Honeymoon in Paradise

The Sherton Moorea offers comfort and luxury over the water

By: Janeen Christoff

Moorea’s contrasting landscape is the driving force behind its diverse beauty. With lush green valleys, volcanic peaks and strikingly blue water, the heart-shaped island is an ideal spot for lovebirds. And the Sheraton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is the perfect destination for any couple wishing to have an authentic South Seas experience.

Moorea is popular with honeymooners. My husband and I went for our honeymoon, and just about everyone we met at bars, dinner or on excursions, was celebrating their recent nuptials. The island’s close proximity to Papeete, where most international flights arrive, makes it a convenient outer-island stop for travelers to Tahiti, but despite its popularity and small size, the island still feels deserted, even during peak seasons. Couples can take advantage of the diverse landscape to explore the island’s secluded white-sand beaches, 4X4 in the Opunohu Valley, rent cars or scooters to circle the island, or they can languish for days in an overwater bungalow, enjoying the tranquility of the South Pacific.

The flight from Papeete is just 10 minutes, but we found the 30-minute ferry ride was a more fun and adventurous way to travel.

The Sheraton Moorea is a secluded retreat located on a 10-acre lagoon minutes from Moorea’s airport and the ferry terminal. But its proximity to local transportation in no way makes the resort seem close to civilization. It’s the only property in the area, and the perfectly manicured gardens make guests feel as though they are walking in a tropical wonderland, far from mainland distractions like televisions, BlackBerrys and the Internet.

Bungalows exude vintage Polynesian charm, with claw-foot bathtubs, dark wood furniture, plantation shutters and antique-style fixtures. There are three different variations. Fifty-four are over water, fanning out into the lagoon, and 52 garden and beach bungalows line the sand. All are similarly appointed and offer a lanai or balcony, air-conditioning, room service, televisions, a data port and traditional amenities.

Overwater bungalows come equipped with some non-traditional appointments. In the living room, a glass window allows guests to watch the reef life below. There is a snorkel and a mask for each guest and fins can be checked out on the beach. Guests can dive off the deck and into the crystal clear water to explore the lagoon, spotting everything from Nemo to sting rays. My husband and I even saw a puffer fish.

Honeymooners can get busy relaxing on the resort’s beautiful white-sand beach, as well as by the lagoon-style pool, and most importantly, at the Mandara Spa, which offers a variety of treatments including couples massage, hot-stone therapy and a salon. There is also a fitness center and tennis court.

Although many couples may prefer never to leave the resort, off-site activities can be arranged. Popular activities include the Circle Island Tour and an evening at the Tiki Village. Clients can also rent cars and bugsters (buggies) at the hotel to explore the island on their own, get a bite to eat or do some shopping.

We rented a bugster. They are open air, easy to maneuver and perfect for the tropical setting. The only drawback is if the weather is rainy, prepare to get wet.

If couples choose not to leave, the resort offers three bars and two restaurants. Casual dining is available at the Rotui Bar and Grill, and Arii Vahine offers a more formal experience. The Eimeo Bar is adjacent to Arii Vahine and offers a panoramic view of the sea.

Bar Toatea is a seasonal overwater bar. The hours are unpredictable due to weather, but it is one of the nicest spots to grab a drink and watch the sun set over the Pacific. It’s also the perfect way to end a romantic vacation.


Sheraton Moorea
Lagoon Resort & Spa
Papetoai, PK14, Moorea