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“Absolutely stunning location, beautiful accommodation”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Te Vakaroa Villas

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Te Vakaroa Villas
Ranked #4 of 17 Specialty Lodging in Muri
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane
Level Contributor
1 review
“Absolutely stunning location, beautiful accommodation”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2010

Te Vakaroa is in an absolutely beautiful location, Muri Lagoon in our opinion is the most stunning place in Rarotonga - just paradise. Words cannot describe the colour of the water until you see it for yourself.

The Villas are fresh and modern, and because there are only six Villas in the complex it never feels too overcrowded. We were on our honeymoon and appreciated the secluded and laid back feel of the property. We were greeted at the airport by a lovely man who presented us with traditional necklaces (at just after 1am I might add) and were taken by minivan from Avarua to Muri Beach, which from memory was about a 10-15 minute drive to the East side of the Island. We were promptly led to our villa and as soon as we walked in, we knew we were in for a great stay.

The Villa was lovely and open planned, with a beautiful bathroom and bedroom connected together (basically a large ensuite). The living area was spacious and looked straight out over the infinity pool and Muri Lagoon, completely unobstructed. The kitchen facilities were more than adequate, however we found that the quality of meat and produce on Rarotonga to be very expensive and lacking quality, the mince we used from the supermarket for our pasta one night was quite ordinary and would not make the shelves in Australia. The bedroom had it's own little private courtyard which was nice, but we did not use it as we much preferred to sit on our patio out the back facing the pool and lagoon. The TV was adequate however it lacked variety of channels, which is expected in a remote location such as a Pacific island.

Now to the criticisms, and unfortunately there were a few. The white sheets on our bed were dirty and stained, and when you consider the price you are paying for the accommodation that is not acceptable. We mentioned it to the cleaners but they were not replaced. Our sheets were changed only twice the whole time we were there, which was 8 nights. Again, paying this amount of money I would expect them to be replaced every two days at least, and definately not every four days.

The toilet had a dark mark on the silver push button which appeared to be faeces from a previous occupant. The cleaners did not clean this off so instead I did, it was not nice.

The main back door that lets air in (composed of wooden slats) did not lock due to the latch not lining up properly, so anytime we left the Villa we had to close and lock the glass doors, which meant it was always hot when we came back. The slats on the wooden doors also did not latch up and close on two of the sections (due to being broken), meaning that our inside living area was not private as this was the "curtains" meant to block people's view in at night.

The pool was freezing cold, absolutely frigid. Granted we went in June/July but it is Rarotonga, and the lagoon was very pleasant to the point of warm, so it wasn't the weather. I was really looking forward to swimming in the infinity pool but I managed to build up the courage once only and swam from one end to other and jumped out again, unusable. They desperately need some solar heating for the pool. The hot spa was nice however.

The tropical breakfast served daily was ordinary. One morning it was served infested with ants and we had to go to Reception and request another, which was promptly given to us. I read on another review that they received croissants that were to die for served on a fresh palm leaf, ours were bland and cold and no palm leaf to be seen. Most mornings we got muffins, slices of bread, some fruit and 250ml tetra-pak fruit juices. The bread was the pick of the breakfast.

The service was generally good, however we did not appreciate having someone bang repeatedly on our front door every single morning for breakfast. We were on our honeymoon, and it is not nice to wake up to this every mornng! One morning we found they had let themselves in and left breakfast on the kitchen bench. One or two knocks is fine, and if nobody answers by all means leave a note to come and collect it yourself later, but to just keep knocking and have someone calling out to you until you answer was irritating.

All in all, I have great memories of Te Vakaroa and Muri Beach in general. I would love to go back some day. If nothing else it is special because it was our honeymoon. I would definately recommend Te Vakaroa to anyone thinking of going to Raro without hesitation and I think it is one of the best presented accommodations on the Island. I give it a score of 90/100. If they fixed the points above, I would easily give it 100/100.

