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Kakera Villa Apartments
Reviewed May 10, 2012

We stayed at Apartments Kakera over Easter this year. We had looked at most of what was available on Rarotonga & each property we saw came up as either far too expensive or just not as nice as we wanted. Apartments Kakera came in the middle price wise & looked divine in any photos we could find. We had a few problems arranging what should have been a very simple stay to arrange - 2 people, 4 nights, private transfer at each end, Rental Car for 3 days to be delivered to the Apartment & the use of the Air Conditioning which is extra per day. It all worked out OK in the end except for the A/C which on our arrival at 2am in the morning the remote to control it was nowhere to be seen. When you arrive at this un-godly hour they leave access to the Apartment you are staying in available to you so on finding our way into the Apartment we were reluctant to wake the management up with our problem. However, it was extremely hot & for the sake of being able to sleep - wake them up I did. The remote was duly delivered to us along with an apology for this "oversight".
This is an impressive building, even more so when you learn that the owners both designed & built it themselves. It is extremely well built & no expense is spared either, both on the building and the trendy furnishings & fittings. All the furniture was comfortable, including the large bed which was very comfortable. We self - catered dinner on good friday, having been surprised at the variety of groceries we could buy at the Supermarket in Avarua. There is a 5 burner gas hob, small refrigerator & enough cutlery, crockery & other utensils to be able to prepare a meal. We are not fond of hotel breakfasts so being able to have exactly what we liked was perfect. On the other nights we dined out & particularly enjoyed the meal at the Tamarind restaurant. We had a rental car delivered to us from Pacific Rental Cars at Muri & were delighted when it arrived to see it was a virtually new Suzuki Grand Vitara. Unless you want to stay in a hotel the entire time, you will need a Rental Car on Rarotonga. Taxi's are not plentiful & very expensive.
We stayed in Apartment Pepe which is the luxury apartment for couples. It is reminiscent of a "New York style" loft apartment & is visually stunning. The only negative is that it is at the front of the building & as such only 30m from the busy road that circles the Island. You do get a lot of road noise & at night you also get the vehicle lights. This disturbed us during the first night here but we didn't notice it so much the rest of the time. Not all the windows have curtains on them, the design of the Apartment doesn't really lend itself to this. You do have complete privacy though, with tasteful fences surrounding your patio & yard area. There is a Petanque set and court in the small yard and a private plunge pool with a wooden deck surrounding it. We used the pool on several occasions & really enjoyed it.
The two other Apartments in the complex would not suffer so much with the road noise. The family Apartment runs along the rear of the complex & has a sea view from the upper level. You can walk down the side of the building & along a pathway through the end of a school to a small deck on a rocky beach. This beach is unsuitable for swimming although several surfers were trying their luck with the waves & all the rocks when we were there. This would be a nice private spot to hold a wedding ceremony.
We went out walking each day from the Apartment & found a multitude of walks possible, one that was nice was up to the local water supply dam which is an hour return. You can walk to Muri lagoon in just 10 minutes. So, whilst you are not on the beach you are not very far from it. We enjoyed a routine late afternoons of listening to the many CD's that you had a choice of, sharing a bottle of NZ wine & having a dip in the plunge pool. The last evening here we were so relaxed we almost couldn't be bothered getting ready to go out for dinner but the only other option was to starve so go out we did.
The bathroom is downstairs & comprises of an excellent shower and a modern vanity with a great many amenities provided. All linens are of a high quality & the Apartment is kept spotlessly clean. All in all a wonderfully relaxing long weekend with charming and friendly hosts in a very nice "space". If you had a family function such as a wedding & hired out the entire complex you would not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank KiwiExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 - 29 of 53 reviews

Reviewed April 28, 2012

We spent a week in Apartment Pepe for our wedding and it was the everything we'd hope for. From the moment we landed in Rarotonga it was perfect. I won't go into too much detail but it's the special little touches that you won't find in the big resorts that make this place so wonderful. Melinda and Andrew are the most warm and inviting people, we felt so welcomed during our stay with them.

