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“I was very disappointed”

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Sunrise Beach Bungalows
Reviewed 14 September 2013

Booked this hotel for my honeymoon, i thought it was a good place to stay for location, near muri beach, and the price, very cheap for the area and for rarotonga in general.
I booked directly with the owner months before arrival, i pay 100 NZ$, one night deposit to guarantee everything and i wrote to the owner 1 week before my departure to be sure that everything was ok with my reservation and she told me YES! i organize like this: we arrived to rarotonga, one night there, next day to aitutaki island and we go back to this same place at the end, before departure until french polynesia.
When we arrived to the small airport of rarotonga she was waiting for us, everything was perfect, but in the car, while we were going to the bungalow, she told me that normally she was very organized but this time no, she was in wrong, she was booked more bungalow and i don't have my bungalow for this night!!! This is my honeymoon, please, i said to her, don't ruin my first stay in cook island please.
So, she told me that everything will be fine, because she reserved another hotel for us, no matters if it cost more, she put the difference, to apologize. this is what she told me.
Well, i was happy that everything was fine, she took the the saturday market in the main city, and we went back to her property in the afternoon. She drove us to the hotel that she reserved for my honeymoon: a dirty and disgusting place near avarua; horrible!!!! she told me that this is the only place that she can find, because everything was full.

Just because i was very very angry with her ad i didn't trust her anymore, we went out from this dirty place, until the centre, i called with public telephone another hotel and it had another available room for us, we spent a lot but it doesnt' matter, nobody can destroy my honeymoon.
we've been to this hotel and stay very well. i was very very disappointed with the owner of sunrise bungalow, also because i'm not believe that she try to solve the situation, this is what i think.
Next day we had the flight to aitutaki island, she offers her help to apology again, she told me that in the morning she took us to muri beach, then she bring us to the airport. I accepted this time but she've never arrived to the hotel to bring us to muri and the airport. I took a taxi, 20 NZD, but it doesn't matters again.
It was the first and i hope the lonely time that i had an horrible experience in one hotel, many years of travelling and it was the worst experience that i have ever had with an owner , i don't know why, but she really was bad with us!!!!!
The problem was that we had to sleep again in this property after aitutaki.. the owner wasn't here, she was in NZ and everything was fine this second time.
They brang us to the room, the room was very nice, just in front to the ocean, to apologize for the bad experience, in the fridge milk, marmelade for breakfast and a bootle of wine to apologize again but i can't excuse what this happened, i'm sorry but i only put 1 star rank to this hotel and i've never go there again even if the room is very nice, the kitchen is fully equipped and we are near muri beach ( 3 km walking)

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank marinapotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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116 - 122 of 217 reviews

Reviewed 11 August 2013

Stayed with a friend and my 4 month old baby. Was welcomed at the airport and transferred to our accommodation the cot was made for baby so very comfortable. Very homely place nothing was to much trouble. Was sad to leave after our 8 days.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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Thank huntlygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2013

We stopped off in Raro on our way to New Zealand. Caryn offered to pick us up at the airport including my golf clubs! This is typical of both her and Brian, nothing is too much trouble for them.

Let's get this straight from the start, this is Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, an idilic setting in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. We booked an Ocean front Bungalow and that is exactly what we got. The accommodation was clean and tidy, Caryn made sure we were happy once we had moved in, double checking that we had everything we needed.

The Bungalows are just a few meters from the waters edge looking out to the coral reef and the constant wash of the breaking waves.

So the location and accommodation were spot on, a short walk to Muri Beach where you can find cafes and places to eat or get a great flat white coffee made this a fantastic place for our trip.

I have looked at a couple of the negative reviews which are very unfair to Brian and Caryn. They work extremely hard to accommodate all the needs of their clients. It must be remembered this is the Cook Islands, not Monte Carlo! Not that there is anything wrong with either location, (yes I have been to both) except they are different. My preference is Sunrise every time. If you want all the glitz of a pretentious 5 star hotel you have booked the wrong location. This is a fantastic place, but you have to accept you are on a 'desert island' with limited access to some of the refinement you may be used to.

