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“Beautiful hotel and location, shame about the food and drink”

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Pacific Resort Aitutaki
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Aitutaki
Certificate of Excellence
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
35 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Beautiful hotel and location, shame about the food and drink”
Reviewed March 7, 2013

We had a week-long baby-moon here in this beautiful location and wonderful resort. The weather was great even though it was February and somewhat tropical. The location is gorgeous: the idyllic beaches, white sand, shallow tepid waters, infinity pool, beautifully decorated traditionally-kitted out bungalows but with all the mod cons.

The staff were wonderfully friendly, as was our welcome with a fresh coconut and induction to all the delights the island and resort had to offer.

This is a wonderful place to stay but there were just a few small things that caused us to rate it 4 stars instead of 5. Here’s the low down:

BEST BITS
* Rooms were stunning! Each bungalow overlooks the water and is a short stroll across the sand to the shore. Each bungalow has it’s own loungers, terrace and private steps to the beach. Air conditioning and a fan are a must and a welcomed addition to the room. Twin sinks, a small fridge, complimentary truffles or other such delights at the evening turn down service and FREE, yes free water! Unlike many other tropical resorts that sting you for necessities, this place gave us around 3-4 litres of fresh filtered water every day which was a god send!

* Service. Staff are so friendly and kind. Very chilled out, very helpful and lovely. Nothing was ever too much trouble (except getting the dinner or breakfast order right.... more on that later).
Spa. A real oasis this one. Good value for money and a great massage. Quite often resort spas are a bit namby-pamby for my liking: all aroma and no therapy. The woman who gave me my massage may have been little but she had super-strong hands and pummelled the knots out of my back within the hour. Absolute bliss.

* Location: beach was stunning, infinity pool was gorgeous and the whole resort was clean, tidy, well maintained and the finishing touches such as fresh hibiscus flowers on the towels on the sun loungers were a beautiful touch.

* Crayfish: the manager cornered us one day after breakfast to show us a massive fresh crayfish that had recently been delivered to the resort. We were suitably impressed and out our order in for one for dinner the next night. Turned out to be the best meal we had during our stay. Cooked to perfection and reasonably priced at only $100 for the crayfish including a variety of side dishes. What we couldn’t work out was why no one else had ordered one or why the manager wasn’t telling everyone who dined there that the crayfish was fresh and not to be missed.

WORST BITS

* Food: a real shame but this 5 star resort didn’t live up to expectations for the breakfast or dinner. Sesame-crumbed prawn starters with grilled watermelon sounded great but were dry and lacking flavour. Steaks ordered medium-rare turned up consistently well done. Soft poached eggs turned up well done. Tuna was served dry. Every ‘fish of the day’ dish was tuna which was pretty dull but in fairness that ‘special fish of the day’ turned out to be the same fish right across the island. Guess they don’t catch much else other than tuna? Island night food buffet didn’t have any labels or indication of what each of the buffet dishes were so it was a game of hit and (mostly) miss. Breakfast orders went astray on a number of occasions and breads or juices just failed to turn up.

* Boom boom baby: local radio station was played during the day by the pool. The station would frequently drop in 30-45 minute long advert / promotional breaks during which multiple people would rabbit on about something and conclude with “boom boom baby” which, for 30 minutes every hour got pretty tedious. Would have thought the bar could have played a CD instead?

* Cocktails: sans alcohol unfortunately. Might have been the local boot-leg booze or perhaps they were watered down. But they definitely didn’t taste alcoholic. My husband was ordering the booze and he was regularly disappointed in the cocktails.

* Mozzies: as with any tropical island there were plenty. These little buggers though are present all day, all night, anywhere, sun, rain and wind. Never assume that because you’re sitting in the sun in the middle of the day in a sea breeze that the mozzies won’t be around.... they will. Take sunblock that comes with insect repellent.

All in all this is a gorgeous place and the positives far outweigh the negatives. I’d stick to my guns though that this is a 5 star resort with a 3-4 star restaurant. We dined out in other restaurants around the island most nights instead and found other hotels and restaurants to be better quality food or a similar quality but better value. Having said that I would come back to this resort as it’s by far the best resort on the island.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank CommsGirl16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2013

A friend of ours gave my husband and I a wonderful present: 1 night stay at P.R.A. with complimentory breakfast. From the moment we arrived it was very special. Even though we live in Rarotonga, we found Aitutaki to be very relaxing and beautiful. The staff at the resort are very sincerely attentive, friendly, and all want to make your stay with them enjoyable. The setting of the resort with its tropical gardens amidst volcanic black rocks right on the sea shore with private white sand beaches is spectaculor and unique. We stayed in Suite 400, very spacious and comfortable with all that you would expect of a luxurious room and more. They were doing some upgrading in the restaurant area while we were there so they shifted the breakfast tables in the reception area which did not matter to us as the gardens there were still beautiful to look at with nice relaxing music in back ground. Our only regret: our stay there was too short!

Room Tip: Room 400 was perfect for our needs. Not too close yet not too far from reception and restaurant.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ninice_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
2 reviews
Reviewed March 4, 2013

In our experience, the Pacific Resort Aitutaki is a smaller beautiful oasis, within an exquisite surrounding oasis.

Gobsmacked by the scenery we witnessed as we flew in, we were met off the plane at the airport by friendly Resort staff, who offered us a cool face towel and bottle of chilled water.
This first welcome and caring hospitality set the tone for our stay.

