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“Romance, views, fun, quiet” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Manuia Beach Resort

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Manuia Beach Resort
3.5 of 5 Boutique Hotel   |   PO Box 700, Arorangi, Cook Islands   |  
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Hotel amenities
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20% off room rate
Ranked #1 of 4 hotels in Arorangi
Dunsandel
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Romance, views, fun, quiet”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

We spent eight nights in a beach-front villa and loved it. Kept an eye on what was going on while sipping cocktails or wine. When no-one was about the sea/sky views were great to just contemplate. We found the restaurant food to be good - we only ate out three times. Breakfast by the pool with unencombered ocean and reef views was very pleasant indeed. Staff were very attentive and friendly but we did wonder what they were thinking when we drank cocktails costing more than their hourly rate! My wife had an issue with the white curtains as darkness at night wasn't available to us. I found the snorkelling just off the beach to be great and would recommend taking an underwater camera. All manner of pretty coloured fish, a couple of small inquisative morays, a flounder and no harm if you're careful with bare hands and coral - I didn't see a stonefish but I was careful where I put sensitive bits of me! The hire bikes over the road are probably the oldest on the island but once ours was fixed we went all over. The inland road is good for a change with the side roads combining to illustrate how the locals live. In general the island has too many chickens and dogs and there were too many people burning foul smelling rubbish when we were there. Recommend the cross-island walk but there are a couple of steep bits - and don't expect a bus back to your transport on the other side around noon on Sunday - they don't run at all for a couiple of hours.

Room Tip: Peace and quiet in the outside units behind the beach front ones. Keep in touch with happenings fro...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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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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 (95)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Wellington, New Zealand
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

My two sisters and I have literally just returned after seven blissful days at Manuia. Loren and Alex were professional, friendly and helpful, our well appointed unit was near the glorious beachfront, no TV needed in the unit as we were always out and about. I put on several kilos after overindulging in the delish breakfast (esp the pancakes). We booked trips on the staff's recommendation and were able to make the most of our time on this gorgeous island. Outdoor shower - such fun! Great snorkelling off the beach, though best away from directly offshore from the resort where the water was deeper. Our only niggle was the evening menu, the prices were very high for what you got - just a walk away is Windjammer restaurant which became our favourite dining spot. Thanks to all at Manuia (including the dedicated staff who serviced our rooms so beautifully!).

Room Tip: We had room ten, just one row away from the noisy at times beachfront and restaurant, perfect.
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  • Stayed June 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

What a great find - we loved the Manuia Beach Resort - small enough to be friendly and offer personal service. We stayed a week and would love to have stayed longer. The staff are fantastic and very attentive - the guests were nice too! Because the place is so small it is easy to chat to the other guests over breakfast or at the end of the day for drinks - no crowds here. The location is perfect - just ten minutes drive into town.

We stayed in a renovated room and just loved the outdoor shower and simple décor. The only downside of the room was that it was very public - anyone walking along the path could see in and even if you were on the deck you were very exposed - it just lacked a little privacy.

The restaurant was a fun place - sand floor and open to the elements. Breakfast was a little disappointing in terms of what was on offer - some fresh fruit but mostly canned. Dinner we felt was expensive at $30 for a main course - and not that tasty regardless of the dish- better value and quality elsewhere. Great sunsets though! We walked about 100metres down the road to the Waterline Restaurant - fantastic food,, great choices and for much less.

The beach has plenty of sun beds and is a relaxing spot to while away a few hours - the beach is not the best for swimming - but there is a small pool for that much needed dunk.

Overall we enjoyed our stay and would return - loved the child-free policy.

Room Tip: We had a garden room which I think would have been better than one overlooking the pool and beach...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

First time visitors to Rarotonga (and Manuia obviously). Loved that it was child free and only a maximum of 24 couples staying at any one time. The last unit to be refurbished was completed while we were there (late May 2013) so al units now looking great. Highly recommend the Beach front units (1-6) although units 7-12 would also be OK (1 row back). Units 19-24 are a bit close to the Office/car park so avoid if possible. Snorkelling is great right off the beach in front of the Resort. Snorkelling equipment provided by the resort if needed. Would highly recommend snorkelling opposite "Fruits or Rarotonga" about 7km east if you like bigger fish/deeper water but Manuia was great especially for first timers who can touch bottom at most times if required. Take bread with you too for a close up experience with the fish. Even saw a couple Moray eels which just sit there and look at you ! Restaurant is good too with great lagoon views over the beach to the breaking waves on the coral and sunsets to die for ! Awesome. Also loved the outdoor shower, the friendly helpful staff and the fact the only TV is in the Guest lounge. No phones in the rooms but cell reception good if required. Unlimited filtered water on tap from the restaurant which you can use to fill up the provided water jug in your fridge. Tea and Coffee making facilities in each room but no cooking facilities ensures you are eating out each day ! Highly recommend the Manuia Beach Resort to any couples seeking a quiet romantic holiday ! Oh, and not a rooster to be heard :-)

Room Tip: Rooms 4 and 5 have a path between them which is the main walkway to the restaurant/Infinity pool for...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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.
Hamilton, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

Our first visit to Rarotonga and we could not have felt more welcome. From the 2 Managers through to the rest of the staff they were all friendly, helpful, and most importantly made us always feel like we were on holiday. We are counting down the days until we can come back and enjoy again. Being a smaller resort you never felt crowded and it was easy to meet other guests and feel just like a big family

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013 via mobile

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.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

Laurie & I stayed at Manuia Beach from the 18th - 23rd May. From the moment we arrived until we left is was perfect. The beach restaurant was great, they even cater for gluten free requirements ( cant get GF pancakes back in NZ for breakfast out in a café) but no problem for mama in the kitchen!!!! Thank you. We loved the quiet and the rooms are very comfortable. It took us a day to work out what was so different from other holidays, it was the quiet from not having any families with small children around. we left ours at home! Teenagers, that is.
With the resort being down a long driveway, there was no road noise and just a short walk within the resort to get to the beach, lagoon or pool & restaurant. The outdoor showers were really cool.
We loved cocktails by the pool as the sun was setting. Beautiful.
Thanks Richard & Staff we will be back again. Laurie & Christine

  • Stayed May 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 2
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

Also Known As:
Manuia Beach Boutique Avarua
Hotel Manuia Beach Boutique
Manuia Beach Resort Rarotonga, Cook Islands
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 4 hotels in Arorangi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Manuia Beach Resort 3.5*
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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