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“A Great Budget Hotel”
Review of The Islander Hotel

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The Islander Hotel
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Avarua
Reviewed May 3, 2011

We had a 5-night stay at the Aquarius and it suited us perfectly. It was cheap, but clean. The restaurant meals were reasonably priced and perfectly acceptable. We only had a short walk to town, which was great exercise in beautiful weather, but there was regular transport for getting to other parts of the island and we were collected for the Island Night show and dropped off at the door again afterwards.

The Aquarius is also very conveniently only a 2 minute walk from the airport. The pool was fantastic and we spent half of our time in Raro in it!!!

Would definitely stay again if I'm wanting a reasonably priced holiday.

The only down sides were that the rooms were soooo hot. With only a fan to cool down, it was actually better to sit outside! And yes, the internal windows (which are obviously there for airflow) did cause a bit of disturbance from 'neighbours', but this was really only a problem for one night.

Otherwise a perfectly good hotel for the price with friendly staff.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Blondie31264
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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172 - 178 of 214 reviews

Reviewed April 11, 2011

Firstly I want to be clear that I knew I was booking at a budget hotel and that the room had ceiling fan only, not aircon. That was a mistake - the ceiling fan was weak and we sweltered. We had everything possible open, which of course meant the airborne bloodsuckers could get to us, but just not enough of a breeze. I've learnt a lesson to never stay at a place in the Pacific Islands without aircon again. So that explains my rating for Sleep Quality.

Had a minor surmountable issue with the toilet flush, and the fridge struggled to keep things cold, so along with the ceiling fan problem that leads to the score for the Room. Other aspects were good - a reasonable size, two large beds, no complaints there. I'd rather have a smaller room where everything worked fine. It is a budget hotel so you get what you pay for.

However there are positives. Location is good - just over the road from the airport, and not much of a walk to supermarket and liquor store. About the same distance again gets you into Avarua. Room was serviced after the 2nd night which is OK. The restaurant/bar area is big and open and you can sit right out front (on the other side of the pool) where there tends to be an excellent breeze, that was a godsend. Not to mention you're very close to the water which is very nice.

Was happy with the restaurant food which is reasonably priced and decent portion size. Quite reasonable prices on the drinks as well. Breakfast is very basic but hey it's free and I'm not fussy.

Overall we were happy with everything for the price except the sticky hot nights due to lack of decent airflow - which unfortunately drags the overall score down.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank glennomeister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2011

Terribly disappointed, the beach side rooms for which a higher rate is paid are not air conditioned, however the backpackers quarters (which are much cheaper) are! There is a ceiling fan however it only operates on the one setting LOW! There are doors along the corridor leading outside but these doors are locked every night, which is a fire hazard concern! There are no signs marking exits and certainly no fire extinguishers in the hall ways. None of the pool side rooms (the dearest rooms) have a TV, there is however a TV in the dining area, but it is ALWAYS on a sports channel. Meals are over priced, for an example "bangers & mash" which consisted of two sausages and mashed potato was $18.00. The pool was closed for the first two days of our stay because it was full of algae. There is no entertainment at all, not even an Islander playing a Ukulele and singing some songs. On the positive side the free inclusive breakfast was OK, it consisted of a choice of corn flakes or rice bubbles, toast with either strawberry jam or marmalade, tea and or coffee, and fresh fruit, the staff are incredibly friendly, especially the housekeeper who was a total delight!!!!! The "beach" is nothing more than waves rolling in over a rocky outcrop impossible to swim in however you can sit on a rock and wet your feet. We would have gladly moved out after our second night here, however as all our accommodation had been prepaid it just wasn't worth it. Also not impressed with internet prices $20.00 for 70 megs!

Room Tip: Stay elsewhere
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cheytra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2011

We chose Aquarius for its proximity to the airport, for that its great, just walking distance, as we were spending the following week at Aitutaki.

It is in a super position overlooking the Ocean from the poolside tables/bar and we did have an evening meal there that was fine. Complimentary cereal and toast at breakfast was a bonus for us and adequate, anything more is chargeable.

We stayed in February and it was very hot, although there is a ceiling fan there is no airconditioning. Windows, at high level, into the corridor were permanently open to aid air flow but this made the room quite noisy - you could here adjoining rooms showering for example.

Rarotonga is not a big island and hotels do have shuttle buses so we would recommend trying one a little further away from the airport. Avarua is nothing special.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank KeithM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2011

We stayed for one night at the Aquarius while we were on the way to Aitutaki. The hotel is located directly across the road from the airport. We stayed in a double room which was spacious and clean. This hotel was fine for a one night stay as it is so close to the airport. There are no TV's in the room. Continental breakfast is included but don't expect much.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mel255100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2011

Great location for an overnight transit, basic rooms. The good parts - lots of hot water, rooms very large, beds ok, comp breakfast, comp transfer. The not so good - no flyscreens on windows, window was 6 louvres - other 6 louvres nailed shut, no facecloths, no shampoo, toilet wouldn't flush properly, pool was dirty and water cloudy, sheets stained.

We stayed in mid January, when the weather was extremely hot and muggy. The room became insufferably hot with 4 of us in it and inadequate ventilation (the ceiling fan was ineffective for the scale of the room). A shocking night's sleep resulted. If you were able to, I would recommend staying in their dormitory accommodation, as this is air-conditioned and of good quality. (Note - children are not allowed in the dormitory).

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Rowie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2010

Obviously this is not a 5 star place, but we were extremely pleased given it's budget price. The best place to stop over, as it's 2 minute walk from the airport. The rooms were clean, spacious, and an enormous window led our eyes past a hammock and down to the coast. The beach is not great, but it has a nice swimming pool, a modern and tasteful eating area and is well laid out.
Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank sejd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Islander Hotel

Address: | Main Road, Panama Beachfront, Avarua 0682, Cook Islands (Formerly Aquarius Rarotonga)
Phone Number:
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Avarua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Avarua
Price Range: $133 - $168 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Islander Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Islander Airport Hotel is a great value for money 3 star beachfront hotel directly across the road from Rarotonga International Airport on the waterfront featuring 13 Cabanas, Coco Grill Restaurant, Tiki Bar, pool, outdoor dining, sandy beach, daily sunsets, low-cost wifi, Sky Sports on Big Screen, Live bands and unpretentious island style service from a team of dedicated Islanders. Our HULA bar on the beach offers all day happy hour from 11am to 11pm Mon to Sun with NZD3.50 beers, spirits, wines and soft drinks. Bring your own music with our 'U-DJ' product. Great for friends and family who wish to soak in Rarotonga's warm sunshine with cold cold drinks! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aquarius Rarotonga Avarua
The Islander Hotel Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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