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“Lovely spot good value”

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Rarotonga Backpackers
Certificate of Excellence
Rotorua, New Zealand
1 review
“Lovely spot good value”
Reviewed October 16, 2012

We were recommended Rarotonga backpackers by a friend and were not disappointed. We had a Beach Hut which was great value Paul upgraded us to a Beachfront unit for the last three nights, a real bonus. The staff were very helpful, Bus outside the door, Great Chinnese Restaurant 350mtrs down the road..Dairy also handy. A night Market a few doors down the road on the Wed night .Good snorkling 10mins down the road were the stream comes out by the reserve. We are in the older age group and were at home there. Hope to return one day Thanks Paul

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank munchy_nznz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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172 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
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English first
Hamilton & Waikato Region, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
214 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2012

We have stayed at the backpackers three times now. Obviously we love it there. The location we feel cannot be bettered. We love the quiet from the busy areas plus we love the accessibility of everything else.

Please read our reviews from the past for more detailed description.

Since our last review Rhianna has left and now Paul, the owner is there on a daily basis. Only in the mornings.

The only worry we have is the replacement of towels. Yes our room was cleaned once a week which I feel is enough if you only staying 8 or so days like ourselves. However the towel situation is a different story. I feel you definitely have to have a new towel at least every second day (it is a holiday) but when I went to ask for one it obviously is not what they want. Tea towels and towels were the problem. We got them changed in the end but I felt we were imposing and it def was not the norm.

We were forgotten on the last night. Got to the deck to wait for our pick up at least 15 minutes earlier than were told to be there. Waited and waited, just thought we were early but then after a while we began to panic. Found someone who said the shuttle had left ages ago. Frantically tried for taxi's who refused to pick us up saying the shuttle would come and get us and then they would be left with no money. Found the owners, Paul's, phone number and he got someone to come and get us. I had a slight ever growing panic we would be left behind. Were the last to check in but made it.

We stayed in the beachfront units and still absolutely love being there. We feel safe there and have seen no-one lurking around. We always lock our door even if walking down the stairs to the sand but that is not because of us thinking someone there will break in but just common sense, when we are away on a trip anywhere we always keep our place locked. It was quite warm at night, and the fan is next to useless but then again that is why we go there, to get away from our winter and into the warmth.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank nzwestie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2012 via mobile

Two years ago was my first time to Rarotonga, and I stayed at 2 locations at Muri Lagoon (both were reasonable enough) before settling in at Rarotonga Backpackers. Last year I returned, and stayed only at the Backpackers. My partner and I are budget travelers- value for $, cooking for ourselves, having peace and quiet, and enjoy long walks. We stayed in a hillside bungalow, which for 2 people is an unbeatable price for our own little unit. Kitchen worked great, with everything we needed. Pool was wonderful, and we enjoyed being on the quieter back road. Hillside is definitely the preferred location if you want quiet. Hiring a motorcycle was ideal to be able to travel around the island (and way cooler than a scooter). Staff were super friendly. Was nice being able to walk to beachside accomm to use the wifi. Definitely considering going back for a third time!

  • Stayed May 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank IHenninger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand
1 review
Reviewed September 25, 2012

Our school group of 44 tamariki, staff and parents have just returned from 7 nights in Rarotonga, and we stayed here at the Backpackers. We found the place to be accommodating of our group's needs, with kitchen facilities and bedding that was adequate. If you're not looking for 5-star rating accommodation then this place could be suitable for you. Sharing facilities with other backpackers staying here was great as we got to share our Maori culture with them as well. If your groups is a large one you will find numbers split in order to meet room allocations. Our group had 13 of our members sent 500 metres down the road to the bungalow quarters which was frustrating. The rains that came, and came on the last night of our stay meant a bit of rearranging of rooms as the roof leaked - no big dramas! Having the swimming pool made for happy kids, and the beach right at our doorstep was definitely a bonus, and welcome sight every morning. No need to take an alarm clock as the roosters crowing outside your bedroom window were on time every morning! An enjoyable stay regardless.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a confirmed booking for the room you want. We booked rooms and thought we were ge...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kitty T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2012