From the airport, the taxi cruised (welcome to "island time") to the Resort where General Manager, Julian Moore offered us a personal welcome, a description of the layout and services on offer, and his undertaking to ensure our stay was memorable.

We stayed in an Ultimate Beachfront Suite. Each room is separate from its neighbour and are nestled in tropical gardens, set back from, and a couple of meters above the beach. The views from the large ocean side windows, across the lagoon to the ocean, are stunning to behold. The beach (and your own beach side recliners) are accessed by following a short path (15m or so) that leads off from the generous deck.

The room was well fitted out (hooray for AirCon) and kept in top condition. From the polished timber floors in the bedroom, the marble tiles in the bathroom, the sofa, the bed, the shower and toilet, to the soft furnishings including the bed linen, everything was top notch. The shower was a highlight - of generous proportions, with two high pressure shower heads - it had two glass walls that opened to a fully private, enclosed garden. The garden also had another truly outdoor shower (accessed from within the room) for those keen on a back to nature experience.

The meals we enjoyed in the restaurant, our time in the pool, or relaxing at the bar, were all great. The Resort is well managed and these facilities and services were faultless.

But apart from the stunning scenery, the true highlight for us, was the people of Aitutaki. Those we met and interacted with off the Resort do their small island proud - very friendly, very helpful, and always ready to have a laugh.
And the people who staff the Resort made all the difference between a great holiday, and something that has given us a lifetime of happy memories. They displayed the all attributes of the above sentence - and somehow improved and added more. Truly awesome.

Our 5 days seemed to go slowly, and I'm sure this is due to our embracing the pace of the island and fully relaxing. Unusual in our experience, and a well received final polish, was the farewell from Julian on behalf of the Resort team.

So really, it's our turn to say thank you to Julian and his staff! They made our stay memorable!
We will be back.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Matt T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weston, Massachusetts
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2013

Pacific Resort is a great small hotel, located on the beach looking to the west. The sunsets are spectacular while dining on the beach. The rooms are spacious, clean, and well appointed. The food is fine and the service was always good with a very friendly staff. Jason, the manager, was very attentive to all aspects of our stay. He persuaded us to take the lagoon tour with "Slice of Heaven" which was very enjoyable. The Bone fishing with Rua Davey was challenging but worth the effort. There are many Bonefish of good size, and they take you to the backing every time. Aitutaki is a beautiful Island with friendly people, worth the travel to get there.

Room Tip: Spa services are excellent.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Peter K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petoskey, Michigan, United States
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Aitutaki is a special place on this planet. The best way I can describe it is civilized but unspoiled. The locals are kind and friendly.

My wife and i had a nice stay at the PRA on our honeymoon in Febuary. Our room was lovely and had a nice ocean view. It was clean and air conditioned.

The food at PRA was just ok given the price but that was and is a common theme on the Islands.

Be sure to look up butch leone for some bonefishing if you enjoy to flyfish.

Also take some time to get yourself a bicycle and ride around the island. Its a 3 hour project but its very fun and adventurous. Dont be afraid to take a dirt road or two there is nothing to be afraid of on Aitutaki except maybe the crabs.

Room Tip: I think they are all on the beach. You cant go wrong.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Donn V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2013

My 19 yr old daughter and I recently returned from a 4 day stay at Pacific Resort Aitutaki and I can honestly say it was paradise! Originially we were concerned that we would be the only non - honeymooning couple to be at the resort and thus would feel a tad uncomfortable - this was never the case! The staff went above and beyond to make our stay everything we could have asked for and then some!! From our greeting at the airport to Julian's personal welcome on arrival at the resort we could not have been made to feel more welcome. The bungalows overlooking the lagoon were wonderful and regardless of the rain the snorkelling was outstanding. We did have a bit of a daily arguement with the mozzies but they were no worse than what we have in Australia so we made sure the doors were bungalow doors were closed before sunset and we took aeroguard with us if we were going to be out and about in the evening. Also found a couple of great little cafe's and pizza places which is a must when travelling with teenagers!! Koru's Cafe at Samara Beach and Ricky's Takeaway which is about 300 metres from the entrance to the Resort were great value for money. We will definitely be back - next time will be longer than 4 days though!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bronwyn A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2013

We spent nine days at this truly amazing resort, from arrival to departure we were looked after.The location is stunning, photo's an postcards doesn't do this place justice you have to go there to believe that its all real. Staff were a big part of what makes this resort so good, very friendly, helpful but relax as well.My wife & I hadn't had a long break like this for couple of years, well thats not going to happen again we're already planning our next trip back to Aitutaki! This resort an location is 1st class.Well done Julian & staff you've done yourselves proud.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank vaughan w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pacific Resort Aitutaki

Property: Pacific Resort Aitutaki
Address: Amuri, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Aitutaki
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Aitutaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Pacific Resort Aitutaki 5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secluded Luxury … The multi-award winning, five-star Pacific Resort Aitutaki, surrounded by the breathtaking, tranquil turquoise waters of the Aitutaki lagoon, offers an intimate collection of only 27 luxuriously appointed bungalows and villas. Each air-conditioned room offers uninterrupted views across the lagoon from your very own private sundeck. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pacific Resort Aitutaki Hotel Aitutaki

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