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Reviewed 9 September 2018

I stayed at the Rarotongan for a week, with 10 others. This place has a huge amount of potential, it's situated on the edge of a marine reserve. Kayaks, Snorkelling equipment etc are all available from the Activities hut. However the rooms need a refresh and the restaurant on site left a lot to be desired, with limited options nearby. The Breakfast buffet is good though, so if you rent a vehicle you can make this work.

The bed was average, there was rubbish under the bathroom basin, the floor left dirty (although I did come in on a Sunday, I understand they have limited staff capacity on that day) and the window in the bathroom was missing a latch. The refrigerator was left on the coldest setting, leaving the water jug frozen over, the price for turning it down was having to clean up the mess when the ice on the walls defrosted. The place in general isn't secure, the rear door fly screen just falls off its rails and the latch could easily be pushed off with a wire.

They do have a very cool option to not service your room on a day and receive a $15 resort credit, which can be used on food, WiFi or items at the gift shop.

All this to stay, I'm not overly fussy and it was an good stay. It's just not a >$300 a night facility, I stayed elsewhere for my 2nd week, at $110 a night with a better quality room.

  • Stayed: August 2018, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank chemikills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guide728154, General Manager at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 5 weeks ago

Kia Orana,
Thank you for your review of your recent stay with us.
I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us at The Rarotongan Beach Resort.
The resort enjoys a prime location directly on Aroa Lagoon Marine Sanctuary on the south-west side of the Island with beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets and abundant tropical fish. We provide complimentary use of kayaks, paddle boards, snorkels & masks, etc for guests to explore the lagoon.
We are currently undertaking a progressive resort-wide refurbishment programme including all guest rooms, public areas, equipment and amenities.
Captain Andy’s Beach Bar & Grill at The Rarotongan offers casual beach and poolside dining including light and tasty snacks, salads, pizzas, burgers & sandwiches, and a range of main courses, as well as daily Chef’s specials and a Kids’ Menu especially for our little guests. Our menus are designed to appeal to as broad a range of guests as possible including guests with special dietary needs such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy and nut free, etc. I am pleased that you enjoyed our Daily Tropical Continental Breakfast Buffet which includes seasonal fresh island fruits, fresh fruit salad, home-stewed fruits, Bircher muesli, homemade yoghurt, fresh-baked breads, pastries, muffins & croissants, cereals, toast, spreads, fruit juices, tea & coffee. Other hot breakfast options are available from our a la carte menu for a small additional charge.
The resort has a Duty Manager available from 7am-10pm who would have been more than happy to address any issues during your stay, and I would have also welcomed the opportunity to meet with you personally. Please feel free to contact me directly if you wish to share more detailed feedback.
Samantha Johnson, Resort Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2018

We booked two adjoining rooms, the rooms were 'ok'. They are dark and dated but most things worked. They weren't the cleanest rooms I've ever stayed in, the floor was grotty and in my opinion needs a good scrub with clean hot soapy water. I mean it looked like it had been vacuumed well, but my toddler got grubby knees from crawling around on the ground. We had booked a port a cot through the hotel which was clean and nicely made up for a toddler. The TVs had Fox network channels so we could watch sport, news, movies, when the weather wasn't so good.
The room A/C worked well, and the showers had good water pressure, the rooms had shower over bath so was good for a toddler.
The resort is a bit tired and could do with a facelift - but it was functional - pool was clean.
The restaurant "Captain Andys" was hit and miss, we had the seafood platter and it was delicious. Next time had the calamari (floury - like it tasted like flour), the fish tacos (taco un cooked) and the prawns (YUMMY). Drinks took a long time to come out.... and when something went wrong we were told - they are coming (they weren't coming, the order had got stopped between the printer and the bartender). The kids meals came out first and fast which is always a good thing when eating with toddlers.
The childcare - this was my greatest disappointment. I had pre emailed to ask about childcare and I was under the impression that you could book a babysitter you just needed 24 hours notice. This is not the case - if you are going here BOOK THE BABYSITTER before you leave home. We were there for 3 nights...... couldn't get a babysitter for any of the time - they were all unavailable. That meant - no couples massage, no snorkelling with my partner, no romantic dinners.
The snorkelling is ok out the coral that is close to the shore is grey (maybe dead), the beach was sandy and you can feed the fish from the deck outside the restaurant which was awesome.
Staff - pleasant and friendly, but lack of communication - didn't get told they couldn't book the reef sub because of the weather (we had to keep asking), didn't get told no babysitters (we had to keep asking).
Would consider staying here again, but would also look at other options.

