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“Better than the resorts” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Muri Beach Hideaway

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Muri Beach Hideaway
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PO Box 3092, Muri, Cook Islands   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Muri
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Better than the resorts”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2008

Simply put, these gorgeously quaint, spacious, private bungalows are on the exact same small beach as the $500/night resorts, with the added benefit of Pauline's personal touch. You can walk to the restaurants at the resorts just a few steps down the beach, and still enjoy free snorkel gear and sea kayaks at Muri Beach Hideaway. Pauline hosts a potluck once a week, a great opportunity to meet other travellers and sample some local home-cooked foods. The last night of our stay, we had booked a night at an expensive resort. A huge disappointment after our experience at Muri Beach Hideaway. We would absolutely stay there again and would not waste our money on the resorts.

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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63 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
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English first
Oakland, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2007

This is a little late - but better late than never!

We decided on the Muri Beach Hideaway (MBH) based on the advice of other Trip Advisor members. We had previously stayed in on the Western side of Raro and this time I wanted to stay near Muri. I was looking for a swimable beach, a bit of wind to help with the heat & keep away the mozzies, privacy on our deck and close proximity to the beach. We got all of that & more.

Setting up the reservations online were a bit confusing b/c I kept asking for the absolute beachfront room & it sounded like we were getting booked in the lagoon view and then there was mix up in the calendar. However, when we arrived on the 9am flight and got to MBH we were thrilled to find that we had the absolute beachfront suit. This means that there is no one else in front of you. However, there is a small grove of trees so you only see the lagoon through the trunks, but you can walk 5 feet to your left for an uninterrupted view. The privacy was certainly there, however on the right there is a private rental unit and when people are there you can see them on their deck. It wasn't too obtrusive though.

The room itself is pristine with shining wood floors, a thatched high roof, a large bed with a gorgeous comfortable and clean kitchen & bathroom. When we arrived there were flowers everywhere and the kitchen was stocked with a small supply of basics (juice, fruit, coffee, milk.) The kitchen was clean and had all the items necessary to cook meals should you choose. The bathroom is also filled with all the necessary amenities, the only complaint I had was that there was no movement of the air or good ventilation & after a shower it was like a sauna. A small fan would help fix that thought.

There is also a small pool on the property. It's not really good for swimming, but it is great for a plunge when you want to cool off but not get sandy.

The only problem for us was that the weather wasn't very cooperative during our visit. On Day 3 it turned cold & windy. And the wind in that front unit is particularly abusive. We had to pull down all the plastic tarps on the front deck just to be able to sit out there for 20 minutes. After 4 days of the sound & battering of constant wind we were actually glad to get on the vacuum sealed airplane! We heard from other couples that the back garden units were quite well protected from the winds, however they don't have the magnificent lagoon views.

The MBH is well placed and close by to many Muri restaurants. Many travelers think that Muri is too crowded, but I think it depends on how you view crowded. I live in San Francisco surrounded by thousands of people at any given moment. Sharing a long stretch of beach with about 10 other people really doesn't bother me. I was concerned when I saw how close we were to the hostel, but the guests were all polite and generally just laid on the beach & burned during the day. I'm assuming at night they were in town - we never head any loud partying.

And then there is Pauline. She is a superb hostess. Very willing to give her guests a ride, invite them to dinner and take them to purchase pearls (at a much better rate than in town!)

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend MBH to any traveler. With only 5 units on the property it is difficult to feel cramped. It was clean, beautiful and well priced.

  • Liked — Well appointed rooms with great views, privacy & good location.
  • Disliked — No A/C, bathroom was hot, took brunt of winds.
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Pacifica, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2007

The Muri Beach Hideaway is a lovely, well-maintained establishment, especially for the kind of getaway where you want lots of solitude and time to quietly sit on your porch or swing on a hammock, looking at the beach. All units are self-catering, with shiny wood floors and A-frame ceilings. My bungalow greeted me with fragrant flowers floating in bowls and fresh fruit in the refrigerator. It's true that only the front bungalow has a full view of the ocean, but I had a partial view from mine, and the beach is steps away from anywhere on the property. Because the property has just a few units, you could easily get to know the other guests staying there during your visit and feel like you're living in a friendly little beachfront compound. If you're with a larger group, it's a good property to rent out in its entirety.

