• Amazing beach lagoon setting – absolutely paradisiacal
• We had one good meal
• Appalling service
• Everything was late
• Average food
• Pretty much everything except the view and a couple of staff trying their best in the face of adversity
Considering the Pacific Resort in Aitutaki was voted the world’s best boutique tropical hotel, it is possible to run a hotel well in the Cook Islands. That the same company can own what is meant to be the best (Aitutaki) and simultaneously have the worst resort I have ever visited (Rarotonga) is an amazing feat.
We were staying in self catering near the resort – not in it – so I can only comment on the restaurant, bar and services.
On our first evening we went to dinner there which was pleasant, next to a pond with fish and eels, lovely Kiwi waitress. There were only half a dozen other customers. We decided to go ahead and book Christmas Day lunch ($95), and New Years evening ‘VIP’ package (about $150).
Poor service, average food and what appeared to be poor planning were marginally sweetened by the amazing view and eating on the beach. A new beverages manager had been appointed and to be fair, hadn’t been there long enough to have an impact (I hope he doesn’t give up!)
On new years eve the ticket included free drinks for one hour, but only after a bit of customer grumbling did a second bartender turn up. It really felt like they were fleecing us. Then the 7pm food didn’t get served over an hour late – much to the chagrin of many annoyed customers.
The violence and fighting can’t be blamed on the resort, and I thought the bouncers handled it well. I don’t think it was any of the paying customers causing trouble.
As the night wore on, most people disappeared to drink and celebrate at the nearby drinking establishments returning for the fire show and fireworks funded collectively by the businesses along the shore.
The final straw for us was on a Sunday evening sunset beach stroll we thought we would pop in for a drink but one unpleasant staff member wouldn’t let us because ‘you can’t have a drink without food’ – not unreasonable if you wanted alcohol (strict Sunday alcohol laws) but we didn’t want alcohol. After having spent about $800 at the establishment, tipping well and being pleasant and patient with the staff we expected at least some nicety.
I do hope that Richard (new beverages manager) can reply to this review and let potential customers know his plan for getting the place out of the mess it entered 2013 in.
- Also Known As:
- Pacific Resort Rarotonga Hotel
- Pacific Resort Rarotonga Hotel Muri
- Pacific Hotel Rarotonga
- Pacific Hotel Muri
- Pacific Resort Rarotonga Muri, Cook Islands
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Authentic Boutique….Rarotonga’s leading full-service authentic boutique resort is nestled discreetly in one of the world’s most spellbinding spots. Stretching one kilometre along the south-eastern coast of Rarotonga, Muri beach is laden with glorious white sand, fringed by palm trees and lapped by the gentle waters of a shallow, safe lagoon. This boutique resort offers a perfect blend of modern comforts and traditional island hospitality. A place where simple, lazy days meet luxurious evenings. And where the friendly, gracious staff meet your every request. Dining at the resort is a fine experience. Be tempted by succulent fresh seafood, Pacific and international dishes, or be summoned by beating drums to an authentic Cook Islands feast.No matter how you choose to fill your days and nights at this breathtakingly beautiful place that is Pacific Resort Rarotonga, one thing is certain. You’ll leave feeling rested, restored and renewed. And above all, determined to return. ... more less
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