Review: Hilton Diamond Overwater Bungalow Upgrades and Benefits at Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa
"Full Disclosure: We love living points life by using points and miles to elevate travel experiences. In the interest of being transparent with you, we may be compensated from an approved credit card's application, or from some of the products and services recommended on this site. This only happens when you click on our affiliate links. We also earn commissions from purchases made through Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Thank you for your support and especially for reading this blog! Please see our Advertiser Disclosure for more details!"
The last time we went to Bora Bora and had a wonderful stay at the Le Meridien Bora Bora, I did not get a chance to enjoy Moorea more than just a day trip. This time, after successfully completing all the COVID-19 related entry requirements to French Polynesia, I decided to check out the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa. Here’s my detailed review of the property as a Hilton Honors Diamond elite member and how I booked it on points.
Overwater Bungalow at Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa
I booked a standard Garden View room, but one day before the check-in date, I looked up my reservation on the Hilton mobile app and saw that my King Garden View room got upgraded to the King Overwater Bungalow room. That’s a 3 categories jump from the standard garden view room.
Generally speaking, as a Hilton Honors Diamond elite member, you can receive a complimentary room upgrade to the next available category room. So being able to get upgraded all the way to the Overwater Bungalow room as a Diamond member was quite impressive!
Please note that upgrades are always subject to availability. After making the reservation, the property typically emails you with cash offers to upgrade your room to an Overwater Bungalow. If you are not a risk-taker, you can take up the offer and pay for the upgrade. Otherwise, you can wait it out until your check-in date to see if the property is willing to upgrade you.
It is known from the miles and points community that Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa does offer complimentary upgrades all the way to their top category Panoramic Overwater Bungalow room type for Hilton Honors Diamond elite members, but that always depends on the availability. I think one single reason that helped me get the upgrade was that traveling to French Polynesia was slow due to the COVID-19 related entry requirements. Therefore, the occupancy at the resort is low, and that may have helped me score an upgrade all the way to their Overwater Bungalow room for an entire 5-night stay.
For what it is worth, after making the reservation, I asked the Hilton representative to include a request note in my reservation saying: Diamond member requesting Overwater Bungalow upgrade.
Moreover, if you cannot upgrade to the Overwater Bungalow, I recommend getting the Lagoon Bungalow room. There are three (3) lagoon units there, also overwater. See more details below.
Hilton Moorea Overwater Bungalow Review
Overwater Bungalow Room
The Overwater Bungalow at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is beautiful. The bungalow consists of a comfortable bed and pillows, a seating area with a glass-top tabletop that looks through the glass-bottom floor, an AC, and a high ceiling fan, making it spacious and comfortable bungalow.
Overwater Bungalow Room
Bedroom & Living Room
The bathroom includes a bathtub, stand-up shower, and a double vanity sink with an open window looking out to the bedroom and outside deck.
There’s a good-sized wooden deck outside the bungalow with a table and chairs, including two lounges. One thing that you may notice is that the lounges do not have pads on them.
Overwater Bungalow Deck
Beautiful View from the Deck
On the side of the deck is a stair leading to the beautiful clear shallow lagoon and an outdoor quick freshwater shower. The view from the bungalow is seriously to die for! I honestly do not think there is really a “bad” bungalow room there.
Stair leading to the reef from the overwater bungalow
There are three (3) Lagoon Bungalows at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa. These lagoon bungalow rooms are just one category below the overwater bungalows. However, these room types come with a deck offering the beautiful lagoon views as some of the overwater bungalow rooms there. Therefore, if you can score an upgrade to a lagoon room, don’t get disappointed! You are still getting a nice upgrade of a room that actually is as nice as the overwater bungalow itself. See photos below.
Hilton Honors Diamond elite members receive complimentary continental breakfast for 2 adults staying in the same room.
The continental breakfast at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa works this way. You go to the onsite restaurant to have breakfast every morning, and the wait staff would ask for your room number and see your continental breakfast is included. The complimentary continental breakfast is buffet-style, but it does not cover all the food items you can eat there.
Continental breakfast for Diamond members is only for cold items such as pastries, fruits, cold cuts, cheese, salad, coffees, tea, water, and juices. If you would like hot items such as egg benedict, bacon, sausages, crepes, pancakes, and make-to-order omelet, you will need to pay an extra XPF 800 (~$8) per person that can be paid or charged to the room after you finish your breakfast at the table. You simply let the wait staff know that you would like a hot breakfast as well.
Cold Breakfast Items
Personally, I find that asking for the extra $8 for hot items is ironic because it’s such a small amount, and a resort such as the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa would really want to charge Diamond members for that amount? It seems a little bit petty, but the resort could charge more too if they want to. I think continental breakfast for Hilton Honors Diamond elite members should include both cold and hot items on the buffet menu.
