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“If new management, great place! If not, stay away.”

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Backpackers International
Reviewed August 29, 2013

Was there several times in the mid-late 90's and then again in 2010. I stayed there because I was solo and it was inexpensive and near the things I always go to. Although with the bus and Raro not being that big, one can really get anywhere on a bike or the bus.
BUT, the owners were distinctly unfriendly. They live on site, which is not unusual, but seem to see guests as rather an intrusion. Not always, but when you're paying for a place you rather don't expect them yelling at each other...and guests(!) for no reason other than they're in a bad mood or something and don't really like running a backpackers out of their house.
I saw the hollering at guests several times when folks were just waiting at the "reception" desk to rent some beach stuff like mask and snorkel, or getting the lifts to the airport. The owners considered it an inconvenience to deal with their own business and had a go at the guests! Very strange.
Unless they have new management, stay well away from this place unless you're literally only there as a crash pad. Either that or once checked in stay well away from the owners.
On the positive, the guests are great, a nice place to meet others and a nice beach about 40 m away. And they put out fresh fruit for guests, which is common at Cook Island accommodation as the island is covered in fruit trees.

Room Tip: Upstairs if you can.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Tryne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BBackpackCookIs, Manager at Backpackers International, responded to this reviewResponded November 2, 2013

Yes it is new management and we have our set office times; to help everyone start their day in the morning 9am to 12noon, we usually like to stay until about 2pm, but only when we can, then we take a break for lunch. We open again in the evening making sure the guests are fine or if they need anything from 7pm to 9pm, but again, if we can, we like to stay until 10pm to 11pm, just to ensure everyone that has gone out to an island night or out into town, has come back safely.

It is really unfortunate that you did not get along with the owners the second time around as they are a really lovely elderly couple and they still provide us with free fruit when the fruit are in season. This is always a treat, as nowadays you only get that at resorts, villas or sometimes holiday units if you are lucky. Most people now prefer to sell them at the little markets dotted around the island.

The owners no longer live in the accommodation and are enjoying their twilight years in their own home, but still taking time to visit the hostel to make sure all the guests are happy or just relaxing with the guests. It is most likely their hospitality that was one of the reasons you decided to come back to stay in 2010.

Just a note, the reason why the owners were living in the hostel when you came back to stay the second time was because their house burnt down.

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36 - 42 of 57 reviews

Reviewed August 12, 2013

Tisa picked us up at the airport. In the morning she showed us all the places around the island on the map. She also really recommended us to visit the traditional Te Maeva Nui dance competition - it was awesome.
The best thing about this hostel is that you can meet a lot of people in the common "room".
If you don't mind sharing a bathroom, having a bit bad furniture and soft bed than this is a place for you. I would really recommend it.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank BajaGaRaja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BBackpackCookIs, Manager at Backpackers International, responded to this reviewResponded November 2, 2013

Glad you enjoyed the dancing competition, it is definitely one of the best times of the year to visit the Cook Islands. Thank you for recommending us and I promise to work on the furniture and have it down pat by the time you come back to visit us.

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Reviewed July 7, 2013 via mobile

Great place love the friendly staff and environment. I would come stay here again because of the owner. She picked us from airport and took us to the grocery store so we could get breakfast. She showed us how to get the bus and things to do. The hostel is average but cheap. You get what you pay.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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Thank otagosurfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BBackpackCookIs, Manager at Backpackers International, responded to this reviewResponded November 2, 2013

How can I not respond to this comment, Thank you for your very cool review, definitely always a pleasure.

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Reviewed September 16, 2012

I stayed twice in the backpack, early August and Sptember 2012. I met Laureen, Paul and Tessa the managers, all of them are really great, friendly and helpful. We had some outstanding nights around the "smocker" table! I recommend this place for its backpacker spirit.
Bring your earplug because of Roooosssteeeerrrr!!!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Isaac A G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BBackpackCookIs, Manager at Backpackers International, responded to this reviewResponded November 2, 2013

Thank you for recommending us, I'm glad you enjoyed your stay. As for the roosters, they still own the island, but we've managed to catch one, so that's one less rooster to greet you in the morning. We are still looking into having free earplugs, just need to find someone to keep us in decent supply first.

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Reviewed April 4, 2012

New managers laureen, Paul and tessa were great. Very friendly and helpful had some good nights in dining room with them and other guests. would reccommend others to stay here.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Debbie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2012

I stayed here in march 2012, i loved the airport pick up. Great variety of free fruit and tuition on husking coconut and preparing fruit. Host were great and always interested in you days plans, great prices, well worth it. Close to good hire shop and beatiful beach!!! It was a truely special stay and i would be back there tomorrow!!

  • Stayed: March 2012
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Thank Bmco95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2012

A group of us stayed for a family wedding the owners were very friendly and accommodating to our needs. The location to the beach was great and the bus only a few meters from the hostel was an added bonus. The atmosphere at the hostel was every thing you would expect from a hostel meeting others from all around the world made for interesting travel stories in the common room in the evening. Pot luck dinners were also a hit.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank MBee39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Backpackers International

Address: PO Box 878, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #72 of 80 Specialty Lodging in Rarotonga
Price Range: $14 - $40 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 23

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