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“Great Experience (from Australia)”

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The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Aroa Beach
Reviewed 27 April 2008

My Husband and I stayed at the Rarotonga Beach Resort and Spa for our honeymoon. We spent 8 nights there before heading to New Zealand for the second part of our honeymoon. We found the resort to be great and in a really good location on the island with one of the best lagoons for snorkelling right on your door step.

We were however a little disappointed with our room, we stayed in a Deluxe Beachside Room and it was plain and not all that inviting.

The activities available were great like snorkelling, tennis, recreational activities etc. We found the staff to be very friendly and made us feel welcome. We enjoyed the live shows that the Rarotonga has to offer and the “theme nights” however some people may find them to be a little pricy.

Take advantage of the spa it was lovely to get pampered and relax.

The Island of Rarotonga itself has many things to offer so take advantage of tours, we would recommend the horse riding, safari tour and glass bottom boat (when the weather is right).

Overall it was a great experience and would recommend the Rarotonga Beach Resort and Spa as a great place to stay!

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Texcote
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,028 - 1,034 of 1,126 reviews

Reviewed 27 April 2008

My husband, 8 year old daughter and I stayed at the Rarotonga Beach Resort and Spa for 3 nights over Easter 2008. We had to book two beachfront rooms with an interconnecting door for the three of us as they told us that they did not have any family rooms available.

I must confess that having read alot of the reviews on Trip Advisor and having talked to friends who had been to the Rarotongan, my expectations weren't that high. But while there were a few things I thought that the hotel could to do improve the overall experience for their customers, our stay was pretty good.

Positives:
- the rooms were lovely - I think we were in two of the newer rooms.
- my daughter enjoyed the kids club - she thought that the activities and facilties were really good
- the beach in front of the hotel is really lovely. Although I'm told there are nices ones around the island I couldn't fault this and we all enjoyed snorkelling and kayaking out to the reef.
- the resort was only half full when we went so there was plenty of space around the swimming pool.
- I had a facial and body wrap treatment and thoroughly enjoyed both. The therapist was very good and I came out feeling very relaxed and pampered. Look past the slightly worn treatment rooms and tatty towels!

Negatives:
- the staff at the front desk weren't that helpful when I was enquiring about the business centre and can at times be quite rude and abrupt.
- the food is a pretty mixed bag - we did order lunch at the poolside restaturant once and while my hamburger meal was good, my husbands meal wasn't that flash. I would recommend eating at other places around the island.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank H-Marie123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2008

Our family has just returned from 8 ngts @ The Rarotongan with 2 other families. Chose the resort as one of the other couples were married on Rarotonga last year and suggested a family holiday together.

The Rarotongan Resort is one of only a couple on island with a kids club although disapointingly this is restricted to 3yr plus. Don't think of using Kids Club if not staying @ resort as very expensive $105 per day (included if a guest of resort). The island is quite small and can be driven around in about 45 mins. It is pretty with nice snorkling spots probably slightly nicer than most fiji islands.

The resort itself is just OK with a small pool area and usual activities. We had a Grand Beachfront suite which was a great location only steps from the beach. I have read many reviews picking on room cleanliness and YES it was not up to 4-5 star hotel standard but considering you are at an island resort with sand everywhere it was sufficient and not threatening in any way.

Biggest dissapointment was the food at the resort. I highly suggest you DO NOT eat at resort if you can avoid as almost all meals we had were poor quality, expensive and cold. There are some nice restaurents on the island but a taxi fare away and all pricey. Still a better option from resort food which was very poor except quite nice sandwiches from pool shop at lunch which were also reasonably priced? Management should really do something about this aspect as it would prevent us from returning or recommending. Staff at resort (and island generally) are pleasent without really being overly friendly (unlike most Fiji resorts). Seems Cook Island culture is just not that welcoming. Overall Cook Islands are nice to visit if you have already been to Hawaii or Fiji but you can do better than stay @ The Rarotongan Resort

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank DWSURFIN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2008

We stayed at the Rarotongan with 2 other couples and our 18month old daughter. The setting is beautiful and the lagoon has amazing fish - the beach is also really well looked after. The resort is rather dated although there are some newer rooms - so ask for these if you are booking. We had 3 garden rooms that were adequate but not overly exciting for the price. If you are going with children who are in a bed (out of cot) then they put a bunk in your room which takes up all the space where a table would be so this would make it quite a squeeze. The advantage of staying here is that there are great facilities - the pool is excellent and the Moko Kid's club is worth using even if you aren't staying here (I think there is a $35 charge for non-hotel guests) - it is a huge area with trampoline, swings, bouncy castle, book corner, drawing and painting facilities, tv/dvds ... and the staff are lovely. If your child is under 4 you are required to stay with them. The activities staff are also really friendly and there are daily events such as Coconut Show and Weaving Lessons etc.. which are well worth attending (they are also free). There are also snorkels, tennis, towels, kayaks ... for free use and the golf course is only up the road. The big downside to staying here is the food - it is terrible! Everyone else we spoke to seemed to agree with us. The kid's selection is particularly useless with lots of deep fried and cheese laden offerings. There is a snack hut that has healthier sandwiches which is a better option. I would recommend eating out though as there are lots of great restaurants not too far away - Windjammer is amazing, try the Seafood Salad! Tamarind House is also good, as is the Pacific Resort (great kid's menu) and Sails.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank globalkiwi4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2008

I was on the same cruise as the FoggMurphys and stayed at the hotel at the same time.

