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“Stunning location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas

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Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Titikaveka, Cook Islands   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 hotels in Titikaveka
Auckland
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Stunning location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

My husband and I stayed here in January 2013, it being our second trip to Raro. The beach and location of Moana Sands is amazing, it's like your own private beach. We had a ground room, perfect to just step out on to the sand. The room was tidy and cleaned really well, the only thing we didn't like we're the bathrooms they were quite old, didn't like the shower or tiles at all. We thought that even though this hotel was in need of some work to freshen it up, the amazing beach and private location made it awesome for us. We found snorkelling here much better than down at Muri Beach, the fish were amazing and all around you as soon as you step into the water. Staff were friendly and helpful, James in reception was awesome. There is a restaurant attached, it was ok but have been to many better ones on the island. The breakfast was very average, but I guess you'd expect that for a contential breakfast included in the price of accommodation. Two things we found were that people that were not guests at Moana Sands were there quite a bit visiting friends who were staying there as they were getting married. We were bombarded with noisy kids and all their family who used all the gear and pretty much took over on several occasions this wasn't peaceful. So it should be for guests only. Also, on a few of the days we were woken early, at around 7am or earlier to the cleaners sweeping outside the doors, this was very annoying. (This is why I'm saying average rating for sleep quality, and there was also a loud fridge humming sometimes in the room and those noisy friends of the guests especially the kids woke us early). Over all we had an awesome time in Raro and loved this part of the beach. When those other people were not there it was bliss sitting outside on the patio reading and looking out to the lagoon. The location alone would make us stay there again.

Room Tip: Ground units are great to run out and have a swim being only metres from the lagoon.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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137 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Plymouth, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

We spent 7 nights here and loved it. We had an upstairs room which was very large with everything that you would need, including a nice galley area for cooking if required. It was spotlessly clean, clean towels every day including beach towels. Free use of canoe and mask and snorkel. Bus stop right outside the door. We had tropical breakfast included in the stay which was excellent. Staff really helpful and pleasant. Lovely restaurant on the beach. Would recommend to anyone.

Room Tip: Upstairs rooms are large with balcony facing lagoon. Downstairs opens straight out onto the beach.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

Moana Sands Hotel is situated on the best beach area of the island. The sand is white powder and the outlying reef prevents the large waves and their undertow from reaching shore and the water is clear enough to see the various fish around the smaller corals dotting the area. The staff, from the receptionists to the housekeepers and maintenance people, are all very friendly AND helpful. They bring extra touches to the hotel such as fresh flowers, raking the beach and calling local business for us, etc. Upon arrival, at midnight, we were greeted by a tired but attentive staff with a glass of cold juice. It sounds like so little but it was just the “lift” needed. The hotel’s association with the Sands restaurant is also a great asset because of the great refined cuisine and especially the excellent service given by the manager/waitress, morning and night. Her attention to detail is amazing and did not go unnoticed.

However, some drawbacks, little and large, should be looked into:

· The kitchen cooking facility was an electric frying pan, there are no kitchen knives, and the milk in fridge was outdated by 2 weeks.

· The water to our 3rd floor room was missing 4 times within our 7-day stay for approximately 20 minutes at supper time and in the morning.

· The lounging chairs on the beach were limited to 11 only even though there were potentially three times the number of guests. Additionally, the pads on them needed to be replaced.

· The outdoor foot/shower taps were impossible to open.

· Some of the plugs in the room were not working, light bulbs were burnt and the DVD player was not connected and the remote was not working.

We left the Moana Sands with a disappointment that such a POTENTIALLY beautiful hotel has been neglected; with just a little bit of investment, it could be much better. We will not be staying there during our next visits to Rarotonga.

Room Tip: The third floor offers the best view, as the windows do not have security screens, and the patio doo...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whangarei, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

We stayed at the villas from the 19th to 29th January, we had a 2 bedroom villa ground level,
This was our 3rd holiday in Rarotonga , We normally stayed at pacific resort, but lucky for us they were fully booked, So we thought we would try Moans sands beachfront villas , What a great place to stay , We arrived at 12.30 am so was dark outside, inside was very spacious , our teenage daughter was delighted with her room with her own ensuite,
The villa had nice tiled floors with carpet in lounge area, kitchen was fully equipped, our room with it's own ensuite was very well decorated and clean , when the sun came up , we looked out to the lagoon , open the sliding door and are only 20 paces from the water ,
The staff were very happy and very helpful, nothing was a problem .
Shop is across the road and restaurant s a short walk down road both ways , very nice cafe next door,
The swimming is very safe and great snorkling with the coral which are full of coloured fish .
We will be staying here again next time we are in Rarotonga .
We had problems with our flights and the manager was very helpful spending half day sorting flights on our behalf, Thanks Ngawai.

