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“Back again!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rarotonga Backpackers

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Rarotonga Backpackers
Hamilton & Waikato Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
210 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Back again!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2012

We have stayed at the backpackers three times now. Obviously we love it there. The location we feel cannot be bettered. We love the quiet from the busy areas plus we love the accessibility of everything else.

Please read our reviews from the past for more detailed description.

Since our last review Rhianna has left and now Paul, the owner is there on a daily basis. Only in the mornings.

The only worry we have is the replacement of towels. Yes our room was cleaned once a week which I feel is enough if you only staying 8 or so days like ourselves. However the towel situation is a different story. I feel you definitely have to have a new towel at least every second day (it is a holiday) but when I went to ask for one it obviously is not what they want. Tea towels and towels were the problem. We got them changed in the end but I felt we were imposing and it def was not the norm.

We were forgotten on the last night. Got to the deck to wait for our pick up at least 15 minutes earlier than were told to be there. Waited and waited, just thought we were early but then after a while we began to panic. Found someone who said the shuttle had left ages ago. Frantically tried for taxi's who refused to pick us up saying the shuttle would come and get us and then they would be left with no money. Found the owners, Paul's, phone number and he got someone to come and get us. I had a slight ever growing panic we would be left behind. Were the last to check in but made it.

We stayed in the beachfront units and still absolutely love being there. We feel safe there and have seen no-one lurking around. We always lock our door even if walking down the stairs to the sand but that is not because of us thinking someone there will break in but just common sense, when we are away on a trip anywhere we always keep our place locked. It was quite warm at night, and the fan is next to useless but then again that is why we go there, to get away from our winter and into the warmth.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank nzwestie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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166 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
39 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2012 via mobile

Two years ago was my first time to Rarotonga, and I stayed at 2 locations at Muri Lagoon (both were reasonable enough) before settling in at Rarotonga Backpackers. Last year I returned, and stayed only at the Backpackers. My partner and I are budget travelers- value for $, cooking for ourselves, having peace and quiet, and enjoy long walks. We stayed in a hillside bungalow, which for 2 people is an unbeatable price for our own little unit. Kitchen worked great, with everything we needed. Pool was wonderful, and we enjoyed being on the quieter back road. Hillside is definitely the preferred location if you want quiet. Hiring a motorcycle was ideal to be able to travel around the island (and way cooler than a scooter). Staff were super friendly. Was nice being able to walk to beachside accomm to use the wifi. Definitely considering going back for a third time!

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank IHenninger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2012

Our school group of 44 tamariki, staff and parents have just returned from 7 nights in Rarotonga, and we stayed here at the Backpackers. We found the place to be accommodating of our group's needs, with kitchen facilities and bedding that was adequate. If you're not looking for 5-star rating accommodation then this place could be suitable for you. Sharing facilities with other backpackers staying here was great as we got to share our Maori culture with them as well. If your groups is a large one you will find numbers split in order to meet room allocations. Our group had 13 of our members sent 500 metres down the road to the bungalow quarters which was frustrating. The rains that came, and came on the last night of our stay meant a bit of rearranging of rooms as the roof leaked - no big dramas! Having the swimming pool made for happy kids, and the beach right at our doorstep was definitely a bonus, and welcome sight every morning. No need to take an alarm clock as the roosters crowing outside your bedroom window were on time every morning! An enjoyable stay regardless.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a confirmed booking for the room you want. We booked rooms and thought we were ge...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kitty T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2012

We recently arrived home from 8 nights at Rarotonga backpackers, and were stoked with the accommodation. We aren't fussy, but do like a clean tidy place to stay - this definitely met our expectations. We stayed 3 nights in a beach hut, and the remaining 5 nights in a studio unit due to availability. The beach hut was simple with a fridge, small ice box, toaster and kettle, sheets and pillows - no duvet, so take something warm if you're not going in peak season. This for us was great, you step out of your hut and are on the beach in a few metres. Upgrading to the unit was great, it's much larger, nice big deck, all of them look right over the water, gas cooking etc. Overall we didn't have any complaints, hire a scooter and the location is perfect as its an easy drive either way - to town or around to Muri beach. We will be back, next time hopefully with some friends to book out the other units around us!!