The apartments are modern, spotless and made for a very comfortable stay. If you get the chance to sample Melinda's cooking, it's the best. I have to recommend the pancakes for breakfast. They were so so good!!

Our wedding was a truly magical day. Melinda and Andrew had everything organised for us so we didn't have to worry about a thing. We particularly loved that the wedding was personalised to suit us. Once again, it was all those special little touches. My hair, make-up and manicure were imaculate, I felt like a princess. The location of the ceremony was out the front of the resort and it was absolutely beautiful. We were fortunate enough to be blessed with a picture perfect day. Our ceremony was private and intimate without all the strangers watching like you might get out the front of the other resorts on the more popular beaches.

Thanks Melinda and Andrew for making our stay so wonderful, one that will be treasured forever.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kirsten_Ian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2012

This was our fourth trip to Raro and we've stayed in different places. There is no doubt that we will return to Apartments Kakera. As others have said, Melinda and Andrew provide the perfect amount of advice and assistance but are in no way intrusive. We were able to sleep, read, relax, splash and enjoy the quiet without intrusion. The property is in a really great place away from the hustle and bustle of the Muri resorts but close enough to be really convenient. They have everything you need and are even so lovely as to check if you're ready to have your apartment serviced, before they come in! The beds were incredibly comfortable and the little touches like fresh flowers in the bathroom are beautiful as well as the convenience of a laundry and plunge pool (although shallow in apartment Karanga - it was great for cooling down in the heat).
The sound of the ocean and the private coral beach are stunning.
This property represents incredible value for money in a place that can be expensive if you let it. I just hope that it doesn't become too popular, so the secret remains safe.
Thanks Melinda and Andrew for a much needed, very relaxing holiday. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank ohsevenphive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2012

Where to start? I've stayed in a few places in Raro, but I've never felt more comfortable or welcomed then when I stayed at Kakera. It's always difficult to know what kind of hosts you'll get as sometimes you can get very obtrusive ones who make you feel as if you're in their home. This couldn't have been further from the case with Mel and Andrew.

They were wonderful hosts with a wonderful family who gave us enough space to enjoy our holiday, but enough help and advice to feel well looked after. As we were a group of mid twenty something's on a holiday trip from NZ we were wondering how we would be treated and were absolutely stoked to have had these guys as our hosts.

The Apartments themselves are great, with an alternative, contemporary feel to them. Very modern amenities with everything you may possibly need and more available to you here.

Thanks so much for a wonderful time, we've just found a way to enjoy Raro even more now with this great place. See you again later this year :-)

Oh, and check guest book, we started a new game....

  • Stayed: July 2011
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Thank PinkVPfree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2011

Our stay in Kakera Apartments was an unforgettable experience. We were in the Cook Islands a beautiful part of the world to celebrate our son's wedding. The apartments were modern and made for easy living. We stayed in the Ra which was well set out having views of the mountains and also the beach from the bedrooms. It also had a great plunge pool which was used daily. Chris did a fantastic job looking after us all week. The apartments are located in beautiful gardens.
The little extras that Melinda and Andrew did for the wedding made it just perfect right down to the archway covered in flowers on the beach.
Melinda's relaxed approach on the wedding day made for a stress free event. Her skills in makeup and hairdressing are 1st class .
Nothing was too much trouble for Melinda and Andrew and their warmth and knowledge made our stay with them a very pleasant experience.
We would love to return in the not too distant future for a longer visit staying again with Melinda,Andrew and family.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank kate50_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2011

We chose Apartments Kakera for our wedding and honeymoon and it was a magical experience from beginning to end. Melinda, Andrew and whanau have created a very special place far from the impersonality of bigger resorts. We felt cared for as soon as we arrived: our hosts were attentive without being at all intrusive.

