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“Island Night was just gorgeous” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Crown Beach Resort & Spa

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Crown Beach Resort & Spa
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   Beach Road, Sunset Coast, Arorangi 682, Cook Islands   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Arorangi
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
“Island Night was just gorgeous”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2010

We didn't stay at the hotel - came just for the Island Night - Children of the Inave Dance Troupe.
Lovely show and the entertainers looked like they were having a good time too.
The food at the hotel was really nice for a buffet and lots of options including dessert.
Well recommended!

Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
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513 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Dublin, Ireland
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2010

Below is a snippeet of a mail i sent to the manager after my stay:

To whom it may concern,

I recently stayed at The Crown Beach Resort & Spa which is located in The Cook Islands (Ragotonga). The booking was made based upon the 4.5 star rating in the Trailfinder Brochure (after also consulting The Crown Beaches own website – Their Facebook page rates their hotel as a 5 star resort)
Having just spent six nights / seven days at this resort, there are a few concerns I have which would lead me to believe that the information in the brochures printed maybe misleading potential clients to the resort and in addition i would certainly question the 4.5 Star Rating awarded to The Crown Beach Resort.

 Arrival:
Upon arrival there was:
(1) No introduction or details given to when or where breakfast was.
(2) No Information about the Laundry facilities.
(3) No Information about tours spa treatments available through The Crown Beach.
(4) No information about local services (e.g. Bus / Taxi Services).
(5) No Information regarding the availability of the Hotel Concierge.
(6) No instructions to read the Hotel Manual - to avail of the Hotel Services and/or respond to questions that may arise (like the above).

Upon arrival into the villa there was a broken stereo (when we complained the very words spoken at the front desk was ‘don’t say it’s broken’) - if a CD/Radio player or any equipment is provided in a living quarter then it should work!
This was replaced as the General Manager heard our request and it was immediately replaced.

 Breakfast
On two separate days we ordered eggs with our breakfast - these are cooked on request... We assumed this task would only take in the region of 5 minutes or so, however... On both occasions we had a Twenty minute wait before we received the eggs, by then the rest of our breakfast from the buffet was cold – We had to learn to wait 20mins after placing the order before going up to select the rest of our breakfast!
On two other separate occasions we were advised that the breakfast menu was limited due to the lack of supplies.
Another occasion (on the Sunday morning) the ‘hot’ buffet breakfast was actually cold, we requested a hot tea, yet this to was brought to us cold.

Over all – Very poor! – Would recommend buying own food or dining out of the resort.

 Evening Meal
We attended dinner in the resort every night to make sure we sampled everything the resort had to offer (It repeats on a weekly basis)
On Saturday (October 2nd) we counted the number of tables in ‘The Oceans Restaurant and Bar’ (a minimum of 25 in the main dining area with more seating outside) each seating up-to 4 persons. On this particular night the restaurant was not half full.
Upon arrival in the ‘restaurant’ we were advised that we would experience ‘a small’ delay due to the limited number of staff on duty. (we later found out that it was due to two Junior Chef’s and two staff members covering the till, working the bar (open to all guests), taking orders, serving food and cleaning tables. (Hardly 4.5 / 5 Star service) – This was clearly not enough!
Our food order was taken at 19:12pm (we had to go up to the bar and collect our own menu) and our order was served at 20:26pm (while we were waiting we had time to do our own Laundry, collect our clothes, take them back to our room and we still had time about 20mins or so before our order was to be served) – Again... is this ‘5 Star’ service...?
During this time we also noticed a lot of unrest from several other customers in the’ restaurant’ / resort – We went over to ask the other customers of their experience and the feedback included:

• 1 Table was brought the wrong dish to what they’d ordered
• At 1 table only one of the group got served their order, the other customers didn’t and as a result they made a complaint to the staff member – But this resulted in the entire party leaving the ‘restaurant’ - UNFEAD.
• 1 couple left after having their drinks as they too were waiting over 25 minutes just to have their food order taken...

Again... is this ‘5 Star’ service...?

In reference to our order the food we received was poor in standard , the quantity was minimal (more of a snack than a meal) and the dish was Lukewarm... in fact the side dish of chip were so cold and rubbery (like they’d been re-heated) we sent them back, only receive a replacement when we were just about to leave (we still had to pay for them)
We made a complaint to a member of staff who was very nice and very embarrassed by our experience (and that of the other cliental in the Restaurant that were starting to air their frustrations).
We asked for the name of the head Chef working that night and was advised that the Head Chef was not on sight as he was working at some other restaurant called The Windjammer Restaurant.

