hot, I investigated sleeping in the loft area, but the ceiling fan didn't work, so abandoned that idea.

As I was travelling solo & not knowing the area, I had to close the sliding glass door at night, which prevented any of the lovely sea-breeze entering the room. For security I also used the other curtains in the room, rendering the room hot. The only ventilation was a slightly odd floor-standing fan device, which didn't provide much breeze. It is sad the owners don't think of adding a breeze-friendly security door to the front of the fares, as the property is beach-front. (I didn't expect air-con, so that wasn't an issue.)

I arrived on the bus from the ferry just after midday, & was pleasantly greeted by a young man who showed me to the room, & then left me. No offer of water or other cold drink (although it was a stinking hot day), no mention of lunch or other meal times. No compendium in the room for information. Thankfully I had some bottled water with me (tap water is OK here too) & some tinned sardines & biscuits for lunch, & being tired, settled for an afternoon nap (sea-breezes).

When I woke later, I went & had a cold drink in the bar. The owner - Serge - introduced himself proudly as 'le patron'. He was a very well-presented, well-mannered Frenchman. I asked about dinner, but he said they were closed that night as it was a quiet time (early January is a very quiet time in French Polynesia), but I could eat next door at the Hibiscus Hotel, being close, which I did, had a pizza, which was very good (more on the Hibiscus below).

Back to Fare Vai Maoana : I was told breakfast was at 8.00. Being an early riser, I was there & hungry, but the waitress didn't really appear till about 8.30. She served me an enormous plate of fruit & coffee, & set the table with butter & cheap jam, but no baguette. About half-an-hour later she reappeared & gave me several slices of soggy baguette - & this was first thing in the morning!! (ie. the bread should be fresh from the bakery & crispy).

On my return to Papeetee, I was to catch the Moorea-Papeete ferry at 8am, necessitating me catching the 6am bus from Hauru. Although there was no chance of their breakfast service starting at 6am, Serge the proud patron didn't offer an electric jug or anything I could have made an early cuppa, let alone an offer to put out some fruit or bread. I think I was so disillusioned with them by that stage, I didn't ask, but nothing was offered when I settled my bill that evening. Nothing too unusual with the bill, but I had a couple of chardonnays in the afternoons - I noticed on the bill they were CFP 800 each. I had been travelling in French Polynesia for a month, and a decent chard was usually about CFP 400. There were bottles in the local supermarket for CFP1400. Perhaps it was a superior vintage, I didn't notice, but it seemed pricey to me.

The property is beach-front - you can walk down & snorkel right off the beach in front, & it's a beautiful location.

However, the whole property seemed to be a once-proud but now-decayed situation. The second night I enquired about dinner (as many of the other restaurants in the area were closed due to New Year) but again, no cooking 'as it was quiet'. I went to Les Tipaniers that night & had a delightful meal. There was a local dance troupe practising to one side of the Vai Moana resturant one afternoon who were to perform on Thursday (this was Tuesday/2nd night) so perhaps they make their money on Thursdays. Who knows?

On a brighter note, when I went to Hibiscus Hotel (which is right next to the Fare Vai Moana) for dinner, & walking through their grounds to get to the restaurant, I noted a few happy people enjoying a wine & some food on their verandahs. The rooms looked very nice at night. There was yummy food, a diverse menu, & quite a few locals eating there. There was also a decent-sized very clean pool, & a couple of families with young kids playing there.

Again, when I went to Les Tipaniers the next evening, although a much bigger property (quite a lot of people & activity) , the rooms looked nice at night, & the service & food was great, even though I wasn't staying there.

So, those are two places I could recommend having a look at, but definitely not Fare Vai Moana. You won't pay much more for either of them, but I think you might have a far more pleasant time.

The thing that most annoyed me was that Serge Le Patron would appear late morning very well washed & coiffed, & yet there were so many things wrong with his property. One would thought he might be pulling out his finger (in Australian vernacular) to improve the situation.

I understand quite an amount of French too, & the French reviews on this property are pretty awful too.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lillian-at-yorkeys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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55 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
USA
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2007

I was at Fare Vai Moana for 2 nights. I stayed in a garden bungalow, travelling alone.

The bungalow was bascially clean, except for a dead roach and ants throughout the place. The bathroom was clean, only one towel was provided, so you need to bring your own beach towel. Only a small bar of handsoap is provided, so you definitely need to bring your own toiletries. The lighting was very dim, which made it difficult to see at night, especially if you wanted to read once the sun went down. The bed was very uncomfortable.

Didn't realize I booked a farmstay...chickens ran freely throughout the property. They kept me up all night, the rooster definitely let me know when it was dawn, and it sounded like the chickens managed to make their way to my thatched roof. Cats also roam the property, the cats were friendly and one even laid next to you on the beach. I did catch a cat up on my roof as well.

