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“RESORT was GREAT... owners on how they treat staff... NOT great!”

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Sunhaven Beach Bungalows
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 21, 2013

We stayed at this little place in October 2012 for just over a week - We were in Rarotonga for a wedding but it was great to come back to this little place of paradise!! Because there were so many people staying on the island we got to see everyone's accomodation at all the different resorts!! And even though this little place didnt have a bar or restaurant it had a FANTASTIC room with its own lounge, seperate bedroom that looked straight out onto the water!! We had friends and family come and check out our place and they just loved how relaxed and spacious it was! We would sit on our balcony drinking some wine and enjoying the view!
****The ONLY downfall I would say is the way in which they treat the staff here :( - The owners... in particular the wife was awfully rude to her staff we overheard her one morning yelling at them and saying "I just dont know why I pay you!" the staff were amazing they were up before sunrise cleaning and preparing the resort and were still working well after dark, so to treat people so poorly when they were working so hard was a let down on this wonderful place.

Room Tip: Beware of the OWNERS here... They can be very rude not only to the staff but even their own customer...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Reana13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uncledennis, Owner at Sunhaven Beach Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded April 28, 2013

Kia Orana Reana13,

Thank you for your glowing review of our property. We are so pleased you found our "little place of paradise" ideal for your holiday requirements and that you thought your room was "FANTASTIC". Thanks also for introducing your friends and family to Sunhaven. From what you've written they were impressed with the property. Perhaps some of them will return to Rarotonga and choose Sunhaven for their accommodation.

Kia manuia,

Dennis, Patti, Ali, Sandra, Shynal and new staff member Sheekal.

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129 - 135 of 213 reviews

Reviewed April 14, 2013

We have just had a family holiday with my Mum (79 yrs), sister & her husband & 20 yr old son, my husband and I at Sunhaven Beach Bungalows and all I can say to Patti, Dennis, Ali, Shynal & Sandra is "thank you!" It was our first visit to the Cook Islands and I truly don't think we could have chosen a better location or venue. Absolute beachfront, immaculately clean accommodation, super friendly staff - we felt like one of the family when we left after 6 days of pure peace and relaxation.
We snorkelled daily - perfect spot just a short walk up to the left on the beach, used the resort kayaks, amazed by the stunning sunsets which we could watch sitting around the pool or from our balcony - and just kicked back to enjoy.
When we say the rooms were "immaculate" I can't stress this enough - the effort spent in the daily cleaning of our rooms never ceased to amaze us - but never intrusive and co-ordinated with our daily snorkelling or kayaking exercise.
Patti would often arrive, as we lazed on our verandah or around the pool, with a plate of freshly sliced fruits or leave some of their own grown passionfruits, star fruits, avocadoes or bananas waiting on our verandah tables.
Dennis is full of knowledge about best places to visit and interesting things to see on the island.
Whilst there is no restaurant or cafe on site, the bungalows & suites are all fully self-contained so with a few basics provided complimentary on arrival, we topped those up with a quick trip to one of the many nearby supermarkets which kept us satisfied for breakfast and lunch each day and then only had to choose where to dine each night.
Would we recommend Sunhaven Beach Bungalows? Absolutely!
Would we go back to Sunhaven again? Absolutely!
Contrary to what another trip advisor reviewer has written, we never felt at any time "unsafe" or unwelcome at Sunhaven.

Room Tip: The 1 bedroom beach bungalows are very spacious and have large verandahs and separate to each other...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank DavidB1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uncledennis, Owner at Sunhaven Beach Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2013

Kia Orana DavidB1948,

Thanks heaps for your super review. We really appreciate you taking the time. It was nice meeting all of you and even nicer to see that by the time you left you felt like family. Sorry our cafe was not operational during your stay. I'm currently talking to someone who, with some luck, will enable it to re-open in the not too distant future.

Say a big HI to everyone for us and we look forward to seeing you all when you decide to "just kick back and enjoy" your "little slice of paradise" once again.

Until then,

Kia manuia,

Dennis, Patti, Ali, Sandra and Shynal.

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Reviewed April 10, 2013

What a wonderful place to stay!
Exceeded our expectations!
The resort is just amazing! Very private, very well looked after; the location is fantastic as well.
Our room was amazing; realy spacious, had everything we needed (and more). Very clean (I would say extremely clean), everyday room service was excellent (and I loved the fresh flowers in the room every day).
We really enjoyed waking up and falling asleep while listening to the sound of the waves; sipping our after-dinner drinks while watching the sunset from our veranda.... It was our first visit to Rarotonga, and we loved it so much, that we decided to come back every year - and, of course, we will be staying at Sunhaven!

The staff at Sunhaven... First-class service! Thank you thank you thank you!!!
Separate thank you to Patti for everything she did for us; all the starfruit she fed us, and all the help with getting our tours sorted and re-booked.

We will see you next year!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ben_and_Polina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uncledennis, Owner at Sunhaven Beach Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2013

Kia Orana Ben and Polina,

Thank's a lot for your nice review. Sorry I was away in NZ while you were here but I see Patti and the crew took good care of you in my absence. I'm sure I'll get to meet you next year.

