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Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel
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Reviews (281)
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All reviewsthe ground floorfishwalk straight outupstairs villaacross the roadcook islandsbus stoptropical breakfastloved our staythe hotel managercontinental breakfastfree kayakspaw pawwhite sand beachcleaning staffgreat beachpalm trees
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Reviewed 8 January 2018

Our rooms were right on the beach front - at both ground and first floor levels. All rooms have a deck facing the beach and the lagoon, catching the prevailing breeze and delivering stunning views of the palm trees, white sand, blue lagoon and waves pounding on the outlying reef. Picture perfect.

The rooms had cool, tiled floors, comfortable beds, useful kitchenette and excellent airconditioning. The bathrooms were not large but adequate and clean with a good shower.

A fairly basic continentlal breakfast was included with our tariff and it could be complemented with the usual breakfast fare - omlettes, eggs and bacon and several varieties of pancakes - all of which were of hearty size and scrumptious. The only downside was the coffee - filtered coffee included or espresso coffee as an extra. The latter was better than the former but both were "ordinary".

The restaurant also made very good pizzas. Pizza on the beach at night with friends, and a beer or glass of wine ... heavenly.

The staff, without exception, were friendly, knowledgeable and very helpful.

Room Tip: All rooms face the beach and lagoon
  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank VictorZeus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MS_Management, General Manager at Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 25 January 2018

Kia Orana Victor,

Thank you for your comments and review. I have passed on your comments on the Restaurant to the Owner of the Restaurant and he is looking into ways to improve this. We are limited by the coffee available on the Island but this is being looked into as well.
I am pleased you enjoyed our slice of Paradise and look forward to possibly hosting you again in the future.

Regards
Wayne.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2017

My husband and I spent 8 nights at the Moana Sands at the end of October after 6 weeks of travelling throughout Australia and New Zealand. This was the icing on the cake of a fabulous vacation. We arrived to pouring rain, but pick-up at the airport with a welcome lei was prompt and we were soon enough being taken to our room by Wayne, the hotel manager. He, and his staff, were very pleasant to deal with throughout our week. And after that first afternoon the sun shone non-stop!

We had chosen a deluxe room on the second floor, and requested an end unit which we got. The room was fabulous - quite a bit larger than the standard rooms on the main floor, although it would be a matter of preference as main floor rooms have patios that are right on the beach. For us, however, we preferred the second floor with it's expansive views of the most glorious lagoon and beach. Our balcony was equipped with a small table and chairs and we loved sitting out there when not out and about. The housekeeping staff were lovely and always cheerful and friendly when we saw them. The hotel is very small - exactly what we like when we travel, and very laid back. Being so small pretty much guaranteed that you met the fellow guests, and it was so nice to chat with and get to know some of the others staying there. I was quite surprised at another reviewer's comments about the staff in the restaurant being less than friendly, as they were all very welcoming and friendly with us throughout our stay. We actually ate there 5 out of our 8 nights as we loved the food, the ambience and the views - usually opting in the evening to sit outside under the little palapa area on the beach. The included breakfast was always plentiful and just fine, and a cooked breakfast was always available for a price if you wanted it.

We did book a car (which the hotel arranged for us) for 3 days and it was fun to have to see a bit of the island. It really doesn't take much more than an hour to drive around the entire island, but it was nice to try different places for lunch, and see some of the sights. That said, there are at least a couple of other very good restaurants within easy walking distance of the Moana Sands, and the one night we went to a local entertainment show, transportation was provided.

The snorkelling in front of the hotel in the lagoon was very good (we snorkelled daily), and didn't bother even trying any other beaches. Ours was already perfect! And a definite highlight for us was that the humpback whales were still migrating while we were there and we were treated to almost daily sightings of whales breaching and frolicking just on the other side of the reef.

We had no complaints whatsoever with our stay at the Moana Sands. We would absolutely love to return (although we wish it was not so far from Canada!), and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. The perfect end to a perfect vacation.

