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“Treasured Tropical Retreat”

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The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Aroa Beach
Reviewed February 7, 2014

The Rarotongan is a great relaxing retreat set in beautiful tropical surroundings and suits the family budget. we are a family of 5 and we had an adjoining room with internal door and both rooms were very reasonably priced. All water sports are free. Snorkeling and kayaking in the coral in front of the resort was amazing, with many varieties of colorful tropical fish to swim amongst. The waterfall pool was very refreshing. January is low season so the resort was at about half capacity and we enjoyed our peaceful surroundings without having to fight for a deck chair. Although this also meant that the buffet lunch and dinner were not operational however Captain Andy's poolside bar served delicious meals from it's own menu and that of the Al a carte menu. the activity centre was open all day and entertained the kids and families with a nightly activity at 8pm. For those honeymooning or wanting a romantic get away, the resort has a separate adults only section of the resort hosting its own pool with swim up bar, beach activities and separate beach to ensure families do not disturb! The forecast daily said thunderstorms however we did not see one thunderstorm and rain tended to fall through the night and the days were spectacular. I will definitely be returning to The Rarotongan.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
3  Thank AuntyDeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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559 - 565 of 1,151 reviews

Reviewed February 2, 2014

I have been coming to the Rarotongan since I was a kid so it is great to now be able to bring my own family to the hotel to enjoy the holidays as I did when I was young(er :). And it doesn't disappoint. This is the only hotel with a decent gym (to the delight of my 15 yr old) and a massive pool (to the delight of my 10 yr old)
The staff are really nice, food reasonably priced and good quality, excellent WiFi (everywhere) and just generally a great family destination.
Probably the best beach with great snorkelling and free water sports equipment.

Can't wait for next time!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Paul B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2014

We have been to this resort 3 times. This time the service was appalling in the restaurant and bar areas. The accommodation was a little dated in our room, however it was clean and tidy and serviced well every day. The staff seemed very unhappy,understaffed and underpaid. Ate once in the restaurant, however tried to get service to eat another night but took to long for the waiter to come. Tried to get bar service during the day to get iced coffee/iced chocolate, no coffee! (in both restaurants, no soy and no coconut milk?? Not sure whats going on in this place but lots of rumours on the island about poor management. When discussed with management nothing was done, they suggested we put comments on Trip Advisor.! Wont be returning.

Room Tip: Front rooms facing beach are good, on ground floor very accesiable to the beach.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank Kiwijacq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2014

This is a place you want to go to if you want to be completely looked after & pampered. From the reception staff to the activity centre boys- my family and I had a great time there and had the break we were looking for. A big thank you to Tutai who was very helpful with bookings for tours and also with our rooms. Fraser & Tati in activities were like extended family by the end of it- very helpful with all the activities and always a good laugh. Etu- as well was kind and helped us with our luggage. Last but not least Marlene and Lucky for the amazing pub crawl they hosted- a must do if u visit! Metaiki Maata for making our stay there extra special.
This place hosts daily activities from frond weaving to ukelele lessons. I enjoyed being part of it and also listening to the various stories.
The spa across the road too is an extension of this paradise.
The rooms are spacious with great air conditioning and views. I'll definitely go back there again and recommend this place to other people.

Room Tip: Rooms all round are good- beach rooms are closer to the reception & activities centre- garden ro...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank Ceona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2014

Kia Orana “Ceona”

Thank you for your review in regards to your January 2014 tropical escape at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa.

We are delighted that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay with us and the service from our team of friendly staff including Tutai, Fraser, Tati, Etu, Marlene and Lucky. The Friday Nitelife Tour is a very popular activity and we are thrilled that you took advantage of the opportunity to participate in this during your stay.

Set on Aroa Beach, Rarotonga's most beautiful white sandy beach on the shores of Aroa Lagoon (the Lagoon of Love), The Rarotongan 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.

