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“Disappointing in several aspects” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa

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The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Aroa Beach, Aroa Beach, Cook Islands   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Aroa Beach
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Disappointing in several aspects”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

We booked to stay for 9 nights in the Cook Islands as an add-on to a tour of New Zealand. On arrival at the airport in Rarotonga we had been told to report to the Island Hopper desk but they were not expecting us but then nor was the rep at the Rarotongan Beach Resort airport desk. After several telephone calls we were bundled onto a bus and transferred to the resort. The setting for the resort is idyllic and we had been allocated a garden room in the main part of the resort. Unbeknown to us there was an adults only section called the Sanctuary and whilst we were welcome to use that area for lunch, dinner and drinks (at pretty high cost) we were not allowed to take breakfast there and had to take breakfast in a canteen type area with heaps of ill-behaved, noisy children. Breakfast is billed as a tropical breakfast and a couple of eggs attracted a surcharge of 18 NZ dollars. As regards the food It is expensive, but then you are a captive audience because of the remote nature of the hotel. Lunch dinner and a couple of drinks/coffees added up to close on £150 (300 NZDollars) a day.

Whilst we were there a temporary pool had to be installed so that the swimming pool could be repaired. The building work that followed restricted access to some areas and a cloud of dust had to be endured during daylight hours. The dust crept into every area of the main building.

The staff were lovely and invariably greeted you warmly wherever you went. The service was at island speed (leisurely).

Internet provision was expensive (15 NZ dollars for 50mb) and did not last long.

The most exasperating feature of this stay was the final day. We were due to be picked up for transport to the airport at 2130 for a 2359 flight to Los Angeles. Check out was at 1000 and the temperature during the day was humid and in the 30s. We had to pay an additional 155 NZ dollars (£80) for late check out at 1800.

We loved the beach location, the aircon in the room was a godsend and the people were great but we were so disappointed with the cost of Internet and food (which was very good at dinner) and the money-grabbing approach on the last day

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Kia Orana “Mike P”

Thank you for taking the time to upload your review on your recent stay in June 2013 at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa

We are concerned that you were not happy with several areas during your stay.

As mentioned previously, our Duty Managers are available between the hours of 7am and 12midnight to assist guests with addressing any concerns they may have.

Our Resort Manager would have also been happy to discuss your concerns but this would have been more productive if raised immediately with the Duty Managers rather than at the end of your stay. This would have allowed us the opportunity to not only resolve your concerns but to carry on with enjoying your holiday.

We appreciate your feedback that has highlighted areas that we need to improve on and as a result, we have implemented thorough training and system reviews throughout the company to resolve the concerns you have raised.

Kia Manuia
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689 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (196)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Llandeilo, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

We stopped here for 9 days on the way home from visiting New Zealand. On arrival late afternoon we found we had been upgraded free-of-charge to the Sanctuary, the adults only part of the resort. The room exceeded our expectations, approximately 10m from the water's edge and south facing so avoided the worst of the heat. The staff, mainly Fijian were all friendly and attentive, room service always happened but timing varied. We ate in the restaurants most nights and always found something to suit our tastes. We traveled around the island using the local bus service which picked up at the hotel reception on it's clockwise journey [we purchased a 25$ multi-trip ticket and always did a complete circuit of the island as there was an endless variety of different views and travellers. Snorkelling was excellent in the lagoon and even my wife had a try! Plenty of free equipment for snorkelling, kayaking, tennis and other activities. Kid's Club runs during the day. Excellent local Saturday morning market in main town.

As the icing on the cake we took a day trip on Air Rarotonga to Aitutaki - expensive but well worth it - it's called spending the children's inheritance!

Room Tip: Use the Sanctuary if possible for peace and quiet, all rooms have a sea view. Not that the family s...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Kia Orana Allan4619,

Thank you for your review in regards to your recent stay with us at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa.

We are absolutely delighted to read that you enjoyed the location, facilities and services that our sister resort, Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach and The Rarotongan has to offer.

In particular, our stunning traditional Aroa Marine Reserve is always a delight for children and adults alike. Guests are able to take only a few steps away from the shore to be able to view the beautiful jewel colored fish in the luminous Aroa lagoon.

As you experienced, guests are able to book a large number of tours, activities and excursions through our Best of the Islands Tour Desk located in the lobby at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa – including the Aitutaki Day Tour. I’m sure many guests will agree with you that a highlight of their stay was experiencing our sister island only a 40minute flight away with its amazing crystal blue lagoons and stunning islets.

Thank you once again for your kind review and we hope to be able to welcome you back to The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa in the very near future.

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards
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Brisbane
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

The location of the resort is amazing, words can not discribe how beautiful the area is, very good for a family vacation and my kids had a great time and the facilties are fantastic. Housekeeping could improve, the room was clean but not as well maintained as the last visit;

I will have no problem returning next year

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Kia Orana “Amber M”

Thank you for your review in regards to your recent stay with us at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa.

