Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa
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Travel Blogs from Rangiroa
Diving in the Tuamatu Pass and the Aquarium. Snorkeling around our overwater bungalow. Swimming with dolphins. Paradise.
Rangiroa (meaning Vast Sky in Tuamotuan) or Te Kokōta (Hyades in Māori), is the largest atoll in the Tuamotus, and one of the largest in the world (although it is smaller than Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands and Huvadhu in the Maldives). It is part of the Palliser group. The nearest atoll is Tikehau, located only 12 km to the West. It is about 355 km Northeast of Tahiti. The chief town is Avatoru, located in the northwestern part of the atoll, and is home to ...
... shell necklaces and shell artwork.
On the surface of the vast lagoons of the atolls you can often see the outlines of little jetties and pearl farm structures.
Being far away does not mean isolation and lack of comfort for these people. Green solar energy proves electricity and hot water and all the modern means of communication are available in these atolls (although WIFI reception is very poor as we’ve unfortunately discovered). On the ...
... dive….5 of them….big and curious…the baby was popping his own bubbles, and ours too……they came right up to you and looked you in the eye….it was so special. WE watched HUGE Napoleon wrasse split a big coral head in two to munch a small fish hiding inside….we had cheeky turtles, tuna, big schools of snapper and barracuda, clouds of butterfly fish, beautiful angels, cowries, and the current. Since Rangiroa is the world’s ...
... 8220;Josephine’s”. A Café/bar built to look across the pass into the lagoon. Here you could sit and watch the tide change, the waves stand up and the dolphins come to play. Their displays of back flips and somersaults brought a smile to everyone’s face, and it was easy to completely lose track of time. Just off the pass here was also a spot called the “aquarium” where the fish waited to be ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa Rangiroa
Das Personal war großartig, das Essen war großartig, das Hotel war großartig!!! Alles war perfekt, von der ersten Sekunde an, als wir am Flughafen von einem Kia-Ora-Vertreter abgeholt wurden. Wir waren in der "Nebensaison" dort und es war nicht so viel los, wir mussten nie irgendwo anstehen. Hinweis: Die Zimmer haben kein Radio oder Fernseher - was ja auch nicht so schlimm ist, wenn man sich an einem so schönen Ort wie Rangiroa befindet.
Great for diving and relaxation.
We loved Rangiroa. Part of the reason was diving, part was the atmosphere of the atoll and the water (best colors and underwater visibility we've ever seen), but part of it was Kia Ora as well. We stayed there for 4 nights in July as part of our honeymoon. Our other main reason for going to that atoll was diving.
Kia Ora Village is a beautifully landscaped property. Lots of tall palm trees and winding walkways. The front desk/arrival area is gorgeous and full of polynesian character. We stayed at a regular Beach Bungalow (#12). The interior of the bungalow showed its wear and tear but was kept clean, with lots of towels, toiletries, tea and coffee maker, comfortable bed, but no tv or stereo system. The deck had two lounge chairs and a jacuzzi which was unusuble because the water was colder than the water in the lagoon or the pool. We had some bug problem in the bungalow (one big roach and some mosquitos), but nothing we couldn't manage/get used to.
The beach sand is mostly coral and rocks so you'll need reef shoes or just your diving booties if you want to go swim in the lagoon. The swimming pool is very small and water temp slightly too warm, but still very nice. The overwater bar and the pier are great for evening lounging as well. The restaurant food was good; their polynesian buffet had some of the best food we had in FP. The restaurant sevice, however, left a lot to be desired. On more than one occasion we waited for food about 45 minutes and then it would arrive cold. The front desk and activity desk service was great.
We dove with the Blue Dolphin Diving at the resort because of the convinience(it's right there!), and we were very happy with the dive masters(Emanuelle and Jonathan?) and the equipment. We swam with wild dolphins, saw tons of schools of various big and small fish, various kinds of sharks, saw manta rays, eagly rays, turtles...we did the pass shoot one day as well. Speaking of wildlife: if you go on the deck of the bar after dark, and try to feed the fish with bread, you will also attract 3-5 eagle rays, and small sharks.
Rent the 'fun car' while you're there to drive around the motu and have a great and much cheaper lunch at the restaurant by at the end of it by the Tiputa pass. We also did the Blue Lagoon excursion which was great, but beware of the boat ride: the lagoon water is not as calm as it seems...the hour long ride is bumpy and will get you wet.
Overall, a great and relaxing stay.
We stayed in the beachfront bungalow with jacuzzi (#11), and it was amazing!
The hotel consists of only individual bungalows in a garden setting. It occupies a long stretch of the beach.
The beach bungalows are facing the beach and are right on it, so you have unobstructed view of the gorgeous clear green/blue water, passing yachts, and fish. Snorkeling is good right near the shore - there are corals growing all over, and we saw various fish in the very shallow water.
With the beach bungalow, you also have your own hammock - so the whole atmosphere is extremely relaxing.
