There’s a celebration at the Hilton Moorea going on right now. It is to mark the end of TPOL’s reign of terror on the resort. It’s no coincidence that today is one of the sunniest days on the island. The sun gods are happy that I, along with my complaining ways, am leaving. Nevertheless, I got in a good swim, downed a bottle of bubbly, and said my farewell to the accommodating general manager of the hotel, a person with a lot on her plate.
Though I may be the only one blogging about it, many of my fellow travelers from Fort Lauderdale to Dallas, shared in my frustration with the resort. Too many times, the service was inconsistent. Need a taxi? That will be $16. After a call an hour later, the price was $32. Looking to golf? The package is $125. Get out to the course and the price shoots up to $150 with no lunch (and no grass on the course, review to follow).
Based on my experience and to quote the traveler from Dallas, “Tahiti is stuck in time.” Like an athlete relying on his natural talent, Tahiti has relied on its natural beauty to entice tourists to come from all over the world. Instead of watching game film and adapting to the changing landscape of the service industry, Tahiti believes that the sun and scenery can cover the warts of bad service and an indifferent attitude.
Make no mistake, the people who live here are friendly and welcoming. I had great conversations with many locals about life on the islands. At the same time, they were quick to point out the deficiencies in the tourism sector. A savvy entrepreneur resigned from a position at a prominent hotel and set up a restaurant within walking distance of the hotel. There, tourists are greeted with a warm smile and some of the best food on the island.
With the abundance of honeymooners coming to Tahiti and the new insurgency of Chinese tourists expected to follow, resort juggernauts have little incentive to step up their game. Americans, who may not be as well-traveled as other foreign nationals, made up the majority of the former. They were awestruck by the beauty of the island and accepted the shortcomings of service as a natural consequence of traveling abroad. As a sharp contrast, an American points traveling couple were quick to point out the multiple issues with the resort, validating my gripes.
To recap, TPOL enjoyed Tahiti as a destination, got along well with the travelers and locals, but stands firm in his assertion that the service leaves much to be desired.