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“SUN SEA & SAND not much more (depends what you want)”
Review of Vara's

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Vara's
Ranked #16 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Muri
telford Shropshire
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“SUN SEA & SAND not much more (depends what you want)”
Reviewed 24 July 2008

Paradise!!! nice beach great lagoon but you need your own evening entertainment.

Not much to do at night really, some nights every1 goes into town, keep ya ears open. A portable DVD player would be good as they do not have any TV or anything. Pack of cards, books, magazines, board games, bug spray etc…these are a must. As once the sun is gone theres nowt to do what so ever.

BIG TIP – sun doesn’t last long on varas beach and its windy…..get walk across the lagoon to other side of island… water doesn’t go over your head so balance belongings on your head or just grab a canoe to get yourself over there. (you wont regret it)
I don’t recommend the hills unless your with a loved one or family.
Singles stay down on the beach!

Stayed June 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank magtot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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149 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
120 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2008

We liked it but can see why the other reviewers mightn't if they are single backpackers. It's not really what I would describe as a backpacker place and is a bit more upmarket. (The grounds are much larger than Rarotonga backpackers so you have a little more in the way of privacy).

The rooms were quite nice. We had no view but it was clean and basic. Basic kitchen stuff allowed us to cook ourselves and there are a few cafes and restuarants within 10-20 mins walk.

Nice pool on the beach and Murri Beach is the best beach on the island. Excellent snorkelling not far out.

  • Liked — Close to great beach and private
  • Disliked — No view (but you get what you pay for!)
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank David-Sydney_Aust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rossendale, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2007

myself and my partner stayed here for 10 nights. we stopped in a beach house which was 10 secs walk from muri lagoon (though we didnt manage to get a sea view). we originally wanted a beach hut but as they were fuly booked we got $20 oer night knocked off the original price!. we wouldnt recommend the hillside accom as its quite a trek up the hill and very dark at night if you have no torch!.
our studio was lovely, a nice clean kitchen area with gas cooker and fridge. the bed was huge and very comfy. plenty of wardrobe space. the bathroom was just a loo, shower (best shower i have had in backpackers, really powerful and you get constant hot water in the studio whereas in the dorms ad huts they are solar powered heaters) and a lttle sink but its all you need!
the cleaner came everyday with fresh linen and towels apart from sundays which i think is good.
we had a balcony with lovely mountain views and palm trees and a place to sit and relax outside.
the communal area is nice but very quiet, i didnt find this backpackers very lively, and if it rains there is only a few books to read and no tv.
the office people are very helpful but a bit ditzy, and the office is only open for a few hrs a day, you gotta time it right!
the decking has sunloungers over looking the lagoon and there is a little hut hiring out snorkel equipment next door though you can find other cheaper options along the beach front nearby.
the best place definately for location, peace, and relaxation. would definately return here. a prime location.

  • Liked — location, cleanliness, value for money
  • Disliked — cant think of anything
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank aptalkush
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dublin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2007

Please read all the below before chosing were to stay, i'm not biased just telling you exactly how i saw it when staying in both backpackers.
Ok this is the best advice you will hear when chosing were to stay. Its between Rarotonga backpackers and Vara's and from personnally spending 2 weeks in both. Rarotonga bac'packers wins hands down no contest. Vara's only advantage is the better beach but thats it. If it rains or is cloudy be prepared to be bored out of your minds. First major difference for all people who like a hot shower Vara runs off solar panel so you only get hot water between 1pm and 4pm no hot showers in morning or in evening absoulutly ridiculous were Rara B'packers runs off GAS and has piping hot showers 24 hrs a day. Vara 's is only set up top make money offering no FREE services for bored bacpackers at night i.e pool table, table tennis, TV DVD, board games, book exchange, darts,hammocks, swimming pool all of these you get free in Raratongas, Vara's absoulutly nothing offered, BBQ night (actually run by hostel in raraotongas by owner Paul not in Varas who send you up to the bar up the beach) there is no connection or real care in Varas its all to set up.Raratongas has real life and social feel and the set up of rooms and social area perfect, Vara you will just see lonely single people walking around aimlesley while groups sticktogether, horribly boring place. They use the beach as its only real advantage over the easily the best place raratongas backpackers trust me on this as i never normally write these reviews. Raro has a good beach but has much more coral in it but if you just walk up to the beach resort (8 mins along beach) it has the best snorkling on the island. Any questions mail me and i'll answer with complete honesty.