Expansively laid out amidst six acres of lush tropical gardens featuring hibiscus, banana and coconut palms, all of The Rarotongan's one hundred and nine rooms, suites, honeymoon bungalow and 3 bedroom pool villa are no higher than two storeys and are either set on absolute beachfront or in very close proximity to the beach, and feature an authentic Pacific aesthetic combined with the charm of Polynesian-style architecture.

We also have a fantastic Activities Hut which is located poolside and is open daily from 8.30am to 5.30pm. Our activities staff are very happy to assist with any equipment and information relating to the extensive resort activities programme. The Resort offers a wide range of exciting recreational, sporting and cultural activities, many focused on the lagoon itself which is a marine sanctuary (ra’ui), declared by traditional leaders on 1 March 2000 for the conservation of marine life within the zone. Consequently the all tide snorkelling in Aroa Lagoon, a fish breeding area, is exceptional with an amazing variety of fish and the very best available on Rarotonga.

The activities staff are also happy to assist with providing beach towels and equipment for Resort activities such as snorkelling masks and flippers, reef shoes (essential if you’re exploring the magnificent marine reserve), kayak paddles, tennis balls & racquets, tennis court bookings, volleyballs, petanque and a wide variety of board games, plus extensive local knowledge. Other beach and lagoon activities include beach volleyball, kayaking, outrigger canoeing, fish feeding, crab hunting & racing and night snorkelling.

Additionally, we are thrilled that you enjoyed the location and the massage service offered at SpaPolynesia.

SpaPolynesia LUXE at Lime Blossom Villa is our destination spa and offers a wide range of spa treatments from professionally qualified and experienced spa and beauty therapists. Whether you seek a relaxing aromatherapy massage, a variety of body wraps, relaxing facials, healing reflexology, manicures and pedicures, or a full pamper package, SpaPolynesia is your private Oasis of Relaxation at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa. We feature three separate Spa facilities, and offer special treatments available on the beach or by the pool.

Thank you once again for your feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back to The Rarotongan 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.
Reviewed January 15, 2014

We visited the rarotongan and sanctuary several times including Xmas day . The outdoor facilities are very good , nice pools , plenty of chairs and seating . You can feed fish right off the seaside deck. One of the best features for us was the great snorkeling beach right in front of the resort, lots to see and plenty of water so no problem with being scratched by coral or sea urchins. Yes the restaurant staff are slow and poorly trained , but you just need to order double the drinks!

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
3  Thank StumpyRotoruaNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2014

Kia Orana “StumpyRotoruaNZ”

Thank you for your review in regards to your recent visit with us at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa.

We are delighted that you enjoyed the outdoor facilities and pools offered at our resorts, as well as the Aroa Lagoon traditional Marine Reserve located at the very “doorstep” of The Rarotongan and Sanctuary Rarotonga. Visitors have easy and fantastic access to a wonderful variety of marine life - simply a few footsteps into the crystal blue lagoon, which makes it an enjoyable experience for guests of all ages!

Rarotonga is such a fantastic holiday destination as visitors do not need to be restricted to their accommodations and can enjoy the freedom of cruising around and exploring the lovely island. In addition to this we have wide range of restaurants and cafes scattered around the island that offer wonderful fresh produce, meals and refreshing beverages. We are glad that you were able to take advantage of this wonderful experience personally visiting our resorts.

Your comments regarding the service you received in our Restaurants have been brought to the attention of our Restaurant & Bar Manager and she is actively working on addressing the areas for improvement you have identified.

Thank you once again for your feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back to The Rarotongan 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.
Reviewed January 14, 2014 via mobile

I also stayed here over Christmas & have to agree with previous review re staff. Lovely people but lacking in training. Food. Ok but 1.5hrs to wait for meal far too long & meals not coming out for all at sametime or at least close. Some of us would finish before others had even received the meal.
The pool. Well, maybe someone said they were cleaning it but I can assure management that this was not being done & was confirmed to me by staff when I questioned it. I stopped using pool due to this however it didn't seem to bother most. It was green most days. The information book in room needs to be updated as some information incorrect. Also the kitchen equipment in my room was very sparse. Not enough cutlery etc.
This should be checked when rooms are vacated.
I couldn't recommend this property except for the location it hasn't got much to offer.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
3  Thank sharon1943
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 16, 2014

Kia Orana “sharon1943”

Thank you for your review in regards to your recent stay with us at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa.

We are happy that you found our team of staff lovely during your stay.

However your comments regarding the service are concerning and we apologise that they did not meet your expectations. Our Restaurant & Bar Management team are proactively working with several new staff that have recently joined the team to service shortfalls identified and and we hope that on your next visit to the Cook Islands you will be pleasantly surprised.

As with the our previous response with regards to the condition of the swimming pool during your stay, we apologise that you were misinformed with regards to the maintenance program being carried out. Again, although you did not witness this first hand, the swimming pool cleaning program includes a thorough cleaning process each day before guests come down for breakfast so as not to inconvenience them should they wish to take early morning swims in the pool.

And, as mentioned in the previous review, the cleaning program has been intensified during your stay due to a faulty pump and while waiting for the replacement part to arrive from New Zealand. The standard daily cleaning program increased from once to twice daily with an independent and New Zealand qualified and certified pool inspector also conducting regularly spot checks to ensure the necessary hygiene standards are being consistently maintained.

However, as a result of your feedback, our management team are actively working with their respective department staff to address the comments you have provided and raise the standards of service we deliver.

It is important to us that our guests enjoy themselves while staying with us however we realize that sometimes things just do not go to plan so we do encourage our guests that in these instances, you do raise these concerns during your stay as more often than not, many issues can be addressed immediately by our Duty Managers or Resort Management.

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Stayed here over Christmas and New Year 2013-2014. Family with nine of us in 3 rooms. The staff are friendly but desparately lack training - a management responsibility. The rooms need renovation and the kitchens are poorly stocked. One room had 7 forks, 1 knife and two spoons for a two bedroom that sleeps up to 6 people. The worst part is the restaurant, the service is appalling! The only time we as a family received our meals together was when it was a buffet and we got it ourselves. Waiting over an hour for your meal to arrive only for it to be not what you ordered was very disappointing. The staff are so used to complaints that they don't even question you when you refuse to pay. The pool is small and not cleaned regularly enough. It got so green that we complained and only then was it cleaned. Most other resorts I have been to around the world clean their pools nearly every night. We were there two weeks and it was only cleaned once (after we complained).
The only thing going for it is the location.

Room Tip: Grand beach front best room in the place.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank sherlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RarotonganSales, Guest Relations Manager at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 13, 2014

Kia Orana “sherlex”

Thank you for your review in regards to your recent stay with us at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa.

We are glad that you found our team of staff friendly during your stay.

However your comments regarding the service are concerning as we have an extremely hard working team of staff who receive many glowing comments from our guests during their stays with us.

We do apologise for the condition of the swimming pool during your stay with us and can confirm that although you did not witness this first hand, the swimming pool is thoroughly cleaned each day before guests come down for breakfast so as not to inconvenience them should they wish to take early morning swims in the pool. In actual fact the cleaning program was intensified during your stay due to a faulty pump and while waiting for the replacement part to arrive from New Zealand, the standard daily cleaning program increased from once to twice daily with an independent inspector also conducting regularly spot checks to ensure the necessary hygiene standards were being maintained.

As a result of your feedback, our management team is actively working with their respective department staff to address the comments you have provided and raise the standards of service we deliver.

It is important to us that our guests enjoy themselves while staying with us however we realize that sometimes things just do not go to plan. In these instances, we ask that guests do raise these concerns during their stay as more often than not, many issues can be addressed immediately by our Duty Managers or Management.

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 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: $158 - $316 (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 Hotel Aroa Beach
The Rarotongan Beach Resort And Spa
Rarotongan Beach Resort Spa
The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa Rarotonga/Aroa Beach

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