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“Awesum paradise” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sunrise Beach Bungalows

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Sunrise Beach Bungalows
3.0 of 5 Villa   |   Main Rd, Sunrise Beach, Cook Islands   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Awesum paradise”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2009

We have arrived back from an 8 day stay. What an awesum place.I had read these reviews and thought immmm maybe not the greatest place to stay but we had to make our minds up for ourselves (as kiwi's do) We had a beach front unit. (Beach albeit rocky) it was so cool to have the sea right outside your bedroom. The guests Brian & Caryn were awesum and so was the on site house keeper Aroha. She couldnt do enough for us. The units are private and have all you need. Shower, kitchen fully equipped to stay in & cook, queen bed etc etc.
We would definitely return to Sunrise as you cannot beat value for money. If you want to have a 5 star hotel with another couple of hundred people staying where you are then this is not the place for you. You are a short walk to Muri Lagoon where we swam and Sunrise is close to a dairy, takeaways and restaurant (Sails).

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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129 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
auckland nz
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2009

Hi we would recommend the sunrise as we stayed for a family wedding at Edgewater. The hosts Caryn and Brian were very friendly and helpful, yes they enjoy a drink but by no means did they party hard while we were there. Caryn picked us up from the airport early hours no problems and took us to the markets the next day, organized a hire car for our stay which you need if you want the flexibility to get around to supermarket or resorts ect.
The bungalows were great for us, all one room comfy bed though sheets needed changing which you can help yourself to linen and do washing whenever you like so no problem, compact kitchenette, everything you need, nice cane furniture in little lounge area and roll away bed if you ask or need for child, deck fab with furniture plastic table and chairs though we did move cane furniture out there for comfy seating to look out at the view of yes rocky beach but fantastic blue water and waves rushing to the shore fantastic to listen to as you go to sleep. BBQ upstairs when family visited in the two story hut a different perspective looking into the water from above so clear you could see the rocks under the water with the blue green colour and sun reflections lovely. You can feed fish here though not the lovely coloured ones at other parts around island. We went for a 10 minute walk round the point and found a nice snorklling area and while the boys snorkled us girls sat on the grass and listened to the beuitiful voices coming from the church service across the road. We found that there was a lovely beach to swim at about 10minutes by car opposite the Queens residence, only 2 other people were there the times we were. In all had a lovely time, relaxed, great hosts when you need something, very well priced and you clean your own room every day if that is what you want or Caryn will clean once week. Fantastic shower pressure in the bathroom, we stayed in thatched bungalow on beachfront no 3 we nick named it our faulty towers of raro as the vanity though new was to big to allow the door to close so they had neatly cut out a bit of the door to slide over vanity no problem. Friendly dog on premises and would chase round further down the beach with reef dogs but would not let them up into bungalow area. Chickens sound early in morning, sunrise fantastic from deck area. Would stay again very happy with everything at faulty towers loved it.

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2009

What an fabulous place! The Sunrise is like a little touch of paradise. As four mature students seeking reasonably priced accomodation, we were absolutely delighted with our stay at the Sunrise. Talk about value for money!
Caryn picked us up from the airport, arranged a car for our holiday and was spot on with places/ tours etc that she thought might be of interest to us as Maori language students.
We loved the tranquility of the Sunrise. Our bungalows were awesome and right on the beach, the location and views were superb. No crowds! The sound of waves breaking on the reef added to its unspoiled and natural beauty.
Caryn and Brian were great hosts.They respected our wishes to do our own thing but were always there when or if we needed them.
Our 8 day stay at the Sunrise wasn't long enough, we are all planning to return very soon.

  • Liked — Loved the location, the peace and beauty of the Sunrise
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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New Zealand
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2008

