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“Great Base for Bay of Islands Area”

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Cook's Lookout Motel
Ranked #2 of 43 Hotels in Paihia
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 April 2009

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.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank triem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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873 - 879 of 959 reviews

Reviewed 7 April 2009

We stayed in Apartment 3 and the views across the Bay were simply amazing! The accomodation was very clean and modern and very comfortable. The Children really enjoyed the trampoline and pool. The owners were very approachable and helpful. You must see Russell and the Dolphin trip ( use the smaller boats!) was one of the highlights of our holiday - We will be back!

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank EssexBirdDaisy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2009

Found this motel using "Wotif" and everything described was accurate. Situated about 3ks behind Pahia in a very quiet and secluded location with breathtaking views over the Bay of Islands. Norma and Shelagh are very welcoming and helpful people, Norma arranged a Dolphin Watch cruise, who picked us up from the motel and the cruis captain was the only one that morning to take her passengers through the hole in the rock, this is a must when visiting Pahia.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank BJR001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2009

Thoroughly enjoyed our stay. I had booked 2 apartments, one for my family of 4 and one for my mother and friend. Norm and Shelagh were very generous and upgraded my mother and friend from the smaller apartment to a larger one beneath ours to make our stay easier for us. The apartments were lovely, well equipped and very clean. Norm and Shelagh were great hosts and very helpful with information about the local area and booking day trips. The views are great and my teenage boys loved the heated pool. Only a short drive from town and very peaceful. Would highly recommend this accommodation especially for families.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled with family
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Thank aussietraveller086
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2009

View terrific but in my opinion the accommodation needs updating. The shower was difficult to regulate and without my touching anything just went cold. If you want to go to restaurants you will need to drive into town. Norman and Sheila were helpful with their advice on tours etc, although the cost of $1 to ring a free phone no. seems excessive as does the deposit in advance of 50% of your planned stay.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank tedg47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cookslookout, Owner/Manager at Cook's Lookout Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 March 2009

Guests usually come to us BECAUSE we are off the beaten track! We are exactly 4 MINUTES DRIVE from the busy town centre, which is why we have such magnificent, elevated views and a QUIET, traffic-noise free location.
It depresses me that guests who are with us for 4 days and believe they have a problem would not mention it to us at the time so we could investigate it, but are quite prepared to write about it on TripAdvisor 8 days after they have left us! The shower is 2 years old, has been thoroughly checked and is working normally.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2009

We stayed a Cooks Lookout for 5days,at the end of a 3 wk tour around NZ. Our host Shelagh and Norm were so welcoming (very patient with my children (8&9). Shelaugh and Norm we very knowlegdeable about the local area, were able to book tours and give good recommendation on things.
The 2 bed unit we stayed in was EXTREMELY clean and tidy, the cooking facilities were good and we even had a 4 ring hob. There was a small outside private patio- with a large table and chairs- so we were able eat outside and enjoy the superb views over the Bay of Island..
There was a large BBQ for the guest to use, which was close to the very large heated swimming pool (32C). The pool was great with stunning views over the Bay of Islands.
A supermarket was a short drive away- with Piahia being only a few K's away.
Cooks Lookout has the best of both worlds- great views, tranquil, yet close to all amenities. It would appeal to everyone, apart from Smokers- as it is a No Smoking Zone.
We had a very relaxing time here- thoughly recommend!!

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled with family
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Thank RubyRosie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2009

Just came back today from a three day stay at the Cooks, and it was great.

As on their website the view really is that good and more! From our studio (even sitting on our beds) we looked straight out at the ocean and the surrounding green lush mangroves and bush. I found staying there, you had the best of both worlds, it was a five minute drive to the main centre and the beach, but after you had finished whatever actitivites you had to do, you then could drive back to the Cooks and be perched up on the hill with this fantastic view, it was very peaceful. Whilst my father swam in the beach, I preferred to swim in their heated pool, which is a great blue colour, and large size, from the deck chairs you again could get some of that fantastic view.

Our studio was very modern, shower had great water pressure, and kitchen was modern and clean, beds comfy and good size tv, nice little deck to sit outside.


When I booked I hadnt taken note of the cooking facilities available in our room, which was great, and although we arent travellers to usually cook on vacation, we did buy breakfast and cook it each morning which was good value.

Norm was a great host...we had already worked out what we wanted to do, so he left it to us.

Would definately stay there, when we go back

  • Stayed: March 2009
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1  Thank myaLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cook's Lookout Motel

Address: 9 Causeway Road | P.O. Box 380, Paihia 0257, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Northland Region > Bay of Islands > Paihia
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Paihia
#1 Romantic Hotel in Paihia
Price Range: £82 - £133 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Cook's Lookout Motel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
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

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