I stayed at the Kiikii for three weeks in February of 2013. I was with Global Volunteers.
The Kiikii feels like it was the height of luxury in the late 1970s, but hasn't been changed all that much since. However, it has the cheapest prices of any place on Raro. I was in Room 21 and it was heaven - it faced the ocean and I'd sit out on the balcony for hours, just watching the waves crash against the reef. There were other rooms that were a bit more modern.
If you are spending more than a week on Raro, this is the best place to stay if you aren't all that rich and are willing to do a lot of your own cooking. Staying more than a week will be one of the best decisions you will every make. The Cook Islands are amazing - it's like the South Pacific before all the big resorts were established on places like Fiijii.
All land in the Cook Islands is owned by families - they can only lease it out for a maximum of 60 years. The rumour was that the Kiikii was on the last few years of its lease and, hence, didn't want to put too much into upgrades and fixes.
I sincerely hope that some big resort company doesn't take over the lease. With some work, the Kiikii would be the ideal budget motel.
There seems to be lots of problems with many of the rooms - plumbing that won't stop leaking, etc. However, Pauline will move you to another room. Mary looked after us most of our days and she's sweet and helpful.
The wireless internet didn't work for the last half of our days - a combination of poor service from the telecom company and the cheap equipment the Kiikii bought. I really have no idea whose fault it was, but I'd blame the telecom for not getting to the root of the problem.
If you have supposedly "high standards", go to another island. The Cook Islands isn't a place for your crankiness. The people are warm and wonderful, the pace is slow, and the environment is divine. The charm of the Cook Islands is the fact that it isn't like the cookie cutter resorts that infest most other tropical destinations.
I will go back to the Cook Islands as often as I can. I'll stay at the Kiikii because I can spend less money and extend my trip.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Oldest Hotel in the Cook Islands. Surf Reef in front of the Hotel ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kiikii Hotel Avarua
- Kiikii Inn & Suites Rarotonga, Cook Islands