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“Beachfront Hotel” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas

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Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Titikaveka
Certificate of Excellence
Dunedin, New Zealand
Level Contributor
115 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Beachfront Hotel”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 November 2013

Firstly, the Villas in Vaimaanga looked fantastic and the location is much nicer (felt less 'remote') than the Hotel.

Stayed at the Hotel in Titikaveka for two nights and it was my least favourite of the three we stayed at during our holiday. The good thing about it is that the beach is tranquil (unlike Muri Beach!) and that all the rooms have seaview and A/C which we did not even need to use as the ground floor was pleasantly cool. And we got a free ride to our next accommodation, which was very kind from the male receptionist.

Apart from that, the room was old, the kitchenette nothing in comparison to the one at Palm Grove, bathroom did not look very pleasant and haven't even used the shower, the toilet was cracked and thus leaking, the bed was far too soft and there was a (locked) door leading to the room next door - so when another couple arrived in the middle of the night (thanks to ridiculous flight times!) the sounds coming from their room woke us up and the light they had on was visible from underneath the door.

Breakfast on offer was the poorest I've had. The milk had different taste (perhaps it wasn't UHT as opposed to what I'm used to), cereal was served in glass bowls and lost freshness (elsewhere it would be served in factory sealed packs), so were the spreads (which I skipped due to this). The restaurant faces the road so no seaview there. On top of that, the first morning of our stay was Sunday so we had a breakfast tray delivered into the room on Saturday evening (don't think I've eaten anything apart from bread from that tray, there was butter but no spreads and a bowl of cereal I did not like).

I was happy to leave and have we not had the beachfront room, I'd have been devastated (due to very windy conditions throughout our stay we couldn't really do much, so we just pulled the loungers onto our deck and lay in shade and lee watching the sea). Not sure if it's just me but I found it idiotic that the door leading onto the patio couldn't be locked from outside so every time we went for a walk along the beach, we had to use the main (i.e. back) door.

Can't remember a free refreshing juice on arrival - although I see it advertised on their website.

Hotel is kind of located in the middle of nowhere, apart from the Little Polynesian I have no idea where one could eat nearby, plus the local store had very steep prices (over $4 for a loaf of plain sliced bread).

Overall, the hotel has nothing but the views, not enough to sparkle my desire for another stay. Ever.

Room Tip: Ground floor room with a deck and direct beach access.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Elaine C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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234 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    115
    77
    26
    10
    6
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36
135
3
Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (90)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
104 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2013

Came for a family wedding and stayed here with a few other family groups. It was very clean, well serviced, conveniently located right by the beach (great breakfast view) and across from a supermarket. All u need is to hire a bike to see the rest of the island and you'll be set for a great time

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank dcuf146
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Whitehorse, YT
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2013 via mobile

We found this resort old and tattered. Beautiful beach but that is all it has. They advertised that it has a kitchenette but all you get is a kettle, microwave and an electric skillet which is useless. I think some of the good reviews are confusing the hotel with the villas which are a distance away from the hotel. The cleaning staff were lovely but the girl at the front desk was rude. We couldn't wait to get out of this place and move over to the Sunset Resort which was wonderful. It is rated the same as the Sunset Resort but that must be some kind of joke. This was our fourth trip to the Cooks and I was not impressed by this hotel at all.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Bouvies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2013 via mobile

We stayed in the villas with one other couple, the villas are set up well for this type of group. Both bedrooms had there own bathrooms....the villas are decorated in a tasteful manner. Wigmores 7 day a week store is across the road, plus coco latte! Is next door, one of Raros best cafés..oh and two ATM machines...our part of the beach was great,heaps of fish in two or less feet of water and lots of coral to view...nice little private yard,sits out front of the villas.
Viewed Mona sands hotel, also...compared to the villas...it's doggy and basic...a nice beach like the villas...but the restaurant is useless,

Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Adrian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2013

Hi, we had a lovely stay at Rarotonga. Were picked up at the airport and greeted in a warm friendly way by a delightful young man. Accommodation was great, room and cleanliness. It would have made a lot of difference if management were able to smile and show a more caring attitude and interest in their customers. The breakfast was very basic and really needs to be upgraded for the price with a bit more variety and again service with a smile would go a long way. However dinner was outstanding when we dinned there. Great central location for all activities and beach also great. Snorkelling gear and kayak great! Thankyou :-)

Room Tip: Get yourself a bicycle, car or scooter for your away days to 'ticky tour' around. Great caf...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ingrid V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Invercargill, New Zealand
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2013

Yes...well JAMES and his SMILE...I do not think I need say anymore!...not to be outdone...Naneth & Aunty Nga who were most friendly and kept our units exceptionally clean. My sister & I were upgraded to the 3rd floor of the beachfront hotel...views to die for..dining either on the beach or inside the complex. This is a smaller complex smaller than a lot of others in Rarotonga so a lot more space to relax and not feel crowded. ...After all this is what we enjoy about going to these locations is it not? Moana Sands is ideally located on the sunset side of Rarotonga and nothing is a problem to the most capable of staff that run it. We enjoyed our stay with you so much....we will definetely be back guys! Thank you soooo much for making our stay memorable.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jeanette F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamilton
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2013

Back in New Zealand, listening to the rain, I can hardly believe we had such a lovely holiday at Moana Sands. We chose this hotel because it was one of the few places where we could stay right on the beach and have 3 adults in the room (including our teenage daughter): and what a beach it turned out to be!!

I'm quite sure that we had the best beach on Rarotonga. (It was certainly the best beach I saw as we wandered around the island.)

