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“A Piece of Paradise” 5 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
Auckland New Zealand
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A Piece of Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2008

Rarotonga : Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa.
Such a beautiful piece of paradise and the facility and staff made our experience one that my daughter and I will never forget. I am not a regular traveller but have managed a trip to Europe in the past 2 years and no accommodation and such friendly staff can compare with this resort. Always happy to assist and service with a smile. The resort had everything you could wish for, relaxing and friendly pool area and the meals in the two restaurants were more than adequate. Both my daughter and myself came back with a few kilos extra as meals were well presented and much more than enough. We just had to share many times after struggling to consume a full meal. Rooms were well air conditioned with fan and air unit and although modest were certainly very comfortable. We walked out the door directly to the beach. A great variety of activities to choose from daily and these were so much fun. No shortage of sun loungers here and towelling, snorkels and fins were never in short supply. A great kids room, well equipped and supervised which we checked out for family at home, no worries for Mums & Dads here. Extremely hard to drag ourselves away after 8 days and am planning to return with hubby perhaps next year. Thanks to a great team - well done, see you again sometime.

Stayed August 2008
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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635 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (174)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Kawerau
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2008

Loved Staying here.. Decor is dated but was really cool me and my wife loved our first overseas holiday together had heaps of fun... they have the best snorkling on the island and food was awesome the fijians were more friendly than the rarotongans but still great loved the events and things to do.

Love Raro.

  • Stayed November 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2008

We booked a six night stay directly with the hotel, making our decision on their very attractive web site. We booked a Beachfront Room at NZ$365 per night but were given a complimentary upgrade to a Beachfront Suite (the essential difference was that the “suite” was a little larger room) with us having to take our last night in a Garden Room at NZ$265.00 per night. The Beachfront Suite did not conform to what one might internationally expect from a room described as a suite. However, it was adequate although one might have expected better for the price paid. On our first day our bedroom was made up at 3.30 pm and despite requesting that this be done earlier in the day during the remainder of our stay this was not always adhered to. Our tiled bedroom floor was dirty and on the second day we had to request the housekeepers to wash the floor. The minibar is empty on arrival and if you would like to use it, amazingly you have to pay $7.00 to have it filled and then pay normal minibar prices. The room was right on the beach with a balcony overlooking the lagoon. Without a doubt you pay for the view rather than the room or the service.

On our final night we were accommodated in a Garden Room. This room had more in common with a cheap budget hotel room. The room itself was cramped, poorly maintained and there were cracked tiles in the shower as well as tiles separating from one of the shower supporting walls. The fact that there was plenty of black dirt between these tiles indicated that they had been like this for quite some time. The discovery of a handful of human hair in the sliding door to the garden did not impress us either. The gardens are well maintained and guests are able to sit out and enjoy the sun and pleasant ambience. TV reception was so bad that it was impossible to watch television. One of the legs of the fridge was missing and the fridge went to one side on opening. This accommodation is seriously in need of renovation and at NZ$265.00 per night was grossly overpriced for the facilities provided.

A “tropical breakfast” was included in the price. On entering the breakfast restaurant the staff’s main focus was to ensure that we had paid for our breakfasts but never once helped us search for a free table in a very busy breakfast room. Far too often, the breakfast buffet ran out of breakfast items leaving guests milling around waiting on items to be replenished. While some fresh fruit was provided it was supplemented with tinned fruit. Four domestic toasters had to cater for a large restaurant full of people and queues were the order of the day. The electrical plugs above head height in the buffet area were filthy, reflecting inadequate standards. Overall, a poor breakfast and dreadful service. Because of this we never had an evening meal in the hotel preferring to go outside the hotel to use the Tamarind, Trader Jacks and the Windjammer restaurants where the standards are amongst the best on the island.

The beach and lagoon, whilst in our view, not the best in Rarotoanga, is nevertheless beautiful and the hotel provides kayaks, snorkelling gear, beach towels etc. free of charge. However, if you forget to leave your beach towel back by 5.30pm you are fined NZ$ 20.00 per towel. If you don’t get the other gear back within 2 hours of pick up you are also fined. Loose it and you are really in trouble, which is fair enough. However, when picking up two towels from the activities hut I was asked to sign a blank form and when I filled it in by adding “two towels” I was seriously admonished by the young lady in charge. She told me that I was forbidden to complete the form and she would fill it in afterwards. If she had made a mistake on my signed, blank form, I am sure I would have been out of pocket.

