For peace-seekers to city-lovers, Le Meridien Nouméa ticks all the boxes. Set in the midst of beautifully landscaped gardens, this recently refurbished beachfront hotel has some of the best views of Anse Vata bay whilst only being a 10-minute drive away from central Nouméa.
We enjoyed our stay in a Superior Room with panoramic views of New Caledonia’s World Heritage-listed lagoon, a highly anticipated sight after the 45-minute drive from Tontouta International Airport to the hotel where our driver Harold remarked: “Australia may have the world’s largest barrier reef but New Caledonia has the world’s largest lagoon.”
As I stepped through our room’s glass doors leading out to the private balcony and let in the fresh pacific air, I couldn’t help but agree – as far as lagoons go, New Caledonia takes the cake and this view framed it beautifully. A lagoon-view room is a must to really appreciate the awe-inspiring location. Rooms at Le Meridien Nouméa have been recently refurbished and feature stylish, colourful décor – a highlight for me was a funky pink and white egg-shaped chair.
After taking several panoramic photos from the balcony, it was time to venture out to breakfast, which is served buffet-style at Le Sextant restaurant, overlooking the stunning outdoor pool and the lagoon beyond. The restaurant has French-themed and local specialities available, meaning we could say oui to croissants and madeleines in the morning, coupled with local fresh fruits.
Buffet breakfast options at Le Sextant restaurant | Le Meridien Nouméa
Beyond breakfast, Le Meridien Nouméa offers several dining options; from a casual beachside lunch at Le Fare + Le Fare bar to Le Shogun restaurant that serves Japanese cuisine. For a piano bar mood, head over to Latitude 22°, which has views of the manicured gardens and hosts live musical entertainment each week. For dinner, L’Hippocampe restaurant offers a fine-dining experience at the hotel and located right in the middle of the property. The service was excellent and one of the highlights for me was the homemade, slightly smoked duck foie gras with jelly of Muscat and fig compote. It looked like art on a plate and tasted just as good as it looked.
However, the indulgence doesn’t stop there: Le Meridien Nouméa has massage and beauty treatment services, a sauna, steam room, outdoor pool, tennis court, fitness centre and hot tub. Complimentary outdoor activities include canoeing, windsurfing and the use of snorkelling equipment, which is very handy as you will want to try at least one of these activities while you are there. The hotel is 200 metres from Promenade Pierre Vernier, a coconut tree-lined waterfront promenade popular amongst joggers.
Overall, Le Meridien Nouméa brings together the best of both worlds – a brilliant blend of Pacific Island and French charm, with a convenient location for exploring what New Caledonia’s capital has to offer.