It was the first time my Family and I had travelled together. My eldest Son was to join us in two days. We arrived to a flurry of friendly staff and singing at the Airport and no problems with customs. We were transferred by Caryn and Bryan without any problems. Arrival to our Beach Front Bungalows (Two for the price of One) was met with the sounds of the ocean close by and a very hot tropical wind. Our Hosts were very accommodating, where I was told very quickly that when it rains, ants, crabs and coach roaches will make their way in. I appreciated the directness, though something not needed on the first night. My Daughter and I had Bungalow Two, while my youngest Son headed for his Bungalow One until his eldest Brother arrived to stay with him. As the early sunrise morning showed, I have to share I was so very impressed with the Beach Front view. I loved the privacy and the closeness of the ocean sea breeze, sounds and reef. As I ventured around our accommodation (both bungalows) I was disappointed with how run down they were. Roofing and paint would have been good to upgrade the appearance. Everything looked tired and worn with the curtains having tears in them. Bungalow Two would definitely need another stove, this took ages to heat, though we ate out most nights. We didn't have a tv, so stole my sons one from his Bungalow One, only to find that there was one channel available. You’ll love the Toyota ad. We still have a blast with that one. Also common on the Island since you cannot buy land in Rarotonga owned by the People, cemeteries are visible in their front lawns. My Youngest was unaware of the urupa (cemetery) at his door entrance. In many ways this is the most natural practical process and one I accepted, however, he slept with us until his Big Brother arrived. We didn’t receive the free 3 day car hire. You definitely will be needing a rental car service as the Bungalows are too far away from everything. An issue of a temporary drivers license will be given, where you'll be advised to visit the Cook Island Police Station to apply for a Rarotonga license. No test required for cars, though you will be driver tested for scooters. Head helmets are not required. I strongly recommend Trader Jacks to relax and dine along with Salsa Cafe in town (we were careful of where we ate and always purchased our water). CITC is the main Islands Store, though the quiet spots in private Homes as you drive are nice to visit (stores). The People are very accommodating and friendly. For most Hotel Bars you’re able to drop in without being an in-house Guest to use their facilities. Palm Grove is nice. A MUST to attend is the HIGHLAND PARADISE Show.....you'll LOVE IT!!! Your picked up and deposited to and from your Accommodation via Bus. Also, if you’re a golfer, there is a Golf Course on the Island. Take a drive to the Hospital and receive picturesque views for photos from the Hill Top. Stunning!!!

With my eldest Son finally joining us, we were one big Happy Family until the rain set in. True to the word the ants and crabs soon appeared very quickly. It was only to the huge coach roaches and this reason alone that we checked out the next day. As we paid cash, there was no credit card transactions and that we were given cash back promptly for overpayment. Lastly, the most disappointing part to my vacation, was when my children were asked by Caryn to bring tobacco into the country duty free when they don't smoke. This I considered most unprofessional. Also note, these premises are not accredited. However in all fairness, Caryn and Bryan catered for our needs when asked. While Caryn is an intense person and speaks quickly, her heart is in the right place.....It's the premise that needs a 'place' of Right-(Mana returned).

Kia Orana.

  • Liked — ocean views
  • Disliked — premise worn and tired apprearance
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2008

We wanted a quiet place on the ocean in a tropical setting and that is what we got. Caryn and Brian were excellent hosts, very considerate and kind. If you are expecting 5 star accomodations then stay somewhere else and pay the price. We enjoyed the simple setting, the constant ocean breeze and the ocean at our doorstep. When they advertise you are "on the beach", you really are so there will be salt spray and salty air. Salt corrodes metal so expect that.

We particularly enjoyed the fresh fish at the market Caryn recommended. A pan fry lunch every day with fish fresh from the ocean. The Saturday market is a delight, with interesting foods available throughout the week at the same location. Delightful island meal and show at the staircase Thursday night- ask Caryn what to do and where to go.

Some of the reviews are not kind, so I should point out that besides taking care of the cottages, Caryn helps a sick friend run their store. She is intense and talks sort of fast, but she is the kind of person I would like as a friend. She does enough work for 3 people every day, but always finds time to help out if you need it.

  • Liked — Quiet
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2008

We have been going there to the Sunrise for the past 5 yrs (inc this one). If you check into it you will be told that this is not a beach for swimming but beachcombing OK.
We love the bungalows right along the ocean so you hear the ocean and its very relaxing
We look forward to going again next year as this is our type of holiday for a month. Yes the bed sheets feel damp for the first night but it is so humid there, you get used to it if not you have picked the wrong country to go to
Caryn and Brian are just the best hosts they never bother you but are there if needed or not hard to find. Cant find something just ask and it shall be delivered or told where to look.
You cater to yourself with the cooking, restaurants not to far away but we like to do our own thing other then the great waffles at the market place on Sat.
Brian and Caryn have become great friends and our mark is there beside our bungalow and we cant wait to go back.
Agreaqt holiday , but they are what you make them and this is the best for us a far way but darn its worth it for the serenity and peacefulness away from the nustle and bustle of crowds THE BEST PLACE TO LAY BACK AND RELAX. BEST HOLIDAY EVER.
We even went through the storm that beached the freighter in the towns harbour in Jan/08.

