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:
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
- 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