Room Tip: Any of the beach huts or studio units are a great choice - we didn't see inside the dorm rooms
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KristieONZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2012

First things first, this is a backpackers hostel and if you stay in the main building you'll pay hostel prices so that has to be the starting point for your expectations. I stayed for 7 weeks as a base for my medical elective, like plenty of other people who head to Raro Backpackers. My friend and I stayed in a private twin room which was pretty spacious and clean. The beds were reasonably comfy, but only one little pillow and some well worn linen! Definitely take your own towel as those are a bit worn too! The bathrooms were fine, clean enough and with lots of hot water and plenty of pressure. No locker in the room but the room locked and the windows couldn't be opened enough to get in- and generally we felt pretty safe just leaving things like cameras in our bags. We used the boxes in the kitchen as a locker for more important stuff. No one had any trouble while we were there.

The kitchen area is open to the world and so the birds can and will get in, it was always reasonably clean as the staff came in every day to clean the communal areas and even sometimes would do the washing up the less pro-active guests might leave around! The sofas are deadly uncomfortable, but thats ok as the deck area is where we spent most of our evenings and the beach just outside the front the day time!

The staff are pretty good, Paul gave me a discount because I was staying so long and the cleaners and the driver Paul did a good job. They are only around in the mornings though so it can be hard to catch them.

The location is pretty good- right on the beach with a little shop within walking distance but you will need a bike or scooter to go to town, though we also used the bus and hitch-hiked.

Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Jp445
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
164 reviews
148 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2012

The Raro backpackers must be able to say it has one of the best beaches of any backpackers in the world. It really was picture perfect. The accommodation was not quite so perfect but relatively acceptable.

We had a beach hut for 6 nights. You can’t tell from its website but the beach huts are set behind the large “Unit” accommodations and so don’t have a sea view although it’s only a 10 second walk to see it and technically they are located on the sand (so you get the annoyance of a sand filled room without the benefit of a sea view) but it was possible most nights to hear the waves.

I had been assured in an email that all linens were provided in the hut so I didn’t bring anything. The bed sheets were ok but didn’t fit the bed. However, the towel I was given was completely disgusting, old stained, falling apart – the kind of thing you might use to dry off a wet dog but not give a guest in a NZ$85 a night room (photo included). I suggest you pack linens if this is something that would annoy you too.

There are staff at the backpackers for only a few hours in the morning so if you need something (like a better towel) it can be hard to catch them.

The beach hut is just one room with a bathroom with a small bathroom. Ours had two beds and was a bit snug. There was a fridge in a room that didn’t work but by the 4th day this had been replaced with a new fridge. There was no line by the hut to hang clothes/wet gear but there was one in the shared area that you can risk using.

There is no safety deposit box and friends who stayed here previously had a lot of stuff stolen so be sure to take something so you can lock up your valuables.

The shared facilities are like any low-grade backpackers, scruffy, old and a bit dirty. The swimming pool never looked clean enough to swim in.

The location on the island is not close to much else and you really need transport to get out. There is a convenient store a few mins walk up the road, a bike rental shop opposite and the (expensive) island bus will stop for you outside the backpackers

The airport transfer was good value and reliable.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank talltaff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
36 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2012

as a child free couple on a budget, we chose to stay in one of the garden bungalows, a short walk from the beachside facility.
completely felt at home, self catered with some packaged and tinned food we brought with us and ate lots of local fruit, vegs and fish.
spent 9 days in paradise, down the driveway and across the road to stunning aroa beach, i didn't snorkel and saw tropical fish in ankle deep water!
hired one scooter and did numerous circuts of the island on both roads, wigmore's store handy for fresh supplies as is ocean fresh fish shop in town.
we really felt like we were connecting with the community in our private garden setting as opposed to a resort stay.
small shop at end of drive which was handy for items like beer and bread!
our 'bure' was more than adequate and we would be happy to stay there longer in future, well loved but clean and a really good large bed!
(jake the dog was an added bonus) :D
rarotonga backpackers deserves every accolade and i would thoroughly recommend to friends
and family wanting an uncomplicated and relaxed holiday for under $nz100 a night.

Room Tip: out of the four garden bungalows, the one near the driveway has the least appeal.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank madmadammin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rarotonga Backpackers

Property: 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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