Caryn makes up for the inevitable lack of facilities with a wonderful attitude which will ensure your stay is thoroughly enjoyable. The Bungalows may be considered basic, but you are on holiday, so eating out or getting a take-away is what you should be doing rather than slaving over a hot stove. Perhaps that is why there isn't one!!

The Sunrise Bungalows are exactly what they say they are, a wonderful retreat right on the waters edge, but don't expect 5 star Monte Carlo glitz, your in the wrong place.

One final observation, which sums up both Brian and Caryn, was when they offered us the use of their spare car. Well it was, how can I put this politely? "Functional" sorry Caryn! (no Rolls Royces on Rarotonga), but it helped us get about on several occasions bearing the 30 mph speed limit and about 50 minutes to circumnavigate the island, a nice gesture.

Caryn and Brian will do their utmost to make you feel at home and have an enjoyable stay, genuine, honest, hard working hosts.

Thank you, Ken and Pam

Room Tip: go for the beach bungalows
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank boybeorge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2013

we stayed with Caryn, for 3 weeks in July 2013, we had the most wonderful time, and Caryn went out of her way to make our stay a great experience.
The property is very pretty and the grounds and swimming pool absolutely fantastic.
Our room was very neat and clean and serviced every three days.

Room Tip: depend what you like, the beach front is lovely but we prefferred no 6 which is a garden bungalow wh...
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank graza_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2013

We really enjoyed our stay, the view...waking up to the ocean right outside...perfect. The accommodation is basic but clean and the rates are very reasonable. Caryn and Brian who run the place are very helpful and bend over backwards to help make your holiday a good one. They offer a free pick up service from the airport and for us our out gong flight was not until the early hours of the morning so when we checked out they offered that since the room we had been using was available until the next day we could use the room for the day at no charge. That the sort of people they are in fact there info pack in the rooms says they only have one rule...ASK...and that is how we found them to be. The location is great too, if you have transport it is 2min from muri beach but even if you don't it is an easy walk to muri and the restaurants/cafes and of coarse the beautiful beach.
We loved it and would happily return and recommend others to go and stay.
Looking at some of the other reviews I notice there has been some not so happy customers but maybe their problems have been due to unclear communication or maybe they were expecting 4star service, this is basic, clean, well priced accommodation.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jenny G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2013

What a delightful stay with a local person who went out of her way to ensure we made the most of Rarotonga. Her local knowledge was invaluable. She made sure we got the best value rental car deal and found the kind of restaurants we preferred.. Being met and delivered to and from the airport was such a plus. Elizabeth

Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank William3379
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2013

We had 8 days at Sunrise in June this year, and I want to go back.
Caryn and Brian made every effort to look after us without ever being intrusive.
Our bungalow was perfect for us; it isn't five star, but neither are the prices. There is everything that you need for a comfortable, relaxing stay. In fact, you could do a lot worse than just sit on your deck with a drink (G&T for us) & watch the waves break over the reef 100 metres out.
It's only a 15 minute walk into Muri, but far enough away that you won't have people wandering through your view. The local bus is a good option if you're not in a hurry, and you'll meet the locals coming & going.
The beach out front is not suitable for swimming, but with a pair of reef shoes you can walk right out to the reef, where the locals like to fish.
Don't forget to call in to the Moorings Cafe at Avana Harbour, just off the road into Muri, for the best fish sandwich you will ever eat.
All in all, pretty well perfect. We loved it.

Room Tip: I think we had Bungalow #3. It's the closest to the beach, so a little more private.
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Dick T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sunrise Beach Bungalows

Address: Main Rd, Sunrise Beach, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 77 Speciality Lodging in Rarotonga
Price Range: £60 - £139 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sunrise Beach Bungalows 3*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Absolute oceanfront ocean and garden bungalows and 2 bedroom family house.9m from Muri Lagoon fully self catering bring yourselves and your bagsset in 4800 square metres of sand and garden privateswimming pool gas bbeque tour desk complimentary snokelling equipmentideal for groups families and couples ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunrise Beach Bungalows Hotel Rarotonga

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