Room Tip: We preferred upstairs room - end unit in particular if available
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank lovesthesun-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2017

Rooms are spacious and clean with fantastic views, unless you ask the cleaning staff your room is not vacummed or sheets changed, we stayed 6 nights we had to ask.By the way the cleaning staff are friendly and attentive Location is gorgeous clear water and white sand beach. As we traveled in the rainy season we did cop alot of rain and wind as to be expected. There are free kayaks to use as well as snorkeling gear. hit and miss with most leaking, might pay to bring your own. The continental breakfast was fresh and adequate, no need for cooked one although are not at all attentive no one says goodmorning etc to you or other guests the staff laugh and talk loudly with each other with most morning loud rap music playing. Had a lovely dinner on a very quiet night at the restaurant. fish and salad very yummy..2 nights later it was a different story...Waited to be seated, didnt happen, so seated self, still no service so hubby went to bar and bought his own beer, after 10 minutes we waited and watched 3 groups of outsiders be seated, given menus, then drink by then we were feeling embarrassed . We left and found another restaurant down the round that welcomed us in. Was very dissapointed . We had a fantastic stay in this hotel 15 years back staff were so ffriendly and attentive back. This trip no one even knew our name or gave greetings. A man said good morning us on our last day there as we packed our car..?? was the manager. Not sure if we will go back thertf

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Hendrix61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MS_Management, General Manager at Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 25 January 2018

Kia Orana,

Thank you for your comments and your feedback. All reviews are looked at positively and are acted upon. The Restaurant is leased out and we are currently working through issues here. I have had a meeting with the Owner and we have put in place some new policies and procedures. Consistency in staffing is an issue.
With regards to cleaning we have standard policies and procedures in place so I will have this checked. Rooms are supposed to be swept daily and beds changed every 3rd day after 2 sleeps.
Staff acknowledgement to gets is another high priority in our training so again I will look into this.
I would certainly like to welcome you back personally and please make contact with me when considering your return to Rarotonga and I will do what I can do to make your return extra special in the true Moana Sands Style.

Thank you again and regards
Wayne

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Reviewed 23 November 2017

I used to go to Hawaii for the relaxed beach holiday, but after a week in Rarotonga, this will be my happy place for fun in the sun. It’s very laid back. You fit in with the locals, they run on Island time, which means no one is on time, and it doesn’t matter. There are numerous ways to get around the island, car, bike, scooter or bus. Staying at the Moana Sands beachfront Villas, which are roughly half way round the island, is a must if you want a nice quiet area. It’s not where all the tourist things are located, like at Muri Beach, but it has everything you need. The sea is at your door, snorkeling gear, reef shoes or flippers are provided free. There is a supermarket across the road, as well as a takeaways. Coffee shop in the Villa complex and bus stops right outside. There is also a beauty spa if you feel like a massage or facial. All Staff were excellent, friendly, helpful and obliging. I will be returning for longer next time.

Room Tip: A room with a view of the sea is a must, and the apartments open onto the sand.
  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank 534linda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2017

My sister and I stayed at the Moana Sands Villas in 2016 and had a fabulous holiday and were extremely comfortable and the service was great. We had our own queen size bedrooms and our own on suites . Wayne and his staff were very friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The only disappointing thing was that we didn't stay long enough so this year we stayed for 15 days and still didn't want to come home. We must take this opportunity to mention one of Wayne's staff Enjelin La. Enjelin was an amazing lady who took care of our every need not only did she carry out her daily tasks to a very high standard but assisted me when I became unwell. Enjelin recommended a doctor and checked every day to see how I was doing, she was a great tour quide telling us great places to explore. Enjelin made us feel like we were the best quests ever and I'm have no doubt that all the quests felt the same. If we go back next year we are hoping that Enjelin will still be working there Wayne is very lucky to have such an amazing lady working there.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
Thank lynaddi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wayne S, General Manager at Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 16 November 2017

Kia Orana Lyn,
Thank you for taking the time to review Moana sands Villas. My Team and myself are pleased you again had an awesome stay with us. Yes, I have a great team of people working for and with me. Enjelin is a very good member and role model within our team. Very often she goes above the call of duty and puts in that extra personal touch. Recently this was also recognized by the Cook Islands Tourism "Meitaki Awards" which is an award issued by the Prime Minister, as Minister of Tourism for people and business who get multiple mentions in Tourist comment surveys on departure. Enjelin received this award for 2017.

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