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“Can’t wait to go back!”

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The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Aroa Beach
Reviewed December 1, 2007

We visited Rarotonga in 2004 and then again in 2005-6 for New Years. After staying at 3 resorts around the island, there’s only one place I’d go back to, and that’s The Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa. We loved the friendly service, our room and all the facilities. It well deserves its 4 stars.

We found it to be the place which most successfully balances the expected modern comforts and luxuries of an international resort with a wide variety of cultural activities that allow you to really immerse yourself in the Rarotongan culture and interact with the local people.

While I could write pages about this place, I’ll try to keep it short and cover just a few stand-out features:

RESORT FACILITIES:
All facilities you expect from a 4-star resort: pool, gym, spa and beauty salon, beachfront restaurant with lots of variety, stylish rooms and free access to kayaks, snorkels etc for the lagoon. As some people have noted, the food can be a bit pricey, but I understand that this is due to the expensive nature of shipping all food onto the island (even the local supermarket is more expensive than at home) and the quality is far better than some of the other restaurants around Raro.

RESORT ACTIVITES:
The resort is set on a sandy white beach and turquoise-blue lagoon against a green mountain backdrop. Its extensive activities program is a stand-out feature, which I felt the other hotels really lacked. I tried nearly all of the activities but my favourites were the lei (flower headdress) making, the village walking tour and the snorkelling (there is even night snorkelling for those who like to live on the edge!). The resort also holds regular buffets with traditional music, dancing and fire acts. For those brave enough (or dobbed in by a friend – like me!) you can also have a go at the traditional dancing on stage with the performers!

STAFF/SERVICE:
The fine service of the staff stands out as a particularly impressive feature, especially compared to other resorts in Raro. The islanders have a lovely combination of easy, unaffected politeness and respect for foreigners as well as an understanding of Western culture which makes them delightful to deal with. Stress-free, kind and hospitable, their desire to help you extends past their motivation for a pay cheque. You can tell the staff here love their jobs, and were very patient and attentive. They are all very switched on and seem to have a good feel for when guests appreciate the laid-back island attitude and when efficiency is important.

FOR YOUNG PEOPLE:
I found it to cater well for young people, such as myself, with loads of different activities (all free). Many catered to young people specifically, such as the nightlife tour. It's a very sociable environment too, especially loving the weekly cocktail party with free drinks!

FOR WEDDINGS/HONEYMOONS:
Weddings seem to be very popular at The Rarotongan. I saw part of an actual ceremony whilst there on my stay. Looked very professional and well-organized with lovely little island touches like floral leis on the couple and guests!

FOR FAMILIES:
Free kids club (with the most ginormous flat screen TV I have ever seen!) and loads of activities for children.

For us, Rarotonga has a unique landscape, environment and culture you will not experience anywhere else, and we would highly recommend The Rarotongan to anyone wanting the ideal base from which to explore all the things the island has to offer, starting with a great beach and the most amazing snorkelling I’ve ever done anywhere! We’re actually thinking of going back this January, fingers crossed!

  • Stayed: January 2006, traveled with family
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7  Thank traveljunkie888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,072 - 1,078 of 1,151 reviews

Reviewed November 18, 2007

Like the other recent reviews I was abit worried about staying there after reading some of them. It turned out to be an awesome place to stay & the rooms were great, staff were friendly. The facilities were the best, with free access to all beach gear and the lagoon was the best snorkling we saw on the island. We stayed in a garden room and it was very nice and air conditioned, the rooms were made up everyday and there are safes etc to store your valubles if you please.

I would stay here again & the rarotongan far exceeded all of my expectations. The only fault I could find was the food and drinks were abit pricey - but this is to be expected in a resort on a very small island.

Highly recomended.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JTGTauranga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2007

Well, we expected the worst having seen the reviews here but were pleasantly surprised. When you read some of these reviews its as if we were in a different place.
We were greeted at the airport by very friendly staff and given garlands which was a nice start.We had a garden room which although small was very clean and had everything we needed.I would reccomend an upgrade to a bigger room. The staff were very friendly and although slow were very helpful.This is a very laid back island where nothing is done fast but it suited us to be able to unwind and relax. The rooms were cleaned every day and properly too. The sheets were changed every day which I thought a bit wasteful but they were. If you read other reports they say that the rooms are not cleaned well. Well ours certainly was and we could not fault it.The entertainment was excellent and the food was first class although a bit slow in coming but that is Roratonga for you. We compared the prices with the local restaurant and found the restaurant was dearer.
The activities once again were slow and never started on time but they were good and the staff very friendly.
I think it all depends on what standard you are looking for. If you want a 4 star hotel of international standards and expect to be looked after with top service then this is not the place for you. Do not forget you are in Roratonga here and everything runs on Raro time. Obviously there are hotels on the island that cater for people who want the ultimate luxury but you pay for it.We met a couple who were paying $500 dollars a night at another hotel and they were disgusted with the service.
Anyway we were more than happy with this hotel

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank GordonAuckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2007

After booking our accommodation at The Rarotogan I was a bit worried after reading all of the reviews on here but very glad I didn't change my mind!

I found the Rarotongan a great resort!
We stayed in a beachSIDE deluxe suite which is exactly what we wanted. It was nicely done up inside and only a few metres away from the beach (not directly on the beach).

All of the 10 movie channels were great when you were just wanting to relax out of the sun.

Breakfast was great each morning with a good selection of toast, fruits, cereal and muffins etc.

I loved that there way always something going on. The Island Night show was great I would recommend it!!

All the staff were friendly and willing to help out :)
Yes the meals were a tad expensive but no different from the other nice restaurants around the island.

If we were to return to Raraotonga we would stay here again for sure!

We also stayed at Palm Grove for a few nights, I have posted a review.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank toopyloop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2007

I travelled with a friend for this trip who had taken care of all the arrangements, they have my appreciation as they could not have forseen the state of this resort or the complete poor level of service in all areas we were to recieve. Room dirty, small and unmaintained, partner asked if we could change rooms and we were told not possible but with no futher explanation. Cleaning almost non existent. Dining, we advise any of you to go elsewhere. There is literally no service, and no one that seems particularly interested. Food is expensive and of extremely poor quality. No one seems to be in control or taking control of any food or service. Areas appear dirty and unmaintained. I can only say after we checked out other places on the island do what you can to avoid this resort.

Stayed: September 2007
5  Thank islandhell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2007

Don’t waste your money on this place, that’s the best advice I can give. Holidays are meant to be enjoyed, not filled with frustration with incompetent, apathetic, rude and ignorant resort staff.
This resort advertises 4 stars, and charges you a 4 star price, but is in reality no more than 2 ½ stars maximum.
The garden room we had was disgusting. Tiles missing out of the bathroom, the grout falling out between tiles, the inside of the toilet brown, and the water comes out brown when you first turn the tap on. The first room we had also could not be locked (back door to garden) as the door appeared to have been broken into previously. We did manage to get the room changed, but to one no better than a 2 star motel.
Apart from the dated and dirty room the staff and service is unbelievably poor. To say they are reluctant to help with even the smallest request is an understatement. They treat hotel guests as though they are a great inconvenience, and if they don’t straight out refuse to help you they’ll make sure you realize what an inconvenience your existence and questions is to them. They do not seem to realize that their job is in hospitality, and the presence of hotel guests pays their wages!
As to not tar everyone with the same brush, there was one (out of the 100 or so) helpful person, the duty manager. He did try his best to help out when minor problems could not (or would not) be dealt with by front desk staff.
Oh, and don’t bother asking for early or late check in/out, it will cost you an extra $95 and it makes no difference if the room is available all day! How about some service and a few smiles to go with the price tag??!
Perhaps the beachfront rooms were less dilapidated, and maybe it’s an ok place to come if you have kids, but we found it substandard to say the least. I would not recommend this place to anyone! (The Crown resort looks quite nice though, would try that if we go back).

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank pacific77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2007

We stayed at the rarotongan resort 7/09/07 - 13/07/07 as we had a wedding there it was all booked through a travel agent sight unseen - and do not know what we payed for - Very Poor service,as if they could not be bothered with you - rang serveral times for a room service menu only to arrive 2 days later.
Garden rooms for 3 ppl not suitable tiny tiny rooms for the amount we payed.
Shower and toilet never cleaned - i think they just made the beds and that was it.
Also Several items were taken throughout our friends rooms - guys beware your tshirts will be taken - our bridesmaids earings and broaches were stolen aswell $400 worth.
Food was average - everything extremly overpriced.
The service was the worst i have ever come across - is it not a hospitality industry? yet they do not and blatently will not help you.
Was very let done with this place - as all rooms are very small especially when there are two kids to share the room.
Will not be staying there ever again!

  • Stayed: September 2007
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4  Thank WellyNZGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve | Aroa, 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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Aroa Beach
Price Range: $161 - $317 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 111
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Slip off your watch, your shoes, your cares and immerse yourself in paradise at the renowned Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa. Hand feed the friendly reef fish or snorkel straight off the white sands of Aroa Beach in the crystal clear blue waters of Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve and enjoy Rarotonga’s best snorkeling (the resort’s guided Night Snorkeling Tours are a special treat!). The all-tide lagoon is also perfect for stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking, included as part of The Rarotongan’s extensive FREE Daily Activities Programme. The Rarotongan is located directly on Rarotonga’s best white sandy beach, Aroa Beach, on the island’s sunshine southwest coast. The Rarotongan is also Rarotonga’s most family-friendly resort and offers FREE Moko’s Kids Club, Little Dolphin’s Mini Waterpark and Teen Zone. Kids & Teens Stay & Play FREE (aged to 16 years)! Kids aged 4-11 years Play Free @ Moko’s Kids Club, and teens aged 12-16 years Play Free in Teen Zone. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Rarotongan Beach Resort And Spa
The Rarotongan Beach Hotel Aroa Beach
Rarotongan Beach Resort Spa
The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa Rarotonga/Aroa Beach

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