We had been told that this was "the best" place to stay on the island. However as our accommodation was on the other side of the island we decided to treat ourselves to a spa treatment and dinner one night.
No complaints here. We had decided that we wanted to do some kayaking around the lagoon during the day so we arrived at about 11am and were greeted by charming and polite reception staff who booked our balinese massages for later that evening. We then spent the morning kayaking around the lagoon and had been so impressed by the lovely reception staff and the beautiful grounds that we'd walked through to get to the beach that we decided to stop at the Pacific's beachfront restaurant for lunch.
I was quite surprised at the long wait. After being seated and our drink orders taken we requested a menu, waited 20 minutes before I had to get up and ask for it again, then another 10 minutes to actually get it! As we weren't in any great hurry we just ordered a couple of drinks directly from the bar and patiently waited until the waiter came back to us. We then ordered a couple of cocktails and some food (ika mata and pacific fries - both average dishes and overpriced for what they were) which took about an hour to arrive to our table. But again, as we still had a few hours to kill, at this stage I wasn't particularly worried. I guess warning bells should have rung when I went to pay the bill and heard the bar staff blatantly complaining and joking about their other patrons in front of me but I put it down to the fact that they must have had a particularly bad customer and laughed it off to myself. We then tried to book into the Island Night that the resort were putting on that evening as it would fit in well with the timing of our spa treatments. Unfortunately this was booked out but the waitress advised that we were free to make an a la carte booking, which we did.
While my husband was having his massage I waited at the bar, and vice versa. My hour in the bar just happened to be during happy hour so I ordered myself a cocktail. Because I wasn't "staying at the resort" the waiter asked for my money up front (fair enough). However he didn't bring back the change until I had to ask for it when I left - a total of 40 minutes later? My husband then waited in the bar while I had my massage and amazingly the same thing happened to him. Although this time he was actually seated at the bar - the waitress took his money, made a few cocktails, the staff all had a whinge about the customers out front and he got his change 20 minutes later - very strange!
So ... on to dinner. Well as you know, we had booked. We arrived on the dot and were told by the extremely rude and pompous maitre de that it didn't matter whether or not we had made a booking as they weren't able to take people who weren't staying at the resort. When I pointed out that the waitress had taken down the name of the resort we were staying at when we booked he accused me of lying and made me point out the waitress who had taken my booking. After I pointed her out to him he gruffly said, "Well I suppose we'll have to take you then but we don't normally take casual diners" - (a) we weren't casual diners, we clearly had a booking and (b) if that is the case why do they have a big sign on the beach saying "we accept casual diners". My husband informed me that he had turned away a number of other "casual diners" in the same rude and self-important manner while he was waiting at the bar.
Well I was gobsmacked but at that time we were too late to get in anywhere else so I bit my tongue while he power-tripped the waiter and ordered him to put a table together. Then we ordered some more absolutely mediocre yet expensive food while being guilt-tripped and harrassed about whether we also wanted dessert and cocktails - and when the answer was no, were we sure we didn't want another cocktail - and when the answer was no yet again, "go on have another cocktail, you know you want to" ... I mean I expect this sort of upsizing mentality at McDonald's but a 5 star resort? I don't think so!
PS: I just wanted to say that the spa treatments weren't to be faulted. We had a lovely balinese lady, very polite and one of the best massages I've ever had. In fact she ironed out a kink in my shoulder that's been there for months so extremely grateful for that! :o)
- 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