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“Great Standard of Accommodation” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sunset Resort

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Sunset Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Ara Tapu | Nikao, Avarua, Cook Islands   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Avarua
Auckland, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great Standard of Accommodation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2010

We stayed at the Sunset resort for 7 days in May 2010. I travelled with my fiance (we are 23 and 25) and my parents (46 and 49), and we stayed in a two bedroom pool side apartment. I'd say the average age profile of people staying there were 50+ couples.

Having travelled to Samoa, Tonga and Fiji in the past 2 years I was impressed with the room - it was spacious, had a full size fridge freezer, a fully equipped kitchen (and what's more it all looked exeptionally clean), and a large balcony. However, my parents, having never been to the Pacific Islands before (they are used to European and Carribean standard hotels) felt it was a little shabby as the paintwork wasnt maintained and the interior decor was a little basic. The beds were large and comfortable, although I was disappointed to see a blood stain on my sheets on the first night (to Sunset's credit they changed the sheets the next day without me asking when the cleaner noticed this). The room had a powerful shower. Most impressive though was the air conditioning - there were three units in the apartment and as a result it stayed cold.

The hotel itself had a couple of nice pools and excellent comfy sun loungers. We were a little disappointed with the beach and sea next to the hotel because the beach was very corally and we spotted more than 1 shard of glass. You could rarely swim in the sea because it is shallow and is full of coral. The coral is quite interesting to look at, however I'd recommend getting the bus to Muri to snorkel as it's deeper and there seems to be more fish.

The Ancorage restaurant had fairly good food, and put on different menus on different nights. We felt a bit sorry for them on BBQ night as they laid out a large buffet and it wasn't really touched. It is definitely worth having a meal here one night.

The bars were well stocked but I found the cocktails a bit bland - best to stick to spirit and mixer or lager.

We were a little disappointed that there were no small gestures made by the hotel on my mum's 50th birthday - I wrote to inform them of this beforehand, but they didn't do anything. The staff at the hotel were ok, but we found hotel/bar/restaurant staff around the whole island to be pretty rude and generally disinterested (on the contrary to all the other locals we chatted to who were very friendly).

Overall we had fun at this resort and I'd recommend it. It was quiet when we stayed, which we enjoyed, but I wouldn't stay here if you were looking for a lively atmosphere because it is very laid back.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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421 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (160)
Date | Rating
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English first
Kiwi
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2010

We have just returned from spending 6 fabulous nights at the Sunset Resort - and wish now that we had booked and stayed for longer! Everything about the place is brilliant and I would have no hesitation in recommending Sunset Resort to everyone that is lucky enough to be going to Rarotonga. We will definately be going back just as soon as we can. Top place!

  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2010

We stayed at the Sunset for our Honeymoon and loved every minute. The People are sooo friendly from the minute we stepped out if the plane we always felt looked after. The resort is very pretty and was lovely and quiet when we were there even though they were almost full.
The pools are great as they are never full and the beach has great snorkling, the area where the sunset is located is quite sheltered from the wind too which is a massive bonus! the resort isnt far away from the centre of town, we hired a wee convertable and had great fun zooming around in it.

The rooms were cleaned everyday and the room was always tidy, and cool. We stayed in one of the beach front villas.

The Drum Beat bar is great to head to at happy hour for a delicious cocktail as Rua, Ana and Kimmie always made you feel welcome and it was great chatting to them and hearing about day to day life in rarotonga, the restaurant is also lovely and has yummy food that is not overpriced at all.

I fully recommed this resort for somewhere you can relax and enjoy island life, will be back one day hopefully soon!!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2010

Went in august stayed in a garden front room. Room was great, good size and furnishings, cleaned daily, bed comfotable, kitchen and bathroom were excellent and best of all air conditioning!! Breakfast was yummo, cereals, home made yogurt, 4 kinds of fruit, and fruit salad type bowl. orange juice, tea coffee, and the yummest bread ever with all spreads andc the best peanut butter in the world!! pools were good size, grounds were immaculate and the grass area before the deck with pagola was perfect. beach was beautiful, lots of fish, hammocks and deck chairs and best of all no kids to disrupt the peace:) Staff were friendly and very helpful :) didnt really attack the anchorage restaurant because there were so many other awesome places, would highly recommend the kikau hut (1 min walk from resort), the tamarind house, and the muri beach club. Seriously would recommend sunset resort to anyone

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wanganui, New Zealand
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2010

The Sunset Resort is THE place in Rarotonga if you are after some R & R - lovely setting - great staff - nice and quiet compared to some of the other larger resorts (policy of no children under 12) and the only one with two pools. The rooms are well equipped with everything you need and the A/C works extremely well.

