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The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

So, my wife and I have visited over 40 foreign countries, and stayed at the hotel for 12 nights/13 days in Sept '17. My best advice on this place is to first dial back your expectations. Rarotonga is literally a speck of land in the vast Pacific. Almost everything has to be shipped in by air or sea. The nearest major seaport is in Papeete Tahiti over 700 miles away and the nearest major city is Auckland 1800 miles away. So, just due to the geography there are limitations. You are not going to find the same quality in a 4 star hotel here as you would in Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco or Dubai so you need to scale back your expectations accordingly.. That being said, I thought this was a wonderful place to stay. Staff were very friendly and helpful. Be advised everything is on "island time" and so service can be pretty slow. The rooms, as reviewed by others, are fairly dated but very clean and comfortable as were the beds. It was also in good repair. Showers had great pressure and were hot. No problems with insects. I would suggest bringing a roll of black duct tape in case the bottom of the screen door need mending, (ours did) then donate it to the hotel when you leave. Be prepared that the food here is expensive, (think Manhattan) with a regular burger running about $20NZ. The lagoon was beautiful and clean and the water was crystal clear. Fish everywhere and close to shore. BUT the best thing about the lagoon was just on the other side of the waves were WHALES! We saw whales on 8 of the 13 days we spent at the resort. Literally on three mornings I walked out my room door and saw whales across the lagoon! So cool. You should also be advised that, pretty much, after the sun goes down the only things to do at the hotel are to drink or make babies. And drinking at the bar all night is an expensive proposition. (Think Las Vegas Bar prices.) They really need to do a better job of providing evening entertainment. There is a free billiards table and ping pong table in the activities area. We found Bryan at the activities hut both engaging and helpful. Some other words of advice. Forget about what you read on the hotel website. Half the things they advertise they no longer do and have not done for a long time, like the cultural show or each night they advertise a themed buffet night, which they now only do on weekends. When pointed out the number of discrepancies between their website and reality the answer was, "...yeah... we really should update the website." (Island time.) One final point. This is, I was told, the largest hotel on the island. However, VERY FEW of the rooms actually have an ocean front view. If that is something you are looking for or expecting the first floor is the best bet. We booked an ocean front view room on the second floor on advice from reviews and we were treated to a 100 percent obstructed view of the dense tree foliage. However, we did speak directly with the day manager named Charles, a very amiable man. and he skillfully solved the problem for us. The exercise room, all things considered, is adequate. The gym equipment is very basic but it will do the job until you get back to your home gym. I was told there are two gyms on the island but they are reportedly expensive to use. The TV is a bit odd. The first couple of days we were there we got 12 channels including CNN, Then for about 5 days it was blacked out. I heard a guest complaining about the TV situation and magically it was back on and all channels stayed on the remainder of our trip. Made me wonder if they forgot to pay their bill. They also have a washer and dryer on the grounds. One other really nice thing the hotel does is that if you have a late flight they will let you stay on the hotel grounds and use all facilities as long as you want after you check out. Our flight was at midnight back to LA and checkout was at 10AM. So even after checkout we were able to spend all day at the beach. I do think however that a 10AM check out is really too early, should be more like noon. They do provide a room to shower and you can still get towels from the activity desk to dry off with. Also we arrived at 7AM and check in time is not until 2PM but no problem, they gave us a breakfast voucher even though we had not checked in and let us have the run of the hotel until we checked in. There was a problem with our room and we had to move rooms. It was not going to be available until 5PM so to make our situation more comfortable Charles the day manager bought us lunch. So all in all we were pretty happy with the place. In fact, my wife is already making plans to return next year. She was enthralled with the lagoon and the whales. I understand that the snorkeling is just outstanding out by the reef.

We stopped into this resort after 8.30pm at night and had a meal out on the veranda over looking the sea, nice evening and we were the only ones left out side at this time, meal was ok, great service had by the staff.

