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Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Aroa Beach
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
194 reviews
117 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“I want to go back again!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2013

I have come back from my trip to Cook Islands and I am still dreaming about the turquoise blue waters of this place. The food was fantastic. The weather was perfect. Warm during the day, 30ºC, and fresh during the night, 22ºC.
The staff was always there with a big smile in their faces and ready to help you and make your stay just memorable. My favourite activity was snorkelling at the Blue Lagoon, which is inside their private beach. Our room was ocean front, with a nice breeze coming through and a nice sound of waves breaking after the reef.
I need another week there. Soon!!!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank maurorisch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, responded to this review, November 5, 2013
Kia Orana “maurorisch”

Greetings from the Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach! Thank you for taking the time to post such a wonderful review with regards to your stay.

We are very happy that you enjoyed the fantastic location of the Resort and are delighted that you enjoyed the stunning location and amenities offered in your Beachfront Suite during your stay. Sanctuary Rarotonga takes great pride in its incredible location with a traditional marine reserve at its doorstep.

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 delighted that your enjoyed your dining experience. The Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, has three dining options available;

- 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
- Poolside Pergola casual dining

Once again, thank you for your kind feedback and from our team of hardworking and friendly staff at Sanctuary Rarotonga, we hope to be able to welcome you back again.

Kindly contact us for a very special “returnee guest” quote.

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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422 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    117
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    102
    43
    30
See reviews for
21
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (170)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2013 via mobile

Like its sister resort, The Roarotongan, the Sanctuary has potential, but since it seems the inmates are running the asylum (ie no management to be seen), things constantly fall through the cracks.

The Good: Food is decent. Not as good as other resorts on the island but light years better than the Rarotongan. If you're stranded due to rain like we were one night, it will do. Although the prices will crush your budget. The room itself was nice enough and had a cool layout.

The bad: service is as lazy and slow as the Rarotongan, but I'll give the Sanctuary staff the credit for at least being friendly. When I ate at the restaurant I had to get up and order drinks at the bar myself. That's just ridiculous and why I barely tipped. She was nice but dear lord, wake up.

The ugly: housekeeping is just as poor here as Rarotongan next door. We found a dead cock roach in the bathroom and it was never thrown away. That sucker just laid there for 3 days. Unfathomable for any hotel, let alone one charging $400/night.

If I ever return to Rarotonga, I'm staying in Muri where all the hotels looked really nice and the food in the area is amazing.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Jim D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Kia Orana Jim D

Thank you for taking the time to post your review with regards to your stay at the Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach and The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa.

We are pleased that you found the food satisfactory and liked the layout and location of the Blue Water Grill restaurant.

We apologise for and have also addressed your concerns regarding the standard of service you experienced while dining with us, with our Food & Beverage Manager. He is comprehensively working with our restaurant and bar team to address the concerns you have raised.

We have also relayed your feedback in regards to Housekeeping services on to our Executive Housekeeper who is actively addressing these concerns with our Housekeeping department staff. Our Resort Compendiums also provide information in regards to the housekeeping services available at the Resort. Guests are welcome to contact our Reception desk during their stay to request a standard daily housekeeping service time.

The quality of each guests’ stay is important to us and as such, we have Duty Managers on duty from 7am until 12midnight daily. They can be reached by dialing 0 from one’s room phone or asking for them at Front Desk (their names are posted on the wall at Front Desk), and we would have welcomed the opportunity to address any matters of concern which you experienced during your stay.

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2013

Nice resort, not over the top in pricing (food, drinks or room) and friendly helpful staff.
A little windy on our 5 days but still managed to snorkel on two days in the lagoon which was only a matter of metres from the door,
Rarotonga as a whole is pretty laid back and the Sanctuary offers a bit of this without compromising the service you would expect on holiday.
Cant wait to return.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jeff D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Kia Orana Jeff D

Greetings from the Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach! Thank you for taking the time to post such a wonderful review with regards to your stay.

