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“Best in Raro” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Pacific Resort Rarotonga

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Pacific Resort Rarotonga
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Muri Beach, Muri, Cook Islands   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Special Offer
2 FREE nights
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Muri
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Best in Raro”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Our family of 5 booked at the last moment, in adjoing 2 bedroom and a studio units. The Muri Beach is the best, and this resort helped make it so. If you want a beach where you can swim and enjoy all the other related water sports, Muri is the only real option on Rarotonga. The staff truly were great, both front of house, the waiters, and even down to the gardeners! Food was consistently very good compared with the other 7 establishments we also dined at. We found that if the majotiy of staff were locals, the places were great, but woe behold any establishments that were not so. Cook Island service can be a little slow, but hey, we were on a Sth Pacific holiday and once adjusted, let the natural friendliness of the locals help slow us down and enjoy a great holiday. True, a few rooms at this resort still need refurbishing, otherwise we would have given it 5 stars.

Room Tip: Even though we had very lovely aspect garden villas, next time we will definitely go beachside
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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664 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (174)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Byron Bay, Australia
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

• 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.


Room Tip: Somewhere else.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pacificresortrar, Manager at Pacific Resort Rarotonga, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Dear NaesRenirt,

It is disappointing to hear that you did not enjoy all of your experiences at the Pacific Resort Rarotonga, as it is our aim to ensure all patrons leave feeling that our resort added positively to their time in the Cook Islands, not detracted from it. I can assure you that you concerns have been taken seriously and I would like to take the time to address some of your comments and experiences.

First let me say that your experience on the Sunday was inexcusable and I can assure you that this will be addressed with staff. All of our staff have been trained in the rules regarding alcohol service on Sundays. I will make clear what is and is not permitted, and continue to do so in our daily briefings.

The NYE party and dinner was a unique first time event for the resort, and we certainly admit to it having had a few teething issues. $150 is not a huge price to have paid for drinks, canapés, a buffet dinner and entertainment, plus a supper later, but I can certainly appreciate that some of the issues experienced on the night would have been frustrating for customers. We have reviewed the night and have learnt how things could be done differently in future.

I am happy to hear that you felt our bouncers handled the issues well – obviously we cannot control the actions of others and as the event was open to both public and resort guests, but we did do everything in our power to ensure our guests and paying customers felt safe on the night, and hope you enjoyed the fireworks display.

I am also happy to hear that you at least had a positive experience on your first night and do hope you enjoyed your time with us on Christmas day. I’d like to thank you for your feedback – we are constantly striving to improve and appreciate feedback from our customers to help highlight areas in which we can do so. Having been recently appointed I will be reviewing the resort’s food and beverage service and facilities, and think that the Pacific Resort Rarotonga is a great place within which to develop a high level of quality service that will ensure positive experiences for future guests and patrons.

Kind regards,

Richard Tait
Food and beverages manager
Pacific Resort Rarotonga
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whakatane, New Zealand
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

We stayed here in September 2012 Found the staff very nice and helpful. Everyone was super friendly and we could ask any questions and the reception staff would find out for us. Restaurant on the site was brilliant and I would recommend anyone to stay there.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oak Flats, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

We stayed here in Dec 12, 2 adults and 3 children. Originally booked the standard rooms which were terrible, very small and need upgrading. We ended up upgrading our accom to the next room type - Premium room - more space but still in need of refurbishment - the roof leaked in our room during a downpour of rain and ended up soaking all our cameras and i phones - hotel staff merely dried them off with a towel and did not ask if there was any damage. They offered us to move to another room for one night then move back the next day - which wasn't worth the hassle. It is very expensive to eat at the resort so we ate elsewhere. A good idea to hire a car or scooter before you leave as there is not much available unless you prebook. Reception staff not very friendly but Beach Hut guys fantastic. Overall, overpriced. Muri lagoon is lovely provided its not windy.

Room Tip: Book a villa if you can
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013 via mobile

My husband and 2 kids (under 5) spent 4 days here as a stopover from NZ to the US at Christmas. Our first impression of our standard room (not ocean front) on the ground floor was not great for the price. The decor is dated and the bathroom is very dated with fixtures that stick so its hard to turn on the taps/etc. At one point we saw a huge cockroach walking across the floor and had to kill it. Also there are small flying bugs and tiny ants in the bathroom, probably to be expected in a tropical location, but still... The food was generally good, especially the fresh fruit at breakfast but not a large selection (all continental and you pay extra for eggs/etc). It served our needs though with two small kids. Other reviews say the pool needs renovating but we didn't think it was too bad, we were often the only ones in there. Another plus was the friendly beach hit staff and we never waited for lounge chairs on the beach. The lunch and dinner menus need to be modified daily - we ate almost all our meals at the hotel and it was de ja vu for the regular menu and the kids menu (not that our kids minded chicken nuggets & fries every day). The food was pretty good but pricey for what it is ($28NZ for a simple lunch salad?)

Most of the staff are very friendly, especially a few of the front desk people, and some of the wait staff. Service is slow overall but it's island time. We had a couples Balinese style massage one afternoon at Te Manava spa which was amazing, we loved it so much and didn't want it to end. However the driver who gave us a ride from the spa back to the hotel rushed us out of the spa with a few honks!

The beach is amazing and perfect for young kids. They have beach toys to play with, free kayaks (we used these almost daily) and snorkel gear (we didn't use these). We paid for 2 hrs of paddle boarding ($20) which was fun to try. The sand is so nice and the water is warm. The only negative on the beach is that there seem to be several stray dogs or at least unattended dogs (a couple did have tags) that roam up and down. This was concerning given our little ones were either terrified of the dogs or wanted to pet them, neither of which was good. They do come right up to you when you are sitting on the beach or walking along....

Overall a nice first visit to the Cook Islands but next time we'd try Atutaki or a better hotel in Raro.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ventura, California, United States
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

Loved staying here. Very clean. The staff is very accommodating. Access to the lagoon and a free snorkel and boat equipment. The grounds are simply beautiful. We even had the great experience of being asked by the staff to appear in an Air New Zealand commercial!!! Free dinner and an unforgettable experience. Loved staying here.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queenstown, New Zealand
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

We were here for a week on honeymoon. It was amazing, in fact judging by the others, I'd say the best. The apartments themselves were basic but comfortable and well kept, but the grounds and gardens were beautiful, the pool area so tranquil and relaxing, the service was fantastic, the food was absolutely amazing and it's all set on the shores of a stunning turquoise lagoon. You could take kids there, but it's more of an grown up escape. The real highlight is the canopy dining set up on the beach - such a beautiful place to sit and eat, the service excellent and the food was that of fine restaurant. We'll be back one day.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pacific Resort Rarotonga

Address: Muri Beach, Muri, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Muri
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Muri
#3 Spa Hotel in Muri
#3 Luxury Hotel in Muri
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Pacific Resort Rarotonga 4*
Number of rooms: 64
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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Also Known As:
Pacific Resort Rarotonga Hotel Muri
Pacific Hotel Rarotonga
Pacific Hotel Muri
Pacific Resort Rarotonga Muri, Cook Islands

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