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“Adult Oasis” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Manuia Beach Resort

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Manuia Beach Resort
5.0 of 5 Boutique Hotel   |   PO Box 700, Arorangi, Cook Islands   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
20% off room rate
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Arorangi
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Adult Oasis”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Like I discovered months ago, you are probably finding a decision where to stay is a headache because for such a small island there are too many classifications on this site and everything is ranked high. I wound up choosing this resort and relieved I made the right choice. I'll list what made this a great choice and if you like the same then this will work for you:
1. West side of the island. Lots of love posted for Muri Beach and it is great no doubt. But the sunsets, and the possible green flashes, are on this side of the island and sunrise is on Muri's side. I'm a sunset person not a sunrise person.
2. Speaking of Muri Beach, the "no kids" policy was related by others. I'll also add that the bachelorette parties stayed on that side too, and thank goodness. You can't escape from it all if it is all staying with you at the resort. Quiet here--but not a library quiet either, although a few of us read books between watching the surf crash. This is the type of resort where you can enjoy the quiet, enjoy time to yourself or with others, socialize if you care to or not. It is not a waterpark it's an adult oasis.
3. Because this is a small, aka "boutique", resort, the excellent managers Alex & Lauren know your name and actually get to know you--and you get to know them. As well as some of the others staying there. Call it intimacy or camaraderie, but it was relaxing change from my usual major chain multi-level stays. And relaxing is the key right?
4. Speaking of intimacy, although this was a solo stopover for several days after visiting family, there were many happy couples of all ages from newlyweds to retired here. The age range really struck me and speaks well of the resort.
5. No matter which room choice you make you'll be fine. I stayed in a beach front room and although others I met stayed in the garden units, to me it's worth the extra cost. You have your own raised deck with seats so if other seats are taken you always have a spot. Plus there is nothing like watching the stars and night surf from the deck. Or being "on the beach" and looking out, but protected, when a shower goes by (while everyone else has to scamper). The large room has air conditioning but to be honest I barely used it since there was always a nice breeze at night. Others I met stayed in the garden units and they were all very satisified with their rooms and access to spots on the beach.
6. Bus that circuits the island stops literally right in front.
7. Extremely close to the "downtown" business district/shopping/restaurant/bars unlike many other resorts.
8. Even closer to the airport--but never heard planes. You can arrange with the resort to be picked up and dropped off. There were many of us who arrived at midnight. Pretty daunting time to arrive on an island of unknown taxi status. Little nervous that the resort-arranged pick-up would work--how would they find me? How will I find them? Well they found me--and the others quicjly and without fuss. Very impressed.
9. Walking distance to other resorts, bars, restaurants. Though obviously keep your wits.
10. Fantastic unique Island Night. A "to-do" for me but again, there were many choices of seemingly the same thing and it was feeling like choosing which Las Vegas show (not a good thing). This is intmate, hands-on (as others described), with beer & cocktails and good camraderie. Yes even husbands, and myself, in good fun and in spite of craft limitations made great flowered headbands. Appreciated staff and their friends and family participating in demos and entertainment. And the amount of food is stunning--and I am someone who causes Fogo De Chao to lose money when I eat there. There is no Island Night like this one.
11. Great beer selection and good cocktails but most importantly discounted favorably during Happy Hour as we enjoy sunsets.

Room Tip: Beach front rooms are worth the extra cost but travellers I met were perfectly happy with the garden...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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255 reviews from our community

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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (119)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
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English first
hamilton nz
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We stayed at Manuia for 20 days and loved every single minute. Highlights included: sitting in the infinity pool (cocktail in hand) watching the sun set over the ocean after a tough day of vigorous relaxation on the beach; showering in the rain in our outdoor shower; snorkeling with amazing fish right in front of the hotel; dining ‘on the beach’ with the sand between our toes; getting to know the awesome Manuia staff (hiya Alex, Loren, Va’ine, Nan, Ursula, Renae, serious gardener guy, smiley pool guy, Manuia the cat and everyone else); relaxing with a G & T on the deck outside our room surrounded by a beautiful tropical garden; meeting cruisey, like-minded guests and engaging in directionless holiday conversations; diving, kite surfing, kayaking, lolling around in the pool; getting so relaxed I forgot what it was like to be stressed. There were no screaming kids, no ‘hi-di-hi camper’ attitudes, and the staff looked after us faultlessly, even while rushing around preparing for a cyclone (luckily, one that never came). We found it difficult to leave, but we will be back.

Room Tip: We had a room in the back corner of the resort (room 17) that offered complete privacy. Although we...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

The Manuia Beach Resort is perfect for couples.Loren and Alex were excellent Managers.Everyone was lovely and very friendly - housekeepers, restaurant people.It was very quite and relaxing to sit in the verandah,read a book, see the beach/sunset.Perfect location for hiring a car,push bike n scooters.We met awesome people staying there and made new friends.The beach was so quite and clear water.We enjoyed the Wednesday workshop-coconut husking,making head ei,cook local dish and lovely platter for dinner.Only drawback was the limited selection from dinner menu but we had a scooter and went exploring other restaurants like Castaway resort, Rarotonga sanctuary resort,Spagetti restaurant,Sails restaurant and edgewater resort(they have saturday island show).Overall, lovely experience and worth spending and going from Melbourne. Wish we can go again to Manuia!!

