Wild at heart
There are lots of reasons to get excited about the Intercontinental Mo'orea resort in French Polynesia. First, its location – on an island that rises like a shark's fin from the ocean near Tahiti. Second, its accommodation – in polynesian bungalows scattered across a blue lagoon. Third (and best of all), its resident wildlife.
Within the grounds of the hotel are a turtle sanctuary and a dolphin center. Not something many hotels can claim. The sea turtle rehabilitation center is part of a French Polynesian initiative to protect sea turtle species threatened with extinction. Here, sick or injured turtles are restored to health before being returned to the ocean.
The dolphin center is home to four bottlenose dolphins retired from the US Navy in San Diego and from a sea park in Hawai'i. Good news is the hotel offers an interactive program so you can feed them and swim with them – an opportunity you really have to take up once in a lifetime.
If you lose yourself in the magic of all of things Polynesian, the hotel also offers a tattooing facility at which you can get yourself some traditional body art to take home with you.
As striking as that may be, I think I'll stick to swimming with the dolphins. RM