  • Liked — beach
  • Disliked — boredom when it rains and at noght
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank joeglynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rotorua
1 review
Reviewed 11 September 2007

che ka wiz a wow wow! Varas is some luxuary accomodation for the budget types. we had this spacious bungelow up on the hillside - named after vara's miss cook island daughter. talk about glamour haha
but we had good views from the room and a real cool guy named anton - looking out for us. We had no problems at all and the staff were always proactive about helping us out.
ACTUALLY talking with the staff was one of the most interesting things to do. gettin some real deal insight into the island goss ....
and they are pretty comical - check out the photo of me and my supposed 'brother' the white dog.
papa ki is the MAN too. i send my love to him he is just such a good guy - to be honest they all are such neat ppl there. and the people is wat made our holiday so grand.
scooters, snorkels, volleyball, kayaks and some good ol local advice about the hot spots cant be beaten - so if ya want to make the most of raro -
VARAS is the place to be - and hopefully if you are lucky you may get to see the illusive'vara herself
ps plus its got the best location right by the island just out from the lagoon wher it is all at for sun tanning oooooo ya!

Stayed September 2007
Helpful?
Thank holly0000000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Holland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 August 2007

When we arrived at Varas we'd already stayed in the Cook Islands for a week and were accustomed to the countries high price level . Varas is reasonably priced, offers basic rooms with shared facilities. There are a very good equiped kitchen, a huge lounge and a terrace with sunbeds overlooking the Muri-lagoon, probably the best view of all Rarotonga.
The charming old lady Vara made the beautiful garden all by herself. Her handsome daughters run the place. The office hours are restricted (9.00 h - 15.00 h) but they do their very best for you. Every day the place is well cleaned. People often complain of insects in this place but we think this is slightly exagerated because all the rooms have insect screens and the only creatures we saw in our room were very tiny ants following their own track. They didn't harm us. Although we advise you not to attemp them with by placing un open pot of honey jar near you bed. Internetting is expensive indeed but still the cheapest place we found. One hour for 4 euro's. We have also seen the hillside rooms. These are mor expensive but offer a fantastic vieuw over the lagoon and far mor luxury. The atmosphere in the lounge is very good. You can easily have a tolk with other travellers if you wish. It's also possible to hide yourself in a book an enjoy a good beer. In the shared places Varas announced clearly the social houserules concerning the dishcleaning, silence hours (no noise after 11 pm.). During our seven days stay we experiened harmony and harmonius admosphere A minus was the lack of hot water in the place. The kitchen, shower and toilet were very clean and scented with fresh flowers of the day. In the lounge is actual information about Rarotonga, excursions, dining, beachbarbeques, island night entertainment on display.
You don't need to go to the tourist info because its primarily a backpackers place and they have a keen eye for budget. A cosy place, you feel at home.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — cold water
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank gea-educatie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheffield, England
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 April 2007

Please don't believe any of the negative comments written about this place. Vara's is an honest, family business and has been for many years.
My partner and I booked a couple of weeks prior to arriving and a good job we did too. It was so busy we only just managed to get a place at Ariki's Lodge a couple of km away from the main backpackers. We landed a large double room overlooking the sea which was about 20m away. The room was airy, very clean, and right next to the bathroom which had a fantastic power shower.
The main living area was huge as was the kitchen with loads of pots pans etc for everyone to use. It was such a nice feeling walking into what seemed like home by the time we left. There were no mozies because the light sea breeze kept them at bay during the day. We also met and came to adore Vara and her sweet dog, Ariki who had a host of beautiful daughters/ sons helping run her business. I would recommend staying at Ariki's Lodge to anyone, anytime.
I thought about the time I spent there for ages after we left. Don't delay, get booking!!!

  • Liked — Location and size
  • Disliked — No internet at the time.
  • Stayed February 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank BennyofEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vara's

Property: Vara's
Address: Muri Beach | P. O. Box 434, Muri, Cook Islands
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Muri
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Muri
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vara’s Beach is the only budget accommodation set right on beautiful Muri Beach, the most popular and prime beach on Rarotonga. Famous for its perfect white beaches and small islands called “motus” that you can swim, kayak or walk out to. We offer budget style accommodation with lovely fully self-contained Beach Studios, Ensuite as well asTriple/double/single and Dorm rooms. Vara’s Beach is situated on the Eastern side of Rarotonga only 15 minutes drive from main town Avarua, with bus stop, bike rental, souvenir shop and a pharmacy at entrance. koka Lagoon Cruise is located on the property and offers the best Lagoon Curise on the island. Absolutely convenient to everything with bars, dive centers, sailing club, and much more only minutes stroll. Vara's Beach is the place for those looking for fun and excitement, or for those just wanting to relax and unwind and get away from it all. Meet and mingle with our friendly staff and make new friends... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vara`s Beach House Hotel Muri
Vara's Muri, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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