We are thrilled that you enjoyed the location of The Rarotongan which is set on Aroa Beach, Rarotonga's most beautiful white sandy beach on the shores of Aroa Lagoon (the Lagoon of Love). It is located on the island's sunshine southwest coast where guests can enjoy all-day sun, stunning sunsets, all-tide safe swimming and excellent off-beach snorkelling in the traditional marine sanctuary directly in front of the resort.

However, we are concerned that you experienced several aspects during your stay that did not meet your expectations and as a result have implemented measures within Housekeeping to address these concerns.

Thank you once again for choosing The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa for your holiday destination and we look forward to seeing you and your family back on our shores again in the near future.

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

Lets start with the good points, the location is amazing: right in the middle of a marine park and the snorkeling was world class.........
We arrived at 1am in the morning only to find the key to the room didnt work it took over an hour for security to get the door open (being put in another room would have been a good option). In the morning they had to replace the whole door lock.
We had been told the pool was closed due to a leak 2 days before we were due to fly over there...however we discover that there is no leak but a complete renovation of the pool and entrance area (obviously planned for months) there was noise and dust all over the resort the whole time we were there...to find out that we had been lied to by the resort was unpleasant. We had dinner there the first night and although the food was good the service was awful it took over 2 hours to get a meal and a drink and the dessert took over 45 minutes despite the fact we were the only ones left in the restaurant. This goes beyond 'Island time' and into 'I don't really care about the guests time'
Housekeeping clean when they feel like it and what they feel like not emptying bins, not cleaning floors and not replacing consumables....unfortunately I could go on and on regarding negative comments about this resort....
It's a shame as the resort could be amazing but it needs to take a serious look at its staff and manangement. I would not recommend staying here until that has been done.

Room Tip: Beach front rooms seem to be the best
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Kia Orana “Ruth W”

Thank you for your review in regards to your recent stay with us at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa.

We are thrilled that you enjoyed the location of The Rarotongan which is set on Aroa Beach, Rarotonga's most beautiful white sandy beach on the shores of Aroa Lagoon (the Lagoon of Love). It is located on the island's sunshine southwest coast where guests can enjoy all-day sun, stunning sunsets, all-tide safe swimming and excellent off-beach snorkelling in the traditional marine sanctuary directly in front of the resort.

However, we are concerned that you experienced several aspects during your stay that did not meet your expectations and as a result have implemented measures within Housekeeping, Restaurant and the Kitchen to address these concerns.

We apologize for the inconvenience you experienced on your arrival as well as the emergency repairs to the main swimming pool during your stay with us – however we are pleased to advise that as a result of these repairs and renovations, we have a stunning recreational area where our guests can relax and sip tropical island cocktails by poolside or go for a refreshing swim under the cascading waterfall.

In summary, I would like to again take the opportunity remind guests that we have Duty Manager’s rostered 7 days a week between the hours of 7am and midnight to assist guests with resolving any concerns they may have. It is beneficial to bring any issues to our attention immediately as more often than not, these issues can be quickly be resolved to allow you continue with your tropical island holiday as intended.

Thank you once again for choosing The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa for your holiday destination.

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards
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Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We stayed at the Rarotongan for our 'engagement-moon' and we could not have asked for a better place. We stayed in a garden view room and yes it does look a bit tired and the shower could do with an upgrade but we only went back to the room to sleep and shower. The rest of the time were out exploring, snorkeling, eating and sun baking. The snorkeling was the best we had encountered, the service at the resort was exceptional and the food was amazing! We will definitely stay at the Rarotongan again. It was paradise!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Kia Orana Leonie_0281,

Thank you for your review in regards to your stay with us at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa.

Congratulations on your recent engagement!

We are delighted that you found your Garden Room comfortable for your romantic escape in Rarotonga.

The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa is indeed perfectly located overlooking the beautiful Aroa Lagoon Traditional Marine Reserve “raui”. And as you have experienced yourselves, guests take great pleasure in being able to snorkel and swim amongst an abundant variety of fish only a few steps from the shore.

We are also delighted to read that you thoroughly enjoyed your dining experiences with us as well as the service provided by our friendly team of staff.

Thank you once again for your kind comments and we hope to be able to welcome you back to The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa in the near future ~ maybe your wedding day :-)

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards
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Rotorua, New Zealand
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Amazing, Fantastic, enjoyable, magical, wonderful, perfect and WOW... A few words that come to mind when I think about our time in Rarotonga and staying at the Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa! Both my newly married husband and I arrived in Rarotonga on Sat 23 Feb 2013, (then to still be married) where we enjoyed our next 8 days in paradise and of course the amazing settings of the Rarotongan for our Wedding on 27Feb!

