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The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa
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Reviews (1,195)
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Reviewed 30 June 2010

We travelled to the Rarotongan for Christmas, in part to show the kids the international dateline as we had our first Christmas day in New Zealand and the second one in the Cook Islands. The resort is dated and in dire need of an upgrade, but in a lovely spot. The lagoon is great for the kids, the two eldest learnt to snorkel in the waste deep water with heaps of fish. The rooms are pokey and the two bedroom option was difficult for a family of 5.
The thing that annoyed us greatly was the hotel places a surcharge on all its meals on public holidays. You can’t eat out of the resort because everything else is closed. Everything also closes on a Sunday. You need to be aware of this because the island really does just stop n a Sunday!
They were building a new pool while we were there, it looked nice however will become an adults only space I understand.
The staff were not as friendly as other Pacific Islands we have been to.
We transferred up to the Rarotongan’s sister property in Aitutaki just before New Year. We booked everything including internal flights through the Rarotongan. They checked us out early morning and flew us to Aitutaki on an early flight only to arrive and find our rooms weren’t ready for 4 hours! We expected they would coordinate a midday flight to best manage our holiday flow, it seemed their operational requirements were put ahead of our experience.
Lovely place, but not up to other Pacific Island standards in terms of customer focus. We would return, but only as a couple not as a family.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank PacificTravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2010

We had a good time at the Rarotongan and would return if we go back to the Cook Islands. Compared to other properties there, it did seem like good value and the location was fantastic- the beach perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and was very kid friendly. If I had a critique it would be that the Rarotongan is not as glamorous and high-end as its marketing might suggest and does not compare to similarly-priced resorts in places like Hawaii. Having said that- there was a kind of authentic, retro charm to the Rarotongan (and the Cook Islands). They both seemed like what Hawaii and similar places must have been like back in the 50s. If you're not OK with that and want the aesthetic and creature comforts of a modern high-end resort you might be disappointed.

The room was a bit tired and run-down, but was comfortable, clean and had everything we needed. We had one of the rooms directly on the beach with a sundeck up on the roof. Was great for the kids and meant they could nap inside while we still got to enjoy the beach.

Staff were all helpful. Some were more friendly than others. The front desk staff initially seemed aloof and indifferent to our requests, but we later realized that it was probably a cultural difference. Ultimately, all of our requests were dealt with professionally and to our satisfaction. They did a great job arranging for a late-late check out for us.

The new baby club was fantastic! Although it's not free like the kids' club, it allowed us to have several hours of kid-free time without worry and without the hassle of arranging for a babysitter.

The resort had lots of activities each day. Although we didn't feel the need to do any of them, it was nice to see the effort they went to to ensure there was always something going on. They also had a good collection of snorkeling gear and other equipment.

Pool was small and quite cold. But it was attractive and there were plenty of kids who didn't seem to mind the cold! If you're a pool person, it might be disappointing. (With such a gorgeous ocean the pool doesn't really matter though.)

Food is OK- think burgers and fish & chips. Have to admit that it got really old around day three. If you can, I suggest leaving the resort for some meals. (We only ate at the bar-type restaurant, the other one might have had better food.)

All in all a nice spot in a beautiful location.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank NZLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2010

We booked into the Rarotongan Sanctuary for the balance of our holidays - what a great facility - it's quite new, all rooms have absolute beach frontage to a private section of the beach. Well designed and appointed rooms. There is also an "adults only" pool, bar, restaurant and Reception area exclusively for Sanctuary guests.

Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
Thank Muzando
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2010

Stayed at the Rarotongan Beach Resort from 11th -18th June with my partner and another couple. The complimentary breakfast as part on the package deal was great, better than some other places I've stayed at in Raro. The beachfront rooms are due for a makeover specially the bathrooms. As to be expected with large resorts not everything is outstanding, the dinner buffets were average and watch out for the weddings which can sometimes be 3 or more days in a row. The staff move guests from parts of the beach to accomodate the wedding party and their guests. The resort is located on the best beach which is great for snorkling and there was always plenty of kayaks and flippers available. The Rarotongan is great to stay at if travelling with others but there are also nicer places on the island that are more modern and at a smaller scale.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank islandmoka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2010

Very good, amazing island show including a reveal of a traditional Umo,buffet, string band and hula dancers.
$65pp but doesn't include pick up unlike other island shows. Speaks for itself as they don;t need to.

Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
Thank ClaireC1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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