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“A fantastic wedding/honeymoon location”

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Manuia Beach Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Arorangi
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
“A fantastic wedding/honeymoon location”
Reviewed October 1, 2012

We could not have been happier with our choice of accommodation for our recent wedding and honeymoon. We stayed in a beachfront room, which I can highly recommend. They have been recently renovated and are absolutely stunning. The new managers are doing a fantastic job and are both very lovely people. All the staff at the resort made us feel very comfortable and relaxed and willing to assist with whatever we needed. Being an adults only resort it was always very peaceful. The restaurant at the resort was the best that we could find on the island and the cocktails and live music were amazing!
After travelling around the island and visiting other places we could not find a nicer beach front location. The wide sandy beach had plenty of deck chairs and hammocks - not like staying in a big resort where you need to get up at 7am just to claim a deck chair! Nearly every day we watched humpback whales breeching just 50m from the beach.
We were lucky enough to have our wedding at the resort. We were so happy that we chose to have it there, we wanted a private ceremony (just the two of us) and this is exactly what we got at this quiet little island paradise.
A special mention to the girls at reception who were just so lovely. Every question big or small they were able to help with. They went above and beyond to ensure that we had a perfect wedding day and honeymoon.
We will definitely be back in the future and have already recommended this place to many people!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Elise R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2012

In 2010 we visited the Cook Islands and stayed at the Little Polynesian Resort, where we had a fantastic stay. We returned to the Cook Islands in mid July 2012 and stayed at the Manuia Beach Resort, on the basis it had marketed itself as being a boutique hotel. Believe me when I say it is not a boutique hotel and it has a long way to achieving that status. However, I do wish to make it clear that the working staff, as opposed to the Management, were very friendly and helpful and tried to do the best they could do.

During our 8-night stay, we “experienced” the following:

• The ‘Island Night’ that had been advertised both in local papers and tourist brochures, together on the blackboard located near the main bar was cancelled without any notification to guests. The ‘Island Night’ was one of the reasons we chose to stay at the Manuia Beach. To cancel without notice or at least provide an alternative was misleading; however based on other comments from Trip Advisor guests, there seems to be a trend for this type of cancellation by Manuia Beach Management.

• The overall service at the restaurant /bar is very poor and disorganised. I understand the Cook Islands is very “relaxed”; however it took, on a number of occasions, at least 20-30 minutes to get bottled beer to our table. On the infamous “Island night’ we also waited over an hour for our food (which was quite poor in quality) and 45 minutes for bottled beer. On that particular night, the Duty Manager preferred to make cocktails and entertain family/friends rather than “Manage” the situation for confused guests.

• Guests were required to sign for drinks; however no receipts were provided or tabs were left open/unsigned meaning this could have led to abuse by over-charging. When my partner requested her receipts, she was made to feel like her request was rude.

• As a result of our experiences, we had dinner most nights at the nearby Crown Beach Resort, where the service, ambience and general dining experience was fantastic.

• When we were first shown to our rooms, the Night Manager made it very clear that we should lock our doors/close window slats when we were not in the room. However, on two occasions, the cleaner left the back door wide open, which would have provided easy access to burglars where, unfortunately, burglary is on the increase on the island.

• We experienced outdoor showers, which was not clearly stated in most accommodation brochures we had seen. This made for some interesting times, especially when early one morning we had men cutting trees without prior notification (again) by Management. I have no doubt many of the female guests would have been unsettled by men sitting in trees looking into the shower areas.

• The actual room was very old in its décor. The lighting in the room was very poor and dim, the bedside lights were useful as ornaments but useless for actual lighting and the bed/pillows were very uncomfortable for a self-nominated ‘boutique’ hotel. There was also no full table in the room, no TV and the radio did not work!