I thought their review a little harsh, but basically agree that this is a four star tourist hotel and certainly not the South Seas paradise the promotional litterature and the rack rates imply.

I had a seafront mini suite, which was basically a large bedroom with an enormous and not particularly comfortable bed, a table and chairs, a sea view terrace and a walk in shower. Room service is hopeless - one day my room was not made up until 6.30 pm

The spa component is basically a couple of massage rooms, although the deep tissue massage was good and reasonably priced at NZD 105 for an hour. The gym has only weights and no cardio equipment.

The island night buffet and show is excellent, but for the rest the food is mediocre, (but acceptable) with quantity over quality, and service is very slow. The inclusive island breakfast is a joke - juice from concentrate, a limited selection of poor quality fruit, toast and weak coffee. The extra cooked breakfast is no better.

All that said, I really enjoyed my stay. The beach is great, with plenty of shade, and pretty clean, give or take the odd cigarette end. The swimming and snorkelling are fantastic, especially for beginners and kids - shallow waters and gentle currents. The staff are friendly and try to be helpful, even if they don't always succeed. And Rarotonga is a fantastic place where everybody really does seem to want you enjoy yourself - especially on Friday night when the whole island seems to go out to party.

Stayed: April 2008
1  Thank Bob86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2008

We got married at the Rarotongan in June last year and it was the most amazing time of my life. We had a Beachside Deluxe Unit, while they are very basic my most standards they are above average by most Rarotongan standards, definately wouldn't go for one of the Garden Rooms. The staff here were just amazing, and we had a massage at the resort and it was out of this world.
Our wedding day couldnt' have been more perfect, we had around 30 guests, got married by the beach, and then had our reception in a marquee by the beach it was absolutely magical.
This day and location was absolutely perfect, no stress and just an amazing day.
Wish I could go back now :-)

  • Stayed: June 2007
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1  Thank gidget01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2008

We are staying at this hotel for 4 nights after a cruise of the South Pacific islands - it was included in our tour so we had no choice in the matter. Before we came we checked out the hotel on Tripadvisor where we noted the mixed reviews so were a little anxious. In the event it is much worse than we feared. We have a room on the beach in the refurbished part of the hotel - it is adequate but no more, so we dread to imagine what the older and apparently smaller rooms in the old wings are like. The whole place is run like a cheap holiday camp (certainly more Butlins than Club Med!) and is absolutely not to our taste. The hotel has been done very cheaply, it is not particularly clean with sticky surfaces, old and tired sunbeds, threadbare towels etc. On arrival early in the morning we had to wait some time for our room so had a look round the public areas. The open-style kitchen arrangement with black frying pans in evidence and many crumbs on tables etc was offputting with the result that we have not eaten at the hotel apart from breakfast which is obviously done on the cheap and very limited (unless you wish to eat a la carte). Our fellow travellers from the cruise ship have reported that the food at other meals is mediocre, but we have hired a car and are eating elsewhere (we would recommend the Tamarind House). The view from our room is nice and the lagoon is pleasant with lots of fish but the sand desperately needs raking and cleaning. It's a large, cheaply constructed, mass market hotel which really needs a thorough overhaul.

Stayed: April 2008
3  Thank FoggMurphys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve | Aroa, 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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Aroa Beach
Price Range: £114 - £251 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 112
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Slip off your watch, your shoes, your cares and immerse yourself in paradise at the renowned Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa. Hand feed the friendly reef fish or snorkel straight off the white sands of Aroa Beach in the crystal clear blue waters of Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve and enjoy Rarotonga’s best snorkeling (the resort’s guided Night Snorkeling Tours are a special treat!). The all-tide lagoon is also perfect for stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking, included as part of The Rarotongan’s extensive FREE Daily Activities Programme. The Rarotongan is located directly on Rarotonga’s best white sandy beach, Aroa Beach, on the island’s sunshine southwest coast. The Rarotongan is also Rarotonga’s most family-friendly resort and offers FREE Moko’s Kids Club, Little Dolphin’s Mini Waterpark and Teen Zone. Kids & Teens Stay & Play FREE (aged to 16 years)! Kids aged 4-11 years Play Free @ Moko’s Kids Club, and teens aged 12-16 years Play Free in Teen Zone. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Rarotongan Beach Resort And Spa
The Rarotongan Beach Hotel Aroa Beach
Rarotongan Beach Resort Spa
The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa Rarotonga/Aroa Beach

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