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“Awesome place to stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sands Villas

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Sands Villas
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PO Box 3159, Titikaveka, Cook Islands   |  
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Hotel amenities
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Awesome place to stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

I had great stay here. The accommodation staff were very warm and welcoming and exceptionally friendly; they were constantly recommending places for us to go and see and we really felt like we got a slice of the 'real' Raro. Its right on the beach so you can wake up and step out into paradise.The snorkelling was was incredible! Would definitely recommend this place to my friends.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotongaHolidayer, Manager at Sands Villas, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Thank you for your review Steph. We look forward to seeing you in paradise again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Auckland, New Zealand
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2012

Stayed here for 7 nights late May 2012 with a party of 16 celebrating a 60th birthday. There was plenty of room for all of us to gather together for the evenings, especially in the villa second back from beach, this villa had a big glass enclosed sun room which gave us great protection from the wind. There were great views out to the Lagoon from the front villa which is the one we stayed in. Perfect for this type of group however would be just as good for a family or even just a couple in one villa. I would choose the front one for the views.
Unfortunately we had very windy and rainy weather whilst there but it was still warm and it didn't stop us doing anything we wanted to. I imagine it would be truely idilic if the sun was out all the time.
Landlady was living on site and could assist with anything we wanted, all villas were well stocked with towels, tea towels and dishwashing liquid etc. Only thing we needed to buy was food.

Room Tip: Pick the front villa for the views. Third bedroom was quite small though and had no mirror which wa...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2012

Seriously don't go anywhere else. This 3 bdrm place (coral villa) is right on the beach, in Titikaveka, and honestly is the BEST spot in Raro for snorkelling. We had lots of family staying with us, so we saw other places, and other beaches. Our kids were out there everyday, some nights after dark, they couldn't get enough. The sand is white and easy to walk on, no sharp coral on shore.
Because it's on the south side, you get sunrise and sunset up and down the beach. We had our wedding here, it was perfect. The house is awesome. The master bdrm has an airconditioner but this wasn't strong enough to cool the whole house, although every room has ceiling fans which are fine. You're going there for warmth anyway, enjoy it. We were there the last wknd in March and it wasn't too bad at night. We were lucky and had no rain all week except overnight 2 or 3 nights.
The house is tidy, clean, well provided with everything you need as a home away from home. Mama Ina out the back has more beach towels if you run out, and she's lovely. We locked ourselves out one day and she let us back in. Franklin the cat makes himself at home there too, he's very affectionate.
Would recommend you take your own snorkel and mask though as they're not great.
It's hard to find, make sure you give people perfect instructions if you need anyone to find the place, it's not signposted for privacy, and there are not obvious landmarks to make it any easier.
Wonderful place, we will be back for sure.

Room Tip: I put 'service' lower, only because it's only serviced once a week...we did know this be...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Melbourne
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2012

Stayed here in 2010 as a family group in the Coral Villa. Arrived in the middle of the night, and pulled the curtains back in the morning to the most stunning vista of turquoise water and palm trees. Ahhhh.
We loved the place and think of it often. We felt so at home, self catering was easy, there is a barbeque provided so we had some lazy meals at home, as well as eating out. Best of both worlds.
The master bedroom has a terrific bed, really comfy. The airconditioner struggled if I'm honest, but we really didn't need it, as opening all the doors let in such a lovely breeze. Insects were non existent so close to the beach too. Small but perfectly adequate bathrooms. Washing machine and clothesline was helpful too. The view from the deck was about 270 degrees of lagoon.
Our little piece of the beach was the envy of all who walked past - but there was not much in the way of traffic, so privacy was assured.

We had a hire car along with the deal, which was a great deal and much appreciated. We are trying our best to get back there asap. If you're looking for a home away from home, I recommend it highly. Rongo was a most gracious and warm host - thanks :)

One tip, if you arrive in the dark - the bus driver had all but unloaded us at Moana Sands before we convinced him that was not where we needed to be. Make sure you have a good map, as it was not very well known. The driveway is a little further along (on the other side) from Titikaveka College (going anticlockwise from the airport) - its only a driveway, so you won't see it from the road.

Room Tip: Coral Villa is right on the water - delightful.
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2011

This was our first trip to the Cook Islands, and like others, had to put all our trust in what was found on the internet. Can honestly say this property is EXACTLY like their website!

We stayed in the Coral Villa for 17 days, and having had a little look in each of the other two, would stay in this one again. Relaxing on the deck, swimming straight in front of the villa with all the fish, plus this villa seems slightly more modern and well maintained - there's better outdoor furniture on the deck for instance.

The pluses are definitely the location - such a quiet beach and yet snorkeling straight in front of the villas seems like the best place on the island (I am hesitant to admit that for fear of it becoming crowded in the future!!). The lagoon is wide and beautiful and there's a lot of coral which attracts all kinds of fish. Yet completely safe for kids. The coral is not colourful and pretty, but the further you go out towards the reef the more colourful it gets. But if you just want to swim around the fish you only need to step a metre or two off the beach in front of the villa. We actually spent a whole day at Muri since we had tossed up whether to book there with the kids club resort-type places, or a quieter self-contained place, and we now know we made absolutely the right decision. Muri has very limited fish, thousands of sea slugs and a great many tourists. At Titikaveka where the villas are there are very few sea slugs, loads of fish just off the beach, and it's much quieter and beautiful. We were even lucky enough to see whales rolling around just off the reef!