All in all we were very disappointed and disillusioned and the hotel should not be referencing itself as a “boutique hotel” as the Management there have a long way to go before it ever reaches that status. Their feedback survey asks whether “you feel recognised as an important guest in the resort”. Based on our experience, the answer is definitely NO.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank AussieandPaddy_14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sue F, Owner at Manuia Beach Resort, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
Kia Orana
Thank you for your review. As owners of Manuia Beach Resort we take guest feedback very seriously. We work very hard to look after our guests and this is reflected in the many great reviews we have received via trip advisor and from our in room survey. We strive to provide the best experience for all our guests and are disappointed that this was not the case during your stay in July of this year.
As new owners (since March 2012) we are happy to report that 1/3 of our refurbishments to our suits are now complete with the remainder of rooms being on track for completion end of April 2013. The remainder of units have had a soft refurbishment and we have had very few issues with the rooms yet to be completed. The exterior of the property and all public areas have had a complete makeover and is looking fantastic. Our location is second to none!
We have recently undergone management changes in August of this year and our New Resort Managers Alex and Loren are doing a fantastic job including a thorough orientation and introduction to all guests on the first morning of arrival, and a major focus has been in the Restaurant area and improving service. I am very pleased to report that all feedback been extremely positive.
Since our purchase of Manuia in March we have been 100% committed to providing the best possible experience to our guests and strive to accomplish this every day. It is great to hear that you found our staff very friendly and helpful. It is however extremely disappointing that none of the issues were discussed with us at management level during your stay. If they had been I can guarantee that we will have done all possible to ensure a fantastic remainder of your stay.
Best wishes
Sue Fletcher-Vea
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NZ
Level Contributor
37 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2012

Had an absolutely fabulous break here (with one proviso see below). Our package included a free arrival drink each, three days scooter hire and a beautiful beach front bungalow. We loved the location, handy to everywhere with the scooter (and one was enough for the two of us). The snorkeling right by the resort was awesome and they provided free use of reef shoes and snorkel.

Room was beautifully appointed and if there is anything nicer than the outdoor shower - just stunning. Saw a couple of ants, one lonely fly and a cute geckho so left doors and windows open without a worry. Deck with big chairs was great place to sit and read and watch the world go by.

Resort is stunning, and of all the ones we visited on our trips around the island it had by far the best beside the beach space, with the restaurant (free views of passing whales with breakfast and again at happy hour), the pool and pool deck, sand area with chairs, hammocks, a couch, and tons of loungers, was hard to get up the energy to go anywhere else!!

Only two negatives -
1. there are two restaurant teams, one is awesome, quick and amazing food, the other is a lot slower, we still loved the food but you need to be prepared to wait and although they say they serve breakfast til ten, we found that any time after nine the best breakfast food was gone.

2. when you book make sure to say you don't want beach front rooms 5 & 6 especially 6. It is located next to the restaurant service entrance and by the path to the restaurant loos. It is noisy from before dawn til late at night, not just with prep work and restaurant noise but also non stop music which is a right pain. Often the music wasn't even that loud outside but the bass just thumped right through our room. Is my only complaint but by our last night I was really fed up.

We did complain and there were rooms we could have moved to but they didn't move us, might have been because they were new managers only there a week.

Room Tip: Beach front rooms are stunning, just stay away from 5 & 6 if you like quiet. Garden room 15 look...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Like2Travel08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
2 reviews
Reviewed September 7, 2012

We stayed at Manuia Beach for our 5 nights in Rarotonga of our 12 night full stay in the Cook Islands. We flew for 15 hours with a 12 hour layover in Los Angeles and with our arrival to Manuia at 7 o’clock in the morning we were exhausted. But from the first moments we arrived, we had a wonderful experience.
Although the hotel office was closed so early in the morning, the General Manager was there to greet us within minutes… big smile…and a big cup of coffee to start the early day.
We splurged and stayed in one of the beach front unit. It was worth every dollar. We had an almost unobstructed view of the beach and ocean…with only a few palm trees and hamocks between us. If you love the sounds of distant waves crashing, you will be sleeping like a sound baby. The ability to sit on the porch and view the sunsets and ocean is worth the extra spend. The garden units do face the rear of the little casitas in front of them.
We also had a newly renovated room. The beds is comfortable, new bathroom, clean outdoor shower and powerful fan (the comfortable night breeze meant we never had to turn the air conditioning on) all made the rooms perfect. I would recommend finding/requesting a renovated room. Since we traveled in late May, and at the pace they were renovating, this may be a moot point by the time you read this.
The breakfast buffet was good to very good. We realized how much better it was after we left and went to our second hotel. The selection of cereals and fruit and pancakes were great. (At other hotels, the selection is dismal and pancakes are not included!) I upgraded to paid omelettes most mornings for my protein kick which was great. As for the lunch and dinner menus, this restaurant is similar to so many across the country: unimaginative dishes, lots of fried food and not the healthiest or freshest portions. The service could be slow at times, but then that was evident across the Cook Islands. No one is ever in a rush!
All in all, we had a great stay at this hotel. After staying at a second hotel during our trip, we would definitely come back to Manuia Beach for our next visit.

