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“Perfection in Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sea Change Villas

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Sea Change Villas
4.5 of 5 Villa   |   Main Road, Titikaveka, Titikaveka 0000, Cook Islands   |  
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Stay 7 Pay 5
London, UK
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Perfection in Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2008

We recently got married on Rarotonga, and our wedding planner (Andrea at Wedded Bliss) recommended Sea Change Villas to us. We are so pleased we took her advice, as we were delighted with her recommendation. We stayed in one of the beach front villas, and they are absolutely beautiful. Spacious, luxurious, with gorgeous private decks and a pool overlooking the lagoon. Deb and Charlie, the owners, were excellent, and really went the extra mile to ensure everything went smoothly. We held the ceremony on the beach in front of the villas, and it was the perfect location for our special day.

  • Liked — Setting, Owners (thanks Deb and Charlie!), Attention to detail
  • Stayed May 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
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540 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (107)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2008

We had a lovely stay at Sea Change Villa. Charlie, Deb and Hina were helpful in every possible way. The Villas were beautiful and maintained perfectly.

  • Liked — Service and the stardard of luxury.
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, WA
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2008

In addition to the exceptional ammenities featured in the bungalow one of the highlights of our stay was the personal interaction with hosts Deb and Charlie. The beachfront bungalow in itself was clean, beatutiful and modern. It was actually so pleasant that we skipped many planned activities just so we could relax around the property.

  • Liked — Deb & Charlie, Modern/Clean Bungalow, Private Pool
  • Disliked — No dislikes
  • Stayed May 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taunton, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2008

We arrived at our Beach Front Villa at Sea Change after staying at Etu Moana for 16 days. Our expectations after staying at such a prestigious resort like Etu Moana was very high and despite the appalling weather on Rarotonga on our arrival, our villa was superb. Even my new wife Hayley shed tears with the view of the interior of the villa.
Everything you could imagine was catered for, including even a dishwasher and a laundry room. One aspect of these villas is the clever use of the electricity supply.
Attached to your key was a card that you had to push into a slot, situated inside adjacent to the entrance door. Once this was done, it activated all of your villas electricity supply to everything. When you took it out to vacate your villa, only the power to essential equipment was maintained. This resulted in electricity savings on a big scale on what is, a very expensive commodity on Rarotonga.

The four poster bed was really firm and comfortable with an overhead fan to help circulate the air. All in all, there were three fans in the villa, the others being located in the kitchen and living room areas. These, combined with the louvered window vents, made the need for the installed air conditioning a non necessity, as the air flowed throughout the villa keeping it really cool.
The two piece living room suite was so relaxing and comfy. Our four day stay on Rarotonga was unfortunately marred with three days of continuous heavy rain, so we regularly used the seating area to watch one or two of the extensive DVD collections that Sea Change has on offer.

Sea Change is situated adjacent to a large stream, which stems from the mountains above. Because of the heavy rain that we experienced, this stream becomes a torrent and subsequently brings down from the mountains loads of debris and brown coloured water, which amasses on the beachfront area in front of the beachfront villas. This brown water and debris can remain for some time until the ocean washes it away with the tides. Apparently, the name of the resort, Sea Change, is derived from the ever changing beach area caused by the sea changing it.
Having said that, we felt that the beach immediately in front of our villa was strewn with bottles and rubbish, including broken glass! We felt that the job of daily raking the beach in front of the complex would not be a real hardship as they do at other resorts. This would make the beach a much more pleasing place to see and use.

Soon after our arrival we noticed one or two of the light bulbs not working. One important one was the outside entrance gate to our villa, which is activated by a sensor. To gain entry, you have to use your key, and we had a real job in the dark seeing where we were going, not to mention inserting the key in the hole. Hayley had to use her cigarette lighter for us to see.
On top of that, our swimming pool illumination light did not work and the light which illuminated the pathway to the beach was not working either.
These faults were reported to Charlie, who negatively replied why do we want to go swimming at night and the gate light was working earlier!
We felt that this response was not becoming of what is a high end resort. If we wish to go swimming at night, that is our concern and nobody else’s. After all, we were only reporting genuine faults.
Unfortunately, this marred what is a lovely resort. We hasten to say that the lights were quickly fixed by the evening.