The staff are friendly, amazing, kind and will go the extra mile for you (Gold nothing passes you and it's amazing). The resort is clean, tidy and you can tell the staff take the time to take that extra care to make sure it's kept up to high standards. Rarotongan people are so proud of their country it's so awesome to see - not enough of that happens in NZ. If you aren't travelling with children I totally recommend for you to pay the extra and stay in the adults only area - you will thank me for this once you arrive! :)

NOW onto our wedding... I cannot say this enough BUT going to Rarotonga and getting to know Laisa (and Adele) was one of the best ideas my husband and I have ever had! These ladies are just the BOMBS... It takes a special type of person to deal with a bride and her big day, but nothing is ever to big, to small, to much, or a problem to them and they just make it all seem simple and fantastic! Everything for and on our day was taken care of just perfectly and even more amazing than I could have ever hoped and dreamed it all to be... I cannot recommend these two ladies enough to anyone who is getting married - they are huge assets and I think the Rarotongan are so lucky to have them and all the staff we met on our trip away.

If you are looking for an amazing holiday location, I couldn't rate the Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa and Rarotonga highly enough!!! It's a must do on your bucket list.

XxX

Room Tip: The Beachfront Suites - no kiddies there though :)
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  • Stayed February 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.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Kia Orana Sarah S,

Thank you for your wonderful review in regards to your wedding day celebration with us at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa.

Congratulations once again from the team here at The Rarotongan!

Our Wedding Planners, Laisa and Adele, as well as the team at the resort are thrilled that your wedding day was everything that you wished it to be :-)

The Rarotongan is indeed the perfect destination for weddings. With our adults only sister resort, Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach located directly adjacent to The Rarotongan, wedding parties can find something to suit their every need. We have great family facilities which mean that you can have peace of mind knowing that everyone will be taken well care of before, during and after your special day.

Rarotonga, the heart of the South Pacific and one of the most romantic places on Earth, is the pick of the bouquet for many couples from all four corners of the globe looking for a special place to exchange their vows. A magnificent island of high mountains clothed in lush green rainforest and encircled by white sandy beaches and a beautiful blue lagoon, Rarotonga is truly one of the last remaining paradises on Earth. There are a number of different spots on the island where a couple could choose to tie the knot, but it would be hard to go past the long white sandy beach on the shores of Aroa Lagoon (Lagoon of Love), on Rarotonga's sunshine southwest coast. Swaying palm trees, turquoise sea lapping the pale sandy shore, the setting sun turning the whole scene golden as another day at the edge of time draws to a close. This is the idyllic South Seas wedding location of your dreams. And it's not just the romance which draws couples, but also the practical advantages of having a very affordable no-fuss wedding combined all-in-one with a South Pacific honeymoon!

We are delighted that you enjoyed the location, accommodation and service provided during your stay with us.

Thank you once again for your review and we look forward to welcoming you back to The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa for your next tropical island escape – perhaps your first wedding anniversary.

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards
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Palmer, Alaska
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

The setting is beautiful, many of the staff are friendly, but I just can't recommend this hotel. Housekeeping comes when they feel like it (one night I asked for someone to come and it was 5pm), and then they forget washcloths, hand towels or beach towels, (or to clean a sandy floor/counter or replace a used coffee cup). It's like they almost get it, but not really, and you want to root for them to get it right the next time, but then it's wrong again....crushed black pepper on a Hawiian pizza?? warm red wine that's probably been in the heat too long that it tastes on the vinegar side?? a 35 seat eating area with almost every table reserved, but no one is sitting there, yet we're told they can't seat us at 5:20 pm (VERY EARLY)?? pay for internet and use about 5 MB per usage, then one time you log in and 9 MB is used within a minute?? For all of these we politely asked questions only to get no answer, or a shrug. We vacation yearly in resorts that are similar. We don't expect perfection, but this one continued to have multiple problems, every day.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Kia Orana “AlaskaSunSeeker”

Thank you for your review in regards to your recent stay with us at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa.

We are thrilled that you enjoyed the location of The Rarotongan which is set on Aroa Beach, Rarotonga's most beautiful white sandy beach on the shores of Aroa Lagoon (the Lagoon of Love). It is located on the island's sunshine southwest coast where guests can enjoy all-day sun, stunning sunsets, all-tide safe swimming and excellent off-beach snorkelling in the traditional marine sanctuary directly in front of the resort.

However, we are concerned that you experienced several aspects during your stay that did not meet your expectations and as a result have implemented measures within Housekeeping, Restaurant and the Kitchen to address these concerns.

We have also reviewed our in-house internet service with our providers to resolve the speed issues.

In summary, I would like to again take the opportunity remind guests that we have Duty Manager’s rostered 7 days a week between the hours of 7am and midnight to assist guests with resolving any concerns they may have. It is beneficial to bring any issues to our attention immediately as more often than not, these issues can be quickly be resolved to allow you continue with your tropical island holiday as intended.

Thank you once again for choosing The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa for your holiday destination.

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Aroa Beach, Aroa Beach, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Aroa Beach
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Aroa Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 156
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Also Known As:
The Rarotongan Beach Hotel Aroa Beach
The Rarotongan Beach Resort And Spa
Rarotongan Beach Resort Spa
The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa Rarotonga/Aroa Beach

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