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“Paradise on Muri Beach” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Navigator

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The Navigator
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PO Box 165, Cook Islands   |  
Hotel amenities
Christchurch
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Paradise on Muri Beach”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2011

We recently enjoyed our second holiday at The Navigator on Muri Beach. We chose to return due to the incredible location and the wonderful accommodation and facilities on offer. We weren't disappointed.
A stunning vista from every direction greets you as you walk onto your own private deck/patio. The hardest decision you will make is to swim or snorkel in the lagoon (dive shoes recommended) or enjoy the view from your own crystal clear swimming pool. Alternatively, soak up the sun on your own white, soft-sand beach or bask in the setting sun on the deck.
If you like to cook for yourself, the residence has full cooking facilities and a BBQ on the deck. We took vacuum packed meats, cheeses and dips (all allowed through Cook Island customs, so long as you have an itemised list) as we love to BBQ. Otherwise there are wonderful dining options within 2 minutes walking distance including the Flame Tree, Pacific Resort restaurant and Beachcomber as an alternative. The CITC supermarket in Avarua has everything you need and don't forget to buy fresh produce from the roadside stalls of local families - delicious!
And, if you are of a mind, check out the happy hour every day on the beach at Pacific Resort from 4.30pm!
The other reason we chose The Navigator was because of the wonderful service and passion of the owners, Joy and John. Needing to cancel our booking 4 times because of family tragedy and natural disasters, John and Joy were accepting and very obliging. When we almost cancelled a 5th time, due to more earthquakes, they were so supportive, despite the fact that they would loose bookings and revenue, offering change of dates and even a refund if that would help. A tsunami warning at 6am (as a result of the sad events in Japan) had John on our doorstep, offering to evacuate us, even though the Cook Islands suffered no impact.
When my significant other succumbed to a mystery virus, John drove half way around the island to take us to the hospital, waiting 2 hours to offer assistance and support. That was after Joy organised Laurence from Sokala Villas (next door) to come and offer support while we waited for John.
There is no doubt that the Cook Islands, and Muri Beach in particular is one of the most beautiful destinations on earth. What sets it apart is the warmth, hospitality and caring nature of people such as Joy, John and Laurence that makes for an incredible experience.
Did I mention the island dogs - they are the most courteous, friendly and unassuming animals you will ever meet. They love company and will be your friend for as long as you are staying, if you let them. If dogs are not your thing, quietly shoo them on their way, and they'll find other 'softies' to befriend. If you want to do something for the island dog population, give a donation to the Esther Honey Foundation at the Avarua markets every Saturday. Spend time at The Navigator and your life will be improved out of sight, forever. Thanks you John and Joy. D&C

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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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10 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2010

Reality vs expectations: - Having eagerly anticipated our stay at the Navigator for about a year...drooling almost daily over any internet pictures we could find, we were so happy and relieved when the reality far exceeded our very high expectations. Without exception, this holiday hideaway delivered on all fronts - comfort, location, facilities, price, service and indulgence. Frankly, we're nervous about posting this submission in case everyone else finds out about our little island paradise!

The house: - The impact of the space is immediate when you open the front door. The kitchen / dining / lounge area downstairs is generously proportioned with sound literally echoing off the high ceilings and vast spaces. A separate bathroom on this level comes in super handy. The kitchen is well equipped and the bbq on the deck a welcome inclusion which we used a lot during our stay. Everything is well maintained and ready to go. However the piece de resistance is the backyard and its million dollar view - the infinity pool leads down to a very private beach from which you can wade across the lagoon to the uninhabited motu (the water only comes up to about waist height at high tide). We did this most mornings - a great way to wake up, take in the surroundings and clear the head from the many cocktails of the night before. Up the beautiful curved staircase are two bedrooms, both with their own bathrooms and the most exquisite views of the lagoon - it's a joy to open your eyes in the morning. We weren't bothered by bugs at all, but there are inbuilt insect sprays for any creepy crawlies. We had 3 people in the house (us plus a mum in the second bedroom) and we were spoit for space the whole time.

Having previously stayed at island resorts, we highly recommend staying in a holiday house. Although only there a week, we were truly able to relax and do as much or as little every day as we chose. By the end of our stay we were starting to feel really welcomed and included in the community - the locals were recognising us and giving friendly waves and even inviting us to their parties. It was also great to source local ingredients to prepare at home (don't miss the Saturday markets!) - fish on the barbie has never tasted so good.

Location: - close to the Muri Beach hub of restaurants, cafes, hotels, spas etc but yet slightly around the corner from the main beach area - just enough to be private and away from the buzzing tourists. We had the occasional person stroll past our backyard oasis but no-one really loitered which made us feel llike we had our own private beach out the back. The snorkelling directly outside the house was excellent too (comparable to that at Fruits of Rarotonga). There were heaps of beautiful coral fish. If you're careful, you won't tread on too many sea cucumbers. The laundry ($12 for a load) and corner shops at the end of the driveway are a godsend.

The hosts: - Joy and John are warm and friendly and incredibly gracious hosts. They generously share their expert local knowledge and tips without being obtrusive in any way. We had a mishap with our hire car upon arrival and Joy patiently and cheerfully drove us to the various rental branches and was on hand to mediate until all was sorted out. Also when the island nearly ran out of petrol, John called us with a heads up so we knew to fill the rental car up quick smart. This type of personal attention changes a place from being mere accommodation to being a true home away from home. We can't speak highly enough of this lovely, understated couple.

In short, the Navigator absolutely rocks. If you're even slightly tempted, just do it, you won't be disappointed. We can't recommend it highly enough. Such incredible value for money. We have already booked our next stay and hope to return as often as possible. It's cliched, but this is truly a slice of island paradise - a little piece of heaven.

Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2009

We stayed at The Navigator mid August and it is just the best kept secret.

The photos don’t do it justice and the owners Joy and John were the best hosts.

There were 4 of us in total (two couples) and the afternoon that we arrived we walked into the house and it was amazing – we looked at the view through the large windows looking out to the lagoon and could not believe our eyes – the view was just incredible. It was just perfect!!
I have never been to a tropical island before but it was just how I had imagined it.

We used the B-B-Q almost every night and it was great as we could sit around and have a couple of drinks and eat when we were hungry sitting on the deck in the warm tropical air.

There are only 2 bedrooms and are both upstairs and very large, they have their own separate bathroom with spa bath, shower and toilet and a separate toilet downstairs.

We hired scooters for the week and were glad we did as it gave us our independence. Snorkelling was high on the agenda most days as the water was nice and warm and depending on where you went you could find lots of tropical fish of every colour and description.
At that time of year we did not really need the pool but I am sure in the height of summer it would be well used.

A Big thanks to Joy and John for making our stay so enjoyable, they were only to happy to answer our questions about island life and recommend dining places and things to do.

The taxi service Joy organised was at the airport with a sign to pick us up and was on time to go back to the airport. ( not that we wanted to leave)

As we are all dog lovers it was wonderful to have the stray dogs come around to say Hello – we made friends with 3 in particular who would usually be sitting on the beach waiting for us to get up in the morning.

There are two canoes at present which are good for getting out on the water and over to the islands at high tide.

Rarotonga is defiantly the best place for a relaxing holiday and we would highly recommend it and The Navigator.

We will defiantly be back.

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Navigator

Address: PO Box 165, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga
Hotel Style:
Ranked #49 of 74 Specialty Lodging in Rarotonga
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 2

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