If you're diving with Pacific Divers, then this is a good location in terms of proximity to the dive shop. I rented a bike for my whole stay and pedaled to the dive shop on days I dove with them.

Pauline, the proprietor of Muri Beach Hideaway, is what truly made the place a pleasure. She couldn't be more hospitable and accomodating. I'd originally booked just 3 nights and ended up staying a whole week.

I arrived a day late after midnight, after a tropical storm delayed my arrival, and incurred no penalties or fees for being late. When I first introduced myself to her after communicating by e-mail, Pauline greeted me with "Oh, YOU'RE Myles!" and kissed me on the cheek. Then, I was shown straight to my bed. She was often around (her bungalow is on the property), working in her gardens and ready to tell stories, give advice on where to rent a bike, talk local politics, recommend which travel agency to use to find inter-island flights, and more. She helped a couple staying in the front bungalow arrange a day trip by air to Aitutaki. When I told her I wanted to buy a ukelele, she offered to accompany me to the local jail, where the inmates sell ones they make out of coconuts. She and her friend were good company for dinner one night, when I and a German couple also staying there decided to have a meal out at a restaurant Pauline recommended.

Upon my departure, I had a flight scheduled at 4 am in the morning. I checked out the day before, and Pauline actually let me sleep in her bungalow that last night - while she stayed over at a friend's - and arranged for a cab to come and collect me at 2 am. All this at no charge. You couldn't possibly get this level of service at the larger hotels on island.

Couple caveats: the Hideaway is next to a larger hostel-style property. One night, guests at the hostel next door got slightly rowdy. Not obnoxious, mind you, but I could hear them partying from my bungalow and had to put my headphones on to fall asleep. Also, in terms of location, there's not much to do in the Muri Beach after dark besides walk to the larger resort down the beach. The island bus is infrequent and unpredictable, so you're best off renting a car or being prepared for nights in with a good read or ukelele chord book.

  • Liked — Personal touch.
  • Disliked — Neighboring a youth hostel.
  • Stayed September 2003, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2006

I stayed with my wife at Muri Beach Hideaway for 5 nights at the beginning of September. We booked 4 months in advance!!!! But this early booking was not enough to avoid a very disappointing first night. My flight arrived at 2 a.m. and I asked to the owner to book also that night in order to have a good rest and not to wait for morning check in. The owner was really kind to answer me that I had not to pay the full night but an early check in of 100 new zealand dollars. One week before leaving for Raro I sent an e-mail asking if all was ok with my early check in. All was ok she answered. She arranged the transfer for us (15dollars each) but when we arrived at the Muri Beach Hideaway, the driver guided us in the private apartment of the owner. We were very very disappointed because we could not rest that night. The owner arrived at 8 o'clock in the morning and told me..."sorry but we were full!". I complained that I had reserved the room 4 months earlier to avoid that problem! She did not answer. We entered in the Lotus Bungalows at 11o'clock and sleep until evening. You can imagine my surprise....when she charged the early check in in the final bill!!! For that "little" problem she charged 80 dollars instead of 100 dollars!

The bungalow is nice but no service during the day. Our room was served only once in five nights. Location is quite good, but in my opinion Muri beach is not the best spot in Raro. The place close to the Moana Sands looks much more prettier and cleaner that muri beach.

I booked Muri Beach Hideaway because of good revision on EDT guide book and on tripadvisor. If you book here, please arrive to Raro with a morning flight to avoid surpises!

  • Liked — Garden and room
  • Disliked — Service
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, Virginia
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
148 helpful votes 148 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2006

A reasonably priced property on Muri Beach. No restaurant, but plenty of dining nearby and a kitchen in each bungalow. The owner provides fresh pawpaw (papaya), bananas, etc., plus milk, bottled water, and fruit juice in your fridge upon checkin. A couple of decent stores nearby to purchase groceries if you prefer to cook for yourself.