Additional items that should be noted:
• Lots of flies on and around the food – yet on more than two occasions the blue ‘fly zapping’ machine wasn’t switched on
• X2 cats free to wander around all diners looking for food (also seen climb on the chairs / tables with no reaction from the staff)
• On one occasion a long black hair was found in our food
• Hot tea was ordered and when it came it was cold, this had to be returned
• Never did we sit down to breakfast / dinner and not return a piece of cutlery / crockery due to it being dirty and unclean.

Over all experience of this particular night – Dreadful!
Over all experience of the restaurant – Poor.
When we complained we were given a ‘feedback’ form to fill out... no advice on where to hand this in or who would see it... pointless task really! – In fact we were not even a pen to fill it out ...

 Concierge:
The following is exactly what is printed in the resorts ‘Guess service directory’:
Our Concierge and Front Desk will be happy to arrange tours and trips for you at any time. For taxi service please contact front desk.’... This was completely the opposite to our experience:
During our stay at ‘The Crown Beach’ we were looking forward to travelling to another Island (within’ The Cook Islands), doing an Island tour (of Rarotonga) and also experience some traditional culture (we’d budged about €1000.00 for activities) ... However, when we went to the concierge to discuss what was our options (about 11am) The experience was very different to what was stated in our ‘guest book’.
Until we wanted to book an activity we’d never seen the concierge office open, and when we came to book, this was no exception either ... So, as advised by the ‘guest book’ in our villa we approached the front desk and the answer we received when we explained we wanted to book was most rude! (The staff member said ‘Do you know exactly what you want to book’) – Of course we didn’t ... we wanted to discuss our options) – The General Manager was on duty, and was in his office during this)

After she left us for about 15 minutes to answer phone calls and attend to another person who wanted to speak to the head chef about a delivery, again we was asked ‘Do you know exactly what you want to book’ by this time i simply said that i wanted to sit down with you for half an hour to go through our options and if she couldn’t do it then i will go into the general manager’s office ask the general manager himself to attend to our needs ... This however seemed to un-nerve her and she inform us the woman working as the concierge was actually ‘running errands’ - we ended up wasting our time and hanging around until 1pm... By this time we could only be bothered to hire / book bicycles for the weekend. (The Crown Beach is losing out on revenue here)

Again... is this ‘5 Star’ service...?

 Activities Hut/Beach and Bath Towels:
Again the following is exactly what is printed in the resorts ‘Guess service directory’:
‘Beach and Bath Towels’
‘Beach towels are available in the Activities Hut or on the Sun loungers

The actives hut was closed when we needed beach towels, so as it was instructed to go to the bar and ask (written on the hut’s door) The lady working in the bar had to ring through to someone, however they were oblivious as to why I’d come to the bar looking for towel! – It was only when i had to explain that it was written on the hut door that my request was taken.

 Additional notes:
Contained within’ the ‘guess services directory’ is a ‘Do not disturb / Service please’ ... I’m still figuring out where this should be hung:
• If you hang it on the door entrance to your villa ... it blows off with the wind.
• If you lean it against the inside of your conservatory door... What is written cannot be seen.

I resulted in cutting some cotton and hanging it from the curtain rail, i also taped it to the outside door entrance, however this was never adhered to as both housekeeping and the pool cleaners rang our doorbell until we were woken up and spoke with them... Pointless having the sign really!

We were in our room every day to observe the housekeeping; the people who do the job are very polite and friendly! (This was a fantastic experience) – However, i never once saw the floor being mopped / cleaned with a disinfectant merely swept.
2 cockroaches were found in our room, in fact one is still probably there, (in the right hand side drawer of the bed)
Towels that were replaced in our rooms were old and worn (again ... Is this 5 star service?)

There are a few positive experiences too that i would like to communicate:
Over all the staff at The Crown Beach (apart from one or two) are actually very polite and friendly.
The villa deco is fantastic, as is the layout and over all presentation. The bath / Shower is amazin’
The beach area is kept clean and there’s ample space to relax

Would i recommed this hotel - Probably not

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CBR-GM, General Manager at Crown Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 1, 2010
Kia Orana,

Thank you for your email of the 8th October 2010.

2. I have circulated your email to all department managers and have received their formal responses, which have been integrated into my reply below, which answers key issues presented by you.

3. Arrival: all the information that you listed below is found in our resort compendium, located on the desk in your room. We used to provide Orientation On Arrival, however, new arriving guests preferred that they be escorted to their rooms, forthwith. We will continue this procedure as it pleases most of our guests. Should guests request an orientation on arrival, we will happily oblige.

4. In Room Stereo: I attended to this request and had the system replaced within 30 minutes.

5. Front Desk Comments: Our front desk staff will undergo further training. Cook Islanders are bi lingual – they also speak Cook Islands Maori. Grammar and accents may be interpreted as ‘poor English’.