Until then, Kia manuia,

Dennis, Patti, Ali, Sandra and Shynal.

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Reviewed March 4, 2013

Call it a bad match, planets not aligned, not meant to be or just a plain bad hair day for the owner but I have never been treated as such. I wanted to change hotels after my first night because I did not feel comfortable at this hotel. The fact that a hand written notice on the patio door of my bungalow stated to keep all important belongings at the reception safe does not do much to reassure a single female traveller...
The bungalows are remote, the café restaurant was closed, and the owner was insulted because I wanted to leave and told me I should have done my research on the location and that I am the problem and not his hotel! I believe he forgot I was the customer. I asked him if he was a Kiwi because I had been travelling NZ for the last 6 weeks and was surprised by his attitude. I had to ask him repeatedly how much I owed him so I could just leave ASAP. Bad vibe, bad energy. However the two Indian persons that do all of the housekeeping, garden tending and pick-ups at the airport were lovely.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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7  Thank Mirella D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uncledennis, Owner at Sunhaven Beach Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded March 8, 2013

My first reaction to this review was to ignore it and let readers see it for what it is. However it has become my practice to respond to all reviews therefore, for the record, I will give readers some insight into the correct version of events.

Mirella D booked 5 nights in our garden bungalow online through Booking.com. When Mirella booked the garden bungalow her credit card payment was declined. When advised of this she replied she didn’t know why that was but she wanted me to keep the room for her and would pay cash on arrival.

She spent less than 7 hours in the room after arriving after midnight. By 8am next morning she had decided she wanted to leave. Her reason was she hadn’t slept all night, didn't feel safe because the place was too quiet and her room was isolated. She said she had felt the same way about a property she booked in New Zealand and had left there after the first night also.

She was alarmed at a notice (not hand written) we have by the front door of the room warning guests to lock the door when leaving the room to not encourage theft. Some guests do leave their rooms unlocked. In the room compendium, as a precaution, we advise guests to put their passports and valuable documents in the reception safe. As owner of Sunhaven it is my responsibility to ensure our guests are aware of their security needs as some get in the holiday mode and can be a bit careless.

As a woman traveling alone Mirella said she would feel safer where there were more people. To try and make her happy I offered her a free upgrade to one of our beachfront bungalows where she would be closer to our other guests and perhaps feel more comfortable but she wasn’t interested. She said she had met some friends on the plane and preferred to go and stay with them at another resort.

We advertise the garden bungalow as our most private room as it is set in the garden aside from the beachfront rooms. Guests usually book this room for two reasons, one it is secluded and two the rate is $40 a night less than an equivalent beachfront bungalow. Otherwise everyone else prefers to be on the beachfront.

After 7 hours she wanted to leave and pay for just one night. As per our cancellation policy she was obligated to pay in full for all 5 nights booked. However as she had become quite agitated and unreasonable I charged her only 50% of her booking and included free arrival transfers with flower neck ei.

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Reviewed February 21, 2013

Such a wonderful place to relax. Beautiful location right on the beach with well furnished, comfortable rooms a lovely pool to float around in relaxing. Kayaks, reef shoes and snorkel gear to freely borrow for exploring the reef right out front. Dennis and Patti and their very friendly and always smiling staff looked after us exceedingly well. Patti herself went beyond the call of duty - she took it upon herself to provide coconut milk and sliced fresh fruit for my partner when she was feeling a bit off-colour, and even gave me some tuition on how to climb coconut trees and how to get in to them when I showed interest. I would love to stay here again if I went back to Raro - highly recommended!!

Dennis and Patti and their small friendly team of diligent cleaners and groundskeepers

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank gavinharriss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uncledennis, Owner at Sunhaven Beach Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 2013

Kia Orana Gavin,

Thank you for your review. Don't imagine you're getting a lot of coconut milk to drink right now. Or that there are many coconut trees for you to practice your newly found talent climbing. You'll have to come back to Raro for that.

Hope to see you again.
Take care,

Kia Manuia,
Dennis, Patti, and the always smiling Ali, Sandra and Shynal.

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Reviewed January 22, 2013

What an absolute pleasure it was to spend our 6 nights on Rarotonga firmly ensconced within the Sunhaven Beach Bungalow's boundaries.

Dennis and Patti and their small friendly team of diligent cleaners and groundskeepers do, as stated in all the other reviews here, keep what must be one of the cleanest, neatest, yet still relaxed places to stay on the island. From our top-notch bungalow and it’s fabulous deck to the pristine pool and the white sand stretch of beach. Our favourite and unexpected ‘extra’ received was the welcoming breakfast basket including pawpaw, bananas and passion fruit, cornflakes and toast. The local passion fruit and bananas were so sweet and full of flavour. We mentioned our enjoyment of the passion fruit to Patti and for the next couple of days we would return to our beautifully serviced bungalow to find a tall glass of passion fruit pulp on the bench waiting to be sipped as a unique tropical drink. We’re sure she must have picked every ripe passion fruit on her vine!