The hotel offers free kayaks and we took advantage of that - lots of fun!
We also rented a "fun car" - an open little two-seater tiny car which came handy exploring the island. That was really fun!
The food at the restaurant is very good - we had fish entrees.
One improvement/suggestion is regarding the jacuzzi water temperature - it's rather cool and not heated, even though there is a 'heater' button. We didn't use the jacuzzi because of that.
The only other snag was that it took them a long time to deliver our luggage to us when we arrived. We needed our bathing suits because we couldn't wait to get into the water!
The staff at the activity desk is very friendly but their English is marginal. Be sure to double check and confirm everything they say to avoid misunderstandings.
Kia Ora is definitely orders of magnitude better than neighboring Novotel.
I'd recommend this place and would definitely stay here again if we come back to Rangiroa.
If you love diving!
My husband and I traveled to Moorea and Rangirora for a dive vacation, and what an adventure it was! We had over the water bungalows for our stay with tons of fish that come right up to your personal patio to be fed scraps of bread the hotel leaves outside the bar. The rooms were clean and wonderful, a very safe and secure feeling place. We slept with our doors open toward the ocean each night falling asleep to the sound of the water and ocean breeze. The restaurant was wonderful (make sure you include full board to your stay, this just isn't a tourist island so there isn't much else selection) but don't worry the food at the hotel is great and on Sunday evening there is a buffet and cultural dance show! Now on to the diving. We went with TOPdive. They are located just a stones throw from the hotel. If you walk out to the over the water bunglows facing the lagoon and look right you will see their sign. Marina and Pascal were our dive masters you can reach them at [--]. They are professional, while giving each diver the attention he or she needs to have an enjoyable dive. The mornings are dive through the Tiputa Pass where you will see tons of grey sharks schooling on the bottom and enjoy a ride on the current that runs into the lagoon. In the afternoon there are numerous reef dives that can be enjoyed and what sites you will see! We had dolphins swim down and play with us, swam with schools of Barracuda, saw turtles on almost every dive, we saw Manta Rays and then tons and tons of colorful little fish. It truly is a diving paradise and if you stay at Kia Ora and dive with TOPdive you won't be sorry!
Loved Rangiroa and the hotel
Rangiroa Kia Ora Village Review. My husband and I just returned from a mostly wonderful 2 week vacation to Tahiti. We stayed on 3 different islands. We stayed in Moorea at the Sheraton. (Which was my favorite island, The Sheraton IS the place to stay in Moorea. See my Moorea Reaview) then we went to Rangiroa. We are divers...so if you dive this is an AMAZING Atoll to dive. If you don't dive, there isn't much to do on the island other than just enjoy the gorgeous waters. This island is so different than any of the others we went to. It is flat, no mountains. It has a huge lagoon in the middle and on outer reef all the way around. No restaurants or places to go. But to go for a couple of days is wonderful. But this is a divers paradise. There are 3 dive shops. Dolphin, which is at the resort and crowded, 6 Passengers, which from the beach is a 2 minute walk to the left of the resort. And my favorite, Top Dive, which wasn't as crowded and had great service. It is 2 minute walk from the resorts beach to the right. There is more sea life than I've ever seen before. I asked to do a couple shark dives. They were AMAZING. We also saw dolphins, manta rays, eagle rays, turtles, more tropical fish than I've ever seen, huge tunas swimming around, etc. We had an over water bungalow. Which I am so glad we did. The gardens bungalows are small and the water is too gorgeous to not be on it. The over waters are alright inside, they can use updating.....but it turned out to be our favorite just because the water was amazing and it was way better than the garden bungalows. No T.V., so if you are a T.V. watcher, bring cards or something else to do. The waters outside the Bungalow are gorgeous. You have to feed all the fish by hand. They are so tame that you can even pet some of them. The island has nothing really to do other than dive. If you do fish, ask 6 Passengers dive shop to the left of the hotel to get you in contact with someone. The resort was way more expensive and they used the same guy. We only caught a tuna on the way in. The restaurant has great food. I don't eat much fish....but loved their breaded mahi mahi. And I loved their coconut Ice cream. The only thing that I didn't like....but wasn't just at the Kia Ora Village, it was consistent anywhere in the French Polynesian was no one is overly friendly. You never feel like you are getting GREAT service. I believe most places in the Caribbean and Mexico had better service. But no place I've ever been has had the waters like the F.P. (I also have a Bora Bora Lagoon Resort Review, and a Sheraton Moorea) Morea was Great. Bora Bora....not so great.
I really wanted to give this a 3.5 star rating. First off I want to say Rangiroa is an amazing, beautiful place, untouched by tourism. We stayed in the beachside bungalows. What a relaxing place this was, steps away from the beautiful turquoise lagoon. There was a hammock, along w/ beach chairs close by.
I guess the negative was that our room was shabby. The curtains were falling down and mothy. The doorknob to the bathroom fell off when you used it. I was under the impression the beachside bungalows were recently referbished??
