First time to Rarotonga, and Manuia was recommended by our travel agent. I jumped on trip advisor and saw the great reviews so booked it. As has been said the rooms are excellent. We would often come back after a days activities and just sigh with relief when opening the doors, they have been that well refurbished. We stayed in a garden suite and to be honest would prefer those to the water view apartments. The pool is great. The beach is picture perfect, though there is better swimming spots around the island, mainly around Muri, the Rarotongan resort, and for snorkelling - opposite the 'Fruits of Rarotonga' which had an abundance of sea life.
In our 7 days there we drove around the island two,three times. Probably only saw one other resort ( little Polynesian) that caught my eye as being better, but rooms start at $530 a night and quite honestly - for what Manuia offers you'd be crazy going somewhere else. Manuia is well located, well known, close to town and car/scooter hire plus have good connections with the local dive company 'big fish' which I also found excellent as a diver. The two buses the circle the island ( one clockwise the other anti clockwise) stop directly outside Manuia' entrance once an hour. Just note that the anticlockwise bus stops at 4:30pm which is the one you'd get going to the good restaurants in the south.
I've rated it 5 stars because it fulfills everything you want in accommodation and more. The owners were away during most of the time we were there. Personally we found the restaurant attached to manuia disappointing. Compared to some great restaurants like Vaima, the Sands and Tamarin House, Manuia's restaurant didn't compare. Great for a breakfast, cocktail or bar food, but not for serious dining. Which is a bit of a shame because the location and views from the restaurant are stunning. The other slight neg was information from the office like bus times, and pick up times, flight info at times was incorrect. But, if you do your research you'll be fine!
Rooms were cleaned everyday, air conditioning was great, bathroom spacious ( due to outside showers which were fantastic). Every other guest we spoke to said if they came back to Raro they'd return to Manuia. There are some tired looking resorts on the island, in particular Edgewater, and in my opinion the Rarotongan. Wasn't that impressed with what I saw at Club Muri and Moana Sands either, but that's just an opinion.
When we return to Raro we'll definately be rebooking at Manuia.
- 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