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“Perfect place to get married. When can we come back??!!”

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Manuia Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Arorangi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 18, 2013

There is honestly nothing that I can say bad about the Manuia Beach Resort! We had a 6 night stay here in early July, and actually got married at the Manuia on the 4th of July.

We got upgraded to a beach front room (#2), but all of the rooms have a porch area for you to sit on and enjoy the peacefulness the hotel offers. Its an 'adult' only hotel, and it wasn't until we stayed at the Edgewater for one night after our honeymoon in Aitutaki that we realised just how peaceful the Manuia was.

The rooms are very spacious and have an outdoor shower - we absolutely loved this! The rooms are modern and very clean.

The resort managers Loren and Alex are out of this world - they would do anything for you. Since we were getting married in Rarotonga, Loren arranged all of the legal things, the suppliers, the celebrant etc, and drove us around the island in her own car to finalise all the details and make sure we were completely happy. On the day, they were a great help - coordinating hair and make up, flowers etc, and it was such a stress free day for myself and husband (he even went snorkelling the morning of the wedding!).

The staff are equally brilliant and very personable. They knew us by name and were very friendly - with the ladies at the bar even offering Cook Island Maori phrases for the hubby to add to his speech!! And the staff lent us their clothes steamer at no charge.

The food at the Restaurant is good and well priced, as are the cocktails. The breakfasts are fine - we've stayed at a few hotels in Rarotonga now, and they all offer the same breakfast, cereals, toasts and spread and local fruits. Manuia has an 'up' on other hotels though - fresh hot pancakes!!

The swimming pool is awesome to look at (didn't get a chance to take a dip, which I'm really gutted about!). The sun loungers are comfy and there are plenty of them.

We loved the resident cat Manuia - such a friendly little fella! We also saw whales just a few hundred meters off shore whilst sitting on our porch. The Manuia is on the sunset side of the island so you get some breathtaking sunsets.

In summary... we are counting down the days until we can go back. We wouldn't stay anywhere else in Rarotonga now, and I'd honestly give Manuia Beach Resort a 10 out of 10.

Room Tip: We requested room 2, as we had heard that beachfront rooms 4, 5 and 6 were 'noisy'. I don...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Gemma K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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326 - 332 of 469 reviews

Reviewed July 15, 2013

This hotel in Rarotonga was FANTASTIC. I don’t know where to start on how awesome it is. It was just perfect and I was quietly grateful that I couldn’t get into my first choice of hotel in the travel brochure (and I wasn’t the only person there who said that).
From the welcome we got on arrival (the best orientation talk ever) right through to getting hugs from staff when leaving – everything was perfection.
They have a weekly activities board and I went to the Island Experience evening which was very intimate with workshops and an island feast + low key entertainment. It appealed to me more than the artificial Cook Islands show at the Te Vara Nui village. Kura who led the workshops really made the activities come alive (a great character) – she made the evening very special.
For other activities there was live music a couple of nights a week, a pearl talk, ukulele lessons, scuba diving lesson, management drinks/nibbles – all free to guests.
Alex and Loren the managers would do anything to make your visit better, and all the local girls in the bar/restaurant and the gardeners and maintenance staff were so genuinely friendly and helpful.
As a single traveller with no children – this hotel was ideal – with its 24 rooms, you had the opportunity to meet others who were looking for a similar ‘boutique’ experience. We all became fast friends over the week – meeting up at breakfast and then back at night for cocktails. There were a range of age groups staying there – so no one felt out of place. Having a “no children under 16” policy was also great.
The highlight of the week was sitting in the infinity pool watching humpback whales swim past! On that side of the island you get both the sunsets and the whales, so it was just the best. One day we all lined up the beach loungers whale spotting together and they came up a few times.
The bus to/from town and around the island was very easy from Manuia. There is a bus stop right at gate and only about 20 minutes to town. I walked into town one day – took me an hour and three quarters. One other lady at the hotel hired a bike (at only $49 for a week) and cycled into town (and around the island) regularly.
I didn’t see any advantage to staying in the beachfront rooms – as everyone gathered around the pool chairs and tables (and very comfy sunloungers) anyway. The garden rooms were absolutely lovely. Even though mine was right next to the hotel carpark, it was still incredibly quiet and private.
The units are really roomy and fresh – all renovated recently with beautiful local fabric soft furnishings and very comfortable bed. The outdoor shower was a real highlight (I thought when I read reviews on Trip Advisor that they would only be in the expensive rooms – but we ALL had them). There is also a nice roomy outdoor balcony too so you could sit quietly with a cup of tea and book.
This resort has it all – and you don’t have to leave if you don’t want to. Some people were there getting over long haul flights and it was perfect for that.
The evening menu changed every day and was cooked fresh. It was small and basic, but perfectly adequate. Also there were other restaurants nearby that you could walk to (recommend taking a torch to walk back along beach or road if needed, as when the sun goes down it gets VERY dark and there are no street lights).
The inclusive breakfast was very good – plenty of choice for continental - and they cooked pancakes every morning too.
This hotel must be unique in its large beachfront – having everything right there with the ocean view was very special.
I loved the little tabby cat (Manuia) that has adopted the hotel. He also became a fast friend with those who were keen to accommodate him. I’m not a fan of dogs, so the ones on the beach were un-nerving at first. However, I quickly learned that they were very placid and just wanted to play with each other (and guests who were keen for a walk or swim with them). They are not strays – it is just that there are no fences in Raro, so they roam to the hotels looking for friends (and opportunities to steal your chips).
Every one of us that stayed there over the week said if we go back – then we are staying at Manuia Beach. We all had a good look around the island and hotels – but nothing could match Manuia.
I can honestly say I have only have one other overall hotel experience that equals this one – and that was at a family-run hotel in the Greek Island of Paros (High Mill Hotel). But it would be hard to go past Manuia Beach if I go back to Raro again (and I certainly want to go back).

