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“More than I expected”
Review of Paradise Inn

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Paradise Inn
Reviewed November 27, 2010

I worried about choosing this hotel after reading other reviews but was surprised to see the hotel had new management. We were greeted by the hotel's new manager Mr. Marsters. He and his new wife and baby had just settled in the prior week. He gave us a quick tour of the grounds as we waited for housekeeping to get our loft ready. Apparently it was the new manager's apartment but he gave it to us for our stay since we'd bookded that room specifically. The loft was by far the best room in the house! We had a small apartment with a balcony over the common area with a perfect view of the reef. We saw whales swim by on November 12th, they are usually gone from the area at this time but it was AMAZING to see them swim so close. I loved the proximity of this hotel to town and great bars and places to eat. We were easily able to walk to the market on Saturday morning and avoided the cost of a rental car for our 2 day stay. There was an honesty phone and bar, I did not take advantage of the bar because there are 2 stores very close to this hotel. Of the staff I met, the housekeeper, the hotel manager and his wife, they were all such lovely people. If you are looking for a place close to the nightlife and action but not a place for swimming, snorkeling or romance, this is a nice place to stay. The only thing I can say bad about it is that the roosters might interupt your sleep!

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank ljmzta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 - 59 of 80 reviews

Reviewed November 22, 2010

The Inn is run by a couple who have just taken over management. It is very relaxing and friendly. The rooms are self contained and you help yourself from the honor bar. The deck overlooking the ocean is a great place to sit and it is close to the shops. I loved it there and when I go back next year I will be staying there again. Price is good too.

Stayed: November 2010, traveled solo
Thank Dreamweaver57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2010

This is nothing fancy, but it is the best location on the island - you can easily walk to Avarua town and it has amazing views. The room size is great - loft bedroom and a small kitchenette with a fridge and two burner stove, kettle, dishes, etc. Guests also have access to a large communal kitchen/dining room with an honour bar, tables and chairs, library, and TV sitting area. I went as part of a large group and we held potluck dinners here most nights. The manager joined us most nights and became part of the family. We immediately felt right at home. The beach out front is not for swimming, but you are on a pretty small island with lots of beach choices, so it wasn't a problem for our beach loving family.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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Thank travellinpaddler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2010

We visited Paradise Inn earlier this year and really enjoyed our stay. The accommodation was basic but comfortable, definitely a good choice for those on a budget. The location was superb - lots of restaurants and bars within walking distance. The Inn has a large lounge area, with 'honesty bar' which was great to come back to for a drink in the evening. It was a lovely place to chat and meet other travellers.
It was sometimes a wee bit noisy in the morning - thanks to the cockerels next door! - but this kind of added to the place's charm. The staff were very welcoming and friendly, providing us with lots of advice on good snorkelling spots and activities.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank cat130
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2010

My partner and I stayed here for 1 night in between trips to other islands within the Cook Islands. We chose it because of its good location in Avarua, and convenience to the airport (even though taxis at NZD15 per person from there to the airport are just as expensive as if you stay further out). As in previous reviews, it is a quirky building and has a great terrace and honesty bar, and is short walking distance into town. But it is a 'budget' hotel, so don't expect too much. The way the rooms have been built with the bed on a mezzanine level means that all the heat rises, so we found it pretty unbearable (despite having 2 fans) at night - added to that a really uncomfortable bed - which meant we had a terrible night's sleep! Our room was fairly cheerless and didn't have much light; unfortunately our kitchen area was not very clean and the cooker rings were rusted and old, so we were not tempted to cook there, and to be honest we were glad we were only there for 1 night. We stayed in various places during our trip throughout the Cook Islands, and all around this price range, but unfortunately this is one we would not return to - not our idea of Paradise!

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank ReviewerHerts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2010

My wife and I stayed at Paradise Inn Jan of 2010, and enjoyed it very much. It was definately not the Ritz, but for what we travel for it was perfect. Roosters crowing, locals singing down the way, a small family grocery next door, walking distance to "downtown", a real south pacific experience. Our manager Alexis was very personable, it was like we were staying in her home. BBQ's on the deck overlooking the sea- many guests joined in. The island as a whole was very quiet, almost no tourists, but we found it refreshing. The hotel itself was an old dance hall remodeled into this quirky accommodation, seemed somebody was always painting or fixing something somewhere. We will definately be back.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank pjance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2010

I had a great stay at the Paradise Inn this January, for two weeks. It's a great mid-range option for a Rarotonga stay. If you're looking for fabulous overwater bungalows & pina coladas on tap, read no further. But if you consider yourself more of a traveller than a tourist, & want a medium-priced clean place to stay that's five-minutes walk to town, read on. It's also a good overnight stay if you're travelling to the other islands.

The studio rooms are interesting, have shower & bathroom area, comfy beds (good pillows) - a double up on the loft-space & one or two downstairs. I believe there is accom for families in adjoining rooms at the front of the building. The rooms all have small self-contained kitchen facilities - two-burner stove, sink, basic cooking utensils, pots & pans, plates etc - way enough to cook up a simple breakfast, lunch or dinner. There is a ceiling fan, but no air-con. The rooms were extremely clean and well-maintained, & Tau the cleaning lady is a gentle delight.

