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“Wedding and Honeymoon paradise”

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Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Aroa Beach
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Wedding and Honeymoon paradise”
Reviewed 30 December 2012

My wife and I got married with the resort organising everything for us. We had an amazing time and the staff there were brilliant. We went over with our family and friends and all were looked after and everyone had nothing but good things to say. It was one of the most memorable holidays we have ever had.

Re our wedding at the Sanctuary, Adele and her team were just amazing. When we got there they went over everything again, and Adele kept in touch with us through out the week building up to the wedding, making sure we were happy and confirming that everything was on track. On the day, everything went to plan and it was just an amazing time. We got married on the beach and then had a wonderful meal and celebration on the waterfront.

We went to Aitutaki for our honeymoon and came back to the Sanctuary after a week and the staff there all remembered us and made us feel very welcome again.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank EdChurchouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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431 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (173)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 December 2012 via mobile

The Sanctuary is well appointed to meet your needs for a romantic getaway. We had 12 nights in the Cook Islands and our stay could not have been more relaxing at either resort, Rarotonga or Aitutaki. The staff at the resort are amazing, friendly helpful and make your stay as relaxing as possible. We combined a work conference, our wedding and honeymoon into the same trip and the team at the Sanctuary/Rarotongan arranged everything flawlessly. Wedding days can be especially stressful, with the confidence in the wedding planning team we were at the markets in the morning of the wedding day without a worry about the arrangements, the wedding itself was stress free and without a single hiccup along the way. If you are looking for that tropical island getaway for just the two of you, you couldn't find a better place to run away to.

Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank J-PH_NZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rarotonga
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2012

Looks nothing like the Internet photos, this resort is tired and grubby and needing a major re-furb. Just yet another resort that needs to be honest in what it portrays itself as, along with its features and facilities. I get that these places are meant to have a relaxed islander feel, but that doesn't mean lacking all traces of elegance and luxury, this certainly wasn't a cheaper option for accommodation on the island. Staff are friendly, but that's the only positive. Happy to only have stayed 2 nights on the way to Aitutaki.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Cindy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Aroa Beach hotels

Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2012

Sanctuary is the Adults Only Section of the Rarotongan. When your kids have grown up and left home its nice to relax somewhere a bit quieter. Facilities are good and the best thing about the Sanctuary is there is no crowds. The pool usually has just a handful of people.

Rooms are good for an Island get away. I recommend getting out to town to eat as the food available at the resort is basic or expensive. Try Bamboo Jacks it was fantastic.

The resort has everything else you need.

Room Tip: I have stayed on both sides of the resort and they are both good. Some lower rooms at the end don...
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank NZBroker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2012

This was a quick getaway as we both needed a break from work and I am really glad that we stayed at The Sanctuary. Beautiful beachfront rooms and safe swimming and snorkelling. It was nice to have the pool with the swim up bar and no children. There was a rooster that started crowing at 4am which I only heard on the first night. I was a bit put out by the air conditioner being aimed right on to the bed so had to turn it off at night to sleep otherwise it got a bit too cold. The fan worked just as good as it wasn't too humid at this time of the season. At this time of the year the occupancy is not high as it is the rainy season so unfortunately a lot of the activities and fun evening entertainment was cancelled due to lack of numbers so we missed out. I would still recommend it for good relaxation.

Room Tip: I would have preferred a downstairs room that walked out on the beach. We were "upgraded"...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Caroline B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2012

Beautiful rooms, right on the beach. Amazing view. A nice private resort within a larger resort. Would love to go back!

Lots of options within the resort for food. The staff are lovely. Plenty of activities at the resort or hire a scooter and explore the whole island- the mountains on Rarotonga are amazing. The sand floored restaurant is beautiful. The resort's day spa, Spa Polynesia is fantastic and will leave you spoiled and relaxed.

We spent 5 nights here which was perfect but if you're not exploring any other islands I would recommend staying on Rarotonga longer!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kimberly D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ACT
Level Contributor
39 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 December 2012

I stayed here for 5 nights for our honeymoon in December. I'll start by saying that I really did enjoy my stay at Sanctuary Rarotonga. Ok, good things:

1. I requested a room in the 700 block and I was happy to see they delivered, we were situated in room 701 and it was lovely. Great views, beach front and a nice large room. Our room was tidy and clean and we loved the addition of the lounge chairs and table out the front of the room.

2. The food at the Blue Water Grill was so good. The lamb rack was to die for and we ate there almost every night.

3. The "Cook your own bbq" was great. We paid to have it delivered as room service and cooked it on our varanda. It was something different and we got to be in the privacy of our own room.

4. Beach was gorgeous and lovely to swim in, and the pool was lovely, we didn't get to use it at the start because there were crowds of roudy drunk people in there and it wasn't very welcoming but at the end of the trip we used it a few times and the water was lovely and warm.

5. Room was clean and tidy and when we requested new sheets they were provided straight away.

6. The location really is beautiful and the lagoon is idelyic.

Ok, a few negative things:

1. All the events the entire 6 days we were there were cancelled! It was very frustrating, everytime we booked in for something they would cancel it at the last minute. I expressed my frustration at reception and they said that there wasn't enough people. But I couldn't help thinking that if they didnt keep cancelling things all the time then people would come!

2. There were only 2 restaurants really. On the website it looked like a lot more, but when i got there the asian restaurant was closed and when I enquired about it opening they said they didn't know. The menu for Sanctuary and Raratonga beach resort are the same for lunch and the menu is the same at night and day for dinner over at Raratonga so the food gets very boring. I was dissapointed that the other restaurant was not open. The food at the Sanctuary did seem to be better then the other resort though, so I would tend to stick there for lunches as well.

3. The staff were mostly friendly and nice but most of them I found were very unknowledgable about the resort, we kept trying to settle our account with cash every few days and there was only one lady in the whole of Sanctuary who knew how to do this which was quite frustrating. It also took three people to finally organise our cook your own bbq as nobody seemed to have a clue how to do it or knew that you could have it in your room even though we explained that we had spoken to another couple who had done it only the previous evening. Alot of the time we also found them quite unhelpful and we felt like on our honeymoon we would have appreciated just a little extra kindness to ensure we had a great stay, we quite often felt ignored or like we were causing a nusiance if we asked for anything

4. Breakfast was pretty average, is they just added the addition of a few hot items e.g some eggs, pancakes etc it would be a lot more interesting.

So, overall it was an enjoyable experience and we loved Rarotonga. If the Sanctuary could just work on those view things I think it would be a perfect place to stay.

Room Tip: 700 block has great views
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank aussiealyce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach

Property: Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach
Address: Aroa Beach, Aroa Beach, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Aroa Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Aroa Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach 4*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A true taste of the exotic Cook Islands in the heart of the South Pacific, Sanctuary Rarotonga is an adults-only resort located on the pristine white sand shores of Aroa Lagoon. All suites are absolute beachfront. Tropical buffet breakfast, many resort activities, and daily activities program are included in the nightly rate. The perfect location for a romantic honeymoon or a relaxed beach holiday. Three effortless Weddings in Paradise packages. A true South Pacific paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanctuary Rarotonga-On The Beach Hotel Aroa Beach
Sanctuary Rarotonga-On The Beach Aroa Beach

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