It rained more than any of their Septembers in history while we were in Rarotonga. For this reason, we were very glad we had chosen to stay at a resort as opposed to one of the cheaper bungalows available on the island. It meant that we had easy access to restaurants, bar, indoor games and TV movies. There are hourly buses around the island but the "bus stops" aren't sheltered and when it rains on the island, IT REALLY POURS!!!
The Edgewater isn't that great. If you want a really nice resort, don't stay there. If however you just want a base of operations with all the right facilities, do. Especially if it's much cheaper than the others (though I suspect it isn't). It really is a notch or three below some of the other resorts on the island.
- The resort's beach is a swimming beach. You need shoes of course.
- The restaurant serves meals/drinks any time of the day.
- The free continental breakfast is buffet and has plenty of variety.
- There is a rental place beside reception so you can book for tours/shows and hire bicycles, scooters etc. NB get in early for bikes.
- The resort has free snorkel gear. Again get in early, before 9am.
- Reception is 24 hours and you can access your security box anytime ($2/day).
- The activity programme. It's different every day and quite good for kids: ukelele lessons, drum lessons, volleyball, scuba lessons, foozball, table tennis, darts, tennis, pool. Mostly free. It's not so great for adults. Sometimes a casual 14 year old takes the lessons.
- The island's buses go inside the Edgewater - which is great if it's raining.
- It's only 8km (ish) from Avarua. Bikeable.
- It's across the road from the Rarotonga Hospital.
THINGS TO NOTE
- Just prepare yourself. The island is not commercialised like Fiji. The staff at the Edgewater are slow, on holiday time. Many of them are not friendly - almost like you're demanded something unnecessary in the middle of their favourite TV show! I got the impression that the emphasis was on having attractive gardens, not good customer service.
- The Edgewater restaurant's theme nights are quite expensive and the meals aren't necessary any better than the all day menu. The island night is $55 each and if busy, there would be a long, long line for the buffet. If you just want to watch the singing and dancing, you can always watch from outside (like all the other Edgewater guests!)
- The photos online of the resort are somewhat fish-eyed. Everything (the rooms, the pool, the restaurant and tables) is very tightly packed. See photo.
- Laundry is $5 wash, $5 dryer, $1 soap powder.
- There is no spa pool.
- Sometimes the local kids use the pool. If you don't want to hear screaming from 3pm-6pm every day make sure to specify that your room isn't beside the pool. Our beachfront room was actually a poolfront room.
- The TV reception is a bit fragile. The in-house movies seemed to be the same every day (lots of Steven Seagal movies…doh).
We spent a week at Edgewater in May and found the place to be above expectations. We atayed in an ocean view executive suite which was superb. We found the staff very friendly and helpful and the location was just superb. The variety of fish in the lagoon was astounding and we spent many pleasant hours swimming, snorkelling and feeding these fish.
Edgewater will be our choice when we return to Raro.
OVERALL: Enjoyed the room, ocean view, staff friendliness and would recommend as a place to stay in Rarotonga. Buses call every half hour to travel to town or around the island. The gardens are very pleasant to stroll around. The swimming pool is clean and inviting. Beautiful views over the ocean.
We had a lovely stay and would recommend........................
ROOMS: Beachfront deluxe room was very large. Good value for money paid. The bathroom large with shower and spa bath. Large fluffy bath sheets. Housekeeping was o.k. The garden rooms also look fine to stay in.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE: Friendly happy staff and good service. Food was casual and theme nights gave variety. Plenty of seating without sitting on top of each other when dining. Tropical breakfast was pleasant.
We enjoyed a top class dinner at WINDJAMMER restaurant just down the road from Edgewater also (recommended by taxi driver).
Enjoyed a lovely back massage and deluxe facial on separate occasions.
SERVICE: Reception very friendly and helpful as was Security/Baggage handlers. Overall service was good and I noted Duty Managers also helped when staff busy.
We have returned just this morning after 6 nights in beautiful
Rarotonga. We stayed at the Edgewater Resort in a Studio Apartment. The facilities in our apartment were very good. Our towels were changed daily and the apartment cleaned every 3 days. We found the resort to be very family friendly, we decided to take our two children aged 6 and 8 outside of the school holidays and found that we were not the only ones with this idea. However the Resort was anything but overrun with children which suited us very well too. I have to say that I was underwhelmed by the enthusiasim of the staff at the Edgewater but after finding out the hourly rate was not surprised.
We also found that food in Rarotonga was very expensive, however we did find a couple of places to eat that were a little more reasonable than the average $100 for 2 adults and 2 children for dinner. That was without entree or dessert or alcohol.
One place that we found was on the way into town in Avarua. It's called the Ara Moana Fish and Chip shop. They don't do only fish and chips but also have quite an extensive menu which you can eat there with main meal prices at around $14. We also found an awesome Curry house called Raviz. Fantastic meal there, needed to be rolled out at the end we were so full, with the entire meal coming to around $70.
We really wanted to try the local fare but were unable to find anywhere that really catered for this. Most places had very European menus.
We did not partake of the Island Night at the Edgewater as we were unsure of what we would get for our $55 per head, however another guest I spoke to did go to this evening and felt that it was well worth the money. We did go later in the evening and watched the dancers perform.
The beach at the Edgewater was quite nice. My kids snorkelled every day in lagoon and spent hours playing in the pool. I only snorkelled the once because I was afraid of the Stone Fish (very poisoness) and when I did go snorkelling what did I see, you guessed it a Stone Fish. There were heaps of other beautiful tropical fish to see though.
There were daily activities arranged at the Resort most of which we didn't participate in (not our thing).
We hired a car for the week which was great as we were able to get around the Island really easily and visit different beaches.
The Edgewater was definately on the right side of the island as the other side seemed to be very windy and when we walked along the beach at Muri we saw lots of Jellyfish washed up. The Muri beach side though seems to have more exclusive types of accommodation.
All in all we had a great time staying in Rarotonga, luckily we weren't counting on our wakeup call at 3am so we could catch our very early morning flight as the call never came.
This was my first time on a Pacific Island and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I guess it depends on what each individual is expecting.