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“Horrible.”

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The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Aroa Beach
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Horrible.”
Reviewed 3 June 2014

On our recent trip to Rarotonga, we were booked to stay at The Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa. To start, all of the staff we dealt with were rude at best. The accommodations were dated and well, disgusting. We were so mortified we promptly rented scooters and went to look at other places to stay. Fortunately we found many alternatives. We rebooked at another hotel and moved that day, losing our entire bill at The Rarotongan. That being said it was well worth it! The funniest part of the story, the front desk clerk said she "didn't know if she could release us". LOL.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Rob T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (309)
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English first
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2014

We stayed 14 nights, I loved the place and location.
The location was awesome, its just what I wanted on a beach island holiday, beautiful beach, water, snorkelling, views.

The resort, out dated needs modernising, A toaster in the room would have been something good for us, as our special needs kid didn't like eating restaurant in the mornings. And we wished they had had a toaster/knife in room, talking to other guests they had also voiced how much difference a toaster would have made in rooms.

Mr Wonderful was lovely (Capt Andys Bar), and you could see he worked very hard and it was a pleasure he talked to us and made us feel welcome, as I felt a lot of staff didn't do this.
I felt a lot of the staff needed to smile more, make an effort and laugh, and interact with guests.
I feel the menu needs changing regularly, got sick of the same food/menu, the night meals for shows was terrible and expensive, we basically paid for our kid to eat and he refused much like us, we would just have a couple bites and be yuck, that was an expensive night for not much. The fire show evening show was great!!


The activities hut, the 2 young men in there were lovely and funny, coconut tree climbing was a great activity with these 2. Crab races was funny and entertaining.,

The night reception staff when we arrived were very welcoming and relaxed about everything. I enjoyed checking in. Supervisor for reception day time, always smiling always happy, and always helpful. Other day reception when I asked to hire a car, I was told they didn't do that, yet I had a pamphlet that stated ask the friendly reception staff to help? I then asked where a car hire place was, I got a shoulder shrug from the guy turned away. So we googled probably the most expensive place for car hire only to find out 10 mins later there was one directly across the road from the resort and they were cheap!, I was very frustrated! Also asked the same guy about something in town and he changed the subject and when I asked again he shrugged said he didn't know anything about it.

House keeping Fijian lady for room 110 was awesome, sweet and gave us a lot of info about the Island and supermarkets, markets etc. More than I got from reception, there only big sell was the Markets on a Saturday, which I wasn't impressed with as it was very expensive at the market.

I would stay again, the location sells the place big time for me. My son loved it, and had an awesome time snorkelling and swimming. I would recommend car hire on the island or you're stuck with the same food day in day out.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Frannie409
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 May 2014

It appears they have been reading the feedback left here as quite a few of the issues others mention on site seem to be addressed somewhat.

My thoughts are:
Most of the staff are nice, some seemed a little grumpy.
Service was mostly good with a couple of exceptions where once drinks weren't delivered but just left on the bar. Another time our food order wasn't placed and I needed to chase it up causing an even longer delay.

Menu needs to be refreshed more often or have a wider variety as eating the same stuff day in and day out isn't great. That said the food and Capt Andy's was tasty, but the other restaurants food was disappointing.

Some rooms still have small CRT type TV's yet some have better LCD types.

The resort has a wonderful location though, the beach and gardens are fantastic, though the location is a little removed from most of the attractions and restaurants, so renting a car or scooter I feel is a must. You only need a current NZ/Aus drivers license now, for car hire.

The Rarotongan comes close to be a great place to stay but just misses the mark by a small amount and really wouldn't take much to make it a great place. A little more spent on maintenance, entertainment and staff training would be a good start.

Overall, it's a bit too expensive for what's delivered, but would I stay again. Yes.

A special shout out to the people would make our stay enjoyable!
Mr Wonderful, for his smile and special service at Captain Andy's. Thanks mate! Great drumming too (pass that on to the rest of the band at the crab races :) ).
Marianne at reception for the never-ending smile.
The Fijian cleaning lady, who always brightened our room and days.
The two young guys at the activities hut, for the smiles and making me their favourite customer ;)

A couple of suggestions:
Put a pontoon off the beach for the kids to swim to and jump off. Fish love to hang out under these too.
The fountain rock should've had a water slide made into it.