It's very close to town and to numerous restaurants within walking distance or just hop on a scooter which can be rented from across the road.

Once you get used to the 24 hour a day rooster call which is EVERY where in Raro - you will have a great time.

  • Stayed July 2010
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Auckland, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2010

We had a week in May staying at the Sunset Resort for a friend's 60th birthday. The party was a huge success due to the careful planning of the resort. We were very well looked after and the pool outside our room was well used. Weather was perfect and we ate well due to the location of the resort. Breakfast at the resort is complimentary and lots to choose from. Beds very comfortable and rooms are airconditioned. We were able to feed the fish at the beautiful beach just by walking into the sea. Sitting down at the beach watching the sunset , with a glass of wine, is the perfect end to a day. We will be back.

  • Stayed May 2010, 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
    • 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2010

I booked the Sunset Resort based on reviews seen here on tripadvisor and I must say I am a little disappointed by the Sunset.

Arrived on an early morning flight from Auckland (2am) and was greeted at the airport ready for our 8 night stay at the Sunset, driver was friendly but a little out of his element as I don’t believe he usually has to do the pick up’s and check ins, I believe usually a lady does this? Not that this mattered too much, we were tired and went straight to the room and slept.

The room we had was beautiful, it was a Studio overlooking the pool with modern furnishings and fixtures, TV was small but with only one channel and the fact that we weren’t there to watch TV it didn’t matter, beautiful balcony and decent air-conditioning which was fine at the time we went (June) but seemed like it may struggle in the warmer months, cooking facilities were available which we did utilise a couple of times and were more than adequate for our needs. Like a previous reviewer our room was also missing one of the aluminium louvers which controls air-flow & light into the room, wasn’t too happy with the lone stream of light creeping into the room each morning.

Breakfast is marketed as a complimentary inclusion so wasn’t expecting much from it and was right to assume so, very basic continental buffet, toast, fruit & little boxed cereals (those annoying ones that are hard to open), the breakfast service was non-existent, the waitress who staffed breakfast every morning we stayed could never be located, she would appear sporadically from somewhere out the back, gave up waiting to give her our vouchers and just went straight in and had breakfast and she would come over 10 minutes later asking for the vouchers.

Dined in Anchorage Restaurant for dinner on the first night, hands down the absolute worst meals we had on the island, I had the fish which was undercooked on a bed of which I can only describe as chunky grey mash, it tasted terrible and was expensive, a complete let down, needless to say this was the last time we dined for dinner in the restaurant, decided to give it another go for lunch but again meals were basic and fairly tasteless, service was also poor, waited around for 5-10 minutes for someone to serve us. Much better and cheaper options can be found so my advice is to avoid the restaurant.

The resort grounds were immaculate, beautiful gardens, the two pools were gorgeous and it never felt overly busy due to the size of the resort. Drumbeat Bar was nice and relaxing for an evening drink and the beach was great with hammocks and lounge chairs provided as well as complimentary snorkel gear. The staff we encountered whilst staying were friendly enough, reception at times were a little indifferent, but most were helpful.

Location wise the Hotel is situated only 10 minutes from town which is handy and only 20 minutes to Muri , we hired bicycles from the hire place across the road from the Hotel (only $10 each for the day) and cycled the entire 32km around the island one day and believe location wise the Sunset Resort is on the best side of the island.

Overall we did enjoy our time at the Sunset but we will probably try a different resort on our next trip to the Cook Islands.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Sunset Resort

Address: Ara Tapu | Nikao, Avarua, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Avarua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Avarua
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sunset Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sunset Resort is a 3.5 star property and is idyllically situated on the sheltered western side of the island only minutes from Avarua township. The secluded beachfront location provides guests with an unspoilt view of Rarotonga's crystal clear aqua blue lagoon and breathtaking sunsets. This personally managed, privately owned resort has an intimate atmosphere that will make every guest feel welcome and ensure they experience the magic of Rarotonga and its people. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Sunset Hotel Arorangi
Sunset Hotel Arorangi
Sunset Resort Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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