Starving Myself In My Overwater Bungalow

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Back in 2009 I got in on a pricing mistake for the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort overwater bungalows. The rooms were listed in Congolese Francs (CDF) instead of French Pacific Francs (CFP) which meant they were a tenth of the normal rate. So my overwater bungalow with breakfast and dinner came to a grand total of $130 a night.

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort Overwater Bungalow access

At the time I was still trying to establish myself in my nonprofit career so money was tight and after shelling out nearly $1,000 each for our flights out there my friend and I were both feeling rather thrifty. And was completely unprepared for French Polynesia hotel prices.

The cheapest lunch menu item was a club sandwich for ~$30. A soda was $10. The local beer was ~$7.

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort Club Sandwich


Eating at the tiki hut creperie started at $20+ a crepe but it was only open two nights a week. And dinner started at $50 an entree.

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort tiki hut crepes

Fortunately breakfast and dinner were included, but lunch was a problem as there weren’t any restaurants near the hotel. After two days of splitting club sandwiches and drinking lots of ice water we decided to see if we could skip lunch entirely. We ate breakfast as late as possible and planned to show up to dinner as soon as the restaurant opened.

But after swimming all morning we were starving by noon and resorted to digging through our luggage for any leftover airline snacks and even eating the formerly despised welcome gift of shredded coconut. The day couldn’t end fast enough.

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort Overwater Bungalow Keri antlers

The next day we rented a car to see the island and stopped at the one major grocery store to stock up on slightly more affordable snacks and drinks. And warned everyone else we knew to come prepared!

The hotel and Moorea experience was amazing and yet it’s funny that one hungry day wound up being the most memorable!

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort Keri Dinner

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel


  1. Lindy

    July 29, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    I give you credit, it takes a lot of chutzpah to take advantage of a “mistake” (that some would consider morally wrong) and then complain about the cost of covering 1 meal per day at the resort. Those prices aren’t just that outrageous for a top-end resort literally in the middle of the South Pacific. You can eat and stay on Moorea affordability if you do a little research but I guess it takes a lot of time taking advantage of mistake fares and that doesn’t leave a lot of time for proper research.

    • Keri Anderson

      July 29, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      No complaint was intended, I’m more laughing at myself. When I booked this trip I was still fairly new to international and luxury travel and had much less discretionary income. Nowadays I know better what to expect and how to plan ahead, but back then I was just excited to be going to the French Pacific!

    • alex

      July 29, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      ‘morally wrong’ really? A mistake fare versus hunting a protected line, which one is morally wrong?

      • Lindy

        July 29, 2015 at 7:01 pm

        @keri I understand.
        @alex I presume you meant to type Lion. I happen to be on the fence about my willingness to participate in mistake pricing. However, I do not understand nor condone trophy hunting. But your comment is so random it makes me wonder if it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. If so, have one for me too!

  2. Joey

    July 29, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Note that the CFP has always been pegged to the Euro. Back in 2009, the EUR was very strong against the USD — roughly 1 euro = $1.40. Nowadays, 1 euro = $1.10 and may even be 1 to 1 soon enough! In other words, if you travel to French Polynesia now, it’ll be more affordable, though still expensive I’m sure!

  3. mallthus

    July 29, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Having been to French Polynesia before, that $30 club sandwich looks to be good value compared to the $10 bags of Cheetos we found.

  4. Sabra

    August 7, 2015 at 6:27 am

    Wow. I might have to rethink that as a destination. Not that it is in my near future anyway, but sheesh! I thought food in Hawaii was expensive!

  5. Roberta

    August 8, 2015 at 1:46 am

    Just curious…how is the noise and bug factor with the open all around hut? I imagine you’ve got netting for nights…

    • Keri Anderson

      August 8, 2015 at 1:51 am

      We had a bungalow at the end so it was pretty quiet. Bugs weren’t bad. The room was pretty air tight so other than lighting then little electric bug zapper they provided we didn’t have to take any extra measures/use netting.

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