They gave us a room on the second floor. We walked in and just stood there, stunned by the incredible view from our balcony. We ate a lot of meals on our wonderful little balcony. Much can be achieved with a microwave and a frying pan, especially once we discovered that Wigmore's Superette had really nice fish packaged in small quantities, just right for three people.

The beds were extremely comfortable. We were grateful for the air conditioning and delighted to find that the TV was modern enough to take the cards from our cameras, so we could view each day's photos. Everything was spotlessly clean and it was lovely to have new beach towels each day.

The continental breakfast, included in the room price, proved to be more than adequate. Yes, it was limited but we loved the fresh fruit salad. The juice was delicious, and cereal and toast was all we needed. We were very happy with it.

But what makes Moana Sands so awesome is that beautiful fish come so close to the shore that even non-swimmers like me, can walk out into the water and feed them. It was pure joy to see them. It would be nice if Moana Sands had a fish chart in reception so that guests could identify them. (Just a thought.) Luckily our daughter had googled them and remembered a lot of the names. She bought a fish chart at the airport as we were leaving so in the end we managed to identify everything we saw. The water is always deep enough for a swim, even at low tide, and the beach chairs are comfortable if sunbathing is more your thing. The coral sand is soft and fine underfoot. There are bowls of water strategically placed for foot washing before going back into the rooms, so not too much sand gets in. I did notice a broom in one of the cupboards, but didn't need to use it because the cleaning ladies did such a good job.

We met people staying there who were back for their third or fourth visit, and it is easy to see why. The hotel staff are very willing to help with bookings and advice. The night manager, James, is perfect for the job, nothing is too much trouble, he remembers people's names and has the nicest smile. Having James meet you at the airport with a lei and a bottle of water, then effortlessly whisk you and your luggage back to the hotel is a great way to start your holiday.

I can also heartily recommend their Sunday BBQ. The food was delicious. We ate one night at the Sands Restaurant attached to, but not owned by, Moana Sands. Sadly, I can't recommend this as a good place to eat. It was the one place where we felt ripped off. The food was nice, but the wait was long, the amount on our plate pitiful and the price way too high for what we got. We left still hungry.

The Te Vara Nui Show and Buffet Dinner was marvellous, as was the Highland Paradise Sunset Feast and Show. They are so different that it is well worth going to both, but if I could only do one it would be Te Vara Nui (more food, better view, great performance). We also really enjoyed our day with Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruizes.

We were glad that we hired a car, as we felt that Moana Sands was quite a long way from most things. On the days when it was too windy to snorkel at Moana Sands we explored other parts of the island. The wind was a real nuisance, it stirred up the sand and made the water too murky to see the fish or the rocks! On our last day it was whipping the sand across the beach so much that it stung our legs. Luckily we had done our snorkelling early in the week when the weather was really lovely. That particular part of the island is very windy. If it is too windy at Moana Sands there is a public beach opposite the Big Fish Dive Centre that offers great snorkelling. It is the oldest fish reserve on Rarotonga so there are always lots of fish.

There is a beautiful church within walking distance of Moana Sands. My daughter and I went to church on Sunday (our last day). It was just as beautiful inside. The singing was wonderful and the service in English. We joined them for sandwiches and scones afterwards. There is also a garden and café within walking distance of the hotel. The café was only open about three days a week, but the garden was a delight. We photographed lots of flowers while my daughter fed the hens. There was also, inevitably, a friendly cat that seemed to live there most of the time.

There is a little grocery shop within walking distance, but we didn't go there, so I don't know how well stocked it is. Because we had a car and we were in town shopping for souvenirs, we went to the supermarket there. Food prices were high but we expected that and it was still cheaper than eating out every night. Don't miss the Saturday markets - lots of colour and music and a few good bargains.

But I can't finish a review on Moana Sands without mentioning the crabs. Whenever we could, we went down to the beach at night with a torch to watch the crabs come out to feed. It seemed like the whole beach was alive with little crabs scuttling down to the water. We were just fascinated.

We would gladly go back to Moana Sands if we are ever lucky enough to have another holiday in Rarotonga. We were all delighted with it. The Moana Sands Villas looked amazing, and would be lovely, I'm sure, but if you are on a tighter budget, the Beachfront Hotel is a great place to stay.

Room Tip: Being on the second floor with a balcony makes it feel very private and rather special.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank nzdreamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas

Property: Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas
Address: Titikaveka, Cook Islands
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Titikaveka
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Titikaveka
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel is located at Titikaveka on the southern coast of the island. There are six ground floor beachfront studios, six first floor beachfront studios & five top floor deluxe beachfront studios. We have four sets of interconnecting rooms (two on ground floor & two on first floor). All rooms are ABSULOTE beachfront, each with its own private balcony. Snorkelling equipment, Kayaks & beach towels are complimentary to guests. All rooms have a small kitchenette, LCD TV’s with SKY, air-conditioning & are all non-smoking. We have a hotel BBQ on the beach that is available for guests to use otherwise The Pawpaw Patch Restaurant is open daily for Breakfast & Dinner, seven days a week.Moana Sands Beachfront Villas are located at Vaimaanga, a five mins drive away from Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel. There are six villas; three on the ground floor & three upstairs. Each villa has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. All villas are ABSOLUTE beachfront, each with its own patio or balcony, Modern kitchen, Spacious open-plan lounge/dining, TV/DVD/Music System/ipod dock/Sky TV/Wifi internet. Guests have access to complimentary snorkelling gear, kayaks & beach towels. Units are fully serviced six days per week & guests are provided with a Complimentary breakfast starter pack on arrival. A BBQ on the beach is available for guests to use. All villas are air-conditioned and non-smoking. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel And Villas
Moana Sands Beachfront Titikaveka
Hotel Moana Sands Beachfront
Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas Rarotonga, Cook Islands - Titikaveka

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