As a side note - make sure you go to Portofino Italian Restaurant in Avarua! The food was amazing and the service excellent, and at a good price! The other pick was a cafe across the road from the beach on the southern side if the Island, I think it was called the Saltwater Cafe, the Saltwater Burger is the best burger I have ever had, ever!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Aussie_Travel_Guru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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159 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wellington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2010

My husband and I recently stayed at Te Vakaroa Villas for our honeymoon and we can't say enough about the incredible staff and the very luxurious accommodation. The rooms are absolutely incredible!! I especially loved the outdoor shower (with hot water!!!) and the view from the room. We could look out over the pool, through the glass fencing and right into Muri lagoon. Each day really was like waking up in paradise. We had an incredible stay at Te Vakaroa Villas and Nick and Jeanette were fantastic to deal with. We would definitely recommend this to anyone especially those wanting a bit a a romantic get away.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank WizzaWellington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2010

We arrived in Rarotonga early in the morning less than 48 hours after getting married in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. We were exhausted and in need of some quiet time. In our past travels a 6am arrival meant that we were going to be spending some time hanging out at a restaurant or by the pool until our room was ready hours later. We were completly shocked when we arrived at the resort and shown to our room. The lovely staff were great from the moment we exited customs. We left the airport, had our bags packed into the van and were on our way to the villas very swiftly. Everything seemed to be very well organized and efficient. We were even showered, and sitting on our front patio eating our complimentary breakfast of islad fruits, cereal, and fresh breads withing 2 hours of arrival on the island.
Our whole stay was amazingly relaxing and romantic. We spent every morning sitting on the front patio enjoying the early morning peace and quiet, the beautiful ocean breeze, and the delicious fresh fruit and coffee. Even though we were one couple of the 6 staying on the resort we always felt like we were alone. There was never a rush to get a "good spot by the pool". We usually just sauntered over to the pool immediately outside of our room whenever we wanted to chill out.
We got to know the owner, Nick, and his sidekick, Jeanette. They were both very friendly and talkative. We spent a few hours throughout the week chatting with them and getting their advice on island activities, such as the cross-island trek with Pa.
The rooms were very beautiful and well equipped. The beds were fluffy and cozy and incredibly comfortable. The bathroom was very clean and luxurious with convienent storage, a gorgeous glass shower, and lots of space. The kitchen was also very clean and literally had all the convienences of home. From cooking oils and seasonings to a full pot and pan and knife set. All of very good quality. We actually bought some groceries and cooked a few romantic meals in the kitchen or on the BBQ by the pool.
This was one of our favorite places we've ever stayed. The combination of a beautiful lagoon that wasn't always overrun with people, a luxurious room, quiet clean pool and great staff made this, in our opinion, a 5-star location. The little extras really made the place special and well worth the 18 hours of travel from Halifax.
Nick you have and amazing little piece of heaven there on Raro. It's easy to tell that you put a lot of thought and hard work into designing it. Your staff is also great and they all seem to care about the resort as if it were their own. Thanks for making our honeymoon special. We loved our stay with you! -Anita and Mike

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Halifaxcouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2010

We recently stayed at Te Vakaroa Villa's in Rarotonga - whilst their website photo's were fantastic normally you cannot say that your hotel is identical to the photos but in this case what you see on the website is exactly what you get. The villa's are large and spacious with a nice indoor/outdoor flow and beautifully appointed.
I would highly recommend to stay at this property. The service was fantastic from both the housekeeping staff who came in daily to service the villa and from Janine on reception. By far this is definately one of the best places to stay on the entire island.
The grounds are beautifully landscaped and very tidy and overall the property is very luxurious. We will be going back for sure.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank SOPHK001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coromandel
Level Contributor
43 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2009

We stayed here for 7 nights for our wedding which was on the beach directly in front. The setting could not be better, the rooms well equiped and the staff/owners very helpful and nice. A great place to entertain our family and friends, relax, have fun and be where all the action is. Highly recommend to anyone

