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“Puaikura Reef Lodges made our visit to Rora a huge success!”

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The Black Pearl at Puaikura
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 March 2014

To Lotu, Rangi, Manu & the chamber ladies: you made us feel like we were coming back to see old friends - this was our first visit to the Island and we had a wonderful time. Whether in or around the pool, it is a terrific place to meet new friends and share ideas of where to go next for snorkeling, tours or dinner as well as to share your days activities. Our room was very comfortable and clean. The kitchen was well equipped & the priceless freezer that kept us supplied with ICE was a godsend. We met several families there with children, including 7 month old twins & family from NZ as well as teenagers and their families also from NZ. If we were travelling with our grand kids, this would be a perfect place to take them, including the shallow beach just across the road.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Bruce C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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172 - 178 of 306 reviews

Reviewed 4 March 2014

We stayed here for the first 5 nights of our recent holiday, and found it a great little place to be based. We were in the executive room, which is above the main office - a great sized room with a private deck overlooking the pool. The room was basic, but had everything required - a good size kitchen, equipped with the basics + small fridge and small stove top made it easy to suss meals. There was one double and two single beds a good sized bathroom.

The outside pool was simple but lovely in the heat. Next door there is a very basic store, small petrol pump and an adventure hire shop. We found hiring a scooter from here easy and well priced (discount for cash payment) - a quick $5 'scooter handling test' and then off to the police station for a $20 Rarotongan licence. Within 5 or so minutes walking distance in the other direction we found a little hotel with beachside cocktails at $10 - always happy hour prices, and a slightly bigger food store just down from here.

Overall a good little spot, not the best bit of beach across the road but easy to get to your new found favourite spots either by scooter or bus (bus stop right outside, and also across the road for the other direction). Well priced with very friendly staff!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jaz C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2014

Return visit was just as good as last year. Lotu your the best and Tina who looked after our unit could not ask for anything more your a gem. Maunu the grounds man thanks for fresh coconut and keep chasing them chickens. Thanks again for a great relaxing 10 days and you can be sure we will be back. The best budget motel on the island and the award speaks for it self. We miss the fabulous sunsets see you all again soon.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Ron C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2013

Based on the staff alone, I would give this place 4-5 stars, however, there were a few issues that mean I would overall give it 3.5 out of 5.
Firstly, it's worth bearing in mind, that most accommodation in Rarotonga (the big resorts) are often very expensive for what you get. The Puaikura Reef Lodges is definitely good value for the money. The only reason I am giving them 3 out of 5 is due to a couple of issues with our room. We stayed in the Executive Suite, which was upstairs above the office, very private, with a balcony overlooking the pool and gardens. This is supposed to be the best room in the resort, and is more expensive, so was hoping it would be fabulous. It was very clean and spacious, although fairly basic and older in style, which is to be expected in Rarotonga within this price range. On the first day we realised the fridge was not cooling anything properly. We soon found out this was as the seal was broken and the door would not close properly. This also meant the interior light stayed on the whole time, which actually meant the fridge got quite hot inside. This was not a major issue for us as we only kept water inside, but as this property has kitchen facilities, and a lot of people kept food in their fridges, this could have been a real issue for someone else. Luckily we tend to eat out every meal on holiday. We did tell the management, but there was little they could do over christmas to be honest. In the end we solved the problem by putting a heavy chair up against the fridge door to keep it shut and the light off. This was a real pain every time you wanted to get into the fridge, but at least kept our water chilled. Another included the shower running hot and cold throughout taking a shower. I just dealt with this though, as it wasn't a major issue, and was one I have encountered elsewhere in the islands. The bed was a little too hard for my liking, but this is obviously a personal thing, and i am very spoilt with my bed at home. The pillows however did seem old and lumpy which is not ideal, and they could do with getting some new, fresh ones.

The property itself was well looked after and clean, and the pool, although nothing flash, was very welcome in the heat. Location wise it's fine. Not on the best stretch of beach by a long shot, but an easy 10-15 minute drive into the main town, or 20 minutes to Muri Lagoon. There is a small cafe and store next door which is handy too.

As I said, the staff were great, and even gave all their guests a bottle of wine for Christmas, which was a lovely thought. Airport transfers were timely and good value.