Another plus is the house cleaning. It's done 3 times a week, so you get fresh towels, fresh sheets, toilets cleaned, and occasionally the washing up would magically be done for us too! :-) So for us it was the best of self-contained with a little bit of extra help every few days - perfect. And it was INCREDIBLY clean when we arrived - glass so clear you'd think there was no window in the kitchen, and the microwave looked like it had just been taken straight out of the box new, and the oven didn't have even a speck of food in it. It felt and smelled clean and fresh. On the day we were leaving at 5am, the cleaning crew were arriving to get it ready for the next people - how dedicated is that!

The staff are also wonderful at organising everything you need - before you even get there, and while you're there. We arrived on our son's birthday and had arranged for a cake to be waiting in the villa for us, and there it was - absolutely beautiful too! Any problems at all, you just call them and they fix it for you, day or night.

The villas also have filtered water in the main kitchen tap (although we took a Steripen and used it anyway just to be sure). There is also plenty of snorkelling gear at the rear of the other villa (under the carport) - heaps and heaps of masks, snorkels, fins, reef shoes, so don't bother wasting your packing space with your own (some of them needed a good scrub before using but a bit of toothpaste and they were good as new). There are also 4 kayaks that you can use, and we were out on them nearly every day. It's great to go right out to the reef and then catch the waves back in again at high tide :-)

There is a rental car included (just a little run-about type car) but we upgraded to a convertible, which was so good for travelling around in the hot weather.

We really appreciated the air conditioning in the main bedroom, and although we didn't run it all the time, we found that turning it on about 5pm and running it for a couple of hours would just keep the room nice and cool for sleeping. We didn't leave our doors open of a night time - if there were screens with locks we probably would have, as we left the windows open because they had screens on them. The mozzies didn't bother us (and I am usually a prime target even when everyone else doesn't get bitten), but we burned one coil each day and I sprayed "Off" repellent on myself every day without fail. I probably got bitten maybe once or twice in the whole 2 weeks at the villa.

Our only advice to future travellers would be to watch out for the ants! They eat everything! If you leave your drink out on the deck for too long they'll be in it, and you can't store food in the pantry so everything had to go in the fridge. Be great to have a bigger size fridge to try to accommodate this, or maybe some tupperware type containers in the cupboard so not everything had to go in the fridge. There are also no garbage bag liners, so keep your plastic bags after shopping for that.

Plenty of animals around the villas - dogs especially, all very friendly, especially 3-legged Jack, and they are well trained not to enter the villas even when you are sitting inside eating (very tough for a dog to avoid temptation!). Franklin the cat is a bit temperamental - will come inside readily and be friendly but can give a nasty scratch in another second. Chickens, roosters, pigs, geckos, crabs and hermit crabs - all around the villa (and in the geckos case - inside, which is very cute!).

Will add a few photos, but not many of the villa, since the ones on the website are so accurate I really felt we couldn't take any better or different!

We ate out a lot, and will put those reviews separately. Saltwater Cafe was one of our absolute favourites though, as was The Mooring.

Thank you Rongo, April, Pike, Linda, Jeff and Peter - we have had absolutely the best time and look forward to coming back in the future.

Room Tip: The Coral Villa is the best pick of the three!
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2011

After a lot of research I decided on the Sands Villas to accommodate my close family and friends for my wedding. I was a bit unsure as all research was done online and you never really know what you are going to get until you get there.

As it turned out I should not have worried, it was perfect. We hired all three Villas, each have their perks.

Coral Villa - absolute beachfront and modern, with an amazing deck with fantastic views.
Vaka Villa - absolute beachfront a bit older, but has a great conservatory area with great views and relaxed seating area.
Hibiscus Villa - More private as back from the beach, but still get a view and modern.

This property is great for family holidays, as you can interact with each villa, but there is still privacy between each villa if you want there to be.

The beach is amazing, everyone seems to rate Muri beach (for obvious reasons) however Titiaveka is highly under-rated, the snorkelling is world class and everyone can participate as good snorkelling can be found in directly in the shallow waters in front of the villas. The other bonus as that you do not get alot of people walking past on the beach as you do in Muri.

As for a wedding venue it was great. The beach was beautiful and the reception was held in the garden under a marquee, with views over the ocean, it was perfect. However I would only reccomend this for smaller groups, the garden area is not huge so would only suit groups of up to 20ish people.

As for the accomodation/rooms these was great, the villas had a very island feel to them with all the modern convieniences, and were serviced regulary by Rongo and her team. The other bonus was that all villas came with free rental cars for the duration of the stay, what more could you ask for.

This property is excellent and I would definately recommend to anyone and hopefully will return sometime soon.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hawkes Bay New Zealand
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2011

Our son got married on the beach in front of the villas and it was absolutely perfect! It was a small family wedding and we hired all 3 villas. We had a small marquee in front of the hibiscus villa looking out over the ocean. We even had humpback whales out over the reef just before the ceremony! We would certainly return as it was one of the most relaxing and non-commercial breaks we have ever had. P.S. the resident 3-legged dog "Jack" is lovely and likes to swim out on the reef with you when you go snorkling!

Room Tip: The Coral Villa is the pick, as it has such a beautiful view of the ocean
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Sands Villas

Address: PO Box 3159, Titikaveka, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Titikaveka
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 12 Specialty lodging in Titikaveka
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sands Villas are three, 3 bedroom uniquely styled modern villas nestled on a premier beachfront property in Titikaveka. Our southern beach boasts white sand, palm trees and turquoise waters perfect for snorkelling and swimming. Book one villa for a romantic escape or all three for a wedding, birthday or great family holiday. The choice is yours. But be warned... Your first trip will certainly not be your last! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sands Villas Rarotonga, Cook Islands - Titikaveka

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