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“Raro Backpackers - Best hostel on Raro”

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Rarotonga Backpackers
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 April 2012

I stayed here for a total of 6 weeks Jan-March this year as I was visiting the Cook Islands for my medical elective and needed a base to work from.

The hostel was really easily booked and you can negotiate a bit of a discount from the friendly and helpful owner, Paul, if you're staying for any real length of time.

I stayed in a single room at the Beachside complex which was small but adequate for most single travellers. The hostel was always clean and the bathrooms/showers/kitchen were cleaned daily. Internet access was a lot slower than back in the UK but it's like that everywhere in the Cooks. The only improvement which could be made would be maybe new sofas/seats in the common room next to the kitchen. There are a few huts on the beach which are a bit nicer with their own shower and the beach units have their own kitchen which would be an advantage to families or those wanting more privacy.

A great location right on the beach and the bus stops right outside for you to get into town.

Friendly atomsphere in the hostel with a variety of travellers staying including families with young children.

You can arrange free pickup from the airport which is an advantage too. Paul, the owner was always there if you needed anything and I highly reccommend this to any backpacker coming to Raro from both personal experience and from other travellers I had met who had stayed at Backpackers International and Varas nearer Muri beach.

Room Tip: If I had a bigger budget i'd have stayed in a beach hut which were nicer than single rooms. If y...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled solo
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3  Thank MattLloyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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95 - 101 of 179 reviews

Reviewed 20 March 2012

When I stayed here I loved it it had a awesome view and very spacious I loved it

  • Stayed: October 2011
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Thank Mobbzy98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2012

free pick-up from airport is great. staff were very helpful (we'd had some issues with booking another place, they came to the rescue).
Stayed in the dorm, very simple and was mixed gender.
handy to scooter hire, sunset side of island, some stores and cafes.
would stay again, this time in a bungalow for sure!

Room Tip: stay in a beach bungalow, its a bargain at the rates the offer.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank jHopoate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2012

This was the top pick from my favorite guide book. It was a fair bargain.
But, I have been in many hostels or backpacker's and found this one to be needing vast improvements in some areas.
I appreciated the free airport pick up and the friendly staff.
I stayed in 3 types of rooms while there. I was in the dorm for a few nights which had a mouse in it. I also stayed in a single room which had a bad odor and some holes in the walls. Both were in the main unit.
I was in the beachfront unit as well which had it's own kitchen and was right on the beach. The beachfront unit was a whole other standard, it was much cleaner and modern than the main house.
The kitchen in the main house was not cleaned properly and Weetbix sat out in there for at least a week. There were birds flying in and out and ants and roach traps too. It just felt grungy and looked grungy. Also, the fridge was leaking onto the floor. The bathrooms had holes in the walls and there was no soap except a bar that another guest left there for everyone to use. The showers worked quite well and had good pressure and nice hot water.
In short, I would not stay there again.

Room Tip: Chose any room that is not in the main house. Choose a beachfront unit.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank AnnViola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2012

We stayed in Raratonga Backbackers for the first few nights in a private room in the "dorm" which was a little run down, but not that bad. The showers and bathroom are clean and the staff is nice. They also have bikes available to use. We than moved to a private hut which is definitely the way to go. A little more (obviously) but worth it all the way! They are very new and clean inside and are very comfortable. We enjoyed our stay here and would come back!

Room Tip: Stay in one of the huts on the beach!
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  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank 760love2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2012

We spent ten days at one of the Garden Bungalows - a few hundred yards along the road from the Rarotonga Backpackers - Beachside. The cabin had all the basics and was an inexpensive base with the bus passing a minute's walk way.There was also a shop with most things just a minute's walk away. The bungalows are a little isolated if you want to go out a lot and don't have transport - there is little in the way of anywhere to eat out within reasonable walking distance. But we found the buses reliable. The location of Rarotonga Backpackers - beachside is fantastic - right on the beach and if we went back we'd probably rent one of the cabins there instead. The pool is a bit tired, but we used it often for a quick cool off, in between crashing the flash resort pool areas. In Rarotonga no-one seems to mind you using the pools at the big resorts - so long as you order the occasional beer or coffee or snack. The Rarotongan Resort pool was fantastic. A great way to holiday on a budget!!! Our only complaint about the bungalow we rented was the shocking TV reception. But we had a few DVDs with us - so we coped.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the two newer bungalows - the one we had by the gate was a bit rundown and the two ne...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank WilsonOwen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2011

I was unpleasantly surprised to discover that the the "ladies only" dorm I had reserved was not only occupied by four men, but that one of the other occupants preferred to sleep in the nude. Other travelers in the same hostel had changed rooms because of this and management did nothing to correct the situation. There was no opportunity to change currency between the airport and the hostel - where you are expected to pay in $NZ. The bathroom and other facilities were very run down and the management office was rarely open. At one point, the door to the ladies room was locked by the cleaning staff for an entire day before I called to have someone unlock it for us. I will look elsewhere if I plan to stay on Raro again.

Room Tip: Go for one of the private bungalows on the beach - these were actually very nice looking.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank Neko N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rarotonga Backpackers

Address: PO Box 3103, Arorangi, Cook Islands
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Arorangi
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Arorangi
Number of rooms: 63
Also Known As:
Rarotonga Backpackers Hotel Arorangi
Rarotonga Backpackers Cook Islands

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