The accommodation (we stayed in the largest apartment, Karanga) is beautifully styled and designed to maximise its situation overlooking a beautiful and private coral beach. It has everything you could possibly need (including laundry facilities) with thoughtful touches like fresh flowers and a delicious complimentary breakfast the first day, and everything is spotlessly clean thanks to Melinda and the legendary Chris!

We loved the private coral beach fringed with greenery and have never before seen the electric blue colour of the sky before the dawn arrives: a stunning landscape!

We benefited very much from our hosts knowledge of the island, including good places to eat and the best snorkelling spots, and Melinda arranged hire of a great open-top car for us too. Another lovely thing we did (again suggested by our hosts) was to visit the white church along the road on Sunday for the experience of hearing those remarkable Pacific harmonies.

Our wedding was completely stress-free thanks to Melinda who organised everything from the fantastic photographer (Jenna Tere) and celebrant (John Whitta) to the most beautiful flowers. I felt completely pampered as Melinda again worked her magic with my hair and makeup on our wedding day.

We got married on the wooden deck on the beach with the sparkling sea behind us and the palm trees swaying in the wind: perfect! This was followed by a wonderful meal in our apartment garden: the food (all prepared by our hosts) was divine, with Melinda catering for anything we wanted, including our vegetarian guests. It was a truly special day and there is nothing that we would have done differently.

We cannot recommend Apartments Kakera highly enough and can't wait to go back! With grateful thanks to Melinda, Andrew and whanau for their kindness and hospitality.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mrs_Craig_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2011

We stumbled across Apartments Kakera's website when planning our wedding in the Cook Islands and the first thing that appealed to us was that it wasn't a large resort. We were looking for a location a little more private and we certainly made the right decision for us.
We booked out all 3 apartments for a week (Pepe for us!) as we only had 7 guests for our wedding, we felt like we had so much space! The apartments were all very clean and contained everything you would have at home, from magazines, DVD's to kitchen appliances. Chris did an amazing job looking after us all week.

The planning by Melinda & Andrew was amazing (Melinda has definitely discovered her talent!), I was the most stress free bride for the entire week. Everything from the photographer, to the celebrant to the flowers (Andrew's archway creation & decoration was a work of art!), hair and makeup was perfect (Melinda is an artist!). The fact that Apartments Kakera have a private beach with a wooden deck, made an great location to exchange our nuptials, plus a great spot for photo's. Our day (well week) is something we will never forget.

Wedding aside, we felt right at home at Pepe, our outdoor area was beautifully manicured including our plunge pool which we made use of every day. The self contained apartments were perfect when staying a week as we grabbed a few groceries, so it really suited our needs.

Melinda and Andrew had so much local knowledge and we borrowed the snorkeling gear one day and headed to the far end of Muri for some fish spotting. Such great snorkeling, we ended up in the water for hours. The beauty of the Cook Islands is that it's not busy at all. We felt like we had the whole beach to ourselves.

All in all, we had an unforgettable time staying with Melinda & Andrew at Apartments Kakera and if we made it back to Raro we would definitely stay there again. We will also be telling all our friends about it too!

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank PaulaHitch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kakera Villa Apartments

Address: Beach Side, Turangi, Muri | Ngatangiia, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #42 of 80 Specialty Lodging in Rarotonga
Price Range: $207 - $278 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Kakera Villa Apartments 4*
Number of rooms: 1
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kakera Villa Apartments Rarotonga - offer four comfortable eco modern holiday home villas. A boutique private complex of self catering self service trendy villa apartments, some with private outdoor area & plunge pool. Set along side a natural coral reef surf beach at the foot of tropical mountains, two kilometers from the bustle of Muri, close to stores and coffee shop. Kakera Villa Apartments presents the perfect tropical vacation space for longer stay travelers, couples, family with teenagers and grown up children & groups of up to fifteen. ... more   less 
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