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Accomodation Help - narrowed down to 3

Boston...
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Accomodation Help - narrowed down to 3

Hi and thank you in advance for any help with deciding our accommodations in Rarotonga.

I've been searching and reading this forum for several weeks. I've narrowed down our choices to 3 based on reviews and forum comments, but would be open to suggestions as well.

So here goes:

Palm Grove - only Matenga villas available no beachfront villas.

Sokala - concerned about shallow water but looks beautiful.

Raratonga Beach Bungalows - (at the high end of our price range we probably have to do one of the tropical villas not ocean front.

We, (couple late 50's) are planning a trip to Rarotonga for 5 nights 1st week in March, after touring around New Zealand for 3 weeks. Looking to relax after all the driving and sightseeing (will be awesome I'm sure). Celebrating 20th wedding anniversary!

Basically, what we are looking for:

Standard to mid-range accommodation - trying to stay about (or below) $300 a night

Beachfront - loungers available on beach.

air conditioning would be nice for that time of year, I think.

Self-catering - kitchenette is fine won't be cooking any dinners.

Would like restaurant on premises or walkable...will probably have car/scooter

Nice beach, with good sand - not rocks, clean water...beach long enough to do some walking would be a plus.

Not 'touristy' and crowded

Privacy - would like villa or bungalow...nice deck to sit out on without others right on top of us.

Great snorkeling

Accommodation aimed at couples

We are coming from Boston and will in all likelihood will not make it back here.

Which of these accommodations, in your opinions best meets our rather long 'wish list'?

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks~

Aitutaki, Cook...
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for Aitutaki
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1. Re: Accomodation Help - narrowed down to 3

HI murphybj, If you are coming this way only once in your lifetime, I would recommend you build in a day trip to Aitutaki. It's considered by many as one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world. It's not to be missed.

Thunder Bay, Canada
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2. Re: Accomodation Help - narrowed down to 3

Palm Grove Matenga Bungalows ticks all your boxes. Bungalows are set slightly apart from the rest of the resort. On site restaurant, snorkelling right out front, Wigmores just down the road. Don't miss the Friday night happy hour and entertainment.

nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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3. Re: Accomodation Help - narrowed down to 3

Hi

I'd pick Rarotonga Beach Bungalows. Set on a beautiful beach with fantastic beach walks in both directions. My favourite beach as it's the quietest part of the island with good swimming and snorkelling.

Close to Sands restaurant (at the small Moana Sands Resort) and also the Little Polynesian Café. Fairly close to Muri which is too built up for my taste but does have a good range of restaurants.

The beach is sandy but you need to remember that it is coarse coral sand so you may find the odd bits of coral, particularly away from the resorts where the sand is not raked. You might want to wear sandals for walking.

As I said, the swimming is good, but there are coral heads in the water which are easily visible but do attract fish if you want to snorkel. Reef shoes are recommended wherever you swim.

I forgot that it's also close to Maire Nui Gardens which has a café open for breakfast and lunch and (sometimes) for dinner.

Edited: 10 September 2013, 23:55
Rarotonga, Cook...
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4. Re: Accomodation Help - narrowed down to 3

The Hidden Spirit café at Maire Nui gardens doesn't serve breakfast. They open at 10am for lunches and light meals. Dinner served three nights a week.

Palm Grove beachfront villas would be my choice. Well-presented property, nice locality, pretty lagoon area. Several choices for alternative dining nearby, besides having the convenience of an onsite restaurant and bar with Friday guests happy hour. Wigmore's is close by for snacks and drinks, and ice-cream in a cone.

Edited: 11 September 2013, 00:14
nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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5. Re: Accomodation Help - narrowed down to 3

It's probably sensible that the café no longer advertises breakfast. It certainly used to, even though it didn't open until about 10 am. By that time of the morning I'm usually nearly ready for lunch - having been up since before dawn. LOL

Boston...
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6. Re: Accomodation Help - narrowed down to 3

Thanks for all of the comments...much appreciated. I've come across another villa I am considering, Whitesands.

There are very few reviews for Whitesands although it looks perfect for what we are looking for. A search came up with a couple of references to negative reviews but I could not find any.

Does anybody have any first hand ( or even hearsay) comments about Whitesands.

It fits out budget better than RBB and the beach area looks great..

Thanks

nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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7. Re: Accomodation Help - narrowed down to 3

Hi

I know exactly where they are - the same beautiful beach. Good position close to Sands Restaurant, the Little Poly café and a newish organic café across the road.

Hearsay comments only - the accommodation is good. They look nice when I've walked by many times.

Have you seen these reviews?

tripadvisor.com/…UR156745895

Let us know what you decide.

Boston...
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8. Re: Accomodation Help - narrowed down to 3

Thanks for your input. I did see those reviews and most are excellent. I guess I was just surprised at how few reviews there were.

It's definitely the front runner at this point.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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9. Re: Accomodation Help - narrowed down to 3

The organic Tea-house in Titikaveka across road from Royal Takitumu only opened in February this year. So its quite new on the dining scene. Their Morinda fruit drink is delicious. Near the entrance to Whitesands is the Sunday only café Kai Tumeke serving light lunches, cakes, scones etc and beverages and which has been open for several months now.

A couple of other properties within the immediate area, of Whitesands, worthy of consideration are Bella Beach studios and Te Rito. Both properties are around $200per night for 2 persons. Bella Beach is a little more exposed to the road (less privacy), but set alongside a large clearer lagoon area; with very good swimming a little west of the bungalows.

nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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10. Re: Accomodation Help - narrowed down to 3

Hi again

It's difficult assessing accommodation and restaurants purely by TA reviews nowadays. So many places race to be top rated and encourage people to review their stay if they've enjoyed it. Some are first time reviewers and it's difficult to tell what their tastes are from one or even a few reviews. And, dare I say it, there is the occasional bogus review.

I notice that Bella Beach has been mentioned. Now, I haven't stayed there or even been inside but frankly I would never consider staying there. There is a wonderful unrestricted view of them from the road as one drives by and they don't seem at all private.

Privacy and lack of road noise is very important to me, but that's just me. Others think differently.

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