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“Very disappointing!”

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Pacific Resort Rarotonga
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Muri
Certificate of Excellence
New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Very disappointing!”
Reviewed March 25, 2009

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.

RECEPTION:
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.

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.

BAR:
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!

DINNER:
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)

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Micell0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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CALIFORNIA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2009

We arrived at the resort to a wonderful greeting by the reception staff and the CEO, Greg Stanaway and immediately knew this resort was going to be as equally wonderful as the sister resort Pacific Resort Aitutaki where we had just spent 7 nights. We were already feeling the genuine friendliness that we experienced in Aitutaki and knew our stay on Rarotonga was going to be just as wonderful!
We were given a choice of rooms and chose the 2 bedroom garden unit for the first 3 nights and then transferred over the to the beachfront for our last 2 nights. While the 2 bedroom garden unit was wonderful, we personally liked the beachfront room the best.
The activities for children were a lot of fun and our son enjoyed the crab races, learned how to open a coconut, and had a ukelele lesson. We went on the reef walk which was a lot of fun too. The staff at the activities center were wonderful and always ready to help or share their knowledge with us. Definately experience the various acvitities they offer.
The gardens at the resort are absolutely gorgeous and just taking a walk through the resort is an experience unto itself. The winding paths and beautiful plants are picture perfect and very enjoyable.
The restaurant where they served breakfast each morning was very nice, the view was beautiful looking over the little pond and the buffet breakfast was great for us. The croissants were sooooo yummy. We also liked the beachfront restaurant and had several dinners there that were very good too, with our toes in the sand.
We rented scooters again and toured the island and had a lot of fun doing that. We highly recommend renting scooters for your stay. We felt it was better than renting a car and felt very safe riding the scooters. A little more traffic on Rarotonga compared to Aitutaki, but be a defensive driver and you will be fine.
Definately experience the Saturday morning market in town with the locals. They sell local style food that you can try and they also sell great souvenirs. We bought a ukulele that is absolutely gorgeous and sounds great too.
We had an exceptional experience with Greg Stanaway, the CEO, which we feel we should share to give other individuals a true taste of what this resort is like and how much they want you to enjoy your stay. My husband was excited about the fact that he thought he could possibly find a particular beer that he had on a previous visit to New Zealand and was hoping that he could find it on Rarotonga. While we were sitting in the bar restaurant enjoying a quick lunch, Greg was also enjoying his lunch too. We were chatting with Greg and my husband mentioned the beer he was hoping to find and it was determined that the resort did not stock it but Greg immediately asked the bartender to place a phone call and order a case of the beer so we could enjoy being able to purchase it while we were at the resort. We thought that was so over and above what most resorts would do and we couldn't believe it. Well, on our 2nd day we returned to our room to find a six-pack of the wonderful beer with a "Compliments of Greg Stanaway" note attached to it and needless to say we were blown away. We just want to illustrate that the "little" things can go a long way. Greg, thank you again for a wonderful stay at the resort. You truly made it special for us, not just because of the beer, but because of everything you do! Hopefully our paths will cross in the future.
We also feel it is noteworthy to mention that any negative incidents you might encounter at the resort will be handled promptly and with the utmost professionalism. We had a bit of a problem that did not relate to any staff member directly, but rather an outside source, which I won't elaborate on any more than that, which was handled to our absolute satisfaction and proved to us that the management can handle both the good experiences as well as the occasional bad experiences that can occur at any resort.
As I said in our review of the Pacific Resort Aitutaki, we never return to a resort because we think there are too many other places we want to find and explore in the world, but this resort also changed our mind. We will definately be back to this resort as well as the one on Aitutaki. Thank you for a wonderful experience!! We will be back!!!Vance, Cheryl and Walker Welch

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SBWMOM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salisbury
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2009

Warm and friendly staff, Very clean and very hospitable
Rooms large and spacious; walk in shower, and well planned rooms in garden
Perfect location able to walk across the clear blue lagoon.
upon reluctant departure,will generously add to a lifetime of good memories,and making us wanting to return.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bignigel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 5, 2009

We went to Rarotonga for 10 nights and for the first 5 nights stayed in Room 106, a beachfront suite on the ground floor. It was the closest accommodation to the beach you could get and we loved it - stepping off our deck onto the sand. (There were also 2 suites upstairs for those who prefer to be on the upper level). Though the Resorts' Beach Equipment Hire area was next door we were never disturbed by them, and we had no other immediate neighbours.