MBH has several bungalows along a somewhat narrow stretch of property between the main road and Muri Beach. One is on the beachfront, two more behind it angled to face the beach and overlook the pool. Next back from the beach is the owner's home and office. The Lotus bungalows are behind that, with decks facing toward the mountain and a tropical garden. Not a beach view, but a nice green view. We stayed in a Lotus unit and thought it offered somewhat more privacy than the beach units, which everyone has to walk by to get to the pool or beach.

Rooms do not have phones. When we needed to make bookings we had to find the proprietor so we could use the phone in the office (no scheduled hours when it was open). When we did see her, however, she was happy to book dinner reservations and tours for us.

Had a small problem with the owner burning trash in an empty lot next to our bungalow. However, when we politely asked how long it might burn she ended up dousing the fire. Trash burning is common on the island, so depending on the wind the smoke is pretty much unavoidable. Especially in developed areas like Muri.

As others mentioned, the owner hosted a BBQ for guests one night. She takes pride in keeping the place spic and span, and we found her very responsive if we needed her for something (though we couldn't always track her down).

Fantastic snorkeling behind the southernmost motu in Muri, easily reachable by kayak.

Budget car rental is nearby if you need to rent a car or scooter. Check that it's in proper working order before you sign anything. We got barely running car with no seatbelts and had to argue to get a replacement!

  • Liked — Good location, nice beach
  • Disliked — Lack of phone in room to make bookings on our own.
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
West Kelowna, Canada
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
152 helpful votes 152 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2006

My wonderful partner and I did an incredible amount of research prior to deciding to book a 7 night stay at the Muri Beach Hideaway. In terms of accommodation, it surpassed our expectations.

As noted, in previous reviews, the bungalows are well-appointed and, while relatively close to one another, are situated in such a way as to provide privacy. The proximity to restaurants, local stores and scooter/vehicle rentals, further enhances the appeal. The fact that restaurant menus are very pricey along the Muri Beach means that the ability to prepare your own meals can be quite important. The kitchens in these units have gas stoves, microwaves, fridges (with small freezers) and pretty much all the things you might need. A coffee press is provided, as well as an electric kettle. Trust me...a press is as good as a coffee maker! Additionally, there is a top-notch propane bbq available for the guests use, as well as laundry facilities. We used it all!

The owner - Pauline - is a wonderful lady, as is her daughter, Theresa. They, along with George and Mary, helped make our stay a wonderful one. Airport transfers were arranged, without any problem. As with previous guests, we were invited to an "umu" (pronounced oomoo), that Pauline and Theresa prepared. Included were such traditional foods as marinated "raw fish", breadfruit, taro, flying fish, lamb and more! Fantastic stuff!

Of note, we visited Rarotonga pretty much at the height of the "rainy season". The rain came and went and, while there, was not a big deal. But, it was very hot and humid. These units do not have air conditioning, but are equipped with large, efficient ceiling fans. Had this not been effective, I would note it here. I slept comfortably.

For the record, we had the "absolute beachfront unit". It was a dream come true! If you're into a romantic, South Seas setting...this would be it. The lush, exotic gardens and landscaping are entirely the handiwork of Pauline...with some real labour provided by her staff, of course. You'll have to see it to believe it.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2005

What a wonderful place to find, and what a wonderful host we had in Pauline.
We just wish people would not keep writing such good reviews , as we would like to keep this place a secret!!!!!!!!!!

Stayed October 2005
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Muri Beach Hideaway

Address: PO Box 3092, Muri, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Muri
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Muri
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Simple yet luxurious accommodation in the Cook Islands, our traditional Polynesian Style Bungalows are set on one of Rarotonga's most beautiful beaches Muri Beach. With soft white sand and magnificent views of Muri Lagoon we offer everything that traveller’s hope for in a tropical escape to the Cook Islands: views of the morning sun above, and the finest restaurants and experiences in Rarotonga right at your doorstep. This little retreat known as the Hideaway, is truly hidden away and a place to kick back and relax while you indulge yourself in Cook Islands culture. Spoil yourself with a swim in the outdoor swimming pool, take a stroll along Muri beach, stretch out on your patio and inhale the scents of your garden’s tropical flowers. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Muri Beach Hideaway Hotel Muri
Muri Beach Hideaway Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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