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“Value for money just in the beach front location” 5 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
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Value for money just in the beach front location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2009

Just a quick review. Having been to Rarotonga 4 times I have stayed twice at Moana Sands. The location is fantastic and for beachfront price you can't beat it. Moana score 10/10 for location and value for money. The accomodation can also be upgraded by booking the the third foor which has better furniture/space facilities etc. The second and first floor are fine though and get a 3 star rating. When I go on holiday I like to look out over beach and ocean and you are guaranteed of that whatever room you book. I found the staff especially the mangeress very helpful and friendly. The entrance foyer could do with a makeover but not a big concern for me. The Paw Paw patch is a good restaurant especially enjoyed the $30 buffet barbecue night on a Sunday the day we arrived.
Other great places to eat were , Tamarind House 5/5 and CrownBeach Resort 5/5
For cheap but great value for money also Club Raro has a a lot to offer. I was impressed since I had read a lot of bad reviews. If you have a bigger budget and want higher standards you could also look at Crown Beach Resort and The Little Poynesian.

Rarotonga the best of the all the tropical islands I have visited, make sure hire a scooter or car and visit the resorts for a drink or meal:)

Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
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142 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (43)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2009

This was the second time I've travelled to the Cook Islands... and I have to say that it did not disappoint, which was largely due to the fact that we stayed at Moana Sands! It's a lovely small hotel right on a gorgeous beach... you just couldn't get a better view first thing in the morning. The rooms were clean and the cleaning staff would add small touches like a flower on your pillow each day. We spent most of our time on the lovely white sandy beach on our doorstep, or at the Pawpaw Patch restaurant - divine food! Oh, and make sure you take advantage of the BBQ - it's a must. The water was crystal blue and snorkeling couldn't have been better! We even saw a turtle! The staff were friendly and always smiling and willing to help, in particular the manager was happy to go out of her way to give us ideas and suggestions for our time on Rarotonga - like the fantastic Saturday market! We really didn't need to go anywhere else... Moana Sands had everything.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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castlegar, BC
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2009

My husband, daughter and I just returned from a 3 week stay in the Cook Islands. We stayed in three different locations, with the Moana Sands being the last place for us to stay. I had picked this hotel due to the fact that we could do some of our own cooking and that it was supposed to have great snorkeling. What a disappointment it was. First of all, our transfer to the Moana was made extremely difficult as the bus company had no record of us already pre-paying for our ride to the hotel. After much frustration, we finally made it to the Moana Sands. But there was no one there to meet us! No chilled juice for us! Apparently the office hours are only for a short while in the morning and if you arrive in the afternoon the only person there will be is the cleaning lady, who doesn't seem to understand English very well and has no clue about any hotel policy. The room we were given was very dated and shabby. The toilet barely flushed and the only way to cook was an electric fry pan and ancient microwave. We opened the tiny fridge and a gecko jumped out at us. Other than that there was a tetra pack of milk in there that expired in 2003! I did like the view from our room but that was about it. The beds were very uncomfortable and the floor was extremely greasy feeling. There were no little touches like flowers anywhere, and the walls were painted gray. Very dreary. We were also disappointed in the fact that the Pawpaw Patch restaurant was closed for 2 weeks. There really isn't anywhere else to eat and taking a bus to get a meal all the time was tiring. We eventually had to rent a car which made our last week bearable as we could escape the Moana Sands and spend the day somewhere nice. We were shocked at how few fish there were in the area, and how cloudy the water was. Not good visibility at all. The sand is quite silty there and I'm sure this has something to do with it. Also, a lot of locals fish this area, and that probably accounts for the lack of fish. At the previous place we stayed the snorkeling was awesome, with schools of beautiful fish, so we could tell the difference!
Another problem we had was with the breakfast "buffet". A little fruit, bread and cereal. A very poor selection, and we were always ordering off the menu for extras. We also were never given breakfast vouchers when we arrived and trying to get our breakfast, with no hotel staff present, due to their lack of office hours, was again very difficult. We loved Rarotonga, but we would never recommend this hotel to anyone! It was overpriced, understaffed ,loud, and very dated. I'm surprised at all the good comments written about this hotel as everyone we talked to who were staying there at the same time of us seemed to feel the same way, and were also very disappointed. If you are looking for a beautiful place for a holiday, the Cook Islands are wonderful, but I would never stay at the Moana Sands again!