The building itself was converted from a famous dance hall, back in the 1980s, & the design has worked with that plan. Rooms themselves don't have a sea view, but lots of light from the side paths & leafy plants. However, the deck area at the rear of the accomodation is great - there's a large communal space with tables, books, etc, & the deck outside is fantastic, with lovely sea views and gently rolling surf 24/7. Whilst the property does not have a pool, there's a little track down the side of the building where you can walk into the gentle surf in a minute. A very quiet stretch of beach, with only a couple of locals having the odd swim with their kids & the odd happy dog. This is a deck where you can turn over ideas in your mind, or just bliss out with a drink.

Most of the residents (ie. guests) of the Paradise make it out to the deck at different times of the day, & here you can often strike up a conversation, or be left alone to contemplate or read. One of the most interesting things about the Paradise is that apart from travellers, it also houses people working in Raro for short periods - whilst I was there a Fijiian-Indian bloke had come to Raro for a month to teach marketing, there was also A Solomon Islander come to participate in an agricultural course, and there was a Swedish novelist working on her latest book. Just before I left a German bloke turned up, on his 18th visit to Raro, & yes, back to the Paradise. This is why I suggest the Paradise is interesting, not just a tourist venue. There's also an honesty bar in the deck room - if you can't be bothered waddling up the road for a drink, there's a large fridge & you can have a beer, put it on your card, & settle at the end.

There's the lovely little 'Whatever Shop' just next to the Paradise, which sells lots of basics & fruit & veg, & another convenience store a little closer to town (other side of road) which sells alcohol. Supermarket shopping is easy at CITC supermarket in town, or the one nearer the airport, & lovely food to be picked up at the Saturday markets.

Another great feature of the Paradise is its closeness to Avarua township - a five-minute walk takes you straight into town, where you will find all the practical things you need, also some great restaurants (lunch & dinner), and if you want some nightlife, Paradise is a quick walk to most of the nighclubs & easy staggering distance home. For the purer of mind, it's also just over the road from the Christian Church, where you can go & listen to the amazing singing at 10am on a Sunday morning. Make sure too you go to the Saturday morning markets (10-minute walk) - where you'll find lots of handcrafts, music, great food and lots of local atmosphere to soak up - yes, there's a tourist component, but also the locals patronise it well. I found a stall selling the BEST rye ciabatta and home-made pesto & aioli. A bit of feta cheese from CITC supermarket & there was breakfast taken care of - eaten on the deck watching the ocean, of course!

The round-the-island bus goes just by the front of the property, so if you want to spend a day at one of the beaches, it's very easy to get to. There are also night buses if you want to visit one of the resorts for a Dance Show or the like, or some of the wonderful restaurants like Tamarind House (actually Tamarind is also a 15-minute walk up the beach from Paradise). Taxis can be expensive in Raro, so if you're going for a Dance show, then get the bus there, & you can get a taxi home, or wait for a bus.

I found Alexis the Manager extremely helpful at all times, despite comments in a previous review. She's there early every morning & often in the late afternoons, & will give you info & help you book tours & so on. Alexis is Rarotongan herself, but has also lived and worked in many other parts of the world, & I found her a fascinating woman. The other staff - Caroline & Maata (overnight lady) are also pleasant., along with Tau, mentioned above.

There was also some renovation of the room next to mine a few days after I arrived, & a bit of banging & crashing interrupted my afternoon siesta. I asked Alexis if I could move, & this was facilitated early the next morning, no worries, with offers to help me move my stuff if I wanted. All good.

Yes, there were problems with the water on two mornings. No water one morning & only cold water one morning a few days later (not a problem in the 28-degree heat in Raro summer). Apparently Rarotonga, like other places in the world, is having climate problems and at present a mini-drought. Also, the pipes on the island are old and need upgrading, & the water was turned off to 'our' part of the island for a couple of hours. The Cook Islands government is looking at ways to alleviate this problem. Also, the amount of tourism has increased in the last few years, so further call on the reservoirs up in the hills. So, yes, a tad inconvenient, but nothing to do with the Paradise itself.

So, all up, great stay. I will fess up now & tell you I've stayed in Raro at the Paradise twice before - 1986 & 1994. It is fascinating that it still retains its atmosphere & attracts interesting travellers. Alexis & the owners have agreed to upgrade the furnishings & paintwork & so on, & this is happening, but no big structural changes, so little banging & crashing as mentioned above (a bathroom was being water-sealed). I would heartily recommend a stay there.

Just a word about travelling in early January - quite a few of the restaurants were closed for holidays, which gave limited choice, but there were still enough to not have to self-cater for every meal. The Salsa Bar was fantastic, Trader Jack's on the wharf quite good, Ravij's Indian yummy, Tamarind House great. Pacific Resort dance night was excellent, as was their food.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank lillian-at-yorkeys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Paradise Inn

Address: PO Box 674, Avarua, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Avarua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Avarua
Price Range: $88 - $109 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Paradise Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Paradise Inn, Rarotonga is the perfect place for travelers looking for value for money. We have 16 serviced units nestled in a peaceful location between the mountains and the sea, yet only a few minutes walk to downtown Avarua. The terrace, bar and lounge have breathtaking lagoon and ocean views and are yours for relaxing, whale watching, meeting people or enjoying a meal al fresco. A beach before the reef offers our visitors the prospect of sunbathing, a stroll along the beach, low tide reef walking and spotting starfish, coral and the small colourful reef fish that populate the lagoon. As the sun sets, enjoy a sundowner on the terrace with a drink from the last "Honesty Bar" in the South Pacific where cocktails and tall tales are the order of the evening. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Paradise Hotel Avarua
Paradise Inn Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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