  • Liked — The greatest place to RELAX
  • Disliked — Nothing that I can think of
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Wpg. MB
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2008

I can understand some of the dissenting views of the Sunrise Beach Bungalows and the seemingly inconsistent manner in which Caryn acts and does business: the problem is excessive liquor.

When I first contacted the Sunrise, I received a bizarre email in return, full of swear words and written to the level of someone in about grade three: odd considering we were potential customers, but I had already made up my mind and was sold by the pictures on the web page. When we arrived in Rarotonga, Caryn picked us up at the airport (she was late even though it's ten minutes up the road) and in the time it took us to drive back to the Sunrise, she told us everything about the Sunrise and Rarotonga without so much as inhaling once: it was a blur or manic description.

The bungalow was largely as advertised, on a rocky beach looking out to the ocean, with the waves crashing like a freight train about fifty meters from our patio. This is not a swimming beach and you have to wear shoes on the jagged rocks. It's about a twenty minute walk to Muri Beach up the road and likewise a fair distance to the nearest grocery store and restaurant. Much of the metal in the bungalow was rusted due to the persistent sea spray, but the place was clean and pleasant if you didn't look in the cupboards and drawers. (Cockroaches were an annoyance).

Nevertheless, we enjoyed our first day on Rarotonga and upon returning from a walk that evening where invited upstairs to party with some locals and a few of the other guests in the bungalows. There was about ten of us there, drinking, smoking and singing. The party went well on into the night, through numerous beers and two magnums of "Cougar" brand bourbon.

I can generally handle myself in these situations be we turned in about 1:00 am, completely intoxicated, while Brian and Caryn and several others continued the revelry much later--with Brian's slurred singing drowning out the waves at high tide. The following morning, we awoke to the smell of smoke. Brian was burning garbage on the beach and drinking beer! Later that day, the party, and same revelers were back at it and again partied well into the evening. By day three, after a night on the town, Brian and Caryn looked like hell and we felt the whole mood around the Sunrise became quite dour and gloomy, much like the storms that rolled in from the South. Caryn was very moody, and any favour we asked seemed like a chore.

We told her we were thinking about going to Aitutaki and she slayed the sister island, saying it was "commercialized" and "mosquito infested" and that we were wasting our time. She convinced several others at the bungalow to avoid Aitutaki, but we persisted, had Caryn drop us off at the airport and took off to Aitutaki, realizing everything Caryn said about Aitutaki was the complete opposite of the truth.

We stayed one more night at the Sunrise on our way back to Rarotonga before heading off to Mangaia, and Caryn told us we couldn't stay there again, that it was booked for a wedding. We were relieved, we spent our last week in Rarotonga at Kura's Cabanas and had a wonderful relaxing experience, what we never felt at the Sunrise.

Two months after returning from the Cook Islands I got an email from Caryn saying they lost our credit card information and that we owed her from the stay. I re-submitted my number, was billed the proper amount (thankfully) and never heard from her again--not even a Thank-You for paying even though I was now on the other side of the world.

There are far better places in Rarotonga to recommend the Sunrise Beach Bungalows. The bungalows are not well run and Caryn is not efficient managing bookings, money and keeping the place maintained. I imagine it's pretty difficult running a business when you're intoxicated for days on end. The bizarre email now makes sense; I've written similar passages while in the stage of advanced drunkenness. So if you're looking to party until the wee hours, consider the Sunrise Beach Bungalows for all its faults. If you're looking for a relaxing vacation, avoid this place. Better yet, spend a week in Aitutaki, you will not be disappointed.

  • Liked — The sound of the waves.
  • Disliked — Management
  • Stayed May 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Sunrise Beach Bungalows

Address: Main Rd, Sunrise Beach, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga
Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #36 of 72 Specialty lodging in Rarotonga
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Sunrise Beach Bungalows 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Absolute oceanfront ocean and garden bungalows and 2 bedroom family house.9m from Muri Lagoon fully self catering bring yourselves and your bagsset in 4800 square metres of sand and garden privateswimming pool gas bbeque tour desk complimentary snokelling equipmentideal for groups families and couples ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunrise Beach Bungalows Hotel Rarotonga

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