Beats the Hilton (just down the road ;)

Room Tip: The Deluxe Beachside Suites are great, though expensive.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Robinson_Cruzo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2014

We stayed at the Rarotongan in what is now the Sancturary about 8 years ago. Unfortunately the Rarotongan has become somewhat tired since then. The location is absolutely fabulous, but the accomodation, and amenities now leave a lot to be desired. Much like other reviews, the staff were stretched with only a small number of guests.
On our last morning, despite the food being out for breakfast, there werent any staff. The security guard was clearing dishes.
There was a fire alarm in our block late at night. We evacuated to the assembly area, and there wasnt any staff there. They didnt move off the desk, and didnt appear concerned. The alarm was silenced and we were told it was ok to return to our units. Only then did I overhear the security guard getting the key to check the unoccupied unit where the alarm had activated.
Tropical breakfast was below expectations. Other guests were grumbling about food and service.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Geoff B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Aroa Beach hotels

Matamata, New Zealand
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2014

This was out third stay at the Rarotongan, yes we knew it was dated, we could accept that with having two primary school age girls with us. The Rarotongan has the best snorkeling, a lovely beach and outlook. The let down was the presentation and quality of food.......Breakfast was a joke, many resorts have a better breakfast buffet. The A LA Carte menu is ok, but the quality and presentation was not good. I don't know how the chefs could be proud about sending food out in the state that some of our meals were, especially when half the meal was missing as they didn't have the ingredients and not tell us or the staff. Cocktails changed daily. We ordered the same cocktail every day for 11 days and not one was the same, either really weak or really strong or completely different. The service situation was not as good as in the past either. We could wait for an hour for our drinks and meal. People walked out, but we had kids to feed. The Rarotongan, could not supply the local beer, considering the brewery was just down the road.

The Staff weren't as happy as they have been in the past, we noticed. The Rarotongan invites guests to a managers cocktail evenings. We went to three to find to managers never turned up at any one of them.

Many times we wanted to go snorkeling to find they didn't have enough equipment for the guests and had to go without (not many guests at the resort at the time).

So to end on a positive, we had a great family holiday, the beach, the fish were excellent! If you know it is going to be dated you will be fine.

Our recommendations would be to hire a car so you can travel out to other restraunts.

Room Tip: Beach side deluxe suite 100s or 200s
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tadpole21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2014 via mobile

When a tropical breakfast does not include fresh fruit and there appears to be a limited supply of crockery and cutlery you realise very quickly you have booked the wrong resort. Costly mistake. Be warned snorkels can only be hired for 3 hours..beach towels must be returned by 5:30.. If indeed you wait around long enough to get one. The resort was probably only 30% booked yet there were not enough snorkels for us on more than one occasion. Our air conditioner was not functioning properly on arrival and although we notified management on four different occasions e problem wasn't resolved...nor were we offered any form of consolation or room change. Service in the bar and restuarant was appalling..not because the staff were unfriendly or not working well on the contrary they were pleasant and doing their best but they appeared to be very short staffed. The attraction for this resort is their beach and access to marine reserve..however I would much prefer to stay somewhere else and travel to the beach...

Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank cwardies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
1 review
Reviewed 18 May 2014

We stayed at the Rarotongan 10 years ago in the area that is now known as the Santuary Cove.
We really enjoyed our stay. However on this trip we found it very disappointing. We were in Raro celebrating our daughters 40th birthday. So there was a group of us. Nothing had changed in 10 years. The rooms are in need of a good update and we also noticed that the rooms are not cleaned to a good standard. To us it seemed to be run on a shoestring. Always running out of things and cancelling shows as there was not enough numbers. The staff we very friendly but for what you pay and what you get just doesn't add up. We will go back to Raro but will definitely not stay at the Rarotonga Spa and resort.

Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Cullen1514
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

Property: The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa
Address: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 109
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience an iconic South Pacific resort, the Cook Islands' signature resort. 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 Aro'a Lagoon Marine Reserve (the resort's guided Night Snorkeling Tours are a special treat!). This all-tide lagoon is also perfect for stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking (both free!). For couples in love, there's a Personal Wedding Planner to create your dream tropical sunset beach wedding, right beside Aro'a Lagoon, the Lagoon of Love, set on the island's stunning southwest which enjoys both all-day sun and sizzling tropical sunsets. Experience all that's authentic about Rarotonga right in your absolute beachfront, full-service resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Rarotongan Beach Hotel Aroa Beach
The Rarotongan Beach Resort And Spa
Rarotongan Beach Resort Spa
The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa Rarotonga/Aroa Beach

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