Whilst many of the staff were friendly and greeted you whilst walking past, the staff with whom we directly interacted were generally adequate at best. One exception was the lady who made sandwiches for lunch. A more pleasant and helpful lady you will not come across and incidentally, she also makes great sandwiches!!! This hotel states that it has ISO 9000. It must be easier to get ISO 9000 than it used to be! Incidentally, Internet is a costly NZ$18.00 per hour.

We just cannot understand some of the glowing reports on this hotel. We have stayed in hotels around the world for almost 40 years and this hotel left much to be desired. The hotel, whose market seems to be package holidaymakers, claims to be 4 star, which is simply untrue. Its beachfront rooms may be 3 star but the garden rooms are poor 2 star at best. Overall, a seriously expensive disappointment. Do yourself a favour and go elsewhere !!!!

  • Liked — Views of beach
  • Disliked — Rooms and breakfast
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2008

All I can say is that my husband and I have just returned from 12 nights in the Cook Islands - 7 at the Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, 3 at sister resort on Aitutaki and 2 at the Edgewater.

Our stay at the Ratotongan Beach Resort was in an Beachfront Suite which was a complemently upgrade. Our stay was amazing, the room was wonderful, spacious and clean, the food was great, yes you did have to wait for the toast to cook in the small toasters and sometimes they ran out of food or plates, but these were alway replenished you just have to relax and enjoy island time! The staff were wonderful and very friendly. Snorkeling outside the resort was one of the best snorkeling places on Rarotonga. As for the size of the pool, why would you need a pool when you have the wonderful lagoon with warmer water temperature right outside your room! We would go back to this resort as well as the sister resort. It is a pitty that I cannot speak so highly for the hospilitatily at the Edgewater.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nz
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2008

We have just come back from 8 days at the Rarotongan and couldnt find any faults,found our beachfront suite clean and spacious,the staff were very friendly and the breakfast with all the fresh fruit was wonderful.After reading all the negative reports was a bit worried about going there.The snorkelling just a few steps into the water was great. Plenty of activities if you want to do or see them.Would go back again.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2008

Went on this trip with a girlfriend that had been the year before and said the Raratongan was the place to stay. Not True rooms were far too small and we were upgraded to a beachfront studio rather than a beachfront room would of hated to see the size of the rooms . Bathroom needed as good clean grime in the shower little ants every where nothing was ever wiped down had to ask for the sheets to be changed and then the cleaner was not happy . Tv didnt work properly fridge leaked. Not even bedspreads on the beds when we first arrived and we had paid 400.00 per night. There were some unfriendly staff who shouldnt be working in hospitality Yes the beach is at the door and it has one of the best beaches on the island but the atmosphere and rooms leave a lot to be desired . Had planned for this trip staying (so we thought) at one of the better hotels on the island. My girlfriend was amazed how it had changed since her last trip. We will never stay there or recommend this hotel to anyone . Ruined our trip.

  • Liked — Beach
  • Disliked — the rooms
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2008

Just returned from a fantastic 7 days at the Rarotongan - Was pretty nervous about this trip after reading all the negative comments which is now annoying as most of you are so far from the truth. The staff are friendly if you are friendly - our room which was the basic garden room was clean on arrival and always cleaned by mid-day each day - the food was all good, always came out together (travelled with 10 others) and warm.

The beach is out of this world and the snorkelling is amazing. Yes the pool is cold but the sea is warm and the fish are as friendly as the staff.

The kids club is great - better than some of the pre-schools here in NZ - well set up and again, friendly staff.

Be warned though - if you attend the fire dancing evening make sure you wear fire proof clothing or stand near a fire hose and dont let your kids stand at the front - you've been warned!

Would go back tomorrow if my bank balance wasnt so bad!

  • Liked — Amazing beach
  • Disliked — Cocktails!
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Rarotongan Beach Resort And Spa
The Rarotongan Beach Hotel Aroa Beach
Rarotongan Beach Resort Spa
The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa Rarotonga/Aroa Beach

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