Room 106 was spacious with beautiful decor, in very good condition, and when our air conditioning stopped working we made a phone call and somebody came within 20 minutes to assess the problem. We then went out on an(other) adventure on our scooter only to return later in the day and the air conditioning serviceman had been and fixed it. The only other problem that arose was that our kettle started playing up. A replacement kettle was delivered promptly.

The Pacific Resort put on a special evening for Valentines Day in the beachfront marquee. We asked if we could have our table out under the stars and the staff had no problem in meeting our request. We found the staff friendly and helpful and the Resort is so well maintained we were amazed, with beautiful lush gardens. We were so happy with everything about the resort that we returned probably 3 more times AFTER we had moved into Palm Grove Resort - for breakfast by the pool, for happy hour and to view some rooms for our next trip.

We also viewed the poolside bungalows and these too were very lovely inside. So lovely in fact that we will likely book two of these on our next trip in August - one for the mother-in-law. We can't wait to return to Pacific Resort, and may even stay at Pacific Resort Aitutaki (which I have heard is even better!) for a few nights as well! We wouldn't hesitate it recommending it to everybody but do recommend that you pay the money to upgrade to whatever you can afford.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FrangipaniAuckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Coast, UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 5, 2009

We spent a glorious 10 days staying at the Pacific Resort , Muri Bay, Rarotonga in February 2009. The people are very friendly and it's a beautifully relaxed life style and all at a reasonable price. We stayed at the Pacific Resort and it's a great hotel, set in beautiful gardens. If you stay there book a garden room. It is set in a beautiful location by a lagoon, has a beachfront restaurant and is near to some shops and eateries. The staff are great and good fun tas well! The island has a bus service which runs a clockwise bus and an anti-clockwise bus and the Pacific Resort is about 15 minutes by bus from the main town on the island.
The main attraction for us is that Rarotonga has tourists but doesn't have a big tourist industry to go with it and if you go to shops or the weekly market you don't get goods thrust at you. If you want to buy something you do, but you won't be pushed to buy. If you go try 'Pas walking tour' and you will walk from Pa's house into the centre of a rain forrest, learn all about the local vegetation and herbs and see some spectacular views.
The biggest danger on Rarotonga seemed to be falling coconuts! there are trees laden with them every where and as you walk along the road you often here a thud as one falls to the ground.

Helpful?
1 Thank nitramh1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2009

Stayed here for 3 nights as a quickie addon trip out & back to/from Auckland whilst on a 6 week NZ holiday from the UK.
With its laid back style, beautiful safe lagoon and great facilities it has to be the place to stay on the main Cook Island. With free kayaks, snorkels etc, the time just sailed by. Good accommodation and food, too hot to do much else but laze under the palm trees - but take the clockwise or anticlockwise circular bus to see the rest of the island.
Hope to be back - but it's just so far from home in the UK.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank crispie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
somerset
Level Contributor
117 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2009

An Awesome resort with stunning gardens. Reminded me of a mix between Bali and the Jungle Cruise in Disney.You really feel you are in a tropical paradise.
The Beach and lagoon are very pretty, and there is a very romantic patio bar, with a toes in sand restaurant, with fantastic food and servise.
PLEASE do not forget your sand fly repellant, but that is the only downside.
The sister resort in Aitutaki is equally as stunning, but in a more classy and trendy way.
Do not stay anywhere else if you visit the cook islands.

  • Liked — The view from the balcony into the gardens
  • Disliked — leaving it to come home
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank sallySomerset
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

Property: Pacific Resort Rarotonga
Address: Muri Beach, Muri, Cook Islands
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:
#3 Spa Hotel in Muri
#3 On the Beach 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
Raratonga
Pacific Resort Rarotonga Muri, Cook Islands

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