The food was pretty good, unfortunately the menu did not change. We absolutely loved the BBQ and the polynesian show. The food was amazing and the show was entertaining. I would recommend bringing snacks for breakfast (we brought granola bars) and there was coffee in the rooms so that saved $. We ate at Le Kai Kai 2x during the week and were really happy w/ their food and they would pick you up at the Kia Ora.
There service was also inconsistent. The restraunt service was excellent, the barstaff seemed indifferent, and the Excursions desk was not too helpful.. He kept trying to get us to not rent a scooter b/c 'there was nothing to see on the island' Rent a scooter, it was alot of fun driving around, plenty of places to eat and the market. Stock up and bring back to the hotel and put in your fridge. One of the girls at the front desk was also excellent. They ran out of regular coffee to put in rooms and she gave us her stash :)
We dove w/ the blue dolphin. It is just a different philosophy in FP compared to the states. We were prepared for it. The divestaff was very friendly and helpful. The only negative was that there were 9 divers, 2 divemasters and a boat driver in a zodiac, non of the equipment was tied down and you had to hold it b/w your knees while holding on the dear life while the zodiac sped thru waves catching air as it would hit...
All in all it was a great time. We were kinda disappointed w/ the Kia Ora. We felt for the $$ we paid that the rooms/service should have been better. But it is an amazing spot to just sit down relax and watch the world go by.
The staff was great, the food was great, the hotel was great!!!!!!!! Everything was perfect from the minute we were picked up from the airport by a Kia Ora representative. We went in the "off" season and it was not busy at all, we never had to wait for anything. Note: Rooms dont have radio or TV-not really a bad thing when you are in a beautiful place like Rangiroa though.
Rangiroa was the first island of our 3 island tour (Rangiroa/Moorea/Bora Bora).
NOTE: There is the Kia Ora Rangiroa, which is the main resort and then there is the remote Kia Ora Sauvage which is an hour by boat with just a few bungalows,
We staid 1 night in a beach bungalow and 2 nights in a garden bungalow on the main resort.
Overall experience was very positive; we loved that the island was not exploited by tourism yet.
The resort is in great shape and well taken care of.
Beach Bungalows have a nice outside jacuzzi which unfortunately is not heated, so get a small champagne bottle only, as you might get a little cold.
Our Garden Bungalow #19 was at the end of the property line, the owners of the house next to the bungalow got up in the morning at 6am and their hifi equipment was blasting right into our bedroom. Never mind though, as you probably will go to bed by 9-10pm and if you want to catch the dive tour at 7.15am you need to get up anyway ;-)
Most travellers seemed to have been from France and Italy and maybe you want to brush up your french language knowledge as this gets you a little further with the staff than starting with English right away.
A few words on The Blue Dolphin Dive Center which is located in the Kia Ora resort. While the staff is professional and we saw turtles, dolphins, sharks and had a great drift dive, they certainly need to work on their customer service skills and attitude. Yes, we are not be the expert divers with 30 dives only but the Blue Dolphin has staff which just doesn't seem to care about the divers and their experience.
All in all a great stay though
if you're into diving , then rangiroa is the place to go, it was in a different league than any of our other trips. kia ora is a lovely hotel but for sheer beauty we suggest a side trip to kia ora sauvage which was amazing. bernard and his wife mahine (?) were our hosts on sauvage, we wished we had stayed longer, both the island and our hosts were incredible. snorkeling with bernard while he free dived with a spear gun for our dinner was something we'll never forget and josephine , the island dog, chasing the dozens of juvenile blacktip reef sharks constantly cruising the shallows was very entertaining, but our hosts singing and playing songs at night by the light of lanterns (no electric on sauvage) was magical. we certainly lucked out being the only guests on the island.
at kia ora we dove with "six passengers" just down the beach, they were great and what can you say but wow, to dives that included hundreds of big sharks (giant hammerheads, oceanic silvertips etc etc) enormous schools of barracuda, manta rays, the dolphins surfing in the pass and the fastest drift dives you'll ever take, amazing.
kia ora is a great hotel, but dinner needs improvement, the same so-so menu eight days in a row got very boring (we went to the pearl beach resort on manihi after and the food was so much better and the menu changed everyday) all in all rangiroa was a never to forget, wonderful experience. we suggest (if you like diving) coupling rangiroa with a trip to the pearl beach resort on manihi, you will not be dissapointed !
Spectacular beauty and attentive, friendly service -- Kia Ora is fabulous! This is truly a get-away-from-it-all destination. The island is tiny, but it's a wonderful place to relax and just enjoy the incredible views. Our oceanfront, 2-room bungalow was very clean and decorated beautifully. The infinity-edge pool was great, and we enjoyed trying the local eateries. It's also fun to walk over to the dock and take a water taxi to one of the other nearby islands. Jerry Garcia, the GM, and his staff are the best.