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“Three words: Dirty, dirty and dirty”

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Rarotonga Backpackers
Certificate of Excellence
England
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Three words: Dirty, dirty and dirty”
Reviewed August 23, 2008

We stayed in a double room here at the start of August. Whilst the beach front units looked clean and tidy, the main building housing the dorms and main accommodation was anything but.

Our room was basic but probably the cleanest part of the main building, though security was awful; no locks on the windows and staff who couldn't care less about the safety of your valuables. However, this paled into insignificance when we saw the kitchen, which was the single most dirty kitchen I've ever seen in a backpackers. If the crusty worktops, sticky surfaces and grim appliances weren't bad enough, the flee-ridden cats which we regularly found picking at our dinner on the worktops or licking our butter after leaving it unattended for all of 20 seconds persuaded us that maybe eating out wasn't such a bad option after all.

It's a pity that their approach to cleaning the place and security is such a joke as this could be a great hostel. But it's not, it's a dive. We weren't the only ones staying there who thought the same either. Everyone moaned, and five other people checked out early and moved elsewhere - I think that says it all.

Avoid this place - there's much better options for the same money just up the road (try Vara's).

  • Liked — Hot showers - that's really clutching at straws though.
  • Disliked — Dirt, filth, stray animals, lack of security, disinterested staff
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank tom020681
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RBackpackers, owner at Rarotonga Backpackers, responded to this review, September 2, 2008
We have our cleaner go through and clean the kitchen, bathrooms and common areas every morning at approx 9am. We cannot be responsible for guests being inconsiderate and not washing their dishes or cleaning up when we have several signs everywhere stating that this should be done. These few spoil it for the rest. The cats are also a problem but once again guests choose to disregard the signs saying "do not feed the cats or dogs " alas feeding them encourages the animals to take up residence. If tom and the so called other 5 guests were so unhappy with there stay and were to voice their concerns, then the problem would have been addressed promptly. Come on guys you also have to step up, we all have a voice and it makes life alot better when you use it, especially with matters like these. These have been the problems since opening our business 6 years ago. If you could give us a suggestion on how to combat this we would greatly appreciate your suggestion.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2008

Don't stay here. We were robbed in the middle of the night while sleeping of all our money and passports and credit cards. The owners could not care less and left us to fend for ourselves. Police advised many robberies here and all around this area all the time. security a joke.

  • Disliked — Owners could not care less about problems only money!
  • Stayed May 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank capricorn_male
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RBackpackers, owner at Rarotonga Backpackers, responded to this review, August 23, 2008
Kia orana Travellers,
Its a shame even on our small beautiful island we are now living in a society of uncertainty in terms of petty crime ie : theft, burglaries etc...and its very unfortunate capricorn male has become a victim however, when travelling its common sense and being responsible for securing ones valuables is paramount in enjoying your travelling time. This was not the case with capricorn male. I will not go into details of what was stolen but suffice to say I would have made every effort to secure those items properly with the security box we provide or even the safe we have in the office. It upsets me that he says " we could not care less and only thought about money " When we discovered the theft had occurred we immediately refunded $207 and accomodated them free of charge until they sorted things. I think capricorn male needs to stand up and take responsibility and not blame others for his bad lack of judgement.
I believe our success and ratings speak for themselves.
Kia manuia,
Paul and Rebecca
safe and secure travelling
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2008

