Cook’s Bay Hotel Reviews 2024: Is It Worth It?

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Mike and I love Moorea! It’s one of our favorite places in the world. We’ve spent months living in French Polynesia and exploring the area, and it’s the kind of place we find ourselves returning to again and again.

Of course, that means we’ve gotten to try our fair share of hotels on the island, including Cook’s Bay Hotel. 

On a recent trip, we spent two nights at Cook’s Bay Hotel while on vacation, and in this post, we’ll share our thoughts on this hotel: the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Cook’s Bay Hotel Review Overview

When deciding where to stay in Moorea, you have lots of great choices. Many of the local Moorea hotels are beautiful, with great amenities and everything you need to relax during your vacation, and Cook’s Bay Hotel is definitely worth considering.

Overall, we thought it was okay – I’d give it 4.1 stars out of 5. There are some great amenities, the rooms were recently renovated, and the location is fabulous. 

However, it fell short in a few crucial ways, so we recommend it, but with some reservations.

The biggest issue, from our perspective? The price. We felt it was just too expensive for what we paid. 

Mike and Laura smile as they take a picture at the Cook's Bay Hotel with the pool and hotel in the background.

As the name suggests, this hotel is set in Cook’s Bay, one of the most beautiful spots in French Polynesia. The team behind Cook’s Bay Hotel took one of the most dilapidated buildings on the island and reimagined it as a space that’s truly unique and beautiful. 

The finished product is a hotel that has some great selling points, but also some noteworthy drawbacks.

Depending on your budget, preferences, and how light of a sleeper you are, this could be the perfect landing pad for your Moorea vacation. 

Cook’s Bay Hotel: Pros

There are some really serious pros to staying at Cook’s Bay Hotel. From the recently renovated rooms to the fabulous locations, there’s a lot that we loved about this hotel after our stay. 

Recently Renovated Rooms

The original hotel in Cook’s Bay was built in the colonial style in 1985 by a French hotel chain called Ibis (Accor).

By the late 1990s, the hotel had fallen into disrepair before being completely abandoned in 1998

When Mike and I first visited Moorea in 2020, we actually saw the site of the old resort. It had been completely deserted and was honestly pretty sketchy-looking.

In 2021, it was purchased by new owners, who started renovating with the goal of preserving some of its original charm but modernizing the rooms to appeal to travelers. 

A picture from the suite at Cook's Bay Hotel looking over the bed and out the window to the terrace and green mountains beyond.

Needless to say, Cook’s Bay Hotel has undergone a MUCH needed facelift! 

Today, the hotel rooms are simply gorgeous. The decor is modern and minimalistic, with thoughtful little touches to make the rooms feel a little more homey.

The color scheme for the hotel is earthy and natural, with wood, gold, and greens in most rooms. 

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    It’s clear to us that they really paid attention to detail within the rooms when completing the renovations. Each suite feels airy and modern, with stylish pieces of furniture in each space. 

    Excellent Amenities

    One thing we really can’t fault about Cook’s Bay Hotel is its amenities. Frankly, we were pretty impressed during our stay at this hotel. 

    Mike and I liked that there were actually two bars at the hotel, so we were able to mix it up and visit both during our stay. The pool bar in particular was so cute, and the lady bartender was upbeat and kind. She went out of her way to make us feel welcomed and wanted during our vacation in Moorea. 

    We didn’t try them, but the bar area also had kayaks available to borrow. Other guests loved using the kayaks, so we might have missed out there!

    The hotel also set up a very cute sitting area that’s perfect for relaxing in the shade and there’s a handy vending machine with chocolate and chips when you’re feeling snacky.

    A view of the pool at Cook's Bay Hotel surrounded by palm trees with the ocean in the distance.

    As a bonus, if you want to explore more of Moorea, you can rent a solar-powered Hello Scoot! motorbike right from Cook’s Bay Hotel’s parking lot. You can’t get much more convenient than that! 

    Solar-powered vehicles are our favorite way to get around Moorea, and being able to simply drive off from the parking lot will save you all of the hassle of getting into town and finding the rental shop. 

    Stunning On Site Restaurant

    One thing we absolutely loved about Cook’s Bay Hotel was the stunningly beautiful onsite restaurant. It’s set on its own island right in front of the hotel, so the views are unmatched. 

    While we were eating, we looked out onto the bay and saw a sea turtle swimming right in front of us! We put our coffees down and SPRINTED to take a photo. It was amazing!

    The food at the restaurant is not as spectacular as the setting, but it’s not terrible, either.

    A view of the tables at the restaurant at Cook's Bay Hotel with the ocean and mountains in the background.

    We ate at the onsite restaurant both nights of our trip and had a mixed experience and we agreed that everything we ordered was overpriced.

    Our first night in Cook’s Bay, I had the pesto pasta with fish and thought it was pretty tasty, but also on the pricey side at $30-35. When we went back, I tried the chicken caesar salad and it was, frankly, not good.

    Mike ordered a burger both nights and, although decent, it wasn’t anything special and definitely felt overpriced to him. 

    As for the restaurant’s bar: it really depends on who you get. I ordered a pina colada once and it really fell flat. Another time, Mike ordered a mocktail pina colada and it was much better.

    Given the high prices, you might want to stick to beer or wine, which is less dependent on the bartender’s skills.  

    Fantastic Location

    Cook’s Bay is one of the best snorkeling spots in Moorea. If you take a snorkeling tour while you’re in Moorea, it will probably take you directly to Cook’s Bay or Opunohu Bay.

    To take advantage of the great location, you can borrow kayaks and snorkeling right from the hotel. The kayaks are really popular among guests.

    At Cook’s Bay Hotel, you’re less than a 20 minute walk from the center of Paopao, so you won’t feel isolated at all. You can also save money by walking into town for a quick bite instead of relying on the hotel’s restaurants.

