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“Paradise at Aroko Bungalows” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aroko Bungalows

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Aroko Bungalows
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3.0 of 5 Villa   |   PO Box 850, Ngatangiia, Cook Islands   |  
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Hotel amenities
Auckland, New Zealand
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Paradise at Aroko Bungalows”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2011

Lovely people, Sonny, Maui and Papa made us feel very welcome. Aroko bungalows is locally owned, simply furnished but with all the peace and beauty of Rarotonga. If you are looking for great value, self contained, beach views, quiet away from the hustle of Muri beach, but a 5minute walk if you so desire and you dont mind that there is not a sandy beach out front to lie on this is the place for you. The beach in front of the bungalows is rocky, its great for the kayak but not swimming. Its still a perfect place to be in Rarotonga. Thank you Maui for such a memorable stay!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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74 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Courtenay, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2011

For us Aroko fits with Rarotonga. The place is clean and simply furnished with the essentials. Sure there are other "upscale" resorts with a better beach (some at double the cost) however this location is great, offering some separation from the hotels yet within a 5-10 minute walk of everything from coffee/internet to sand/restaurants. Sonny and Maori were most helpful in suggesting activities/sites as well as relating interesting historical accounts and folklore. They addressed all our inquiries in a friendly and informative manner.
The view is spectacular from #4 while the rest of the surroundings served to reinforce our personal attraction to the Cook Islands. Enjoy your fresh, barbecued mahimahi over a glass of wine while the sun goes down....! Wonderful memories!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Berlin
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2011

The bungalows are located on a quiet corner at one end of Muri lagoon, a few minutes walk to the main tourist area of Muri proper. The bungalows are spartan but clean. No breakfast is provided. No daily cleaning is performed. If you want to swim it is probably better to walk to the main Muri beach, as the part of the lagoon fronting the bungalows is very, very shallow. Kanus are provided. Note that the bungalows have some windows that cannot be closed, so the wind which blows constantly during the night will affect you, as it can get rather cold at night. As is customary in the Cooks you may get some discount or upgrades when arriving outside the main season.

Compared with other (and better) options in Muri prices for Aroko are on the high end, even taking into account the generally quite high price level in Rarotonga. I managed to get a hotel suite at Muri Beach Club for not much more simply by showing up.

I was picked up at the airport, however I had to wait for a follow-on airplane and more passengers to arrive as I myself was obviously not important enough to warrant immediate transport to the bungalows. Qute annoying, as I ended up getting to the bungalows well after midnight. Clearly there would have been ample time to drop me off at the bungalows right after my arrival and for the owner to then go back to the airport to pick up the follow-on passengers.

I ended up staying a few days less than I originally planned because I disliked the location, the absence of room servicing, the spartan furnishing, and the fact that windows don´t close. The "fee" quoted at the Web site for early departure is 50% for every night you do not stay, no matter how many nights in question, and no matter how early you announce your early departure.

As I was making a case for a reduction of this unusually high and unflexible early departure "fee" in an absolutely business-like way the reaction of the owner was unprofessional, unfriendly, and I have to admit downright rude. I was told they had to refuse accomodation to other guests because of my reservation (obviously incorrect as the property was more or less empty during my stay), he claimed this was standard practice all over the world (obviously incorrect, I have more than 200 hotel nights per year on average and know a bit about the hotel business myself), and more such things. More importantly, however, I was reminded in no uncertain terms to respect the check out time by the minute, never mind that I was paying a few more days worth of "fees" for my early departure. My final remark that I was leaving as an unhappy guest did not elicit a material response. The owner showed very clearly to me how annoyed he was at me asking for such a request.I felt like a trespasser at that moment in time and not like a paying guest.

I would give 3 stars for the property as such, 2 stars maybe if taking into account value vs. price, but I have little patience for unfriendly and unaccomodating service -- certainly less so than other reviewers of this property have shown. ==> 1 star.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2011

We just had our second stay at Aroko. We were also there this time last year. It's so peaceful & private. It is no frills, but very comfortable (great comfy bed), clean & affordable, so your extra $$$ can be spent on cocktails! Also great being self catering - bacon & eggs for brekkie. We also had entertainment at Aroko by a 1 legged rooster adopting us. Very handy to Muri - just a stroll along the road for a great swim. Very reliable transfers - Sonny was at the airport to greet us with a smile (even at 1am). We will return to Aroko for sure!

Room Tip: I don't want to share our secret - but number 6 is great.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, 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.
Pacifica, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2011

We just got back from our 4th visit to Aroko. This time we stayed 4 weeks and I noticed a lot of people doing what we did the first time we visited - using it as a lay-over on their way to Aitutaki. Aroko is great for that, but I also noticed a lot of those same people saying they want to come back and stay for longer, just like we did the 2nd, 3rd and 4th time. Aroko is perfect if you're looking for a relaxing, friendly and self contained place to stay. We often find ourselves spending the entire day on our back deck, soaking up the warmth and that awesome view across the lagoon to the motus. The main Muri attractions are a 5 minute walk away, but at Aroko you've got this idyllic refuge from the 'hustle and bustle'. You wake to the sun gently coming up, you watch the tide go back and forth, talk to Papa when he does the gardening (ask him to show you how to open a coconut from the resident trees, yum!), you watch the dogs fishing (you'll know it when you see it), watch the trevally tear into schools of baitfish and the cornetfish cruise the shallows. In the late afternoon the motus get lit up with golden sunlight, you make yourself a cocktail and look forward to doing it all over again. The bus stops right at the driveway, there are scooters to rent a couple of hundred yards away, a decent little store that's always open, restaurants a couple of hundred yards further, and Sonny and Maui always, always make you feel like it's your home as much as theirs. Put all those (and lots of other) reasons to visit together and you'll see why we're looking forward to visiting a 5th time, and a 6th.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Christchurch, New Zealand
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2011

A group of friends had an wonderful week at Aroko Bungalows. Whilst the accommodation is not 5 star, and has few frills, it is clean and comfortable, and very close to the beach, bars, restaurants and other facilities of Muri Beach.
The hosts Sonny and Maui, could not do enough for us, and always made us feel welcome.
We will be going back.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Nelson, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2011

The Aroko bungalows are no frills, so dont expect 5 star. They also dont have great swimming straight off the beach as the current is a bit swift. However they are very clean with friendly and accomodating staff, and the situation is perfect being walking distance to all things in Muri Beach. The views are magic and the open deck out front is ideal for a good fun atmosphere. We were there with a big group of friends and it is the perfect spot for this type of holiday.

The hosts, Sonny and Maui were very friendly and helpful and did everything they could to make our holiday enjoyable.

Would definitely recommend as long as you are not looking for high class.

Room Tip: There are 1-2 rooms that are more private with better views - would recommend these
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Aroko Bungalows

Address: PO Box 850, Ngatangiia, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Ngatangiia
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Ngatangiia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Aroko Bungalows 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aroko Bungalows are snugly nestled amidst swaying palms and fragrant tropical flowers beside the peaceful waters of Muri Lagoon. Overlooking historic Avana Passage where the seven canoes set sail for Aotearoa (New Zealand) in the 1300's, Aroko Bungalows take full advantage of this magical South Pacific location. Our self-contained (fully stocked kitchen, en-suite shower/toilet) bungalows offer privacy and luxury for the discerning traveler. We are located within walking distance from grocery, dive shop, restaurants, and world famous Muri Lagoon. Enjoy a romantic getaway or celebrate your family event with us! We offer affordable luxury...because you deserve only the best! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Aroko Bungalows Hotel Ngatangiia
Aroko Bungalows Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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