Food & Drinks
In my honest opinion, Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa does not have good food, and both food and drinks are over-priced. The food lacks quality and is more of quick bar food to me, and it really is not worth paying for the half-board either. Half-board offers breakfast and dinner with an appetizer, main entree, and dessert; drinks are not included.
After making the reservation, the half-board option is mentioned in the email from the resort with the price. I asked the front desk girl about the half-board surcharge at check-in. Surprisingly, she suggested that because I already had the complimentary continental breakfast as a Hilton Honors Diamond member, paying extra to get the half-board is not worth it because it costs $80 per day. She was right! We did not spend that much per day to justify paying for that, mainly when we ate out often because we did not enjoy the Hilton Moorea food.
The view of the onsite restaurants is impressive, and there’s a Happy Hour every day, but other than that, I seriously do not recommend spending your money on dining at the resort.
Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is not within walking distance of restaurants in town. However, we did come across a local pension guesthouse called Fare Maheata. It is a guesthouse with a beachfront restaurant. The food is excellent, and the atmosphere is charming with ocean views and dining with your feet in the water.
Another option to avoid eating at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is to arrange complimentary shuttles with the resort concierge for restaurants in town. There are quite a few restaurants that will come pick you up from the resort and drop you off at the resort after you finish dining.
Here’s the list of the restaurants that Hilton Moorea provided:
Moorea Beach Café
Holy Steak House
Daily Complimentary Minibar Restock
One nice thing I love about the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is that regardless you have elite status with Hilton Honors program or not, the minibar in the room is restocked every day, free of charge.
The minibar has the following items:
A big bottle of water
Two cans of local Hanino beer
3 soft drinks: Sprite, regular and zero sugar coca-cola
A bottle of champagne (on arrival only)
Drinks at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa are not cheap. Just to give you an idea, a coke would cost you around $8 and a draft beer around $9 for small or $11 for large. Therefore, enjoying complimentary minibar beverages every day definitely saves you money when staying at the Hilton Moorea.
A word of advice, make sure you do not have the “do not disturb” sign on your door. Otherwise, the resort staff would not enter your room to restock your room’s minibar. You can, however, call the front desk each day if you do not want housekeeping service but have your minibar restocked daily with free drinks.
Premium Wi-Fi Internet Access
Honestly, this is when the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa failed to deliver during my stay. Hilton Honors Diamond elite members receive complimentary premium Internet access. However, the premium internet access is not fast, and Wi-Fi was really not that great during our stay. Each time our mobile phones went to sleep, Wi-Fi was automatically disconnected, and we had to reconnect. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not work. It was a constant battle, to say the least! There is a dedicated router inside our bungalow number 56, but it did not work.
However, this really is not a big deal because we were looking for an Overwater Bungalow experience and relaxation from the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, not Wi-Fi.
To connect to the premium Wi-Fi, after connecting to the “Hilton Honors” Wi-Fi name on your devices, you will be prompted to select free Internet access or premium Internet access. While the premium option has a price, you simply select it. They would adjust the bill accordingly before your check-out because Hilton Honors Diamond members can get premium Internet access for free during the entire stay.
You can check your account balances on the TV in your room to ensure the premium Internet access charge is taken off before checking out and paying your account balances. During my stay, I saw the Internet charges on my account on the TV, but one day before checking out, the bill was dropped.
Other Diamond Benefits
Hilton Honors Diamond elite members also receive the following amenities:
100% bonus on all base points
Complimentary late check-out upon availability
1,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points per stay
Hilton Moorea Activities
Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is not your typical huge resort that offers daily activities such as yoga, rock painting, etc. But instead, you can enjoy doing water activities at your own leisure.
The resort offers complimentary paddleboard, kayak, and snorkeling gear. There’s a small beach and pool for guests to enjoy swimming and sunbathing.
The beautiful lagoon is also right at the resort, with a beautiful reef for swimming and snorkeling. Speaking of the reef, Hilton Moorea automatically charges each room an Eco Reef Fee for XPF200 ($2) per day. You simply let the front desk know if you do not want to pay.
There are also jet ski and diving rentals, but they are not free. I inquired the activity desk about the jet ski, and the receptionist told me that it was a guided tour only. You can do a 1 or 2 hours tour, and I believe she said it starts around $217?
Shopping is also available. There are a couple shops at the resort, but if you want to go shopping outside of the resort or in town, a complimentary shuttle is also available provided by the merchandise shop in town.