6. Breakfast: Our complimentary breakfast buffet located in our open air beachfront restaurant is powered by fuel gel tins located under Bain Maries. Rarotonga was wet and windy during your stay and this may have contributed to a cold buffet station. The cold tea – this could only happen if it was not delivered to your table on time. 20 minute eggs – our Executive Chef apologizes for this delay and has improved procedures to ensure a swift delivery of food and beverage to all guest tables.

7. Evening Meal: You dined with us for three nights (Wed, Thu, Fri). Oceans Restaurant Supervisor failed to call the Restaurant Manager to request additional support staff when 3 wait staff called in sick. This problem has been remedied.

8. Poor Service: Oceans Restaurant operates dinner service with 4 floor staff + a supervisor. On Friday, 3 wait staff called in sick. The Supervisor did not follow team support call-in procedures. Oceans kitchen was managed by a Sous Chef with over 10 years experience, flanked by 2 kitchen hands. The Executive Chef was at our 2nd restaurant (Windjammer Fine Dining Restaurant), a mere 30 meters away. All in all, I am pleased to advise that service levels have been brought to the attention of the Food & Beverage Manager who will step up training programs.

9. Guess Service Directory: I am baffled about this comment. I have looked at all our literature and cannot find anything that confirms this poor English. The Guest Service Directory (compendium) is located on the desk / coffee table of every room and contains information to help you maximise your time at the hotel and on Rarotonga Island, including all information that you were not given on ‘arrival’.

10. Tours and Excursions: Our Concierge remembers you both. She said that she was busy one morning (probably the morning you wanted immediate service) and she confirms discussing short trips to the outer islands (2-3 islands to be precise). After she quoted some options, she advised that you decided not to travel and that you both opted to focus on Rarotonga by bicycle.

11. Housekeeping: Our Suites and Villas are some of the cleanest / nicest in the Cook Islands. Housekeeping have set procedures. Rooms are deep cleaned at every guest check out, and are generally cleaned daily. Linen changes & a full room clean (including mopping) occurs every three days. This is standard hotel procedure. The two housekeepers assigned to your room were ‘nervous’ because you both remained in the room while they attended to their duties. As such, they felt compelled to cut their duties short and leave you both in privacy. Please note that Cook Islanders are shy people. As a result of your complaint, we have amended procedures and housemaids are now required to request guests to exit their room for 30 minutes to enable a thorough clean-up.

12. Dead Insects: Tropical islands have a high number of bugs & insects and we respond to this fact with a rigid pest control program, especially in rooms and other guest areas. The resort is sprayed with ‘eco-friendly’ pest control fluid every fortnight. This expensive procedure is required to keep pests under control. We are sad to hear that a cockroach was found in your room. On a positive note, you have confirmed that our insect spraying program is effective.

13. Beach Towels: Beach towels (coloured) are placed in your room daily. The towels at the Activities Hut are intended for those who ‘forget’ to bring theirs to the Beach Area. From time to time, beach towel stocks run low and we have to reorder them from a 3rd party laundry provider (Snowbird Laundry).

14. Old and Worn Towels: We feature standard white hotel grade towels and linen for all rooms. Any stained or old/worn towels are removed from circulation and are given for staff to take home. Naturally, our staff actively search old / soiled linen to take home.

15. Staff/Room/Shower/Beach: We are pleased to read that you enjoyed staff interaction, loved your room, enjoyed your shower, and found the beach to be clean and appealing.

16. 5 Star Journey: We are transforming the resort to become the leading 5 star resort on Rarotonga. This program is planned over an 18-month cycle. We have ongoing staff training programs in place, and will soon commence our room upgrade program to ensure the hotel keeps in line with world hospitality trends.

17. All in all, thank you for writing about the negative points at our hotel. We will continuously review operations and shall make necessary changes to fix problems, where practicable, to make Crown Beach Resort & Spa a fantastic place to stay.

Best wishes,

Rohan Ellis
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2010

The bad news first: this isn't the trendiest or most designer hotel on the island. The Little Polynesian and Rumours are both more aesthetically exciting than Crown Beach (we checked them both out, and had lunch at the former where the food is more cutting-edge too). And the criticism of the amount of coral in the atoll and also on the beach itself is probably valid too - you have to watch where you walk and swim.
But it's a small price to pay for having the absolute best location on Raratonga. You are on the western-most point on the island and that means the best seats in the house for sunset. The property is also very deep and the atmosphere is wonderfully still, unlike the other properties I mentioned which are hard up against to the main road, yet you are closer to town and the airport than most resorts (but no noise).
The staff are terrific, from the appropriately-named activities director Dawn who is bursting with energy to the more laidback team in the bistro who really know how to put their cocktails together ... happy hour was one of the highlights of our day! The open-air bistro's food is nothing special but perfectly fine - go to the Little Polynesian or into town if you want a more exciting lunch - but the themed dinners are fun and the Windjammer is one of the very best a la carte restaurants on the island.
General advice: the Cook Islands is somewhere you go to relax and take in the beauty - there's very little to do. We went for a week on our honeymoon and it was ideal after the frenzy of our wedding, mainly because we were fully recharged and ready to go by the end of the week! Remember to buy your booze before 9pm on Saturday because the whole island shuts down for Sabbath - the hotel still serves drinks but NZ-brewed Heineken is on $2 a bottle from the local shop and good Kiwi wines are no more expensive than in Australia, so you want to stock up.
Also, we didn't dare take our scooter on the road after sunset as it's not well lit or sealed and it seemed that drink-driving was a major problem amongst the locals. Basically, we stayed in every night and were happy to do so. And bring your own books, magazines, CDs and DVDs - there's only one radio station and one TV station and the reception is pretty poor.

