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“5* from start to finish”

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Pacific Resort Aitutaki
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Aitutaki
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 5, 2014 via mobile

Did a site inspection here recently as part of a travel agent trip and experienced pure paradise. Wish we could've stayed for a night but we did get to look around the beautifully decorated rooms and grounds. Greg was really helpful and extremely professional. I would stay here on my honeymoon 100%

Stayed: April 2014, traveled on business
1  Thank Chasmaybank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 1, 2014

Not a very original title but we could not think of anything else which comes close to describing this place. Aitutaki itself is wonderful but this hotel more than complements it: the villa's are superb as is the friendly and helpful service. We stayed for 5 nights and relaxed completely, spending lots of time just lounging on the deck or walking on the beach.
The special island buffet dinner evening with entertainment was a lively affair with great local food and music and dancing - how do they do that?!
As we are not confident swimmers the hotel also arranged for a private lagoon tour with "Black Jack"! It was a fantastic day and enabled us to visit some of the beautiful little islands within the large Aitutaki Lagoon and "Wade Snorkel" in the safe hands of Black Jack to see giant Clams, beautiful coral and scores of fish.
Aitutaki and this resort is along way from the UK but it was just so good we are seriously considering returning again soon.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Allin2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2014

We spent a week at PRA in February. PRA is a beautiful property with well-appointed villas, great beds and linens, and fantastic snorkeling at your doorstep—a five-star property with nearly-private beach. We had five-star, but also two- and three-star experiences. The staff did several exceptional things: upgrade on second day to villa 300—a fantastic room (using the “first-time SLH membership” upgrade which I had to request); sparkling wine on arrival (more wine on my birthday); exceptional birthday dinner; a Valentine’s Day confection; a complimentary farewell dinner to make up for inconsistent service. So, why a complimentary dinner?...

First, there was maintenance that we had to take care of. During our week, we had seven issues: 1. Refrigerator seal failure; 2. In-room safe malfunction (three times); 3. Plugged drain, clogged faucet aerators; 4. Broken sliding-door lock; and 5. Hair dryer shorted out. Actually, having so many maintenance issues makes these “one-star moments.” Service was also sometimes two-star: housekeeping downgraded our toiletries from Bulgari to an odd brand, and after a snorkeling trip we asked for new beach towels and were told we’d have to wait until turndown service. The most annoying issue was with food: we spent way, way too much effort dealing with inconsistent food service and two-star cooking…

On our first morning, although we’d confirmed “gluten free” multiple times, no one among the breakfast wait staff understood (a medical necessity for us). Blank stares. From then on, however, breakfast was very good. Eggs Benedict was usually excellent, with gluten free bread, too. However, at the end of the stay, Eggs Benedict was served without hollandaise and with gluten free bread that was rock hard and inedible.

On day four, after an odd lunch experience (and an earlier encounter with a gluten free salad entrée that was served without dressing, not even oil and vinegar), I told the manager that I was not keen on some of the meals. He responded with “We’re looking at changing the menu.” I said, “No, it’s not the menu, it’s the quality of the food, I’m referring to the way it’s cooked. The spaghetti with meat sauce was awful.” Really, the sauce was worse than Hamburger Helper. Speaking of which, I also had a hamburger, and the patty was a nearly tasteless, gray mass.

Another odd food (or “fish”) tale: I caught a 25lb wahoo (ono), and the restaurant cooked part of it for us for two meals. I had it on my birthday dinner, and the meal was excellent. The chef also baked a fantastic, out-of-this-world chocolate cake. Because the cake was large, I gifted the remaining cake and 4+ kilos of wahoo to the staff. However, I later could not confirm that any staff received any of these.

Back on the plus side, PRA has a great location for snorkeling. The coral is decent and fish are plentiful, the water is crystal clear all day long. We brought masks and PRA had fins. A GoPro camera is a must! However, watch for scorpion fish; we saw one right off the shoreline. These are dangerous to step on. They won’t do anything if you leave them alone. Other than that and numerous sea cukes, Aitutaki Lagoon is the best snorkeling we’ve ever had (compared to Raro, Bali, and Hawaii). A water taxi ride to deeper waters (20-30 feet deep) and the clam reserve is worth it. At the Arutunga Tourist Office, ask for Antonio’s Water Taxi—$99pp. They do not offer BBQ, but they are “at your service” and will take you anywhere in the lagoon for several hours; very accommodating.

PRA also arranged our fishing trip with BlackJack. As a novice angler, I found the experience lacking. There is little “hands on” until a fish strikes because the mate sets lures for all of the lines, and we trolled. They did their best to get us more fish, but we only caught the one wahoo. We lost a second fish (and lure) while returning into the lagoon. Jack didn’t warn us to modify how we reel in fish when crossing the reef. There was an unnecessary, irksome lecture about “what we’d done wrong.” Actually, it was the captain’s instructions that were lacking. The overall experience could have been better.