Room Tip: We stayed in beachfront unit no 4. Best location to enjoy the view..
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Red Beach, null, New Zealand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

we were here last yr and had to come back, its a couples paradise. The dynamics of having cocktails while watching a tropical sunset and then either dining in the sand floored beach restaurant in house or walking 200 mtrs up a deserted white beach to other restaurants, fantastic.
we met some great people staying here as well .
I think one of the best things about Manuia is that they aren't trying to be pretentious or sophisticated , its all about being on holiday on a tropical isle people....relax

Room Tip: premium garden suites are perfectly fine , as you have the outdoor shower, privacy and can sit on y...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

The Manuia Beach Hotel was absolutely fantastic. Located on the Western side of Rarotonga it is right on the white-sand beach and faces the most amazing sunsets you're likely to see. The reef is about 100 meters across the lagoon where you can see the waves breaking. Snorkelling straight off the beach was fantastic and the pool is right next to the bar/restaurant facing the lagoon. The staff and service were great and definitely give you a good taste of Pacific hospitality - everyone is so laid back and friendly that you fell relaxed in no time.
We stayed for 8 nights in one of the beach-front units (which is DEFINITELY worth the extra cost), and I'm amazed that the resort isn't better known.
The rooms were clean, recently renovated and had fantastic out-door showers which we wanted to bring home! The restaurant is great as well, afternoon happy hour in the sandy-floored beach front bar is hard to go passed and the food was delicious.
Manuia is within walking distance to plenty of other different restaurants too, plus there's car and scooter hire over the road to get around the island (35KM all the way around).
The Island Night is highly recommended, even just for the buffet of local foods - but the activities were really fun and everyone had a great time husking coconuts and making leis.
If you're after a place to unwind and get away from it all, you would be hard pressed to find something better.

Room Tip: Choose the beach front apartments - they're worth the extra price for the view and are just mete...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Perfect location, just far enough away from the closest neighbouring resorts, yet handy enough if you decided you wanted to go and check out other restaurants etc. Scooter (and car) hire was just across the road. Fantastic restaurant on site. The 'No kids' policy was also one of the things that attracted us to the resort when we were researching places to stay as any time we spent in or around the pool or lounging on the beach was very very relaxing and peaceful! Very friendly and welcoming hosts who were always most helpful. Our unit was clean and well maintained and although it was possibly a bit more basic than we had anticipated (based on the online photos) it proved to me more than adequate for our stay on the island. Will definately be back to Manuia Beach Resort.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Auckalnd
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

We were at Manuia over Xmas and New Year, our second visit while Loren And Alex have been managers.
The resort is on the best side for the beautiful sunsets and the pool right on the beach is to die for!
The refurbished rooms and outdoor showers are lovely, by far the biggest and nicest rooms we have come accross in Rarotonga.
The staff are lovely and friendly and make you feel like part of the family.
The food was lovely everytime we dined there and lots of other places are close by to if you feel like a change.
I think this resort has so much to offer and we will returning this year for sure.
Thanks for another wonderful stay Loren and Alex and my fav bar girl Na, she is by far the BEST cocktail maker on the island!

Room Tip: Beachfront all the way
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Manuia Beach Resort

Address: PO Box 700, Arorangi, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Arorangi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Arorangi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Manuia Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Your Polynesian Paradise at Manuia Beach Resort awaits you... Marvel at the magical sunsets over a sparkling blue lagoon, while lounging on your sheltered, white sandy beach fringed with swaying coconut palms. Wander through the tropical gardens on your way to the beach side infinity pool. Rest your elbows on the pool edge and soak in the view across the beach, through the lagoon onwards to the waves crashing on the barrier reef beyond. Sip a refreshing tropical cocktail delivered to you from the Beaches Restaurant and bar, or enjoy your Polynesian inspired meals in the restaurant while you trail your toes through the sandy floor. Manuia Beach Resort - your Cook Islands resort accommodation - is set right on the beach in private and peaceful surroundings on the sheltered sunset coast of Rarotonga. You will love the authentic Cook Islands style accommodation, with the coconut thatched suites complete with island style decor and modern amenities such as air conditioning. Walk through the sandy path down to the water and be stunned by the beauty of the poolside area. The infinity pool, Beaches Restaurant and Bar with its relaxed authentic Polynesian cuisine, loungers set invitingly facing the beautiful lagoon, and attentive local staff, will all set the stage for your dream Rarotongan get-away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Manuia Beach Boutique Avarua
Hotel Manuia Beach Boutique
Manuia Beach Resort Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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