Great for diving and relaxation. A review of Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa
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.