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“Loved every minute, just paradise!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Vara's

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Vara's
Ranked #16 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Muri
England
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Loved every minute, just paradise!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2009

Myself and two other girlfriends stayed in the dorms on the beach at Varas and had the time of our lives. Every morning we would get up we were blown away with the view of Muri Beach and just enjoyed watching the sunrises on the deck and chilling out with the other travellers. The Koka Shack at Vara's organised heaps of things for us to do as well so there was never a dull moment. The rooms were very clean with the whitest sheets on our beds. We had an awesome time there, honestly no regrets and none of us wanted to move elsewhere on the other side of the island (heard too many reports of theiving and the beach is nowhere as nice as where Vara's is). The only downside I can think of is the office closes early, around 3pm so kinda got to rush back from where ever if we needed something from the safe. We found the staff polite and always willing to help out, but I can see why people think they can be rude, their office is always so busy with people! Excellent value for money and if we get the chance to one day return to this paradise, I know where we will all like to stay!!!!

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KatyLove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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149 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    64
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    14
    6
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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
  • Any
English first
Auckland
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2009

We booked our much needed holiday at Vara's with trepidation (due to the various reviews) but had everyone who we met on our travels recommending it, (and trust me we met many). We decided to give it a go and were so happy we did. The location was stunning, probably the best on the island with everything you needed nearby. The rooms in the Beach House were simple but very clean with fresh sheets and not noisy like expected. We decided to treat ourselves at the end of our stay with an upgrade to their Studios on the beach and were really impressed with the room for that price range......everything private and just a few steps to the best beach.... really what more could you ask for. The couple next to us who were of older age had moved to Vara's from the otherside of the island as were not happy where they were....so we are just glad we made the right choice! Anyone who is expecting resort style accommodation should just do that, stay in a resort as you must remember Varas is budget style, and one of the best we have stayed in on our travels!

Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank LIN35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2009

I stayed at Vara's for about 10 days and it was awesome, but that was due partly due to the good weather on the first few days and mainly all the entertainment Matt organised at the Koka Shack. When staying there got bitten by bed bugs and the office were incredibly unhelpful, and didn't want to admit they were bed bugs, firstly saying that they were mosquito bits, fleas or dust!! They cleaned the room 3 times with what appeared to be just a steamer and put the beds in the sun and recommended putting bags in sun as that is how to get rid of bed bugs.
Would still go to Vara's because the entertainment run by Matt is awesome but would stay at hillside instead as accomadation there is meant to be nicer and bed bug free.

  • Liked — Koka Shack
  • Disliked — bed bugs
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Saz_Brent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2009

G'day everyone!

I stayed at Vara's Beach House from the end of December 2008 until about mid January 2009.

During this time I had nothing but an AWESOME experience from start to finish!!! Everyone needs to know that Vara's is THE BEST!

I did my booking directly with Vara's via email. Initially I spoke with Apia via email and then Moana. These two lovely girls promptly and professionaly replied to my questions via email and before you knew it I was booked for my holiday stay! The prompt email replies gave me great confidence that Vara's was "on the ball" and confidence everything was in order!

When I arrived in the Cook Islands on my Virgin Pacific flight it was about 1.00am in the morning. As soon as I left the Airport terminal I was greeted ("Kia Orana") and directed where to go for my transfer from the Airport. I along with my fellow arrivals were driven from the airport, through town and towards Muri Beach where Vara's is located. The Vara's mini-van vehicle was clean and comfortable also, and during our ride to Muri Beach we were given tips on great places to eat and where various facilities nearby where (like ATM, Pharmacy etc).

On my first day on the Island I met Moana in the front office. Moana was really friendly and helpful and gave me some expert local tips on where things were, what to do and see, and answered all my questions enthusiastically (even though the poor girl's probably had the same questions everyday from others visiting). Moana highlighted good spots on my locat map for Snorkelling also and gave me some advice about the Cross Island Walk.

Vara's has it all:

- Neat and clean common facilities.
- Volleyball on the beach.
- Internet facilities (and Facebook Group - join it!)
- Various beach gear and sun lounges.
- Equipment hire.
- Hire scooters
- Great kitchen for budding chefs.
- Activity board.
- Maps and local info.
- Clean, comfortable, well maintained accomodation.
- and MOST OF ALL => REALLY HELPFUL AND FRIENDLY STAFF to help you settle in and feel welcome and make bookings for various activities.

During my entire time with Vara's I felt welcome and comfortable and well looked after at all times.

If you are looking for good value, friendly, fun and comfortable accomodation on Rarotonga - you need to put Vara's at the top of your list!!! I'm glad I did!

If you don't put Vara's at the top of you list, you need to get your head checked! ;-)

Anyone who'd like to ask me some more questions about my experience at Vara's or my stay on the Cook Islands is welcome to contact me via Trip Advisor.

I had a great holiday, and great accomodation is allpart of it.

All the best,

From Kim J.
(Melbourne, Australia).

PS: Happy New Year for 2009 all!! :)

PPS: Moana - you're the best! ;-)

  • Liked — Friendly staff, great facilities.
  • Disliked — NA
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank ksjack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glasgow
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2008

You pay for what you get......and if you want to pay more and put a deposit down for a towel.....you can't! Make sure you're sure about what activities etc you want to partake in as all monies are non-refundable. The hostel itself was ok, but apia was very unhelpful and lacked any customer care/initiative. The office opening hours are between 10-1600, though whenever I walked past between those times, there wasn't anyone manning the office. A sign on the door saying 'gone for an hour' but not saying when the hour started. All the activities available are great, if there was anyone there to help you book them. I ended up arranging my own activities and hiring a scooter from an outside company.

Stayed December 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank kittyglasgow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
31 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2008

We originally had a week at Vara's booked in one of the studios. The studio apartment was pretty run down which was quite surprising given other reviews and the appearance of the place on their website.

Fortunately we didn't pay up front, just by chance more than anything else. On the second night we were woken up by cockroaches crawling over us. We spent the rest of the night awake basically killing cockroaches. When you travel half way around the world this isn't really the sort of thing you want to have happen!

Anyway, after that night we decided to get out and fortunately were able to get accomodation at a nearby resort which was only slightly more expensive but about 100 times better in every aspect. I couldn't fault the staff as we had no problem checking out early, though the fact we hadn't paid by this point helped a lot. As it turned out we only had to pay for one more night's accomodation which was a small price to pay!

  • Liked — Checking out
  • Disliked — Cockroaches!
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Richard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Beach, California
Level Contributor
40 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2008

I stayed here back in 2002 and got in at the last minute. I was put in a 2 bedroom bungalow right across the street from the beach which had a common bathroom and kitchen with 2 beds in the living room. Good location if you looking for a quiet spot away from the chaos in the dormitory they offer on the beach. Great price for the location not far from Avarua.

  • Liked — Location, Tranquility
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed December 2005, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank LBPurnell
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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