The intent of my recent vacation to Moorea was to do absolutely nothing. And, I lived up to these lofty goals admirably.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the Christmas holidays are my time to relax and catch up on life. The first time I tried doing this a number of years ago I somehow ended up at a Club Med. I thought it would be the perfect escape, but instead there was non-stop pressure to drink, party, dance, play volleyball, shoot hoops, water ski, jet ski, kayak, dive, and participate in countless other activities. One couldn’t even relax at poolside with out some sun-damaged Bozo coaxing everyone up on their feet to sing some cultish song about the sun.
Sure, there is a time and place for Club Med, but not for me and my winter vacation.
And so, my girlfriend and I opted for a far mellower option and headed to the Moorea Pearl Resort and Spa in French Polynesia where my only obligation was to indulge in the total lack of any obligation whatsoever. I could do absolutely nothing, and not feel guilty about it at all.The resort certainly provided a slew of activities, but they weren’t shoved down our throats. A concierge in the lobby was there to arrange jeep treks, dives, and dolphin swims and a pool boy stood by to hand out snorkel gear and kayak paddles. But that was it. There were no bullhorns announcing aerobics classes or floatie races in the pool. There was just a pleasantly, slow-paced, do-as-you-please ambience. And I loved it.
The resort itself is gently nestled amongst coconut trees and grassy knolls, spilling ever so gracefully into the crystal clear waters of the South Pacific. Yes, that means that the Pearl Resort has over-water bungalows–every couple’s dream accommodation.
Unfortunately, we did not book any nights in the over-water bungalows because, like most dreams, they were prohibitively expensive. We did ask about them when we checked in, however, and a few days later received a surprise call from the front desk telling us that they had upgraded us for free. Our last three nights would be spent in the over-water bungalows. Sweet!
The bungalows were everything one might imagine from such a place: a thatched roof, dark wood interior, king-sized bed, our own private ladder directly into the water, great bath products, air conditioning, private deck, and my favorite, a glassed-off section of the floor which revealed the lagoon below. It was absolutely fantastic and something I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever experience in my lifetime.
Before moving into the over-water bungalows, we stayed the first few nights in a garden bungalow. I was a little concerned about this when we booked it, but the interior proved to be just as amazing as the over-water bungalow. We didn’t have an ocean view, but we did enjoy our own private little pool which was a great way to wake up in the morning and to cool off later when the weather heated up.
Oh, yes, the weather… This was one of the only disappointments of the trip. We had arrived during the rainy season and Moorea lived up to it. The sky was usually full of clouds and it rained every day in short, powerful bursts. Of course, it was a warm, tropical rain which did not prevent us from swimming and walking around, but it did prevent any possibility of returning home with a tan. I’m not complaining, however. The weather was very pleasant for relaxing on a beach chair and pulling out a book. Or, as we quickly learned, enjoying the pleasures of the spa.
Sun or rain, the Pearl Resort proved to be the perfect antidote for the big city woes which ailed us. It was beautiful, the staff was very friendly, the rooms were cleaned regularly, the grounds were immaculate, and the ambience heavenly. I wanted to get away from it all, and the Pearl Resort helped me do just that.