Overall, Sea Change is very nice. What we saw of the plantation villa complex across the road was very impressive, with lovely garden areas with a small stream flowing in between.
Perhaps the renewal of the table and chairs on our decking area would be a plus. These were very weather worn and in urgent need of updating.
The privacy of your villa was a real plus as we never saw any of the neighbours. You simply felt totally isolated.
The lagoon in front of Sea Change was really full of Coral Heads and fish. In fact even better than the so called famous Fruits of Rarotonga, which we felt was a disappointment.
We made the most of it and simply waded in the pouring rain exploring the lovely sea life.

We enjoyed our stay at Sea Change, with the lovely help of Deb, who was a gem at recommendations of where to eat and asked how everything went for future use to pass on to other guests.
We’re sure anyone who stays here will not be disappointed.

  • Liked — Total Privacy
  • Disliked — Little problems arising with negative responses
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laguna Beach, CA, USA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2008

We just concluded a very soggy six-day/five night stay at Sea Change. However, weather aside; we echo what many others have said about Sea Change.

We arrived at 0600 with a luxury private car waiting for us. The driver was polite and friendly and whisked us to SC in about 20 minutes. Our beachfront one-bedroom villa was very spacious and well appointed. Even though the three beachfront villas were adjoining, the privacy afforded was very good. At no time did we hear (or see) our neighbours. The view from the balcony was great – the entire lagoon with double-overhead sets crashing in on the outer reef. The view from the lagoon (looking back at SC and the cloud-shrouded volcanic/mountain ridges) was stupendous and for us ranked second only to a view we had of the Arenal volcano while in Costa Rica.

Deb and Charlie and Robyn (sp?) were very pleasant, sincere and friendly. They do, as others have mentioned, provide personalized concierge services to a degree we have never experienced anywhere else in the world.

The kayaking and snorkeling right in front of the villas was phenomenal and just as good as the famous ‘fruits of rarotonga’ which we also snorkeled on one of our sunny days. Privacy was not a concern as there were no more than 5-10 people in the water as far as they eye could see. On a few occasions, we were the only ones in the Titikaveka lagoon at all! The water in front of SC is transparent-aqua blue with some sea cucumbers; just take care to step around them as they keep the lagoon’s waters so pristine. Snorkeling is best at high-tide and toward the outer reef.

Only about a kilometer walk to the left (as you face the ocean) is a bit nicer beach with a tad bit better snorkeling. We recommend you venture up and down Titikaveka and not limit yourself to the lagoon in front of SC. **BTW, don’t miss Saltwater café’s cappuccinos and vanilla-coconut pancakes.

You won’t see brightly colored corals in the Titikaveka lagoon, but you’ll see zillions of colorful (and big) fish and even a few eels. The coral seems to be recovering so please take care not to step on or break the newly forming intermitent yellow and purple corals you will see toward the inside edge of the reef.

Since they’re heading into the winter season, you may want to bring a spring suit (surfing) in case you or your mate has a tendency to get chilly in the water. SC does have a few of these, but they are all men’s large sizes. They also had reef shoes available too, but you may want to bring your own. Also, we much preferred Titikaveka over Muri Lagoon.

