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“There's no place like Vara's! :-)” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Vara's

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Vara's
Ranked #16 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Muri
Schifferstadt, Deutschland
1 review
“There's no place like Vara's! :-)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2013

We stayed at Vara’s last April. We had originally planned to spend three nights there. At the end, we extended our stay for another four nights- we had totally fallen in love with the place and people!
The location is right on beautiful Muri beach, which is on the east side of the island (breathtaking sunrises guaranteed!). There’s a bus station in front of the place, a Telecom store (with internet access) nearby and a shop to buy groceries and drinks right around the corner.
One of the best things at Vara’s is that you get to know a lot of people. The huge shared kitchen, the beach deck and the spacious living- room provide perfect space to hang out as a group of travelers from all over the world (a family atmosphere!).
Jenny is in charge of Vara's and she is a very lovely and helpful lady. She does not only handle reservations but also loves to help organizing activities and really cares for her guests. Amy is a diligent lady who cleans the dorms and studios every single day. She is super- precise with the cleanliness of the accommodation and we even spotted her airing mattresses after people had checked out.
We absolutely recommend Vara’s and hope to be back soon!
Val & Franzie

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank franzie_xoxo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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149 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Uetendorf
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2013 via mobile

We've been at Vara's in a beach studio, which is clearly overprized considering that it wasn't that clean. We've heard that the dorm is much better value though - however the comunal kitchen is a mess. The staff was opposite of welcoming, to the border of being rude. The location on Muri beach is okay... However if you have a few days just don't waste your time here, fly to Aitutaki instead where the paradise awaits you (eg Matriki Beach Huts!).

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Schreeeeenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kiwi in London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2013

Wow... I've just returned from a weeks stay at Vara's Beach Hostel and have nothing but compliments and amazing things to say about my stay! It truly is the most amazing location for a hostel, being right on the beach front, a better spot than some of the expensive hotels!

The facilities are a little dated (but that's Raro), however they are spotlessly cleaned each day and I was even given clean sheets everyday which I wasn't expecting (I was staying in a single room). The staff were all friendly and welcoming, I arrived in the small hours of the morning and reception had given my room details to the transfer driver and my room was all ready to go - so no problem with the short reception hours, I just paid the next day when reception was open.

I met the most friendly, warm and fantastic people during my week there, after a few days it felt like one big happy family! Evenings are generally quiet at the hostel and on the island, but there are nights out to town for drinking and dancing fun on Wednesdays & Fridays so the nights off in between are a welcomed break.

As a female solo traveller I felt completely safe the whole time I was there, Rarotonga is very safe and relaxed - there is night security at the hostel since there is no reception open through the night.

Totally recommend Vara's for anyone wanting a wonderful, friendly place to stay for a bargain price during their stay in paradise!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank missnorush
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2013

I went twice at Vara's and loved it both time! I went as well to Rarotonga Backpacker and it's really not like this place, Vara's is much better, cleaner and safer. For all the Backpacker place in the island, that one is the best!

The office hours are good. The safe is super friendly and part of them live on the site so it's REALLY good for service, security and cleaness.

Jenny, the office lady, is fantastic!! She help a lot on different thing, regarding to my stay but as well as other things not related to her job, she is just very nice and helpful!

The location is just perfect and the huge deck is SUCH A PLUS ! You have a great view of the Muri beach and hours of fun watching the kitesurfer right in front!
The main dorm is located in front of the deck, so perfect location. Most of the dorm are always cramp in the back of the property but not here (for the main dorm) and when the sliding door is open, it's super airy !!! Perfect to sleep!

There is always people so perfect to meet traveler and locals as well !

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Silvy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
121 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2013

Lovely location right on the beach with sun terrace and good sized kitchen. The dorms and 5 and 7 bed and only have one fan so they do get quite warm but it has a lovely atmosphere and within a day or 2 you will know all the guests! Easy to catch a bus outside to anywhere on the island. Lts of beach dogs around during the day which I loved, others not so much but all very well look after (not like those you see in Thailand etc.)! Only thing they could do is provide some board games or something as it can be quiet in the evenings
There is a swimming pool up the hill (the other side of the main road) but that is for the guests with private rooms / villas and I never went to see / use it - but we have the giant pool right in front of us :)

Room Tip: The 7 bed dorm is located at the very front opening on to the terrace and has a bit of a breeze with...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SunSeaSharks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2013

Varas comes highly recommended from the WOM network at home in Auckland, New Zealand. And it's met and exceeded our expectations. My beloved and I headed off for the anniversary getaway in Feb this year. We, being poor students, had to scrounge for flights and accommodation and found this was good 'bang for your buck'. Granted you can probably save a few hundred by purchasing package deals (would consider for next time) however having affordable accommodation so readily available on the best beach, staying at Varas was a no brainer. Resorts seem clinical, constructed and fake, though if that's the holiday you are after and don't want to do anything for yourself then by all means go there instead. At Vara's they are kind, helpful and leave you to it, perfect for a private getaway or for backpacking mates.