Room Tip: All rooms there are good rooms - don't worry about being in garden room - they are lovely too
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank Kini68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2013

Only staying as an overnight stay, on our way back from Aitutaki, this was a pleasant surprise. The view and beachfront are beautiful. The snorkelling was surprisingly good. Take a dip! The landscaping and plants are beautiful, and the food was good, with reasonable prices for alcohol. Lauren greeted us with warmth, and when it looked like our ride to the airport was delayed, she drove us herself! Now that's service.

It is relatively pricy, but it seems like them's the breaks for accommodation on Raro. The duplexes are fairly close together, which reminded us a bit of a trailer park (and someone did mistakenly knock on our door in the evening to meet up with his mates, an honest mistake since they all look exactly the same). The room and extras were standard, but comfortable enough, and I liked the outdoors shower. Happy to rate 'very good'.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Quanster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2013

My friend and I spent our 40th birthdays here together. From what I saw of other resorts this one is top. It was beautiful. So clean and tidy and the staff were fantastic.
I think is has the best beach area. The best cocktails.
The rooms were so clean and fresh and best of all, the outdoor shower. Made you feel a bit naughty having a shower outside. I now want one at home.
Thanks guys for a fantastic holiday that we will never forget.
Will definitely be back to stay here. Can't wait.

Room Tip: Rooms away from reception area. Because flights come in early hours of morning it can be a bit nois...
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Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
Thank Rebecca L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2013

Stayed for a week in the ocean view room,and meet some very nice people.
Breakfast very dissapointing same cerals every day and very little fresh local fruit.If you wanted cooked breakfast it was an extra cost,1.st day room not serviced,Toilet roll holder falling off wall,Showers hot in the morning but luke warm in the afternoon.Looks like all the room sweepeings went under the bed.No milk in room.Floors not cleaned everyday,one day we came back we could still seee our dirty feet marks from the day before.
Asked for breakfast to be delivered to our room on two occasions as we were heading off early, both times not ceral plates given and no toaster but that did not mater as we were given no spreads.
Asked for flat white with breakfast(as they only have perculated coffee included in breakfast)
we are still waiting for it to arrive.
Management seemed very pleasant people,but the staff basically did what ever they wanted,we have been to several cheaper resorts with exceptional service.Only saw the managment once at breakfast and they were never seen around the bar area later in the day.
Nice surrondings and plain but pleasant rooms,did not think the resort was value for money and would not stay again.We travel every year,and always look for a small resort to stay,price of a room is never our concern but this ranks as the most over priced under serviced place we have ever stayed.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank murray r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2013

This is a fantastic resort, especially for couples. One of the reasons we chose this resort is it is child free and we were holidaying without our kids, Manuia proved to be bliss!
Our room was in a quiet corner towards the back of the resort, and was clean and well appointed. We loved the outdoor shower, the room was very clean and comfortable.
All the staff were extrememly friendly and went out of their way to be helpful. The greeting from Kura was fantastic, she made us feel so welcome and nothing was ever a hassle. The staff who looked after our room always asked if there was anything we needed. The office staff even gave us a ride into town to catch the Saturday morning market on our first day at the resort when we missed the bus. In short everyone at Manuia from management to service staff wanted to make our stay as good as it could be.
We ate at the restaurant for dinner twice and it was delicious. Breakfast was great, especially the pancakes! The Island night, run by Kura, is hands on and great fun!.
In short we will be back!

Room Tip: We enjoyed our garden room as it was 'out of the way' and private
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jjbNewPlymouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

Not ever written a review, and am somewhat hesitant to do so now, if it means more people will stay at this wonderful resort, thus jeopardizing future availability for my next visit, but...
The two managers, Lauren and her husband Alex are amazing. Both about in their early 30s, and only there 11 months upon my visit this week in June, 2013, are sooo focused, not only on you the guest, but also the staff. You feel like you're absolutely part of the Manuia Resort Family. Very personable. I visited most of the other resorts on the west side of Rarotonga, and met with many of the managers, as well as touring the individual rooms. I know none were better than bungalow #2 at Manuia.
Lauren managed a hugh wedding party in front of my unit, dealing with every small detail, while still finding time to talk with me at length on my porch.
Another great personality there is Kura, who greets you every meal at the sand floor restaurant with a big, very sincere smile. These 2 people are some of the best memories I now have.
The only thing I'd change is next time I'll bring my own pillow cases; theirs seemed a little hard (almost gritty) on my face.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank Nich0las001
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

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 #1 of 4 Hotels in Arorangi
Price Range: $237 - $396 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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