Would I come back? Yes, although probably in one of the regular rooms, as I thought they were just as good as our executive one. Without our minor room issues it would have been a fantastic stay, so would give it another go.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank lisamarieauckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2013

Flew in to Raro in the middle of the night. Greeted at the airport by a friendly guy but dumped at the front entrance and told our room was where the light was on. Room 8, right at the other end. Not really an issue but didn't feel very comfortable in a strange land in the middle of the night (very different to our arrival in Tonga at the same time of night last year). The room was good, clean, fully screened, bed comfy, b'fast supplied, This is a self contained unit. There is no bar or restaurant. Staff were all friendly. Good snorkeling spot right across the road. We were only there one night before going to Aitutaki so hadn't put much thought into what we needed. We returned a week later to spend another 1.5 nights this time in room 1. Similar setup although the bed is in the living area which it hadn't been in room 8. No screens. Very noisy with traffic and dogs barking all night close by. Front door took minutes to get locked and then didn't seem too secure.

This should not be taken as a bad review but more my lack of research on a place for a couple of night's stopover. You need a bike or car to be able to duck out for food. We hired a bike from next door for our full day in Raro, the guy there was very thorough and helpful. The layout of Puaikura would be great for groups and it would be good for longer stays. I was looking for somewhere I could snorkel close by and this fit the bill perfectly.

Room Tip: Room 8 is fully screened, closer to the beach across the road and has a separate bedroom for those n...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank miskairal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2013

Room was fairly dated, but very functional and clean.from the outside table and chairs we could see the beach across the road. The staff are simply fantastic. Lotu were extremely helpful and went out of her way to help recommending things to do and where to eat and answering any questions we had.The cleaners and garden staff were also extremely friendly and helpful.Staff members went out of their way to get a coconut drink for our daughter who all she wanted to do while their was try one, they made this happen for her.
The room may only be 3 - 3.5 star but all staff at Puaikura Reef Lodges were consistently better than we have experienced at any 5 star hotel!

Beach across the road nice and quiet and was great for snorkelling
liked the location and lovely sunsets.

No hesitation in recommending Puaikura Reef Lodges.
we will return again one day.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Jill M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 November 2013

we arrived at Puaikura Reef Lodges, on an earily morning (1am) flight and had a fantastic time, Rangi, Bert and the team are all fantastic. We were there for a National Bank reunion and meet so many great people including about 40-45 from new zealand who all worked over there. We would recommend the Captian Tamas glass bottom boat trip - this was the highlight for mum, dad and two teenagers. And the boys also enjoyed a earily morning fish with Captian Moko. Sails is a really nice restruant/cafe on the northen end of the island and dont forget to ask the locals about the saturday morning markets and the other markets and activities during the week around by Captain Tamas.......We now have a holiday home we can use over there but if for any reason this is not available, Puaikura Reef Lodges, will be definatlly on the top of our list...thanks guys for a fantastic frist trip to Rarotonga.... :)

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank fatjak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Black Pearl at Puaikura

Address: | Kavera, Arorangi, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Arorangi
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Arorangi
Price Range: £93 - £144 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Black Pearl at Puaikura 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the sheltered sunset side of the island, the Black Pearl at Puaikura enjoys an enviable location with a pristine beach across the road, safe for swimming and snorkelling; a magical spot to watch the sunset. A mere 15 minutes to downtown Avarua, ten minutes to the airport and twenty minutes to the eclectic hustle and bustle of Muri. Intimately set in tropical gardens around a central salt water swimming pool The Black Pearl’s 12 rooms are spacious with high vaulted ceilings. A bold, vibrant, sometimes quirky colour palette complements the natural colours of the island. All on the ground level each room has a private patio, a view of either the lush garden or sparkling pool – or both. Kitchen facilities mean you can prepare breakfast, a light lunch or dinner in between dining at a great choice of restaurants close by, many of whom offer a free pick up and drop off service. Or choose to use our poolside BBQ. The Black Pearl at Puaikura is a haven for those not wanting a large hotel with multiple bars and restaurants but rather an intimate environment where the emphasis is on personal service, a place where you can lose yourself in a tropical paradise, at an affordable price. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Puaikura Reef Hotel Arorangi
The Black Pearl At Puaikura Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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