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Little Polynesian Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Titikaveka
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Did I stay at the same resort as others?”
Reviewed October 12, 2013

The husband and I desperately needed a break and decided to splurge when I saw a segment on "Getaway" about this hotel. It promised complete luxury and privacy for roughly 50% off which was still more than I usually pay when we holiday. However, Cook Islands has been on my bucket list for quite some time and we decided to take the plunge.

First impressions of the place were good. We were ushered into the attractive foyer area with a number of other couples, invited to take a comfortable seat to fill out paperwork and enjoy a welcome drink (which was not the champagne promised because it was early in the morning! Mind you, we were never offered said champagne anyway.......), and told a little about the resort and what was included. We had hot breakfast included but I think what you are allowed to have should be made a lot clearer because you actually can only have a choice of two basic menu items, eg bacon and egg, tomato and toast etc, not the french toast or eggs benedict. The buffet breakfast is generally uninspiring.

Taken to our room shortly after, we had a beautiful view over the lagoon, surrounded by palms and flowering shrubs and, on the surface, we thought we were in for a lovely stay. There is a lovely deck area with comfortable day bed and other lounge furniture and privacy screens between the huts which don't really allow much privacy! I liked that the internal bathroom door could be locked and the door to the outside shower and spa could remain open so sand wasn't traipsed through the hut, although our key did not appear to unlock that outside door!

We arrived on a wet day and the weather was not wonderful the whole week we were there. The south easterly trade winds had set in and as a consequence of this we spent a lot of time I was hoping to spend on the beach, in our rooms, when we were not out exploring. I can't blame the hotel for the weather but it meant we spent a lot of time in the room, noticing things that don't come under the heading of luxury. Nothing major but little things that became annoying.

The hole in the wall, badly patched up, that was obvious from the bed. Instead of enjoying the view, my eye kept being drawn to it! Broken shutters that were also obvious and surely housekeeping should have advised maintenance about this. It was great to have a sink and mini refrigerator but the tap unit was quite wobbly. I liked the free bottled water touch but that was only once. Why not put more in every day? Bathroom tap fittings - fire the plumber because they were set so low you could barely get your hands under the tap to wash them! The quality of the linen in the bathroom was inconsistent. Some towels were lovely and fluffy and others quite worn and not what I would expect from a luxury boutique hotel. Even the mat on the floor of the bathroom in front of the outdoor spa was ragged around the edges. As a pool owner myself, I didn't think the pool was in that great of a condition either and chose not to swim in it at all. We started our stay with a beach chair outside the room which was nice, but it then disappeared, to be replaced by pod-style chairs by the swimming pool. When I am paying for luxury, I expect a lot more.

On the plus side, the staff were friendly and more than helpful if they were asked to assist. Of all the meals we ate on the island, we could thoroughly recommend our dinners as being excellent. There was not a huge choice on the menu but what was on there was good. The bed and pillows were comfortable and would have made for a great night's sleep except for those howling winds blowing through the palm trees - but I do acknowledge once again that they hotel can hardly be blamed for that!

After a few days of wild weather we were advised that the hotel also manages a budget hotel closer to town and we were invited to enjoy the beach there. We took up this offer and what a difference! Beautiful clean beach and sheltered from the wind. Had a quick look in the rooms while I was here and picked up a brochure to recommend to a friend taking a walking group to the Cook Islands next year.

Overall, I expected a lot more, especially after reading all the other comments here. I don't feel it is as luxurious as the price tag would indicate. A pleasant place to stay, but would I come back? No.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank poloka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lpoly, Assistant Manager at Little Polynesian Resort, responded to this review, October 14, 2013
Kia orana

Thank you for taking the time to write such a comprehensive review of the disappointment you felt staying with us. I would like to suggest if you had come directly to us with your concerns they could have been dealt with straight away. I have sent Maintenance into the rooms to find out which room you were in so we can fix this as soon as possible.