I also rented a car from the hotel. I recommend driving around the island to see more of Aitutaki besides PRA, and driving is very easy. After a couple of days, we were desperate to escape PRA for other dining options. We found great dinners at Tamanu down the road; excellent food and an easy walk from the hotel along the beach. Puffy’s is also good; casual dining for fantastic fish and chips. Also, a Sunday visit to the local church is inspiring.
On checkout, I was given a last-minute charge of $3.50 for each of three Nespresso coffee capsules (which we’d used days earlier). At $700 per night, PRA should have skipped the charge and simply been thrilled out of their minds that we were there in the first place. At the time, only 4 other rooms of 27 were occupied.

Almost all of the staff was EXTRAORDINARILY kind and friendly, but some need professional training (both locals *AND* non-locals). Wait staff should fully understand the menu and know how each dish should be (and can be) served. If a guest says that something isn’t right, then correct it without getting upset.

At least at the time of our visit, sometimes the hotel seemed out of step with guests who seek five-star service. I understand about lowering standards a bit: “island style” isn’t always Fifth Avenue or Beverly Hills style. But when you pay $700+ a night, your room’s hair dryer shouldn’t short out in your hand while using it. And when something is cooked and served perfectly one day, but then prepared completely backwards the next, something just isn’t right.

In summary, PRA is not ready for five-star ratings. It is a beautiful hotel that needs some work and attention to details. The only meals that were close to five-star were those overseen by the head chef. I give PRA three stars, max; A for effort, but C for execution.

Notable nearbys are Aitutake Escape and Etu Moana. I hear they are worth a try, somewhat less expensive, and Escape is keenly tuned in to “gluten free.” Next time, I’m going to try Escape (sister hotel to Little Polynesian on Raro).

Room Tip: Villa 300 was great, a beautifully appointed room with a wonderful balcony (or two) and view. Our f...
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank mhb1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2014

We went with our 9 year old son for 5 days and it was lovely. However there were not so many children things to do, but he enjoyed it immensely. Service was great (although they had run out of marmalade for breakfast) and the people were so friendly. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: All the rooms are facing the ocean and the sunset. Mossies' are a problem so bring plenty of in...
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Alec A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2014

I stayed at the resort for six days. I knew it would be luxurious, but didn’t quite think it would be that good. The only issue I actually have, is that I have no issue to complain about.

Staff was marvelous in all ways and had a very high service level at all times. Thank you for lending out the waterproof camera!

Room, or bungalow, was spacious and the proximity to the beach made you feel you almost lived in the water. Room nicely furnished and bathroom had excellent decoration. Very nice to find a good tasting treat in the fridge every night. Resort’s SPA services were excellent. Had to go every day!

The Pacific Resort’s location must be one of the best at the island. Reception and restaurant located just above the pool and the beach. Restaurant with excellent view over reef and stunning sun sets. Pool beautifully located and designed creating a feeling infinity as pool and sea unites towards the sun set.

Always excellent lunches and dinners at the restaurants. I had a lot of sea food. Nice assortment of wines and beer.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled solo
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1  Thank SveinOla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2014

My husband and i just came back from three amazing days at The Pacific Resort Aitutaki and we couldn't have wished for a better place to spend our honeymoon. The Resort Manager Greg Williams along with Belle the F&B Manager were extremely welcoming and ensured we settled in immediately. We were just a little excited to see that the 'cocktail of the day' was named after us on arrival at the pool bar. Great personal touch!! To wake up in the morning, walk just a few short steps and be in the ocean was fantastic. We snorkelled daily and never tired of the vast array of fish just meters off the sand. A big thanks again to the team who made our Romantic Beach Dinner happen. What a brilliant way to spend a special dinner with my new husband. Thanks again to the entire team at The Pacific Resort Aitutaki, we will definitely be back!!

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Simone B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2014

WOW!! WOW!! WOW!! My husband and I celebrated our 20 yr Anniversary by booking an 8 night stay at The Pacific Resort on Aitutaki! Not only did I fall even more in love with my husband on this trip but fell in love with Aitutaki!
From the moment we arrived at the resort ... it was smooth sailing all around. The Resort Manager Greg Williams greeted us along with Belle who gave us the introduction of the Resort. Nothing was ever a problem. When I would enquire about certain activities or menu choices, we were always welcomed with a "let us take care of that for you, not problem." We looked forward to catching up each mooring with the staff either in restaurants, bar or cleaning our room.
We stayed in one of the Bure's right on the beach - Room 107 - our own slice of heaven. Each day we would snorkel, most days ride the bicycles around the island which by the way is the BEST way to see Aitutaki. We booked a half day Snorkel guide trip on the Black Pearl -that is a must do!
Also you must try the wonderful Amuri Sands Package at the Tiare Spa. Great way to exfoliate and be massaged!
My husband and I have stayed in Rarotonga 3 times, but Aitutaki is the place we will come back too..and The Pacific Resort is the only place for us to stay.
I pray that should you stay at The Pacific Resort - you experience the slice of heaven we tasted!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MoniqueRana
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

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: $568 - $971 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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