We recently arrived home from 8 nights at Rarotonga backpackers, and were stoked with the accommodation. We aren't fussy, but do like a clean tidy place to stay - this definitely met our expectations. We stayed 3 nights in a beach hut, and the remaining 5 nights in a studio unit due to availability. The beach hut was simple with a fridge, small ice box, toaster and kettle, sheets and pillows - no duvet, so take something warm if you're not going in peak season. This for us was great, you step out of your hut and are on the beach in a few metres. Upgrading to the unit was great, it's much larger, nice big deck, all of them look right over the water, gas cooking etc. Overall we didn't have any complaints, hire a scooter and the location is perfect as its an easy drive either way - to town or around to Muri beach. We will be back, next time hopefully with some friends to book out the other units around us!!

Room Tip: Any of the beach huts or studio units are a great choice - we didn't see inside the dorm rooms
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KristieONZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2012

First things first, this is a backpackers hostel and if you stay in the main building you'll pay hostel prices so that has to be the starting point for your expectations. I stayed for 7 weeks as a base for my medical elective, like plenty of other people who head to Raro Backpackers. My friend and I stayed in a private twin room which was pretty spacious and clean. The beds were reasonably comfy, but only one little pillow and some well worn linen! Definitely take your own towel as those are a bit worn too! The bathrooms were fine, clean enough and with lots of hot water and plenty of pressure. No locker in the room but the room locked and the windows couldn't be opened enough to get in- and generally we felt pretty safe just leaving things like cameras in our bags. We used the boxes in the kitchen as a locker for more important stuff. No one had any trouble while we were there.

The kitchen area is open to the world and so the birds can and will get in, it was always reasonably clean as the staff came in every day to clean the communal areas and even sometimes would do the washing up the less pro-active guests might leave around! The sofas are deadly uncomfortable, but thats ok as the deck area is where we spent most of our evenings and the beach just outside the front the day time!

The staff are pretty good, Paul gave me a discount because I was staying so long and the cleaners and the driver Paul did a good job. They are only around in the mornings though so it can be hard to catch them.

The location is pretty good- right on the beach with a little shop within walking distance but you will need a bike or scooter to go to town, though we also used the bus and hitch-hiked.

Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Jp445
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
164 reviews
148 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2012

The Raro backpackers must be able to say it has one of the best beaches of any backpackers in the world. It really was picture perfect. The accommodation was not quite so perfect but relatively acceptable.

We had a beach hut for 6 nights. You can’t tell from its website but the beach huts are set behind the large “Unit” accommodations and so don’t have a sea view although it’s only a 10 second walk to see it and technically they are located on the sand (so you get the annoyance of a sand filled room without the benefit of a sea view) but it was possible most nights to hear the waves.

I had been assured in an email that all linens were provided in the hut so I didn’t bring anything. The bed sheets were ok but didn’t fit the bed. However, the towel I was given was completely disgusting, old stained, falling apart – the kind of thing you might use to dry off a wet dog but not give a guest in a NZ$85 a night room (photo included). I suggest you pack linens if this is something that would annoy you too.

There are staff at the backpackers for only a few hours in the morning so if you need something (like a better towel) it can be hard to catch them.

The beach hut is just one room with a bathroom with a small bathroom. Ours had two beds and was a bit snug. There was a fridge in a room that didn’t work but by the 4th day this had been replaced with a new fridge. There was no line by the hut to hang clothes/wet gear but there was one in the shared area that you can risk using.

There is no safety deposit box and friends who stayed here previously had a lot of stuff stolen so be sure to take something so you can lock up your valuables.

The shared facilities are like any low-grade backpackers, scruffy, old and a bit dirty. The swimming pool never looked clean enough to swim in.

The location on the island is not close to much else and you really need transport to get out. There is a convenient store a few mins walk up the road, a bike rental shop opposite and the (expensive) island bus will stop for you outside the backpackers

The airport transfer was good value and reliable.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank talltaff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rarotonga Backpackers

Property: Rarotonga Backpackers
Address: PO Box 3103, Arorangi, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Arorangi
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Arorangi
Number of rooms: 63
Also Known As:
Rarotonga Backpackers Hotel Arorangi
Rarotonga Backpackers Cook Islands

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