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WildNZCherry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2009

The beautiful Te Vakaroa Villas are located in the heart of Muri Beach, on Raratonga. The villas are quite new and are very well appointed. The view to the ocean is breathtaking and the infinity pool is spectacular. If you feel like a night in, the villa has a great kitchen, or the BBQ by the pool, is also a good alternative.
The staff were very friendly and helpful.
I would definitely recommend the Te Vakaroa Villas as a very special place to stay, and hope to return soon.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gearge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eugene, Oregon
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2009

We had a 7-night heavenly stay at this hidden gem on Raro. We arrived at 6 am on Monday, after rushed through the customs, we saw Dhiro with a big smile waiting for us. He transported us to Te Vakaroa through a nice and clean private minivan. On the way to our villa, Dhiro gave us a brief and knowledgeable introduction of Rora, and happily told us that we’ve been upgraded to a 2-bed room villa. We were so excited cause we knew that we’d be spoiled even more.

We couldn’t believe what we’d seen when we arrived at the property. It was beyond words. I would say it’s the best place to stay on Raro after touring many other places within that week. The architecture is amazing. We didn’t see any other property as beautiful as Te Vakaroa when we were there. .We loved the garden. It’s small, but very clean and filled with nicely organized tropical plants, a little pond full with fishes is the icing on the cake. We couldn’t imaging how much heart and soul that Nick has putting in on this place. Nick (the co-owner) told us how he had this property built. He even had small model of the property built first and situated the exact location to see how the actual property would be like. It’s truly amazing.

The interior is nothing less the outside. Living room, kitchen and dining area, and power room are on the second floor, so dose a covered balcony filled with comfy furniture and magnificent view. Two bed rooms are upstairs with french doors that lead to ocean and mountain views. Beautiful décor and furniture, all modern appliances through out the rooms and kitchen. They even have washer and dryer in each villa, what a nice plus!

We loved to go for a walk on the Muri beach and enjoy the warmth of early sunshine every morning. Our resort has a couple of easy accesses to the beautiful beach. The kayaking & snorkeling equipments are located at the hut right next door. You can have them just by asking Jeannette, the resort manager, for a vulture or tell them you are staying in at Te Vacaroa.

We are so grateful to all the staff for their helpfulness. Jeannette is a wonderful lady who helped us with questions and reservations. She even helped me to find my hubby’s driver’s license that I accidentally dropped at a restaurant. Swazee, who always with a sweet smile, delivered our breakfast in the morning. Naneth, you can always see her swiftly tidying up places. Jai, the early bird who keeps the outdoor area so fresh and clear every day. We love you all and thank you for being there for us.

It has been a pleasure staying with Te Vakaroa and it’ll be our No.1 choice for the next time visit. I would give 10 stars review if available and I’ll definitely recommend to all travelers who desire to have a slice of heaven on earth.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cj168
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Te Vakaroa Villas

Property: Te Vakaroa Villas
Address: Main Road, Muri, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Muri
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 17 Specialty Lodging in Muri
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Te Vakaroa Villas 5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This new property offers six beachfront villas that face Muri Lagoon. 3 x 1 Brm Villas at the ground level and 3 x 2 Brm Villas at the 1st level each with views across the pool to the beach and lagoon. All villas are highly appointed, with large terraces, full kitchens complete with dishwashers, microwaves, frig/freezers, DVDs, surround cinema with flat screen TVs, satellite TV reception. Blue Tooth connectivity to in room speakers,and WiFi internet connections. Each Villa has its own laundry. A freshwater pool, spa and large daybed are located right above the beach. Welcome fruit platter provided on arrival and complimentary tropical breakfasts delivered to your villa daily, with room service available from the adjoining restaurant. Private car meet/greet and airport transfers $ 20 per person each way are recommended given our property is only manned between 8.30am and 4.30pm. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Te Vakaroa Villas Hotel Muri
Te Vakaroa Villas Muri, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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