We rented a car for the first few days, enough time to circumnavigate the island a few times and stop at lots of points of interest. It’s also easier for stocking up with supplies on your first opportunity, although the bus does run regularly and stops conveniently at the end of the drive. After that we stayed put, venturing off during the day for beach walks and sea swims before returning for a refreshing fresh-water pool swim. With the covered deck of our bungalow, the deep pool a few steps away, clean bar-b-que or in-room cooking options available and a unique sunset to view every night we didn’t really want to go anywhere else in the evenings. Patti also grows some of the hottest chillies I’ve tried for cooking, do ask if you need one!

The airport pick-up and drop-off service is perfect and does enable you to enjoy a quick and effortless transfer. There’s also a DVD and book library at Sunhaven Reception which looked great as well as a small supply of incidental bits and pieces you could purchase if caught short. Otherwise there’s a small convenience store a couple of minutes walk away.

Wrapping up, if you want a totally clean fully insect-screened comfortable room with a great pool and absolute beachside location on arguably the best side of the island hosted by a great couple and brilliant staff – you’ve found it! We will be returning to Sunhaven on our next visit to this fantastic island and Dennis we’ll be asking for directions to climb up to the lookout at Raemaru peak.

Room Tip: The stand-alone bungalows offer good ventalation with windows on all sides, but as all reviews point...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Craig and Kim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uncledennis, Owner at Sunhaven Beach Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2013

Kia Orana Craig and Kim,

Thanks so much for this amazing review. I should get you to pen my promo and marketing material. Seems like all that passion fruit has filled you with passion for Sunhaven. Great job! Patti knew what she was doing keeping you topped up. But hey ... go easy on the hot chillies :-(

Take care and we'll look forward to seeing you next visit.

Kind regards and Kia manuia,

Dennis, Patti, Ali, Sandra, Anjila and Shynal.

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Reviewed January 17, 2013

I spent 3 weeks at Sunhaven over Christmas and New Year's. My decision to stay at Sunhaven was based on favourable comments of a neighbour who has stayed there.
I needed to get away from everything and everyone and The Cooks and Sunhaven seemed to be a perfect match for my needs.
Patti and Dennis were extremely helpful and saw to it that all my questions were answered and that I received everything I needed. My flight arrived at the Rarotonga airport at 7:00 in the morning and I was greeted by Anjila and Shynal from Sunhaven. They were warm in their welcome. And they had a wonderfully scented lei for me. This was just the start to the care and service at Sunhaven. Patti and Dennis took special care of me but allowed me my space. The staff were so friendly and polite - so unlike workers in other resorts/hotels that I've stayed at where employees do not always treat women who travel alone as a priority.
My bungalow was perfect. I loved that I had the choice between eating in the dining area or out on the verandah. The television viewing was dreadful but that was a non-issue. It was good to get away from that "beast". I used the internet service offered. It was expensive but I found the speed to be fine for my needs and the pricing did not have anything to do with Sunhaven but rather the service provider.
The small size of Sunhaven was perfect for me. I felt as though I were in my own home. Lounging in and around the pool was superb. There were never more than 1 or 2 other guests using the area and this was a big seller for me.
The sound of the surf breaking on the reef was just the best. I live on the water front of the north Pacific but we are in sheltered water and never get to enjoy what I consider to be the glorious sound of crashing waves.
Sunhaven has to be commended for its emphasis on cleanliness. The rooms were immaculate as were the grounds and pool area.
I left Sunhaven a changed person. If I can manage it financially I will definitely return to my "perfect paradise".

Room Tip: I would definitely recommed a beach frong bungalow. I stayed in #2 which was great. #1 was right b...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Sheila Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uncledennis, Owner at Sunhaven Beach Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2013

Kia Orana Sheila,

Thanks so much for your thorough review. We are pleased that Sunhaven met all your needs during your 3 weeks with us. I hope the "changed person" is as nice as the previous one ;-)

I should just clarify your comments re the numbering of the bungalows. You should have said #3 is next to the pathway and #1 is the most private.

Save those pennies and with a bit of luck you will return one day to your "perfect paradise"

Kindest regards,

Dennis, Patti, Anjila, Sandra Ali and Shynal

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Additional Information about Sunhaven Beach Bungalows

Address: Main Rd, Arorangi., Arorangi, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Arorangi
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Arorangi
Price Range: $152 - $236 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sunhaven Beach Bungalows 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Absolute beachfront. A private secluded boutique property hidden amongst mature tropical palms on a pure white sand beach on the west sunset side of Rarotonga. Superbly equipped modern self contained bungalows, suites & studios. See breathtaking views from your verandah of the lagoon and the Pacific Ocean beyond with tropical sunset backdrops. Huge freshwater pool with BBQ area. Catering mostly for couples looking for total relaxation. Our NO CHILDREN policy ensures peace & quiet. Good old fashioned friendly personal service by owner hosts. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunhaven Beach Bungalows Hotel Arorangi
Sunhaven Beach Bungalows Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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