Email communication was fast and effective and response times were good to help booking *online booking wasn't working at the time, so just email them to book and with your requests and flight numbers!*

Disregard comments about office hours from 10am-1pm as being a bad thing. This is island time, you only need to sort stuff out during these hours and the staff give you all the time in the world. Besides you can always reach someone should you really need to in an emergency, which I imagine is rare any case.

We arrived and were picked up on time from the airport, transfers easy, although some confusion resulted in a delay as we were waiting for a final party of 2 to arrive on the only other flight arriving after midnight. Turns out we were waiting for us! So really its very simple to just fill in the booking form with your flight details and then no waiting!

We specified the upstairs standard room and it was lovely. Basic of course, but just what we needed - and we didn't need much, just each other and some cocktails. Perfect.

Very helpful, attentive and generous, the staff would be able to help with sound advice such as offering where to get best prices for food completely unprompted.

A note on some negative feedback from fellow reviewers - though some of the bad feedback seems very old and that they've probably addressed most comments -

Chickens/Roosters: yes, they make noise. But put into context, you are not hearing the constant bleeping of alarms, notifications from bookface, your iphone (worse, someone else's iphone with the same settings!) or traffic. So suck it up, be in the present and enjoy the natural atmosphere.

Cleaning: it's what you pay for, this is no grand 5 star accommodation, nor is it pretending to be. Cleanliness is a state of mind, and they will accommodate requests, happily, should you need someone to clean again. Things were sufficient for us and I am a girlfriend that tends to complain a lot.. about everything....

Partying hooligans: Not true. "No partying allowed after 11pm". An abundance of signs in the main shared space clearly states this. Security can enforce this. Those plebs in the dorms tended to take things down to the beach to continue, however no one really does much unless its Friday night (Friday night is the only party night in town apparently). Or maybe they did and we didn't notice!

Our final night and all flights were not until 1am. We chose to check out and Vara's graciously arranged for us to have late check out of our upstairs room till 2pm. So the rest of the afternoon our gear was as "safe-as-safe-could-be" resting in the shared dorm space. But it's just stuff anyway, take the essentials with you, don't be silly with passports/money anywhere in the world right? What was most enlightening to see (as you can imagine we didn't see many other guests tucked away at the top in our cave) was the backpackers from around the world sharing their experiences, knowledge (some really needing this more so than others i.e. time differences are different = mind blown) and the caring atmosphere of the fellow travelers. They had lots of photos and tears (though they must've only been together a few days max) and even shook our hands and said "really nice to meet you..." touching, if somewhat funny as we were not initiated into the group, still the sentiment remains.

Vara's: come for the beach, stay for the beach. Who cares where you sleep.

Will definitely come back.

Best experience there was the glass bottom boat trip and leaves right from the steps of Vara's, perfect if you want to just roll out bed and straight away. Best ever! Do it, actual value for money: they feed you heaps, sing alongs and take you snorkeling and show you everything to do with coconuts. They crack you up too.

Room Tip: Request upstairs standard rooms for the cool breeze and to get away from others if just the two of y...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 403SophieW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2013 via mobile

3 girls, 10 days in raro, no idea what to expect. As soon as we arrived we were welcomed by the staff and locals. Throughout our stay we got to know them and they helped us plan nights out or activities, gave us tips on what we can do that isn't in all the tourist brochures.
We stayd in the 5 bed dorm which was kept very clean apart from the mess we made with our own clothes thrown every where. Beds are all single with clean sheets and pillows. Very comfortable but if u are a tall person do not expect to fit the bed, take insect repellant and spray ankles when your feet hang out the bottom.
Location is perfect, right in front of the best lagoon on the island. Not too far from town, within walking distance to shops, internet cafe, Te Vara Nui Village.
Communal kitchen and dining area very tidy and awesome space to mix and mingle with other guests.
All in all i give Vara's and the staff a 10/10 for everything! I did not have see any of the units however i would strongly strongly recommend Vara's for anyone travelling alone or a couple/group who are looking to meet new people, and have an awesome island experience! I cannot see myself staying any where else on the island next time I visit. Thanks Vara's!!!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank NikitaMacca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vara's

Property: Vara's
Address: Muri Beach | P. O. Box 434, Muri, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Muri
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Muri
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vara’s Beach is the only budget accommodation set right on beautiful Muri Beach, the most popular and prime beach on Rarotonga. Famous for its perfect white beaches and small islands called “motus” that you can swim, kayak or walk out to. We offer budget style accommodation with lovely fully self-contained Beach Studios, Ensuite as well asTriple/double/single and Dorm rooms. Vara’s Beach is situated on the Eastern side of Rarotonga only 15 minutes drive from main town Avarua, with bus stop, bike rental, souvenir shop and a pharmacy at entrance. koka Lagoon Cruise is located on the property and offers the best Lagoon Curise on the island. Absolutely convenient to everything with bars, dive centers, sailing club, and much more only minutes stroll. Vara's Beach is the place for those looking for fun and excitement, or for those just wanting to relax and unwind and get away from it all. Meet and mingle with our friendly staff and make new friends... ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Vara`s Beach House Hotel Muri
Vara's Muri, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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