Regards

Vicki Wells
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (155)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2013

Thank you so much for making for making my stay so memorable .
We had unforgettable time during our stay and it was a great pleasure to stay at the Little Polynesian.
Friendly staff, beautiful beach, excellent restaurant and a well appointed room right on the beach, which I will confidentially recommend.
Your great resort was fabulous beyond expectation.

Jodie M.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank IDreamofTravel2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lpoly, Assistant Manager at Little Polynesian Resort, responded to this review, October 10, 2013
Kia orana Jodie

Thank you for taking the time to post such a lovely review of your stay with us. I am so pleased we exceeded your expectations.

We wish you all the best in the future. Vicki
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Experience the warmth of the lovely staff who also goes out of their way to assist us in any way,
Have a cuppa/read a book/ take a nap on the day bed while feeling the lovely beam of sunshine,
Listen to the waves and sway of the leaves on the coconut tree,
Feel your tummy with Scrumptious Food at the restaurant or at the Hidden Garden Cafe across the road,
Relax in the private outdoor jacuzzi under the stars and moonlight,
Enjoy the therapeutic Rainshower in the bathroom,
Soak up the scenery on a scooter,
Snorkle in the beautiful lagoon and swim with colourful reef fishes (and if you are lucky you'll see turtles and even luckier if you get to see whales outside the reef wall)
Explore the lagoon in the kayak or on the stand-up paddle board.

Tranquil, serene, peaceful, breath-taking, mesmerising, calm, stress-free....no words can truly describe Little Poly, but to be experience it first-hand.

Meitaki ma'ata Apollo, Jae, Marilyn, Ovaia, Papa Moni, Sam, Seth, Tuika, Vicki for making our home away from home a memorable experience. Special thanks to Seth and Marilyn for greeting and feeling our tummies with yummy breakfast for 8 mornings. Miss you all!

Room Tip: We stayed in Bungalow 10, the last beachfront bungalow away from the main area, lots of privacy.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Felicia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lpoly, Assistant Manager at Little Polynesian Resort, responded to this review, September 17, 2013
Kia orana

Wow beautifully written and you set the scene so well. Maybe we should get you to write our advertisements. Thank you for taking up so much of your precious time to write an eloquent review. I will pass on your comments to our workers who, as you can imagine, appreciate hearing about people who recognise the hard work they put in.

All the best for the future. - Vicki
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
29 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2013

The Little Polynesian is a small-to-mid size resort, and just perfect if you're looking for somewhere a bit quieter, friendlier, and more personal. The location is 2 minutes ride from Muri, or 10 minutes from Avarua, with other resorts, attractions, cafés, and resturants just a stone's throw away. The staff were amazingly helpful and friendly (we can't praise Vicki highly enough! :) ), and the lagoon waters have great snorkelling - we saw soooo many blue starfish, parrotfish, and even eels. We stayed for 6 nights, but could happily have stayed longer if time had allowed.

Room Tip: Some of the garden villas almost back on to the main road. Light sleepers may catch the early mornin...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Zoom-Au
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lpoly, Assistant Manager at Little Polynesian Resort, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Kia orana

I am so glad you enjoyed your stay with us. It was really great having you here with us. Thank you for taking up some of your valuable time to write such a lovely review about our resort and also about me.

I wish you all the best for the future.

Kind regards

Vicki
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed August 29, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Little Polynesian for a week in early August. We arrived at 7.30 am but our travel company had arranged an early check in, so we were warmly greeted and after a quick check in shown to our room. Sam the manager was so friendly and helpful.

We had a beach front are which was huge and really well equipped. Very lovely looking in traditional but modern decor. The bed was huge and comfy and there was loads of storage space.

The hotel is small in terms of area but what a magnificent view! When the weather was good nothing could beat it. The hotel is on the windy side of the island however, so get used to the sound of waves crashing at the lagoon edge - this can take a bit of getting used to!

The breakfasts were OK. I had read that they were simple but good. I think there could have been more variety to be honest including some hot food and things like yogurt. These are only small matters and you could pay for such items if you wanted them.

