It is overlooking an enchanted bay, lapped by clear waters with incredible golden sparkles that in the distance blend in a thousand shades towards a very intense turquoise; it is set in a frame of maritime columnar pines: Le Méridien in the Isle of Pines has chosen an extraordinary location.
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Your stay will be made unforgettable by the incredible quiet, by the beauty of the pristine nature in a sparsely populated island unknown to the nightlife, but with all the comforts and a 5-stars services. Imagine long stretches of white beach and turquoise sea completely for your leisure, without the need to quarrel with the other guests the most exclusive foreshortening, the most comfortable bed or the best position to take your souvenir photos…here it is a real dream.
It must be said that the Isle of Pines is very wild and out of the mass tourism routes, the small airport sees few domestic flights arriving per day and at that moment it is a bustle of shuttles to take the few tourists to their respective accommodations. Le Méridien also has its own shuttle which we advise you to book despite the supplement required because there are not many other transportation means available at the airport. This is perhaps the only real flaw we have found, because in such a context, given the cost of the stay, the shuttle should be included in the accomodation expenses.
A few kilometers separate the hotel from the airport, the inland roads are winding because they follow the orography of the island. Curve after curve the beautiful Golden Bridge appears, gateway to the hotel. Laying on the beach the small pirogue with the sail marked Le Méridien will indicate the entry point.
Passing through a series of lanes immersed in the vegetation you are led to the main hut, which houses the reception, the restaurant and the bar, where you are seated to sip a welcome drink while you check in. Then you can enjoy your accommodation, choice between rooms with balcony and pool view (in structures of no more than two floors) and riverfront or beachfront bungalows, all charming, spacious, elegantly furnished and equipped with every comfort for a stay at limit of pleasure and relaxation.
The beach in front of the hotel is equipped with different solutions among comfortable gazebos, deckchairs, straw umbrellas, tables, all well spaced between them to leave the right privacy to the guests. It is not clear where the beach ends and the restaurant area begins, the fact is that wherever you are and at any time of the day you can order something to drink or eat. On the beach, in fact, there is always someone on the watchful staff ready to fulfill your requests.
You will also find a small wooden house that is always open to rent for free everything you need to practice water and land sports (beach volley balls, soccer balls, rackets, mask and fins, surfboards, canoes and oars, safety jackets and more), the only thing to do is to tell the staff your room number.
Likewise, bicycles are also available, free of charge, for the guests of the hotel, however, as there is no booking service in advance, we advise you to take them early in the morning to avoid not finding them anymore.
The restaurant is worthy of a 5-stars hotel, with a balanced choice of meat and fish dishes, masterfully cooked, creatively served in a triumph of colors and flavors. The only flaw of such an offer is the price, the higher both for being in an exclusive restaurant in a luxury hotel, and for being in New Caledonia, where everything costs so much. Some examples? The duck breast costs 3400 XPF (about 30€), the catch of the day accompanied by a dome of rice and vegetables 2750 XPF (about 25€), a plate of 10 island escargot 5700 XPF (about 50€), a dessert 1400 XPF (just over 10€). Reservations are always recommended.
If you can’t afford to try everything you want in the evening, console yourself with the breakfast that is already included in the cost of the room and is simply excellent. The offer is very rich both for the sweet and the savory sector and it will be a pleasure to eat it on the outdoor tables with a sea view, it’s just a shame that the breakfast room opens at 7:00 am, which could be even late for those who are still suffering jet lag and for those who shudder to discover the beauties of the island .
What can you visit around the hotel? The hotel is a good starting point for exploring the whole island, alone or through organized outings. In the immediate proximity of the hotel you can
- enjoy some snorkeling among the curious fish that swim in the turquoise waters of the Natural Pools;
- enjoy the Golden Bay, between swimming in search of sea turtles, walks on the shore and canoeing;
- visit the Upi Bay admiring it from the coast, can be reached by land through a path beaten in the vegetation, but unfortunately not indicated (we suggest to ask for information at the reception before going).
For the more adventurous and dynamic person we recommend taking the bicycles at the reception to reach the other end of the island and visit the Kuto Bay, the Kanumera Bay and the small village of Vao…the passage inland is more demanding and requires a little training, but in this way you will make a beautiful round trip; the road to Vao, on the other hand, is easier and more flat and can be tackled by anyone.
The excursions offered by the hotel (for a fee) instead are:
- the pirogue ride in the Upi Bay among the boulders that rise from the water (a couple of hours excursion);
- the daily excursion by boat to the Turtle Bay with the possibility of lunch on the beach at Brush Island;
- the boat trip to Moro Island with snorkeling included;
- daily excursion by boat to Turtle Bay, Koutomo Island and lunch on the beach at Brush Island.
Sleeping in this incredible and wonderful environment is a dream that can be realized starting from € 255/night (for a basic double room with balcony), to which you will have to add the cost of eating in the luxurious restaurant (since there are not many other restaurants in the area, forget about finding supermarkets nearby), transfers to and from the airport (unless you have decided to rent a car) and organized excursions. In New Caledonia, but especially in the Isle of Pines, you pay for the exclusivity of the place and undeveloped tourism contributes to making the few services even more expensive. You could choose to save all this money and visit the Isle of Pines in one day, with an excursion from the Grande Terre, but you would lose all the magic of this extraordinary and unique place in the world.
See you soon