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Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

Sanctuary is set on a very nice beach and is Adults only but that for me with where the positives stop. Lisa the Night Manager is blunt, indignant and try's to hide that behind a polite voice. Other staff seem nice but a very under skilled and lack training. The rooms have issues with Cockroaches and ants it is an island so these can be expected. Housekeeping is extremely weak with rooms not being serviced until after 4pm and then coming back to see the floors not mopped the toilet not cleaned the showers untouched, in fact i think they only made the bed that was it. Poor cleaning is one thing but a light hanging from it's fitting inside the shower is dangerous as the wires are exposed over the shower (room 622). I did write that on a comment card my 2nd day but it was never looked at during my 1 week. They allow glasses in the pool yet another bad idea. It would be good to see someone take control of this resort before things get worse. At $285 NZ per night

We really enjoyed our experience at sanctuary as it was on the sheltered side and all the water toys are free to use. Although a bit dated rooms are very comfortable and well maintained. The restaurant was only ok for food quality but waiting staff were very friendly. Wifi is rubbish and expensive.

A wonderful location on the island, safe waters for swimming and other water activities. Very quite and relaxing . Comfortable beds and lovely rooms. Staff are helpful and food was excellent. All in all a good time was had by all.

This resort is adjacent to and part of the Rarotongan but for adults only. The apartments face the beach and either walk out into the beach or the upstairs apartments have a balcony overlooking the beach. Apartment was clean and spacious with huge bed. There is a small fridge and spacious bathroom. The complex had a nice sheltered pool and lovely lagoon to swim and snorkel ... however not lots of water at low tide. We found the staff all very friendly and helpful, however often not a lot of staff at bar or restaurant which affected the service. You check in at the bar which was a little different. Restaurant was nice and quiet . Would have been good to be able to order from Rarotongan menu as well at the sanctuary restaurant as it is the same kitchen. Overall a nice place to stay for an adults holiday on the beach just don't expect a high level of bar /reception service if staffing remains same

This resort was beautiful. We arrived when it was quiet and as the week progressed and the resort got busier, the staff were pressed to keep up, our room getting later and later to be cleaned each day. But we were on Island time and on holidays so who cares basically. Our room was lovely, the breakfast was amazing with variety each day. It is on a quiet beach away from town but was easy to get around the island if you want to explore. We caught the bus a few times and hired a scooter for 24 hours which was fun.

