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.
- 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