If you are looking for activities outside the resort, I strongly recommend the Lagoon Excursion Tour to get close to stingrays and reef sharks. Alternatively, you can also do the ATV Tour. Both tours are offered by Albert Transport service. Don’t book through Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa because booking directly with Albert is a lot cheaper, and they respond or confirm your bookings pretty fast via emails. You pay only when you do the tours, and both cash and credit cards are accepted.
Hilton Moorea Lagoon
The reef atHilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa
The lagoon at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is very nice. It is shallow and filled with beautiful corals and reefs for you to enjoy hanging out in the water, swimming, or snorkeling. You’ll see plenty of fish, including stingrays, under the water if you are lucky. I saw a giant stingray while snorkeling under my Overwater Bungalow in the morning, and it was pretty of a sight!
The only downside about the Hilton Moorea lagoon is the wind! I am not sure if it gets windy all the time there, but when we were there, the wind was strong enough to cause the lagoon water rough, and therefore, it was a little bit hard to try to snorkel as compared to snorkeling in calm water. But overall, the lagoon at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is definitely worth checking out and experiencing for yourself. The ecosystems underneath that lagoon are incredible and worth exploring.
Reef Shark – Not Dangerous 😉
Hilton Moorea Beach & Pool
The beach and swimming pool at Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is small but very nice.
Beach at Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa
The pool at Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa
Hilton Moorea Address
The address of the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is:
Address: BP 1005, PAPETOAI, 98729, French Polynesia
Remember that ferries and flights do not operate after 5:30pm between Tahiti and Moorea. If you arrive in Tahiti after 5:30pm, you will need to overnight in Tahiti.
The second option is popular among travelers because taking the ferry offers beautiful scenery between Tahiti and Moorea islands. Morea is just a short ferry ride away from Tahiti, and two ferry companies operate this route daily.
You still need transportation to get to Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa when you arrive in Moorea. Intuitively, you may want to arrange transportation directly with the resort, but let me warn you that the resort may charge you more money than if you were to arrange the transportation through Albert Transportservice directly yourself. It’s entirely up to you, but I pre-arranged pick-up with Albert, and their price is very competitive, cash only:
Shared transfer: XPF1,000 or ~$10 per person
Private transfer: XPF4,000 or ~$40 USD
I suggest that you reach out to Albert a few days before your arrival. That way, you will know whether the shared transfer is available, but you need to figure out which ferry time you will be taking first and let Albert know when you contact them. If you are more flexible, you can also ask Albert when the shared transfer is available on the day of your travel, and they can suggest which ferry time to take. When it’s time to depart Moorea, you can also reach out to Albert and ask one or two days before your departure date. They are very responsive in answering any questions that you may have.
How to Stay at Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa Free Using Hilton Honors Points
Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa
Truth be told, I booked the stay at Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa using Hilton Honors points one year before the trip. It is crucial to be proactive when booking an award stay at this property, and that is because award availability at this Hilton resort is tough to get. Here’s why:
Reward redemption at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa requires 80,000 Hilton Honors points per night for the standard Garden View room. There are only two garden view rooms at this property, and therefore once they are reserved, there won’t be any more standard award rooms available for booking. So it is essential that if you want to stay at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa on points, book it right when the Hilton’s reservation system opens, which is typically one year before your stay dates. Check out the following recommended post to learn more about tips on booking Hilton Moorea stay using Hilton Honors points.
Thanks to the Hilton 5th Night Free benefit for an award stay, I was able to book 5 nights stay at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, all on points, for a total of 320,000 Hilton Honors points for the entire 5-night stay. That is a lot of points, but it was worth every single point with Overwater Bungalow’s complimentary upgrade as a Hilton Honors Diamond member that I get by simply having the American Express Hilton Aspire Card! You and your friend/spouse can plan accordingly, and you can get those Hilton Honors points with the help of the Hilton Credit Cards sign-up bonus. See below.
Furthermore, you can also receive complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond elite status by simply getting the American Express Hilton Aspire Card. This card has a $450 annual fee; however, don’t let that scare you away. Review the card’s benefits, and you’ll know what I mean.
You get an automatic Hilton Honors Diamond elite status level without any stays required. That alone could get you a complimentary bungalow upgrade that includes the Overwater Bungalow room upgrades and complimentary continental breakfast every day during your stay at the Hilton Moorea Resort.
You also receive a $250 resort credit that you can use for all the charges incurred at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa.
You also get a $250Amex Airline Fee Statement Credit for bag checks, seat upgrades, etc.
You also receive one (1)Hilton Free Weekend Night Reward to use at worldwide Hilton Hotels and Resorts every account anniversary.
Plus many more benefits that seriously outweigh the $450 annual fee easily.
If you found this article useful, please share it: