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“Nice resort”

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Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Aroa Beach
Reviewed August 12, 2012

We stayed at the Sanctuary for 4 nights while we attended a wedding. We liked that it was adults only and the facilities were very nice. We also liked that it shared faciities with the Rarotongan so we could go snorkeling on the beach and use the kayaks. The staff seemed nice and friendly without being over the top.
But I think it you wanted a really nice romantic holiday it would be better to look for something a bit quieter and smaller. While we were at the Sanctuary there was a conference on, so quite a lot of the time the restaurants were being taken over.

Room Tip: They are all beach front, but I would definitely check if there was a conference being held at the s...
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank nznatann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Director of Sales at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, responded to this reviewResponded September 25, 2012

Kia Orana “nznatann”

Thank you for your review in regards to your recent stay with us at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach.

We are delighted to read that you enjoyed the stunning Beachfront Suites available at Sanctuary Rarotonga. These beautiful Suites are only footsteps away from the traditional Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve where guests can snorkel and see an amazing variety of jewel colored reef fish and marine life. Just recently we had some guests capture footage of a juvenile turtle swimming in the reserve!

Our A La Carte menus in our three restaurants offer almost 100 different meal selections and are competitively priced with other restaurant in the Cook Islands and the South Pacific. Further we are in the process of updating our menus.

Each of our Beachfront Suites at Sanctuary Rarotonga offer:
• Individual air conditioning
• Private verandah
• Super king bed (or twin)
• TV/DVD player (incl. satellite TV)
• In-room movies – 12 channels
• In room broadband internet (charge applies)
• Radio alarm clock
• IDD phone
• In-room safe
• Filtered + UV purified water on tap
• Shower
• Hairdryer
• Refrigerator (on-demand Mini Bar)
• Coffee / tea making facilities
• Iron / ironing board
• Fan
• Insect screens
• Daily housemaid service
• Room service

However, for the ultimate couple's Cook Islands romantic escape, we also have our sister resort, the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa located only a 40minute flight away from Rarotonga. Aitutaki Lagoon Resort offers the only Overwater Bungalows in the Cook Islands and is the only private island resort located directly over the crystal blue lagoons of Aitutaki. Definitely not an opportunity to be missed!

Thank you once again for your review and we hope to be able to welcome you back to Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach in the near future.

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards

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373 - 379 of 470 reviews

Reviewed August 7, 2012

Stayed at the Sanctuary about 6 months after it opened - August 2010 Lovely room, however, noticed some small things that were already worn / tired. We also would come back to our room to an overpowering smell of backed up pipes - opening doors did dispell this but was not great. We told Reception, they were not overly concerned. Other than that we had a very pleasant stay and we had had to delay our arrival due to a hospital visit and they were very accommodating in pushing out a few weeks.

The Japanese restaurant was outstanding as were many other restaurants on the Island - the best food I have ever had on holiday anywhere every night and I have been to a few places.

Value was good but we got the hotel 1/2 price.

Room Tip: Would probably pick closer by the pool but facing the Sea.
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Carol G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Director of Sales at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, responded to this reviewResponded September 25, 2012

Kia Orana “Carol G“

Thank you for taking the time to write such a wonderful review.

It was a pleasure having you stay with us for at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach.

We are delighted that you enjoyed the stunning beachfront location of your Suite during your stay, in particular the amazing snorkelling available straight off the beach front of your room and the great selection of complimentary activities for our guests. The Sanctuary Rarotonga takes great pride in its incredible location with a traditional marine reserve at its doorstep.

We are also very happy that you have enjoyed the stunning location and friendly services we have to offer at Sanctuary Rarotonga.

We hope to welcome you back to our resorts again in the very near future as a valued return guest.

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards

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Reviewed July 23, 2012

Just got back from a 6 night stay. Really good location on the island and a beautiful beach. Rooms are really nice and serviced well, although at a different time each day, though they do provide a form where you can nominate the best time for you – a nice touch. The breakfast provided is just a continental which isn’t amazing, but perfectly fine. They just need a few more staff to ensure things are topped up when empty. You can order a basic cooked breakfast for an additional charge. The staff are lovely and friendly. The best part is there are no kids! Not a typical 5 star hotel, but a really nice place to stay.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank CarolynA813
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Director of Sales at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, responded to this reviewResponded September 25, 2012

Kia Orana “CarolynA813”

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach in July 2012.

We are pleased to hear that you were happy with the facilities offered at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, sister resort to The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa.

We are also thrilled to read that you thoroughly enjoyed the stunning beachfront location of your Suite during your stay, in particular the amazing snorkelling available straight off the beach front of your room.

In regards to breakfast, a complimentary Tropical Breakfast Buffet (Continental Breakfast) of a variety of seasonal island fruits, homemade yoghurt, fresh-baked muffins, Danish pastries, croissants, toast, spreads, tropical juices, tea & coffee, is served for your enjoyment in the Blue Water Grill Restaurant from 7am to 10am daily. You can also select from a variety of cooked and light breakfast options from the Breakfast Menu.

We do apologise for the delay you experienced in having your table cleared at breakfast. Our Restaurant & Bar Manager has reviewed his staff schedule to address this issue.

Thank you once again for your feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back to Sanctuary Rarotonga in the very near future.

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards

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Reviewed July 23, 2012

I have just returned from 7 wonderful day staying at the Sanctuary at Rarotonga. The Sanctuary is adults only (18 years & over) and is a wonderful place to stay if you want to get away from the noise and disruption of families and little children. Most of the rooms are beach facing, but some aren't so it would pay to request a beachfront room when you book. The rooms were neat and tidy, with large screen TV, wardrobe space, bathroom, fridge etc. Our room had a lovely balcony with table and chairs - great for sitting and relaxing with a G&T in the evenings! The staff were very friendly. Food was good, and there is a choice of restaurants. You can also easily one of the public buses to many of the other restaurants dotted around the island. The beach front and pool were very relaxing, and quiet (with no noisy children splashing about). From what I say of the other accommodation places, this is definitely one of the best options and I will definitely be booking to stay here again! And there is a spa across the road - what more could you ask for??

Room Tip: Definitely ask for a ground floor beach front room if you want to just walk out from the sliding doo...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank KathrynMc_Dn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Director of Sales at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, responded to this reviewResponded September 25, 2012

Kia Orana “KathrynMc_Dn”

Thank you for your review in regards to your recent stay with us at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach.

We are very happy to read that you thoroughly enjoyed the location and service provided during your stay with us at Sanctuary Rarotonga.

The Sanctuary Rarotonga on the beach is the Cook Islands’ iconic adults only beach resort. Here, modern comforts blend with the charm of traditional Polynesia to add up to perfect relaxation on the sun-soaked beach. The Sanctuary Rarotonga is renowned for its warm and friendly staff with open hearts and smiles.

Set on Aroa Beach, Rarotonga's most beautiful white sandy beach on the shores of Aroa Lagoon (the Lagoon of Love), Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach is located on the island's sunshine southwest coast where guests can enjoy all-day sun, stunning sunsets, all-tide safe swimming and excellent off-beach snorkelling in the traditional marine sanctuary directly in front of the resort.

Set out amidst lush tropical gardens featuring hibiscus, banana and coconut palms. All of the Sanctuary’s forty eight rooms are no higher than two storeys and are set on absolute beachfront, and feature an authentic Pacific aesthetic combined with the charm of Polynesian-style architecture. It’s a perfect destination offering a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere for those seeking the ultimate escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life 

In addition to the swim up pool bar and two restaurants (Blue Water Grill and the Ginger Garden Asian Restaurant) at Sanctuary, adult guests of the Sanctuary Rarotonga also have access to FREE Daily Activities including snorkelling, snorkelling lessons, snorkelling safaris, introductory try scuba dive lessons, fish feeding, crab hunting, crab racing, kayaking safaris, Polynesian canoe ‘Vaka’ lessons, beach volleyball, beach cricket, beach soccer, beach touch rugby, beach petanque, tennis, basketball, lessons on island (hula) dancing, pareu (sarong) tying, palm-frond weaving, flower garland (lei) making, coconut climbing and husking show, giant chess, board games, guest library, air conditioned gym, fitness trail, guided walks to cultural, historical & natural attractions in the local area, wine tasting & black pearl lectures. They also have FREE use of snorkelling and tennis gear, hammocks, sun loungers, beach towels and kayaks!

For those guests wishing to hire rental cars and scooters during their stay in Rarotonga, they can do so via our Best of the Islands Tour Desk located at the lobby area of The Rarotongan.

Thank you once again for your review and we look forward to welcoming you back to Sanctuary Rarotonga.

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards

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Reviewed July 21, 2012

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Review collected in partnership with Easytobook.com
4  Thank Murray A
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
RarotonganSales, Director of Sales at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, responded to this reviewResponded September 25, 2012

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Reviewed July 20, 2012

My husband and I have just returned from 8 nights at The Sanctuary. We stayed in a beachfront suite. The location of the resort is wonderful and the beach is great. The snorkelling was nothing to rave about at all :( The pool was a nice option if the beach was windy. We had a meal plan - the best idea ever. This allowed us to have an "American" cooked breakfast every morning (not the continental breakfast - which didn't look too great). We ate at the Bluewater Grill and the Ginger Garden every night (restaurants within the resort) the food was amazing !! We went to the Rarotonga beach resort/spa (sister resort) for a lunch meal on one of the days - disappointing !! Our room was ok - clean-ish but not up to our standard, however the positions of the rooms offer a great view. The staff were nice - not overly friendly and no one seemed to go out of their way to ensure 110% customer service. They did seem over worked - the same staff on the breakfast shift were serving us dinner and drinks after 9pm. I went to enquire about a facial/massage and without even looking at the book the reception lady said "they are booked out today" and immediately turned her back and continued on with her duties... i would of expected her to offer me the next available appointment - however this did not happen and as a matter of principal i did not have any beauty treatments. Overall a nice stay but not wonderful - we went to Aitutaki for 5 days and the was just AMAZING !!!

