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Cook's Lookout Motel
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Reviews (988)
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All reviewsnorm shelaghnew zealandsolar heated poolshort driveamazing viewspeaceful locationharuru fallsgreat hostssense of humourglass of wineplaces to visitthree nightspaihia towntwo bedroom unita great place to staylocal areaoverlooking the bay
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Reviewed 11 October 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Cook's Lookout. The room was clean and well presented, fitted out with all the self-contained items you would need. The bathroom was also clean, and there is nothing like a good hot shower after long days exploring the bay. It was also beautiful to have the privacy to sit out on the deck with a glass of wine watching the sun go down over the bay - truly stunning! We couldn't believe how quiet and peaceful it was.
Norm and Sheilah were excellent, friendly hosts and we particularly liked that we were able to book all our activities through them - at good prices too. They were very easy to talk to and were very hospitable.
If we come to Bay of Islands again we will definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Neil M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2013

I was tired ... I mean, really, really tired ... and I needed a good rest.

Somewhere quiet where I wouldn't hear the noise of traffic or people yelling at each other.

"That's easy," you say, "just climb up to the top of Everest." Oh, did I mention it had to be easy to get to, not break the bank AND still provide me with million-dollar views?

We found this ... and more ... at Cook's Lookout Motel near Paihia in New Zealand's winterless north. For me and my wife, the leisurely Monday-morning drive up from Auckland was no hassle at all -- only a few hours' leisurely driving to get there.

When we got there, we found Norm and Shelagh very friendly and the booking-in process quick and efficient.

Then we went to our unit. And, wow, what a view!! Situated high up, we could look down over the water to Waitangi and all the way to Russell in the distance. And at night, with the lights reflecting off the water, it was just as stunningly beautiful as in daytime.

And it is really true (at least for our unit, I'm not sure how many others) that you can wake up and see the ocean from your pillow.

The absence of noise was so enjoyable that I'll go back to Cook's Lookout even if it were just for the peace and quiet. Hearing and seeing the birds outside our unit was our souls' delight.

Another thing that was an absolute delight for us was the fact that the whole property (not only the units, but also the grounds) are completely smoke-free. This, plus the views and the promise of a quiet, restful stay, was that clinched it for us.

Having never been there before, we obviously didn't really know what to expect. But we were very happy to find that Cook's Lookout Motel was exactly what we had hoped for. Our four nights there came to an end way too quickly, and we have already promised ourselves that we will go back soon.

If you love a quiet place with views to die for, and you're not a smoker, go there. I'm sure you'll be just as happy as we were.

Room Tip: If you want a unit with sea views, just ask for it when you book. We stayed at no. 3, which is right at the top, with arguably the best views, and it didn't matter to us that it was only a studio unit because it was just the two of us.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank schalk1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2013

We stayed here for only one night but we had a nice time. Both Norman and Shelagh were very nice and friendly hosts. We were supposed to stay here in 2010 but due to a death in the family, we were not able to use the accommodation I have already paid. I emailed Norman about my situation and he promised to give me the credit the next time I plan to go to Paihia and book their place. After 3 years, we had the opportunity to visit NZ again and I contacted Norman. Finally we arrived in Paihia in Oct 2013 and we were delighted with the hosts who are very friendly and helpful. Our room had a fantastic view. It was clean and the motel is close to cafes and shops. Norman recommended places to visit during our stay and places to eat. He suggested Haruru Falls and described it as one of the two horseshoe shaped waterfalls in the world, the other one was Niagara Falls which is much higher and bigger. Cook's Lookout Motel is highly recommended for your accommodation when going to Bay of Islands. We will definitely come back for a longer stay and will recommend to friends and family.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Spitzo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2013

We are a family of 4 kiwis, taking a break from Auckland. We stayed at CLM for 5 nights and had a very relaxing holiday.

What attracted me to booking this place was the pool and trampoline for the kids, plus the view. On arrival Norm informed us that the pool had just been filled and was warming up. Our kids were desperate for a swim (keep in mind this is early Oct) so jumped into the 14 deg water! Bit chilly but these are kiwi kids! Next day pool temp was up to early 20 deg celcius - ahhh, bliss. We had apt 8 which was the best location for us. We could see the kids on the trampoline and had a lovely wooden deck to sit and look out over the bays.

I would not normally stay in a motel - we travel alot and I like my luxuries. However, I was not disappointed with CLM. We had all we needed and it was very quiet so we felt we had the run of the place. Norm and Shelagh are very helpful and considerate hosts. I would recommend this place to families who want great facilities and don't want to pay $300 - $350 per night for accom.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Doris1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2013

Stayed here for the weekend and had a great time. Norm and Shelagh were fantastic hosts and did everything they could to make my stray enjoyable. The motel is located about 3 km outside Paihia with amazing views over the Bay of Islands. Norm arranged a boat cruise with one of the local companies and it really was fantastic - a great way to get a proper appreciation of the Bay. Stopped off in Russell on the way back at Norm's suggestion and he gave some recommendations about things to do there and where to eat. Had a great dinner in 35 deg south (Aquarium) on the Sat night. They seemed to be full but managed to squeeze me in as I hadn't booked. So, if you are interested in beautiful views and excellent friendly and personal service, you couldn't do better that Cook's Lookout. What after you waiting for?!

Room Tip: Ask for a view rather than pool access
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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Thank CoDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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