  • Stayed March 2010, 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
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Springwood, Australia
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2010

This was our second trip to the Cook Islands and when we first stayed at Crown Beach 8 years ago it was all very new and lovely. We enjoyed it so much the first time we just had to choose to stay there again...however we were a bit apprehensive about how it would be 8 years on. We were upgraded to a beachfront villa on arrival which was a most exciting and pleasant surprise (perhaps because we were returning guests). What we noticed was the Resort was much larger however all the additions to the property are all first class. The restaurant and Bar area is very tasteful and the view of the lagoon from your table is second to none. The resort just has a classy but very relaxed feel albeit a little more crowded than our first visit. The beach is raked and pristine as are the beautiful gardens and grounds. The swimming pool is also very inviting as an alternative to the lagoon at low tide. Our favourite things...watching the sunsets at Happy Hour, listening to the waves crash on the reef, brilliant cocktails, the beautiful lagoon, dining barefoot in the sand, nightly turn-down service.
There was less than a handful of things I could rate as negative - there are a couple of staff who are "over the top" and a little rude and/or annoying & the pool lounges are rock hard & uncomfortable. Did that spoil our stay...far from it! Would I recommend this resort to others...absolutely! Would I return...can't wait!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Copenhagen, Denmark
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2010

Crown Beach hosted the Pacific Arts Association (PAA) conference which I attended and stayed with. The resort was able to set up two venues for the PAA, one is their main front hall and the other by converting their Ocean Restaurant in an open-air auditorium. While this arrangement was probably operating at the limited of the resort's capacity the staff responded with a cheerful and positive attitude to their difficult task and the participants were pleased with the result. We had a day either side of the event to relax and enjoy the resort. The beach/lagon-side location is first class, the cocktails are excellent. the pool lovely.

This would be a great place for a honeymoon or just to chill out.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Guernsey, United Kingdom
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2010

We traveled from the Channel Islands to attend a friend's Wedding in the Cook Islands and used tripadvisor reviews to select our hotel. We were thrilled. The accommodation was super and because the resort is not in the thick of the other resorts, it was a great getaway spot. We managed to visit some of the other other promoted resorts on the Island and we have to say that the Crown was a cut above all of them. The best part of our stay was the fantastic staff - Donna, David, Tangi and the gang went out of their way to make our stay a memorable one. There are some super restaurants nearby and the staff were more than helpful in pointing out some less touristy things to see and visit. The stay there was so great that we are already planning another visit there in 2012. Definitely value for money.

  • Stayed June 2010, 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
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Auckland, New Zealand
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2010

My husband and I just spent 6 days at the Crown Beach. We had one of their rooms with its own pool. The room was fabulous and totally private - we could sunbathe and cool off in our own pool totally naked if we wanted! It was a great place to just relax and de-stress. The staff were really friendly and helpful, but not in your face all the time, but if you needed anything they were there. Snorkelling off the beach was really good and you definitely have to do it. My son has always had marine fish tanks and it was amazing to see all the fish that he had in his tank just doing their natural thing in the sea. There were no children at the resort which was definitely a bonus - why go to a resort with children if you are not taking your own - it certainly made a difference. The whole Rarotongan experience was great. Lovely island with lovely people. Can't wait to go back. Although it had wireless internet it wasn't particularly cheap and very slow.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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Additional Information about Crown Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Beach Road, Sunset Coast, Arorangi 682, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Arorangi
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Arorangi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Crown Beach Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Cook Islands leading luxury beachfront romance resort on Rarotonga's sunset coast...an exclusive haven for only 42 couples. 5 acres of manicured gardens, 100 meters of icing sugar beach, a crystal clear lagoon, 3 restaurants & bars, day spa & beauty clinic, gymnasium, scuba dive centre, conference & business centre, 3 wedding coordinators, 15 swimming pools + 9 spa pools...so much more than meets the eye. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crown Beach Hotel Arorangi
Crown Beach Resort And Spa
Hotel Crown Beach
Crown Beach Resort Rarotonga
Crown Beach Resort & Spa Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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