Small beach. The beach is maybe 6 feet wide. The tide was up while I was there, thus reducing the amount of beach space. When a wave broke, everyone had to jump up with their towels to avoid being soaked. The water was clear though and fairly warm. Plenty of fish in the shallow water.

The staff was nice and accomodating. They allowed me to check out late in the afternoon since no one was booked in my bungalow after me. Their English is ok and it is fairly easy to communicate with them if you don't know French.

Don't take a cab there from the ferry! The bus was no where in sight when I got off the boat so I took a cab, which ended up costing me 4700 XPF!

It was a very relaxing place, I just didn't enjoy the chickens and the bugs.

  • Liked — The location, right on the beach and being able to see the sunset.
  • Disliked — The chickens!
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LilyGirl11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kaunas
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2006

We have just returned from Tahiti,French Polynesia.We had a beutifull 3 days spent in Bora Bora,hotell Maitai Polynesia and very bad experience in Fare Vai Moana in Morea island.Mayebe our expectations were to high,but still...Already the people meeting you in the reception(actually there is no reception,as such)are not friendly,simply leading you to the bugalow,leaving you and "go on".I was ready to ask about some upgrading,no discussions.The restaurant with really high prices even for french Polynesia was almost empty all the time.The beach,hmm,how to say....Nothing for your comfort,only the sand and several palms,but in sunny day you will hardly find any shadow.Near bungalow only terible wooden chairs,very uncomfortable.Of course,no TV set in the room,nor in the hotel,no AC.No pool in that relly primitive,not clean and sad hotel,which I would compare with a camping.So,after spending one night in such conditions,I founded free room in hotel Hibiscus nearby and for additional charge of 300 USD had at least clean,air conditioned room .And the staff in this hotel was much more friendly,what I really expected going so far and spending a lot of money.

  • Liked — Sorry,nothing
  • Disliked — No comfort,only for sleeping
  • Tips/Secrets — None
  • Stayed October 2006, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank Mikomimas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Moorea hotels

Boston
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2006

This beautiful little hotel is a bit far from the ferry but well worth the travel!

Make sure when you get off the ferry you don't linger but go straight to the bus ($3 / person). If you wait too long you will miss it and the bus only comes every 3 hours. A Taxi will cost $40 - $60 dollars.

The hotel rooms are not luxorious but simple and clean. The real jewel is the beach which is aboslutely beautiful! And since the resort is pretty small, all the bungalows are a 2 minute walk to the water. And it is never too crowded! It does have a lot of rocks though so be sure to bring beach shoes if you don't have tough feet.

The restaurant also has a great view but can eat away at your trip budget pretty fast. The grocery store is about a 10 minute walk away and you can buy baguettes, cheese, wine, beer, and everything you need easily. If you don't like buying groceries, be prepared to spend at least $100 per day per person on food. All of the restaurants are really expensive (i.e. $30 entrees are typical and $15 dessert)!

The language skills of the staff at Fare Viamona are pretty limited so we choose to get advice, book reservations, etc. through the hotel next door which worked out fine. Still glad we stayed where we did. Amazing oasis for rest and relaxation! Enjoy!

Stayed June 2006
Helpful?
4 Thank advtrsrmine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2006

It seemed ok when we first got there. i had a hard time finding info on the internet- but managed to find a little on the forums.
First off- it's basic bungalow. No AC, but clean rooms, with clean bathrooms and showers. The beds were very low to the ground and a foam mattress. No mosquito nets and the fan was one the sat on the floor. I thought this will be ok- like camp! They have a very nice beach and lagoon. The restaurant looked decent at first glance. Watch out- Continental breakfast is basically bread and coffee- and it was 15 US each.
Clean, basic, & a good beach. I thought this will work- it's like camping in paradise!
Then came the chickens.
Fare Vai Moana is in a rural area- the neighbors have chickens... not in pens. They roam freely all over the grounds- including over, under and beside your bungalows. You might think- oh, cute- chickens. But it's the roosters that will get you. Crowing all throught the day and part of the night. It started at 3:30 AM and went until about 7PM at night. Ok- still camping, but not in paradise.

  • Liked — the beach
  • Disliked — Chickens!
  • Tips/Secrets — Stay here if you like to get up early!
  • Stayed August 2006, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank cosette28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Fare Vaimoana

Property: Hotel Fare Vaimoana
Address: Domaine Tiahura | BP 1181 Papetoai, 98729, French Polynesia
Region: French Polynesia > Society Islands > Moorea
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 22 Speciality Lodging in Moorea
Number of rooms: 115
Also Known As:
Fare Vaimoana Moorea

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