Room Tip: The beachfront rooms are worth the extra cost. They are also newly renovated. If staying in a Gard...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Toronto28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 29, 2012

We recently stayed 9 days in one of the lovley upgraded beachfront rooms. This was our first trip to Rarotanga, so we were a little nervous about our accomodation choice, having nothing to compare it to. We were not dissapointed, Manuia is a fantastic hotel, the small size being very appealing. The grounds are impeccible & staff and owners very friendly. Having a restaurant right there was also a bonus & we enjoyed some really lovley meals & some not so great ones. Agreed with other reviews, that at times, restaurant service was a litlle slow, but we also noticed that was when management were not around! The pool is awesome too. If we return to Rarotanga we would stay again. We were attracted initially by the couples only no children factor, & this really made for a quiet relaxing holiday which was exactly what we were after.
Claire & Ian

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ClaireM50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2012

We have just returned from Rarotonga after a 7 day getaway. We stayed at Manuia Beach Hotel and have nothing but praise for the new managers Alex and Loren and to the staff who made our holiday absolutely perfect. There are renovations happening at the resort over the next few months but our garden style bure was absolutely perfect for us. The right on the beach restaurant was superb and our daily breakfast included was a treat - especially the pancakes. The finishing touches around the pool and deck area were beautiful. We could not have asked for a better holiday. Thank you to all at Manuia for your genuine hospitality and friendliness. We will definitely be back.

Room Tip: The first row of adjoining bures have just been renovated and are lovely looking out to the pool ar...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Pykerbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2012

We spent 5 nights here and yes the staff are great. The location is perfect with Island Rentals across the road and other businesses handy too. Snorkling was fairly new to us so we went everywhere, right out front(at Manuia) is just as good as many other places about the island.
We will return :)

Room Tip: We stayed in a garden unit, while not beach front, the beach is only a few steps away.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ross W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Manuia Beach Resort

Property: Manuia Beach Resort
Address: Main Rd Arorangi | Beachfront, Arorangi, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Arorangi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Arorangi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Manuia Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Your Polynesian Paradise at Manuia Beach Resort awaits you... Marvel at the magical sunsets over a sparkling blue lagoon, while lounging on your sheltered, white sandy beach fringed with swaying coconut palms. Wander through the tropical gardens on your way to the beach side infinity pool. Rest your elbows on the pool edge and soak in the view across the beach, through the lagoon onwards to the waves crashing on the barrier reef beyond. Sip a refreshing tropical cocktail delivered to you from the Beaches Restaurant and bar, or enjoy your Polynesian inspired meals in the restaurant while you trail your toes through the sandy floor. Manuia Beach Resort - your Cook Islands resort accommodation - is set right on the beach in private and peaceful surroundings on the sheltered sunset coast of Rarotonga. You will love the authentic Cook Islands style accommodation, with the coconut thatched suites complete with island style decor and modern amenities such as air conditioning. Walk through the sandy path down to the water and be stunned by the beauty of the poolside area. The infinity pool, Beaches Restaurant and Bar with its relaxed authentic Polynesian cuisine, loungers set invitingly facing the beautiful lagoon, and attentive local staff, will all set the stage for your dream Rarotongan get-away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Manuia Beach Boutique Avarua
Hotel Manuia Beach Boutique
Manuia Beach Resort Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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