Everything was as expected and more. The owners were absolutely lovely and friendly and left us to enjoy the tranquillity of the beautiful gardens in which the villas are situated whilst they did their duties. It makes for a very laidback and quite atmosphere which is what we were looking for. I enjoyed our chats with the lady of the house and she was a wealth of information about the Cook Islands. She went out of her way to help us when it looked like out flight to leave, was delayed and we may have had to stay another night. This was tremendously helpful since she knew people who worked for the airlines and found information about our flight that even our own airline service desk people were not able to tell us. There is only one way out by air and it pays to have someone who is in the know. So again a big thank-you to the lovely owners!
The villas were very clean and the whole property was very well maintained and tidy. Arriving in the dark of night not knowing what to expect, they had the lights on and it looked so inviting and was such a relief to find it was as good if not better then what we expected. They even put fruit in the bowl for us. There was coffee and tea and the kitchen is equipped to cook and prepare meals which I intended to do but didn't once since the local food was so good and not too expensive. The villas are of a group of 4 and not busy and if you wanted a swim in the pool or use the equipment (kayaking gear etc.) you pretty much had it to yourself. The property is on the beach-side of the road and therefore just a short walk to the beach which (our villa being least close to the beach) was about 1 minute away, for me; because I usually stopped to chat to the cat or the local colourful chickens. It would really take you about 10 seconds!
The Muri beach area was, I think the best location on the Island for being able to walk every day/night to lunch or dinner and therefore you would not need private transport. Muri beach has some very good places to eat and an excellent French bakery using tropical flavours that I wish I could find back home. We had the pleasure of eating out nearly every night for as little as $10 AUD at the park where they had markets and stalls selling home cooked meals. Our favourite was a lady cooking delicious island cuisine.
I have read people complain about the noise of the crowing roosters and yes they do crow pretty much al lot of the time. I think they give you about 5-6 hours of 'off time' at night just so they keep their heads. And they are everywhere. Not in plague proportions but you will see them. Even on top of the highest point of the Island we had a concerned rooster escort us. I happen to be a big animal lover and also own chickens so I was in my element admiring the pretty colours and watching their antics. Yes they are a little noisy on and off so you are warned but it is much better than say constant traffic noise or people yelling on the streets. I'd swap it if I could.
We used the local bus which stops right on the road the villas are situated on and for a reasonable fee you could get around the Island but after a few days we realised the day is limited to waiting for it and the fee is for a 'destination and return' trip. No whole day pass of unlimited travel were available to my knowledge. It's good if you're there for a short time and don't want to hire a car. Walk up the road and there were two vehicle hire places. We were keen to skin-dive in other beaches that had more to see than our side of Muri beach. If you swim or kayak out to the opposite small uninhabited Island there is more to see. And while Muri beach is beautiful I have read it is undergoing a bit of stress from polluted land water runoff etc of which the local authorities are trying to fix. I really, really hope they get this going with urgency because we went all the way to the Cook Island for a beach holiday in the tropics with no sharks or crocodiles and dangerous jellyfish to worry about (like back at home) and to have it destroyed by pollution would be such a shame; as is the problem everywhere, worldwide. However the beaches are very safe except for a few areas which can be located on the maps to take caution. And better snorkelling can be found not too far from the Muri beach area but you need to drive or catch a bus.
There would be only one reason I would not go back and that is the world is a big place with so much to see in such little time and I try not to re-visit too much. But for the relaxation value and great location of Muri beach Hideaway and the lovely helpful family who run it I would come back in a heartbeat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Simple yet luxurious accommodation in the Cook Islands, our traditional Polynesian Style Bungalows are set on one of Rarotonga's most beautiful beaches Muri Beach. With soft white sand and magnificent views of Muri Lagoon we offer everything that traveller’s hope for in a tropical escape to the Cook Islands: views of the morning sun above, and the finest restaurants and experiences in Rarotonga right at your doorstep. This little retreat known as the Hideaway, is truly hidden away and a place to kick back and relax while you indulge yourself in Cook Islands culture. Spoil yourself with a swim in the outdoor swimming pool, take a stroll along Muri beach, stretch out on your patio and inhale the scents of your garden’s tropical flowers. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Muri Beach Hideaway Hotel Muri
- Muri Beach Hideaway Rarotonga, Cook Islands