My family of four stayed at The Rarotongan Resort and definitely going back to stay at this wonderful resort. The beachfront reserve was beautiful to snorkle, different activities everyday, and Moko Kids Club was awesome thanks to Aunty Lusi and Aunty Emele. Definitely a must for family kids will definitely enjoy...

We have just enjoyed a 9 day stay at the resort. It is friendly and relaxed. Do not expect 5 star facilities or service!! The staff are quietly spoken and helpful but there is no rush. The food was excellent in particular the Chef's specials. It is important that as a visitor you also slow down relax and enjoy the beach side setting and slower pace of life. A great relaxing and enjoyable break!!

Beachfront/marine reserve location is superb and swimming/snorkeling at all tides. Not within walking distance of restaurants but resort restaurants are more than adequate. Beachfront room good size and comfortable but needs a shower room update. Grounds beautifully maintained. All staff are very friendly and extremely helpful. Choice of daily activities. My second holiday at this resort, and would stay there again.

If you are looking for a high end resort with amenities that is family friendly, this is not the place. If you are looking for family friendly lodging with average accommodations and food, then this is your spot. We had a beach front room. It was large and spacious but poorly cleaned and definitely in need of upgrades. The breakfast is what Americans would call "continental" with pancakes. While the staff was friendly, overall service was average. The upside was the kids club for windy days when it was too cold to be at the beach. Warning, make sure to sanitize your child after a visit to the kids club; the toys looked pretty used and I'm not sure how clean they were!

My wife and I stayed 6 nights at Sanctuary. We were a bit apprehensive staying after reading a number of the negative comments, however there was nothing to worry about. Staff were extremely friendly and rooms well maintained and serviced each day. Our room opened out onto the beach and sea, there were however other rooms further down from us that probably didn't have that good of view. Overall the stay was very relaxing and better enjoyed in the adults only area

Our first time to Raratonga. Quite a relaxed feel about the place. The hotel itself was nice but I think the decor is looking a bit tired. The food wasn't great, some days nice others not so nice. Staff looked serious most of the time, there were only about three who had lovely smiles when dealing with you. One dinner order was forgotten, and we waited 20 mins to be served another time, then had to wait another 15 mins for our drinks to turn up. Service not so good. On a more positive note, the location was really lovely, right on the beach. Sand was sharp/course not soft and powdery as I had expected after looking at the photos online. Our room was clean and comfortable. Plenty of snorkling, kayaking and paddle boarding to be done, all free. Two buses service Raratonga: One goes clockwise every hour on the half hour, the other goes anti-clockwise 50 mins after the hour, so if you miss one, you have a long wait unless you get a taxi. We'd probably rate this resort as 3 or 3 and half star. Plenty of other eating places around the island. Highly recommend Charlies Cafe and Trader Jacks but there are lots more.

Great location and the lagoon was perfect for the many activities on offer and bus into town was at the door. Our accomodation was a beachfront room. Disappointed to be checked into an occupied room at 1:30am which took another hour to relocate us. Barely an apology by staff. Breakfast was good, it would be nice if the lovely windows overlooking the outside deck were clean. Dinner was good but we had to go to the bar and get our wine as our meal was half over and our order not served. Wait staff seemed disorganised. This resort is a little tired and some staff lacked the friendliness we received elsewhere which is a shame.

We accidently had made a booking to start one day too late (we come from Europe and are not used to travel over the day zone). The hotel was full booked but right from the beginning this was no problem! The stuff was super friendly and made us stay at the common room the first night. The hotel rooms are a bit tired but totally good enough. We give five stars to the customer service and to the activity hut where you can borrow tennis raquettes, snorkels, kayaks etc for free! The breakfast was ok but we wouldn't recommend eating at the restaurant otherwise.

Room options

2 Bedroom Beachside Suite

King 1 | Sleeps 4

Beachfront Room

King 1 | Sleeps 3

Deluxe Suite, Beachfront

King 1 | Sleeps 3

Deluxe Suite Beachside

King 1 | Sleeps 3

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

56% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 1102 reviews