First of all, I want to emphasise ... the bad reviews I've seen could be further from the truth! This is going to be a long review - because I like to be thorough (and this is posted elsewhere too). We were almost deterred from booking here, due to the reviews we had read. The most common ones we noticed were that the staff were rude, the rooms small and the food awful: I really am at a loss as to how this has come about, as we experienced excellence in all those departments! We are so glad we ignored them! Our room boasts a spacious Californian king bed, with a satellite TV neighbouring it so that you can enjoy the comforts of television while you relax in bed. The bed itself was about a 7/10 comfort wise, I like a hard bed like this but I'm not sure how those who like their beds soft would suit. The bathroom is even more spacious, and I adore that there are sliders that open up the bathroom into the rest of the room so you can enjoy the beach and sound of the surf while you get ready for your day. The shower has AMAZING water pressure! I felt each morning I would struggle to get out of there as I was enjoying my showers so much. Felt close to a back massage! There is a table inside, two chairs and a couch for those entertaining while they stay, and a further two more seats outside and a little side table on the balcony. Sitting out here and listening to the waves at night while reading a book has got to be about the most tranquil experiences I had here. We had the luxury of sleeping with only the mosquito door closed during the night as it wasn't too humid, and the sounds are just so relaxing! I'm an insomniac - but no problems sleeping here! There is a mini fridge, spacious wardrobe and kettle & tea station next to the television, and a large desk for whatever your heart desires. I've seen two or three reports that said their room was small, I would say those guests may have just been fussy as I do not agree! If you have the opportunity to book in advance, and want an upstairs room overlooking the beachfront, ask for room 727. You won't regret it! As for the staff - wow there are some who really stand out for their above and beyond service! Everyone on reception each day were so friendly and knowledgable, which helped us get directions and recommendations for food and activities in the area. Malakai (hope that's spelt right) at the bar is a hilarious fellow, who went out of his way to spend time with my partner and I and provided some wonderful conversation. Whenever Simon, the chef is on you know your meal is going to be yummy! Housekeeping, every one of you, you were so lovely and friendly. They definitely contribute to the warm and welcoming atmosphere here. Thanks for the bath robes too! Mike, the duty manager, is FANTASTIC! A hard working busy body who went above and beyond for us after we told him our concerns about the reviews we had seen. If you are also concerned about this - send them an email and request to speak to him about your concerns. I am more than positive that he will be sure you get what you are after. Don't let it stop you from staying at this stunning resort! The food here is excellent, while we tried food from all of the restaurants here and at The rarotongan sister property, the most outstanding one was their Captain Andys bar & grill. The cocktails were delicious! Breakfast was way better than anticipated - again due to bad reviews. It boasted an array of fruits, toasts, etc. Fruit was nothing more than fresh! And there were pancakes on the buffet as well, which is contrary to reviews once again. They also had a trivia night on Sunday evening, which always goes down a treat if you enjoy that type of thing back home! If you enjoy getting to know people on your holiday, this definitely helps you in that department! The beach here is gorgeous, with access to sunbathing chairs, and the kayak and paddle board hire is free! How fantastic. The reefs here are STUNNING! If you are coming here for the water and wildlife, you're going to adore it! Also wanted to mention that it's only August, but my partner and I spotted a whale five minutes walk up the road while we were having an evening stroll. It was magical! The swimming pool was nice and cool compared to the ocean, which was absolutely a treat when it got really hot around midday. You can also enjoy the cocktail menu right next to the pool, or at the pool bar, which I think anybody can appreciate. You are going to love the atmosphere here if you enjoy the resort lifestyle. It has been fantastic having a million possibilities of things to do each morning, we wake up and have access to so many activities and never know what to do first! It is also far bigger than it looks. I added a photo of the map they provided us with, which gives you more of a sense what it's all about. Along with all the other photos I've added to this review. I think this will help further an understanding of what this place looks like. My one and only complaint - and not the fault of the resort - is the bloody rooster who insists on crowing from 4am onwards! We get it mate! You're awake! The rest of us are trying to sleep! Damn chicken. The efforts behind the scenes to remedy the problems they have read about online are everywhere, I've had two people in the past three days come to my room to check everything was okay and asked for constructive criticisms on the resort and what we would change if we could. It makes me very happy that they care so much, and you really can see a change in effect around the resort. If you've made it this far down my review, well done! I'm going to give a little advice before I finish off. I think these bad reviews may have come from certain types of people. If you call in advance and let the resort know what you want, they will cater to you. Don't leave it up to them to decide, and then complain you didn't get the room you wanted when you get here. If you have special needs; I.e a downstairs room to avoid stairs, they will make sure you get that! I saw one or two guests a bit too high on their own ego being incredibly rude and yet the staff here were being a lot more level headed and kind than I could have managed personally, so those who have said the staff were rude perhaps were not so kind themselves.

My husband and I stayed here for 7 nights in July,in a downstairs beachfront room.The room was clean and tidy and lovely to hear the surf at night.We found the staff to be very friendly and genuine.Some days the room servicing does take quite a while when they are busy-but not an issue for us,as we were there to enjoy the island,not stay all day in our room.We also respect that Sunday is church day on the island and there are not so many staff on.We found the breakfast to be perfectly fine and no issues with not topping it up.We dined at Sanctuary and The Rarotongan and were pleased with both styles of meals.I think if you go here with a friendly attitude yourself-you will really enjoy the staffs sense of humour and friendliness.The resort is a bit tired in places but I believe an upgrade has started in some rooms.

I would not recommend the sanctuary to anyone. Terrible place and the customer service is just disgusting. 5 months we have been chasing refunds and the manager has just told my wife and I to get lost. Stay away

We stayed at sanctuary for just over a week.Our room was a downstairs beachfront suite. We could relax on the front private area or walk directly on to the beautiful beach.A top setting for our stay. The room was spacious ,clean and comfortable. Provided condiments were very good .There were some small issues with servicing but thesewere easily sorted.Breakfast was very good for a tropical buffet .Restaurant was okay and we also tried the sister resort next door .We would consider staying here again if we visited rarotonga once more. We felt the staff were fine but perhaps a little more help for them to understand what guests really enjoyed would be a helpful tip to management .

My mum booked in to stay here for two nights with her partner. Arrived at 2300 after travelling twelve hours to find they had been moved to another, inferior hotel that for personal reasons was not suitable. They asked for a refund because they wanted to find elsewhere and were refused, were told there was no other option than to stay at this other hotel. They ended up having to stay at this other hotel which was a very bitter start to the holiday. They would never return to The Sanctuary - they didn't even stay here and would still not return. The service was extremely unreasonable.

Room options

Honeymoon Suite (Spa)

King 1 | Sleeps 2

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

61% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 471 reviews