We found Cook's Lookout as an alternative for full-up accommodations in town and were very happy with the choice. The location is in a residential area about a five-minute drive from town, so Cook's may be best for those traveling by car - which is quite common for holidays in New Zealand. There is a small store and take-out food restaurant located within walking distance. A parking spot was located directly outside our unit, so parking was not a problem.
Our unit had a basic kitchen with refrigerator, microwave and cooktop (small note - I stayed in 6 or so motel-style places during my trip and being asked to clean dishes used was common practice) as well as a small TV and DVD player. TV in New Zealand consists of about 4 channels unless using a satellite service, so don't expect too much choice. Furnishings were nice and clean, but not luxurious.
There is a solar-heated swimming pool and a BBQ grill available in a common area - although I didn't have much of a chance to use these. A coin-operated washer/dryer is also available as are clothesline-type dryers. Wireless Internet service is also available for a charge. While in the U.S. free access is common, I found that most places have some nominal charge in New Zealand so this wasn't unusual.
All that aside, the real story is the location. The views shown of the Bay and ocean on the web site are not from somebody standing on a rooftop or at the end of driveway (which is sometimes the case when owners try to be "optimistic" about the property). What we saw is what we got. The windows face east, and we were able to leave the curtains open to see the stars and let the rising sun wake us in the morning. It was also very quiet and we seldom heard any sound from outside or from other rooms.
Shelagh was great, and offered good advice on restaurants and activities in the area. She was also able to help with booking, which is usually the case at most hotels/motels.
Overall, I would highly recommend Cook's Lookout for those seeking quiet accommodations with really great views.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Quiet, spectacular location with Million Dollar Views. Studio, 1 and 2 Bedroom Apartments all upgraded with new kitchens and bathrooms, most with stunning ocean views. Totally smoke-free property - no smoking in Buildings OR Grounds. Large solar-heated saltwater swimming pool, trampoline, BBQ, guest laundry, tour desk. FREE Wireless broadband internet access to all units. FREE DVD library & Book Exchange. 4 minutes drive to town centre, 3 minutes to beach. Secure parking outside all units. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cook`s Lookout Hotel Paihia
- Cooks Lookout Hotel
- Cooks Lookout Paihia
- Cook's Lookout Motel Paihia, Bay Of Islands, New Zealand