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“Moana Sands Paradise!”

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Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Titikaveka
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Moana Sands Paradise!”
Reviewed March 8, 2009

This was the second time I've travelled to the Cook Islands... and I have to say that it did not disappoint, which was largely due to the fact that we stayed at Moana Sands! It's a lovely small hotel right on a gorgeous beach... you just couldn't get a better view first thing in the morning. The rooms were clean and the cleaning staff would add small touches like a flower on your pillow each day. We spent most of our time on the lovely white sandy beach on our doorstep, or at the Pawpaw Patch restaurant - divine food! Oh, and make sure you take advantage of the BBQ - it's a must. The water was crystal blue and snorkeling couldn't have been better! We even saw a turtle! The staff were friendly and always smiling and willing to help, in particular the manager was happy to go out of her way to give us ideas and suggestions for our time on Rarotonga - like the fantastic Saturday market! We really didn't need to go anywhere else... Moana Sands had everything.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Heartravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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254 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (99)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
castlegar, BC
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2009

My husband, daughter and I just returned from a 3 week stay in the Cook Islands. We stayed in three different locations, with the Moana Sands being the last place for us to stay. I had picked this hotel due to the fact that we could do some of our own cooking and that it was supposed to have great snorkeling. What a disappointment it was. First of all, our transfer to the Moana was made extremely difficult as the bus company had no record of us already pre-paying for our ride to the hotel. After much frustration, we finally made it to the Moana Sands. But there was no one there to meet us! No chilled juice for us! Apparently the office hours are only for a short while in the morning and if you arrive in the afternoon the only person there will be is the cleaning lady, who doesn't seem to understand English very well and has no clue about any hotel policy. The room we were given was very dated and shabby. The toilet barely flushed and the only way to cook was an electric fry pan and ancient microwave. We opened the tiny fridge and a gecko jumped out at us. Other than that there was a tetra pack of milk in there that expired in 2003! I did like the view from our room but that was about it. The beds were very uncomfortable and the floor was extremely greasy feeling. There were no little touches like flowers anywhere, and the walls were painted gray. Very dreary. We were also disappointed in the fact that the Pawpaw Patch restaurant was closed for 2 weeks. There really isn't anywhere else to eat and taking a bus to get a meal all the time was tiring. We eventually had to rent a car which made our last week bearable as we could escape the Moana Sands and spend the day somewhere nice. We were shocked at how few fish there were in the area, and how cloudy the water was. Not good visibility at all. The sand is quite silty there and I'm sure this has something to do with it. Also, a lot of locals fish this area, and that probably accounts for the lack of fish. At the previous place we stayed the snorkeling was awesome, with schools of beautiful fish, so we could tell the difference!
Another problem we had was with the breakfast "buffet". A little fruit, bread and cereal. A very poor selection, and we were always ordering off the menu for extras. We also were never given breakfast vouchers when we arrived and trying to get our breakfast, with no hotel staff present, due to their lack of office hours, was again very difficult. We loved Rarotonga, but we would never recommend this hotel to anyone! It was overpriced, understaffed ,loud, and very dated. I'm surprised at all the good comments written about this hotel as everyone we talked to who were staying there at the same time of us seemed to feel the same way, and were also very disappointed. If you are looking for a beautiful place for a holiday, the Cook Islands are wonderful, but I would never stay at the Moana Sands again!

  • Liked — the viwe from the balcony
  • Disliked — everything else about the hotel
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank castlegarstar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Mids, UK
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2008

This hotel was in a pretty good location and was right on the beach front, there was some good snorkelling straight off the beach.

The room itself looked a bit dated and I feel not quite value for money considering the £120 per night we paid – you are definitely paying for the location.

The service was also pretty lack lustre and the breakfast appalling – the choice was a few cereals and toast with a bowl of tinned fruit and that was it. Now I’ve had many of continental breakfasts but none quite as poor as this one, I think they used the cheapest ingredients possible. Quite a contrast to the dinner we had in the Paw Paw Patch restaurant the night before – which was excellent. Definitely make sure you book a table though as it was very busy the night we were there.

We also had a fabulous meal at the Little Polynesian next door, which looked like paradise, I’m sure the rooms here would have been considerably more expensive.

  • Liked — Location.
  • Disliked — Poor breaksfast.
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tigger_uk19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dorset
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2008

We stayed at the Moana Sands for 4 days in December 2008 and loved it. The location is exactly as described - beachfront, and the view from the room was perfect - a white sand beach, palm trees, - even sunsets! We spent a lot of time sitting on the balcony and a fair bit paddling around in the kayaks.