We recently stayed in the beach house, which is South of their beach front complex. The house and location are great. You can tell they are working to fix it and the other house on site to be very nice. It has a master bedroom, large bath and double bed (non-private) downstairs and an upstairs with 2 singles. There is a large glassed in porch / dining area that overlooks the water. It was great to be able to sit inside and still be only 20 yards from the kids on the beach. The furniture / kitchen is no longer top of the line but if your looking at backpackers then you'll think its outstanding. The owners / staff were quick to help and easily remedied any issues. The main office is just up the road where we went to rent movies and borrow equipment. The water is a bit shallow in front which provided peace of mind with our 6 and 8 year old romping around. But there was great snorkeling just 50 yards South. My 8 year old got pictures of eel and octopus and the always present big blue starfish. There is a small market directly across the street and the prices are comparable to anywhere on the island.
The house has 2 other things to consider though:
1 - no window screens. When hotels were advertising window screens we wondered "whats the big deal". During a rain one night we learned the mosquitoes like to come inside. Not too bad except on that one rainy night. There is insect netting over the beds, which is standard everywhere on Rarotonga.
2- its biggest asset was also it biggest drawback for us. Its quiet, off the road and on the beach. But being there at night with 2 young children, we were a bit apprehensive. The house is not the most secure which 10 years ago when were here would not have crossed our minds. Even now, had we left the kids at home, would not have bothered us. Did anything happen - NO, was it on our minds - yes, did it ruin our trip - absolutely not. The kids loved it, we loved it. We will be back and look to the backpacker beach house first for a place to stay.

You will definitely need a car or motor bike to stay here. We tried a bus pass the first day...don't do it. It's reliable but you waste much time waiting.

  • Liked — The beach and nearby snorkeling
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jamesff00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
121 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2008

Way better than we expected. The 'backpacker' tag really doesn't describe the bungalows here. There are dorm rooms but the great bugalows with beach frontage and all you need are excellent value.

It's not on the best part of the island but the beach is fine. At high tide the swimming is good enough to get out to the reef.

  • Liked — Value for money
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank David-Sydney_Aust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NZ
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2008

This place was great! I was expecting more of a downgrade from another place I had stayed at on the island as we were paying less but found we had been upgraded. This place was amazing, the beach front unit was clean, self contained, great kitchen and the people were very helpful!
When I return to Raro I will return to Raro Backpackers!!!
I also got engaged just up the beach at Waterline, easily the best restaurant on the island :-)

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Maybe the beach being less swimable but still great!
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank holidayawaynz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level 6 Contributor
176 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 164 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2008

Was greeted by Paul at the airport in the morning, taken to the hostel, then we waited a few hours for our beach hut. It was nice enough, with water boiler, fridge and some simple kitchenware. Bed was ok, towels were small, worn and not changed. Beach is mostly too shallow for swimming, but at high tide it's ok.

Pool is ok, staff is very relaxed and helpful. We signed up for bbq, but were told (after asking) at the last minute that it wouldnt happen due to too few sign-ups. The price is right, and you get what you pay for. No less, no more.

Probably wont stay here again, since Rarotonga doesnt need a second visit (but we loved visiting once!).

  • Liked — price and beach
  • Disliked — no housekeeping
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank kaldal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SOUTHLAND,NZ
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2008

From the time we booked our dream holiday on the internet we could not have wished for more, we emailed Rarotonga Backpackers direct, our email was answered in record time, we could'nt await to arrive. On arrival at an ungodly hour of 3.40am we did not expect to have someone waiting, but yes we were greeted by a lovely staff member and driven to our backpackers and shown to our room. Peta the following morning could not do enough for us, ensuring we had all that we required. The following night the owner, Paul cooked up the most fabulous Barbeque and free Vodka punch, what a highlight we were treated to Tuna steaks, sausages, plenty of salads, and all the trimmings, could not have asked for more. We enjoyed our stay used the pool every morning before breakfast, rented a scooter on site, enjoyed the family type environment, would highly recommend to anyone staying in the cook islands. We were sorry to leave and we can ensure you we will be back. Thank you Peta and Paul, great rooms, immaculate facilities, plenty of Cook Island hospitality, I will be sending all my friends to stay with you, close proximity to town. Only 40metres away from the beach front. Thank you guys for a memorable holiday, we wont forget you guys
. Michelle and Nicholas Kergozou De La Boessiere.
Great rooms and comfy mattresses, a must on holiday.

  • Liked — We were treated like part of the family, nothing was ever too much to ask!!!
  • Disliked — Nothing at all!!!!
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank frenchie069
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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