Sam was fantastic. Always helpful and smiling And full of good ideas of what to do and where to go to eat. We had a great day out with Pa - a Cook Island legend and loved getting around the island on the bus with only 2 destinations 'anticlockwise' or 'clockwise'. We didn't have the best of weather unfortunately which was a shame but we so enjoyed our week.

Restaurants we would recommend are Vaima's which has a pick up service from your hotel) Tamarind House ( best meal we had) and Ravi's Indian restaurant in the capital which did excellent Indian food - don't have the buffet - get it made fresh and it is delicious.

We had a lovely week and would especially like to mention Sam.

Room Tip: Definitely have a beach front are.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank madcatwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lpoly, Assistant Manager at Little Polynesian Resort, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Kia orana

Yes it can be very windy on the island. But I am glad you did not let it deter you from enjoying your stay with us. Yogurt is normally on our breakfast menu and I am sorry it was not when you were here as it does go beautifully with the fresh tropical fruit.

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on TripAdvisor.

We do hope to be able to see you again in our little corner of paradise.

Kind regards

Vicki
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2013

Belated wedding review!

My Husband and I got married at Little Polynesian on the 28th march 2012. We booked the frangipani package and we are so happy we took the plunge and did this. As we live in Melbourne Australia it was a process of many emails to and fro in order to organise the big day. A few hiccups with the planning process when the staff member (lets call them X) who was planning our wedding, had quit and my emails to X weren't being answered. I did persist and got in contact with Sam who put the delightful Vicky on the case. Words cannot express our gratitude to Vicky. She drove us to the court house, Picked my wedding bouquet with me and also came and saw my make up artist with me. Not only that, she came and helped dress me on the day lol. It was great having someone there to help with all the decisions. Thank you Vicky!

Being a returner to the Cook Islands, I expected the "imperfect perfection" that is the cooks. Some shutters in our room didn't open, the food is okay but our findings were that the local fresh food =brilliant.. The food they have to ship in=average. So try and stick with the local foods and you won't go wrong. The outside bath had ants galore but a quick search in the cupboards gave us a can of insecticide and they were easily dispersed.

We stayed in the beachfront bungalows and loved every single second of lounging on our day bed or watching the morning pass by the endless horizon.

What really makes a place is the people. To everyone from Sam, the GM, to the gardener who every morning smiled and wished us well, we thank you for making our wedding trip the best time of our lives.

Room Tip: Beachfront bungalows are worth the extra money!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ashleigh M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lpoly, Assistant Manager at Little Polynesian Resort, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Kia orana

I am so glad you both enjoyed your stay here and especially your wedding. I thought it was absolutely beautiful and I am happy you were pleased. I know your family and friends had a great time as well.

Thank you for taking up a portion of your precious time to write a lovely review about us. I had fun running around and helping out for your special day.

All the best for the future and we hope to see you back here for an anniversary some time in the future.

Regards

Vicki
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2013

Probably one of the BEST holidays I've experienced. This resort is very boutique and private - great if you want peace and quiet. Excellent facilities, staff are only too willing to help - food is fabulous and the location? * breathes in and exhales*.....BREATHTAKING!

Definitely should be high on anyone's bucket list of places to stay at least ONCE in your life.....

Room Tip: The garden units are great but, if you can afford a Beachfront bungalow? DO IT!!!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ShazzahJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lpoly, Assistant Manager at Little Polynesian Resort, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Kia orana

Such a beautiful review thank you so much for taking the time to write lovely things about us. A slice of heaven and recommending others to add to their bucket list is indeed high praise.

We wish you all the best.

Kind regards

Vicki
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Little Polynesian Resort

Property: Little Polynesian Resort
Address: Little Polynesian Resort, Titikaveka, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Titikaveka
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Titikaveka
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Little Polynesian Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Inspiring Romance … For those seeking privacy and luxury, look no further than our award-winning 4.5 star Little Polynesian Resort. Our leading boutique resort, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, makes an ideal location for honeymooners and couples seeking a romantic picturesque escape. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Little Polynesian Hotel Titikaveka
Little Polynesian Titikaveka
Little Polynesian Resort Rarotonga, Cook Islands - Titikaveka

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