    A fleet of Hello Scoot! electric scooters parked in the Cook's Bay Hotel parking lot.

    And with the scooter rentals right in the hotel’s parking lot, nothing in Moorea will feel out of reach. 

    Finally, Cook’s Bay Hotel is set right next to our favorite swimming spot. We won’t tell you EXACTLY where it is (gotta keep a few secrets to ourselves 😉), but if you stay at this hotel and explore a bit, you’ll probably find it. 

    The marine life near Cook’s Bay is so, so beautiful and vibrant. You really can’t go wrong. 

    Cook Bay Hotel: Cons

    I wish I could say that I absolutely LOVED Cook’s Bay Hotel, but there were a few ways that it really fell flat for me. From noisy rooms to the high price point, here are the drawbacks that might keep us from booking another night at this hotel. 

    Noisy Rooms

    Unfortunately, the rooms at Cook’s Bay Hotel are NOISY. That’s bad news for fellow light sleepers and others who, like us, are looking for a little peace and quiet while on vacation. 

    The issue is a mix of location and building materials. The floors, ceiling, and walls are made of cement, so you can hear everyone around you as they walk, sneeze, or even speak softly.

    There’s nowhere near enough rugs, carpeting, or sound insulation to prevent the kind of noise transfer that we experienced in this hotel. 

    Seriously, it was so bad that we couldn’t take a nap during our trip because of the symphony of sounds all around us. The problem is compounded by the adjacent busy road, which naturally makes the rooms even noisier. 

    Mediocre Service

    Overall, we felt letdown by the customer service at this hotel, from its inflexible policies to the flat interactions we had with staff after we arrived. 

    As travel bloggers, we really value flexible cancellation and change policies. For us, the ability to change our plans, shift the dates of our stay, or just cancel altogether is CRITICAL.

    Unfortunately, the cancellation policy at Cook’s Bay Hotel is really inflexible, with only partial refunds available after booking. 

    We didn’t have any major issues with the staff, but as a guest the experience was lackluster. The staff we met didn’t seem to enjoy their work, and it showed during our stay.

    If you ask me, the staff at Sofitel Moorea resort were much nicer and more pleasant to be around.

    High Price Point

    For us, the biggest drawback of Cook’s Bay Hotel is the inflated price point.

    Despite the great location and beautifully renovated rooms, we simply expected more for $400+ per night. 

    Between the noisy rooms, inflexible cancellation policy, and flat customer service, we just don’t think this hotel is worth the price tag. It’s not a complete ripoff, it’s just disappointing for that amount of money. 

    The menu of the restaurant at Cook's Bay Hotel.

    It’s worth noting that the onsite restaurant also felt expensive, with lackluster entrees at $30-35 per person. 

    There are other places to stay in Moorea that either offer more to guests or are better value than Cook’s Bay Hotel, like the overwater bungalows at Hotel Manava Beach Resort & Spa, sometimes available for $400 per night (depending on the season). 

    For us, the experience of staying in an overwater bungalow is unmatched, so we definitely recommend that you try it at least once while you’re in Moorea. 

    You might even be able to find a room at the beautiful Hilton Moorea, one of absolute favorite hotels on the island, for $400 per night. 

    Cook’s Bay Hotel Review Recap

    The recently renovated Cook’s Bay Hotel definitely deserves consideration for your stay in Moorea. It’s a beautiful space in a great location with fabulous amenities.

    I’d go back for the restaurant location alone, which was stunning. 

    Thinking back to what the building looked like before the renovations, it must have been a dizzying amount of work to get the hotel looking so modern and new.

    Despite the overhaul, this hotel just felt expensive to me. From the overpriced rooms to the pricey and disappointing Caesar salad, I found myself underwhelmed. 

    A view of the restaurant at Cook's Bay Hotel taken from the bridge to the island.

    For a hotel that is so beautifully decorated, I wish they had spent more time thinking about the guests’ experience. Noisy rooms make it hard to fully relax, and no one wants to deal with mediocre customer service at $400 a night. 

    Overall, I’d stay here again if I were in a pinch, but I’ll probably keep looking for an alternate midrange hotel in Moorea. 


    Planning your visit to Moorea and still have questions? Keep reading for additional information about one of our favorite islands in the world. 

    Does Cook’s Bay Hotel have overwater bungalows?

    No, Cook’s Bay Hotel does not have overwater bungalows. This recently renovated hotel features rooms with terraces and sea views, including a few that have private balconies. 

    The best overwater bungalows in Moorea are the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort, and the Hotel Manava Beach Resort & Spa. 

    What is the history of Cook’s Bay Moorea?

    Cook’s Bay, or Paopao Bay, Moorea is named after James Cook, an 18th century British explorer. Cook first landed in Moorea in 1769, but he didn’t make it to Cook’s Bay Moorea until after September of 1777. 

    Where is Cook’s Bay Moorea?

    Moorea is an island off the coast of French Polynesia. The north end of Moorea contains two deep bays, and Cook’s Bay is the easternmost of the two bays. Paopao is the commune in Cook’s Bay with shopping and a few restaurants. 

    The Wrap-Up

    So, there you have it! I wanted to share all the pros and cons that you need to know about Cook’s Bay Hotel before you go.

    Whether your ideal vacation is spent laying out on a Moorea beach, sipping pina coladas, or hiking Mount Rotui, you can enjoy it from a hotel on the island.

    Although you might find a better deal on a room in French Polynesia, you’ll probably still find something to love about Cook’s Bay Hotel. 

    Of course, if you do stay at Cook’s Bay Hotel, we STRONGLY encourage you to check out the marine life and local swim spots. You might just find our favorite swimming area while you’re out exploring. 

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