  • Liked — the viwe from the balcony
  • Disliked — everything else about the hotel
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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West Mids, UK
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2008

This hotel was in a pretty good location and was right on the beach front, there was some good snorkelling straight off the beach.

The room itself looked a bit dated and I feel not quite value for money considering the £120 per night we paid – you are definitely paying for the location.

The service was also pretty lack lustre and the breakfast appalling – the choice was a few cereals and toast with a bowl of tinned fruit and that was it. Now I’ve had many of continental breakfasts but none quite as poor as this one, I think they used the cheapest ingredients possible. Quite a contrast to the dinner we had in the Paw Paw Patch restaurant the night before – which was excellent. Definitely make sure you book a table though as it was very busy the night we were there.

We also had a fabulous meal at the Little Polynesian next door, which looked like paradise, I’m sure the rooms here would have been considerably more expensive.

  • Liked — Location.
  • Disliked — Poor breaksfast.
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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dorset
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2008

We stayed at the Moana Sands for 4 days in December 2008 and loved it. The location is exactly as described - beachfront, and the view from the room was perfect - a white sand beach, palm trees, - even sunsets! We spent a lot of time sitting on the balcony and a fair bit paddling around in the kayaks.

The room was very clean and kept that way by the friendly cheerful housestaff. The staff on reception were as helpful as possible, booking tickets and transfers for us. We had a couple of little hiccups - mainly to do with the transfers from the airport which we'd booked through the hotel - and the bus driver didn't seem to have a record of our names and since we'd booked direct we didn't have a transfer voucher like the others. However this was soon sorted out - he decided to take us anyway! This really for us sums up the attitude of the people in the Cook Islands - they're happy, friendly people and they like tourists. It's a wonderful beautiful place.

  • Liked — The location - right on the beach, with a wonderful view of the reef.
  • Disliked — There wasn't anything we disliked really.
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Lodz, Poland
Top Contributor
517 reviews 517 reviews
221 hotel reviews
Reviews in 200 cities Reviews in 200 cities
297 helpful votes 297 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2008

We have spent in the Moana Sands four days, after three day stay in Ambala Garden Lodge.
We reserved the ground floor apartment with small kichen annex.
Our stay was perfect. The service was excellent, especially cleaning up of our room and tiding the sand in the front of our tarrace.
The view from our room was unforgettable. The best time, we had, they were early mornings and the time befor dinner, when the beach was almost empty.
Compering to the Muri Beach, we were using before, the shore in Titikaveka is much more atractiv, clean with stunning reef waves. It was fantastic to feed every morning the fishes, just few meters from our room
The kayaks, deckchairs and snorkling gear are free avaiable for the hotel guests.
The Restaurant Pawpaw Patch, in spite of other excellent opinions, was slightly dissapointing for us.
The breakfasts were monnotous and also for dinner we preffered much more the gorgeous Tamarind House in Avarua.
However, in the frame of our trip to the French Polynesia and Cook Islands, the Moana Sands Hotel seems to us as the best place in the whole itinerary.

  • Liked — stunning lagoon view
  • Disliked — breakfast
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Oswestry, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2008

Unfortunately a rather disappointing stay at what is really a two star guest house at most. We had a number of issues:

- Two single beds pushed together which were very soft and uncomfortable.

- Unfriendly staff which includes who we thought was the manager. A couple of times they were just plain rude - when they were there that is. Much of the time the reception is not manned at all.

- Reception didn't even have a toilet for guests to use, I was directed to use the staff bathroom (and I mean bathroom).

- Noisy restaurant kitchen which is right next door to some of the rooms (in particular ours).

- Basic, cheap furnishings.

- Limited breakfast and do not expect to even be able to get a drink through the day. The restaurant is a separate entity to the hotel and only open from 8:00-10:30 and 18:00-22:00 approx. The food was pretty good.

- We found a live cockroach in the bed one morning.

- Our room was cleaned twice for a stay from Saturday night to Thursday morning. I asked if the room was going to be cleaned on Tuesday morning and was told, 'yes'. No apology.

On the plus side, which I'm afraid there was only one, the beach is probably the best beach we saw on the island and the 'guesthouse' is directly on it. Make sure you have a car or moped though as everything else is a bit of a distance away.

  • Liked — Beach
  • Disliked — Everything else!
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas

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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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

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