  • Stayed: August 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Daneka_NZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 6 September 2018

Kia Orana Daneka,
Thank you for your review.
I am pleased to hear you loved feeding the fish from the deck overlooking the lagoon. We have the best all-tide snorkelling on the island and are well known for the abundance of tropical fish in the Aroa Lagoon Marine Sanctuary directly in front of the resort. Sadly we have not been immune to the effects of global warming, but we are making a concentrated effort to educate guests about the care of coral to help with its regeneration.
I am pleased you enjoyed the ever-popular Seafood Platter and Crumbed Prawns. Our Food & Beverage Manager would have been happy to address your issues during your meals.
Baby sitting service is available with 24 hours notice. This service is subject to availability and we apologise if, due to heavy guest demand, that we were not able to provide this service for you. The complimentary Moko Kids Club has three sessions daily, including an evening session, catering to ages 4-11yrs, where our staff supervise and entertain children. Children under this age can be left with our crèche staff for a charge per session.
The latest 360-degree virtual tours are available online as well as photographs, room layout maps, and detailed descriptions to assist guests to identify the best room option for their holiday. There are several higher category rooms which may have been more preferable, and which could have viewed during our daily site inspection tour (subject to room categories being available).
We are currently undertaking a progressive resort-wide refurbishment programme including all guest rooms, public areas, equipment and amenities.
The resort has a Duty Manager available from 7am-10pm who would have been more than happy to address any issues during your stay, and I would have also welcomed the opportunity to meet with you personally. Please feel free to contact me directly if you wish to share more detailed feedback.
Wishing you all the best for 2018.
Kia Manuia,
Samantha Johnson, Resort Manager

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Reviewed 30 August 2018

A great place to stay for couples or families. Spacious grounds and rooms with lots of beach equipment and activities. Friendly and helpful staff. Our room was quite dark but that is probably a advantage in summer. Would definitely go back again.

Stayed: August 2018, travelled as a couple
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank tjscelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 3 September 2018

Kia Orana,
Thank you for your review.
I am pleased to hear you had an enjoyable stay and appreciated the use of the complimentary water sports equipment and resort-based facilities and amenities.
I was also delighted to hear you found our staff friendly and helpful throughout your stay.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Rarotonga, and wish you all the best for the remainder of 2018.
Kia Manuia,
Samantha Johnson, Resort Manager

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Reviewed 27 August 2018

The Roatongan is the place to go if you want a safe , interesting swimming, snorkeling experience. Feeding the fish straight from the beach and watching the whales from the balcony while eating breakfast are not to be missed. Although not a luxury hotel the room was clean and the staff friendly. the food at Captain Andy’s restraint was tasty and not too expensive. A great family.place to stay.

Stayed: September 2017
Thank Narelle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 30 August 2018

Kia Orana Narelle,
Thank you for your review.
I am delighted to hear you recommend the Aroa Lagoon Marine Sanctuary directly in front of the resort as a safe and interesting location for swimming with the abundant tropical fish. We are renowned for having the best all tide snorkelling on the island. Also, at this time of year occasionally the migrating whales can be seen from the shores of the resort and from guest rooms, so I am delighted you got to experience it. They are also visible from elsewhere around the island.
It is wonderful to hear that the staff were friendly, your room was clean and that you enjoyed your meals at our on-site restaurant. We are the iconic resort on Rarotonga, and well known for providing family-friendly accommodation with plenty to offer guests of all ages. Our menus are designed to appeal to as broad a range of guests as possible including guests with special dietary needs such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy and nut free, etc. Captain Andy’s Beach Bar & Grill at The Rarotongan offers casual beach and poolside dining including light and tasty snacks, salads, pizzas, burgers & sandwiches, and a range of main courses, as well as daily Chef’s specials and a Kids’ Menu especially for our little guests.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Rarotonga and wish you the best for the remainder of 2018.
Kia Manuia,
Samantha Johnson, Resort Manager

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Reviewed 26 August 2018

This is a large, older resort but it was perfect for our holiday. The rooms are a little tired but completely fine and spacious. The outside shower was lovely as was the fairly private terrace area. Lovely to be able to look out to sea from our room.
The snorkelling and paddleboarding were great.
Wifi a nuisance - had to keep buying expensive vouchers.
There was a supermarket nearby so good to buy some drinks and nibbles to have in our room/terrace.
Restaurant food was fine.
Overall exactly what we wanted for a 5 night stay with our 17 year old daughter - who didn't emerge often from her room!

  • Stayed: July 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank casperWellingtonNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 28 August 2018

Kia Orana,
Thank you for your review.
I am pleased to hear you found your room spacious and that you enjoyed your outside shower and private terrace, as well as the amazing views over the lagoon.
The resort is located directly on Aroa Lagoon Marine Sanctuary on the south-west side of the Island, and is renowned for having the best all-tide snorkelling on the island. We provide complimentary use of kayaks, paddle boards, snorkels & masks, etc for guests to explore the lagoon.
Due to being a small tropical island in the middle of the South Pacific with only one telecommunications company, wifi is considerably more expensive than in a large metropolitan country with a competitive telecommunications market. However, we do price match the local monopoly telecommunications company and have the best wifi service available in the Cook Islands. We do offer special rate plans that include free wifi.
We are currently undertaking a progressive resort-wide refurbishment programme including all guest rooms, public areas, equipment and amenities.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Rarotonga.
Kia Manuia, and best wishes for 2018.
Haimona Browne, Resort Manager

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