I would happily stay here again. Great location, close to a very nice beach - both for sitting on the sand, or snorkeling. The beach is a 5 minute walk from the property and I went swimming every day. This beach (bordering the Rarotongan Resort) is really one of the best snorkeling spots on the island, and also a marine reserve. Plus you get sunsets!
Rarotonga is surrounded by coral reef. You need reef shoes everywhere on the island, and the owner supplies them for you - a nice thoughtful touch.
Aroa Kainga is a privately run property located beside the owner's house, in a nice quiet neighbourhood (not a touristy center). There is one person tending to the property and guests, so it's not a "resort".
She offers bungalows, which are separated from the main house (more private), and also a studio apartment which is the ground floor of the owner's house. I stayed in the studio apartment for one week, 125 NZD/day.
The kitchen was very well equipped, spacious, and functional. Overall the apartment was very nice, but my one complaint was the bed, which I found a bit uncomfortable due to springs pressing through. The owner says that others have found the bed very comfortable.
Some caveats and down-sides:
1. Dogs. These are everywhere, NOT specific to this property. There are many stray dogs who wander the beaches. They will visit you while you sit on the beach, and can be annoying or threatening. They aren't aggressive, but one nearly bit me when I tried to push him off of my blanket after he got way too close. If you're scared of dogs, take note - this is a Rarotonga problem.
2. Smoke from burning leaves & garbage. There were many small garbage fires in this particular region of the island, and as a result you will occasionally get smoke wafting through the windows. This south-west part of the island doesn't get as much fresh wind, so smoke can linger. It bothered me a bit.
3. Major grocery stores are quite far away. The nearest grocery store (Wigmore's) is bus distance, or very long walk. However there is an excellent fruit stand a short distance to the north.
I strongly recommend that you walk (or bicycle) up towards Wigmore's waterfall, which is a beautiful route not far from Aroa.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aroa Kainga Bungalows and Studio Apartment are 2 mins. walk to excellent swimming & snorkeling beaches, including the famous Aroa Beach, on the south west corner of Rarotonga where you can enjoy spectacular sunsets. Ideal for individuals, couples and groups. For your comfort and privacy we welcome people from age 14yrs. This accommodation in Rarotonga consists of two stylish, clean, airy, spacious and well appointed 1 bedroom bungalows and an apartment. Tricia has developed lovely gardens of flowering shrubs, herbs and fruit trees around and between the bungalows and studio apartment that provide privacy and still enable easy communication between them. The bungalows and apartment are designed for a laid back and relaxing time. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aroa Kainga Rarotonga, Cook Islands