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“WONDERFUL PLACE TO STAY”
Review of Vara's

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Vara's
Ranked #16 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Muri
Reviewed 20 September 2008

.We have just returned to New Zealand from a wonderful holiday in Vara's hillside cottage in Muri.
Our experience there was one of cleanliness and a very efficient housekeeper who visited every day was an extra bonus.
serena and conrad and family are lovely people who made us very welcome,and were very helpful when we needed them.
The place itself is in a lovely location up on the hillside and has a gorgeous view,it is private and quite safe,they have a lovely old dog who guards the place,and a cat called Garfield who would be able to fight of any unwanted persons,he carries such good body weight.
The pool was great for the kids,keeping them occupied most of the time,it was clean and had a lovely area to cook by,with barbeque. etc.
The cooking facilities are ample and I highly reccomend this place to families and single couples who want a hideaway for their holiday.
We took my mother in law with us, and in the cottage there was heaps of room for all of us without being under each others feet, and she thoroughly enjoyed herself there.
I had a bit of trouble with the microwave,told the maintenence man it did not work,anyway had a blonde moment that day, it was not plugged in,gave us a good laugh.
Thanks for the great holiday,hope to visit again sometime.
From the Kings in NZ.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled with family
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Thank AucklandGarfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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114 - 120 of 149 reviews

Reviewed 9 September 2008

Vara's itself is pretty good for a backpackers, but certainly nothing like the standard of backpackers in New Zealand that I stayed at. The rooms are clean, a bit basic, but then what do you need. The kitchen facilities were clean and tidy too. Located right on the beach in Muri I can see would be great, depending on the weather. Unfortunately when I stayed there the weather was pretty dreadfull. This I found out is quite common for this area with often stong winds, something the guide books forget to mention! The wind was coupled with overcast skies and rain. Now I know this is just unlucky, but it ment there was not a lot to do. This is what lets the place down. As I said I was unlucky, with the sun shining and the lagoon flat I can see how this would be a ideal place to stay on Muri Beach.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled solo
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Thank wonderbunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2008

My fiancee and I stayed at the 'Grand View Lodge' which is part of Vara's hillside accommodation and it was fantastic! There are 4 rooms in the building itself 2 on the upper floor, 2 on the lower. We were on the upper floor which is much larger. The view was superb and looked right down to the lagoon. Our bedroom was fairly large too and we were fortunate enough to have the one room that is sea facing. The loung/kitchen area is very spacious as was the balcony. The accommodation itself is up a very steep hill, but we enjoyed the walk up, walking past all sorts of vegetation and fruit trees. Luckily we had a torch with us which was very much needed as at night time it gets pitch black up the hill.

The bloke that owns the building is also really friendly, he popped up to see us a couple of times and broke open a coconut for us.

As it was part of Vara's we were able to use the facilities at the beachside site - internet, sun loungers etc which was a bonus.

The only downside I can see, is that the lady working on reception at the beachside site wasn't very friendly and also, the women who picked us up from the airport and dropped us off again were pretty miserable too. However, we thought nothing of this at the time and to be honest, I'm being a bit picky.

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Cornishphil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2008

We stayed in both a double room and a dorm here recently, after moving from Rarotonga Backpackers. Vara's was everything RB was not - clean, tidy and safe.

Both rooms in which we stayed were absolutely spotless, as were the kitchens, showers and toilets. Staff at reception were really helpful and there's a safe in which they'll store your valuables free of charge. There's also the small matter of the location - you're right on Muri Beach, the best on the island. Some of the best snorkeling is only a few minutes walk down the beach at Fruits of Rarotonga too.

For the money, I reckon this place is hard to beat on the Cook Islands.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank tom020681
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2008

We have just returned from 11 nights at Vara's and had a great stay in the most beautiful location with amazing sunrise views and motu (islands) that you can walk, swim or kayak to in a few minutes. Vara's is a very relaxed place with a variety of accommodation to suit every budget (my partner said if they were any more relaxed they would grind to a halt). We were met at the airport on arrival at 1.00am and taken to Vara's by the lovely Lily with a running commentary on the way. We had chosen a Beach Studio which meant we had our own bathroom & kitchen facilities. The beach studios are relatively private and well appointed for the price of $120 per night. The only negative comments we would make are we had to ask repeatedly for clean towels and for the bathroom to be cleaned a couple of times but it was only a matter of asking & it was done. The advertised "Laundry" was tub only for use by guests. Everything else was sent away for laundering so we found the laundry along the road about 1km towards town & took it there ourselves, cheaper. There are great restaurants & the best bistro with great cheap steaks $11 & kebabs $8 nearby. The bus goes past twice an hour. Motor scooters for hire on site are really cheap. All in all a great stay in a great place. Staff were all so friendly & helpful.

Stayed: August 2008
2  Thank BayofIslandsPrincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
1  Thank magtot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank David-Sydney_Aust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: £353 - £486 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
Also Known As:
Vara`s Beach House Hotel Muri
Vara's Muri, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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