We did the day trip to Aitutaki and the snorkeling was outstanding. The bed of the lagoon seems to be volcanic ash and the visibility under water far exceeded the visibility above water in LA. Although the start of the Aitutaki trip was rainy, it turned out to be a beautifully sunny day. The tour stopped at the ‘survivor’ island, and then a snorkeling spot in the middle of the lagoon and finally one foot island. Truthfully, most everyone on board the lagoon cruise (8 couples) wished they had forgone both ‘survivor’ island and one foot island and stuck to just snorkeling all day. We enjoyed the snorkeling so much in the Aitutaki lagoon we asked Deb to book us a return trip to Aitutaki later in the week with a private snorkeling boat. She did this to the tune of about 1100 NZD. Unfortunately we cancelled after initial reports that Aitutaki was rainy that day (which to our dismay it turned out sunny). Something you may want to consider as this option was only 250NZD more than the canned day tour.

Other than that, we rented a scooter for 90NZD the entire week. Got soaking wet several times. Charlie took us to the rental place and Robyn dropped us off – again, an example of the personalized service you get from them.

We ate at Paw Paw Patch, Pacific Resort, Yellow Hibiscus, Vaima and Flame Tree. Service was great and friendly at all places. Food was the best at Paw Paw and relatively good everywhere else, too, with the exception of our entrée at Pacific. The Mahi Mahi was fishy/almost rotten tasting. Again, the fish dishes we had at the other places (yellow fin tuna, billfish, and spearfish) were very good and prepared a variety of ways including a local green sauce that was great and also paw paw salsa and even coconut curry. These dinners, with one-or-two rounds of drinks and sharing a desert ranged from 90-123NZD and were all on the South side of the island.

Overall, a nice stay and we have decided – in spite of the non-stop rain (4 of 6 days) – to come back to Rarotonga/Aitutaki for our next vacation.

  • Liked — Not crowded, laid back atmosphere of the island
  • Disliked — all the rain :(
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2008

A fantastic place to stay with the owners Charlie and Deb looking after you, they were great . We loved it and will defintely be back there. I give it 10 out of 10!!!!! Cheers Luke & Chrisite

  • Liked — neat tidy and beautiful
  • Disliked — mosquitoes
  • Stayed April 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2008

My husband, 8 year old daughter and I stayed at Sea Change Villas for 5 nights over Easter this year. We were in a one bedroom plantation villa and the owners kindly put a single bed in the lounge for our daughter.

I can't really say enough about how great our stay was. All the positive reviews submitted by other travellers are pretty much on the button.

In terms of the villa facilities - you've got a fully functioning kitchen if you feel inclined to prepare your meals. There is a DVD player, TV and stereo if you want to relax in front of or listening to those. The office has a pretty full DVD library which we borrowed from a couple of nights we decided to stay in. The private villa pools are a definate bonus! We loved waking up in the morning for a refreshing dip in the pool and then walking across the road to snorkel, kayak or swim at the beach. When we got tired of that we would walk back to our villa and lie by the pool and sunbath.

The management team are pretty knowledgable about good places to eat and visit so do ask them their opinion. We had a fantastic BBQ night meal at the Paw Paw patch and visited several other places to eat over our time there. One place we weren't that impressed with in terms of value for money and quality of food was the Salt Water Cafe which is a short 5 minute walk from Sea Change Villas. We ate there once and definately wouldn't go back.

All in all a fantastic stay, with fantastic staff. We will definately be going back!

  • Liked — Private pool
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sea Change Villas

Address: Main Road, Titikaveka, Titikaveka 0000, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Titikaveka
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Titikaveka
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Sea Change Villas 4.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our award-winning South Seas retreat is nestled on its own secluded white sandy beach and is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion, a romantic honeymoon or a relaxed yet luxurious holiday. There are nine spacious one, two and three bedroom fully self contained villas all enjoying their own private fresh water swimming pool, courtyard in either beach or lagoon view setting. During your stay you will have complimentary use of all equipment including bicycles, kayaks and snorkeling gear.Sea Change Villas provides an environment of casual elegance with every conceivable comfort for you, the discerning traveler to enjoy with outstanding guest service to match. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sea Change Villas Hotel Titikaveka
Sea Change Villas Rarotonga, Cook Islands - Titikaveka

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