Our travel agent booked us two nights here at the end of our Cook Islands holiday. If this is all we knew of the Cook Islands we probably would have loved it, but after staying at the Pacific Resort Muri Beach and the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort we found the Sanctuary quite noisy and commercialised.
The Sanctuary is really just the adults only wing of the Rarotongan Resort. Reception is at the bar (I think to reduce the number of staff required) and it feels like things have been crowded in to maximise the dollars per square meter.
The beach and lagoon are nice, but there is a large rock wall along the front of most of the hotel, so access to the water is only from a small beach. Snorkels, fins etc need to be picked up from the beach hut of the Rarotongan so you will need to compete with the masses from there. We were only able to get beach towels ONCE in three days... they would run out very early in the day. We were also told by staff to get to breakfast early or we wouldn't be able to get a table.
We also found the the surrounds of the Sanctuary/ Rarotongan were grubby. Tables not cleared quickly (I'm talking hours here), rubbish in the sandy floor of the restaurant, room service plates left outside of rooms all day and general litter just left around.
To us the attraction of the Cook Islands is the relaxed and simple way of life without the crowds. There are plenty of other options in Rarotonga were you can find modern, comfortable and luxurious hotel rooms without feeling like you are in any large beach hotel anywhere in the world.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A true taste of the exotic Cook Islands in the heart of the South Pacific, Sanctuary Rarotonga is an adults-only resort located on the pristine white sand shores of Aroa Lagoon. All suites are absolute beachfront. Tropical buffet breakfast, many resort activities, and daily activities program are included in the nightly rate. The perfect location for a romantic honeymoon or a relaxed beach holiday. Three effortless Weddings in Paradise packages. A true South Pacific paradise. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Sanctuary Rarotonga-On The Beach Hotel Aroa Beach
- Sanctuary Rarotonga-On The Beach Aroa Beach