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“Anything, everything or nothing at all...” 5 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   |  
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3 FREE nights
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Muri
Wahroonga, Australia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Anything, everything or nothing at all...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

First and foremost, a heart felt thank you to everyone at the Pacific Resort for providing a wonderful week for my family and me. Everyone was very freindly and they especially took care of my 2 1/2 year old, it was like having perpetual babysitting, my little man Jax took over the entire resort and we really didn't worry as everyone knew him. I big thanks to the boys (Matt, Tim, Toma, Junior and others) on the beach as they patiently allowed him to hangout with them. The ladies in the Barefoot bar and restuarant (Tangi, Memory, Jane and we must not forgot Billie)were the best.

The island is quite nice, I very pretty place, we didn't explore it too much as we just relaxed on the beach for most days. It was a great start to the trip by receiving "lays" and ending the trip with shell necklaces, both of which I suspect were from the Pacific Resort as not everyone had either.

The resort actually was not my first choice, I wanted to stay at their sister property but I must say at the end, I think we made the right choice with our 1 bedroom beachfront villa. The resort is not huge but it is larger than most on the island with beautiful grounds everywhere. A nice feature is that most beach amenties were free, like snorkling, and kayaking, for a small fee, you can paddleboard (that really should be free too)

I would definitely recommend the Cook Islands and most certainly the Pacific Resort, thanks again and see you soon.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (130)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Auckland, New Zealand
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

This is an excellent resort in an awesome location. To be fair, it's not the cheapest, but I think it was well worth every cent. I was travelling with some friends and we had premium garden suites and standard studio rooms. The garden suites were certainly more luxurious and the bathrooms were lovely - but i found the rooms quite dark due to low lighting and lots of foliage. The upstairs standard studio room that my friends were in had an older bathroom, but they definitely had a lot more light and a nicer view. The restaurant and beachfront bar were fantastic - food was great and the setting was perfect. The included tropical breakfast was very good - more than adequate with lots of choice. The grounds were lovely, well looked after and spacious - definitely got the full tropical vibe going with the lush gardens and thatched roofs. There was a pool - we checked it out when we were exploring on the first day - but didn't go back. It was nice, but felt quite a bit colder than the sea, and why would you hang out by a pool when you have Muri Beach on your doorstep!

The location is the best - Muri beach is stunning and swimming in the lagoon was bliss. We had quite a bit of wind, so we waded/swam to the little island across the lagoon and found that nice and sheltered. Didn't find the snorkelling out from the resort very good as it's mostly white sand and the fish like the coral - but if you go along the beach you'd probably find better snorkelling. We did a glass bottom boat/snorkelling excursion and that was enough for us (highly recommended).

One of the things I love about Rarotonga is that you are not resort bound. Great little dairy and takeaway bar a few mins down the road - fantastic for fish and chips on the beach or burgers for lunch. The restaurant at the yacht club is a short walk along the beach and is fantastic - sitting on their balcony overlooking the beach and lagoon while eating lunch or dinner is bliss. The Flametree restaurant gave us a very good dinner one night. We wanted to try the Italian restaurant, but couldn't get a reservation. It's definitely worth booking something for Sunday dinner as we found that a lot of the local places (not in resorts) were closed on Sunday - so that made resort restaurants more heavily booked (and resorts will take restaurant bookings from guests that aren't staying in-house).

Overall I'd highly recommend this resort to pretty much anyone and I'm sure I'll be back.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

What a wonderful five days we had! According to our reservation check-in time was 2:00 pm, but when we arrived at 8:30 am our room was ready. We had a standard room with a view of the luxurious garden; it was spotlessly clean and larger than we expected it to be. (Hint: They have a high rainfall and if there is even a slightly blocked drain, you'll smell it. Perhaps this was the cause of other complaints in reviews. If this worries you, ask for a room on the upper floor - i.e. first floor as opposed to ground floor. We didn't have any problem at all.)
Breakfast in "Sandals" was terrific. A continental tropical breakfast was included in the room rate. There is an additional charge for a cooked breakfast, but the continental breakfast was more than enough for us. It included muesli with coconut and dried tropical fruit, muffins, unadorned doughnuts, toast, banana loaf, juices, coffee, tea, milk, many types of melon, kiwifruit, papaya, mango,banana (try them, they're hugely superior to the stuff we get in North America), coconut pieces, cheese, ham, tomatoes.
We had dinner there as well, and found the food delicious and well presented, and the service prompt but not rushed. Try the ika mata - fish "cooked" in lime juice.
We swam, snorkelled and paddled in the lagoon. Once a friendly dog hitched a ride back from one of the small islands on the prow of our boat. We also had long walks on the beach, especially at low tide, as well as a walk inland along a valley. (Turn right out of the resort and walked along the main road to Avana Rd, then turn left and follow this road inland.)
We also paid to use their wi-fi and found the service fast enough for email and a quick BBC news/sport update once a day.
The swimming pool is large enough for length swimming during quiet times, and set in beautiful surroundings.
The staff were as friendly and helpful as can be; from the front desk to the beach hut to the Barefoot Bar and Sandals, to the drivers, cleaners and porters. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and will certainly recommend it to anybody else.

Room Tip: If you can afford it, the beachfront villas are fantastic. The family rooms around the pool look ver...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dunedin, New Zealand
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

We stayed at the Pacific Resort for 2 weeks in January, "rainy season" but we got lucky with the weather and had only 1.5 days of torrential rain. Before booking we sought first-hand experiences from travel agents and friends, as well as doing a fair bit of on-line research. Pacific Resort at Muri beach looked like the safest and nicest spot for our family holiday...it turned out we chose well. The lagoon was completely safe for our 3 children aged 8, 9 and 11 and the pool (which one reviewer described as "an afterthought") was great....plenty of loungers for a relaxing cocktail or reading a book, umbrellas for shade, a toddlers pool and enough depth for the kids to "bomb" and "dive". And then there's the "Kids Club!! The beach hut boys were truely amazing and consistently went above and beyond for all of the kids...not to mention providing a few laughs and great activities and service for the adults too. The resort grounds were beautiful and the accommodation was more than adequate...We stayed in a 2 bedroomed garden villa which was the best option for travelling with 3 children. The food on the resort was great for the kids, maybe a bit more average for the adults. Two weeks of the same menu can get a bit much, but there are plenty of other places close by for a bit of variety, and self catering in the villas helps. The only fault really was that the evening dining service could be a tad slow (one evening we waited over an hour between our entree's and mains (not the children however)..but...."island time" so not the end of the world. We stayed for two weeks, and I was a little worried that this would be too long with no motor sport activities but it turned out not to be long enough. If you are keen on completely relaxing with a book by the pool, beach or gardens...making time for a kayak, windsurf, snorkel, wade to Kirimiko island, and soak up some rays, then Pacifi Resort is perfect...we can't wait to return to this fabulous resort!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
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.
Byron Bay, Australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

Good
• Amazing beach lagoon setting – absolutely paradisiacal
• We had one good meal
Bad
• 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.

Avoid.

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.

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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
Amenities:
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:
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Muri
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Pacific Resort Rarotonga 4*
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
Raratonga
Pacific Resort Rarotonga Muri, Cook Islands

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