Room Tip: Beachfront Suite (rooms in the 700 appeared to be in a quieter location than rooms in the 600)
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Clare w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Director of Sales at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, responded to this reviewResponded September 25, 2012

Kia Orana “Clare w”

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach.

We are pleased to hear that you were happy with the facilities offered at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, sister resort to The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa.

We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed the stunning beachfront location of your Beachfront Suite during your stay.

In regards to breakfast, a complimentary Tropical Breakfast Buffet (Continental Breakfast) of a variety of seasonal island fruits, homemade yoghurt, fresh-baked muffins, Danish pastries, croissants, toast, spreads, tropical juices, tea & coffee, is served for your enjoyment in the Blue Water Grill Restaurant from 7am to 10am daily. You can also select from a variety of cooked and light breakfast options from the Breakfast Menu.

We are also thrilled that you thoroughly enjoyed your dining experiences with us at Sanctuary Rarotonga. Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, is an adult’s only boutique resort with two restaurants available to adult guests of The Rarotongan;

• Bluewater Grill featuring a wide range of fresh game fish and seafood as well as traditional favourites; and
• Ginger Garden featuring the international favourites from the cuisines of Asia including Teppanyaki, Wok, Steamboat and Mongolian BBQ

Your comments regarding the standard of housekeeping have also been relayed to our Executive Housekeeper who is actively working with our team of dedicated housekeepers to address your concerns.

We do apologise for your unpleasant experience when trying to book your spa treatment while with us. This is certainly not acceptable and it would have been appropriate if you had wished to address these issues with the Resort Manager while you were here as he would have been happy to meet with you. Alternatively, our Duty Managers are on duty between 7am and midnight daily to assist you with any concerns you may have.

Feel free to contact me if you have any further queries.

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards

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Reviewed July 15, 2012

great views good service by some of the staff but front desk staff during the day needed more training in how to be more friendly and accomadating ,room servicing wasnt till late in the day 5-6 pm which an be a pain in u want to relax before dinner tv recp and programmes were crap (all repeats over and over for the 2 weeks we stayed dont think id be recomending anyone to stay there nor would i stay there again theres better and cheaper places on the island to stay

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank emptynz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Director of Sales at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, responded to this reviewResponded September 25, 2012

Kia Orana “emptynz”

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach.

However we are disappointed to read that you found the staff service at Sanctuary Rarotonga unsatisfactory during your stay.

As a result of your feedback we have implemented comprehensive refresher training in customer services with our staff across both properties and implemented quality assurance systems to prevent further experiences such as yours from repeating.

In regards to the television services available in your room, a satellite television and DVD player are in your guestroom. The following satellite channels are available in your room: Cartoon Network, CNN, Turner Classic Movies and TNTV plus the Resort offers guests another twelve channels with complimentary in-house sit-coms, movies and entertainment, and you can also view images of The Rarotongan and sister resorts, Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach and The Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa on channel 6. The local Cook Islands Television channel is also available; this includes Australia Network during the morning, religious programming and local programming. Cook Islands Local News is on at 7pm Monday to Friday, and at 8.30pm TVNZ’s One News plays nightly (and 7:30pm during daylight savings). There’s also a big screen satellite TV/DVD in the poolside Games Lounge. Most of the major sports events covered by Television New Zealand, such as rugby, league, netball, cricket and golf, are aired on local television. The Satellite TV in the Games Lounge screens a wider range of major sports events live that are not on Cook Islands Television.

You can also hire a wide selection of DVD movies from the Front Desk.

If you had wished to address these issues with the Resort Manager while you were here, we would have been happy to meet with you. Alternatively, our Duty Managers are on duty between 7am and midnight daily to assist you with any concerns you may have.

Once again, thank you for your feedback and we hope to be able to welcome you back to our resorts in the near future.

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach

Address: Aroa Beach, Aroa Beach, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Aroa Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Aroa Beach
Price Range: $201 - $503 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach 4*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A true taste of the exotic Cook Islands in the heart of the South Pacific, Sanctuary Rarotonga is an adults-only resort located on the pristine white sand shores of Aroa Lagoon. All suites are absolute beachfront. Tropical buffet breakfast, many resort activities, and daily activities program are included in the nightly rate. The perfect location for a romantic honeymoon or a relaxed beach holiday. Three effortless Weddings in Paradise packages. A true South Pacific paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanctuary Rarotonga-On The Beach Hotel Aroa Beach
Sanctuary Rarotonga-On The Beach Aroa Beach

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