Room Tip: Try to get lower level rooms as you can walk out the sliding door straight on to the beach.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

The four us (two couples) enjoyed our stay at the villa's and were very pleased with the cheerful service. We arrived well after midnight but found one of the bed's appeared unchanged. I've stayed at many places and appreciate that oversights occur so it's the putting right that counts, and though I expected my 1:30am call to be a difficult one the night service guy (whose name I don't recall) answered immediately, resolved the problem very quickly and gave us a cafe voucher for the inconvenience :-)

The location is pleasant and the accommodation tidy, with two exceptions: the higher surfaces were dusty (my height challenged wife did not notice this) and the shower had some mould. However I would stay again.

A benefit of the Villas is that they have no attached restaurant (there are plenty close enough by scooter) or pool or bar so they are peaceful. Just a small sandy yard then the beach. Adjacent to them is a convenience store, a takeaway (burgers, f&c) and a nice cafe, so very handy.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

The hotel photos makes it looks better than it actually was....little bit run down and in need of maintenance and also i think the room need updating!

There are two Moana Sands so maybe the other hotel rooms better.

The beach is beautiful....food at hotel not good so only ate there once!

No bar or snacks during day while we were there!

Would choose another hotel if we return to the island!

James on reception was great and very helpful....thank you

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MS_Management, General Manager at Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Kia Orana

Thank you for choosing to stay at Moana Sands, I'm sorry to hear that your expectations were not meet during your recent stay.
I truly appreciate your feedback on the property, the restaurant & the service received.
It's only through this honest feedback that we can ensure guest satisfaction now & in the future.

Kia Manuia & Regards

Ngawai Walden
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Yorkshire
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

We enjoyed our 5 night stay at this south facing small hotel which is located directly on the picturesque beach with access to the calm and beautiful waters of the lagoon. The spacious and clean rooms have small kitchenettes. The furniture and decor of the hotel is however rather tired looking and in need of refurbishment, admittably typical of much of the Cook Islands properties, Full length windows in our room opened out on to a patio with 2 chairs and immediate access to the beach and sea. 2nd & 3rd floor rooms have balcomies instead.
The connected Sands restaurant, owned independently from the hotel, provides a continetal breakfast (included in the room price) and evening meals. The breakfast was somewhat disapointing with a limited and poor quality selection of fruit, cerials and toast. Service here was mixed - for example, on market day (Saturday) the restaurant was closed for breakfast and a breafast tray delivered to some rooms the night before. For an unknown reason they missed a number of rooms (there was no more than 8 occupied) although remedial action was taken the next day to obtain a delayed breafast tray, Our one evening meal in Sands was excellent with a table beside the beach to watch the sunset and receive equally good food and service. However others in the hotel reported that the restaurant service was markedly poor on other nights.
There are few restaurants in easy walking distance other than the Little Polynesian next door.. We recommend using the free pick up and return service offered by the excellent Vaima restaurant or taking the bus into the main town.
The front desk is only manned during the day and to greet late arrivals. Particualr mention should be made of the most helpful and charming James for whom no task was too much trouble.
Overall the beachfront location and facilities cannot be faulted but feel the hotel should be refurbished and improvements made to the continental brekfast,

Room Tip: Choose ground floor rooms for direct access to beach and sea
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MS_Management, General Manager at Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Kia Orana & Thank you for your feedback.

I appreciate your honest views on the property, your positive feedback on James guest services & also your disappointment in breakfast. I am glad that the missed breakfast tray was remedy quickly but appreciate that this need not to have happened. I have taken your feedback about the breakfast selection up with the owners of the restaurant to ensure that substance is maintained all the time in the variety offered.

Again thank you for your review

Kia Manuia & Regards

Ngawai Walden
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas

Also Known As:
Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel And Villas
Moana Sands Beachfront Titikaveka
Hotel Moana Sands Beachfront
Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas Rarotonga, Cook Islands - Titikaveka
Address: Titikaveka, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Titikaveka
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 hotels in Titikaveka
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel is located at Titikaveka on the southern coast of the island. There are six ground floor beachfront studios, six first floor beachfront studios & five top floor deluxe beachfront studios. We have four sets of interconnecting rooms (two on ground floor & two on first floor). All rooms are ABSULOTE beachfront, each with its own private balcony. Snorkelling equipment, Kayaks & beach towels are complimentary to guests. All rooms have a small kitchenette, LCD TV’s with SKY, air-conditioning & are all non-smoking. We have a hotel BBQ on the beach that is available for guests to use otherwise The Pawpaw Patch Restaurant is open daily for Breakfast & Dinner, seven days a week.Moana Sands Beachfront Villas are located at Vaimaanga, a five mins drive away from Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel. There are six villas; three on the ground floor & three upstairs. Each villa has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. All villas are ABSOLUTE beachfront, each with its own patio or balcony, Modern kitchen, Spacious open-plan lounge/dining, TV/DVD/Music System/ipod dock/Sky TV/Wifi internet. Guests have access to complimentary snorkelling gear, kayaks & beach towels. Units are fully serviced six days per week & guests are provided with a Complimentary breakfast starter pack on arrival. A BBQ on the beach is available for guests to use. All villas are air-conditioned and non-smoking. ... more   less 
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