We arrived, as usual, after midnight on the Auckland flight - emerging into the sauna that is Cook Island wet season! Garlanded as we climbed into the taxi, we were talked at by our smiling driver. At the resort an efficient staff drove us by golf buugy to our villa - thoughtfully the air-con had been on all evening, so blissfully cool inside with sprays of fresh hibiscus everywhere.
Breakfast in the ~Oceans Restaurant next morning was run by a lovely group of ladies and the ever-smiling Tangi: he always wafted around (the only way to last if your shift is 9hrs in 35deg heat!); slick service with beaming smiles.
I was tempted by the lagoon 20m away, so kayaked after breakfast (like the snorkel equipment: free), then went for a swim in their good sized pool next to the bar. By lunchtime the late flight caught up so we slumped in hammocks conveniently slung between palms by the waters edge: snacks and drinks are brought to you: all v reasonably priced . and so it went on. There are live music and cultural shows each evening to accompany the excellent a la carte meals. Fine diners get great dishes in the Windjammer restaurant, the whole site is populated by smiling obliging staff who each seem dedicated to showing off the v best of Cook Islanders.
Then there's the "evening fairies"!! Each evening around 6pm these ladies pop in to the villa, turn down the sheets, put an hibiscus bloom on each pillow and light a tea-light on each bedside table, before switching on the verandah light so we could find our way back later!! The sea inside our part of the lagoon was full of gorgeous fish, we used the wonderful bus service: ancient ex-chinese coaches which run "clockwise" or "anticlockwise" because it took only 40 mins to circle the entire island.
My final bill for drinks, snacks, 4 evening dinners - for two of us was barely 600$!!! (ie around £300, which we considered amazing) and typical of their staff: a waitress, Rose, came to sit and chat with our group of departing guests whilst we waited for the transfer, even though she had just finished a 7hr shift: typical.
An amazing week!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Cook Islands leading luxury beachfront romance resort on Rarotonga's sunset coast...an exclusive haven for only 42 couples. 5 acres of manicured gardens, 100 meters of icing sugar beach, a crystal clear lagoon, 3 restaurants & bars, day spa & beauty clinic, gymnasium, scuba dive centre, conference & business centre, 3 wedding coordinators, 15 swimming pools + 9 spa pools...so much more than meets the eye. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Crown Beach Resort And Spa
- Crown Beach Hotel Arorangi
- Hotel Crown Beach
- Crown Beach Resort Rarotonga
- Crown Beach Resort & Spa Rarotonga, Cook Islands