We are very happy that you enjoyed the fantastic location of the Resort and are delighted that you enjoyed the stunning location and amenities offered in your Beachfront Suite during your stay. Sanctuary Rarotonga takes great pride in its incredible location with a traditional marine reserve at its doorstep.

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.

Once again, thank you for your kind feedback and from our team of hardworking and friendly staff at Sanctuary Rarotonga, we hope to be able to welcome you back again.

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2013

In search of a destination primarily to snorkel we selected the cook islands following advice from bendigo flight centre. There are many accom
Choices but we selected the sanctuary and were not disappointed. Really great resort and in the sanctuary resort we had a high degree of privacy while still accessing all the resorts restaurants and facilities. Superb snorkelling straight off the beach with whole range fish big and small ! Excellent friendly staff who worked tirelessly and always with a big smile.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JillKF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Kia Orana JillKF

Greetings from Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach! Thank you for taking the time to post such a wonderful review with regards to your stay with us.

We are very happy that you enjoyed the fantastic location of the Resort and are delighted that you enjoyed the stunning location and amenities offered in your Beachfront Suite during your stay. Sanctuary Rarotonga takes great pride in its incredible location with a traditional marine reserve at its doorstep.

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.

Once again, thank you for your kind feedback and from our team of hardworking and friendly staff at Sanctuary Rarotonga, we hope to be able to welcome you back again.

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the Sanctuary from 1st to 5th Sept. friendly staff, great food. Enjoyed the his & hers hydrotherapy package, we were truly pampered. We enjoyed the carvery, BBQ and fire dance show especially the 7 year old boy who had no fear!! We found Victor very helpful regarding booking and payment for shows. We were celebrating our Silver Wedding Anniversary plus my 50th, this was a holiday to remember, we will be back.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julie5063
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Kia Orana Julie 5063

Thank you for your wonderful 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 and that we were able to be part of your very special Silver Wedding Anniversary and your 50th Birthday. We are absolutely thrilled that the Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach was the ideal place for your double celebration.

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.

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

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2013

my wife and I have stayed in the sanctuary, ideal for couples or families where the children are over 16, first class accommodation, food that tantalisises the tastebuds, a great meal for a fair price. a pool to swim with no younger children, swim up bar, friendly staff, snorkelling in the aroa lagoon with the abundance of marine life. a terrific place to relax, unwind with lots of activities and forget about the rat race of bigger cities. the sky is the limit to outside activities, I have no hesitation in recommending this resort, I return very often

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jetzon1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 11, 2013

Just arrived back this morning from 8 days at The Sanctuary, Rarotonga and miss it already. Personally thought having reception at the bar in the restaurant was a fabulous idea. Was handed a fresh fruit juice which was sipped while we signed in. This less formal method was totally in keeping with being on a tropical island. Staff members were always helpful, friendly and smiling. By day two Leilani who works in the restaurant and reception knew our names and what drinks we preferred. She and the rest of the staff always took the time to stop and chat for a couple of minutes each time we met and were always helpful when we had a query. Waking up in the morning to the crash of waves on the reef and stepping out of the room to a view of palm trees and ocean was just magic. The service wasn't always perfect and had to chase after the room service person a couple of times and ask for supplies that she had forgotten to leave in the room but my polite requests were always met with an apology and a smile. If you want a holiday where life is slower and time is not of the essence, people friendly and staff helpful and smiling then The Sanctuary is the place to stay. It is not perfect but it is certainly worth it.

Herena

Room Tip: Room not to close to the restaurant.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Herena N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Kia Orana Herena N

Greetings from Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach. We would like to thank you for taking the time to post such a wonderful post about your recent stay with us here.

We are thrilled that you like the concept of having the reception and the bar area together as it allows guests to enjoy a beverage or snack and at the same time are able to speak to any one of our reception staff.

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 especially Leilani

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.

We apologise for Housekeeping not meeting your requirements and our Executive Housekeeper is working with her team to ensure that our standard of service is improved to always meet our guests’ expectations.

Thank you once again for your review and we look forward to welcoming you back to Sanctuary Rarotonga
Report response as inappropriate
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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