The room was very clean and kept that way by the friendly cheerful housestaff. The staff on reception were as helpful as possible, booking tickets and transfers for us. We had a couple of little hiccups - mainly to do with the transfers from the airport which we'd booked through the hotel - and the bus driver didn't seem to have a record of our names and since we'd booked direct we didn't have a transfer voucher like the others. However this was soon sorted out - he decided to take us anyway! This really for us sums up the attitude of the people in the Cook Islands - they're happy, friendly people and they like tourists. It's a wonderful beautiful place.

  • Liked — The location - right on the beach, with a wonderful view of the reef.
  • Disliked — There wasn't anything we disliked really.
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wspatsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lodz, Poland
Level 6 Contributor
822 reviews
291 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 444 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2008

We have spent in the Moana Sands four days, after three day stay in Ambala Garden Lodge.
We reserved the ground floor apartment with small kichen annex.
Our stay was perfect. The service was excellent, especially cleaning up of our room and tiding the sand in the front of our tarrace.
The view from our room was unforgettable. The best time, we had, they were early mornings and the time befor dinner, when the beach was almost empty.
Compering to the Muri Beach, we were using before, the shore in Titikaveka is much more atractiv, clean with stunning reef waves. It was fantastic to feed every morning the fishes, just few meters from our room
The kayaks, deckchairs and snorkling gear are free avaiable for the hotel guests.
The Restaurant Pawpaw Patch, in spite of other excellent opinions, was slightly dissapointing for us.
The breakfasts were monnotous and also for dinner we preffered much more the gorgeous Tamarind House in Avarua.
However, in the frame of our trip to the French Polynesia and Cook Islands, the Moana Sands Hotel seems to us as the best place in the whole itinerary.

  • Liked — stunning lagoon view
  • Disliked — breakfast
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank laserkid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oswestry, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2008

Unfortunately a rather disappointing stay at what is really a two star guest house at most. We had a number of issues:

- Two single beds pushed together which were very soft and uncomfortable.

- Unfriendly staff which includes who we thought was the manager. A couple of times they were just plain rude - when they were there that is. Much of the time the reception is not manned at all.

- Reception didn't even have a toilet for guests to use, I was directed to use the staff bathroom (and I mean bathroom).

- Noisy restaurant kitchen which is right next door to some of the rooms (in particular ours).

- Basic, cheap furnishings.

- Limited breakfast and do not expect to even be able to get a drink through the day. The restaurant is a separate entity to the hotel and only open from 8:00-10:30 and 18:00-22:00 approx. The food was pretty good.

- We found a live cockroach in the bed one morning.

- Our room was cleaned twice for a stay from Saturday night to Thursday morning. I asked if the room was going to be cleaned on Tuesday morning and was told, 'yes'. No apology.

On the plus side, which I'm afraid there was only one, the beach is probably the best beach we saw on the island and the 'guesthouse' is directly on it. Make sure you have a car or moped though as everything else is a bit of a distance away.

  • Liked — Beach
  • Disliked — Everything else!
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank gareth_curtis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 7, 2008

Based on a last minute recommendation from our travel agent we decided to stay at Moana Sands and we were so glad we did after seeing our other potential resorts on very average beaches and in horrible locations. For a very reasonable price you are able to stay in a beachfront room as oppose to having to be in a garden/pool room at another resort.
The beach and location are fantastic with Muri Lagoon (our favourite hang out spot) just a short scooter trip around the corner.
The lack of pool didnt seem to bother us as they have a line of deckchairs set up just in front of your room with the beautiful beach just in front of that.
Highly recommend getting a scooter as it gives the full island experience.
The rooms are standard quality and we became very at home in ours very quickly.
I can understand the bad reviews about the reception staff as they were not overly accomodating but hey a holiday is about being in a sunny spot away from the city so we were not overly phased about this aspect.
Recommend taking provisions for lunches etc as you get sick of eating out quite quickly.
Overall great experience and would recommend!!

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — breakfast
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank contenttraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas

Property: Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas
Address: Ara Tapu, Titikaveka, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Titikaveka
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Titikaveka
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas 3.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel, directly overlooking the idyllic Titikaveka Beach, features a variety of studios with stunning beachfront views. Evenings can be spent at Sands Restaurant & Bar and our popular Sunday night beach BBQ. Moana Sands Beachfront Villas & Apartments are just a short drive away on Vaimaanga Beach, offering spacious apartments and villas, perfect for families or couples traveling together. Indulge in a relaxing massage and beauty treatment at the Hibiscus Salon, helping you unwind and feel refreshed. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel And Villas
Moana Sands Beachfront Titikaveka
Hotel Moana Sands Beachfront
Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas Rarotonga, Cook Islands - Titikaveka

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